After a two-part premiere to season 12 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” that kicked off on February 28th and March 6th, we said goodbye to sexy doll Dahlia Sin and anime cutie Rock M. Sakura in the first two eliminations, each having lost to Nicky Doll and Brita, respectively, in the lip sync for your life battles to determine who shantays and who sashays away. Having seen the bottom, Nicky and Brita entered episode 5 with targets on their backs, determined to prove to RuPaul Charles and the other judges that they have the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent to deserve to stay in the competition.
Below, check out our minute-by-minute “RuPaul’s Drag Race” recap of Season 12, Episode 5 to find out whether Brita, Nicky and the other queens were able to impress the judges with their acting chops with their performances in “Gay’s Anatomy.” After reading our thoughts on the episode, be sure to sound off in the comments section about the March 27th episode and who you think will ultimately join the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winners list.
8:01 p.m. – Following Rock M.’s emotional elimination, the remaining queens were shook by the reality of the competition–that each week one of them will be sent home and dreams will be crushed. For Brita this week stung the most because as a confident girl from NYC who works hard to always be on top there, falling to the bottom last week was a new experience for her and a slap from reality’s hand. Nicky was on a high from being among the top performers in the fashion challenge, but concerned that the judges still see her as someone that needs to show more in the personality department.
8:03 p.m. – When it comes to Aiden Zhane, the other girls were getting tired of her “excuse” that in coming from a small town that she is allowed to be less confident than the rest of them. But Aiden stood her ground and made it clear that she’s putting in everything she has and that just because her choices aren’t the ones they’d make that she can still compete.
8:05 p.m. – This week Ru didn’t want to waste any time in presenting the week’s maxi challenge. She visited the work room the next morning to invite them to star in the “longest running drag queen scripted show on TV,” the medical drama “Gay’s Anatomy.” This week the girls would show off their overacting chops in an over-the-top primetime soap opera as patients, doctors and nurses. To decide who would play each role, Ru had each queen draw a random pill from a platter with only two of them drawing the lucky pink pill that gave them power to select everyone’s roles. The lucky casting directors? Nicky and Gigi Goode!
8:09 p.m. – Before making their decisions, Nicky and Gigi read through the script with the other queens and let them each say which role they’d like to choose. Unfortunately there were roles that multiple girls wanted so there were some tough decisions to be made. In the end, Widow Von’Du and Aiden didn’t get their first choice roles while the rest of the cast did. Aiden rolled with the punch of being cast as the Mae West-inspired ghost, but Widow was significantly more perturbed that they gave Sherry Pie the mother role she was hoping to get.
8:16 p.m. – Once the girls began rehearsing their scenes, Nicky finally realized that in giving Widow the role she didn’t want she was pairing herself with her. That was worrisome considering the two struggled in their efforts to work well together in the previous improv challenge.
8:20 p.m. – During another visit to the work room, Ru made a point of speaking with both Aiden and Widow to give them some useful advice. For Aiden Ru wanted it to be clear that everyone in the competition feels out of their usual element and that she can’t keep using that as an excuse for staying in her shell. As for Widow, Ru advised her to take a more creative approach to the role she doesn’t want and to turn it into a role that can show her range as a comedic talent.
8:27 p.m. – Rotating judge Carson Kressley was on set with the girls as they filmed their scenes for “Gay’s Anatomy.” When cameras started rolling, Jaida Essence Hall was off to a slow start for mismanaging her line memorization and needing a lot of direction from Carson. In another scene, Heidi N Closet and Crystal Methyd had the most physical roles to play with, you know being stuck together with a giant fork through their bellies and all, but based on Carson’s reaction I’d say they weren’t delivering enough oomph. Conversely, Widow was giving it her all as a pregnant mom and knocking it out of the park with physicality, comedy and great ideas in her improvisation moments. But her main scene partner, Nicky, having to perform with just her face as the head of a Widow’s newborn baby, was struggling to fill in the gaps and rise to Widow’s level.
8:31 p.m. – Aiden hit the ground running in creating a unique persona with her ghost character and though the other queens and Carson might not have been on board with it at first, eventually Aiden found a footing that started to impress everyone on set. Brita’s work opposite Aiden was very large and bubbly, but wasn’t quite gelling within the scene.
8:39 p.m. – While getting ready for the runway the next day, the queens found a moment to connect with one another by sharing stories about their mothers. After Sherry mentioned that her mother is very supportive, Jackie Cox and Widow both were brought down by their less positive experiences. For Jackie, as a Persian guy, he felt like he grew up always letting his parents down because he wasn’t interested in the professional careers that were expected of him. He even disclosed that his mother still doesn’t know about his career and that he still feels inadequate in her eyes. On the other hand, Widow still struggles with the premature loss of his own mother after she passed away in a car accident on the same day they got in an argument with each other. For Widow, the inability to show his mom what he’s made of himself is the greatest loss, but he knows that she’d be proud of everything he’s accomplished.
8:49 p.m. – For this week’s runway, Ru, Carson, Michelle Visage and guest judge Normani watched the girls walk in a “Planet of the Capes” category. Standouts in the fashion department were Jackie’s all gold Middle Eastern inspired look, Sherry’s innovative Elvis, Queen of Rock, costume, and Aiden’s all black “Silence of the Lambs” mixed with “Zorro” look.
8:57 p.m. – After all the girls strutted their stuff, Ru rolled the tape on their episode of “Gay’s Anatomy.” In the finished product, Sherry’s wheelchair-bound mother figure with a dry throated voice was a total scene stealer, Aiden’s quirky and somehow sexy ghost was an instant star and Widow knocked it out of the park with the funniest performance of everyone on set.
9:10 p.m. – Instead of the standard selection of tops and bottoms, Ru brought forward all of Jan, Widow, Jackie, Sherry, Gigi and Aiden to inform them that they’re each one of the top performers of the week. But the top among them all was Sherry, earning her second challenge win of the season! Once those six were sent backstage, Jaida, Brita, Heidi, Crystal and Nicky remained to hear the judges’ critiques about their performances.
9:12 p.m. – Jaida earned high marks for her “fierce” runway look, but the judges were concerned that it took a lot of work for her to get herself to a decent place in the acting challenge. Michelle and Normani weren’t too impressed with Brita’s fashion on the stage and Carson thought she could have been more versatile in her performance. Heidi probably took the hardest hit for her runway look, being told that she just wasn’t pushing the envelope far enough which is a similar critique to what they said about her acting. As for Crystal, she actually did receive some positive comments about her runway and her acting, but it seems that she just didn’t meet the mark when compared to the group of girls that placed higher than her. Then there was Nicky who disappointed all the judges in both her performance and a runway look that barely even used a cape in her concept.
9:16 p.m. – Before making her decision, Ru wanted to hear from the queens who they believed should be the one to be eliminated. Jaida named Heidi while Brita, Heidi and Crystal all named Nicky. Last to speak, Nicky admitted that she should be the one eliminated based on challenge performance only. But Ru wasn’t happy with that and pressed her for another name which forced her to say Heidi as well.
9:23 p.m. – During deliberation it was determined that the bottom two of the week were Nicky and Heidi. To save themselves from elimination, Ru asked them to perform to the Kim Petras banger “Heart to Break.” Heidi was immediately animated, showing passion and fight in her performance of the song. Meanwhile Nicky was very clearly relying on body and look to get her through, but that left her simply stepping across the stage like a model rather than a drag queen that is there to entertain a crowd. In the end it must have been an easy decision for Ru to declare Heidi safe and tell Nicky to “sashay away.”