“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Episode 1513 Recap: Class In Session

This is a recap of RuPaul’s Drag Race episode 1513. Spoilers below.

It could be so simple. Watching a bunch of queens drag up teachers — including a kindergarten teacher! — as they chat about queer acceptance shows how easy it could all be. But bigotry doesn’t exist because it’s complicated. It exists because people are greedy and fearful, selfish and entitled.

It’s the makeover episode and in what I’d consider the show’s biggest political swing of the season, the queens are making over teachers. The Rusical may have directly addressed the drag bans, but this feels like the challenge that actually seems like it could stir up controversy. (By controversy, I mean images from it could appear behind Tucker Carlson as he whines.)

But first we start with Salina’s exit. Her mirror message reads: I guess I got what I deserved. This is clearly a pointed message to Loosey and Anetra for saying she deserved to go home.

Speaking of deserve, Loosey is saying she didn’t deserve to be in the bottom. Sasha says, “Okay let’s get rowdy,” and rowdy they get. Luxx says she 110% believes what she said about Loosey last week and tensions begin to rise even higher.

It’s a new day in the workroom and it’s time for a mini challenge. Norvina from Anastasia Beverly Hills is there to introduce the game show Spill the Tea. The queens have to lift up pictures of each other to answer various questions, like which queen makes them laugh the hardest. It’s all fun and games until they’re asked who is going home next and everyone picks Loosey including Loosey — because she wants to win the game.

Her strategy works which means she wins $5,000 worth of makeup and the chance to pair the queens with their makeover partners. Loosey chooses Mrs. Wallace for herself, an older white woman. She then pairs Mistress with Ms. Tang, a queer Latina with the closest body to hers. And Anetra with Mrs. Mahoney, a thin woman who is also half Filipina. It seems like Loosey is in her congenial era until she gives the one Black teacher, Mrs. March Banks, to Sasha instead of Luxx. Luxx gets Ms. Reyes, who by far looks the least like her new drag mom than any of the others.

I don’t begrudge Loosey for playing the game — even if historically pairing queens with someone more challenging has failed as much as it’s succeeded. But there is something weird about matching the queens up by race except for the Black queen and Black teacher. I don’t think Loosey was thinking about that — but that’s kind of the problem, right?

The longer episode gives us a lot of meaningful time with the pairs. Mrs. Mahoney tells Anetra that Drag Race is her favorite show and they bond over being Filipina. Meanwhile, Loosey bonds with Mrs. Wallace over their big boobs — one in drag, one out of drag. We also get Sasha learning from Mrs. March Banks that she has two kids and watches Drag Race with her husband. Also, she wants padding.

The highlight of the episode is the relationship that forms between Mistress and Ms. Tang. Ms. Tang is queer and first generation and Mistress tells her how meaningful it would’ve been to have her as a teacher. It really is worth remembering that not only should queer teachers be allowed to be open about their lives but that it’s actually beneficial for all the queer students to have that life model. Ms. Tang cries as Mistress talks to her and it’s just really lovely.

Later, when doing the walkthroughs, Ru seems surprised to learn Ms. Tang is queer, which feels very telling from Ru and what his queer world looks like. Even though Ms. Tang only came out a few years ago in her late twenties, she now looks more clockable than me on laundry day.

Luxx makes the mistake of getting thrown by Loosey’s shady pairing. Sure, it’s going to be more of a challenge, but that isn’t Ms. Reyes’ fault! Luxx is so concerned with doing well in the challenge that she fails to really connect with Ms. Reyes — at least at first.

Eventually, Luxx learns that Ms. Reyes’ kids are queer and that she stopped going to their Catholic church in support of them. This melts Luxx a bit and she finally starts to connect more with her new daughter.

The guest judge this week is Hayley Kiyoko, who shares the fun fact that she was in love with her first grade teacher Ms. Spear. If I know anything about Hayley’s taste in women, Ms. Spear was definitely straight.

The first pairs to grace the runway are Sasha and her daughter Ferocity. Their resemblance is great, Ferocity is walking well, and the enhanced padding is a fun touch.

Loosey and her… Aunt Lala also have a lot of resemblance, but as Mistress says that isn’t necessarily a compliment to Lala. Also just call her your drag daughter! Age doesn’t matter!

I’m biased, because I’m always going to be rooting for the gays, but Mistress and her daughter Madame Thang were my favorite. They were very similar without looking as identical as some of the other pairs. They were also totally in sync on the runway.

Luxx and her daughter Asia Azul have the least resemblance. Asia is in a proper dress while Luxx is half naked. And Asia’s dress only has lining the color of Luxx’s outfit. The one thing I’ll say about this pair though is that Luxx made Asia look gorgeous. I do think that’s an underrated part of these challenges — yes, resemblance matters, but for the people being in drag for the first and maybe last time it’s also nice when they get to really feel themselves.

