'RuPaul's Drag Race' recap: 'Conjoined Queens'
Praise be to Ru! Ru giveth and Ru taketh away… and then giveth back when she feels like it. That’s in the RuBible in the Book of Ornacia. Please look it up.
The reason we’re giving praise is that Trixie Mattel is back in the Werk Room like manna from heaven. (Read my exclusive interview with Trixie here.) As you know, Trixie was ousted in episode 4, which is earlier than many fans expected. I have to admit, I was sort of like “Byeeeeeeeee Miss Daisy” when Trixie got eliminated, mostly because I can be pretty heartless after years of recapping reality TV—I’ve witnessed Wretchen beat Mondo!!!!!!—but my BFF Justin, who’s a devout Trixie supporter, has shown me the light since then. Trixie is neither the launcher of the most withering shade, nor the tightest cincher, but she’s a genuinely funny and earnest kween, and that’s something this show (and this world) needs now.
But before we welcomed Trixie back, we went through this whole ruse in which Trixie “competed” for her spot against all the other previously eliminated queens. Trixie’s return was so predictable that the producers had her re-enter the Werk Room first, all by herself. I’m sure all the kweens, and all of America, just assumed she had been appointed like Condoleezza to come back, but then Tempest DuJour waddled into the Werk Room right behind her with her outturned penguin feet and everyone was like, “Umm, are you in a fugue state? Put on a purple boa and go back to the Arizona music classroom from whence you came.” And then Sasha Belle (basicness overload), Jasmine Masters, Kandy Ho, Kasha Davis, and Max (awww, Max) also returned, and we all knew we were in for a whole rigmarole.
Webster’s Dictionary defines “rigmarole” as a “long and complicated procedure,” which is an accurate description of the process of separating conjoined twins and reducing breast sizes. What wasn’t a rigmarole was watching the delightful Maxi Challenge, which had each of the returning kweens fused to a current kween due to nuclear testing at Ru’s Drag Laboratories. What SHOCKED and appalled me was that none of the conjoined kween pairs decided to do Vivacious and Ornacia, but I suppose that can be forgiven—it takes an astounding kween to don the bedazzled Eyes Wide Shut mask that is Ornacia.
Kennedy Davenport, as the winner of the Mini Challenge (more on that later), got to choose her own conjoined twin and the conjoined twins for all the other kweens. She chose her sister Jasmine Masters for herself (when Ru asked “Why she gotta be black?” I laughed so hard that rosé sprayed over every corner of my apartment) and saddled her good friend Ginger Minj with Sasha Belle, who was literally a parasitic eel lined with a thousand blood-sucking teeth considering her total lack of ideas and adult-onset ADHD and lack of sewing skills. Other than that, Kennedy was pretty generous with her pairings. Of course, she paired the 8-foot-tall Tempest DuJour with the 4-foot-2 Jaidynn Diore Fierce, but I think she just wanted to put both of them out of their misery. Kennedy Davenport is a just but fearsome god.
I know this sounds crazy hasty, but let’s fast-forward straight to the runway. Kennedy and Jasmine Masters weren’t bad, but their non-existent story line as “model twins” who walked next to each other mostly fell flat on the runway. Miss Fame and Kandy Ho—once again in the Werk Room, Miss Fame couldn’t stop flapping her mouth—never really connected with the plastic surgery look, which Pearl had already done earlier in the season. Katya and Mrs. Kasha Davis killed with their aging Atlantic City hookers connected by the vagina. Violet and Max looked beautiful but boring as twins joined by their super-tight corset. Jaidynn and Tempest tried their best as disco queens connected by Tempest’s crotch to Jaidynn’s ass—when Ross Matthews advised Jaidynn to not “have Mexican for dinner,” I exploded as if I had indeed had Mexican for dinner—but they didn’t do much with their funny setup.
NEXT: The returning kween is…
Ginger and Sasha had a good idea by being connected at the boob, but the execution of their look was abysmal. They looked as if they were connected at the chest by some pickle-shaped body pillow, not unlike the one I use to take the place of a man in my bed. Michelle detected a white squiggle under Ginger’s breast-pit, which I would have explained away as a squiggle of spermacetti, but Ginger admitted it was a squirt of hot glue. Amateur!
But really, Pearl and Trixie—mostly Trixie—stole the show. Their concept of ’90s teen pageant queens, where one twin was pretty and the other was an acne-ridden Lady Edith, was quite brilliant. Trixie was so eager to cement her place in the competition that she played up the fake headgear and chestne like a true drag champ. Michelle and guest judge Nelsan Ellis couldn’t even keep it together watching them. Trixie may have been the obvious queen to return, but she made sure to earn her win and her place in the competition.
As for the bottom two, it ended up being Jaidynn and Tempest vs. Ginger and Sasha—it was not lost on me that the first two eliminated queens were now lip-syncing once again. Katya called this the most “epic lipsync ever.” It certainly wasn’t that, but it was very entertaining! Ginger and Sasha gave themselves a double mastectomy, and Jaidynn and Tempest were in a permanent “butt-f— position,” according to Katya. Really, it was quite glorious, and it was mostly Ginger’s doing. Jaidynn got sent packing—as much as I like Jaidynn, it was really her time. In fact, it was overdue.
Now, for the Fierce List:
1. Katya: She was the rightful winner of the Mini Challenge, not only with her gingivitis teeth, but with her Pussy Riot balaclava, which was the smartest reference of the season.
2. Ginger: Sure, she placed low in the Maxi Challenge, but she was never gonna lose. Even with Sasha Belle saddled to her chest.
3. Pearl: I was into her the first week, and now she’s proving that there’s a method to her 4/20-ness.
4. Trixie: Loved her honesty about her past and her overall positivity and humor. Previous elimination aside, she’s a huge contender for the win.
5. Violet: Beautiful as always, and according to Kasha, the most grown queen of the season.
6. Miss Fame: I still like Miss Fame quite a bit, but if it took her this long to get the “How’s your head?” joke, things don’t look good for her.
7. LaGuardia, Newark … Kennedy: I just don’t see what Ru sees in her, other than an opportunity to repeat a very funny catchphrase. Kennedy’s ashy-kneed character in Orange Is the New Drag was funny, but her world-weariness is not justified. It’s as if she has a Latrice Royale-sized queen stomping on her eyelids. Kennedy needs to find her joy.
RuPaul — as host, mentor, and creative inspiration — decides who's in and who's out.