The queens channel Cookie Lyons in this 'Empire'-themed episode
As we did with Cookie Lyon on the debut episode of Empire, we started out this episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race welcoming back a queen who had fallen hard from grace and was returning from exile. But unlike Cookie’s glorious return from jail, the return of this mystery queen wasn’t all that fierce and fell far short from changing the course of television history.
At first, everyone was speculating on who Ru had been talking to on the phone at the end of last episode. (Let’s be real, she was probably talking to the Papa John’s delivery guy, but let’s use our imaginations). Could it be Shangela? (Please God, why couldn’t it have been Shangela?) Bob the Drag Queen took us way, WAY back to the first season and wondered if it could be Victoria “Porkchop” Parker, who was the queen most in need of redemption. I was hoping beyond hope that maybe it would be Katya. At least Acid Betty kept things sweet by vowing to ignore whomever the returning queen was and “treat her like poo.”
Everybody was wrong, though, because the returning queen turned out to be…Naysha. Alright. Well, let’s just hope that the soccer-mom dancing that got her eliminated in the first place was just a terrible choke. We’re expecting more than just a pretty face from Naysha and want to see these apparently amazing dancing skills we’ve heard about.
But first, for the Mini Challenge, Ru went political AND historical by putting on a Supreme Court Realness runway show. The queens had to drag up basic black robes: think Judge Judy couture. I personally consider Ruth Bader Ginsburg a fashion icon — I’m pretty sure Acid Betty could pass for her with just a scooch of lipstick, and Laila could have done an amazing Elena Kagan. Why wasn’t Sonia Sotomayor guest-judging? I’m sure she would have said yes if asked.
Anyway, Naomi Smalls won the challenge for an outfit clearly inspired by Sandra Day O’Connor, the prize for which was getting to be one of the team captains, along with Naysha, on the Maxi Challenge, an acting challenge that would have all the queens performing in a skit inspired by Empire.
Teams were chosen, and Team Naysha got off to a rough start as Kim Chi was initially cast in the lead role as Chocolate Chip Cookie. What were they thinking??? It takes a GIANT personality and an ability to walk in heels to strut in Cookie Lyons’ Louboutins; and on the other team, Bob the Drag Queen would be filling the same role, and she would have steamrolled Kim Chi. Luckily, Naysha made the executive decision to make Kim Chi and Thorgy swap roles. Chi Chi had the funniest comment about Team Naysha: “They should be worried because they have a lot of girls who are…not black.”
Team Naysha showed up on a set decorated with a lot of gold-framed portraits of Ru, who’d be playing the role of Ruscious. Ru and Faith Evans were sitting in the director’s chairs. Kim Chi had the first lines, and it was looking like it was going to be a disaster — she didn’t know how to pop her tongue, which is an innate ability in 90 percent of drag queens — but Kim Chi impressed everyone by improving very quickly and looking hot in a sculpted bob. You go, Boo Boo Kitty!
NEXT: Rolling down the runway