RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 15 Episode 10 Recap

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RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 15 Episode 10 Recap


Screenshot: RuPaul’s Drag Race

After the flamboyance of the ball challenge in the 200 episode on RuPaul’s Drag Race, tonight’s episode felt minor to me. Even with an exciting runway category, there was no mini-challenge, no RuPaul description and few emotional moments on the runway or in the workroom. At the same time, it looks like the season could be gearing up for a more dramatic ending as tensions build between Mistress, Lousie and Sasha, who is unfazed. Lousie’s competitive nature takes center stage once again as Sasha earns her second win in the challenge and the Mistress is more than willing to push Lousie’s buttons for it.

The challenge

The episode gets off to a quick start as RuPaul walks in to announce the maxi challenge. The queens got to get “up close and personal” in a 50/50 news magazine show covering past challenges like season three’s QNN News and season nine’s Good Morning Bitches, not to mention season six’s Queens of Talk. The flip side of this seemingly simple challenge is that the interview subjects – Charo, Franke Grande and Love Connie – are all known for their particularly unpredictable and quirky personalities. The guests provide an unruly variable that tests the patience and insight of the queens.

Inexplicably, RuPaul split up the groups and didn’t bring Sasha, Loosey, and Mistress together, which could have been explosive. Ultimately, the tasks are moot because this is for all intents and purposes an individual challenge. The queens split into designated groups to further divide everything into three distinct interview segments: the walk and talk, the activity, and the sit down interview. They discuss the assigned celebrities while studying prepared dossiers on each topic.

Salina, Luxx, and Mistress are the first to go interview drag personality Love Connie, who has appeared several times in Drag Race in the past. Salina begins with the sit-down interview. Prompted by vague questions, Connie gives verbose and incomprehensible answers that Salina struggles to hold back. This creates an awkward atmosphere that is not conducive to a thoughtful interview with a celebrity. Luxx fares much better in the activity interview, which features Connie recklessly driving a golf cart around the studio. Unlike Salina’s edgy style, Luxx gets the most out of her subject by following Connie’s flow. Unfortunately, the Mistress kitchen interview fails. Usually engaging, she is lifeless and stale on set. Also, while typically quick in the workroom, Mistress seems to be a step behind all of Connie’s shenanigans.

The next kitchen interview between Sasha and Charo goes much better. Sasha’s presence instills a reverence for the veteran performer as well as a playfulness that suits Charo’s choo-choo dynamic. Like Luxx, Sasha finds the right rhythm between interviewing the subject and letting the subject lead the way. Unfortunately, Marcia’s interview with Charo starts and stops. Unable to keep up with Charo’s speed, Marika appears confused and detached from the object. While this has the potential to be fun, it really reads as awkward and uneven.

Image for article titled The queens conduct chaotic celebrity interviews on so-called RuPaul's Drag Race

Screenshot: RuPaul’s Drag Race

However, Luzy proves that she is in her element during her interview with Frankie Grande. She completely controls the pace and structure of the Q&A, which puts her guest at ease. Annetra, likewise, conducts a fun interview with Grande around the studio. However, the final act of the interview takes a nosedive when Malaysia enters the kitchen. She immediately exudes an energy of defeat. It feels like Malaysia would like to be anywhere but in this kitchen interviewing Grande. As Grande starts going at it for the camera, Malaysia completely relinquishes control and the end results look like Malaysia’s interview, not Grande’s. Even before the queens hit the stage, it’s clear from watching the interviews, as well as from the queens’ own comments in the workroom, who will be on top and bottom.

The track

On elimination day, it’s obvious that half the ladies are counting on their performance on the track to save them from elimination. After numerous “Night of 1000…” categories spanning everyone from judges like RuPaul and Michelle to pop icons like Madonna (twice), Jennifer Lopez and Dolly Parton, Drag Race finally paying tribute to Beyoncé. These types of tracks can be mixed. Because they are reproductions of a star’s past appearance, the categories rarely allow the queens to infuse their own personalities into the proceedings. Rather, it is about embodying the look and aura of the star. The other downside is that queens often try to recreate extremely elaborate and expensive looks without the equivalent resources of an A-list megastar.

