Morning Wood and Morning Wooden
I think (no spoilers) the final lip-sync really soured me from what, before then, had been a really enjoyable episode. It’s stunning that NINE SEASONS IN, RuPaul is still creating interesting and original challenges for her queens. But really, why am I gagging so? She brings it to me every ball.
On this episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the queens are tasked with manning (pardon the pun) two rival morning talk shows. Aja, who won her LSFYL against Kimora, is named captain alongside Trinity, who won last week’s challenge.
I really had a come-to-Jesus moment about Aja this episode. Previously her “Linda Evangelista” rant to Valentina made me really hostile towards her, and up until halfway through the episode, her negative attitude towards V continued. But she did finally apologize when Valentina (nicely) confronted her about it point-blank. And this is where I think something mature and adult shifted in tone. Firstly, that Valentina wasn’t snide or rude or condescending and simply said, “You’ve made a really bad first impression with me” and asked Aja to explain. And Aja (LIKE AN ADULT) said it came from a place of jealousy and internal insecurity and that she really liked Valentina actually.
Part of the reason why this was such a shift in my own feeling towards Aja was because I am literally the same way. I internalize a lot of emotion, but then it seeps out into my attitude. I can be catty, or rude, or standoffish, or blunt or mean, but it really generally comes from a place of insecurity or jealousy. And something I’ve been trying to do is name those emotions when they come up. Like, yeah I was rude to your boyfriend but that’s because I’m jealous of the relationship that I don’t have. Just being honest goes such a long way and is such a welcome relief and alternative to keeping all that bad mojo inside.
The fact that she was able to voice that—her issue with Val had actually nothing to do with Val—was such a nice moment. And during Untucked, you saw the payoff where Valentina and Aja were sitting next to each other and chatting. Also their Naughty Nighties looks were my absolute favorites.
On the other hand, Eureka (who is clearly as insecure as Aja was, or at least having a very bad day) did the opposite. Instead of naming her emotions, she lashed out at Trinity in the group meetings, was rude to Valentina when Valentina tried to share with the girls a personal story, and threw Trinity under the bus on the main stage. I think she was a little unfair to Trinity (who I am really enjoying and really loving); being team leader means making tough choices and Trinity at least had the spine to own up to any bad mistakes she had made.
I really, really, really like Eureka. I find her compelling and hilarious, and her looks are stunning—but this was an ugly moment for her. I hope she can find a way to make things right.
SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT
Sasha and Shea win the challenge for their broccoli orgy. And in the bottom three, it’s Peppermint, Trinity and Charlie—with Charlie and Trinity lip-syncing. Trinity for being captain of a sinking ship and Charlie for being the one to rupture holes in that ship. Frustratingly, Charlie basically refuses to lip-sync and stands in one spot (she doesn’t even do the Naysha Lopez “Directing Traffic” move) while Trinity somersaults, catapults, twists and slams her body around the stage. She was werking that breast plate (Kimora take notes, that’s how you do a breast plate) and it was even more stark in comparison to Charlie.
So obviously, the world’s oldest living twink was sent to sashay away. I’ll miss her lilting voice, her stunning looks (she was so tall and slim and column-like). I’ll be sad that she didn’t make it to Snatch Game but I’m happy with the time we had together. Charlie Hides and Go Chic, is what I’ll call her from now on.
END OF SPOILERS
Overall, even with the wonky lip-sync, this episode proved to me that even nine seasons in, Drag Race is not slowing down. It’s still turning out original challenges, providing good drama and most importantly preserving queer history. Charlie talking about the AIDS crisis was beautiful and moving and proved why this show is valuable. A lot of us were never taught queer history in school (I would say most of us). So we learn about our past from the older people in our community, and without them we would be nothing.
NEXT WEEK: “Reality Stars: The Musical”
FINAL THOTS/STRAY OBSERGAYTIONS
- I love when the challenges and the runways are in theme with each other. Morning shows and naughty nighties!
- Aja’s look was one of my top two favorites of the night, along with Valentina
- Valentina was giving me full-on Marlene Dietrich body and a Rita Hayworth face. She’s got such an entrancing, classic look about her; and I love when Latina queens do a really striking red wig.
- My least favorite look was (shockingly) not Peppermint’s but actually Nina’s. I think if it had been any other runway, I would’ve enjoyed it more but it was just so far past everyone else’s that it felt bizarre to me. And there was something about the way her corset flattened the tops of her hip pads to make them very angular that was a no from me.
- Thank god Kimora left already—she would’ve been awful in this challenge
- Also on Watch What Happens Live: After Show, RuPaul said it takes her six hours to get into drag.