‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ season 15 episode 9 recap: ‘The Crystal Ball’

RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 15 continued on February 24 with the next step in the competition toward discovering “America’s next drag superstar.” Last week, the queens were thrilled to RuPaul Charles what they can do in the “LipSync Lalaparuza Smackdown.” In the final round of the tournament, Anetra defeated Jax, sending the queen of acrobatics home after five total lip syncs. This week, the 9 remaining girls celebrate the show’s 15th anniversary and 200th episode with “The Crystal Ball.”

Seated at the judges’ dais for episode 9 was Emmy winning host RuPaul, longtime bestie Michelle Visage and recurring judge Carson Kressley. Joining them this week as special guest was actor Julia Garner.

The 10 queens still in the competition are: Anetra, Loosey LaDuca, Luxx Noir London, Malaysia Babydoll Foxx, Marcia Marcia Marcia, Mistress Isabelle BrooksSalina EsTitties, Sasha Colby, and Spice.

Check out our full recap of episode 9 below:

When Ru arrives the morning after Jax’s elimination it is to present one of the first mini challenges we see play out in this season’s shortened episodes. For the mini celebrating the 200th episode, each queen gets into quick “attention grabbing” drag to “photo bomb” an iconic moment from Drag Race herstory. Salina EsTitties bombs Laganja Estranja‘s season 6 entrance, Anetra bombs Willow Pill‘s talent performance, Malaysia Babydoll Foxx bombs Vanessa Vanjie Mateo‘s iconic elimination exit, Spice bombs Lady Gaga, Luxx Noir London bombs Vivacious in her photo challenge, Mistress Isabelle Brooks bombs Morgan McMichaels and Ru together, Marcia Marcia Marcia bombs the crowning of Jinkx Monsoon, Sasha Colby bombs Ru at the judges’ dais, and Loosey LaDuca bombs Serena ChaCha in a water photo shoot. After looking at all the photos, Ru declares Anetra the best in bombing as the mini challenge winner.

To further celebrate the hallmark episode, Ru announces that for the maxi challenge they’ll be walking the runway in a 15th anniversary Crystal Ball. The three categories for the ball are “Start Your Engines,” an update of Ru’s classic racing suit, “My Favorite Ball,” reimagine a past eleganza category look as their own, and “Crystallized Eleganza,” a look from scratch that is dripped in crystals.

Shortly into their creation time in the Werk Room, Ru returned with Carson to meet with each queen for a fashion consultation. They warned Spice that she needs to push the envelope further than what she’s done on the runway in the past and Salina that once again she’s adding too much to one look and needs to learn to edit her ideas. Salina was particularly worried this week because she fell into the bottom on the last design challenge that they were presented.

The next morning as the queens got ready for the runway, Anetra told Salina the story of coming out to her parents. She explained that at first her mom was supportive, but after a week she returned to Anetra and said she’s making everyone in the house uncomfortable and that she had to leave immediately. It forced Anetra to leave without saying goodbye to her brothers and she hasn’t had a relationship with her mother since. She says that the positive that came out of it was her reconnecting with her biological father who took her in and ended up supporting her completely.

Prior to the ball, Ru dropped a first-ever performance of her new song “Cake and Candy” as a special 200th episode treat. In the ball’s first category, the most creative “Start Your Engine” reimaginings were Loosey’s mix of it with a bubblegum crash test dummy and Sasha turning it into a body-revealing chic pink gown. In the second category, the standout “My Favorite Ball” looks were Mistress recreating The Ball Ball with a beach ball full body suit and Luxx recreating The Hair Ball in a high fashion all black braided hair bikini. And in the third category, the best “Crystallized Eleganza” looks were Mistress in a form-fitted white gown, Malaysia in a body-hugging pink gown, and Anetra in a perfectly-sewn gown with sharp crystals going down her arms and spine.

Based on their three runway presentations, Ru announced Marcia, Malaysia and Luxx as the three safe queens for the week while the remaining six heard critiques from the judges. They liked Salina’s ideas for her looks, but Carson explained that visually they looked bulky and not fitted well. Michelle said that she loves her personality, “but I also want to be in love with your drag.” Carson liked Spice’s first look, but her second two looks were a let down for Michelle who said they were half-baked. Mistress was the first to receive wholly positive critiques–Carson called her beach ball look iconic and Julia said her crystal dress was Hollywood glamour. Loosey was surprised to be one of the bottom three, mostly for her simple “afterthought” doggy bag look and an ill-conceived bottom half of her crystal dress. Sasha was in the top for her attention to detail in a bag of weed look and what Julia called a stunning crystal look. The judges weren’t completely thrilled with Anetra’s first two looks, but thought that her crystal look was “couture.”

After further deliberation, Ru decided that from the top three it’s Sasha that is the winner of the challenge, making her the first queen to earn a second win. And from the bottom three, Loosey was given safety, leaving both Spice and Salina in the bottom for their second Lip Sync for Your Life. They battled to “That’s What I Want” by Lil Nas X, but right away it was clear that neither of them knew the best approach to take with the song. Spice did her best comedic turn by stomping around the stage like a disappointed toddler and Salina injected as much passion as she could by trying to evoke bewilderment. In the end, Ru picked Salina as the winner and Spice was sent back to the rack.

NEXT WEEK: The queens host celebrities for one-on-one interviews for the news show “50/50.”

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