“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Episode 1511 Recap: Bombs Away!

This is a recap of RuPaul’s Drag Race episode 1511. Spoilers below.

Oh standup comedy. A thing so many people do and so few people do well. Including 15 seasons worth of Drag Race queens.

Yes, it’s standup comedy week but before we get to that the episode begins in the aftermath of last week’s lip sync. Another queen is gone and Loosey is once again saying that she thinks she should have won. The fact is Luxx is — almost — as over-confident as Loosey, but I like Luxx so it’s okay. Also biases aside Luxx seems to be having fun with it, a tongue-in-cheek confidence. Loosey just seems desperate to prove herself.

It’s a new day in your the workroom and Luxx is continuing her spat with Loosey from the previous week. She asks why Loosey didn’t have a pregnant belly for her Beyoncé look and Loosey says Beyoncé wasn’t showing. Which is false. Then in the confessional Loosey says that she doesn’t care about this argument because she came in second last week and Luxx didn’t. Which is also false!! They were both equally in the top and both equally lost to Sasha.

This is our first episode of the season back at 90 minutes which means we get a loose edit and a mini challenge! It’s, to quote Ru, a “Harlem vogue ball” in quick drag. Sasha does more in this mini challenge than some of the other queens have done all season. She’s just remarkable. Anetra is also great and she wins — probably because Sasha can’t win everything.

The main challenge this week is The Bubly Comedy Festival — sponsored by Bubly! — where the queens will perform as comedy duos. They pick different colored Bubly cans — Bubly! No calories, no sweeteners, all smiles — to choose their teams. Luxx and Loosey end up together, which is obviously the result of producer meddling. Sasha and Anetra end up together. And then, lastly, Marcia and Mistress. This means Salina is on her own — until Ru gives her the choice to steal one of the queens and she snatches up Mistress. It’s a good thing Marcia says her name three times, because that’s the closest she has to a team this week.

Because Anetra won the mini challenge, she gets to pick the order. It’s going to go Marcia, then Luxx and Loosey, then Anetra and Sasha, and, finally, Mistress and Salina. When asked how she picked this order, Anetra declines to answer.

While Marcia is panicking, Luxx makes a tapeworm weight loss joke that made my eyes roll all the way back to 2003 when that joke might’ve been acceptable. And, speaking of eyes and headaches, Anetra has an ocular migraine! I cannot imagine being in that workroom with a migraine and having to keep on doing Drag Race rather than lying on a bed with all the lights off.

Ali Wong is the guest judge this week and she and Michelle meet with the queens to workshop their material. Marcia isn’t really hitting any punchlines, although I thought the suggestion of Ross and Carson doing Death of a Salesman to be funny — would’ve been funnier if she’d picked a two-hander like Waiting for Godot. (Yeah, Marcia, I know theatre too!) Luxx is also struggling with punchlines — she has them written, she’s just not enunciating.

I don’t want to be overly critical of Loosey, but she just makes it so easy! Luxx makes a joke about her not having rhythm and she actually says that she won LaLaPaRuza. Bitch, you beat Spice! You did not win. COME ON.

Salina and Mistress do okay, but Salina talks too much. And Sasha and Anetra kind of bomb. Watching this I felt hopeful because usually in these challenges the queens that bomb the rehearsal, kill on the mainstage. But I guess they all kind of sucked in rehearsal so it didn’t matter. Sasha says that she really doesn’t want them to be the bottom and that’s fine with me. Top, bottom, whatever Sasha and Anetra want, I’m a switch, I’m in.

The next day, Luxx and Loosey are psyching Marcia out as they get ready. The two of them together really are an overpowering duo of confidence and mind games. On the other side of the room, Mistress tells an emotional story about breaking her ankle in drag and when her mom came to the hospital, she was more concerned with the drag than Mistress’ health. Mistress is very clear that her mom has crossed too many lines and that she has no intention of mending that relationship. It’s refreshing to watch Mistress subvert the Drag Race Heals Families storyline. She has a family. Her drag family.

