Welcome to my review, recap, and power rankings of the fourth episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 15 – All Drag Queens Go To Heaven, a peculiar sketch comedy infomercial about the drag afterlife.
Or, as Ru calls it, “The Queerafter.”
The hot topic coming out of this episode isn’t any of the performances – it’s the show’s editing. After a pair of hour-long episodes last week, this episode was just 40 minutes and 57 seconds of content. We haven’t had a Drag Race episode that short since Season 9!
With fifteen queens and three commercials to get through, the tightness caused by losing those 20 minutes of screentime was apparent.
That wasn’t all bad. When it came to shooting the challenge, it meant fewer pointless “gotcha!” moments of a queen dropping one line and Michelle acting like it was the end of the world. While it can sometimes be fun to see the queens in their creative process, I don’t think anything of value was lost by cutting back on those scenes.
On the other hand, runways were rushed and for the first time I can remember there was no private deliberation between the judges that ended with “Bring Back My Girls”!
This is all a result of MTV trying to launch a vapid new knockoff of the already vapid Real Housewives in the timeslot after Drag Race, as if MTV has so many important shows on their schedule that they couldn’t eek out another 30 minutes of airtime.
No matter the reason, the unfortunate result is less airtime for this huge cast of queens.
That’s not the bill of goods that has been sold to queens who apply to Drag Race. If anything, the past few seasons have promise them more screentime, more runways before anyone is eliminated, and more chance to connect with Ru. The combination of production rushing to make early, permanent eliminations combined with this rushed edit has rendered half the cast virtually invisible. In this episode, either your story was important to the edit or you didn’t get a single line.
That sucks for this group of the most talented performers on television. It’s not just that we are missing out on memorable moments they each may have created in the workroom or on the runway. It’s also that viewers are getting less time to learn their quirks and fall in love with them. That’s going to hit the queens where it hurts the most – the wallet – as it will undoubtably lead to less merch sales and weaker live support for some of the early outs.
I feel like that’s all the more reason to write at length about each one of these queens in these posts. We might see them for only a minute or two in an episode, but they’ve been working their whole lives to have these moments. Each one of them deserves a damn novella.
Did a rushed episode mean that the rankings stayed mostly the same as in the double-episode premiere? Absolutely not! We have a new top queen, some jostling for a spot in the finale, and a ru-vised bottom half.
Readers, start your engines! And, may the best drag queen win!
Reminders: I typically refer to Drag Race artists with their drag names and with she/her pronouns even when they are not in drag, which is the convention of the show. Some performers may have different personal pronouns. Drag is inherently brave, political, and artistic, and all drag is valid. It’s also hard to do. I’m commenting on drag artistry in how it comes across in relation to this specific television program, but the reason I’m commenting at all is because I celebrate all drag!
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 15, Episode 3: All Queens Go To Heaven Power Rankings
This episode was an incredibly rare occasion where Ru dressed to match the runway theme! The prompt Ru gave on the runway was “Metallica,” but queens have mentioned they received a prompt more like “Show us your metal / mettle.”
Ru dressed for the occasion in a slinky, gold, “I am the Emmy award” evening dress and white blonde hair. It’s one of the most straight-up glamour looks she’s served in a while!
#1 Sasha Colby (was #5, Pre-Season #1)
Sasha Colby found an unexpected source of humor in this commercial challenge: her own perfection. Being perfect on Drag Race is a dangerous game (just ask Courtney Act), but Sasha Colby threaded the needle with a silly approach to being the almighty ruler of drag queen heaven.
I enjoyed Sasha Colby’s “heavy metal phoenix” showgirl look. Too many of the queens interpreted this runway prompt as “metallic fabric” rather than “hardware.” Sasha quickly separated herself from the pack by barely wearing any fabric at all. Her costume looks sharp and dangerous.
There’s a risk with looks molded out of metal or plastic that they won’t move with your body during your runway walk. We’ve all seen it – the dreaded “you’re moving but the corset isn’t moving along with you” walk that makes queens look like bobblehead dolls stuck inside their outfits.
There’s only the barest whisper of that in Sasha’s walk. It’s partially because the costume hugs her curves so exactly, but also because she’s just walking it really damn well. As a pageant queen, Sasha seems to understand that sometimes you’ve got to deliver the garment straight-on to the judges panel and that’s what she gives here. All of the nude elements of it worked spectacularly – I don’t think any of it was illusion, and if it was she successfully fooled me!
