RuPaul's Drag Race is back. No, really this time!
The mini-challenges are back. The main challenges are as wacky as they used to be. The runways are extended. Wendy Williams is gone. And I'm shocked and amazed at just how much I missed the Pit Crew. Now all we're missing is "You've got she-mail!".
This week's episode felt like a true return to form for a show that has for it's first few episodes been struggling to get it's footing. There's been ups and downs along the way, but overall this season of Drag Race has felt a little lost; the structure's been fucked with, editing has been messy and confusing, and none of the queens have particularly stood out from the pack. This week, the brave were seperated from the weak, psyches started to shatter and we had our first surprise elimination as the contest really started to heat up.
Following a cute little mini-challenge in which the girls are asked to don "quick drag" and take cute beach selfies with the long-lost Pit Crew, they start working out actors for each role in Kardashian: The Musical, a Hamilton-inspired stage show in which the girls will lip sync, dance and exagerate their way to the top. It's classic b-grade schtick that the show excels at, although why Rob and Caitlyn were excluded from the musical while Britney, Lindsay and Paris took part is completely beyond me.
In the bottom this week were Cynthia Lee Fontaine and Farrah Moan, who played Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner respectively. You would think that given their fame Kim and Kylie would be the easiest characters to play, but when you think about it both of those sisters are known for their vapid lack of personality rather than their over the top personas, making it hard to pick up on any mannerisms or ticks that specifically say them.
Alexis Michelle had the easier job of playing momager Kris Jenner, and she probably would have won the challenge had it not been for a hella basic runway look. Instead, Shea Coulee stepped up to the plate with an impressive (if completely inaccurate) Blac Chyna parody which she ended up winning for. Coulee put a great amount of energy into her performance and unlike Cynthia she lip synced perfectly, but the performance (and song) left me thinking more "I'm a professional dancer auditioning for Chris Brown" than it did "I'm a filthy homewrecker who's trynna ruin Kim K's life".
Luckily, neither Cynthia or Farrah had to go home (although they probably both deserved it after a mediocre lip sync) thanks to the shock elimination of Eureka, who left the challenge thanks to a leg injury she sustained in the second episode. Am I the only one who thinks that Eureka's bowing out is a totally strategic move? Like Willam before her, Eureka has removed talent from the equation by being eliminated from the competition for something completely other than her drag, placing her above the rest of the girls. Eureka probably knew that with the likes of Nina in the competition she would never snatch the top prize, so instead of letting someone eliminate her for not being good enough she's decided to make the first move and leave herself. It's the Drag Race version of "You can't fire me, I quit!". Eureka also probably knew that her inflammatory chats with the likes of Valentina, Sasha Velour and Trinity Taylor were going to earn her a villians edit, and that the best way to avoid that would be to feign sick. After all, nobody can hate a sick person!
In truth, a part of me is a little sad that Eureka had to leave. She was really the only one around causing genuine drama, and without her I'm worried we'll have to rely on a mental breakdown from Nina to give us something fun to watch. That said, if we get to see Farah Moan's perfectly highlighted face in the competition for one more week (and it probably will only be one more week), I'm a happy girl.