After three episodes of a “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 13 without a permanent elimination, we were excited to see the melodrama officially start with all 13 queens finally being in the werk room together to compete for the world’s most coveted crown. The reunion of the winning queens with the losing queens caused some friction among a few girls and ultimately led to one of them succumbing to challenge of the multi-faceted competition.
Last week the losing group from the season premiere challenge faced off in three runway walks and a group performance of Ru’s song “Phenomenon.” Denali and Rosé faced off in a “lip sync for the win” as the top two with Denali getting her first win under her belt. This week marked the first time the entire cast would be together and compete in a mini and maxi challenge in order to determine the first queen eliminated.
Below, check out our minute-by-minute “RuPaul’s Drag Race” recap of Season 13, Episode 4 to find out what happened on January 22, beginning at 8/7c. After following along with our live updating blog, 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.
8:01 p.m. – Prior to the losing queens returning to the werk room, the winning queens gathered around to devise the plan that Elliott with 2 Ts should hide in order to gag the losing queens who by now expect her to have been eliminated. Wanting to stir the pot, once the losing queens had joined them Tina Burner asked what happened to the girl they eliminated and why they did it. Denali and Joey Jay basically called her forgettable and unimpressive, not realizing that Elliott was right around the corner listening. Once we revealed herself, Elliott got into it with Tamisha Iman who asked her to realize that they had to vote someone and it wasn’t personal.
8:06 p.m. – The next day, RuPaul Charles greeted the girls with the ominous threat the finally one of them would be going home following this week’s maxi challenge. In an ode to cheesey holiday movies, the girls would perform this week in scripted acting shorts for “The RuPaulmark Channel.” For this, Ru decided the groups herself: Denali, Elliott, Kahmora Hall, and Olivia Lux in “Misery Love’s Company,” LaLa Ri, Rosé, Symone, and Utica Queen in “God Loves Flags,” and Gottmik, Joey, Kandy Muse, Tamisha, and Tina in “April Fool’s Rush In.”
8:09 p.m. – Once in their groups, the queens got to pick roles for themselves. Denali was angling to get a decent acting role so that she could show the judges that she’s more than just a lip sync artist. Once she saw the script though she was worried with the sheer amount of lines she’d have to memorize. Meanwhile on her team, Kahmora was already pulling her hair out having to listen to Elliott’s “annoying” voice.
8:15 p.m. – Tina was excited about the comedic script they were given, but Kandy was quick to rub queens the wrong way on their team when she chose her own role without giving the others a chance to discuss whether or any of them wanted it. On another team, Rosé was concerned with the inevitable pitting of her against Tina, as the other actress in the cast.
8:17 p.m. – Ru returned later to touch base with each team, including hinting that their scripts might actually be very similar to the ones the other groups received. Ru was ready to stir the pot by having Utica speak to why she voted Elliott out. She said that Elliott gives “a very cold energy,” which was very different from her own. Utica’s energy is more about making Ru cackle for a full minute after confessing that she’s actually never smoked weed before, which is a thing that actually happened.
8:21 p.m. – Tamisha received some great advice from Ru who told her (and the group) that the key to making their characters work this week would be connecting to them in whatever way they could. With Tamisha as an example, taking on a character inspired by Cher–who Tamisha, it was proven, isn’t very familiar with–would mean reinterpreting it through someone she is familiar with, like Natalie Cole.
8:26 p.m. – On set for filming was Ross Mathews, serving as director to help flush out the performances. Ross spent quite a bit of time directing Tamisha through recreating Cher’s iconic “wooh” sound, eventually getting her to a place where she was doing it so over-the-top that you couldn’t help but laugh. On the same team, Joey was so nervous that she was stiff and out of sorts trying to remember her lines and keep pace with the different needs of performing for the camera. On the other side, Kandy was knocking it out of the park with a clear vision for her slapstick character.
8:30 p.m. – Rosé and Symone had a standout scene together because they fed off of and were pushed forward by each other’s confidence. Utica completely lost it by forgetting her lines entirely and throwing her partner LaLa off her own game. On the last team, Denali also struggled to get the words out clearly, requiring Ross to spend a lot of time encouraging and giving her a lot of ideas for inspiration. More time was spent working through a single line with Kahmora who just couldn’t find the right way to emphasize the iconic Tyra Banks line “I was rooting for [us]!”
