In the all-new tenth episode of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” on May 2, the lucky seven queens still competing on season 11 were given the chance to make magic. Actors Katherine Langford (“13 Reasons Why”) and Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”) guest judged their efforts to pull off tricks. Which contestant came out on top and was chosen as the winner of episode 10 of season 11? And were Gold Derby’s predictions correct that Vanessa Vanjie Mateo would be eliminated this week?
In episode 9, Vanessa came perilously close to being bounced but Plastique Tiara went home instead. Both had to strut their stuff to the Fantasia Barrino hit “Hood Boy.” Texas toe-tapper Plastique counted some missteps among her moves. In the end, RuPaul Charles opted to throw a lifeline to L.A. lovely Vanessa.
Below, check out our minute-by-minute live blog recap of season 11 episode 10, titled “Dragracadabra'” to find out what happened Thursday night. Then be sure to sound off in the comments section about your favorite queens and who you think will join the list of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winners.
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9:01 p.m. – Following her first trip to the lip sync of the season, Vanjie is left wondering what the judges are asking of her and how she can change to impress them. On the other side of things Brooke Lynn Hytes feels like she redeemed herself, rising to the top the week after being in the bottom. Brooke Lynn’s rise was in part due to some help from her partner, Nina West, who feels a little miffed that she wasn’t given some credit.
9:04 p.m. – For this week’s mini challenge Ru brought in the pit crew and alum Delta Work to play “Balls to the Wall.” In the game each queen was paired with one pit crew member to transfer balls together from one side of the room to the other without using their hands. Once everyone had raced it was decided that Vanjie and her partner had transferred the most ballet he quickest and so she was declared the winner.
9:08 p.m. – As winner of the mini challenge, Vanjie got to choose her own team for this week’s maxi challenge, a magic show. For her team, Vanjie chose Silky Nutmeg Ganache, Yvie Oddly and A’Keria C. Davenport. That left Nina, Shuga Cain and Vanjie’s own showmance Brooke Lynn on the other team.
9:14 p.m. – For the challenge the teams were required to produce, conceptualize, script and create the entire magic show on their own. Shuga, Nina and Brooke Lynn got off to a slow start as self-proclaimed over thinkers. Meanwhile the other team felt like they were in a good spot as the team “with all the personality.”
9:16 p.m. – When Ru stopped by for a visit he asked Brooke Lynn how she felt about Vanjie not choosing her for her team. Brooke Lynn accepted that it’s a game and cracked jokes that it’s best their romance doesn’t get mixed up in the competition anyway. Ru also wanted to know how Shuga planned on getting herself to the top considering she hasn’t won any challenges yet.
9:18 p.m. – Later Ru asked Vanjie why she didn’t pick Brooke Lynn for her team and received a similar answer–Vanjie wants to focus on herself and what she needs to do in the competition. So it sounds like they both agreed to put their feelings for each other aside and to not let it get muddled in the competition. Smart cookies!
9:24 p.m. – To help the girls learn some magic, Ru brought in Vegas magician Kyle Marlett to join them for rehearsals. One of the bits of advice he gave them is that when a trick fails, cover it up with comedy in order to not give up or look defeated. Unfortunately the comedy bits that Vanjie’s team had come up with weren’t registering as expected and instead came off too adult and “filthy” for this type of show.
9:29 p.m. – On the other team, Nina and Shuga were setting themselves up for success and intimidating the other team, but when Brooke Lynn got up to practice she learned that the trick she chose was one of the hardest and it sent her on a spiral of insecurity.
9:35 p.m. – Luckily the next morning Brooke Lynn was feeling better about her role for the show after the team spent the evening rehearsing. Her up turn stood in stark contrast to A’Keria’s mood which took a turn for the worst all in the middle of the team having to rewrite their entire script to not be as graphic as originally planned.
