FILM & TV

WEEKLY RUCAP | Episode 7: My Best Squirrelfriend's Dragsmaids Wedding Trip

For a long title, this episode managed to be a calm bore compared to the jaw dropping episode 6.

After the #BenDeLaChrist moment last episode, I was expecting this was to feel a little lukewarm.

After all, how do you come back from a queen who managed to break Rupaul's system and even make the Queen Mother feel guilty? You don't - but even so, this challenge was good, and the runways were gorgeous. However, the workroom did seem to be missing BenDeLa's charm - even though some queens are starting to think she was never all that charming to begin with.

THE POST-CHALLENGE MEET UP

Right away everyone is gagged about BenDeLa leaving - they all lament how they are surprised that she would do that and speculate as to why she would. They are confused, and a lot of them are annoyed. After all, why show up if she didn't like competing? Why waste people's time? Of course, other people to recognize that this had been a lot for BenDeLa throughout the season.

The only outlier seems to be Shangela, who is still convinced that BenDeLa was playing some kind of game. I'm not convinced, but who knows? Maybe it was a scheme to maintain her positive status? I wouldn't be surprised at all of the mind games these girls have played up to this point.

The only person who seems to be moving forward is Trixie, who talks about how real the idea of the other queens winning is. After all, BenDeLa was the frontrunner and the expected winner.

Another interesting tidbit is Bebe, who refused to show the other queens who she chose to come back and leave the competition. The other queens think Bebe is being shady, and trying to save her ass, just in case another queen gets angry with her. And I'm inclined to agree with them - everybody has shown their lipsticks up to this point - what makes Bebe so special?

THE ASSIGNMENTS

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The next day, Ru comes in with Nancy Pelosi of all people and delivers a beautiful speech about Pelosi's love of the gay community and how we need to stick together and keep working hard. The other queens got very excited, and Pelosi told them all that she thought they were amazing. It was a very sweet moment, if not one of the weirdest ones in Drag Race herstory.

Aftwards, Ru reveals that the challenge is an acting challenge. The girls will be given "award winning" roles and star in a raunchy comedy called My Best Squirellfriend's Dragsmaids Wedding Trip! Morgan is allowed to assign each queen their parts. And she assigns them as follows:

Bebe: The Queen

Shangi: Actavia

Trixie: Sharon Frackovich

Herself: Beige Swan

Kennedy: La La

Trixie was not happy with her part, and wanted to musical-inspired La La, but in the end, she accepted the part that she had.

THE CHALLENGE

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The small scene that we had for the challenge was not very promising. Both Trixie and Shangela killed it. They were funny, they reacted to people's lines, and they made sure the jokes landed. They were the clear winners of the challenge based on the one or two lines we actually got to hear from them in the end.

Meanwhile, you have Bebe - who played a very stiff, and very boring Queen of Everything. She believed that the character was stuffy and stuff, and that's what she gave. Unfortunately, that meant there were no laughs. Kennedy and Morgan were equally flat - Morgan failed to capture the insanity of Natalie Portman in Black Swan, and Kennedy just kept on kicking the air like it slapped her Mama.

It was sad to see such talented queens fall so hard, but what are you going to do?

THE RUNWAY

RED FOR FILTH

Bebe: 10/10 - She came out in this beautiful red cress and complimenting red mask. She was stunning, brilliant.

Kennedy: 7/10 - She came out in this red, stoned outfit. It was beautiful, but not very creative.

Morgan: 8/10 - A beautiful red costume that flowed beautifully.

Shangela: 6/10 - My brother tells me it's high fashion, but I wasn't a huge fan of the droopy spikes.

Trixie: 10/10 - she came out in this latex ensemble and looked really hot. I loved her so much!

The judges basically felt the same as I did about the performances - both Trixie and Shangela got praises for their outfits and their characters. Meanwhile, the other queens had amazing looks, but most of them fell flat on everything else.

