Dear Ginny Lemon: fancy a slice of being a god-tier Drag Race queen? Because after that ballsy move and offhand cackle, you went from being kooky lovable contestant to punk legend. Actually, don’t stop at one — take two slices. You’ve earned them.
I had been waiting for this episode (and the next) literally for a year, as news had spread about Ginny’s big move and the abrupt filming shutdown as it was all going down last February. Initially the rumors were that as the lipsynch song began, Ginny flipped off RuPaul, said, “Fuck you!” and stormed off. That’s clearly not what happened. The fact that Ginny was downright bubbly when writing her mirror message, and Ru herself seemed to smirk at the walk off — I don’t think there are any hard feelings here. I thin it was just Ginny being Ginny (she has apparently done this sort of thing on other British TV programs). In fact, I suspect it was probably always her plan to just ditch this bitch once she knew she was in serious danger. Better to go out in a blaze of glory than to, I don’t know, flop around the stage or lean yourself against the doorway in a misguided attempt at looking sexy. (Stares directly at Kandy Muse)
But I’m getting ahead of myself! The mini challenge this week was a take-off of the Great British Bake Off, in which the contestants had to “sell” baked goods as though they had baked them themselves. First, please do an actual Bake Off challenge in an upcoming season, complete with the queens cooking, and have Daddy Paul Hollywood judge so I can get a full sense of just how much gay panic from which he suffers. (Just for my own personal edification, you understand.) Second, the only really interesting thing to come out of this challenge was the information that Bimini is quite sharp and has a good sense of British current affairs. You wouldn’t think that just by looking at her. But each episode I find myself more and more impressed by Miss Bon Boulash.
Bimini won, and was allowed her pick of roles for the main challenge, a combination improv/hosting challenge in which the queens did a live TV morning show called “Morning Glory.” The set up was almost identical to the TV challenge from Season 9, with the queens working in group to cover various segments, like party planning, money saving tips, etc. Perhaps “RATS: The Rusical” spoiled me, but I was disappointed with about half the performances here. Veronica Green and Sister Sister as goth party planners were a complete flop, I didn’t think Lawrence Chaney or Ellie Diamond did particularly well as the Scottish advice aunts, and I agreed with the judges that Ginny’s hippy weatherperson was bold but one note, nothing but chaotic hippy energy.
The only four that I thought excelled were Bimini and Tayce as the anchors — and that was largely Bimini doing the heavy lifting, giving great ditzy energy with lots of cute details that show she’s really paying attention here — and A’Whora and Tia Kofi as the chav budget gurus from Essex. I thought the two of them nailed it, particularly A’Whora, who had a very strong, humanizing episode. I liked A’Whora before all of this, but I was fully in love with her after this week.
So I will confess my confusion when neither A’Whora nor Bimini — clearly the strongest in the challenge — won the episode. Instead it went to Lawrence Chaney, for the second week in a row. I’m not mad at this. Lawrence was charming in the challenge (Lawrence is always charming), if not particularly strong, but she ate the Monster Mash-Up runway challenge, serving up a truly grisly let fashionable horror look. Had Bimini spent a little more time refining her demonic Pamela Anderson (redundant?) look, or A’Whora been more willing to ugly with her Vegas zombie, I believe one of them may have gotten the nod. By the way, I thought this was a solid runway, almost all of them serving memorable looks. The lone exception to me was Ellie Diamond in her troll/werewolf. Ellie, who really impressed me in the beginning, is flatlining in a big way right now.
Speaking of flatline, Sister Sister was in the Bottom 2 against Ginny. Sister has barely been visible thus far, and I believe that Production had every intention of sending her home this week. But then Ginny performed Self Destruct, and Sister actually brought it in her solo performance of Kim Wylde’s “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (been waiting for that lipsynch, was not disappointed). I’ll be curious to see if Sister can harness some of that energy going into the next leg of the competition, but as we all saw at the end, immediately after that lipsynch the gals were all abruptly sent home due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
This will create an interesting dynamic: the queens had roughly 7 months between the first four episode and the last six, and they had the time and resources to take the judges’ critiques into consideration, and make very real changes to their drag. Will make-up change? Will energy change? Will confidence raise or lower? Will this disrupt momentum for the frontrunners? They absolutely had the ability to re-make their looks. It’s a fascinating situation we have never seen on this show before, and I am hoping that we see another step up in what has already been a top-tier season for me.
How are you doing in our little pool? CLICK HERE FOR THE CURRENT SCOREBOARD. Episode 6 is Snatch Game, so if some/all of your queens have gotten the boot, fear not! You will be able to shuffle your bench then!
Here is this week’s Bird Watch, with special guest JP Sarmiento! We’re in the process of figuring a new video platform for these, and we experienced some technical difficulties with this one — sorry about the echo! But we’re on it, and we fixed it going forward. We hope you still enjoy it, JP did a fantastic job!
And here be the poll for Episode 5. Get in those picks and earn some extra points!
How are you feeling about this season overall? What did you think about Ginny’s big move? Drop a comment here (Ken, I’m so sorry I didn’t see yours for a few days! I’ll be more on top checking this week) or in the FB group page.