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Nine Thoughts About RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season Ten, Episode Six

We’re poking our way out of the mid-season slump and I will say this: the game this season keeps reorganizing itself and taking people that I was and wasn’t expecting to go so soon.

First Mayhem, now Blair: the season has and does not have a frontrunner and this is yielding a lot of “Who’s on first??” in terms of tops and bottoms. Everyone seems to be on the same page at this point – for better or worse. However, next week will be the make or break moment since it’s Snatch Game. Let’s digest then, shall we?

Spoilers, obviously. Proceed with caution.

9. A Good Tease
The way in to the episodes are notoriously awful mashings of unnecessary drama or false leads that never get followed. This episode started by looking the other way, by subtweeting Kameron (“The other quiet girl,” Monet said of her.) before getting delightfully shady (“Your back is ashy: that is not cute,” Monet called to Asia – before Asia told her that lipsyncing twice is even less cute. Oooooh: the shade.). This was so delightful! It felt like the right amount of levity to jump into an episode where the fun and funny often escaped for unjustified self-seriousness. Sigh. Drag Con.

8. Cake Surprise
What the fuck was this mini-challenge? I don’t understand the point (And still don’t!) but it felt quite old school in that it was merely an excuse to make jokes about bottoming and – You know what? – I am okay with that. I am perfectly fine with watching dudes in short shorts mush their tush around cakes and eggplants and bags of chips and traffic cones: that is the content I crave. Asia’s win was entirely justified (She seems to have a sixth sense in her ass.) but was a bit “Eh.” in that it didn’t correlate to anything else, a la an advantage in the challenge. However! Is that even needed? Sometimes it’s nice to go truly old school and make a mini-win about nothing.

7. Show Us The That Drag Con Cash
This show and its love of self-reflexive spon-con. It’s so bad. While Ru has always skewered Tyra and her self-promoting from within her promotional device, there are points where the cart (CASH.) gets before the horse (A good episode of the acclaimed reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race.). This episode was an example of this. It’s a fun idea to have panels be made and executed for television! However, it’s not dynamic television. The groups were so unstimulating, visually, that it just didn’t make sense for television. At Drag Con? Great! But Drag Con isn’t television. That was the disconnect that this episode was built on and, sadly, it was all to get that cash. Wah wah.

6. Great Groups…
Regardless of the outcome, the self-created groups were quite perfect. People rose and fall on their own but everyone was nice, played well, and made sense together. It was a win in terms of working together. That was great!

5. …And Misdirection
The flip of these great groups is that no one really knew what they were doing. Regardless if a queen has been to Drag Con or not, they should be experts on this form. Unlike acting or Snatch Game, this is such a specific, stupid form of “drag performance” originated by and for Drag Con. All the queens should have been prepared via watching videos of previous panels or been given a seminar on what to do. That is important because you ended with a third of the groups – The Eureka/Monet/Kameron – doing everything right, being actually entertaining and fun. Everyone else? They had no idea what they were doing and afforded the episode 30 minutes of uninformative, unfun, undead air. The show should have prepared their queens because, if they have no idea what Drag Con is nor seem to care to get their shit together, why should the audience care? That’s what this boiled down to. If this was going to be an ad for how great the Drag Con panels are, I would fucking hope all of them in the episode would have been flawless as to be enticed attend. Without said direction or guidance, the ad became a taste of potentially paltry exhibitions kinda, sorta about drag.

4. All Together: PROPORTIONIZING.
The Eureka/Monet/Kameron team was just so good. It was informative and fun and showed everyone else how to do it. It also revealed that Kameron is truly a cosplay queen who does the same look every fucking time and that made my face burn so hot. If I see one more fucking leotard from her, I am going to throw weights out the window. The other groups fell in and out of their own traps, as Aquaria/Monique/Asia spent more time illustrating advice on themselves instead of the Pit Crew model while Cracker/Blair/Vixen simply had nothing to say despite clearly understanding the task at hand. The result was as good looking as their Pit Crew model: a distant homely, at best.

3. Hats Off
This was a fun runway! There was a lot of goodness like Monet’s church lady, Eureka’s Cruella DeVille assassin, Asia’s incredible dandelion, Aquaria’s fabulous bunny, and Cracker’s hat hair. Even the bads – Vixen’s failed attempt, Blair as Shelby in Steel Magnolias – were entertaining enough. I’m also not counting Kameron at all in this since she has done the same look four times over now.

3.1. Monique’s Heart
Also of note: Monique has literally been creating all of her dresses. How fabulous is she? She won my heart, ugly-giggling her way higher and higher. She really is the best!

2. Eureka!!
Also the best? Eureka. She clearly is the frontrunner, which is both an obvious and unlikely turn of events. There has yet to be a big queen winner and we’re now staring at an opportunity for that to actually happen. She seems to have found a confidence and point of view that many of the other queens still in the running have not. Think about it: everyone else in the show – particularly the Aquarias and Kamerons and even Vixens – have yet to pronounce a point of view. They’re all kind of just there. While Monet is funny and Asia is pageant fashion, none of them have the total package that Eureka is proving to have: hokey, high-low Southern big girl brash. The show is trying to define her as annoying and obnoxious but she just isn’t acting that way. The Eureka of season nine is gone and we’re getting the tens across the board queen. Took some figuring out but she has finally found her spot in the sun. Well done – and well deserved win!

1. I Do Declare
Poor Blair. I thought this baby was going to have the biggest unexpected rise of the season! How could I be so foolish. Her rape reveal was truly a shock and sad and made you want to hug your television. Her tenure on the show, particularly in this episode, also illustrated that she still has to evolve and, being so young, she will do so very quickly and very well. Moreover, we all knew she was going home from the start of the episode. Once the episode got going and she got so much interview time, chatting about how safe she was and how she wanted to impress, it was very clear: baby boy is going bye bye. I’m bummed but she will be all the sweeter on a future All Stars. This leaves the underdog title to Monet and the Miss Congeniality to…no idea. Monique? Asia? Honestly, I have no idea.

Snatch Game is next week! It’s finally time. These past three episodes have been some spinning wheels in sand and I am ready for the show to get vicious and embarrassing and funny in a way that we’ve been missing .

My ranking is in shambles. Two of my former top three are gone! And the person who I thought would be gone quite quickly is my frontrunner. Good on the show for keeping me guessing, I guess.

14. Vanessa Vanjie Mateo
13. Kalorie Karbdashian Williams
12. Yuhua Hamasaki
11. Dusty Ray Bottoms
10. Mayhem Miller
9. Blair St. Clair (Down five – and out. Poor baby girl. Good luck!)
8. Kameron Micheals (Up one, as a formality. No. Just say no.)
6. & 7. Aquaria & The Vixen (Maintained. They are evenly at the middle still. Aquaria has more fashion sense but Vixen has more personality. They will go home – boom, boom – in succession.)
5. Monet X Change (Up three. She’s back! Let’s hope she doesn’t fuck it up again.)
4. Monique Heart (Up one. Monique is going to steal my heart and eat it in front of me as I giggle happily. She’s my frontrunner for Miss Congeniality…unless Vanjie – who is still being talked about – gets a surprise win.)
3. Asia O’Hara (Down one. An off week for her but she still did so well – especially on the runway.)
2. Miz Cracker (Down one. She’s getting stale to me.)
1. Eureka O’Hara (Up two. And here we are! I did not see this coming but I’m not mad at it.)

Thoughts? Who do you see winning? I’m both happy and frustrated that this has not been an easy road.

Photo via.

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