8:40 p.m. – On elimination morning, the girls had the chance to finally get to know everyone else better. It was abundantly clear that Kandy, Tina and Gottmik were building a tight little crew when Tina and Gottmik were found helping Kandy sew a garment for the runway. Symone shared her coming out as a drag queen, who spoke about it proudly as the first time in her life that she felt strong and fully herself. Tamisha also rehashed the shocker that she has three biological kids, most of when the age of many of the queens here. The conversation led to Tamisha explaining that she wasn’t sure of her sexuality until after her teenage years she went to the gay clubs for the first time and began drag at the age of 20. Her kids are so integrated to her drag story that in face her name Tamisha comes from her oldest daughter.
8:50 p.m. – At the main stage, Ru was joined by Ross, Michelle Visage, and this week’s guest judge Loni Love, who herself competed in the special series “Celebrity Drag Race.” The night began with a walk in the “Trains for Days” category. Denali had a big ostrich feathered dress and a matching mohawk, Olivia went with a glammed up Baroque look, Elliott had a white lace bodysuit with a big tulle train, and Kahmora walked in a rich looking Asian dragon dress. Symone continued in a blue track suit that had a train coming from a durag instead of her outfit, LaLa wore a sleek snake print train coat, Utica created a curtain dress inspired by a Carole Burnett sketch, Rosé returned in a monochrome blue tuxedo from the 80s, Gottmik served wing-like chiffon trains that she blew with a leaf blower, and Tina walked in a train conductor/clown inspired look. Joey went in the S&M direction with black leather, Kandy was in a dark red velvet seductress dress, and Tamisha closed in a self-made hot pink pant suit.
9:00 p.m. – Next we saw the final cut of their RuPaulmark skits. In the first one, Kahmora, Denali and Elliott were all outshone by Olivia’s matriarch grandma character, but the scene stealer was a surprise performance from Drag Race Canada’s Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman. Symone was the standout of her own group’s skit as a flag factory owner that was a spoof of rich gays who deny their true selves in a self-hating way. In the final skit, Kandy and Tamisha earned the biggest laughs from Ru, while Gottmik and Joey fell flat.
9:13 p.m. – With everything in mind, Ru declared Elliott, Olivia, Utica, Joey, Gottmik, Tina, and Tamisha as safe for the week while acknowledging that they delivered great work. The decision left six others on stage to hear their critiques. Ross loved Denali’s train look, but Michelle was hugely disappointed by her acting not going far enough. Ross added that she found no way to make the character interesting. Loni loved that Kahmora embraced her culture on the runway, but Michelle replied that outside of fashion she holds too much back. Symone was a clear top performer, earning high marks for her culturally-inspired take on the train and Ross thought the way she “stupidly” said words in the skit was “so wrong it’s right.” Ru was gagged by LaLa’s runway outfit, but Michelle said it was clear that in the skit she wasn’t comfortable in the role. Rosé let Michelle down with her basic runway look, but Loni said that she was able to breathe life into her character. Kandy also took a hit from Michelle for a subpar runway dress, but her commitment to the character was what made the judges love her this week.
9:23 p.m. – After further deliberation, Ru named Symone a winner for her second straight time, which left Rosé and Kandy safe as the other two top queens. In the bottom three, LaLa earned safety which meant that Denali was returning to lip sync this week as a bottom queen against Kahmora. They went head-to-head in a LSFYL to “100% Pure Love” by Crystal Waters. In one of the show’s most lopsided lip syncs we’ve ever seen, Denali once again proved that she is a formidable threat in a head-to-head. Her perfectly timed to the beat voguing moves were no match for Kahmora’s most reserved beauty-focused take on the song. At one point it even seemed like Kahmora would have preferred to stand on the side of the stage to watch the amazing Denali performance. It was an easy call for Ru to make this time, leading to Kahmora’s exit as the true Pork Chop of the season.
NEXT WEEK: In a “Bag Ball” challenge, the queens are required to sew their own garments using purses, leading to the first sign of weakness for two-time winner Symone.
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