15th Feb2021

‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race 13×07’ Review

by Rhys Payne

In last weeks episode of the US version of Ru Paul’s Drag Race, we saw the elimination of the people’s queen Tamisha Imann. She had entered the hearts of the viewers from the moment she entered the werk room and so many people (myself included) was left devastated by her exit. Tamisha managed to maintain her prestige and professional while hugging her ‘rival’ Kandy after she has beaten her in a lip-sync. I am excited to see if she gets invited back for All-Stars as she is a fan favourite but also claimed that her ostomy bag was limiting her performance – so when she is fully recovered she would be a perfect candidate for All-Stars! Last week we also saw Olivia win her first challenge, an incredible performance during the disco-mentary challenge, so it will be interesting to see what happens next – as there is only one way to go when you are at the top! From my perspective, this weeks episode was all about Eliott and allowed the viewers to see many different sides to the performer, who many have overlooked.

The mini-challenge this week was a reading challenge, which meant the queens had to perform hilarious insult based comedy on one another. Eliott’s performance during this challenge was very uncomfortable to watch due to how awkward she came across to everyone. Gotmik was incredible during this challenge especially when she compared Kandy Muse to a pug which was hilarious especially considering they are a trio dubbed as the “mean girls” (which was kind of forgotten in this episode, to be honest.) The idea of comedy ran through into the main challenge which I enjoy and shows that the episode had been carefully crafted by the creative team and helps the consistency for the audience.

The main challenge this week was for the queens to perform in groups in an improvised comedy sketch on the “Bossy Rossy” show which was influenced by the talk show segment on Season 10 where Miz Cracker performed as a pickle, which would influence many of her future performances. However, the talk show was “Bossy Rossy: After Dark” which was set in a backyard. I couldn’t understand why it was set in a garden when the first was an official talk show but they tried to push the idea of being a backyard show. There was the inclusion of dog noises during queens entrances and frames that focused purely on the grass, gnomes or statues which I didn’t enjoy. Now if I was ever on Ru Paul’s Drag Race I would never tell the queens what I am good at/known for, as it seems that whenever a queens says “I do this for a living” they always end up flopping in the challenge and usually goes home! This is why I was instantly concerned when Utica told everyone she regularly attends improv shows and is part of a comedy troupe. While she did not end up in the bottom, she was very close!

This is the second time Denali and Rose have been paired together (last time being last weeks disco challenge which they did excellently in) and this week they again did well. They are a pair which work very well together and, from following their Instagram lives and moments on the show, we can tell they are very close friends. I was very impressed with Olivia Lux this week too, as she took on the role of mime in the improvised comedy and so it must be incredibly difficult to be as entertaining and hilarious as she was in a comedy without saying a single word (until the very end.) She had everyone laughing throughout, with Gotmik giving psychological realness alongside her which worked perfectly with one another. Tina Burner is known by many as a performance queen in New York and so I knew that she would do incredibly, well but when paired with Eliott (who seemed very reserved and quiet throughout) I was concerned for the pair. Tina did slightly overpower the performance but Eliott still managed to achieve some hilarious moments. Eliott and Tina had an incredible emotional discussion after the challenge about the effect of mental health – which was fantastic to see especially considering that Tina ‘sent’ Eliott “home” during their first lip-sync.

The runway this week was “Bead It,” and I have to admit that when I first heard this I thought Ru said “Beat It” and we would have a Michael Jackson themed runway. Once I cleared this up I was ready to see how the queens would creatively use beads in their looks. Danali wore a fantastic outfit that was inspired by the classic idea of a chandelier, which I personally really enjoyed. Rose’s outfit this episode made me feel very nostalgic – as at a young age I spent many an evening playing with the likes of Hama beads and her colourful beads were very reminiscent of this. Gotmik’s look this week was a clever interpretation where she went with “anal beads”, which was very funny but was still incredibly fashion forwards and unique. Now there has been a lot of debate online since the episode aired as Olivia’s look was somewhat similar to the outfit that Kandy wore during the ball. People have been talking about how this outfit was similar but also how her boxer outfit was similar to Symone’s boxer look on the first runway. While I would usually get annoyed; however this apparent copying of looks the queens had been working months (before coming on the show_, collecting and making outfits and as they are not allowed to tell other they have been cast, there is no way that any of them would know what others are bringing and so it was completely coincidental. Eliott looked incredible this week as she wore a fanatic flapper-inspired look, which the judges said was the best she had ever looked.

Olivia Lux is the winner of this week episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race, which marks her second win in a row, which in my opinion was deserved. To think that Rose originally dismissed Olivia as she was new to the drag scene… she has definitely established herself as a forerunner in this competition. At the bottom this week are Lala Ri and Eliott, if I was Eliott I would be very concerned as she is a very talented performer. However, Eliott SHOWED UP this week and used her dance abilities to send home Lala. It is really interesting as last week Tamisha went home and this week Lala Ri  – and so over two weeks both the ‘technical’ drag mother and drag daughter had gone home one after the other. This marks the first queen for the winners circle to go home which makes for a very interesting view of the competition. Next week, the queens will compete in a Ru-sical challenge about social media which I hope is a chance for Rose to show what she does best!

Overall, this was a very hilarious and entertaining episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race that had a very unusually decorated challenge. The episode showed us a different perspective in Eliott while raising awareness of a very important mental illness which was amazing. Plus I am very excited for next weeks musical episode!

****½  4.5/5

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