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Mayhem Miller (#110 of 6)

RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap Season 10, Episode 13, “Queens Reunited”

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RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 10, Episode 13, “Queens Reunited”

VH1

RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 10, Episode 13, “Queens Reunited”

Last year’s RuPaul’s Drag Race reunion was the best episode of the season, a welcome return of the panelist-discussion format that went away after season three. At that point, the show opted to switch to a pre-taped finale in front of a live audience, in order to avoid winner leaks. But which of the queens ultimately wins is of far less dramatic importance to me than watching Ru and her girls tie up some of the loose ends of the show’s interpersonal dynamics. What’s changed since taping the program? How have the queens’ relationships flourished or foundered outside of the hothouse environment of the show’s shooting schedule? What’s their booking rate these days? Miss Vanjie for president? If it hadn’t been for the old reunion format’s return last season, “She looks like Linda Evangelista” Aja wouldn’t have been allowed to point out it’s not really reading someone, per se, when it’s “aggressively complimenting.”

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.