WINNERS: TRIXIE, SHANGELA

BOTTOMS: MORGAN, KENNEDY, BEBE

DELIBERATION

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Nothing stuck out of this deliberation this go around except Bebe's attitude. The other queens tried asking her where she thought fell flat, and sis believed she didn't do anything wrong. She said that she played the character how it was meant to be played, and that the judges loved her look. It was crazy, because it reminded me so much Milk, and I think that it is because this is the first time that Bebe's confidence has really been shaken this go around.

Morgan also worries, because she knows that queens who get brought back always go home the next episode and she doesn't want it be her.

LIP SYNCH

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When the queens came out for the lip synch, Shangela obviously dressed for a fat-suit reveal, and Trixie dressed in the sexiest outfit I've ever seen. They did a Rupaul song - and Shangela turned it out, really taking advantage of her comedic timing by revealing to a fat suit and then a fat suit wearing pasties. It was hilarious and I loved every second of it, and while Trixie looked beautiful, she wasn't up to snuff and ended up losing to Shangela.

Shangela sent Morgan home, unfortunately, prolonging the curse of the returning queens. It stinks, because I think Morgan could have been such a fierce competitor.

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Detroit-based emcee Tee Grizzley collaborated with Queen Naija and the Detroit Youth Choir to craft a melodic ballad that attempts to open up a dialogue with police. Meanwhile, alt-Jazz pioneer Terrace Martin took a different approach in his collaboration with Denzel Curry, Daylyt, G Perico, and Kamasi Washington, with "Pigs Feet" being more of an angry f*ck you than an attempt at communication.

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FILM & TV

WEEKLY RUCAP | Episode 6 destroyed me.

I'm breaking form today, to just talk about what happened this episode and process this whole thing.


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I'm taking a step back from the typical Rucap this week, because this episode truly changed the Drag Race game. It will go down as one of the most intense and nerve wracking episodes I've ever watched, and honestly that ending had me floored. I thought I had this whole thing down. Even with Rupaul's twists - it was all derivative of the previous season. Even the odd Handmaid's Tale reference still felt like All Stars 2.

Alas, I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm still going to cover the important parts of the episode - but I'm mainly focusing on two things: The Reunion of the Queens and the Deliberation/Lip Synch. The rest of the episode was filled with the same old stuff - a lot of the remaining queens talking about how scary everything is and all that.

THE REUNION OF THE QUEENS

The episode started with Rupaul coming in and explaining that the queens are going to do a Spice Girls-inspired Maxi-challenge. The girls have to create their own personas and write their own lyrics, and then perform in front of Rupaul. But, that's not all, right before Ru releases the girls to get to work - she "remembers" that there was something else she forgot. The eliminated girls have returned, and they are going to be in their own group.

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But, it's not just the queens coming back for a chance to win. The top queen of the episode will not only get to send current queens home, but will get to bring back an eliminated queen to take her place.

But honestly, as great as this challenge was, it was the least interesting part of the episode. Mostly because this reunion between the girls was one of the most intense reunions I've ever seen. Even the facecracking, Phi Phi O'Hara/Alyssa Edwards reunion was nothing compared to this.

Why? Because these queens went in! It started with Morgan coming for BenDeLa - but then Thorgy came in and immediately questioned Shangela about why she got eliminated. But, the most annoying part about this is not the Thorgy-Shangela banter, it's the return of the damned letter that Trixie hung up. Thorgy was on the side of Shangela and said that it should not have been hanging anywhere for anyone to see.

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Listen, guys, that letter needs to die. I'm tired of it. Trixie hung that letter in her area, and Shangela got nosey and started reading it. Sure, Trixie should not have hung up that letter, because it was really shady towards Shangela - but the girl didn't mean anything by it. Let. It. Go.

After the letter nonsense, Thorgy and Shangela work it through (kind of) in just enough time for Morgan to call out BenDeLa for being shady in her elimination. Morgan claims she did not have the worst critiques and she didn't deserve it. BenDeLa says that she didn't agree - but Morgan claims that Ben is a hypocrite and says that she didn't think that Morgan was part of the team. And she was correct, Morgan didn't do the worst in her episode and BenDeLa most likely got rid of her because she was worried about Morgan's "the strongest girl goes home" strategy.

