“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Episode 1602 Recap: B Team

Well, there’s always room for improvement. If last week’s premiere part one impressed me, this week’s’ premiere part two left me feeling… hmm. I can’t even imagine how strange that first week on Drag Race must be so I’m hoping we see better from this group. After one episode I just kept thinking: I’ve seen better drag all over the country.

Let’s meet our second batch of queens!

Hershii LiqCour-Jeté is from Los Angeles. She’s Kornbread’s sister and describes her drag as beautiful and stupid. It’s glam camp aunty drag, she says.

Plasma is from NYC. A 65 year old woman inhabiting a gorgeous 24 year old body (her words not mine), she leans hard toward 1950s glamour. She references Julie Andrews, Judy Garland, and Barbra Streisand, and probably celebrates her birthday showing off at Marie’s Crisis.

Geneva Karr is from Brownsville, Texas. She describes herself as very dramatic, very fantastic, Mexican spice. She says she puts the ass in Texas.

Plane Jane is from Boston. More specifically, she says she’s an authentically Russian clown hooker from Boston. She also says she’s a big boobed bitch which she will prove several times throughout this episode.

Megami is from Brooklyn. She started drag as a cosplayer at Comic Con. She describes herself as a loud Latina and says that if some people think drag queens are evil, why not indulge that fantasy?

Mhi’ya Iman Le’Paige is from Miami. She describes herself as a ball of fire full of flips and tricks. She is our resident TikTok star of the season, but at least that stardom is due to acrobatics, not being a twin.

Nymphia Wind is from Brooklyn. She moved there a year prior from Taiwan where she has a big fanbase. She describes herself as a banana Buddha, and, yes, she really does seem to love bananas.

The photoshoot for this group is the SheMV, which I found to be far more inspired than last week’s ring camera. Ts Madison and Ru play DMV employees and photograph the queens while attempting to banter with them. Hershii, Plasma, and Geneva are all really quick with the banter which gives me hope there will be some Snatch Game standouts this year.

As the queens de-drag, Plain Jane is trying so hard to be a bitch, but she’s just… not quick enough. I love the cunty ones! But you have to back up that attitude with a sharp tongue.

Nymphia wins the mini challenge and the Queen Choice Awards talent show is announced. Immunity is also announced which I learned this week can be saved?? It’s not just for the next week?? I’m curious exactly how that will work.

The queens talk about anti-drag laws and then Plasma in a confessional declares herself the underdog. Already?? The Rachel Berry energy is strong in that one. Jane says Nymphia is in it to host Drag Race Taiwan which is less a dig and more good business sense. We then learn that Hershii has two kids and it’s very sweet and made me love her! This chat is interrupted by Becky G, the episode’s guest judge, who arrives at the workroom to say hi.

Derrick Barry is back doing literally nothing and the talent show begins. Geneva lip syncs to an original song and dances and I suppose it’s good, but everyone in the room seems to think it’s really good. Hershii also lip syncs to an original song. Plasma lip syncs and then sings and then does impressions — it’s more theatre kid than theatre adult. Nymphia does a traditional Taiwanese dance and, in my opinion, easily wins.

Less successful is Megami who poorly lip syncs to “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes and then holds up cards that say, “If you love drag on TV, love us in the voting booth. Protect queer art.” Jane rightfully points out that Megami has not presented us with any of said queer art that needs protecting? I also think there’s a real misunderstanding of the straight Drag Race audience. The sign should’ve read: “If you love drag on TV, don’t let your conservative families and shitty husbands vote against our rights.”

Mhi’ya lip syncs and does a lot of flips. It’s impressive, but I do think her challenge for the season will be harnessing those abilities into something more cohesive. Jane then lip syncs to an original song about her “burger finger” which includes a big tit reveal and squirting mustard and ketchup on said tits. It’s… extremely fine? I love crass! But there’s nothing actually shocking about this. It’s like the edgy comedy version of Megami’s political statement.

The runway theme is “made you look” which is a fancy way of saying reveals. Nymphia does the life cycle of a banana and it is really well-done even if I’m desperately hoping she doesn’t hold onto the bananas like Tina Burner held onto the concept of fire. Hershii has a big coat that reveals a leather (pleather? latex?) suit dress. Plasma is a tomato pin cushion with three reveals. Mhi’ya removes a yellow jacket to a swimsuit. Geneva is in a shiny mariachi outfit that falls into a dress. (She proudly says, “I didn’t leave anything on the floor. It’s a reveal not a take things off.” I agree! This is my favorite type of reveal!) Megami is a creepy goddess but her only reveal is opening her hands to show they have eyes on them. Jane is a Russian oligarch and then turns into a Boston slut. I love big boobs as much as the next girl, but as a reveal it’s even less interesting than a banana.

Despite telling the other queens the opposite, Jane ranks the queens strategically putting Nymphia last. This works and the top two are Jane and Geneva. They lip sync to “Shower” by Becky G and whaddya know Jane’s tit is out through half the performance. Alas Geneva is kind of boring, so Jane wins, her strategic maneuver a success.

She’s going to need that immunity when she meets those week one queens.

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

+ Did Mhi’ya actually fall asleep at the DMV or was that a bit? I couldn’t tell!

+ Plasma having a Jan robe… it makes so much sense.

+ Now that we have all our queens, its time for some astrology:

Amanda — Sagittarius
Dawn — Aries
Geneva — Leo
Hershii — Sagittarius
Jane — Aquarius
Megami — Taurus
Mhi’ya — Scorpio
Mirage — Capricorn
Morphine — Capricorn
Nymphia — Leo
Plasma — Scorpio
Q — Leo
Sapphira — Libra
Xunami — Taurus

As a Capricorn sun, Taurus moon, Leo rising, Sag Mercury and Venus, I feel very represented this season.

Queen I’m rooting for: Sapphira and Morphine (from this week: Hershii and Nymphia)

Queen I’m horniest for: Morphine (missed you this week, babe)

Queen I want to go home: Amanda and Megami

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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 562 articles for us.

1 Comment

  1. I heard one of the hosts of the “drag her” podcast say – people are going to look back at this era of drag and be embarrassed about the breast plates. I know I’m over them already.

    I like Nymphia and Hershii too- but I can’t wait for the week one queens to back!!!

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