Last week on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” RuPaul Charles hosted the queens of season 13 in the legendary “Snatch Game” challenge of celebrity impersonations. Gottmik scored her second challenge win with an interpretation of Paris Hilton that was so hot. Both Utica Queen and Elliott with 2 Ts struggled to get their takes on Bob Ross and Rue McClanahan across to the judges, landing themselves in the bottom. Utica scraped through with a strong lip sync, sending Elliott home and providing herself with a new sense of confidence going into the top 8.
Below, check out our minute-by-minute “RuPaul’s Drag Race” recap of episode 10 to see the queens of season 13 find out what it’s like to step into each other’s heels in a “Freaky Friday Queens” makeover challenge. After following along with our live updating blog, be sure to sound off in the comments section with your reactions to VH1’s reality TV show and then resume discussing who you think will ultimately join the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winners list.
8:01 p.m. – Following her successful lip sync against Elliott, Utica told the other girls she felt “so good” and empowered by the experience of overcoming being in the bottom. While the other girls that had been in the bottom before didn’t share her excitement over it, it was solidly Utica to see the positivity in every experience. Tina Burner and Denali were both at a point in the competition where they needed to collect themselves another win after so much time in safe territory.
8:05 p.m. – The next day, Ru arrived in the werk room to whisk the girls off with a bit of magic back to the main stage for a surprise mini challenge. When they reappeared it was on couches in front off Char Margolis, an intuitive psychic medium that was going to give them all a different kind of reading. The “challenge” was an opportunity for Char to expose the different relationships going on between the cast and to encourage them to open up about them–Rosé and Denali’s close friendship, for instance. Char was also visited temporarily by Tina’s dad who wanted to express support for Tina when he hadn’t before he passed and Utica was visited by Clara, a cow from her childhood farm that she used to feed. As Denali pointed out… yep, that makes sense!
8:09 p.m. – After the reading, the girls returned to the werk room to meet with Ru again and learn about this week’s maxi challenge. First, Ru said that Char decided to pair each of them off with someone that she thinks they can learn something from. Those pairings were: Tina and Rosé, Olivia Lux and Denali, Symone and Utica, and Kandy Muse and Gottmik. In their partnerships they’d present a spin on the seasonal makeover challenge by making over each other in their own likeness in the hope of finding some family resemblance in each other.
8:18 p.m. – Purse things first, the queens started by conceptualizing what they might do with each other and opening their closets to see which of their garments might work well on the other queen’s body. Denali and Olivia had a fun time at this point in the brainstorming, whereas Tina and Rosé, who notoriously don’t get along very much back in New York, were equally frustrated by having to wear a style of drag that is not at all something they’d ever do for themselves. The other two partnerships had more grounded complications with their pairings though. Symone and Utica have such different drag styles, but the kicker was Utica’s hesitation to take on Symone’s idea for her to embody a character from the comedy film “B.A.P.S” (an acronym for Black American Princesses). Then there was Gottmik and Kandy who, with very differently body types, struggled to find outfits that they could simply put on without a ton of alterations, making the work they had to do much more complicated than the other pairs.
8:29 p.m. – Later in the day, Ru stopped by for check-ins with each of the pairs. In the conversations with Ru we learned that Kandy used to be a makeup artist and even Gottmik admitted that Kandy is “more certified” as an artist than she is, that Tina is “hungry” for a challenge win and is excited about working with Rosé simply for being able to take on that winning energy, and that both Symone and Utica do not have a ton of experience painting the faces of other queens. Symone also wanted to ask Ru’s advice about what it would mean for Utica to take on a Black character and Ru smartly explained that as long as it comes from a place a love then there’s not much to worry about.
