RuPaul’s Drag Race 11 – Queens Everywhere

As usual this episode is pretty pointless and dull and it was just Eurovision weekend so have some very quick thoughts and the opening of some polls instead.

A’Keria C. Davenport : I feel like this was the episode where they really pushed the idea that we were supposed to believe that A’Keria is equally a potential winner as Brooke and Yvie, with the gushing praise and the sudden heartwarming reveal that she’s adopted her nephew to save him from a potentially troubled upbringing and…I didn’t really buy it oops sorry. Her performance in the “Queens Everywhere” was super-anaemic, like she was just marking the choreography out, and her Best Drag wasn’t anything we haven’t seen from her before, but better (although it least did pull her out of the death spiral of fashion that she’s been in since Snatch Game). A’Keria’s been a fairly competent queen throughout, but I thought it was revealing when she said that she’d been following a pageant formula and trying to score points in every category without throwing too much weight on any of them. She’s a likeable queen, and a world champions league shit-stirrer, but she lacks the eccentricity, weirdness, and energy of her drag mother and she feels third place at best to me.

Brooke Lynn Hytes : So it finally happened – the lip-sync we all saw coming from the moment Brooke and Vanjie innocently pecked lips in the werkroom all those weeks ago : Brooke vs Vanjie in the Bottom 2 to Artha Franklin. And like many of everyone’s most fraught romantic moments, marred a little by Brooke Lynn’s very obvious pit-stains. I guess when you’re making your own ballet outfit for the very first time how much it breathes isn’t really something you consider. Anyway, all the dump-trucks of Brooke’s edit past came back this week to pile earth on her chances, as the judges called her boring, uncharismatic and even worse TOO CANADIAN to win, as Brooke desperately pulled out every stripper move and Canuck references she had in the bag to impress them all, flipping backwards into the splits whilst making reference to South Park’s “Blame Canada”, Canadian maple syrup, the Canadian habit of saying “eh!” and “what’s that aboooot!”. God when Brooke tries to have a (sober) personality it’s terrifying isn’t it? Possibly they went in a little too hard on her to try to make out that the queen with the clear strongest track record on the whole show so far could realistically be cut at the last minute but needs must and…those pit stains, it has to be said.

Silky Nutmeg Ganache : The dichotomy of my relationship with Silky was never more on display than in this episode, as I rolled my eyes at her transparent attempts to scrape grace with Yvie at the last minute before the finale, and boggled at her attempt to give herself a 360 degree monoboob in her gown (whilst resting entirely on a borrowed wig from A’Keria for glamour) but…still laughed my ass off (the only time all episode) when she barged her way out of that toilet stall, stacked two backing dancers and then fell into a backwards landing flare of her gooch. Her segment was half the length of the other girls and she still easily had the most charisma and presence. I’m just saying, as seasonal villains go, she might lack Phi Phi’s diabolical planning and scheming, or Eureka’s polish, or Derrick Barry’s entertaining delusions, but I understand her as a drag queen/product much better than I do any of them. That range of spin-offs, cooking shows and…I don’t what else she had mapped out for herself, owning the Logo Network and all subsidiaries outright? Well it seems further off than ever, with Ru dangling her over the bottom 2 yet again, like some ever-swinging pinata being geared up to be smashed to bits by Yvie in the finale.

Yvie Nutmeg Ganache : And speaking of Yvie, this really was her episode wasn’t it? Decent verse, genuinely jaw-dropping exorcist walk in the grand finale performance, a cool “Toejam & Earl” evoking Best Drag look, and, let’s face it, her and Silky reaching detente and spending the final Untucked bonding and giggling benefits Yvie just as much as it does Silky. Finally Yvie pulled herself after her Snatch Game induced month-long death spiral and showed up, putting herself easily in pole position heading into the finale! It’s no surprise to see her crushing the fan vote either – if this series devolved down into a Series 4 do-over, then the Sharon was always going to come out ahead with this show’s audience over the Chad, the Phi Phi or…whoever the A’Keria analogue is, bless her but she’s no Latrice.

Vanessa Vanjie Mateo : Ah Vanjie. How do you come up with an exit more iconic than the most iconic exit in Drag Race history? Well, if you’re Vanjie, the answer of course comes via intense stream-of-consciousness monologuing, and repeated wandering on and off stage as she thought of extra things to say. I feel like Vanjie could have had a much kinder path this far, having been denied potential wins in a couple of early challenges (oh alright, just the televangelism, but that should have counted as two wins it was FOREVER levels of iconic) but let’s be honest, she absolutely stacked this final challenge, barely even bothering to lip-sync her performance and coming out for “Best Drag” in an outfit that was so transparently at odds with her personality, values, and aesthetics she might as well have come out dressed as Christine Hamilton. The face-off with Brooke was a little closer but I don’t think there can be much argument that Vanjie left at the right time, her status as a Drag Race icon secured.


1 thought on “RuPaul’s Drag Race 11 – Queens Everywhere

  1. Matthew Thomas

    Regardless of likelihood, I’m giving Ra’jah on of my best personality votes, to have someone so Season 3 personality on this season has been one of its highlights for me.


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