FINALLY the season has BEGUN! Many people — myself included — have found Season 13’s extended non-elimination stretch to be a bit of a chore. I have enjoyed getting to know these 13 queens, and certainly I have favorites now (Tamisha) who I probably would not have bonded with otherwise. But three episodes without anyone going home? To quote Laganja Estranja, it’s too fucking much. So finally, on Episode 4, we get our first full-cast challenge, and our first elimination. I think both were a step in the right direction. Now that all the ingredients have been thrown into the pot, we have the start of a stew going. But it still needs to simmer to fully develop.
This week the challenge was for the queens to act in cheesy holiday-movie parodies. Two out of the three teams did fine with meager material, while Denali’s team was dead on arrival. The group, led by Denali and featuring Olivia Lux, Elliott with 2 Ts, and Kahmora Hall, flopped all around. Denali took the lead role without any acting experience, and delivered some of the weirdest line readings I’ve ever seen on this show. Olivia barely achieved competency in the sassy granny role. I have no idea what the fuck Elliott was doing. And Kahmora brought nothing to her living tree.
Before people say, “She was screwed by that role” — I disagree. She had several terrible puns she could have milked, and a fairly lengthy exchange with Denali’s character. Kahmora was also apparently physically incapable of taking a directing note. If anyone had a weak part in that skit, it was Elliott, and I actually agree with Kandy Muse that Elliott was lucky to escape the Bottom 3.
But that’s the difference between this season and Season 12 or UK2. On those seasons, queens who did well in the challenges still ended up in the bottom because everyone else was excelling. This season, much like Season 11, Season 7, Season 4, and other seasons with weaker overall casts, we appear to have the opposite problem: so many queens fail, but the format only allows for 3 bottom spots. So we’re going to have some cellar dwellers hanging around longer than they probably should (looking at Elliott and Joey specifically, and also eyeing La La).
And I would also include Kahmora in that group, as she was in the bottom all three episodes in which she appeared. But she was eliminated in one of the most lopsided lipsynchs in recent memory. I have long wanted a “100 Percent Pure Love” lipsynch on this show, and Denali gave me everything I wanted from it. (I do agree with Denali being Bottom 2, btw — she bit off way more than she could chew, and she failed that challenge completely.) Kahmora is a gorgeous queen and I came to appreciate her over the past two episodes. She’s much more likable than the shady human Barbie doll she appeared to be at first. She simply was not cut out for this competition, which requires a much more varied set of skills than I believe she currently has access to.
I would add that, even given everything written above, I don’t think Season 13 has a bad cast. I just think it is lopsided. There is a fairly obvious group of queens that have no shot at winning this thing, and then a group that is clearly more capable. And then on a completely different level, there is Symone, who has won all three episodes in which she has appeared. That has NEVER happened on Drag Race, ever. She ate both the challenge and the runway this week. Every other queen on that stage needs to step it up significantly, because right now it is a one-horse show, more than any other season I can think of. The closest comparison to me would be Season 4, where Sharon was way ahead of the pack early on, but Chad, Latrice, and Willam had obvious star power and were nipping at her heels. Right now, 25 percent of the way into the season (yep, it’s 16 episodes), the only queens I consider remote threats to Symone are Rose, Olivia, Tina, and Denali, and I’ll throw Tamisha in because I cherish her. But that’s strictly my opinion. Note that I left out Kandy, who is being relentlessly pushed by producers, and I’m not having it. We see you, show.
What’s YOUR opinion? Did you think the season got better with all the queens together? Does this seem like The Symone Show feat. 12 Other Drag Queens? Or is there someone else you have your eyes on? Drop a comment here or let us know what you think in the Facebook group chat!
Speaking of the pool, CLICK HERE FOR THE CURRENT STANDINGS! And make sure you fill out the Episode 5 Poll and submit your picks for episode winner/loser by Thursday! Easy points! Don’t let them slide by!
How did we come up with those Toot & Boot points? Check out Photo Finish, the Great Pop Culture Debate’s fashion review series. This week, our special guest is WOOWOO MONROE! We were so honored to have this queen on our chicken-shit show. If you want more WooWoo in your life — and who wouldn’t? — you can follow her on Insta, Facebook, and Twitter, and check out the Renegades Bar Twitch stream for bi-monthly shows starring our queen!
NEXT: It’s the ball, and Symone can’t sew. BLOOP!