RuPaul’s Drag Race 11 – From Farm To Runway

The Aftermath : As you might expect, a large part of the aftermath of last week’s fanbase-baiting LSFYL result was Ra’Jah really committing to making life worse for herself. Bragging about winning, still boiling over Scarlet daring to say that she should have gone home last week, refusing to read her mirror message, and then launching into a massive monologue in confessional about how she shouldn’t go home yet because there’s still so many awful filler queens still in. The show then decided to make merry mischief with this monologue by making sure to show Ra’Jah being nice to all of said girls in person in the werkroom, one by one, as she rattled their names off as not deserving of being there in VT.

I love it when a show just fully cuts a contestant adrift like this. It’s a bit much for Ra’Jah to be sailing into her seventh episode having topped out performance wise thus far at “safe” and having led one of the most disastrous teams in Drag Race history and be calling other queens “filler” but then again that was pretty much Farrah Moan’s record on Series 9 and she’s apparently an “All Star” so *shrug emoji*. Incidentally, at this point if you listened closely you could hear a producer realising they got all this beautiful delusional spouting off the question “who do you think should go home?” alone and made sure to write it 50 times in Ru’s notes for this week’s walkround. Oh and also the queens had a nice discussion about which previous Drag Race alum they most frequently got compared to before coming on the show ie “which queen has the same ethnicity as you?”. (Although Plastique revealed that she used to paint her face like Miss Fame which…didn’t we all in the 80s?

The Mini Challenge : The theme this week?

TITS! Queens were asked to stick their best chicken cutlets in, and basically recreate the video for “Satisfaction” by Benny Benassi, except in burlap sacks, as part of a school sports day sack race. The point of here of course was not to win the race, but to get your fake jugs to bounce up and down nicely for the camera, whilst we at home watched the whole thing in slow motion. This being one of those challenges designed to arouse a small, but not insignificant proportion of the Drag Race fandom that does not include me. Whilst Silky, as the biggest Big Girl of the season, took the lead in terms of explaining to the audience the art of the drag titty (basically “eat a lot of cornbread and you won’t hake to fake them”), in a touch of irony our two winners here were the oldest queens present, with Nina and Shuga having the least saggy titties of the round. They got £1500 for this. Nice work if you can get it.

The Maxi Challenge : The clue for this week’s Maxi Challenge embedded within the Mini Challenge? Not the titties, but the sacks, as we were getting our third official design challenge of the series, with a farm theme. Queens were tasked with making a high fashion runway ready dress out of

all of these unusual materials OR just sticking some slices of orange on some denim. It was up to them. Either route contained a potential path to victory honestly. Both equally valid. This theme was INSTANTLY and obviously anathema to A’Keria whose style runs towards the artificial, spangled, and sparkly, rather than the natural, earth-toned, and rustic, but Shuga was ecstatic. Mostly because it meant she got to eat the materials. She’s getting older, she needs the vitamins, the catering services on this show are just mayo pasta salad, deli pickles and beef jerky, and she left all of her Sanatogen at home. Shuga had to move quickly though, as Nina was hogging all the corn, cobs and husks, as she was immediately struck with inspiration from a picture of Ru on the walls of the werkroom.

Scroll down now or wait, but I think we all know how this is going to end, comparatively speaking. Elsewhere, early inspiration was sparking abounds, as Yvie was inspired by Soju’s Week 1 outfit (really?), Plastique was inspired by the possibility of knocking Brooke off in a design challenge for a change, and Vanjie was inspired by the combined words of the judges and their representative here on earth, Yvie Oddly (it’s really odd how the self-proclaimed most weird, outsider, unconventional queen has ended up being such a cop isn’t it?) to finally abandon her old and worn out silhouette for…well she didn’t really find a new one, but a journey has begun.

The Walkaround : So as part of the spoilers for this season, there was tea that at one point Ru had to go around the room telling most of the cast to be less boring and…HERE WE ARE, as Brooke and Plastique both got hit with both barrels from the Wake Up Gun that previously left its residue on Pearl’s face. Ru didn’t get much out of Brooke (she’s still Canadian after all) but Plastique promptly cracked like an egg, telling Ru that she’s insecure because her family doesn’t know she does drag and she’s not sure that they’d approve. Ru then advanced on her yelling