Despite being a barely-there costume, the corset was heavily detailed with appliqués and pearls, and the bladed wings were almost too much to take in all at once. Also, I know a lot of folks hate an ankle-strap, but I think continuing the silver blade theme onto her ankles without wearing high boots was key to making this look pop. The detail at the strap almost gives Apollo-esque ankle-wings (or, Namor, if you’re nasty).
Finally, I love how clean Sasha’s eye make-up looked here. My early concerns about her heavy use of black and making her eyes look too close together have been completely resolved by this wing that opens up on the outside edges of her eyes. She looked stunning.
Sasha’s performance in the commercial challenge was heavenly. I feel like so many of the cast members flubbed this challenge that it might seem as if Sasha’s success is slightly overhyped. That is NOT the case. Her delivery was so smooth, the smarminess was so on-point, and the repeated neck-snap was so perfectly-timed that she got away with doing it more than the prescribed comedy rule-of-three times.
(Also, check out how she is constantly rolling her eyes at Salina’s character, as if she’s saying, “Oh, you think that’s a nice amenity? HOW VERY BASIC OF YOU.” You seriously could not script that to be as funny as Sasha delivered it. That’s pure instinct at work.)
This was a single episode tour de force from Sasha Colby. She ticked every box, from effective group work to effortless comedy to efficient styling. I’m curious to see if she can deliver comedy just as hard in next week’s massive Snatch Game free-for-all. Even if she doesn’t, we have every sign that Sasha is ready to go the distance this season.
#2 Luxx Noir London (was #6, Pre-Season #3)
Luxx Noir London delivered an unexpected serio-comic turn as a heavenly drag therapist and delivered a similar silhouette to last week’s runway, but in gold. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! At least for the first week or two.
I think Luxx Noir London fit the brief in her gold runway, even if we’ve seen many looks in this vein in the past. Yes, it’s a gold corset with a gold lamé skirt and a one-shoulder cape. But, if you linger on the details, you will see that it is assembled in an intelligent way. Check out the welded-together panels on the corset, each in a different gold tone. Notice how the skirt emerges organically from the corset without seeming tacked-on.
If you’re going to do a look we’ve seen before you’ve got to come correct and I think Luxx did that. Could it have been better? Perhaps the interior of the skirt could have been lined in silver (or even stitched-together gold tones, like the corset). Also, I liked the skirt more when she first hit the runway and it looked more asymmetrical.
Both are minor quibbles. Also, I love the Olympic Goddess beehive of curls and the sharp and efficient wing of her eye make-up snatching the angle of her face upward.
Luxx seriously impressed me in the commercial challenge. Playing a dowdy psychiatrist isn’t necessarily the most-rewarding role, but she gave it a distinct character that made all of the punchlines land. Also, the pivot from riffing on Aja’s “Linda Evangelista” speech into the meta comment on Marcia’s make-up was a golden bit of comedic misdirection.
Luxx Noir London might be a rare young queen who has the total package of charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. Even if she inexplicably bombs the Snatch Game next week, she’ll just wind up with a “lip sync for vulnerability” before being back on top the next week. Now it’s time to see what kind of narrative she establishes for herself as the crowd continues to thin.
#3 Anetra (was #1, Pre-Season #2)
Anetra played the metaphorical straight-man in this week’s heavenly queerafter. It wasn’t the flashiest role, but it showed she can wield her calm certainty for humorous purposes.
I think Anetra squarely hit the mark with her metallic runway. Even though the base of her garment is a plain, high-necked, black bodysuit that could easily be off the rack, the way she has dressed it up with metal accents looks cohesive and not-at-all crafty.
None of the elements are complicated. They didn’t need to be.
I also absolutely love her flowing foil jacket with its peaked shoulders – especially because it appears to be lined in clear vinyl so that it gives off a different quality on the inside. Also, the shoes are fantastic – high, weird, and incredibly specific to the look. And the HAIR! You cannot tell me that cut isn’t growing right out of her head. Wearing hair that small can be a risk in drag because it shrinks your proportions. Here, it really works.