BenDeLa tries to defend herself, but ends up shutting down and not owning up to anything that Morgan says. Not that she has to talk for much longer, because Aja chimes in with her frustration towards Bebe. She (fairly) claims that Bebe took credit for the outfit and didn't thank Aja for helping her. Bebe gave a weak argument, saying that it would not have changed anything, but that's not the point. Bebe wouldn't have that amazing garment without Aja - and she should acknowledged that.

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We round it out with Milk and Kennedy arguing, and Milk making it all about her. Kennedy's blunt honesty towards Milk resonated really deeply with me - she told Milk everything that she and everyone else thought. And Milk, in typical Milk fashion, really didn't respond all that well. Instead, she made it about herself and said that she couldn't believe that she came across that way. I'll admit, she seemed very upset, and that's valid. Sometimes people aren't aware of themselves, so maybe I'm being too harsh?

As the queens prepare for the Challenge, again, there's nothing that interesting going on. It's typical Drag Race fair - the eliminated queens did well in there recording with Adam Lambert (who is also guest judging with Baby Spice!), while the Queens that are still officially in the race didn't do super well.

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The challenge ended up being amazing though. The songs were both good, and the queens on both teams performed so well. In the end, the current queens ended up taking the crown - with BenDeLa and Bebe being the top queens AND EVERYONE being up for elimination.

DELIBERATION

Right off the bat, you see Kennedy getting upset because she knows she has the lowest track record compared to the other girls. She has been in the bottom twice, while the other girls have either never been in the bottom - or have only been in once. Meanwhile, BenDeLa feels very disillusioned by the whole process. Originally, I thought this was an act, but you can see the exhaustion on her face. She's genuinely very tired of doing this - she doesn't like sending girls home and now she has to do it again.

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Both Bebe and Ben are looking based on track record, and Bebe is looking for that subjective "fire," that all queens say they're looking for. Both Shangela and Trixie say that they're strong contestants, and they're pretty confident in themselves. However, Bebe has this look in her eye when talks with Trixie that really shook me - cause I just knew that she was going to pick Trixie to go home.

After the Bottom Three pleaded their cases, it was time for the eliminated queens to plead there's. It was all pretty standard, "I still have fight," and "I just really want to be here." The best thing of the night comes from Chi Chi who literally said that bringing her back would be like beating a dead horse and she doesn't want to be the Roxxxie of the season - which is so true, and good for Chi Chi to recognize that she wasn't ready for the competition yet.

After this, we have one of the most important moment in Drag Race herstory.

THE LIP SYNCH

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The lip synch was admittedly pretty dull. There wasn't a lot of movement, and honestly, it felt like they were both not giving it there all. However, I will say that BenDeLa drained the regal energy from Bebe. When she walked out in her all black ensemble - I was so for it. She looked beautiful, and her face was painted for the gods. In the end, BenDeLa won.

Of course, she brought back Morgan, whom she had felt she wronged by the end of the episode. But, instead of sending one of the other current queens home, BenDeLa pulled out a lipstick and, in white-out, she wrote her own name. In that moment, my whole existence stopped for a second. The camera flashed to Rupaul, and everyone was shook beyond belief. BenDeLa took herself out of the competition - not because her feelings were hurt, but because she couldn't take it anymore.

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She was tired of Rupaul's game - and removed herself from it for her own mental health, and that's crazy. And you can see the pain flash on Rupaul's face. She was gagged - I have never seen Rupaul so surprised. Even when Adore left, she wasn't this caught off guard. After all, BenDeLa was going to win - she had one most of the challenges at this point, and if she stayed on a few more weeks - she was going to be in the Drag Race Hall of Fame.

But, in the words of Aja, she was the "drag jesus" who sacrificed herself for the other queens. And like Aja, I too will tear up every time I think about that moment. BenDeLa put the whole All Stars system on trial - and goddamn, it was beautiful.

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