In the all-new 12th episode of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” on May 16, the Top 5 queens still competing on season 11 were given the chance to pen lyrics for RuPaul’s new song “Queens Everywhere” and then prepare for their interviews on “RuPaul: What’s the Tee?” Todrick Hall returned to guest judge the final five. Which contestant came out on top and was chosen as the winner of episode 12 of season 11? And were Gold Derby’s predictions correct that Silky Nutmeg Ganache would be eliminated this week?
In episode 11, Silky came close to being bounced but Nina West went home instead. Both had to strut their stuff to the TLC hit “No Scrubs.” The sassy Silky, who hails from Chicago, counted some missteps among her moves but in the end RuPaul Charles opted to throw her a lifeline and send Nina back to Columbus, Ohio.
Below, check out our minute-by-minute live blog recap of season 11 episode 12, titled “Queens Everywhere'” 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. – After Nina’s elimination the remaining five queens all agreed that it was one of the hardest eliminations of the season. Silky however was still concerned about having to lip sync for her life, blaming her partner Soju partly for it and Brooke Lynn Hytes for pairing them together. But the rest of the girls wanted to understand where the “bite” was to her “bark” because she’s been telling everyone all season that she would be deadly in the lip syncs. But she gave one of the weakest by a large margin.
9:04 p.m. – The next morning Michelle Visage greeted the queens in the workroom to present the final maxi challenge of the season: adding their own solo verses and dancing to Ru’s new song, “Queens Everywhere.” In addition, Michelle and Ru would interview each queen on their podcast “What’s the T?” for a cute little personal moment.
9:07 p.m. – During their writing session the girls discussed the topics of their verses. Brooke was one of the more confident in the bunch, telling the others that her verse would be about Canada (where she’s from). The statement earned side-eyes from Vanessa Vanjie Mateo and Yvie Oddly who were worried that she might be too confident about her direction.
9:12 p.m. – Vanjie was the first queen to record her verse with Todrick while A’Keria Davenport met with Ru and Michelle for the podcast. A’Keria spoke to them about her home life and having to take care of her nephew who has actually never met A’Keria (the queen). Todrick really liked what Yvie recorded, but was concerned that it was too many words said too quickly, but by the end of the session he was still impressed with her confidence.
9:16 p.m. – Silky spoke to Ru and Michelle about her education, having an MA in organizational leadership which she admitted has been no help whatsoever with the other girls in the workroom. When it came to Brooke’s session with Todrick her confidence was still front and center, but Todrick was feeling it more than the other girls were earlier in the day.
9:23 p.m. – Ru was eager to ask Yvie what she thought of the other girls saying that she should be eliminated last week. Yvie admitted that her having to go home based on the critiques was valid, but the comments from others about it being personal had more of an affect on her. To that Michelle advised her to let people in more so that they could see the real side of her and it would heal a lot of her troubles building friendships. Meanwhile Todrick was having trouble getting Silky to get all parts of her rap together at once–at times he couldn’t understand what she was saying and at times her emotion wasn’t coming through.
9:27 p.m. – Brooke talked to Ru and Michelle about her trouble finding a place in the competition where she could let down her guard and allow for the mishaps to work in her favor. Coming from ballet, a strict art form, it wasn’t something she was used to doing and so the competition has helped her learn the importance of flaws. A’Keria’s time with Todrick was a workshop in her needing to find a way to match emotion with her hard hitting lyrics.
9:29 p.m. – Vanjie’s time on the podcast was about her relationship with Brooke (which she hopes would continue after the show) and how her drag character isn’t just inspired by her mother, but is basically an exact replica of her.
9:34 p.m. – After their recording sessions the queens met with Todrick together on the main stage to learn choreography. Vanjie had to be instructed to keep her face right instead of focusing only on hitting her marks. Todrick was concerned that Brooke was too stiff for the hip hop choreography, despite having the proper training and execution for, say, contemporary dancing. But still it was a far cry from Yvie who didn’t even look awkward–she just looked like she didn’t belong on the dance floor. Silky surprised everyone by hitting on the moves with confidence to boot, but Todrick just wanted her to clean it up a tad. A’Keria had the toughest time picking up the choreography and so Todrick’s advice was to go harder than the other girls because if she can’t remember the steps then she at least needs to look committed.
