Thursday (April 5) night’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race and its subsequent edition of Untucked was a two-hour spectacle filled with Courtney Love, tears and… prosthetic noses? Sure!
From the casting call mini-challenge to The Vixen addressing race issues, here’s what Billboard Pride Editor Patrick Crowley and Deputy Editor, Digital, Joe Lynch thought about the third episode of the tenth season.
Joe: To begin: I was so happy seeing Courtney Love as a guest judge. What Drag Race fan doesn’t love Hole? (Yes, I’ve been waiting to use that line.)
Patrick: Wow, I just rolled my eyes so hard, my desk buddies probably thought I was doing a Manila Luzon-inspired lip sync. But if there’s any place for a cheesy dad joke, it’s in a recap of Drag Race.
Courtney was great, but the real star was Mayhem. That lip sync! I was so disappointed to see her in the bottom, but holy hell she didn’t come to play. What a force. I generally don’t love when queens wear colored contacts, but Mayhem made me a believer. That lip sync was one of the best in the history of the show!
Joe: Totally agree. I didn’t want to see her in the bottom, but it was worth it for that insane “Celebrity Skin” lip sync. The white contacts were so-so for me on the runway, but for the lip sync, it was eerie genius. Speaking of runway — this is one of the strongest we’ve seen in a long time. A few were meh, but I would say 3/4 of the looks were drop-dead gorgeous. And I know she was bottom 3, but Kameron’s Maleficent feathers look? WOW. Sure, she was snoozy in the video, but what a stunner. Who did you gag over?
Patrick: When Asia stepped out in that Tweety Bird gig, my jaw dropped. It was genius. So many of the girls opted for dark looks, so this colorful outfit really stood out. I do agree, this was such a strong runway — stronger than anything we ever saw on All Stars 3! In past season’s, I think Yuhua and Mayhem’s meh outfits wouldn’t have been clocked, but the queens didn’t come to play this season. They came to fight. Speaking of… We need to talk about The Vixen. What do you make of this Aquaria vs. The Vixen showdown?
Joe: I mean, The Vixen is totally right that Aquaria is poking the bear and then running, and I hate it when someone wants to dish it out but can’t take it (i.e, wants to make shady comments but then cries when it’s thrown back in their face). That being said, I hear the criticism about someone staying at a 10 all the time — from the perspective of a queen in that Werk Room, that would get exhausting to be around 24/7. So I’m intellectually on The Vixen’s side, but I’m also not hoping for an entire season of people loudly decrying each other. You want to see these discussions have a productive outcome, and it looks like we’re headed in that direction? But I guess we’ll see.
Patrick: Totally. I’m just really glad we’re having this conversation on such a huge platform. I actually got chills because we literally posted an interview with Shangela, Shea Couleé and Aja about this same topic ahead of the show yesterday. Some of the stats about fan followings are straight up depressing.
Out of the season 10 girls, the top 5 queens with the biggest Instagram followings are all white — yet half of the 14-person cast are POC and black queens have won all three challenges thus far. Monét X Change is the POC queen with the most IG followers, yet she doesn’t have half the amount that Miz Kracker and Aquaria have. If you look at the top 4 queens from All Stars 3, Trixie has 1.1M followers — which is the same amount as BeBe, Shangela and Kennedy’s follower counts combined! And even crazier: Pearl, who has sort of become a punchline as a queen who skated through her season, has more than 100K more IG followers than that season’s black winner, Bob the Drag Queen. There are obviously outlying factors, but the numbers don’t lie!
Joe: Oh it’s long overdue to have this conversation on the show, and yeah it’s pretty sad when you point out those numbers. Spoiler alert: America is racist. But moving past the terrible reality we live in, what did you think of the dating app performances? Yuhua was DOA, that was painful to watch, and her idea of ugly was more like a bizarre Dr. Seuss character. Blair was fantastic, I’m becoming a big fan of hers, and Asia was genius, I can’t wait for the memes with that frozen face to roll in.
Patrick: That face! I knew I liked Asia and she really shined last night. I’m not sure Eureka stood out as much as the judges wanted us to believe, but she did a good job (and her runway was STUN-NING). I think my favorite part of the episode was the mini-challenge though? Monique and Monét had me crying during their candy bar commercial screen tests. Sometimes the mini challenges feel like a second thought, but this one was hysterical!
Joe: RIGHT?! I love a mini-challenge that lands, and this was delicious. Monét and Monique were incredible, and Blair’s terrified tap dancing was right up my alley. Also, LOL, RuPaul constantly pushing that chocolate bar. So what are you thinking for next week — I’m hoping we see Mayhem Miller start to soar.
Patrick: I’m totally down for a Mayhem moment, but I’ve also been waiting for Monique to break out of the pack. She’s been consistently good each week and I’m ready for her to be recognized for it.