In episode 4 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 14, RuPaul Charles divided the queens into two groups to write and film superteaser spoofs in promotion of their own season. The comedy acting challenge was an opportunity to see the girls break out of their comfort zone and get a little bit “ugly,” but Kerri Colby kept to her own pretty ways and Alyssa Hunter played her character in one and only one note. In a decision the audience did not agree with, the judges sent Alyssa home, leaving only 12 queens to continue to compete for the crown.
This week, the remaining queens divide into groups yet again to create public service announcements aimed at protecting the careers of our dearly departed queens, gone too soon. Read below for our recap of episode 5 to see the return of Tempest DuJour, Jaymes Mansfield and Kahmora Hall in “Save a Queen.”
The 12 remaining queens are: Angeria Paris VanMicheals, Bosco, Daya Betty, DeJa Skye, Jasmine Kennedie, Jorgeous, Kerri Colby, Kornbread “The Snack” Jeté, Lady Camden, Maddy Morphosis, Orion Story and Willow Pill.
Following Kerri earning her spot to stay in the competition and Angie’s second main challenge win, the energy in the Werk Room was one of panic. Kerri felt more determined than ever to give the judges the “scary Kerri” they wanted to see while Kornbread, Camden and Bosco all realized that there’s still much more they can give the judges in order to finish better than “safe.”
The next morning the queens returned for a new day in the Werk Room, but for some reason Kornbread was not with them. Ru entered quickly to deliver a video message to the girls from Kornbread. Filmed in her hotel room, Kornbread explained that during the acting challenge she rolled her ankle. When the pain had only gotten worse the next morning, she saw a doctor who ordered her to stay off of her ankle for 6-8 weeks and therefore it was the end of the road for her this season. The emotional news devastated the girls, but none more than Willow who had built a strong bond and friendship with Kornbread already. True to comedic form, Kornbread left by congratulating the remaining girls since with her out of the competition they now all had a chance of winning the crown. Additionally, Ru clarified that Kornbread did not have the gold candy bar and so it was still in play.
Getting back to the competition, Ru brought in the Pit Crew for some “dirty dancing” to randomly divide the girls into three groups. To select their teams, each queen would pick a confetti-filled balloon that they’d have to pop with their body against the body of one of the Pit Crew boys. The color of confetti determined which team each of them was sorted into. The green team was Bosco, Daya, and Camden; purple team was Jasmine, Maddy, Willow, and Orion; and orange team was DeJa, Kerri, Jorgeous, and Angie.
In the three teams, Ru asked that they create public service announcements for the “Save a Queen” organization that raises awareness for the first eliminated queens Tempest from season 7, Jaymes from season 9, and Kahmora from season 13. The PSAs should tell the story of those three queens through the art of rhyme. Tempest was given to team orange, Jaymes to team purple and Kahmora to team green.
During brainstorm sessions with the pork chop all stars, Tempest directed the green team to lean on her advanced age as the clear focus of their story. Tempest also told them that the rhyming is going to be the easy part, but a nervous Jorgeous was already concerned with the stage fright associated with the spoken performance being important. At the purple team, Maddy and Willow brought a lot of ideas to the table, but it was clear to Jaymes that Orion was the weak link. That concern was reinforced when they spoke to Ru during check-ins and Orion was unable to articulate to Ru how she’d be able to make something sad fun.
Michelle Visage was on set for the filming of the PSAs, not to direct them (they were doing that themselves), but rather to advise and oversee. Jorgeous’ fears were realized when she had trouble sticking to the short amount of time she had to fit all her rhyming lines in. At this point, however, she didn’t stick out like too sore of a thumb because all of her teammates struggled to get out of their head and deliver their lines without multiple takes. Team Kahmora was high energy on set, except Camden who Michelle had to ask to project her voice stronger. Jaymes was impressed with Willow’s ease at comedy on set which was a stark contrast to Orion and Jasmine’s rough takes.
The next day, Team Kahmora was in high spirits about how well they thought they did in the challenge. Jorgeous was surprised they were so confident considering she expected that group of girls do to poorly, but it just made her feel more nervous about her own difficulty with the challenge. Jasmine was also worried that she didn’t show anything new this week while Orion felt good about hers and considered that this “might be [her] week.” In separate mirror moments with Jorgeous and Willow, we learned more about their early lives. Jorgeous described being supported by her family from a very early age while Willow’s childhood was defined by illness, surgeries and a decline in the physical health of her body. She explained that RPDR is a chance for her to prove to herself that she exists and has a statement to make in the world.
On the main stage, Ru was joined by Michelle, Ross Mathews and this week’s guest judge Ava Max. Ahead of the premiere of the PSAs, the queens walked the runway in the “Spring Has Sprung” category. Jorgeous opened the show in a cutesy pastel and floral creation, followed by Kerri in a more elaborate and avant garde flower number, Angie in an ill-fitted yellow flower gown, and DeJa in another pantsuit with a weird bunny mask. Maddy entered as a conceptual storm cloud made of fringe, Jasmine walked in a beaded green corset she made herself, Orion went sexy in a bunny lingerie outfit, Willow had a dollhouse on her head that when she turned around said “help” in blood, Daya was covered in butterflies, Camden had a teacup on her head and a dress fashioned like a tea table, and Bosco closed in a thundercloud dress that pulled down into a bright yellow ball gown. Tempest also walked in a leopard day fit, Jaymes in a hot pink gown, and Kahmora in a vintage Mackie dress.
After showing the full PSA with all three cuts edited into one ad and a surprise appearance from queen of PSAs herself Sarah McLachlan, Ru revealed this week’s placements. This week’s safe queens were Kerri, DeJa, Maddy, Willow and Daya, leaving the others to hear critiques from the judges. The unofficial winner of the challenge was declared early when Ru asked Kahmora to leave her runway dress “in [her] dressing room” because, my god, she looked gorgeous and Ru knew it. The judges once again loved the confidence Jorgeous displays on the runway, but were disappointed that she can’t translate that into the challenges. Angie took heat from Ross for the fit issues in her gown, but they applauded her performance in the PSA for perfect comedic timing. Jasmine received flip critiques: stiff in the challenge, but giving Ava her favorite runway look of the night. Ross complimented Orion’s runway look, but said he struggled with the cold and low energy delivery in the PSA. The judges thought Camden was both proper and hilarious in the PSA and paired that with a creative and campy runway look. Michelle called Bosco’s PSA performance unique for sounding like spoken word poetry and they all thought she looked great on the runway.
Following more deliberation, Ru announced the decision that Orion was one of the two queens in the bottom. On the top was Bosco as this week’s challenge winner, with Camden and Angie as the safe high performers. Between Jorgeous and Jasmine, it was Jorgeous that joined Orion in the bottom two. To determine which of them would sashay away, they performed in the LSFYL to Ava Max’s “My Head and My Heart.” Jorgeous started by giving Orion a glare that said “you sure you ready?” Right away Jorgeous proved just how threatening she’ll be on stage, stripping down to a body-hugging suit and displaying immaculately paced choreograph, including a cartwheel into a shablam. Orion on the other hand did her best despite her wig slipping back on her forehead and kicking off her shoes to perform barefoot — two big no-nos in a lipsync. Ru’s decision was as clear as could be: a “shantay you stay” for Jorgeous and a request that Orion open her candy bar to decide her fate. For the third time in a row, the eliminated queen revealed just chocolate and no gold and so on her way Orion was sent.
NEXT WEEK: Ru and Carson Kressley visit the Werk Room while the queens stitch up garments in the unconventional materials sewing challenge.
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