9:40 p.m. – Later Todrick took the queens off-stage to show them the room where they’d have a full club atmosphere set up for the girls to perform additional choreography all in one take. That’s right, they were getting one chance to master this part of the performance and it would be their final test to see who goes to the grand finale.
9:47 p.m. – While they applied their faces in the workroom before their final performance, Silky got the ball rolling on the “thank you” and “apology” tour, telling the rest of the group that she’s grateful for them accepting her. Yvie added to what Silky started, making for a rare nice moment between the two (and the rest) that have had a number of personal fights throughout the season.
9:50 p.m. – In the all-in-one-take performance on the main stage, A’Keria opened it up, followed by Brooke, Silky, Vanjie and Yvie in order. Of the five, Vanjie had the toughest time keeping pace with the lyrics and making sure that her body and face were engaged in the performance. Silky performed her dance moves well (including a death drop) as did Yvie who crawled upside down like a horror flick villain (!!). A’Keria and Brooke were perfectly fine in their bits as well.
9:57 p.m. – For the final runway the judges wanted to see the queens in “Best Drag.” Brooke arrived in a gorgeous all white and jeweled ballerina outfit. Silky wore a form-fitting swirly pink evening gown with a great blonde wig. Vanjie did not wear a body suit–instead of going for Latina “Gone with the Wind” in a green gown and big pink earrings. Yvie went full Melisandre in a red velvet gown, but added a third boob, cut her fingers down to three and painted a third eye on her forehead. A’Keria also went for a pageant gown, going full extravaganza in a beaded blue gown.
10:00 p.m. – A’Keria got good comments for her runway look and Todrick gave her props for being the one he was most worried about and still turning it out in the final product. The panel was concerned that Brooke didn’t bring her best drag to the runway–instead preferring something edgier from her, a critique that followed into her dance performance that they thought fell flat. Todrick told Silky that he loved working with her because of her energy and Ross said that although her performances haven’t been technically perfect, but her energy always makes up for it. Carson liked that Vanjie went glamor for the runway, differing from what she usually gives, but Todrick and the rest of the panel was hugely disappointed by her performance in the song. Carson called Yvie’s look his favorite of the night because it mixed her odd flavor with glamour and they all loved the execution of her portion of the song.
10:11 p.m. – Before full deliberations, Ru showed the queens a photo of themselves as a kid and asked that they give their younger selves advice. It was an emotional moment that we get every season from the semi-finalists with each of the queens finding the words to support themselves in their endeavor to own what makes them unique and to believe in their talent.
10:22 p.m. – Of the five, Ru decided to send Yvie, A’Keria and Silky straight to the finale (without declaring any of them the week’s winner). That meant Vanjie and Brooke were pitted against each other for the lip sync for your life. They performed to Aretha Franklin‘s “Pride: A Deeper Love.” Vanjie immediately tore her skirt away to reveal a body suit so that she could work her hard-hitting moves across the stage. Brooke remain in costume and on point for most of there performance and also brought the drama in her facial expressions. In the end, it was Brooke that received that “shantay, you stay” while Vanjie was asked to “sashay away.”
NEXT WEEK: While fans vote on Twitter by hash tagging their favorite queen, the final four join the rest of the cast for the season 11 reunion. Then in two weeks the grand finale will decide which of the four is crowned the winner!
Here are the answers to Gold Derby’s contest questions for “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 11, Episode 12:
Who will be eliminated? Vanessa Vanjie Mateo
Who will win the mini challenge? No one
Who will win the main challenge? No one
Who will win the lip sync? Brooke Lynn Hytes
Will anybody quit the competition? No one