“I’M YOUR MOMMA NOW” and I love when the subtext on this show becomes text. And also makes me feel faintly nauseous. This is not a moment of emotional breakthrough and catharsis, this is the last five minutes of a damn horror movie. I feel like someone needs to sit down and have a talk with Ru about appropriate personal boundaries and they need to do it about 5 years ago. My favourite part this was the cutting to shots of both Nina and Yvie looking teary and moved and pure-hearted in the background

and then Ra’Jah

sulking on the sofa and NOT HAVING IT. They really were determined to wring every last drop dry out of her this week weren’t they? Not satisfied with family drama though, Ru’s Rampage continued with her asking a whole bunch of queens who they thought should be eliminated next, just because, why not. Brooke chose Ra’Jah because she’s doing the least well in the competition (because Brooke is boring), A’Keria chose Brooke because she’s her biggest competition (because A’Keria is a PAGEANT QUEEN), Silky chose Yvie because of her injury (because Silky is entirely absent the capacity to hear and process the seventeen different noisy conversation about Yvie has had about her EDS within her earshot already this season and don’t tell me she hasn’t, because it’s YVIE), Vanjie chose Yvie because they had a fight last week and Vanjie knows that Yvie was 100% right and it annoyed her (because Vanjie was trying to avoid saying anything sincerely bad about anybody because she is darling) and Yvie chose Silky because Silky doesn’t listen to and take on board the wise words and critiques of the judges (because Yvie is a COP).

OH and also this exchange happened

Ru : Silky you know you’ve got this far because of your loud personality right, your outfits have been awful, I’m not telling you anything you don’t know here right?
Silky : ???
Silky : …
Silky : remember when you put me in the bottom 3 for being too beautiful?
Ru : lol when the fuck did that happen?

I loved this walkround so much, even the parts where A’Keria just stood there having no ideas whatsoever and staring into space because her aesthetic is NOT PINE CONES RU, SHE HAS NEVER WORN A PINE CONE BEFORE IN HER LIFE, YOU CAN’T BEADAZZLE A PINE-CONE, LOOK!

The Runway Coaching : So anyway at this point, Alyssa Edwards’ Drag Senses kicked in, as she heard via whisperings in the universe that Ru had just tried to stake a claim to her drag daughter as her own, and turned up at the studio with an arm full of court orders and whatever the drag equivalent of a birth certificate is, so the show had to find something for her to do before she sued for custody and brought kidnap charges against VH1. So why not runway coaching? It’s fun when this show remembers it was originally an explicit America’s Next Top Model parody. Really Alyssa didn’t tell the queens anything we didn’t already know (it’s impressive that Brooke can promenade en pointe but she needs to show more personality, Vanjie needs to slow down and breathe and not just bombard people with noises and colours and shapes and sounds, Silky needs to do less generally, Yvie’s hyperflexibility means she’s a compelling runway presence, Nina needs to learn to walk at all) (I’ll say this, Nina’s final runway walk this episode…I would not be putting that amongst my student testimonial showreels if I were Alyssa) but it was just fun as ever to be in her presence, and to see her reasserting her claim over Plastique’s parentage, her soul, and

20% of her future earnings. THOSE POSES ARE COPYRIGHTED BITCH. Still my favourite part was when Alyssa announced that she was also here to teach the girls choreography for a runway performance pre-fashion show, and we didn’t see ANY footage, presumably because Ra’Jah spent 99% of it bending her ear about this ONE OTHER CHOREOGRAPHER she worked with once, until Alyssa stuck her in the back row to get her away from her.

The Drama : Not a lot of drama this week, as everyone was apparently keeping their powder dry for Untucked, but Ra’Jah made sure to really really really make her mark on her way out by complaining that Plastique had stolen all her bark she was gonna use for her dress but she’s a mature adult so she’s just going to have to start over again and make an entire pair of trousers out of burlap last minute, because she’s the bigger person (*crash zoom to Ra’Jah still complaining about this on twitter a year later in real terms*). This didn’t spill over anywhere other than the confessional booth though, so for actual in-person fussing we just had

Silky’s hair. Apparently A’Keria tried to comb it, but she could not. Presumably A’Keria was doing this as a distraction from the fact that at this point A’Keria thrown away her “don’t know” idea from Day 1 and replaced it with a “not really sure” for Day 2. Poor A’Keria. Not her week.

The Runway

Shuga Cain : Look, there’s an obvious Top 3 this week, and this was emphatically not in it, but I’ve committed to talking about four good and four bad options here, mentally,, and this just about clears the bar. The dress is cute but basic, the make-up’s very “Willam as Titania : Queen Of The Fairies”, and the hair is a nice idea, even if her wigline is creeping down to the extent that I think there was a point in Untucked where it was covering her eyebrows.

Nina West : The dress isn’t *horrendous* but what this still is failing to sell is the fact that she’s walking in it like it’s a towel she’s wrapped round herself precariously whilst getting out the bath to answer the door to pizza delivery, and that she’s trying not to have fall off. Also that “two black eyes” make-up…woof.

Yvie Oddly : Yvie’s run of annoying me off the runway and captivating me on continues, as this would actually have been my winner this week? It’s very fresh and organic looking and ambitious and she’s really used the materials in an interesting way. No idea where Soju’s hanbok comes into this though, oh at all, feels a bit like she was saying that to have a pop at Soju even though she was eliminated almost two months ago now, who can say.

A’Keria C. Davenport : It is…really obvious that she had absolutely no ideas this week, and those shoulderpads are a crime. On the other hand, the fact that it’s so 80s means that she tee’d herself up nicely for the lip-sync, take notes from beyond the grave Scarlet.