Anetra’s delivery of “I’m finally doing something that I love… absolutely nothing” was a perfect comedy moment. Notice that there is no cut to a different shot after the pause in her sentence. The timing in that beat of silence is all her own and it’s exactly how long the joke needed to land. Watch how her demeanor and body carriage change as she brings her single finger up to her chin during the pause.
That’s how you make an impact with one line!
Right now it doesn’t feel like anything can get in Anetra’s way but herself. If there’s one potential detraction, it’s that we’ve now seen a pair of similar figure-hugging looks with flowing capes from her. If Anetra rocks that silhouette all season – however gorgeous it may be – she’s going to run into a Bosco problem later in the show’s run.
Instead, if Anetra begins to show diversity in style next week on the Snatch Game runway, I think it will prove she has the tools and the personal style for a deep run on this season even if she doesn’t have the kind of designer connections of Sasha or Sugar & Spice.
#4 Mistress Isabelle Brooks (was #2, Pre-Season #6)
Mistress Isabelle Brooks only brought a pinch of humor to her heavenly commercial, but made up for it with an heavy metal runway look that was one of the few to feel truly over-the-top. I remain incredibly excited to see everything in her suitcase.
I. LOVE. THIS. RUNWAY. The fucking shoulders, oh my Lorde. The length of the skirt. The nude panels on either side of the loincloth in the front that’s linked to the sides of the skirt with chains. The massive chain she is trailing like a morningstar. It’s all magnificent.
If I could make one edit, it’s that this look might’ve warranted a Eureka-style hair loaf in the same color just to give Mistress Isabelle Brooks more of neck next to those massive shoulders.
I didn’t have a single problem with M.I.B. in the heavenly commercial. She didn’t have big jokes, but she had solid lines and delivered them with belief. She managed to give a wink to Eureka even in an uncharacteristic dark wig, and all of her exasperated asides about Sugar were well-timed. That’s about as much as I can ask from a safe performance in an early-in-the-season acting challenge.
Mistress Isabelle Brooks is quickly becoming the queen of my heart. She’s warm, she has terrific style, and she’s naturally funny – plus, the edit loves her. If a 41-minute episode devoted this much time to her while she wasn’t in the top, I can’t see her exiting any time soon.
#5 Loosey LaDuca (was #14, Pre-Season #8)
Loosey LaDuca came back swinging from her low Talent Show placement, but I’m not sure falling back on a tried-and-true Dolly impersonation makes her a top contender
I have mixed feelings on Loosey LaDuca’s runway. On one hand, it definitely reads as metallic and she also successfully incorporated jewel-tones without detracting from the theme. It reminds me of Wonder Woman’s armor in her second movie.
On the other hand, it comes off a little… matronly? Is that just down to the wig? Or, is there something to the front-to-back width of the shoulders and the thickness of the neck that’s adding a heavy, agéd quality to this look?
I can’t say there’s anything wrong with the look beyond the egregious red panties peeking out from beneath her metallic corset, but it also doesn’t excite me as much as it feels like it ought to.
But, seriously, those red panties? I suppose they’re better than “Barbie doll crotch,” but her whole butt is out in this look! I question the cut of the garment to begin with, but clearly we were all going to see her butt! A gold or silver bottom would’ve worked, or even emerald jewel-tone.
I was more impressed with Loosey’s strategy in her commercial than with her performance. She knew she had a Dolly look packed and she wanted to be sure to reverse her Episode 1 trajectory. It was worth burning a potential Snatch Game character for the early boost, especially if she had the sense that her group wasn’t coming up with many good jokes. Her “Dolly as god” bit wasn’t laugh-out-loud funny, but it was smart in that it worked independently of the entire rest of the commercial.
I don’t think Loosey LaDuca completely redeemed her Talent Show flub, but she showed that she has some of the tools a queen needs to make a deeper push into this competition. If she can last long enough to redeem her live singing in an inevitable Girl Group challenge we might have an interesting storyline on our hands.
#6 Spice (was #8, Pre-Season #11)
Spice was one of the best of the worst in Team Amethyst’s flatline commercial. I’m sure she could have showed off more based on her Tik Tok expertise, but even a bland version of Spice still more flavorful than some of these other queens. Plus, she came correct on the metallic runway.