9:44 p.m. – The first team to perform was Nina’s. They opened with a smart introduction that played up the idea of failed magic tricks and brought in Nina as the ringleader of their team. Nina’s trick was first and she hit it out of the park, bringing both personality and a flawlessly executed illusion. While Shuga and Brooke’s tricks weren’t as much of a wow moment, the group ended in fantastic fashion and presented a really high bar for the next group to meet.
9:50 p.m. – It was immediately apparent that the other team hadn’t prepared as solid of a script for their presentation once their intro consisted of saying “da black magic” repeatedly. After the intro the group went through with their improvisation plan, but it didn’t go over so well. Yvie’s trick was hard to follow because of a butt-in by A’Keria, Silky’s lacked proper explanation, Vanjie’s turned into a rambling session and A’Keria’s was far too brief. Overall, the blank stares of “I’m unimpressed” from the entire judges’ panel made it clear which team would be on top and which would be on bottom…
10:00 p.m. – The category for this week’s runway was “caftan realness.” Silky arrived looking the best she’s ever looked with a towered wig and Yvie deconstructed her caftan to include holes that fit her signature aesthetic. A’Keria’s butterfly wings weren’t really a caftan, but thankfully the category prevented Vanjie from even attempting another body suit (though her caftan looked like she bought it at the mall). Brooke Lynn’s purple caftan had echoes of a toga from Ancient Rome and Nina’s was very “Golden Girls” both in color and look. Shuga’s was an opulent deep red at first, but then she spun and it was blue and yellow flowers and then she spun again and revealed a third look of blue and white stripes–none of them really went together so I didn’t get what she was going for.
10:09 p.m. – In critiques, Silky got high marks for her performance in the magic show, but Michelle read her down for what she wore because it looked messy. Ru made it clear that with so few queens left all of the details have to be on point. The panel thought Yvie was too stiff during the magic show and Ross told her it looked like she wasn’t having fun. When Yvie defended herself by saying she wanted to write everything down, but the rest of the team wanted to improv, Vanjie took issue and said she wrote hers as well. Ross wasn’t happy with A’Keria’s choice for the runway and pointed out that her wings didn’t count as a caftan.
10:13 p.m. – The judges actually liked Vanjie’s caftan–Michelle even called it her favorite–but they weren’t as happy with her magic show performance. They told her that she didn’t create a character and instead of fell back on Vanjie-isms. Brooke Lynn was told she was a star and the judges gave her credit for the choreography of their show. The judges thought Shuga should have kept her first caftan on the entire time and warned her that in the magic show she was overshadowed by the other two. Nina got high marks from the entire panel for both her runway and for her impressive lead in the magic show.
10:23 p.m. – After glowing reviews from the judges, it was no surprise that Nina was named this week’s winner. From her team, Brooke Lynn was declared safe, but Shuga was put in the bottom. On the other team, both Yvie and A’Keria were safe, leaving Silky and Vanjie as the other two in the bottom three of the week. But it was Silky that escaped the threat of elimination while team leader Vanjie was pitted against Shuga for the lip sync.
10:25 p.m. – Vanjie and Shuga performed to Mary J. Blige‘s “No More Drama” in the LSFYL. The emotional track gave the queens cause to put their acting skills to the test–in that regard Shuga went full throttle while Vanjie pulled the hysterics of tossing her clothes and jewelry off in true Mary fashion which ultimately gave her the edge. While it seemed like Shuga might win out at the beginning, Vanjie pulled through in the end and earned her safety.
NEXT WEEK: Six of the eliminated queens return to the competition as the subjects of the annual makeover challenge. That means each of the queens will have to give one of their peers a makeover. I’m gagged.
Here are the answers to Gold Derby’s contest questions for “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 11, Episode 10:
Who will be eliminated? Shuga Cain
Who will win the mini challenge? Vanessa Vanjie Mateo
Who will win the main challenge? Nina West
Who will win the lip sync? Vanessa Vanjie Mateo
Will anybody quit the competition? No
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