Did a Clear Winner Just Emerge on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’?

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One queen may have emerged as the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 11 after her performance during last night’s episode.

This competitor has done a very good job at being slow and steady when it has come to her progression thus far. Others who remain, like Yvie Oddly and Brooke Lynn Hytes, have had many of us thinking that they are going to win the crown pretty much from the get. So, who is the mystery queen I’m referring to?

It is none other than A’Keria C. Davenport, who put on one of the funniest performances in RPDR history during the episode’s maxi-challenge. More on that later and why this writer thinks she has what it takes to win in the end after a very quiet beginning on this show.

Thursday’s episode began differently than all the others as Brooke and Yvie both survived their lip sync (and rightfully so). The focus once again shifted to Silky Nutmeg Ganache when she told the girls that she doesn’t plan on showing any more of herself to the judges than what she has already even though the competition continues to get stiffer and stiffer. That kind of attitude played itself out in a beautiful way during both the mini and maxi-challenge this week when Silky’s ego gets knocked down a couple of pegs (thank god).

Time to get your library cards out because it’s time for the reading challenge! There are some decent digs in there, notably Plastique Tiara saying that Nina West has the same shoulders as the Miami Dolphins and Yvie referring to A’Keria’s ass as a “drug mule.” The whole thing, unfortunately, was overshadowed by Silky’s ridiculously annoying personality that even got Ru ticked off. Vanessa also failed by yelling jokes that made no sense.

I have to say this about Vanessa, and it pains me to even want to type this out. I feel like her 15 minutes of fame is starting to become justified and that she wasn’t ready to do this show just yet. A lot of her comedy is coming off as just yelling when she’s a much more hilarious queen off the show. This continued to be evident later in the maxi-challenge too, but there’s a key difference between her return and Eureka’s last year. Eureka got injured, came back, and slayed. Vanessa went out on the first episode, returned one year later and has yet to prove why she’s still in the competition.

Moving on. Brooke was declared the winner which gave her an advantage in the maxi-challenge. The girls had to once again rely on their improv by performing in a police comedy sketch with one of the other remaining queens. The show was called Los Angeles Drag Patrol (LADP). As the winner of the mini-challenge, Brooke was able to choose her own partner and assign the others. They went as follows:

Brooke/Nina

Plastique/Vanessa

Shuga Cain/Silky

A’Keria/Yvie

Brooke didn’t do a smart job with her pairings from a strategic point of view. She should’ve put Yvie and Silky together as they hate each other, which would’ve no doubt let to them imploding on one another.

A lot of the queens were nervous about this challenge, notably Brooke and Yvie due to them completely sucking in the Snatch Game as Celine Dion and Whoopi Goldberg, respectively. Shuga gets called out behind the scenes by some of the queens who feel like Silky will easily run all over her in this challenge with her big personality.

The police who performed with the queens in LADP were Cheyenne Jackson and Fortune Feimster, which was perfection. Silky and Shuga were first up, where the sketch revolved around the former selling illegal butt pads out her car. Silky, as annoying as she is, did a great job and utilized her over-the-top personality and body to the best of her abilities. Shuga’s character as the church wife who wore some ill-shapen butt pads got lost in the mix, but she was able to get some funny jokes in there.

Brooke and Nina were next. The police complaint revolved around Brooke being butt ass naked outside. She surprisingly did very well and was able to come up with some jokes on the fly like being a level 4 vegan who doesn’t eat anything that casts its own shadow (LMAO!). Nina, who is known for her comedy, struggled a bit as the woman who lodged the complaint and was fed up with seeing Brooke naked.

Plastique and Vanessa were two literal cats fighting in front of a convenience store. This was a mess and honestly just stupid. Nothing made sense, it went at a rapid pace to the point where Cheyenne and Fortune didn’t even know what to do and neither of the ladies chilled out long enough to make any jokes that landed.

A’Keria and Yvie played twerking women who fought with each other over who took control over a street corner. I think that’s what the initial storyline was because the result was something much different. Turns out A’Keria had sex with Mark Walhberg 30 years ago and Yvie was her long-lost twerking daughter. Yvie did a great job in this, but lord A’Keria was hilarious as an over-the-hill twerker who went through such a range of emotions during such a short time on the screen. This solidified me as the queen who is now the one to beat, as she’s easily excelled in comedy, fashion, dancing and acting to this point minus a couple of small mishaps.

The runway challenge this week is Face-Kini Realness inspired by the one RuPaul won last season. Only thing that happened between the mini-challenge and the runway was the queen’s confusion over why Silky wasn’t putting on any makeup. Her justification was that most of her face was going to be covered, so what’s the point?

That decision is probably why she lost the main challenge to A’Keria, who slayed on the runway while Silky dressed a hot ass mess in her roach-inspired outfit that appeared more Party City than an actual drag ensemble.

Vanessa and Plastique got read to filth by the judges (Natasha Lyonne included) and rightfully so. Michelle Visage continued to harp on Vanessa’s outfits, even though this one was a bit better compared to her previous looks. She sported a Britney Spears “Oops! I Did it Again” red leather number that was accessorized with some very whippable hair (Just like Aquaria did last year in her Lucha Libre getup). Shuga was dealt a couple of blows over her ability to not stand out in the challenge, meanwhile the rest of the girls got the praise they deserved.

In the end it was Vanessa and Plastique in the bottom, which didn’t surprise me. They lip synced to Fantasia’s “Hood Boy” in a very boring kind of way. Vanessa kind of just stood there while Plastique did an awkward split behind her and tried to utilize the back of the stage which didn’t do much for her to stand out.

Plastique was the one to sashay away. I don’t think that was the right call to make as it was really Vanessa’s time to go, but Plastique has a very long career ahead of her outside of the show as I’ve never seen a newer queen reach 1 million followers on Instagram faster than she has. Kudos, girl, and thanks for sharing your story about your family.

This is the opinion of one contributing writer and not that of Instinct Magazine or other Contributing Writers.

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