The 12th season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” kicked off on February 28th and March 6th in a special two-part premiere. In the episodes the 13 queens were divided into two groups and performed independently in group musical numbers that produced two different first challenge winners: Widow Von’Du from Kansas City and Jaida Essence Hall from Milwaukee. Tonight, in the season’s third episode, the queens combined and began the competition to determine which of them will be crowned “America’s next drag superstar.”
Below, check out our minute-by-minute “RuPaul’s Drag Race” recap of Season 12, Episode 3 to find out what happened on March 13, beginning at 8/7c. After reading our thoughts on the episode, be sure to sound off in the comments section about your favorite queens on VH1’s reality TV show, who annoys you the most, and who you think will ultimately join the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winners list.
8:00 p.m. – Over the last two weeks the girls were split up so seeing their reaction to meeting the full competition was a long time coming. Naturally, a few of them recognized each other — like Jan and Brita who even come from the same drag family. Others were quick to throw the shade, calling each other out as the competition and trying to scoop out the dirt of who was already fighting with who. Brita and Widow did fight a little bit, but the answer from them was no. Sherry Pie and Jaida admitted to their disagreement which surprised the other group of girls because it clearly exposed weaknesses.
8:04 p.m. – The next morning the girls gathered in the work room to learn of their first full challenge from Ru. This week they were tasked with the art of improv! Because Ru is as shady as they come, he began the process of team selection by having the two premiere challenge winners rank the opposite group of girls from top to bottom in terms of who is their stiffest competition. Week 1 winner Widow ranked the week 2 girls: Sherry, Jan, Dahlia Sin, Rock M. Sakura, and Aiden Zhane last. Week 2 winner Jaida ranked the week 1 girls: Gigi Goode, Brita, Nicky Doll, Jackie Cox, Crystal Methyd, and Heidi N Closet last.
8:08 p.m. – The twist in the ranking was that Widow and Jaida were team captains, but so were the two they ranked as the bottom! That was an exciting opportunity for Heidi to prove herself. In the challenge, the four groups would improv their way through a mock reality talent competition called “The World’s Worst.” Their groups would be characters with wild back stories, but absolutely no talent whatsoever. The four leaders picked their teams schoolyard style, resulting in: Brita with Sherry and Aiden, Heidi with Gigi and Jackie, Widow with Crystal and Nicky, and Jaida with Jan and Dahlia. As the last person to be picked, Rock M. got to choose her own squad and she joined up with Jaida’s team.
8:20 p.m. – Ru made another visit to the work room the next day to check in as the teams rehearsed and planned. The first thing he wanted to know is why did Widow put Aiden as the weakest link. Widow thought that Aiden doesn’t know who she is and without the confidence it makes her weak. He also took the opportunity to tell Heidi how much he hates her name, explaining that saying “Heidi” and then “N” forces a switch in the mouth that doesn’t let it roll off the tongue easily. But that didn’t stop him from telling Heidi that “you are a character” loud enough for everyone else in the room to hear the compliment.
8:23 p.m. – Rock M. explained her decision to join Jaida’s team, saying that she feels comfortable with them and that they help bring out her own confidence. Not the best thing to tell your boss/judge if you ask me! Furthermore, Rock M. was disappointed to get the uninteresting role of the orange in their fruit-based girl group. She asked Jaida once again to ask for the bad apple role, but Jaida had chosen that for herself and denied the request once again.
8:29 p.m. – In “The World’s Worst,” Carson Kressley served as host, introducing the audience to the groups before they auditioned in front of the all star panel of judges Ross Mathews, Charo and Ornacia. The first group to audition was Heidi’s team of three advanced aged sisters that play instruments and sing. Heidi was the star in the group, showing a ton of energy and really committing to the role while Gigi had the special task of playing the dead sister that got the last laugh when she revived at the same time her sisters died!
8:34 p.m. – Widow’s team was up next with their Squirrel Scouts troupe of heavily painted young blonde girls that were over the top cutesy. Honestly, the three of them were pretty evenly matched in the commitment area, but when it came to improv and banter with Ross, both Nicky and Crystal fell kind of flat while Widow knocked it out of the park.
8:43 p.m. – The next audition was Jaida’s Fruity Patooties and their whole schtick was that they’re super gay. Dahlia’s role of broccoli in a fruit group was played sexy and sensual, but overall it just wasn’t on the same energy level as Jan and Rock M. who were more bubbly. Thankfully Jaida kept herself as the bad apple because when she burst in to the room she saved the dull mess that was the audition before her arrival.
8:47 p.m. – The last group was Aiden’s group of women that when struck by lightning started sharing a brain. That meant they all were speaking at the same time, but as if they were discovering their words together as they spoke them. It was a fully realized performance, but didn’t really allow any of them to outshine the others.
8:54 p.m. – The next day the girls reassembled in the work room to prepare for their first full runway show and to rehash their feelings about their improv. Brita was nervous about their team, singling out Aiden as a poor leader and not sticking out as much as she could have. Elsewhere, Dahlia opened up about being a twin with a brother that is also gay, but came out of the close 6 months after Dahlia already had. Heidi was more focused on the competition though, realizing that it was at the point where people would start going home and they’d all have to put their best face forward.
9:02 p.m. – For the night’s runway, Ru was joined by Michelle Visage, Ross, Carson and guest judge Olivia Munn. In the first runway with all the queens the category was: buttons and bows. For me, Jan and Sherry knocked it out of the park here, both doing something a little bit scary. Jan was inspired by voodoo dolls and Sherry went for an evil doll look with pitch black eyes. Aiden and Dahlia dropped the ball with relatively basic and uninspired designs.
9:13 p.m. – Based on overall performances for the week, Ru kept Dahlia, Heidi, Jackie, Crystal, Nicky and Sherry on stage for critiques as the tops and bottoms of the challenge. The judges actually loved Dahlia’s runway look with the pastels, but her improv performance was a total miss. Ross loved Heidi in the challenge and Carson was impressed by the beautiful with sense of humor Pinocchio runway look. Jackie got props from Michelle for improving her makeup application and Ross singled her out as one of the strongest in the improv. Crystal and Nicky on the other hand both got lost in her group next to Widow, but the two were separated by polar opposite runway presentations. The judges didn’t like Crystal’s all pink and red costume, but they really loved Nicky’s deconstructed Cinderella take on the challenge. Sherry was the stand out for Olivia in the skits and Ross loved the campy attitude of her runway look.
9:23 p.m. – After conferring with the other judges, Ru made her decision: this week’s winner was Sherry Pie, her second top 2 placement in a row! On the other side of things, Dahlia and Nicky fell into the bottom two. Their LSFYL was to Ariana Grande‘s “Problem.” They both used the entire stage and took similar approaches to the song, mixing sensual attitude with harder dance movements during Iggy Azalea‘s rap verse. Ultimately, Dahlia came off defeated while Nicky was more dynamic and so Ru asked Dahlia to “sashay away.” Dahlia was shocked that she was eliminated, storming off the stage and complaining back stage that Crystal wasn’t even asked to lip synch. That’s one pressed broccoli!
NEXT TIME: The girls throw a fashion ball on the runway and apparently do something with bee costumes? I stan.