Spice’s “Metallica” look was entirely successful in a way that’s hard to see without watching her outfit in motion.
It could’ve easily come across just as a metallic fabric, but there were so many touches on the look that made it read as actual metal. What really worked for me is that the arm cuffs weren’t entirely fitted to her arms. Instead, they looked like big hoops of metal that had been bent as far as possible to fit onto Spice’s arms and then riveted to themselves to hold their shape. The same is true for the skirt-over-a-skirt bottom.
The idea for a designer to treat sheets of fabric as if they were working with metal is brilliant, as was the execution. And, once again, Spice has some of the best hair and most-interesting makeup on the runway.
Spice was completely fine in her commercial. She understands how to look into the camera and deliver lines, which is a skill many queens are still not readying before arriving in the workroom. Surrounded by stronger material, her bits might have garnered a few chuckles.
I’m starting to really warm up to this queen, but if Spice is going to make it to the finale we eventually need to see her crush something. I don’t think that will be Snatch Game, but it could very well be a design challenge.
#7 Marcia Marcia Marcia (was #4, Pre-Season #10)
Marcia Marcia Marcia was subtly funny in her group’s winning commercial, but her Tin Man runway look was creaky – and, even without being selected for critique, Michelle still managed to come for her make-up. The inevitable “change for us – but make sure to stay yourself” edit is already coming for Marcia like a giant boulder rolling behind Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom.
Marcia Marcia Marcia is wearing boots with this look, which is appropriate because it is a BOOT for me.
Nothing about this look is ugly but everything about it feels awkward. I know some of that is Marcia deliberately selling “Tin Man awkwardness” with her walk, but… it’s not only that.
It feels like the skirt could be bigger. What is even happening in the back of the skirt? It doesn’t make sense that she has on grey stockings and then nude arms and shoulders. I love the boots on their own, but the way they’re cutting her at the ankle makes her legs look stumpy.
What is going on with the arm frills? (Like, I see the reference, but: why?) Could the hair have been bigger? Why is the little tin cap so small and the plume of smoke it’s emitting even smaller?
It’s a shame nothing about this look makes sense, because the construction of the tin dress itself is cute. If we took away the tights, changed out the boots, and quintupled the size of the hair it might have been really delightful. You don’t want to reference Ru’s favorite movie and miss this widely. It’s going to go down as a black mark on Marcia’s permanent record.
Then there’s Marcia’s make-up. Michelle makes a pointed comment during her runway that “It looks like she listened to the makeup comment… but she only got it on her nose.” I don’t think that’s entirely fair. Marcia drew a huge winged eye that wrapped around to her crease, higher and thicker brows, and more blush and contour. If you look at her face as a boy it’s obvious how much she transforms herself! However, she’s a young, slim guy with delicate features. That’s working against her right now because it’s hard to show a huge transformation on her face. She needs to go in much heavier on every aspect of contour and color to get Michelle and Ru off of her back.
That’s doubly true because Marcia has been presenting such a small version of drag. I think if Marcia took up more space on the runway with her outfits, Michelle wouldn’t make the same make-up critique.
Marcia was unfortunately overshadowed by all the other queens in her group. There are no small parts, but I’d say Marcia’s acting was also pretty tiny. Her turn as the therapy patient and her moment as the plastic surgeon were the only two forgettable beats in her commercial. Anetra had an equal amount to do, but still managed to make an exponential impact compared to Marcia.
I think Marcia Marcia Marcia is an engaging, talented queen, but I just keep coming back to the idea that Ru isn’t interested in crowning a Broadway Baby Queen. Ru being willing to place a crown on your head is literally the one hurdle you must clear to win the show. Michelle has actually given Marcia a gift with her pointed makeup commentary. It’s a plot hook. If Marcia manages to take the direction, she’ll have a narrative she can build from to connect with Ru. At this point, she’s got nothing to lose and everything to gain!
#8 Salina EsTitties (was #7, Pre-Season #12)
Salina EsTitties brought the comedy to the “All Queens Go To Heaven” challenge exactly as she promised she would, but she also delivered one of the most puzzling runway looks of all time. Salina is 0 for 4 on her fashions making any sense so far this season. What’s the farthest a queen with a truly tragic runway package has ever made it on this show?
I don’t even know what to say about this Salina EsTitties runway look. This is a LaLa Ri’s “bag look” level of fashion disaster.
