20th Apr2021

‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race 13×15’ Review

by Rhys Payne

This weeks episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race was not a traditionally normal one. As we are only one episode away from the finale of the season, the queen met up (albeit virtually) to talk about the season and recap some of the most iconic moments. I talked in a previous review about how this season seems to be never-ending due to the earlier episodes where no one was eliminated (which *spoiler alert* happens again this week as it is the reunion episode) and the infamous double-saving of both Kandy Muse and Symone when they were both in the bottom (which reminds me we haven’t had a double elimination in a long time!) To put this into perspective, season one of Ru Paul’s Drag Race only had nine-episodes and this season will have 16… which is almost double! I think it was a good idea for this season to be longer than most as people are bored at home due to the current global situation so anything that can help combat that boredom is welcomed! Additionally, it is the only season of the show currently being produced and they need to keep pushing out content – so a longer season is a great way to do so!

Like I have already mentioned, this was the reunion episode where the queens met up (albeit virtually) to talk about the season. What I enjoyed about this episode was that each queen was allowed to be interviewed by Ru Paul. The episode started with Ru thanking all the medical staff and camera crew etc., who had helped make this season possible which I thought was a great way to start. People often forget about these workers and so to see them getting the appreciation they deserve is fantastic! Each queen on the show also had an opportunity to showcase a music video they had each created. First up was Kamora Hall who was the first queen to be eliminated this season. During her music video, she had the added pressure of Ru-deeming herself from the pure love lip-sync which has now become famous for Danali’s performance overshadowing Kamora’s. Her music video (which she had produced herself) was very demure and sensual which showcased her as a performer which we didn’t get to see in the show.

I had forgotten how much I love Tamisha Imann (who has now adopted Kamora as a drag daughter) as she is such an icon! Tamisha was one of the few queens who performed an original song called ‘Arrogant’ which was based on the famous fight she and Kandy had earlier on the season which I thought was hilarious. The show also explained why Tamisha and Lala were not close during the season, despite being drag daughter and mother, as they had formed different social circles while on the show. We never did get that Tamisha and Lala lip-sync that I initially expected – which would have been so dramatic – which is a shame! I enjoyed being able to see Denali ice skate during her music video performance, as this is again a skill she did not get to showcase while on the show. Denali is a very talented skater and even managed to do a backflip while on ice skates which was incredible. Denali and Lala were selected as the two lip-sync assassins of the season, who competed against each other to win a cash tip for a charity of their choosing. This was a repeat of their first lip-sync in the opening episode of the season where Denali had to perform in ice skates on the runway. Denali managed to Ru-deem herself and win this lip-sync but both performers did well. In the previous season of Ru Paul’s Drag Race All-Stars, they had secret lip-sync assassins who battled the winning queens for each episode so I hope they tie these two franchise together and have Denali and Lala on the next all-star seasons (if they are not cast) to fill this role.

We need to take a minute to appreciate how much Tina Burner has stepped up her make-up skills since being on the show! I have to admit that when I first saw her appear in this episode I assumed she was going to do something campy and over the top for her music video (which I love but would have been predictable for Tina) but she shocked everyone with a rap style song which was not what I expected. It was also great to see Utica who discussed the controversial roast challenge where she again publicly apologised for any harm that was done. On top of interviews and the music videos, the queens also were given some fan questions which was pretty fun but these sections were quite short which made the flow of the episode very choppy. The final four or non-eliminated queens were documented entering the stage for next weeks episode where they were asked “69” questions in an almost vogue-style video.

Overall this was a nice episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race but there was little to no drama compared to the previous season’s reunion episodes. I thought it was great that the queens were allowed to showcase skills they might not have otherwise shown, through the creation of individual music videos and each was given a chance to be interviewed by Ru. I am so excited as next week we will be having the finale episode that will be live from a theatre where I believe all the queens will be present!

**** 4/5


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