Taking a page from All Stars 2 ,this season’s penultimate episode is a reunion. But while the AS2 Reunion was a poorly edited snooze, this one is all T, all shade, all Valentina hate parade. Let’s go through the most gag-worthy moments:
1. Alexis Can’t Handle The Library
Ru starts by revisiting Alexis’ dish-it-but-can’t-take-it attitude during the reading challenge in which she made fun of Shea’s teeth then took afront when Farrah came for her body. Ru, to her credit, goes IN this whole episode. She’s putting queens on blast and letting them know they got some ‘splaining to do. Alexis gives her same line of body image being a 'sensitive’ issue for her, and Farrah takes it in stride…
2. JK, Farrah Ain’t Having It
I mean, my God, she looks like she’s putting in a contact lens! Farrah really shines in this episode, serving attitude and actual jokes with both set up and punch lines. Our Top Four are united front. They play the part of Mean Girl Brigade all episode, punching the fuck down and calling shade left and right. Ultimately, I’ll give Alexis credit for copping to the pressures of the competition and admitting she would have a better attitude about it if the Reading Challenge were to be done again. And so obviously…
3. They Do The Reading Challenge Again
Trinity goes in with a fat joke right off the bat and Alexis takes it in stride. Jaymes Mansfield makes an A-plus joke about Valentina forgetting the words and then seemingly also forgets the words to the rest of the episode, as this six seconds is her total screen time for the night.
4. Charlie Hides’ Elimination
Next, Ru moves on to the suite of surprising eliminations from this season, starting with ‘Oldest Queen With A Youtube Account’ Charlie Hides. When given an opportunity to explain her swing and a miss, she now insists she was injured. But didn’t she say her issue was not being a frequent lip syncer? Oh right, yes, that’s what it was. But didn’t she tell Nina she was going to throw the lip sync? Hmmm, not sure, but that could be it, yes. Oh wait, no, now she remembers what it was: her lack of movement was a sly enactment of masturbation, as that’s actually the *subtext* of this Britney Spears song. Charlie is truly all over the place and the queens are hammering her for it. Even Ru has even got the receipts, bringing out unaired footage and everything. Her waffling ends with an admission that she doesn’t want to have let Ru down. Ru offers the most mild of assuagements, as only Ru can, saying: ‘you’re good on Youtube and you made your mark here’ without even explicitly clarifying if that mark was positive or negative. Godbless the shade!
5. Eureka’s Injury
Eureka, who looked like she was up for the part of Referee Phlegm in a Mucinex commercial, spoke about how hard it was to leave the competition after she injured her knee. She cries thinking of how welcome the girls made her feel, then she and Trinity find a detente for their years long feud. I tell ya what, this bitch is PRIMING herself for Season Ten. She is reforming her image and looking to PLAY. I look forward to seeing more up-dos from the Big Gal in the Year of our Lord 2018!
In what was truly *stunning* television, Ru + Company grill Valentina. She still has no excuse for her lip sync fail, though she does insist she put some effort in by transcribing the lyrics in a notebook the night before like a dang middle schooler. She’s put on notice for not calling off her fans when they bullied Nina/Alexis/Shea and in her defense compares herself to Selena. At this point, the Mean Girl Brigade expands from four to everybody. At one point, Alexis says the ICONIC phrase: ‘I FaceTimed you in tears.’ Shea is now pulling out the goddamn receipts on Valentina’s social media activity and her pledge to defend Nina. At one point, Eureka tries to come to Val’s defense and all the queens just scream ‘no!’. I feel for Valentina, to a certain degree, as she does get pretty resoundingly attacked for all her nonsense, but her delusions are splayed out for all to see for about ten straight minutes and she doesn’t walk away looking too good. On the positive side, though, Shea does a spot on Valentina impression that she should back pocket for All Stars 3.
7. Nina’s Still Nina
As it turns out, the Crazy Train’s running local and so next stops at Miss Nina Bonina Brown. Surprising: this look! It’s fabulous and different from a lot of the silhouettes we’ve seen from her this season. Not surprising: her attitude ain’t changed on bit. For the forty-second time, Nina is given a chance to say who was actually talking shit about her so that said person can make amends, but chooses to stay quiet about this very real and not imaginary perpetrator. I wish Nina would’ve gone the route of Eureka who, after seeing what a b-word she could be on the TV, seemed to clean up her act a little bit and make the cameras love her more. But Nina has doubled down. She is unwavering in her fantasy. Shea’s got even MORE receipts, whipping out Instagram Live time stamps to corroborate her story like we’re in the Court of Shade. Even Kimora Blac gets into it, gabbing about some YouTube comments Nina left! It’s a regular old pile on and Valentina seems happy for a reprieve. The episode isn’t even over and we’re drowning in drama. I am living for it!
8. The Queens Play Toot or Boot
To cap all this nonsense off, Ru plays a round of Toot or Boot cause the shade just don’t stop. And yet somehow, after all the shit we’ve been swimming in, this segment, in which the queens straight up diss one another’s looks to their damn faces, ends up being one of the more civil parts of the show! This is, truly, a reunion for the ages.
9. Miss Congeniality
To conclude our episode, Miss Congeniality is announced. Certainly, *this* will be civil. As reigning MC, CuCu reads the winner and…it’s Valentina. After all the flack she’s got, at least she’ll bank five grand for her troubles. Valentina starts to give her acceptance speech, when…
10. Aja Is NOT Having It
Aja calls shade! The reunion has now become a full on drunk trailer trash wedding, and the queens all join our Brooklyn banshee in objecting to Valentina’s award. Fan favorite, sure…but congenial? I don’t think so, the queens proclaim! Now it all comes out: Valentina never tried to connect with them, Valentina was only concerned with herself, Valentina is charming but she ain’t nice. Farrah starts to weep about how Valentina hasn’t respond to her texts! To! Her! Texts! Is this really television? Again (and again and again), I do not know…and I love. It finally quiets down, but this ish ain’t over. Ru saves a bombshell for the end and reveals that for the first time ever, this year’s finale will be decided by…
11. A LIP SYNC TOURNAMENT
Eureka is me upon hearing this news. Thank you, Drag Race Gods. The finale is usually a pretty boring affair, but now: Must See TV. Any queen could win now, methinks. Tune in next week for the hot mess conclusion to this blessed drag competition!