11th Jan2021

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race 13×02’ Review

by Rhys Payne

So last weeks opening episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race Season 13 received mixed reviews from fans around the world. While the twist of lip-syncs as soon as the queens entered the werk room was, at first, very exciting it fizzled out quickly when everyone had to watch the same scene played over and over again with the different queens. If you also remember the previous episode ended with all the losers of the lip-syncs in the ‘pork chop waiting dock’ and have to vote as a group for one of their follow queens to go home. **Spoiler Alert** Shockingly the vote ends up with a tie between Utica and Eliott (with 2 ts) and so the queens have to vote again except this time they are only allowed to vote for these two queens. This was the first point that the episode seemed very similar to the All-Stars format, with all the queens’ names on a lipstick that they must put into a box. Once all the votes have been counted it was revealed that Eliott would be going home which I was disappointed by as I enjoyed what she had showcased so far. Ru Paul took me on a rollercoaster of emotions as I was upset that Eliott was going home so early BUT THEN she entered the werk room to be apart of the self-proclaimed ‘winners circle’ and so she didn’t go home and get the chance to continue to compete. The reintroduction was a clever way for Ru to transition into a speech about how there are losers and that “losing in the new winning” which is a song that features in the Drag Race Vegas residency and was also a challenge in the previous season. This is not the only opportunity to promote the ‘werk the world’ residency but more on that later!

It is clear that the episodes in this season flip between the winners circle and the pork chop lounge with challenges set for each group. This week was ‘set’ in the winner’s circle (including Eliott) and had a mini-challenge of providing two looks for the runway. The queens had to showcase two looks – a day time and night time look, in a runway in front of the judges. What I enjoyed about this fashion show was that the lights changed to reflect the different categories when they were being shown! If I was reviewing each look this review would be ridiculously long as we saw 12 different looks in total so I am going to run through a few of my favourites. I enjoyed Gottmik’s day time look as it was a latex bodysuit painted to look like a peaceful blue sky scene with the most over-the-top shoulders I have ever seen! It was so wonderfully camp but also very fashionable which is the type of looks I enjoy the most. Despite the muted colours that were read out but the judges at the end of the episode, I enjoyed LaLa Ri’s first outfit as to me she looked stunning. I have to be honest there is something about Tina Burner that I don’t enjoy but what I like is the fact that she sticks so rigidly to her theme of fire on all her looks. Now at first o thought oh I get it she always wears red, yellow and orange but she does it cleverly. For example, in her main stage runway, she dressed as the tin man from The Wizard of Oz with a sequinned red heart hidden which I thought was a subtle way to stick to her theme. I think this shows Tina is thinking about the challenges carefully and how her persona would interpret it, which for me is fantastic! For the night-time inspired looks, these were supposed to be more sensual and erotic… The two that stood out in this runway were Kandy Muse and Eliott. Kandy’s look was a devil inspired bodysuit that looked incredibly fierce whereas Eliott did a stunning dark and mysterious Victorian mistress inspired amazing look!

On top of all the drama and two runway looks, the winners circle also had to write and perform a verse to Ru Paul’s song ‘Condragulations’ which was sponsored by the Vegas residency. I have to be honest I am starting to love Olivia Luxe as her positive attitude is so heartwarming. This episode played to her skills as she supposed writes and performs her music so she was very excited for this challenge and she delivered! Her verse focussed more on her incredible vocals and was fantastically performed. Before we got to the performances though the queens had to choreograph a routine to the song. I did think it was pretty shady of Eliott to step back and not tell the rest of the queens she is a professional dancer when the queens were struggling with direction but when it eventually came to the performance Eliott truly showcased her incredible dance abilities. As she was the first queens to be ‘eliminated’ I think the queens didn’t think of her as a threat but she is a very talented dancer who can put together some amazing looks so the rest of the queens should be concerned.

Even after all this, the queens still had to do a runway with the theme ‘Lamè you stay.’ Now I did not know what Lamè was so I had to google it and it’s a type of fabric which was an interesting choice for a runway theme in my opinion. Gottmik’s runway look was an incredible embellished almost metallic bodysuit that reminded me of a type of sea horse in a very fashionable way. Symone decided to interpret this theme in a very theatrical way and she showcased a boxing-inspired look which was fantastic. There was an interesting comment from Michelle Visage, to Tina Burner, about the difference between theatre and TV, with her stressing the importance of loving the camera and facing them etc. Loads of theatre queens have entered the werk room and I have never thought about how difficult they would find adapting to being filmed so this was a great inclusion. The top two of this week are Olivia and Symone which I think was deserved! The second similarity to All-Stars in this episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race was that the top two lip-synced against each other, rather than the bottom two, to find the winner of this weeks episode. Symone ever so slightly outperformed Olivia and won a cash tip so she was the winner this week!

This episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race has gone back to the format we all know and love, with a little bit of All-Stars thrown in for a bit of razzle-dazzle! It showcased both the queen’s runway looks and musical performances which allowed the audience to further understand the queens more which was great. I am always a fan of the musical episodes as the theatre is a great passion of mine and the higher the camp level the better!

***** 5/5

The latest season of Ru Paul’s Drag Race is available to watch on Netflix now.

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