In the all-new 11th episode of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” on May 9, the six queens still competing on season 11 were given the chance to makeover returning queens, transforming them into a member of their own drag family. Two of the funniest women on TV today — Wanda Sykes and Lena Waithe — judged their efforts. Which contestant came out on top and was chosen as the winner of episode 11 of season 11? And were Gold Derby’s predictions correct that Vanessa Vanjie Mateo would be eliminated this week?
In episode 10, Vanessa came close to being bounced but Shuga Cain went home instead. Both had to strut their stuff to the Mary J. Blige hit “No More Drama.” The sassy Shuga, who hails from New York City, 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 11, titled “Bring Back My Queens!'” 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.
Refresh this page for live updates throughout the show
9:01 p.m. – Following two trips to the LSFYL, Vanjie returned to the workroom still shook from the close calls. She knows that appearing in the bottom that often is a danger zone that could mean the next to be eliminated. But she wasn’t surprised to be in the bottom based on her performance–compared to Silky Nutmeg Ganache who was surprised, if not a bit defeated, by the harsh critique she received. And despite winning the previous challenge Nina West knew that she couldn’t get too comfortable because they’re approaching the top 4 and so anyone can go home at anytime.
9:04 p.m. – For this week’s mini challenge Ru presented one of her favorite games–“Slap Out of It”–where the queens were tasked with fake slapping each other. After some hilarious acting (seriously, their best of the season) it was Brooke Lynn Hytes that was picked as the winner. Her ballet training came in handy yet again because her spin reactions really helped her stand out.
9:13 p.m. – And for this week’s maxi challenge Ru brought back six eliminated queens as the subjects for the annual makeover challenge so we said hi again to Soju, Honey Davenport, Ariel Versace, Plastique Tiara, Shuga Cain and Scarlet Envy. In order to ensure that the visiting queens wouldn’t help out the top 6, they had to wear pink kitchen mittens. And as the winner of the mini challenge Brooke got to decide the pairs: herself and Plastique, Nina and Shuga, Silky and Soju, Vanjie and Ariel, A’Keria C. Davenport and Honey and Yvie Oddly and Scarlet.
9:18 p.m. – Quickly into the brainstorm time Ariel and Vanjie got on the topic of some stray wigs that Ariel had accidentally left behind which, come to find out, some of the other girls had already claimed as their own. To Vanjie’s dismay that meant Ariel’s focus was on stirring the pot in the workroom rather than focusing on the task at hand.
9:26 p.m. – Soju was also in the mood to talk about past subjects so she of course brought up her cyst to Silky. That served as an example of why Silky felt Brooke was being shady by pairing her with Soju, the first queen eliminated this season, because overall she was a distracting presence as well as the roughest queen to work with in terms of look and walk.
9:29 p.m. – During workroom check-ins Ru wanted to know how A’Keria would improve in this design challenge after struggling in the previous one. She also asked which pairing in the room would be the most challenging and she, of course, named Silky and Soju. But later Brooke defended her decision to pair the two together and insisted that it wasn’t shady. What was shady is when she said pairing Silky with anyone would have been a struggle. Bloop!
9:35 p.m. – With Silky Ru wanted to know how she was going to fix her padding, the biggest complaint from the judges in the previous challenge. Unfortunately the conversation took longer than it should have because Silky really didn’t have an answer for her about how she was going to fix it. Ru was shocked because, well you know, a drag queen should know how to hide pads. Right? Right?!
9:38 p.m. – In the time with Nina Ru wanted to know about what family resemblance she’d add to Shuga. We learned that back home Nina comes from a large drag family already, one of 17 where Virginia West is her mother and where she’s a mother to a number of younger queens. I love that!
9:46 p.m. – While applying makeup the topic if Ariel’s wigs came up. A’Keria made it clear that Plastique had claimed the wigs as her own because she was Ariel’s best friend. Eventually it came out that Ariel didn’t even want most of her wigs back–instead she just wanted to throw Ra’Jah O’Hara under the bus for taking them, but Ra’Jah wasn’t even there so the other girls were confused if she was even really upset about it.