Whew. Okay. Here we go.
I feel like there are three different concepts fighting for control of Salina’s body here.
First, she’s a streetlamp. I get it, and I’ve seen the photos of the specific lamps she is referencing. But… this is not a streetlamp cosplay competition! What is that huge, solid piece of headwear doing for her and her silhouette? Yeah, it extends her upward so it helps with her proportions a bit, but it’s awkward and doesn’t marry to the rest of her look. And it didn’t even appear to light up!
Next, we have the street signs festooned all over her body. Again, cool concept, weird execution. Why not hang those signs vertically to create strips of a flapper dress, a la Symone’s polaroid dress entrance look? That would create a more flattering shape that wouldn’t make Salina look so caged when she moved. Again, the goal here isn’t “street sign realness,” we didn’t need every sign to be laid out horizontally so we can read them while navigating the streets of L.A.
Finally, there’s the base look beneath her imitation of public architecture. I actually dig this disco-ball jumpsuit with slight shoulder-padding. It looks amazing on Salina’s body. However, it’s giving me mirror, not metal. I’m not getting “street light pole” from it. And, the actual poles she is referencing are grooved columns. She didn’t capture that at all.
There were so many different ways to approach styling this look while using all of the same elements. Imagine if she was nude under a flapper dress of street signs? Or street signs over her private areas, a la Valentina’s Madonna runway.
On the plus side, there’s no ludicrous mid-boob nude delusion panel, so I’ll count that as a win! Also, Salina’s make-up is absolutely stunning.
Salina showed off her acting chops in the commercial with strong delivery and solid timing. I admire how she was memorable without being the most-ridiculous element of the act. Her shriek of “I died a local girl?!” might be a new Drag Race catchphrase in the making.
Salina has similar talents to Marcia but an opposite problem. Salina is absolutely the kind of queen Ru would love to crown, but right now she lacks for a narrative hook. It feels like she could snag a big win in Snatch Game next week. Even if she does, Salina’s oddball runway package is a harder problem to solve than Marcia dragging up her make-up.
#9 Robin Fierce (was #10, Pre-Season #7)
Robin Fierce was invisible in the edit for a second week in a row, but she had one of the best runways of the evening. It’s either a sign that we’re coming up on her big break… or, that she’s a total non-player with an early elimination looming.
Robin Fierce gave us everything we wanted, needed, and deserved on this runway. She is an amazon warrior queen ready for battle! The proportions are correct, the multi-layered draping is perfect, the hair-piercings are on-point, and her prop spear feels real and weighty.
There is not a single negative thing you could say about this runway look other than it isn’t quite as over-the-top as Sasha’s or as massive as Amethyst’s.
Robin had just one line in her heavenly commercial. As reduxes of Jaida’s “Look Over There” go it was actually pretty good. That’s not enough of a performance to hang your safety on, but in a week with 14 other queens Robin’s runway look did the heavy lifting to keep her clear of the bottom.
I still find Robin to be incredibly engaging, but her invisibility in the edit through three episodes feels like a kiss of death. I don’t get the sense she’s a queen who will break out in Snatch Game, and the show loves to keep a queen safe for weeks with no critique and then send her straight to the bottom for her elimination. I’m getting that strong narrative (or, more accurately, non-narrative) from Robin’s edit at the moment. She needs to take evasive action to pull out a show-stopping moment somewhere other than the runway to reverse the narrative that is being assigned to her.
#10 Sugar (was #12, Pre-Season #16)
Sugar was the best of the worst in Team Leftovers’ puzzling “All Queens Go To Heaven” commercial, which meant she was firmly safe this week. Maybe if her team hadn’t put Sugar in the corner their commercial might’ve scored a few more laughs.
Where Spice’s costume succeeded, Sugar’s was cute but not quite all the way there. She featured similar rivets in her metallic fabric panelling, but the fabric wasn’t bent in a way that sold me heavy metal realism like Spice’s look did. It was obviously fabric.
I don’t point that out just to say that Spice “won” this round of Twin versus Twin to even things up after Sugar took last week. It’s simply interesting to notice how small deviations in a look can make a world of difference in how it comes off on the runway.