Image for article titled The queens conduct chaotic celebrity interviews on so-called RuPaul's Drag Race

Screenshot: RuPaul’s Drag Race

With all these hurdles in mind, the queens of season 15 provide a solid look for Beyoncé. The questionens took one of two sources for inspiration: performance from award shows and concert tours or red carpet dresses. Of the first group, Luxx and Sasha were the best. Luxx’s Bob Mackie fire dress was an excellent reproduction and earned extra points as a tribute to Beyoncé and RuPaul, who also wore the look. Likewise, Sasha looks like an exact replica of Beyoncé in a silver performance outfit. Anetra, Malaysia and Loosey also delivered impressive looks that just weren’t perfect. While Anetra’s look was an exact recreation of a Beyoncé tour outfit, it just lacked the luxury of Beyoncé’s concoctions. Malaysia’s performance-based look was well done, but her decision to change her hairstyle was slightly distracting. Finally, Lousie opted for a very memorable Beyoncé look, which she completely encrusted with stones. But the choice of wig and her makeup made everything feel weird.

Of the red carpet looks, Mistress is the most surprising. She sets herself apart from the other queens by paying homage to Beyoncé’s Destiny’s Child era, humorously adding dolls to represent Kelly and Michelle. Marcia continues to impress on the runway with standard red carpet looks that only mimic Beyoncé’s color history. Salina, who often struggles on the runway, gives her best look of the season in a perfect recreation of Beyoncé’s gold Grammy gown. It looks like she pulled off Kerry Colby by securing just the right dress. Although Salina often rethinks her look, using RuPaul’s chia pets as stand-ins at the Grammys is a cheeky and bold move.

The refereeing

Anetra and Marcia make their way backstage after earning a safe pass from RuPaul. Before the criticism starts, it’s pretty clear where everyone stands. Luxx wins approval by seamlessly fitting Connie’s many curves and is praised for her looks. She gets bonus points for choosing Bob Mackie’s recreation of a look once worn by RuPaul as well as Beyoncé. Sasha also received much the same comments, with the judges in awe of the accuracy of her Beyoncé ensemble. The judges then celebrate Lousie, the final topper, for managing the interview and upping the drag quotient of an iconic Beyoncé look. At the bottom are Mistress, Salina and Malaysia. While the judges praised Mistress for combining glamor and camp, they noted that her interview presence lacked “warmth”. Salina, who may have the best looks on stage, received one of the harshest criticisms of her performance when the judges said she failed to “listen” during her interview. Like many of the other queens, Malaysia’s appearance deserves praise, but they note that she was bulldozed by Grande during their interview. Perhaps in the kiss of death, an emotional Malaysia admits that sometimes she wants to be safe, not sorry. It’s a relative opinion, but RuPaul has no patience for queens who aren’t willing to go that far in the competition.

After an unprecedented discussion between the judges, RuPaul announces Sasha as the winner. There’s a quick cut to Loosey to reinforce the growing rivalry between the two now that Sasha has secured his third main challenge win. Sasha seems to be cemented as the one to beat this season. Luxx and Loosey are safe. in Not picked up, Mistress is confident that she will fight against Malaysia. However, the judges see things differently when the Mistress is spared. It seems as if the producers are interested in seeing Salina struggle. It also feels like if anyone’s track this week needs to save them from lip-syncing, it’s Salina’s near-identical recreation. After admitting a defeatist attitude, Malaysia sealed their fate in the last two.

The lip sync

While no one is ever satisfied with the lip-syncing of their lives, Salina and Malaysia are especially frustrated when they enter the performance. It’s almost a shame that Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” is finally a lip-sync song. Despite suppressed attitudes, both queens throw themselves into it. Salina does an almost verbatim rendition of the iconic music video, while Malaysia improvises a bit more. There’s a certain section where Malaysia gives a more emotional interpretation of the song that suits her mood at the moment, making Salina’s performance seem slightly frenetic in comparison. It’s hard to say lip sync, but in the end, Salina wins with her faithful tribute to Beyoncé. Even though she’s ended up at the bottom three times, it’s clear that perhaps more than any other contestant, she really wants to be in this competition.

Strange sightings

  • Salina’s track should have absolutely saved her from the bottom two.
  • Are winning mini-challenges really equivalent to winning maxi-challenges?
  • Is Ts Madison a special guest judge or a rotating head judge like Carson and Ross? Didn’t they announce him as the second before the start of the season? There seems to be no consistency.
  • Favorite line: “I’m 100 percent 50/50 that we’re going to make it 50/50.”
  • I wonder if there was a judge critique for the Grande group. The editorial stressed that they were trying to avoid repetition or overlap, but also showed all three asking Grande about his recent marriage.
  • It feels like they had to find a fourth celebrity to even out the teams with two ladies each.
  • The episode was light on workroom discussions, but I wonder how the BeyHive reacted to Sasha’s theory about Sasha Fierce. The juxtaposition between Salina hanging on Sasa’s every word and Mistress holding back from yelling “Dear Delusion” was hilarious.


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