In the all-new episode of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” on March 13, the lucky 13 remaining queens were tasked with taking part in spoofs of talk shows. Which contestant came out on top and was the winner of this challenge on episode 3 of season 11? And were Gold Derby’s predictions correct that Mercedes Iman Diamond would be eliminated this week?
In episode 2, Mercedes came perilously close to being bounced but Kahanna Montrese went home instead. Both had to strut their stuff to “Work Bitch” by Britney Spears. Kahanna, a 25-year-old showgirl from the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas, counted some missteps among her moves. Mercedes, a 30 year-old from Minneapolis, outpaced her with a high octane routine.
Below, check out our minute-by-minute recap of season 11 episode 3, titled “Diva Worship,” 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.
9:01 p.m. – Following Kahanna’s elimination, focus was still on Mercedes and whether or not she has what it takes to stay out of the bottom again. Vanessa Vanjie Mateo clocked that while Mercedes turned it out in the lip synch, she really struggles during the challenges and her runway looks aren’t the best either. One of the duel winners, Scarlet Envy, was feeling pretty confident about her own overall skills, but Ariel Versace was not buying it.
9:04 p.m. – For this week’s mini challenge, RuPaul Charles tested the queens’ skills at talking their way into an exclusive party where Ru himself was the bouncer and the VIP guest was Michelle Visage. The two winners that proved to Ru that they could schmooze their way in were Nina West and Ra’Jah O’Hara. As their prize they were named the leaders for the week’s maxi challenge.
9:08 p.m. – For the challenge, the two teams would act out spoofs of televangelical talk shows in praise of an iconic diva of their choice. Nina selected the team of Silky Nutmeg Ganache, Yvie Oddly, Vanjie, Brooke Lynn Hytes, Ariel and Mercedes while Ra’Jah picked the team of Shuga Cain, Scarlet, Plastique Tiara, Honey Davenport and A’Keria Davenport.
9:14 p.m. – Nina was really jazzed about the challenge and as the leader of her team decided to let all the other girls give input on which roles they wanted and which diva they’d worship–their diva of choice was Britney. The team was nervous about Mercedes’ ability to perform in the challenge and had to start off by coaching her through her character of a non-believer.
9:16 p.m. – The other team had a tougher time coming to a consensus on who they’d worship–tossing out the names of Diana Ross because she’s Ru’s favorite and Whitney Houston because she is too controversial. Eventually they landed on Mariah Carey who they all felt like they knew enough about to make it believable. Once they started talking about the specifics of their concept it became readily apparent that not many of them actually knew that much about Mariah… and yet they stuck with it…
9:19 p.m. – Ru stopped by the workroom to check-in on the team brainstorming sessions. His advice to Team IBBN (It’s Britney Bitch Network) was to not get too caught up in their nerves and to “find their rhythm” so that they could “do you.” With Ra’Jah’s team, Ru asked them about their relationship to Mariah, but none of them knew anything–including what Mariah calls her own fans (the Lambily!). Ru stressed to them that they need to get cracking on the research if they’re going to pull off worshipping Mariah without a firm foundation of knowledge about her.
9:27 p.m. – Series judge Ross Mathews was on set to help direct the queens when filming their “live” skits, cautioning them that they don’t get second takes. Nina took the lead as the host of IBBN’s show and Brooke Lynn was her co-host. In their bit they managed to plug a lot of Britney references, including frappuccinos, “leave Britney alone” and even jokes about Christina Aguilera. Vanjie took the role of the conversion leader and worked with Yvie and Mercedes as the non-believers. Vanjie’s iconic voice had Ross in stitches off set, but it was her wild energy that really stole the show. One of her conversion techniques was also a Britney references–she shaved Yvie’s head bald and then sprayed it to reveal a new blonde wig perfect for hairography. I’m LOL!
9:32 p.m. – In their final act, Ariel and Silky took on the roles of singers. Ariel felt like this would be her time to finally shine and although she was pretty good, she didn’t steal the show in the same way that Vanjie did. Overall the team did a really great job at teaching the gospel of Britney by using a ton of references and working in titles of her songs into everything. I’ll be shook if Vanjie isn’t this week’s winner!
