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Rupaul's Drag Race (#110 of 22)

RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap Season 10, Episode 5, “The Bossy Rossy Show”

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RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 10, Episode 5, “The Bossy Rossy Show”

VH1

RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 10, Episode 5, “The Bossy Rossy Show”

With apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein, how do you solve a problem like The Vixen? So far this season on RuPaul's Drag Race, she's outpestered every pest, driven hornets from their nest, and even thrown that whirling dervish Eureka out of whirl. Conditions are to the point that, because she knows that if she has to sit in that Untucked area backstage she'll end up popping off on some other queen, The Vixen privately confides that she just hopes she's not deemed “safe” this week. She'd rather be in the bottom three than risk cutting off valuable kiki time by reminding white queens of just how loaded words like “crafty” actually are. During an earlier fight, Monique Heart said she worried that The Vixen's commitment to the warpath would stand in the way of presenting “her blessing.” And “The Bossy Rossy Show” fully brings that conflict to a head. And only on Drag Race could a fiery semiotics lesson so comfortably stand shoulder to shoulder with another personality donning a full-body pickle suit and toting around a doctor's clipboard.

RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap Season 10, Episode 4, “The Last Ball on Earth”

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RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 10, Episode 4, “The Last Ball on Earth”

VH1

RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 10, Episode 4, “The Last Ball on Earth”

The question of who's got your back is at the heart of this week's episode of RuPaul's Drag Race, and it nearly gets lost amid an otherwise curiously early-season ball challenge that probably sets the new record for the most runway lewks in Drag Race herstory. Ru's franchise has, from the very beginning, established that no queen can really make it without a solid support system, even if it comes in the form of a highly engineered reality TV series on the prowl for tissue-clutching moments of emotional vulnerability. Queens who've been subject to self-sabotage have seen their stars rise with a reintroduction to the camaraderie of the workroom. Queens who've refused to pay testament have found themselves in the midst of a bitch edit faster than you can say “Shante, you stay…for the editors' manufactured drama.”

RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap Season 10, Episode 3, “Tap That App”

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RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 10, Episode 3, “Tap That App”

VH1

RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 10, Episode 3, “Tap That App”

I know gay bars everywhere have to fill their valuable Thursday cocktail time, and that VH1 probably feels some level of responsibility to make sure that lasts as long as possible. But seriously, for a show that once could pride itself on whip-crack pacing, the “new normal” 90-minute episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race are starting to really put the “drag” in Drag Race. But at the same time, the fact that VH1’s strategy of maximalism has also resurrected Untucked from its recent YouTube ghettoization practically makes it all worth the effort. Because The Vixen’s performance in Untucked thus far is damned close to turning what most would call bonus material into must-see TV. And at the risk of making the main show feel like the background material.

RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap Season 10, Episode 2, “PharmaRusical”

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RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 10, Episode 2, “PharmaRusical”

VH1

RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 10, Episode 2, “PharmaRusical”

For anyone who’s ever watched a RuPaul’s Drag Race challenge and thought, “What drugs did they take before coming up with that?,” tonight’s episode, “PharmaRusical,” is for you and probably not too many others. The second-episode lip-sync challenge is almost always the most frustrating and least satisfying of every season. The challenge doesn’t ever allow any queen the chance to really polish up her persona. Instead, the girls get separated into two teams, are usually assigned to their roles by someone who barely knows them yet, are forced to work within an ensemble when audiences are still just trying to remember who’s who, and finally have to wrap their lips around nonsensical gibberish dialogue. And then keep a straight face when Michelle Visage tells them they “kind of faded into the background.”

RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap Season 10, Episode 1, “10s Across the Board”

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RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 10, Episode 1, “10s Across the Board”

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RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 10, Episode 1, “10s Across the Board”

It’s almost as though RuPaul knew Drag Race fans weren’t going to sit still for how All Stars 3 went down. Because we’re moving into season 10 of the main competition without so much as a week off to ruminate on Trixie Mattel’s victory. But, really, let’s take a disco nap-sized moment to unpack, because count me among the many drag justice warriors calling foul on Shangela’s behalf. Unless her reputation among queens is truly Valentina-level bad, there ain’t an edit in the world that could’ve justified her getting only one lipstick-pull at the climax of last week’s finale—and from Thorgy Thor, of all queens, the only one with a justifiable ax to grind against Shang.

RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap Season 9, Episode 14, “Grand Finale”

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RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 9, Episode 14, “Grand Finale”

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RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 9, Episode 14, “Grand Finale”

And so it is that RuPaul’s Drag Race recappers like me are tasked to write about the season finale on the first night of Pride celebrations. I shouldn’t complain though. Chad Sell, who’s more or less the official or at least most high-profile illustrator drawing from the Drag Race well, was forced to celebrate his honeymoon while the show was on because of its later berth this time around. I know, I know. Very first-world problems. But dammit, these are exactly the type of rights we fought for nearly 50 years ago. Right?

RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap Season 9, Episode 13, “Reunited”

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RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 9, Episode 13, “Reunited”

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RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 9, Episode 13, “Reunited”

Well, on the plus side, anyone who still misses the old Untucked format has now had their edges officially snatched, and has also finally landed on their favorite episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race season nine. In a twist from virtually any prior seasons, the season’s queens are all invited back prior to the show finale for a reunion special the likes of which the show hasn’t really done since season three, when the Heathers and the Boogers sort of called a truce. Of course, when Ru used to close out with audience-free reunion episodes, it happened after the winner had already been crowned. This time around, all of the season’s contestants are dragged into a holding place before one of four queens find out next week which one of them gets named, for the 11th time, America’s next drag superstar. Does that stop them from reading the house down? You’d think so, but that’s not the way this counter-intuitively scheduled cookie crumbles. As it quickly becomes evident that Ru intends to flit from controversy to controversy without any real structure, here’s a match-by-match rundown of all the beef.

RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap Season 9, Episode 12, “Category Is…”

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RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 9, Episode 12, “Category Is…”

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RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 9, Episode 12, “Category Is…”

“I’m so relieved that Roxxxy Andrews and Phi Phi O’Hara advanced to the finals over Detox and Latrice Royale,” said no one ever. For as much heat as some of the peak seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race got for favoring rough-edged, shit-stirring queens at the expense of sweet or well-rounded ones, don’t you kind of miss the drama now? True, the show arguably hasn’t really had a bona fide villain since Darienne Lake—if you don’t count the return of Phi Phi in last year’s All-Stars. And it was sort of refreshing in season eight to see the open-hearted Chi Chi DeVayne and Kim Chi reach the quartet of final-challenge queens over the likes of Acid Betty and Derrick Barry. But with the dismissal of this season’s halfway-villains Alexis Michelle (who killed ’em with “honesty”) and Nina Bo’Nina When the Pawn… Brown (whose paranoia killed herself softly), and in the absence of a from-episode-one frontrunner like Bob the Drag Queen, what’s there to fuel this race through its final lap?

Alexis Michelle Gets Catty and Emotional on Latest RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked

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Alexis Michelle Gets Catty and Emotional on Latest RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked

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Alexis Michelle Gets Catty and Emotional on Latest RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked

“Shady whores,” said Alexis Michelle last night on RuPaul’s Drag Race when Sasha Velour and Shea Couleé singled her out after Ru asked each of the top five queens who should go home this week. Within seconds of sitting down backstage, Alexis predictably starts reading Sasha and Shea the riot act, accusing them of throwing her under the bus. Alexis is convinced that her outfit was the pinnacle of “Village People realness” and that she understands that Sasha and Shea fingered her on the runway because she’s stiffer competition than Trinity Taylor and Peppermint. Praise be to Sasha for bursting that delusional bubble without breaking into laughter.

RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap Season 9, Episode 11, “Gayest Ball Ever”

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RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 9, Episode 11, “Gayest Ball Ever”

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RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 9, Episode 11, “Gayest Ball Ever”

Every season of RuPaul’s Drag Race comes to embody the personalities of its frontrunners. Season six ultimately developed some of Bianca Del Rio’s hectoring tone, which manifested itself most devastatingly in the unraveling of Laganja Estranja, who felt very attacked until she tearfully all but begged to be sent home. Season three turned into a Heathers/Mean Girls showdown between the Heathers and the Boogers, mostly due to the riveting arrogance of Raja, Delta Work, and Manila Luzon from the former group.