Spilling the tea on season 14, episode four
*Warning* The following article contains spoilers for RuPaul’s Drag Race season 14 episode four.
This week’s episode opens with the queens re-entering the werkroom after Maddy Morphosis won the lipsync for your life and sent June Jambalaya home. Emotions are not high as the queens read June’s message, “Thank you for finally giving me a drag family.” I was sad to see June go home but I think that it was her time. She is an amazing queen, and the world is going to love her.
After Maddy wipes away June’s mirror message, the queens gather to discuss the challenge. After spending a moment congratulating Willow Pill on her victory this week, Orion Story asks the group if there is anyone that is upset that they didn’t win this week. The first person to express her disappointment about not winning the challenge was Jasmine Kennedie. As said by the famous Trixie Mattel, that’s a lot of emotion for safe. While discussing her disappointment about not winning Jasmine starts to cry. I’ve never been on Drag Race, so I have no idea what emotions are like on the show. I just know that from an audience standpoint, crying when you’re safe isn’t cute.
Anyway…entering into the fourth week of the season the queens should be prepared for anything. RuPaul dropped the ball challenge the first week all the queens were together, we have no idea what he is going to do next. RuPaul announces that for this week’s maxi challenge the queen will be competing in teams to act in comedy teaser trailers for Drag Race season 14.
Willow Pill, because she won the challenge last week, and Maddy Morphosis, because she won the lipsync last week, are team captains. Both queens pick from the cast one at a time, leaving Jasmine Kennedie as the last queen to be picked. Because she is the last queen, RuPaul lets her choose which team she wants to be on. She ultimately picks Willow’s team. On Willow’s team, is Kornbread “The Snack” Jeté, Lady Camden, Bosco, Kerri Colby, Jorgeous and Jasmine Kennedie. On Maddy’s team, is DeJa Skye, Daya Betty, Angeria Paris VanMicheals, Alyssa Hunter and Orion Story.
Going into this week’s challenge I didn’t know how it was going to go. Each team has some really big personalities that can either work together or can constantly be at odds. We already start to see that tension on Willow’s team between Kornbread and Jasmine. These two started out the episode in a tense spot, ‘discussing’ Jasmine’s tendency to talk over queens. I’m hoping that these two can put this behind them because I don’t want anything distracting Kornbread this week.
During acting challenges like this, it is almost impossible to know what the final product will look like. I’ve seen cases where while filming everything looks like a mess and I never laughed once, but when they play the edited version on the main stage it is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. I’ve also seen the opposite, that while filming everything seems great and there are a lot of laughs but then they play it on the main stage and it’s hard to watch.
Each team had some funny moments and some not-so-funny moments. After watching the filming process, I still don’t know how it’s going to go. In my experience watching Drag Race, you should do your best but prepare for the worst. That is the mindset I would have gone into the werkroom with getting ready for the main stage. Sometimes the writing is on the wall with these challenges, but I don’t think there is a clear frontrunner as the girls hit the runway.
Before I discuss the results of the acting challenge I need to talk about this week’s runway. Category is Night of a Thousand JLo’s. The queens recreate some of Jennifer Lopez’s most iconic fashion moments from her shining career. The queens did not disappoint on this runway. Everyone looked spectacular (minus one in my opinion) in their JLo inspired looks. Because my recap articles get way too long I’m not going to go into their runway looks. But to experience all the great looks head to the RuPaul’s Drag Race YouTube page or follow this link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkHcxyN4qyQ, to see the queens’ runway looks.
After watching both groups’ comedy teasers for season 14, I personally liked Maddy’s team better. I thought they made more original ideas for interactions between the queens, interacted with each other better and hammed up their facial expressions so every scene was filled with multiple layers of comedy.
DeJa and Angeria’s ‘fight’ scene was my favorite part about the teaser. I think Angeria is absolutely hilarious, everything that comes out of her mouth, every expression on her face and every reaction has me rolling on the floor trying to catch my breath. I am incredibly surprised with the ease at which Angeria is able to step out of her comfort zone, it’s really promising for her future in this competition. Besides Deja and Angeria, another standout from that team for me was Orion. She has some funny moments in the teaser, and I like to see her continue to come out of her shell. Overall, all the queens in this group did an incredible job and worked together amazingly.