Brooke Lynn Hytes : On the one hand this is genuinely stunning as an outfit, and her showing her butt to the judges is a sign that her “personality” is developing (what? Getting your arse out is a personality!). On the other hand, it’s just artfully constructed and draped denim toned fabric with orange slices on it, it’s not 100% in the spirit of the challenge.

Vanessa Vanjie Mateo : no

Plastique Tiara : Somehow her face gets more and more beautiful every week, and this outfit is her best and most fully realised idea yet in a design challenge, but I’m sorry, don’t have a titty-titty Mini Challenge and then come out for the maxi wearing something that makes your bust look this weird. She’s drowning in it. If you don’t have tits Plastique, you don’t have tits, work with it. Deserving top, not really a deserving win in my book.

Ra’Jah O’Hara : The only part I like about this is the trouser, and you could see in close-up that they were falling to bits. The headpiece in particular is bizarre, it looks like she’s got Parma ham on her forehead (In further “taking no chances” news, the decision by the producers to park Ra’Jah on the back row in the dance portion of the challenge, with NINA AND SILKY directly in front of her, and then having the judges say that she made no impact/was invisible? *chef’s kiss*)

The Lip Sync : The first 100% cast iron lip-sync bop of the series here, with “Strut” by Sheena Easton being brought out, all 80s angles, accents and attitudes. A’Keria and Ra’Jah faced off, which let’s face it is fair enough, and A’Keria frankly splattered the walls with her. I’ve always thought that Ra’Jah’s lip sync skills were a little over-rated, as she tended towards rhythmic walking and running out of ideas 20 seconds in, but A’Keria was giving me a full Shuga Walls era fantasy complete with hopping and bopping and invisible sax and Ra’Jah was giving me nothing much other than the moment her braid fell off and she decided to use it as an impromptu whip. A’Keria? Knows how to lip-sync.

The Untucked : Goodness me, where even to start? Firstly Yvie got into it with Silky over Silky’s dodgy reasoning for sending her home, leading to I think the first time the words “PRE-EXISTING CONDITION!” were ever yelled on Drag Race (seriously though, it was fun to see Yvie get pushed so hard by somebodies provocations that she finally dropped the “I’m just disappointed because you don’t respect our wonderful judges!” line and fully started yelling at Silky that she’s a talentless hack). THEN Ra’Jah decided to pull a Bianca With Laganja and tell Plastique that she thinks that she’s lying about how conservative her family really is (whhhhhhhhhhhy, why would you dooooo that? Bianca got away with it because Laganja was transparently the most irritating human of all time, Plastique is not that, it’s not going to fly). THEN Yvie decided to get into it with Vanjie over her reasoning for telling Ru that Yvie should go home earlier in the episode, resulting in probably the most incoherent fight in Drag Race history, with Vanjie going full feral in three seconds flat. The best part of all this? Brooke

getting wine’o’clock drunk and trying to hide from it all under the sofa cushions. We love it when our boyfriends get into fights in public. (The second best part is that the fighting and noise and non-stop ruckus meant that neither of the guest judges came backstage this week, they didn’t deserve it anyway, I don’t even remember who the one who isn’t Kandi Burruss is)

Next Week : Snatch Game AT SEA, whatever that means

8 thoughts on “RuPaul’s Drag Race 11 – From Farm To Runway

  1. Matthew Thomas

    Ah well, I’ll miss Ra’jah anywhoo, seems like next week will be Shuga’s exit, which doesn’t really bother me so bring it on, also can I have a power ballad lipsync please, Total Eclipse of the Heart or Alone, something like that.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I feel like Shuga might be able to hold her own improv wise? I guess it’s when we’ll see if Brooke/Plastique can take the personality critique and really put into practice because lord knows a few of these girls are going to be yelling their heads off and going full ham.

      1. Krumholtz

        Usually I can’t wait for snatch game but the prospect of Silky in full Snatch game is filling me with dread…. although the likelihood of someone totally losing it with her in untucked afterwards is high. I worry for A’Keiria next week.

  2. jgcameron1992

    I’m ready for Yvie to go now, the sooner the better. If not for my sanity – for the fact that an (admittedly unfair) mid-boot elimination of Yvie before Vanjie and Silky would bring so much self-righteous anger to the reunion. The reunion is really the only place I can see myself being willing to watch her and enjoy it.

    1. monkseal Post author

      The reunion’s going to be replaced by the Branjie wedding this year, you heard it here first.

  3. Carolina Moon

    I think Brooke may have won my loyalty in Untucked. Side eye to camera is my reality tv kryptonite.

  4. Krumholtz

    Brooke has become my flat out favourite after this untucked. ‘Why can’t we just bottle up our feelings like normal people’ deserves to be on all the merchandise.

  5. Horses

    Untucked Brooke was definitely channeling Scott Thompson on Kids In The Hall. Not sure which character though – maybe one of the Cathys?


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