RuPaul’s Drag Race season 11 has finally begun. Thank god.
The first two episodes were duller than watching paint dry. I can only remember two things: cysts and “oppalance.” Last night’s show redeemed itself and then some with a jaw-dropping lip sync and one queen finally getting her chance to shine.
The mini-challenge this week revolved around the queens putting on their best comedic abilities in order to gain backstage access to a Seduction (90’s girl group that included Michelle Visage) concert. Vanessa Vanjie Matteo had me cracking the f**k up after RuPaul asked her to name three Seduction songs and she just answered by using various forms of the girl group’s name.
Nina West and Ra’Jah O’Hara won and became team captains… or deacons in this situation. The two groups would be starring in “two she-vangelical talk shows where you will preach and teach the children about the divine diva of your choice. This includes heavenly hostesses, live on-air conversions and hymns of praise.” So which group was going to musically Tammie Faye the house down?
Each group was broken down into two hosts, a live on-air conversion and a hymn of praise. This is the most unique challenge that RPDR has come up with for a while that easily makes up for the repeat ones that they did in episodes one and two.
Team Ra’Jah chose to worship Mariah Carey… which was a bad decision from the start. They picked someone that none of them knew that well. This makes no sense. Why not come to a group consensus about what legendary diva they all know the most from, then divide the groups accordingly, and make the challenge hilarious?
Team Nina picked Britney Spears… which fared much better for them as a group overall when the challenge happened. They filmed their live television segment first, with Ross Mathews acting as director. It was a smooth run through for the most part, minus Mercedes Diamond Iman, who struggled to land her jokes. Everyone else was strong, notably Vanessa who had me dying during her conversion and Nina who expertly used Britney puns and her facial reactions as the taping continued.
Nothing from the Mariah group made sense. It was just… odd. Plastique Tiara, who has been killing it so far this competition, tried her best at comedy again by doing a demon voice anytime she said Mariah’s alleged enemy Ariana Grande while trying to convert A’Keria C. Davenport. The hymn section was a mess too, as the lyrics didn’t come together for Honey Davenport and Ra’Jah. Ross told the queens to be ready for the runway after their live taping was over, indicating that they were in deep trouble.
The runway theme was fringe, with Scandal star Guillermo Diaz and singer Troye Sivan acting as judges. Nina won her first challenge after having a bit of a rocky start on this season. Ariel Versace, who was in the bottom three last week, ended up in the top this week for her hilarious Britney hymn along with Vanessa.
It was a no brainer that Team Mariah was the losing team, but who would be in the bottom of their group? Ru asked who was to blame for their monstrosity of a performance, and they all said it was an equal doing. This led to an absolute shocker: all six of the queens (Scarlet Envy and Shuga Cain was also in this group) doing a lip sync smackdown against one another to the Hex Hector remix of Jennifer Lopez’s “Waiting for Tonight.” GAG!
It was a lot to watch, but Honey fell off the stage… and that was enough for her to get sent home. But seriously, OMG.
Notes from the episode:
Brooke and Vanessa may have something going on romantically… and I’m here for it.
Mercedes’ religion gets brought up, but she instantly shuts it down after the other queens attempt to discuss it with her. Her personal life seems like something that will unravel as the episodes go along based on what she’s talked about so far (no fly list, race issues, etc).
Silky was not the focus of this episode. Yay.
Ra’Jah and A’Keria to me have come off as the most unlikable queens so far. They never seem in a good mood and every cut to them is when they say something shady.
Yvie Oddly has impressed me so much with her confidence and personality. She also went butt naked in the werk room while spraying herself pink. D**ks out for the guys.
If I had to choose a top four right now, it would be: Yvie, Nina, Vanessa and Brooke.
This is the opinion of one contributing writer and not that of Instinct Magazine or other Contributing Writers.