Sugar was the only watchable part of her team’s commercial, which doesn’t surprise me at all. She had a character developed and good timing, but none of the other queens would play off of her.
Queens on Drag Race have an absurd fixation on asking whether their competitors have performed in a bar, when really what they should be asking is if their competitors have written and produced hours of social media content. The ability to be your own content farm is so much more relevant to modern Drag Race than being a veteran bar entertainer.
If I had a queen on my team who was making so much money off of TikTok that she moved to California to take advantage of the proximity to the entertainment industry, I would have IMMEDIATELY made her my team captain! If she’s got to throw a bunch of shit at the wall to see what sticks, then GREAT. In fact, I strongly suspect that the bits of the commercial that did work were Sugar’s conception.
The idea that a bunch of Drag Queens were mistakenly trapped in the never-ending purgatory of a bachelorette straight girl is absolutely hilarious! All it was missing was a tag at the end to let us in on the joke. Without that, it was confusing and seems like the team missed the theme. Imagine if a voiceover at the end to called out one of the chorus of queens to “Shanté to heaven” while Sugar squeaked, “Wait, I thought THIS was heaven?!” In that moment, the whole thing would’ve clicked into place.
Sugar and Spice might be identical twins, but I think I see some differences between them already. Sugar is more outgoing, but she also seems to focus on u sing that force of personality rather than sweating the details. She also seems slightly more rattled by the quickly-emerging pecking order of the cast.
While I think there are queens doing worse than Sugar, I also don’t think Ru is seeing a winner in her at this point. That’s a dangerous place to occupy with Snatch Game coming up next week. Sugar will need to play things incredibly safe to make sure she doesn’t slip into the bottom.
#11 Jax (was #3, Pre-Season #4)
Jax had one of the fastest falls from grace we’ve ever seen from a Drag Race contestant, going from a near-flawless challenge and runway combination last week to a fizzle at both this week.
Sue me, but… I thought this runway was fine. The metal arms were high-end cosplay, the deconstructed army fatigues over glimmering ring mail worked, and I loved the tangle of dog tags.
I think some elements of the look could’ve been much bigger. I think having metallic boots would’ve helped with the theme. Yet, this is nowhere near as badly-conceived as some of the worst moments of this runway.
Jax had one line in her heavenly skit, and it wasn’t even a good one. How are you going to impersonate Shangela, say “shablam,” and then not shablam!? She dug her own grave on this one. Did she really have more comedic bits prepared that her team breezed past, as she claimed during judging? It’s impossible to say, since we were missing a doughy middle of the edit in this short episode.
Regardless, you’ve got to fight for your spotlight in every challenge on Drag Race, and in this episode Jax did not get her shine.
Jax’s trip to the bottom three this week doesn’t have to be a bad omen of things to come. She’s got the smarts and the skills to beat many of the queens above her in this ranking. To do, that she’ll need to meet or exceed the thrill of her Talent Show performance multiple times.
#12 Malaysia Babydoll Foxx (was #9, Pre-Season #5)
Malaysia Babydoll Foxx seemed like a queen who would be able to easily channel her big personality into a comedy challenge, but that wasn’t the case this episode. Add to that a truly odd runway look that felt like a downgrade of last week’s dress and suddenly it feels like Malaysia has completely run out of momentum before the race is even underway.
This look is a boot ba boot boot boot boot. BOOT. What the hell is happening? It’s a satin dress, but also half of a pearled corset, but also a bunch of random chains dangling off of it (and unevenly outlining her bustline). And then there is NOTHING happening on the back of the outfit. Not even a chain link belt to wrap around her waist.
It’s not metal and it’s not very flattering. Also, is it my imagination or was it nearly the same dress as both of her dresses from last week? It feels like Malaysia may have been struggling to fit the theme here and tried to fluff up an existing outfit to fit.
I want to believe that rather than think that someone constructed this intentionally.
Malaysia was also one of the worst in the “All Queens Go To Heaven” commercials. Her delivery was wooden. She punched all of the wrong words and the lines weren’t good enough to survive the experience. I can’t say anything else about it, because she gave next to nothing.
This isn’t the second episode performance I was expecting from Malaysia after her charm pervaded the premiere. She’s going to have to summon up the full breadth of her considerable charisma to make it through Snatch Game. Even if she does, I have my doubts about future comedy challenges – and, maybe design challenges, too.
