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Sometimes entertainers have a particularly excellent day. All the effort comes together and they’re able to get into the flow and carry out at their peak. Everything that can go right, that needs to go right, does. And in some cases, they don’t. A concern or insecurity crops up and all of a sudden the performer is in their head, or over-compensating, or powering through the actions rather than living them. There are plenty of ways to build a gratifying reality competitors episode around somebody who’s out of their depth, or over-confident, or not doing the work. It’s much harder when a fan-favorite simply has a bad day, and in the final removal episode of season 11 of Drag Race, that’s what takes place. There’s no drama, no glaring misstep or hubris, simply 2, arguably three queens who have an excellent day, and 2 who do not. The queens are mostly confident right as much as the runway, and without workroom and talking head interview material to build a compelling story, “Queens All over” end up being a remarkably kind-hearted, however anti-climactic episode.
As always, the episode begins as the queens return to the workroom after Nina’s elimination, giving her a fonder goodbye than we have actually seen in a while. Everyone appears shocked at her removal, and given the tone of their conversation, Nina’s a shoo-in for Miss Congeniality this season. Silky is still upset at Brooke for pairing her with Soju for the remodeling obstacle, however there’s no doubt among the queens that she was worthy of to be in the bottom. Both A’keria and Brooke are straight with her about her underwhelming lip-sync. Silky’s been hyping up her lip-sync skills all season and when finally tested, she was a total mess. She waves away her lackluster efficiency by declaring TLC’s “No Scrubs” isn’t her category of music, but Silky has a long way to go to redeem herself in the eyes of her fellow queens, and the viewers at house. After some discussion from Yvie and Silky about the other queens calling them as who should go home, the top 5 take a minute to revel in their triumph. Another elimination to sustain, and they’ll remain in the finale.
The next day, the queens are pumped, prepared to tackle their last challenge. Michelle welcomes them rather than Ru, introducing the maxi challenge– no time at all for a mini this episode. The queens will write and record a verse to contribute to RuPaul’s latest single, “Queens Everywhere,” then master tough choreography from Todrick Hall to accompany the tune. They’ll need to perform the routine live, and in the middle of all of this, they’ll likewise stop by RuPaul and Michelle’s podcast, What’s The Tee?, for an interview. It’s a lot. Writing lyrics pushes the queens to crystallize their brand name and identity in just a few lines. Recording tests their capability to work and collaborate under pressure. The choreography needs physicality and performance abilities, and the interview makes sure that there’s compound and staying power underneath each queen’s glittery surface. There’s a reason Drag Race has settled into this as their go-to final removal challenge.
The queens get to work right away, each focused and bringing their unique perspective to their verses. Among the advantages of competitors knowing what to expect in their last difficulty is that they have actually all prepared for this. They’ve thought of their voice and what they wish to state, and this produces a smoother recording procedure and more sleek final product. The first queen to record is Vanjie, dealing with Todrick and producer Markaholic. Her rhythm sounds fantastic and she goes in with purpose. Todrick tries to give the manufacturers something to work with, playing up a potential wobble, however it doesn’t land, thanks to Vanjie’s confident delivery. Yvie is next. Her verse is good, however she has a little difficulty spitting the words out rapidly enough. By the end of her session, though, she’s in the pocket and Todrick assists her bring more inflection and personality to her performance. Brooke is third, and she gets the comedic or delusional edit of the group. Similar to Vanjie, the edit doesn’t truly feel particularly significant due to the fact that by the end, Todrick seems delighted. Smooth start strong just to flub her lines partway through, but this is just on her preliminary record. She selects herself back up and ends well. Last is A’keria, who Todrick compliments for her rhythm, but who needs a bit more personality. All in all, the queens an excellent task with their lyrics, and Ru’s track seems to be in good hands.
Over at What’s The Tee?, A’keria kicks things off, speaking about her family and her experiences raising her brother’s kid. This is an interesting brand-new side to A’keria (make that, Gregory) that viewers have not seen this season, and the discussions they have around identity, masculinity, and sexuality are the emphasize of this portion of the episode. Silky is up 2nd, and she’s charming in her interview, focusing on styles of forgiveness– her forgiveness of the other queens. Brooke goes third, and besides dropping the nugget that she hasn’t had a sweetheart, she talks about her gravitation toward structure and control, initially in the ballet world and after that the pageant cycle. This is the closest the episode comes toward constructing a thread that carries through to the runway; Brooke’s requirement to chill out and discover immediacy in her performance has actually shown up previously this season and it will once again, later in the episode. Vanjie complete the interviews, and while she is her normal amusing self, the stimulate of energy that has made her talking heads a highlight of the season isn’t present. The manufacturers could have begun to develop a stress and anxiety or nerves story for her here, but for whatever reason, they do not. Instead of a warning, this encounters as a blip.
Choreography wedding rehearsals always get a lot of time on Drag Race, because they produce quickly entertaining visuals. Either the queens nail it and are interesting and enjoyable, or they have a hard time, and assist the manufacturers construct stress. This time around, the queens break relatively nicely into these 2 camps. Vanjie and Silky succeed, Yvie and A’keria have trouble, and Brooke, well, as Todrick says, she requires, “to go to The Cardi B School For Girls.” A little less ballet, a lot more stank. After the queens finish their specific and group trainings, Todrick takes them to another part of the set. They’ll be performing their routine not on the main phase, but as part of a one-take music video, with more choreography yet to be revealed. Carrying out live for an audience is hard, however at least you have the energy of the crowd to make use of. Performing a one-take video has the risks of carrying out live without the benefits, and the queens are appropriately sober at the thought.