9:50 p.m. – A’Keria also brought up how she had heard Scarlet say that she was surprised both Vanjie and Silky made it to the top 6. Silky took personal offense because Scarlet clarified that she thinks she received a lot of help from the other queens. And then Vanjie flipped it back on Scarlet by saying that she should have went home earlier than she did, too. From there it turned into a group vs. group argument because Shuga and Yvie backed up Scarlet and wanted to know why Silky was taking it so personally. In the end nothing was resolved, but it made it clear that the season has been divided by two cliques of queens who support each other.
9:57 p.m. – In the “Drag Family Values” runway, Yvie and Scarlet crawled on to the stage in torn denim garments with wigs made from denim jeans. Scarlet became an Oddly rather easily and perfectly including a cackling scream mid-stage. Nina and Shuga were in sequined and tasseled garments that represented Pride parades and were inspired by the Broadway show “Kinky Boots” A’Keria and Honey were in yellow and orange pageant dresses and big Texas wigs.
10:00 p.m. – Silky and Soju arrived in disco era blue bell bottoms and body suits with Cher and Sonny wigs.As far as I can tell Silky corrected her padding mistakes, but the looks were still amateur compared to everyone else. Vanjie and Ariel also arrived in pageant outfits with bombshell wigs and even waltzed off the stage mimicking the infamous “Vanjie” repetition. Last, Brooke and Plastique also went for the pageant look, but by far in the most glamorous way with proper evening gowns and red and blonde wigs that tied together the complete story.
10:07 p.m. – Most of the judges like Yvie’s presentation, but Ross pointed out that while it’s part chic it was also part crafty. Lena and Wanda appreciated that Nina went the statement route, but Michelle wanted to know why Shuga got the short end of the stick in terms of makeup and Ross didn’t think the outfits were runway appropriate. A’Keria they were indifferent about, if not skewing positive, but overall thought there was no reinvention of the wheel in what they did. Silky got more harsh critiques–according to Wanda it was more costumes than sisterhood. Michelle was impressed by Vanjie for turning Ariel into a true sister and they thought the whole presentation was very well executed. Brooke also got high marks and was even used by Michelle as an example to Silky about how to make two girls of different races sisters.
10:12 p.m. – Before excusing the girls, Ru wanted to know who each of them thinks should be eliminated. Yvie, Scarlet, Shuga, Honey, Ariel, Brooke and Plastique all said Silky. And Nina, A’Keria, Silky, Soju, and Vanjie all said Yvie. Most of them cited critiques as the reason, but Silky said that Yvie isn’t nice and that’s why she should go home.
10:23 p.m. – Shockingly, Vanjie was not declared the winner this week. Instead it was Brooke Lynn again! But Vanjie was a high scorer, along with A’Keria, and so both were safe. That left the other three on the bottom. Yvie was named safe, leaving Silky and Nina in the bottom to lip sync for their lives for the first time this season. Their performance track was “No Scrubs” by TLC which gave them a theatrical number to really turn out to. Surprisingly, Nina showed a lot of rhythm in her dancing while Silky flopped back and forth across the stage attempting splits and high kicks and climbing on the back wall. In the end, Ru’s response was “meh” and somehow chose Silky as the winner that would remain in the competition. I’m………. confused. Is that one of the worst decisions of the season? Of… ever?!
NEXT WEEK: The top 5 are back in rehearsal for choreography with Todrick Hall in their quest to make the final 4 and perform in the grand finale.
Here are the answers to Gold Derby’s contest questions for “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 11, Episode 11:
Who will be eliminated? Nina West
Who will win the mini challenge? Brooke Lynn Hytes
Who will win the main challenge? Brooke Lynn Hytes
Who will win the lip sync? Silky Nutmeg Ganache
Will anybody quit the competition? No
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