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Drag Race says emotional goodbye to trailblazing trans queen after shady reading challenge

Gary Grimes February 28, 2022
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RuPaul

RuPaul. (WOW)

Episode six of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 14 opens with a role reversal of sorts.

Daya Betty, who spent much of the last week’s episode begrudging Jorgeous’s recent win as being undeserved, finds herself on the receiving end of similar criticism from Jasmine Kennedie, who feels Daya’s performance did not warrant her a spot in the top two.

This perceived injustice is just one of the many things Jasmine is grappling with this week on Drag Race. She is also reeling from her brave decision to come out as trans, as seen on last week’s episode of Untucked. Although her revelation was met with love and support from her fellow queens, she is concerned about her father’s reaction, as he apparently found the idea of her being a gay man difficult enough to come to terms with, and her family aren’t aware of her gender journey.

Unfortunately, she’s left with no choice but to take comfort in the supportive words from Déja Skye and Kerri Kolby and look forward as the competition is stiffer than ever. We’re past the half way point in the season and everyone means business now. To quote Bosco: “I’ve got a lot of friends but I don’t have a single $100,000!” Us too girl, us too.

Enter RuPaul, who kindly informs the girls the library is officially open – it’s this season’s reading challenge and, as usual for Drag Race, there are a few queens who take it a little too far and more than a couple of lead balloons. All in all, it’s a strong showing as each of the girls deliver their shadiest lines to one another. Our favourite read goes to Angeria who congratulated Daya Betty for earning the title “America’s Next… Crystal Methyd”.

Ultimately Bosco takes the win, with Lady Camden getting an honourary mention from Mama Ru too. Next up we learn of this week’s maxi-challenge which is inspired by the great girl groups of the 1960s. The queens must sort themselves into three groups of three – The Rupremes, The Runnettes and the Shangrulas. Each group will sing and dance to a different doo-wop ditty and star in an accompanying music video.

The drama starts here as, left to their own devices due to RuPaul opting not to assign the groups and songs, the girls descend into chaotic bickering over song choices. Shouting the loudest, as always, is Daya Betty who completely spits the dummy before conversations had even begun, whining and repeatedly shouting “I want bad boy. I want bad boy.” The girl really knows how not to endear herself to a room, huh?

Eventually the queens manage to organise themselves and rehearsals can begin. A number of dark horses reveal some hidden talents: Angeria and Déja prove themselves to be more than adequate vocalists, the former mimmicking Diana Ross to perfection. Willow Pill turns out to be a very competent dancer and choreographer, much to the surprise and dismay of the other girls who are becoming increasingly threatened by the multi-talented queen. Meanwhile poor Lady Camden, a classically trained dancer who was coming off a win last week, is lumped with the utterly left-footed Angeria and Kerri Kolby, making her task of choreographing something impressive nearly impossible.

Back in the Drag Race werk room we’re shown an interesting conversation in which Kerri Kolby tells the group a little more about her extremely strict and religious upbringing. She explains that you’ll likely never catch her singing along to a girl group anthem as secular music was entirely banned in her household growing up. It’s an intriguing insight into a queen who we’ve still really not gotten to know beyond the surface.

Willow Pill wins the Drag Race runway – but not the challenge

Before this week’s runway we get to enjoy the girl group music videos which are, by and large, actually quite impressive. The Rupremes, led by seasoned Diana Ross impersonator Angeria, definitely delivered the most professional looking performance but Daya, Willow and Bosco also pull off their Shangrulas number flawlessly. Bottom of the pile would have to be the Runettes, made up of Jasmine Kennedie, Déja Skye and Jorgeous – although we do get a great laugh hearing the truly tone deaf Jorgeous opt to simply speak her lyrics in a sultry voice, despite Michelle Visage’s attempts to illicit a melodic note out of her in rehearsals.

She may not be a singer but Jorgeous is always, as her name suggests, gorgeous, and thus the Drag Race runway is more her forté. This week is no exception, and she looks sublime serving Victoria’s Secret angel realness for the heart theme. Willow Pill also impresses in a gown made entirely from thongs and panties, while Angeria brings something genuinely new to the table – in a step away from her usual glamour and pageantry, this week she steps out in a mod monochrome number with a Fame Monster-style wig which thrill the judges and viewers alike.

Less impressive is Jasmine Kennedie, in what is essentially a basic maroon evening gown, and Kerri Kolby, who gets a stern telling off from the Drag Race judges for leaving her pantyhose line visible in her revealing artery-inspired look. Both queens pay the price for their shoddy looks and nervous girl group performances as they both find themselves in the bottom two.

In an emotional climax, Jasmine is left with no choice but to battle it out in the lip sync against Kerri, who she previously hailed as a trans role model and credited as being instrumental in inspiring her to come out.

Both queens have consistently underdelivered all season and though the significance of two out and proud trans queens standing on the main stage together hits home, this week’s lip sync is ultimately underwhelming. Jasmine manages to survive by the skin of her teeth but she better be prepared to seriously step her game up next week – especially seeing as her arch nemesis Daya Betty will be coming off the high of being crowned winner this week for the first time.

And so we bid farewell to Kerri Kolby who joined the ever-growing list of queens who unwrapped their RuPaul’s Chocolate Bar to reveal… just chocolate! Womp, womp, womp.

 

 

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