Two very obvious things happened on the 5th episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 11. One queen went home prematurely, and another solidified my thoughts on her being the winner when this is all said and done.
The show starts after Mercedes Diamond Iman‘s elimination, whose poor performances in the challenges should’ve sent her home sooner than it did. Ra’Jah O’Hara, who was in the bottom two alongside Mercedes last week, pulled a very Alyssa Edwards type of move by saying if she has to lip sync her way to the top then so be it. Yvie Oddly called her out by mentioning how RuPaul won’t crown you just off of lip syncs alone… which she’s absolutely right about. This isn’t RuPaul’s Lip Sync Race.
Trixie Mattel, winner of All Stars 3 and the hearts of many, is the guest judge for the mini-challenge. It revolves around the girls turning themselves into life-sized dolls. It’s always interesting to see just how different a vet acts in the werk room compared to one of the newbies. Trixie, who is also referred to as Backwoods Barbie, cracks a lot of jokes with the queens prior to them putting on their best doll-inspired lewks. I’m not hearing any makeup brushes, I should hear the skin coming off your face.”
Ra’Jah is declared the winner, because, sure. Then Ru reveals that this week’s maxi-challenge will be a spooktacular Monster Ball. This is the second year in a row where they’ve done a ball-themed episode this early in the season. The queens have to come up with three lewks: Trampy Trick or Treater, Witch Please!, and MILF Eleganza.
The ball challenge to me doesn’t separate the front-runners from the ones who will go home ASAP. That’s more for something like Snatch Game and perhaps the Rusical episodes. I think it’s like this because RPDR has become more about acting/comedy in recent years and not really about the fashion.
There’s the usual struggle that the girls exhibit prior to them walking down the runway. Brooke Lynn Hytes, who won the first challenge based around constructing your own outfit, feels the pressure. We also get a little taste of Plastique Tiara‘s beginnings in drag. The Dallas, Texas mainstay talks about how she used to do darker, almost emo type makeup at first before transitioning into something much prettier.
Elvira and supermodel Cara Delevingne are the guest judges this week. It’s hard to really break down the runway as there were 33 lewks that occurred over a 15-minute period, but the queens excelled for the most part in each, minus a couple.
I knew Ariel Versace was going to be in the bottom the minute her mermaid-inspired ensemble came down the runway. That outfit would’ve killed when they actually did a mermaid challenge during season 9, but not for something like this. Silky Nutmeg Ganache‘s last outfit, the MILF look, didn’t really make much sense either so I thought she would’ve been in the bottom two as well.
Brooke wound up winning the challenge, with Plastique and Yvie ending up at the top of the pack with her. Ariel was in the bottom two, but not with Silky, with Shuga Cain. I didn’t think Shuga’s outfits warranted even a bottom three, but apparently the judges thought so.
In the end, Ariel went home after losing the lip sync battle to Shuga. Here’s my thing with Ariel: she wasn’t going to win. But I didn’t think she would leave this early as her personality has been a tad polarizing since the show premiered and I think that could’ve helped her hang in a little bit more. Her worriment of being seeing as just a lewk queen (similar to how Farrah Moan felt) to the fan base is justifiable, but she’s clearly more than that and we all know it.
Vanessa Vanjie Matteo and Brooke need to tell us the true tea of what the hell is going on between them.
Nina West and Silky kissing was unexpected and I’m not sure who enjoyed it more.
I think I’m turning straight for Cara.
Elvira should be a guest judge more on this show. She’s quirky, fun and funny, something that other past judges haven’t been.
I loved see Shuga’s fiance on Untucked. They make such a cute couple.
I think I’ve said this in past recaps, but Yvie is making a strong case to win this thing in the end. I’d be floored if she went home before the final five.
That being said, here’s my top four as of now:
Brooke Lynn Hytes
This is the opinion of one contributing writer and not that of Instinct Magazine or other Contributing Writers.