I am very much enjoying this season. The queens are lovely and by and large are living up to the challenges. But I was thinking, “Will this season be memorable? Are we getting a lot of gag-worthy moments?” And aside from Kornbread’s unexpected exit last episode, I’m not sure that has been the case…
…up until this episode, which will go down as one of the most rigged judgings in franchise history, and certainly qualifies as memorable. That wasn’t a critique. That was a storyboarding session for the next act of the season, and nobody can tell me otherwise. Specifically the winner and the Bottom 2.
Let’s pull back. We sped right past the fallout from last week’s elimination — did they even show us Orion’s lipstick message? Fuck her drag, right — and got right to the maxi challenge, Glamazon Prime, in which the queens had to use unconventional materials ordered by Michelle Visage during Glambien-induced nocturnal shopping binges. These queens did not impress overall in their last design challenge, the ball — they didn’t fail, but there were very few memorable looks. So this was a shot at redemption.
To my mind, most of them did. I thought the bulk of the cast fared well in this unconventional materials challenge. Bosco, Lady Camden, Willow Pill, Angeria Paris VanMichaels, Daya Betty, and arguably even DeJa Skye gave us looks that I thought were either beautiful or interesting in a successful way. Maddy Morphosis and Jasmine Kennedie gave us looks that made a statement in a less-positive way. And then…there was Jorgeous.
Jorgeous, who was determined to redeem herself after last episode’s Bottom 2 appearance, ran into a nightmare situation where the garment she had spent the bulk of the time working on simply did not fit her body. So she very quickly pivoted and, with some scraps provided by Angeria, whipped together a tiny, two-fabric mini dress with big plastic cookie cutters as her accessories. She braced herself for her inevitable savaging by the judges but…they loved it. And not only did they love it, she WON. She WON for a barely-there dress that she threw together in, like, 15 minutes. The gag. The gagarama. The gagaTRONdra of it all.
Flash to Untucked, where the safe queens — Bosco, Willow, Daya, Kerri Colby — tried to figure out who on the stage was getting good critiques, and who was getting smashed, considering 3/4 of them (sorry, Kerri, you had half a look) looked better than at least four of the queens getting critiqued. And the evolution of Daya Betty to Petty Betty…began. Daya did NOT come off well this episode, at all. From practically begging Ru and Carson to give her a critique in the work room, to then wholesale ignoring their main point — you have to visually separate yourself from Crystal Methyd, because even though that is your style too, all we see is a Xeros — to unspooling over being safe and taking it REALLY personal…she is clearly being set up as our mid-season antagonist.
But the thing is, she was right. Of the top 3 — Lady Camden, Angeria, and Jorgeous — there is no question that Jorgeous had no business being in the top. Safe? Maybe. Top? No way. WINNING?! That was solely intended as a psychological attack on Daya Betty, it is in no way an actual win based on merit. Sorry to Jorgeous. Sorry to her fans. I think she’s great and I’m glad she had a Moment. But anyone with a HEAD knows that was utter horseshit. I suspect even Jorgeous knows it was a bullshit win.
Meanwhile, the Bottom 3 — DeJa Skye, Jasmine Kennedie, Maddy Morphosis — were all deserving of criticism, but for very different reasons. DeJa committed the worst drag sin of being boring. It’s an unconventional materials challenge and you pick a tablecloth and pillowcases? SNORE. Even worse because she’s clearly a very talented seamstress. This was LA-ZY. Jasmine, on the other hand, tried to do the most with giant, gaudy accessories over a gauzy frock that lacked shape and structure. And Maddy took aprons to create a garish patchwork country-bumpkin ball look, complete with blow-up doll date. I applauded her creativity and humor, but there was no denying that this was a bust.
I don’t know if the judges/producers knew that putting Maddy and Jasmine into the B2 would produce that explosive fight in Untucked, but I DO think they threw Jasmine in there to give us a top-tier lipsynch — which she did, to Beyonce’s “Sugar Mama.” I actually understood where both queens were coming from in their fight, and I don’t think either was necessarily right or wrong. But it was another fiery moment that we will remember from this season.
Ultimately Jasmine slayed the lipsynch — Maddy took a borderline comic approach, I think because she knew there was just no way she could out-perform Jasmine and Maddy’s chocolate was just chocolate. And so we tied up the last remaining thread of S14 Act 1 — our stunt casting for the season served his purpose, and now he’s shuffling off. I do suspect Maddy will not be the last straight man we see compete on this show, and I do think he deserves credit for doing something this ballsy. Especially from a fairly small city in Arkansas.
Next: Daya continues to unravel, the queens overact in a soap opera challenge.