I’m not really sure how to write about this “comedy” performance. Usually, there are a handful of queens who are incredible and a handful that totally bomb. In this case. all the queens kind of… soft bomb. I mean, the edits try to tell a different story. I guess we’re supposed to see Luxx and Loosey referencing Shangela’s sugar daddy speech as some sort of comic triumph, but I wasn’t laughing. Marcia is extremely neutral and Sasha and Anetra just can’t seem to cohere their bits. Honestly, Salina and Mistress were probably my favorite. There was at least a fun energy to it.

The runway this week was Ripped to Shreds. Marcia is dressed as a winning pageant queen who was torn apart by her competition. It’s fine. I’m less concerned with it being similar to Loosey’s look a few weeks ago and more concerned with it being similar to what Marcia has been doing all season. Loosey is Nosferatu which is at least quite different from what she’s been doing all season — at least on the runway.

Luxx absolutely wins with her Liberace Mad Max look inspired by something Ru wore in 1986. Not only was the original look a great reference pull, but the way Luxx has updated it is just stellar. Sasha, Anetra, and Mistress all look great as well — Sasha in a ripped jean dress, Anetra in a pink and dark green lotus flower catsuit, and Mistress in a burnt tribute to Madonna’s “Material Girl.” Salina’s look is a tribute to her mother crossing the border and I agree with Ali Wong that it would’ve been more interesting if she’d made the whole dress out of the blanket material.

Ts Madison is back as a judge, which is always a treat! The judges mostly say what I expected even if they liked Luxx and Loosey more than I did. (I guess they have to praise someone since we already did the LaLaPaRuza.) I was also surprised they weren’t more complimentary toward Salina and less complimentary toward Mistress instead of being somewhat neutral on both.

Mistress and Salina are safe. Loosey and Luxx both win. Marcia, Anetra, and Sasha are in the bottom. And Sasha is, rightfully, safe.

Marcia and Anetra lip sync to “Boss Bitch” by Doja Cat and OH MY GOD WHAT A LIP SYNC. Marcia is solid, but Anetra gives one of the best lip sync performances I’ve ever seen. SHE JUMPS OVER MARCIA. It’s wild. Anetra really is special. I really hope she’s in the top two of the season with Sasha.

And so Anetra wins and Marcia sashays. I can’t believe she won’t get to weaponize her BFA in next week’s Rusical.

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

+ People had been asking why RuPaul hadn’t made a statement about the wave of anti-drag legislation spreading across the country. He finally did and now I have to ask, why did anyone want him to make a statement?? It was the exact kind of empty liberalism you’d expect from Ru.

+ I liked Ru’s dress made entirely of tabs from cans!

+ I really thought Ru crying over Luxx had clenched the solo win for her. I was excited to see Loosey have a meltdown.

+ Mistress gets a message in Untucked from her drag mom!! Is this the first time one of these messages from home has been from a drag mom rather than biological family or a partner?

+ Queen I’m rooting for: Sasha

+ Queen I’m horniest for: Sasha

+ Queen I want to sashay: Loosey

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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 521 articles for us.


      • I think it had more to do with Ru being sick of Marcia and ready to let her go home. Double Shantays are usually saved for when they help production and to keep a queen that makes good tv in the competition (a la Kandy Muse in season 13).

  1. Marcia saying to Ts Madison “I’m really nervous around you” felt like transmisogynoir to me. Because, what??? Black women are intimidating? Please.

    Anetra is such an enthralling performer, I get chills watching her. I think she’s absolutely going to the finale but even if she doesn’t win, she has a long career ahead of her.

  2. My favorite moment of the episode was when Selina said “free Willy!” about Anetra jumping over Marcia. I don’t see any way around Anetra and Sasha in the finale and either we get our first main season double win or they bring Anetra back for all stars. Don’t make Sasha come back for all stars. Give her the money now, she’s earned it. If she doesn’t win the whole thing i will riot.

  3. Drew that’s a great contrast of Luxx and Loosey’s overconfidence hitting differently. Loosey’s delusion over the baby bump was unreal.

    I will admit, despite giving Blair St Clair 2.0 vibes and underserving for most of the season, Marsha x 3 did pretty well for herself in this episode. She may have done a lacklustre job of gettin’ the roast a cookin’ but that was a respectable lip sync against a true assassin.

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