9:38 p.m. – For the When You Believe team, Scarlet and Shuga took over hosting duties. Their opening used some pretty basic references to Mariah’s discography, but their delivery of everything was so dry that it got no laughs out of Ross. In the conversion segment, Plastique was tasked with teaching A’Keria about the gospel of Mariah. For some reason their schtick of having A’Keria begin as an Ariana Grande fan fell flat and Plastique’s choice of doing this weird demonic voice at times was super cringe. But the absolute worst thing they did was mis-title Mariah’s film “Glitter” as “Sparkle,” which I actually think was a Whitney and Jordin Sparks movie???
9:43 p.m. – Ra’Jah and Honey brought up the rear as the singers to close out their show. Though they were confident that they’d be able to make up for all the flopping their teammates did it really didn’t work out for them. Not only could the two girls not sing, but their lyrics were basic and they made no interesting jokes at all. This team was all so bad that I’m not even sure I could give you the name of just one of them that deserves to go home. Ross knew immediately that they’d be in the bottom and warned all of them to “bring it on the runway.”
9:51 p.m. – On elimination day, Shuga was nervous knowing how poorly the Mariah team performed. Her teammate Honey wasn’t as nervous, but started to consider that if Shuga was then maybe she was blindly confident and they weren’t as good as she thinks they were.
9:59 p.m. – Joining Michelle, Ru and Ross on the judges panel this week was Guillermo Diaz and Troye Sivan for a fringe runway. Honey and Scarlet kicked off the runway in all black and all white dresses, respectively, but Honey’s was much cooler with bigger fringe and a huge hat. A’Keria also came out in an interesting look with fringe hanging from an ornate crown and covered in rhinestones. Nina’s big beige fringe headpiece looked like a mop and it… was not cute. Yikes. But then Yvie came out painted entirely in pink and wearing what she called jellyfish couture in huge pink tentacles and an umbrella as the head. I loved it!
10:09 p.m. – As expected, Ru declared the IBBN team all safe. Unexpectedly, sorta, Nina was singled out as the challenge winner, I think because she was the leader of the winning team. The panel gave critiques to the entire Mariah team. Guillermo told Scarlet that as host she should have focused more on Mariah and Troye said that she didn’t keep the pace up. Shuga got high marks for her runway look, but got some of the same criticism that Scarlet got as co-host.
10:12 p.m. – For Plastique, Ross pointed out that she had a pivotal role in the group and though she took some big swings she mostly missed. Plastique’s defense was that in being from Vietnam she wasn’t as familiar with pop culture as everyone else and so it was a struggle for her. Troye loved both A’Keria’s and Honey’s runway looks, but Ross had to tell them that though they had good moments in their skit they both had trouble finding their footing. Michelle read Ra’Jah for her leotard runway look, and for it not being as elaborate as some of the other queens. That’s funny especially since we’re coming off a season where miss leotard herself Monet X Change was declared an All Stars winner!
10:23 p.m. – Instead of asking just two of the queens to lip synch for their lives, Ru decided that all six members of the Mariah team would perform. The crowded field did their best to stand out during Jennifer Lopez‘s “Waiting for Tonight.” With too many girls on stage it was hard to gauge who was performing the song well, but all of them managed to move across the stage and give it their all. In the end, Plastique, Ra’Jah, Scarlet and A’Keria were all asked to stay, leaving Honey and Shuga as the last two to hear the results. Shuga was the final queen who earned her spot which means that we said goodbye to Honey. And she was wearing one of the best runway looks!
NEXT WEEK: It’s time for a lip synch extravangaza “Trump: The Musical” and the girls are reeling from the overcrowded 6-person LSFYL.
Here are the answers to Gold Derby’s contest questions for “RuPaul’s Drag Rice” Season 11, Episode 3:
Who will be eliminated? Honey Davenport
Who will win the mini challenge? Nina West and Ra’Jah O’Hara
Who will win the main challenge? Nina West
Who will win the lip sync? Plastique Tiara, Ra’Jah O’Hara, Scarlet Envy, A’Keria Davenport and Shuga Cain
Will anybody quit the competition? No