RuPaul’s Drag Race S7 E8: Conjoined Queens

Oh my God, it’s episode 8 and someone’s coming back. I mean, obviously it’s Trixie, duh, so that’s not a particularly exciting twist to this season … OR IS IT?

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I would get straight to the meat of this week, except the first returnee we get to see is Latrice Royale for the prison-themed mini-challenge! I actually screamed in the same way as all the queens did when she walked in, which is the first time I’ve ever acted as feminine as these gals.

They have to make a prison uniform look sexy etc, etc – and look, there’s Latrice! Isn’t she marvellous, majestically reprising that joke about nuts from Season 4? For those brief minutes, Jesus was indeed a biscuit.

Kennedy wins because Kennedy wins challenges for some reason and as my notes so eloquently put it WHY DOES KENNEDY ALWAYS WIN?!!

Is it because she has more of a following than some of the others? Is it some kind of tribute to her dearly-departed sister Sahara?

Last week aside, Kennedy has always veered between average and downright awful for me – perhaps her unshakeable complacency hypnotises the judges into praising her, who knows.

Now it’s time … for the return of … Trixie! Hi Trixie, welcome back and – Tempest, what are you doing here? Kandy Ho?

My goodness yes, in a plot twist that genuinely no one saw coming, all the queens are back, and it turns out that this week is the makeover challenge: the current contestants have to make one of the eliminated queens her conjoined twin, and the eliminated party of the winning team gets to stay.

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Who knew Mama Ru (and the producers) had a new spin to put on this old show? We’ve had queens come back before and we’ve had a makeover challenge every season, but combining the two is genius.

‘Making over a manly man who wouldn’t ever do drag’ died a death last year as Joslyn Fox‘s model was upset and terrified by the experience – the same reaction I had to Joslyn’s attempt at make-up for a black person – and bringing back contestants usually results in a revolving door effect: they go out the same week they’re back in, rendering the whole thing pointless.

Kind of makes Trixie’s elimination look tactical, doesn’t it? Like they knew they’d need someone to go out early who could be a contender later. Well, if Drag Race was fair then we wouldn’t have been drowned in Darienne Lake for so long last season: it’s all just smoke, mirrors and fake titties.

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Kennedy gets to pick partners for herself and everyone else, and is surprisingly nice. Ginger gets Sasha Belle, which may be an attempt at sabotage given how terrible Sasha is, but they do look kind of similar, and all the way down the line Kennedy gives people partners who look, or could look, something like them and who they get on with. Except for tiny round black Jaidynn who gets paired with one of the white cliffs of Dover – that is, Tempest DuJour.

Work Room events: Sasha is shit and Ginger is stressing! Kasha says that Violet has grown as a person! Miss Fame once again fails to understand Ru’s joke about blowjobs (‘Miss Fame, how’s your head?’)!

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Sasha seems to have a pretty realistic sense of how likely she is to remain in the competition and is just floating around enjoying herself like a fan who’s been allowed on set for the day – which is all she ever was, albeit for two weeks.

Everyone else is getting on fine, even Jaidynn and Tempest: they’re going for a backstory about a mother who was ‘the whore of ’54’ and conceived twice on the same night. I think they should have had Jaidynn perched on Tempest as some kind of parasitic tumour twin, but I guess that might have done the old lady’s back in.

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Writing these recaps is making me realise how ~the emotional bit~ is kind of plonked in each week. Jarring, but enlightening. This week we hear that Tempest tried some nasty gay conversion therapy to please her strict Mormon mum (Mormom?).

But in a foreshadowing of events to come, Trixie steals the limelight by revealing that she chose her drag name because her abusive stepfather used to call her ‘a Trixie’ when she was acting feminine. That’s a real ‘You go, girl!’ moment there, that takes some emotional strength. Reminds me of drag king Spikey van Dykey, though the source of his name is rather more obvious.

This was always going to be a special runway, and it’s pretty damn funny. Though Miss Fame and Kandy Ho opening the night make me yawn, as they go for a surgery look which, though pretty enough, screams ‘it’s been done.’

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Tempest and Jaidynn make the best of what they’ve got – the make up’s the same I guess? Max needs to take some beauty tips from Violet because she looks even more gorgeous than usual with Miss Chachki beating her face, and Kennedy and her bestie Jasmine Masters are admirably in sync, if boring of costume.

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Two pairs stand out in the right way. Pearl and Trixie’s pretty/ugly tween pageant queen look plays to both of their strengths – Pearl being the pretty one, of course – and Katya and Mrs Kasha Davis are hilarious and the dead spit of each other as ageing Atlantic City hookers joined at the vagina.

These are both pairs where one sent the other out, so how lovely to see they’re all getting on. If it were me coming back I’d try to send my partner packing out of spite but seeing people do well is nice too, I guess.

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Ginger and Sasha’s look is there in spirit, but the execution lets it down. To those who say that this is the worst-ever season of Drag Race, I say it’s a miracle that we’ve got to episode 8 without seeing a hot-glued disaster of an outfit like this one. Leaving aside some of Jaidynn’s creations.

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Pearl and Trixie win, so Trixie is coming back. Personally I think Katya and Kasha looked better, but Kasha doesn’t deserve to come back nearly so much, so let’s ignore that. Katya’s already had one undeserved win for the Despy Awards episode, she can miss out on this deserved one.

It’s Ginger against Jaidynn in the bottom, and though the result is a foregone conclusion, my this is entertaining. I always appreciate a queen who prepares for a lip sync – not a la Jasmine Masters by packing their shit, but by bringing a prop.

Roxxy Andrews with a wig under her wig, Coco Montrese with a whole outfit under another outfit – when a queen pulls that kind of move, you know the other girl doesn’t have a chance.

While Ginger’s production of a pair of scissors to free herself from her mammary restraints isn’t quite as extravagant as these examples, it’s super effective. Jaidynn’s cute and does her best hauling Tempest round the runway, but she’s no match for the Minj.

Bye Jaidynn. Aw, she doesn’t even get a decent sashay, shuffling off with Tempest lagging behind. I’ll miss you, but it was time to go.

 

By the way, Miss Fame did eventually get that joke about head (correct answer: ‘I’ve never had any complaints!’). Maybe someone explained it to her with diagrams.

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Next week, let’s see if Trixie can hack it back in the Work Room. Something tells me she’s going to be just fine.