The last pair is Anetra and her daughter Alexa. They are in nearly identical pink and black velvet outfits. I don’t know why I didn’t feel more enthusiastic about them! Like they did the assignment, and did it well. And I do like the outfit. I guess I prefer when the looks are in the same family, but still different. When the queens are backstage, Ross says that this pair is proof you don’t have to look similar which feels very odd to me, because they do look similar, they’re just different heights.

The judges mostly give praise, only calling out Luxx for the lack of resemblance and Loosey for a discordant runway and missing some design details. Believe it or not, Loosey will not agree with these critiques.

They have the teachers lip sync to Ru’s “Champion” and it’s very sweet to watch the teachers all have fun. They all win, but honestly Ferocity was the real winner! Mother Sasha taught her well.

Mistress is safe. Sasha is safe. Anetra wins. Again, I’m fine with this. (I love Anetra obviously.) But, personally, I would’ve given the win to Mistress.

This means Loosey and Luxx are lip syncing to “For the Girls” by the guest judge herself. Luxx fights for her life and I was HORNY. This might be the shadiest lip sync I’ve seen. Every flip and turn from Luxx seemed to scream, “SEE I’M BETTER THAN YOU.” And she is.

Luxx wins. And, for the last time in the workroom but certainly not the last time in her life, Loosey feels slighted. She says she deserved to be in the finale. I’d argue she deserved to be eliminated in the first episode when she couldn’t hit a note in front of Ariana Grande.

I guess everyone is entitled to an opinion. And Loosey certainly knows something about being entitled.

Teleport Us to Mars!! Here Are Some Random Thoughts:

+ Unlike Loosey I can admit when I’m wrong. So let me take this moment to say I was absolutely wrong about the hour long episodes. Since having the hour and a half episodes back, the show has been so much better. I didn’t realize quite how much those rushed edits were hurting.

+ There was some drama this week with a video being posted of Salina calling out Ross. But World of Wonder swooped in because soon enough Salina was on Twitter apologizing. I do think the judges, Ross especially, were not open to Salina’s drag! And I think it’s fair to question Ross’ fashion knowledge!

+ I was worried about these teachers’ jobs given how things have escalated since last summer. But since they’re given trips to Palm Springs at end, I’m guessing they’re all based in Los Angeles. And, hopefully, LA is still a safe place to be a teacher and  be on Drag Race.

+ Untucked was a lot of fun with Mistress stoking the ever-growing feud between Loosey and Luxx. I don’t need to get into specifics, but I do think Anetra is right in her confessional when she says that someone else’s opinion about your drag just shouldn’t bother you this much.

+ I also really appreciated Anetra saying that even for people who do have biological family in their life, chosen family can be really important.

+ And speaking of chosen family! Kerri Colby sends a video message to her mom! Also, has anyone else seen this video of Kerri Colby at the chiropractor? It’s dripping with sexual tension.

+ The “next week on” says only three queens will be making it to the finale but I don’t buy it. They’ll all do well and Ru will have four like almost every other year.

+ Queen I’m rooting for: Sasha

+ Queen I’m horniest for: Luxx destroying Loosey in that lip sync

+ Queen I want to sashay: None of them! All four deserve to be in the finale!

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Drew Burnett Gregory

Drew is a Brooklyn-based writer, filmmaker, and theatremaker. She is a Senior Editor at Autostraddle with a focus in film and television, sex and dating, and politics. Her writing can also be found at Bright Wall/Dark Room, Cosmopolitan UK, Refinery29, Into, them, and Knock LA. She was a 2022 Outfest Screenwriting Lab Notable Writer and a 2023 Lambda Literary Screenwriting Fellow. She is currently working on a million film and TV projects mostly about queer trans women. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Drew Burnett has written 538 articles for us.

8 Comments

  1. As always, I love your recaps! I am so happy that no one stooped to the level of blaming their partner for poor performances. I love these makeover challenges but it is always so devastating when queens throw people brand new to the art form under the bus.

    Personally, I hope it is only 3 in the finale. It makes it feel higher stakes. And maybe not so much with this season, but I have felt in previous seasons that there always seems to be a clear top 3 and then a fourth queen along for the ride at the finale.

  2. Fantastic showing from Mistress, who I agree should have won. I don’t think I’ve been as touched by a queen’s connection with her make-over partner since Jinkx Monsoon bonded with dear Dave. I love that Lesbian Jesus was a guest judge and contradicted Michelle, always a welcome development.

    It’s stunning that a queen like Loosey wouldn’t see the edit coming for her. This is season 15 and she fell for every obvious trap set by production and the other queens. That might be the worst, most graceless exit of any of the franchises.

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