“No wonder I’m addicted to speed! Well, I’m addicted to speed too!”
This has been the most fun I’ve had watching an episode this season. I loved the challenge (an acting challenge twist on 90210 and possibly my FAVORITE runway yet—Big Hair). This season has been a little off for me, despite really enjoying the individual queens, but this episode felt very Season 5 to me—great acting, great fashion and some good drama.
This week, the queens are tasked with an acting challenge—a drag version of 90210 directed by Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling. Everything about this was perfect. The writing was campy but not syrupy. The guest judges felt extremely invested in their roles as directors. The actual end product was funny. The runway was stunning.
There’s not really a ton of drama leading up to the performance. Aja is pissy that she didn’t get the role she wanted (even though she was like, “I’m fine with whatever”) and HANDED Shea a golden opportunity—Shea offered to switch roles, thus taking both a larger part and getting the “going outside of her comfort zone” edit. I think it was genuine on Shea’s part but it was also very strategic. Alexis keeps bumbling around, showing off her masturbatory 90210 knowledge. I shouldn’t be annoyed because she means no harm, and I’m sure the edit is largely to blame, but girl, shut the fuck up.
In the practice, Nina is talking too fast and going too one-note with her lines, but refuses to take the critiques of Jennie and Tori. This is what I don’t understand—if the judge, or Ru or Michelle, give you a critique, it’s for a reason. Don’t argue back with them. But Nina does, and keeps arguing. I’m getting tired of her attitude, and at this point, not even her great runway looks can soften her in my eyes. She’s mean—all the queens are rooting for her, the judges are rooting for her, she’s talented, she’s Linda Evangelista. If, even with all those things in her favor, she can’t shake her bad attitude, then I’m done with her.
Snatch Game serves as the midway point of the season, and after that point all the queens are technically all contenders. If you had asked me last week, I would’ve said Farrah was a filler queen, but her performance in the challenge and her runway made me re-think it. She was so funny with Valentina and so funny against Trinity (but has the misfortune of being paired with someone stronger; like Trixie and Ginger). Valentina was perfection as Monna Dartin; she had the look down, she amped up the camp, and she hit every note. I thought she was going to unhinge her jaw and swallow that nip of whiskey.
Trinity was, obviously, incredible. She was manic and desperate and blonde—with that frosty unlined lip, she could’ve easily been a Real Housewife of Orange County. And if that sounds like a read, it’s not—there is no higher praise coming from me. Trinity went from being a bitchy pageant girl (a la Roxxxy Andrews) to someone with genuine chops. She’s like if Chi Chi Devayne had turned a corner a little earlier. I LOVE IT.
- Aja: Liked her all-black Queen of Harts get-up, but her performance was completely one-note. And to think that she wanted that role.
- Alexis Michelle: I hate Alexis Michelle. I’m glad she’s, like, doing well but she’s annoying. I liked how she interpreted the runway differently, but if you’re gonna do a hair gown—DO A HAIR GOWN.
- Farrah Moan: Did exceptionally (and suspiciously) well in the challenge until I realized she was playing a blonde, vapid cult-victim pretty girl. Aka she was just playing herself. Loved her Priscilla Presley lewk.
- Nina Bo’nina Brown: Slyly funny with her Charmed joke and she’s never bad on the runway.
- Peppermint: Solidly fine in the challenge and pretty on the runway, but that’s a very similar silhouette to past queens (particularly Kennedy Davenport). T-god she’s not wearing pink though.
- Sasha Velour: Acting might not be Sasha’s strong suit because she could’ve gone way harder in the challenge. Loved the runway and how she stood out from the crowd.
- Shea Coulee: SO FUNNY in the challenge and possibly my favorite look of hers yet. She looks so good in pinks.
- Trinity Taylor: Scene-fucking-stealer. Trinity is definitely one of the strongest competitors and totally earned her win, even with a look that wasn’t particularly noteworthy.
- Valentina: Gives 110% at every challenge, and it shows. She was beautiful and funny and weird as Monna Dartin, and her runway look was my favorite of the week. She was serving koi fish
On the main stage, I felt for sure that Ru was going to name this a three-way tie between V, Shea and Trinity. They all had fully-realized and lived-in characters, and their runways were perfection. But I think because they all shined, Ru had to make small distinctions. Valentina and Shea both had pretty large parts, but Trinity didn’t and ended up being a total scene-stealer. For that, I think her win was well-deserved. And even though I didn’t like her runway, she’s so confident and sexy that I was like “Wait, maybe I do? Do I? Who am I?”
In the bottom three is Sasha, Nina and Aja. Sasha was clearly not going to lip-sync because while her performance was subdued, her runway was a favorite of the judges. So it’s down to Nina versus Aja. I knew before it ended that Nina wouldn’t be going home, but you have to hope that this might shake loose her bad attitude.
I was genuinely sad to see Aja go. She was cute and goofy and funny, but she was always just glad to be safe and happy to be there. To be America’s Next Drag Superstar, you need to be frothing at the mouth to win. Trinity and Shea definitely are. So we said goodbye to Aja.