#13 Amethyst (was #15, Pre-Season #13)
Amethyst fell prey to the double-whammy of leading a losing group and performing belabored blue humor that didn’t garner a laugh. That will always earn a chop from Ru, even when a queen is wearing a lovely metallic cape. At least it served her well in the Diana Ross lip sync!
Honestly, I think Amethyst did a fine job on this runway. Better than fine, actually.
Yes, it was more “gold fabric” than “metal,” but I adored the sheer freaking SIZE of it and all of the pleating and crinkling to give it shape within what could have been an amorphous blob of gold. I loved the headpiece. I loved the massive hair and how it completed her proportions (did you notice it had a subtle ombré?). I loved the contrasty boots that were still touched with gold.
The only issue with this look is that Amethyst wasn’t wearing some sort of bottoms under the skirt, so when she flashed us while skirt-twirling we got “Barbie doll crotch.” Other than that, for me this comes pretty close to vying for “Top TOOT of the Week” with Sasha and Mistress Isabelle.
In her heavenly commercial, Amethyst was giving me, “social media queen who is used to controlling her own edit.” She convinced her group she was the funny one and I understand why: she is funny! But, in terms of setting up and paying off a gag, she doesn’t have the kind of natural timing that Sasha and Anetra showed off in the first group. I’m sure if she got to sit with the editor of her commercial she could’ve tightened up her bits and made them pay off, but Drag Race rarely gives queens that kind of power (and when it claims to, it’s often an illusion).
Despite Amethyst’s return trip to the Bottom Two this week, I just can’t bring myself to say she’s the weakest remaining queen in this cast. I loved her runway. And at least she tried to do something in her team’s commercial!
With Snatch Game next week presenting the chance to tell jokes in real time, I suspect she’s going to be noticeably funnier than a few of these other queens. I think that might buy her at least one more week in the competition.
#14 Aura Mayari (was #13, Pre-Season #9)
Aura Mayari was just as invisible as Jax this episode, but featured a decent metallic corset that wasn’t silver or gold. That was enough to garner a pass to safety, but I feel a bottom placement looming for her in the near future.
Remember a long, long time ago at the top of this post when I mentioned how Sasha Colby avoided having her metallic look appear stiff and inflexible on her body by walking it expertly? Well, Aura Mayari did not manage to avoid that fate.
This is exactly the thing I was worried we’d see from queen after queen on this runway theme: a solid, molded-plastic bathing suit that looks amazing in photos but waves back and forth in front of their chests as they walk.
Credit where it is due: I think Aura styled this well. I love the matching cuffs and head piece. But, I was getting “Power Rangers villain” more than I was getting “metallic” from this look. I think that’s because shiny green isn’t a typical metallic color.
I wish her long ponytail threaded through the headpiece and out of the top like a giant horsetail. Also… plain pumps with an ankle strap? The look demanded boots.
Even with my quibbles, the look was metallic enough and styled well enough to keep Aura out of the bottom two. I think she deserved a bottom placement more than Amethyst, who at least went for some jokes in her teams commercial. Aura mostly stood there. Her big moment was saying the word “includes” in a whacky way.
Sort of. If you listen really carefully.
At this point, I’m feeling like Bianca del Rio talking to Trinity K. Bonet. I want to ask Aura: “What are you good at. Quickly.” Quickly is how long she has to show off her best drag skills, because her performance in this commercial doesn’t bode well for her going it alone on a comedy challenge in Snatch Game next week.
While I suspect Aura can defeat a few of these queens in a lip sync, not even Dolly Parton will be able to save her if she goes up against one of the better dancers in the cast (like the so-far invisible Robin Fierce).
Eliminated in 15th Place: Princess Poppy (was #11, Pre-Season #15)
At this week’s live watch party at Roscoe’s, Princess Poppy revealed that she “shoved chapstick up her nose” in an attempt to test negative for COVID before production began despite knowing she would likely test positive due to a recent infection two weeks prior to filming.
Clearly chapstick wouldn’t do anything to prevent a PCR test from registering positive, and clearly production had structures in place to make a decision about a queen who had COVID so recently.
Yet, she still made that choice and still told it as if it was an amusing story.
That’s the last thing I’ll be writing about Poppy.