Much like the queens in this week’s mini challenge, I’ve been sitting on a secret too: I am totally unimpressed by Eureka O’Hara. Okay, that’s not a secret at all, but I just feel like I needed to reiterate it because RuPaul continues fruitlessly to try to convince me that Eureka is great. She’s fine! I’ll admit my opinions are colored by my deep love of the Vixen, but I still believe that had she not injured herself Eureka would have gone home around the same spot in season 9. It’s not that this field of queens isn’t as strong, but there are fewer bright stars at this point in the competition as there were in season 9, and it’s perhaps an easier background to stand out against. Eureka wins her second challenge in a row this week, which makes her undeniably a frontrunner, despite not serving one memorable look on the runway or having any iconic moments across either seasons other than being a naked baby last week.
Others who have not been able to stand out: Blair St. Clair. It’s pretty clear she will be going home this week, as after being invisible all season, she tells us that she’s feeling very secure in the competition, and will have the opportunity to tell her story prior to her elimination, during which she shares that she embraces the image of being clean and proper because it helps her feel detached from the dirtiness she feels as a result of sexual abuse when she was in college. I am glad she got to share this. However, It is not a shock to start anticipating Blair’s departure at the beginning of this episode and be prepared for it when it happens. She is pretty and has done well enough so far, but her southern belle schtick is doing her no favors in terms of memorability or real yas queen moments.
Asia wins the mini challenge which consists of identifying random objects just by sitting on them, and though some of the drama of the mini challenge is removed by having no maxi challenge advantage involved in the prize, I feel like a real missed opportunity was not showing Aquaria and Blair attempt to identify a fax machine, an object they have likely never seen in their lives. They get to choose their own groups for the maxi challenge, which will be trios creating panels for Drag Con. Since Monet and Kameron are not the most desirable queens to work with at the moment, Eureka scoops them up for a presentation on “proportionizing,” an incredibly annoying tagline for their theme of constructing the perfect shape for whatever body you have. Despite how immediately grating their gag is, the judges eat it up, and reward Eureka for her successful moderation. In addition to the judges constantly telling us how great Eureka is, we also get a random confessional from Monet about how great Eureka is, and the words “winner’s edit” are ominously circling my brain as I try desperately to deflect them.
Despite Aquaria looking as though she was going to have a hard time thinking on her feet, her makeup panel with Monique and Asia is actually pretty cohesive. Their demonstration is unfocused and drags a bit, but the conversation appeared natural during their presentation. Asia looks absolutely stunning, and there has never been a better model for stellar makeup application than herself in this moment.
Blair, Vixen and Cracker, the team with my top two favorite queens in the competition, does a stale presentation on wigs, during which the Vixen stands out as the most comfortable and genuinely entertaining on the stage (African Merkin is brilliant), yet somehow still winds up in the bottom two. The judges critiques that Crackers shade was just mean seem unfounded, yet she remains safe likely because of the extreme affection the judges have for her previously as a tiebreaker between her and the other two performances. The major problem wasn’t a lack of humor, but more a lack of chemistry. The judges claim that they didn’t focus enough on the material, but it really was more not focusing enough on the flow of the presentation, since they all kept interrupting each other. Either way, the Vixen did not deserve to be in the bottom and as soon as it was announced that she was I knew she would not only assassinate the lip sync in her own right, but likely stay due to the pure fact that she absolutely did not deserve to go.
During emotional backstory time, we learn that Kameron quit drag for a boy for a while, and in that period bulked up such that when she returned to drag she had a completely different body and had to adapt her looks. We hear about Monet’s family not knowing that she does drag, despite the fact that an article with photos of her in drag winning a pageant were circulated in the local newspaper on her home island of St. Lucia, which she lied about to cover-up due to the conservative attitude toward homosexuality there. We find out that blair keeps a meticulous notebook and has no idea what the word “statistics” means. Finally, Monique gets a Chi Chi Devayne moment where she has to throw together a runway look for the Hats Incredible runway the day of because she doesn’t have the finances to have more outfits prepared, but she “came to this competition with glitter and Jesus” and it has all worked out for her so far, and I hope it will continue to.
Because God is good, Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon are guest judges and my only wish is that they could have been the coaches in a comedy challenge at some point this season. They are a delightful palate cleanser after Hurricane Shania went so sour after last week’s episode. On the runway, I am not big on Kameron just straight up stealing Lady Gaga’s headpiece from the Bad Romance video and calling it “Gaga-inspired.” It’s the exact same damn outfit, but constructed worse. It’s also not a hat. Monet’s church look is wonderful. I like that she made the hat the centerpiece of the outfit, not by making it big or flashy, but by building a look completely inspired by the specific implications of a church hat. Eureka’s bodysuit and cape is fine. She calls it a “ninja” look, which is blatantly false. Any ninja wearing that pattern would be detected immediately. Now, I admit it pains me to say this, but I am completely obsessed with Aquaria’s look. This is in my top three looks of the entire season. The pointy, clumpy lashes, the concept, the perfectly balanced top hat, the androgyny… it’s all so original and flawlessly executed that I cannot stop thinking about it. Nina Bo’nina Brown eat your heart out, there’s a new bunny on the runway! You can definitely tell Monique’s garment is thrown together, but it looks passable and the hair and makeup are beautiful as usual. She can get away with phoning in the dress this week, especially since they were judged in teams. Asia O’Hara looks absolutely amazing with her dandelion Ikea lamp hair and I am now fully convinced an Asia win is extremely plausible. Cracker kind of looks like a better version of Blair. They both lacy white tributes to old hollywood musicals, though for my money My Fair Lady is better than Hello Dolly, and these looks reflect that in their homages. Blair’s look is pretty but safe and typical Blair. Cracker’s also is very signature with the handmade hat made out of hair. Finally, the Vixen’s outfit is fantastic and I refuse to hear otherwise. I can’t believe no one else made their garment out of hats, and I don’t care if it’s a little messy, it looks fabulous.
Though I never doubted she would, I am relieved when the Vixen stays to fight another day. I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot from Blair in the future, and if not, we always have the video of her as the Walmart Yodeling Kid.