“RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 15 continued on March 31 with the penultimate step in the competition toward discovering “America’s next drag superstar.” Last week, the queens were partnered with inspirational women for “Teacher Makeovers.” Loosey LaDuca performed well in the challenge, but still fell to the bottom two and ultimately lost the Lip Sync for Your Life to Luxx Noir London.
This week, the final four found themselves one music video challenge away from competing in the “Grand Finale” for the crown and title. Seated at the judges’ dais for episode 14 titled “Blame It on the Edit” was Emmy winning host RuPaul Charles, longtime bestie Michelle Visage, and judge Ross Mathews.
The four queens fighting for a spot in the Grand Finale are: Anetra, Luxx Noir London, Mistress Isabelle Brooks, and Sasha Colby.
Check out our full recap of episode 14 below:
Upon Loosey’s exit from the competition, the other queens were willing to give her her flowers for being a “fierce competitor,” but it was clear that they felt they were the right final four. For Anetra it was an especially important week for her because she just earned her third challenge win, matching Sasha as the frontrunner.
For the next and final maxi challenge, Ru wanted the semi-finalists to write their own unique verses to be added to the music video for her remixed song “Blame It on the Edit.” In addition to the verses, they’d learn choreography and film the video as well as meet up with Ru and Michelle for a “Tic Tac Chit Chat.” Ru made it crystal clear that only three of them would be advancing to the “Grand Finale,” making a shift back to a final three from the recent string of final fours (and final five last season).
During their writing sessions, Mistress was ready and willing to put her shadiness down in words for her verse, but Anetra was more interested in putting together something sexy. Luxx told the girls that she has a lot of experience writing verses and that she loves writing “bitch tracks.” Luxx was so confident that she finished early and decided to lay down for a nap while the other girls worked.
In “Tic Tac Chit Chat” sessions, Sasha told Michelle that she struggled internally during the competition because her strong performances made her feel like she might be less liked by everyone. She described seeking her mother’s love for most of her childhood and how she’s always wanted that validation from her so a growing process for her in life has always been learning to validate herself and own her triumphs. Anetra’s story had similarities, but in her situation she’s grown into a more shy person because of her experience. She said that Anetra the drag queen is an answer to that because she’s able to inhabit confidence and power through her creative expression.
Mistress admitted to her willingness to be outspoken in a way that is “cutting it up” with the other queens. Michelle and Ru called it healthy, but acknowledged that it doesn’t mean everyone else is ready to hear it. Regardless, Mistress believes that she’s made the chosen family of her drag community proud. Luxx described that she was able to grow up expressing creativity and confidence because she was “raised to tackle tough situations.” Luxx said she knows people may not like her, but it’s her own life’s mission to live it to the fullest in the way that she wants to.
In the choreography session and video filming with Michelle and Miguel Zarate, Mistress struggled picking up the steps and applying them as quickly as was necessary on the quick-moving set. Miguel’s inspiration for the girls was “sci-fi hood girl realness” with clean lines and personality that would fit well in the space-themed video. He told Mistress she was looking a little lost and Michelle knew that she was getting in her head. Later, Anetra also required a little additional time because she was starting to worry about her performance especially next to a strong performer like Luxx.
While the queens got ready for the final runway presentation, the queens talked about their first impressions of each other. Anetra thought Luxx was quirky and Mistress thought she was confident. Clearly they all knew who Sasha was already, but they were pleasantly surprised that she was not only as talented as they had heard but she was also super sweet. Mistress and Luxx told Anetra that they noticed how quiet she can be, but believe she’s had the biggest transformation as her personality has bloomed and she’s shown more of herself. Anetra said she knew immediately that Mistress would be “obnoxious,” but that was said with love because the queens appreciate that she says what she wants. Sasha called her a handful.
On the runway, the queens walked in the “Drag Excellence” category. Anetra wore a gorgeous blue velvet and silver gown that she designed to have “Asian fierceness” and to feel elevated. Luxx switched up her style to wear a white dress that showed “elegance, poise and glamour.” Sasha showed off her Hawaiian culture with orchids and rhinestones in an ethereal pageant gown. Mistress closed it out in a gold gown beaded into a cheetah print that she explained was an important gown she’s worn in a pageant before because it was the first time she felt fabulous.
Following the screening of the “Blame It on the Edit” video, Ross told Anetra that he thought her runway look was great because it speaks to the past but also to the future. Michelle complimented her for always taking every challenge head-on and that’s why she won three of them. She also acknowledged that she could tell she got in her head during filming the video. Ross told Luxx that her “taste level is beyond” and she gave them some of the most iconic runway moments of the season. He also liked that she chose to both sing and rap in her verse for the video and Michelle said she picked up the choreography the easiest and she remained committed to it.
Ross and Michelle acknowledged that Sasha came into the competition with a reputation and that made it harder for her because she had something to live up to. She clearly succeeded in living up to that and her performances proved that. Michelle underscored that even if it’s in her lyrics, she’s “so much more than a body” because her inner kindness and beauty are forever. Ru took it a step further by calling Sasha “a spiritual leader.” Ross thought Mistress closed the season in a sexy look and applauded her for embracing her figure and refused to ever be the butt of a joke. Michelle liked that she showed a “beautiful trajectory” through her runways and challenge performances. Ross did say there were some missteps in the video, but she sells a closeup better than anyone because she can tell a story with just her eyes.
The judges took a look back at each queen’s full journey through the season before deciding who would advance to the “Grand Finale.” Based on that further deliberation, Sasha was declared this week’s challenge winner, making it a leading fourth and securing her spot in the finale. Next, Ru gave safety to Luxx, leaving Mistress and Anetra in the bottom vulnerable to the final elimination. In their Lip Sync for Your Life to “When Love Takes Over,” both queens were a bit restricted in movement because of their evening gowns, but the dance ballad was big enough to inspire them to bring as much energy as they could. Anetra had a quick change element to her gown that allowed her to slip the train off and perform more easily in a bodysuit. Anetra even found an opportunity to add one last duck walk into her performance while Mistress stayed true to pageant drag with a contained, elegant and emotive performance. At the end of the performance, Ru announced that “for the first time this season” she was handing out a “double shantay” and sending both of them to the “Grand Finale” for another top four.
NEXT TIME: The queens of season 15 reunite to discuss their best and worst moments with Ru; and in two weeks, the “Grand Finale” where the winner is crowned.
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