After what was unquestionably a long evening of wedding rehearsal and private practice, the queens return to the workroom for their last runway prep. They’re dealt with to mixed drinks and all of a sudden, this entire part of the episode is heart-warming and verifying. They speak about their favorite minutes in the competitors, they thank each other for their assistance, or for putting up with their drama, and inquiring minds– A’keria, Silky, and Yvie– ask after the future of Branjie, now that the competitors is unwinding. Any potential source for drama and strife is diffused. Brooke and Vanjie seem to be on the exact same page about their relationship, Silky and Yvie have squashed their beef, and all is tranquil and calm in the workroom. It’s a little odd, however after this season’s numerous screaming matches, both here and on Untucked, it’s a revitalizing change of rate.
Eventually, it’s time for the runway, and the launching of the queens’ video. “Queens All over” is not the most interesting track to build from, but each of the queens’ verses work. Performance-wise, A’keria begins strong, but fades by the end, as she fills time prior to walking the cam to Brooke. The Queen of the North also struggles with needing to fill time post-verse and it’s perplexing why ballerina Brooke isn’t provided more to do during this time. Silky is sloppy, but energetic and she certainly advantages from her verse moving directly to Vanjie’s, without any vamping. Vanjie does well, and with far more choreography than Silky, but she feels detached in a manner she hasn’t in her previous lip-syncs. Yvie is last, and she breaks out the gate, the clear winner on personality and efficiency. It’s difficult to see a few of the group choreography at the end, but all things considered, the queens ought to more than happy with the finished product. It’s fun and breezy and total, they’ve succeeded.
On the runway, Category is: Best Drag. Brooke comes out in a Swan Lake– influenced ballerina look, and while this is not her most inventive runway, she looks great. Silky goes full pageant, in a dress with swirling pinks and nudes, with huge blonde hair. Vanjie bets expectations with a lovely green gown, motivated by Vivian Leigh’s popular green costume from Chose The Wind It’s a departure for her, but one that’s effective. Regrettably, as in her music video performance, she feels off. Vanjie has actually been offering her appearances hard all season, even that unfortunate golden bunny, but here, she feels reluctant. Yvie serves glamour in a beautiful red dress, but in real Strangely style, she has 3 eyes, 3 breasts, and 3 fingers on each hand, amongst other 3s. She looks fantastic. So does A’keria, who rounds out the runway in a stunning blue and purple stoned and fringed pageant dress.
It emerges early in the evaluating that Yvie and A’keria wll be going through to the finals. The judges love their looks and connected with their efficiencies in the video. Silky also feels safe. She gets a small read from Michelle about sloppy detail work, however Todrick loves her and Ross appreciates her passion. The two concern marks are Brooke and Vanjie. Brooke is applauded for her look, however Michelle thinks something is missing out on and Ross desires more edge. Each of the judges comment on Vanjie being disconnected. She didn’t make a mess of anything, but she didn’t shine either. This wasn’t her day.
Before the judges deliberate, Ru asks each queen to talk to their younger selves, holding up adorable photos of each in what has become a regularly moving, however sometimes extremely made pre-finale runway custom. A’keria advises young Gregory to be true to himself, and to like himself. Brooke tells young Brock that he’s ideal and fantastic just the way he is. Smooth gently chides young Reggie for concealing himself for so lots of years. Vanjie informs young Jose to lean on his mom, who will always have his back, and Yvie encourages young Jovan not to develop walls that will take years to tear pull back. It’s sweet and impactful, and a lovely final moment for the leading 5 queens to share together.
In the end, Ru sends out Yvie, A’keria, and Silky through to the finale, leaving Brooke and Vanjie to lip-sync, to Aretha Franklin’s “Pride: A Much Deeper Love.” Both Brooke and Vanjie have actually lip-synced earlier this season, and both have turned it out. Neither especially slays here. Brooke performs mostly on pointe, which does not especially fit with the tune, while Vanjie takes of her green skirt so that she can move more quickly. As in the video however, Vanjie’s dance relocations feel detached, and she does not develop sufficient momentum. Both Brooke and Vanjie want to stay, and neither is going to toss their efficiency to help their admirer, however for whatever factor, neither clinches their spot in the finale the way both are capable of. In the end, Ru saves Brooke and sends Vanjie off to load for an unavoidable return in All Stars Even despite this underwhelming final lip-sync, Brooke feels like a queen to beat in the ending, and Vanjie has actually sealed her place in Drag Race fandom. First queen gotten rid of in season 10 to leading 5 in season11 Very few might manage that sort of turn-around. She may not have actually made the finale this time, however with a bit more seasoning, Vanjie will be a severe competitor anywhere she turns up next.
- We have our last 4. Despite incredible growth from A’keria and a strong showing here from Silky, season 11 still feels like it’ll boil down to Brooke versus Yvie. Then once again, after Asia and the butterflies, I’m loathe to feel too positive about anyone in a Drag Race ending.
- Next to Silky and A’keria’s pageant gowns, Vanjie’s last look may not pop, however I like this option from her. She was truly checked out for her over-reliance on leotards this season, but she had some fantastic appearances– she didn’t get sufficient love for her zodiac look, for one– and I’m delighted for what she’ll bring her next time around.
- I delighted in how invested everyone, from the other queens to Ru and Michelle, are in Branjie. I anticipate they’ll be a topic of excellent interest in the approaching reunion episode.
- Season 11 had a really enjoyable batch of queens, however on reflection, it looks like it would have taken advantage of a couple of more comedy queens, to shore up the performance difficulties. I generally like the Drag Race roasts, but was happy we didn’t get one this season.
- What a wonderfully, uniquely Vanjie way to leave. She was never going to top her renowned very first exit, so it’s fun to see her go such a different method this time.