I did still like Willow’s teams’ teasers, just not as much as Maddy’s team. Their teaser was funny, it just wasn’t very original. For me it almost seemed like they were trying to recreate or pull elements from previous season teasers instead of making it their own. I also thought that some of their jokes were low-hanging fruit and as a group, they could have come up with some better material and just had more fun with it. I thought pieces of the teaser were really funny, especially Willow’s character in Untucked, but I feel like they could have pushed the envelope a little further and not go with the most obvious answer.
To watch the comedic season 14 teasers from the queens, visit the RuPaul’s Drag Race YouTube page or follow this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05I_zkVljyo.
This week, even though the queens worked as a team, they would each be judged individually. The top queens this week are Willow, DeJa and Angeria.
Willow had a great week for the third week in a row. She is proving that she is a force to be reckoned with. When Ru said that the queens would be judged individually, I had a feeling that Willow would be in the top. Willow isn’t afraid to look stupid and that was her biggest strength this challenge. She created a hilarious character and was unafraid to take it all the way. Because she wasn’t afraid to look stupid, she overshadowed everyone in her group. I felt myself always looking to her for the comedic punchline or for the next crazy thing to keep the scene moving. I think without Willow this week the team would have really suffered.
DeJa was finally able to show the judges why she deserves to be here. After landing in the bottom during the CNTs for a comedy routine, this challenge was DeJa’s redeeming moment to show the judges that she is a funny queen and funny she is. The judges made a great comment that DeJa had peaks and valleys to her performance which made her character more fun to watch. Unlike other queens she knew when to hold back and when to lean in. I wish that we could have gotten the chance to see this DeJa in week one. I’m super impressed with her performance this week and I hope that she can keep this momentum moving forward.
I think that both Willow and DeJa had great performances this week, but Angeria knocked it out of the park. I couldn’t keep my eyes off her the entire teaser. I would find myself looking to her, even if she wasn’t the focus of the scene just to see her over-the-top reaction. For someone whose first acting experience was this teaser, she did an amazing job. She did such a great job the judges asked her when she started acting and were shocked when she said today. Angeria definitely is a front-runner for me right now. She is such a chameleon and is able to adapt to whatever the challenge calls for. I’m excited to see what she continues to bring as the competition progresses.
This week the queens in the bottom are Kornbread, Kerri and Alyssa. While it is sad to see these three queens, who I’ve loved since the beginning, in the bottom they were definitely the weakest this week.
First up is Kornbread. Kornbread’s biggest weakness this week was a lack of variety in her performance. This week Kornbread relied on fat jokes for almost the entirety of the teaser. Everyone has laughed at a fat joke, but it was sad to see Kornbread put herself in that box. Kornbread is hilarious, she’s funny without trying. I think this week Kornbread got in her head and thought the best way to make her mark was essentially making fun of herself. Loni Love said it the best when she told Kornbread, “I know you can do more than the food jokes.” We got to see some vulnerability from her while talking to the judges talking about her struggles showing emotion. I hope that after this week we can see a deeper side to Kornbread that we have already gotten glimpses of in the werkroom.
For Kerri this week her biggest weakness was her fear to be vulnerable to the judges and in turn the audience. Where Willow isn’t afraid to get ugly and look stupid, Kerri isn’t as comfortable showing her more rough and imperfect side. I think this has a lot to do with the crazy unrealistic expectations that are put on trans women to be the perfect essence of female beauty. Even just being a gay man, I understand the pressure to fit into the mold that mainstream society has adopted as the ‘right’ type of gay. Kerri is a beautiful woman, and not just in the face. Kerri has a beautiful soul. We have gotten to see that in the werkroom with the other queens. Now it is time for Kerri to let some of that vulnerability find it’s way into the challenges. Not only to make her more successful but to also let the fans really get to know her.
Finally, Alyssa’s biggest problem this week was a lack of any versatility in the challenge. Alyssa came into the challenge with a character in mind and was unwilling to break from that character at all. Where DeJa had great peaks and valleys during her performance, Alyssa was at 100 the whole time. Because we didn’t get any variety from the character it was hard to be invested in her performance. Alyssa wasn’t afraid to look stupid and was 100% committed to her character but everything was so one-note. Her character seemed to be a parody version of Yara Sofia, which the judges also hinted at, but she was just crazy the whole time and didn’t have any levels to her character. This was the overall critique for all the bottom queens, there was just no depth and dimension to their characters.