8:40 p.m. – As the last step of preparation for their makeovers, the queens hit the runway for a rehearsal of walks with each other. This provided a nice opportunity for each of the queens to verbalize their own brand to a peer and then really pinpoint all the ways that their runway walk speaks to who they are as queens. Denali wanted Olivia to incorporate figure skating movement into her movement and Olivia honed Denali’s more elegant, beauty queen skills. Tina and Rosé as actors should have had an easier time taking on each other as characters, but the campiness of what Tina does was hard for Rosé to interpret because it removed all her grace and then surprisingly Tina had an easy time exploring that grace with some signature Rosé hand flicks. The biggest surprise was how effortlessly Utica’s quirkiness translated into the strong stride of Symone and then similarly how quickly Symone was able to loosen her own movement in order to be more expressive and artistic. When it came to Kandy and Gottmik’s switch off it was much more about energy on stage rather than specific movement and so they worked on verbalizations and hand movement in order to pick up on each other’s style.
8:51 p.m. – Painting each other’s faces for the runway offered the pairs intimate time with one another to open up more about themselves, just like Char wanted! Tina was able to see a new, more vulnerable side of Rosé without that Rosé wall up, Denali and Olivia found common ground in how inspired they both are by the mothers and grandmothers in their lives, Gottmik and Kandy realized that they both use drag as a way of fighting back against the shame they used to hold on to, and then Utica finally realized that her “B.A.P.S” interpretation via Symone is an opportunity for her to feel powerful in a way that she hasn’t before and that she’s comfortable releasing the control to Symone in this challenge.
9:00 p.m. – On the main stage, Ru was joined by Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley, and returning guest judge Loni Love. First to walk was Rosé as Tina in a campy 50s housewife dress and apron with bright red hair and the dark smokey eye, followed by Tina as Rosé in a hot pink wig and a pastel and black mini dress. Olivia turned the corner as Denali with the signature long blonde braid and a tulle baby blue mini, and then Denali came out in a long elegant sequin gown with a short orange vixen wig. Symone as Utica was a under-skin bodysuit and a caramel over-wear that restricted Symone’s arm movement, and then Utica came out in a tiger suit and blonde wig straight out of the “B.A.P.S” playbook. Gottmik as Kandy meant a rockstar body suit with a lot of hood energy and then Kandy as Gottmik was white and black with the signature white clown makeup.
9:11 p.m. – The judges thought that Rosé and Tina both sold the brand of one another rather easily, switching up the campiness of Tina and then more expressive flirtatiousness of Rosé. Michelle was disappointed with what Olivia put on Denali because it didn’t scream trademark Olivia and while Denali did give Olivia a standard Denali look, the judges dinged her for a poor paint and lack of blending on Olivia’s face. When it came to Symone and Utica, the judges were justifiably blown away by both reinterpretations. Loni really loved the way they both embodied each other despite their differences and proving that when you take on someone of another race or culture that you don’t need to resort to caricatures. The judges had similar praise for Gottmik and Kandy’s work that showed how confident they were in translating their own artistry on to each other. After the critiques, Ru was eager for more information, asking each of the girls to tell the judges who they think should be eliminated tonight. Rosé, Tina, Symone, Utica and Gottmik all said Olivia based on this challenge alone. Olivia named Utica for being the weakest across the competition and Denali named Kandy for giving Gottmik what looked more like a Tina look than a Kandy one. Kandy became defensive over Denali’s comments and clapped back by saying that both she and Olivia as a team were the clear bottoms.
9:24 p.m. – After further deliberation, Ru announced that the judges decision was to name Symone and Utica dual winners. That meant a second top mark for Symone and the first challenge win for Utica. With Gottmik and Kandy declared safe, that left the other two pairs vulnerable, but ultimately the partnership of Olivia and Denali had failed and so they were asked to lip sync against one another. In the head-to-head to “Shackles (Praise You)” by Mary Mary, both queens opened up heaven’s gates with overly expressive, soul-releasing dancing. Despite similar performances to the song and Olivia taking more heat earlier in the night from the other girls, Ru decided that this week it was time to say goodbye to Denali, leaving Olivia around to fight another day.
NEXT WEEK: The top 7 going from rebranding themselves on one another to creating their own brand for a new soda pop in comedy video challenge.