RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 14, Episode 4: “She’s A Super Tease” — Review
Another week has gone by since the latest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, so let’s remind ourselves of everything important that happened last week ahead of tonight’s new episode!
Drag Race: Jasmine vs. The World
I’m not sure if you heard, but Jasmine Kennedie talks a lot. They may have even mentioned it once or twice, but I could see where you might have missed it if you didn’t watch the post-elimination chat …or the morning after chat …or the pre-challenge planning chat …or really any part of the episode, because how much Jasmine talks was the featured storyline of last week. Honestly, it’s almost difficult to remember anything else.
And would you believe it: Kornbread Jeté was right there in the center of the action. I adore Kornbread, and I totally get where she was coming from, especially since it seems like this conversation had been been bubbling just under the surface, and it is fair to bring it up. But Jasmine’s young and excited, she’s living her fantasy, and it sure seemed like this was the first time anyone had told her, “girl, the way you talk to people is rude.” My unsolicited critique? At least acknowledge that she’s trying, give her some space to work on it, and get back to focusing on yourself. And micro-managing her note-taking may have been a bit much.
The Art of the Tease
The cast was tasked with creating an attention-grabbing super tease for the very season they’re currently filming. I love this challenge. Easily my favorite maxi challenge in a very long time for a couple of reasons. Off the bat, it’s a challenge we’ve never seen before, and any reality competition that’s been running for even half as long as Drag Race will find itself relying on and recycling more than just the hits. Anything they haven’t tried before gets points in my book.
It’s also bizarrely meta from a number of angles. It’s self-aware and entirely self-referential. It challenges the queens to lampoon themselves, which requires them to have personal self-awareness and the ability to step outside of their ego. And many of the clips from the fake super teases were featured in the actual preseason super tease—like a double dip on the main stage, Maddy Morphosis breaking down in confessional, Willow Pill eating lip gloss—which means if you’re especially spoiler-phobic, any season featuring this challenge could theoretically be throwing you off of any real foreshadowing as soon as the trailer drops.
Willow (the previous week’s winner) and Maddy (the previous week’s lip-sync survivor) were tasked with leading the teams, and as I predicted they might, both of them killed it. On the flip side, I had a feeling that Alyssa Hunter, Kerri Colby, and Jorgeous would struggle, and all three did. But consider me pleasantly surprised that DeJa ended up in the top and unpleasantly surprised that Kornbread wound up in the bottom.
Night of A Thousand J.Los
This wasn’t my favorite iteration of the Night of 1000 runways (Season 9’s Gaga and Season 12’s Michelle come to mind), but I love any time they do this. It’s simple and effective: here’s a diva, pick one of her iconic looks, stomp the runway. Jennifer Lopez? No doubt a diva worthy of a dedicated runway. Did the dolls get loud? Not exactly, but given the circumstances, I think it was generally a success. Apparently looks from movies and music videos were off-limits (see Maddy’s look inspired by The Cell on her Instagram).
I’d argue there were only a few true highs (Angeria’s 2015 Met Gala, Willow’s 1998 Grammys, and Kerri’s 2020 Versace Redemption Runway) but I’d also say there were almost no low lows. Almost. I cannot look past the nude illusion on Jorgeous’ Superbowl 2020 homage. I understand that lights hit different on the Drag Race sets, but if I know that… the cast should too.
Another Botched Lip-Sync
If we’re supposed to take a lesson from this season’s Lip Sync for Your Life performances so far, it’s that defeating yourself is much easier than defeating your opponent. Maddy did not defeat June Jambalaya; June took half her clothes off and sealed her fate. Kerri absolutely did not defeat Alyssa; Alyssa’s gag malfunctioned and sent her home. I don’t necessarily think Kerri should’ve been in the bottom two in the first place, but since she was, and she knew she wasn’t giving it 100%, I hope she thanked her lucky stars that Alyssa’s money gun backfired.
As for the chocolate: we’ve only seen it twice, and I’m already so, so tired. It’s a production nightmare! Alyssa had to remove one of her gloves just to open it and was still struggling, meaning she spent much longer than we even saw, after she’d already lost, fiddling with a plastic chocolate bar that ultimately meant nothing. In the words of someone very wise: Please stop immediately.
I’m bummed Alyssa got sent home. Unfortunately, I think she joins the ranks of far too many Puerto Rican and multi- or cross-cultural drag artists that start Drag Race with extra hurdles in their lane. I think Alyssa Hunter had a lot more to show, and I hope she has the chance to return some day to show it. And I hope that Drag Race figures out how to better serve drag artists they’ve chosen to cast whose first language isn’t English or who showcase different drag cultures.
It looks like tonight’s episode will feature a take on the marketing challenge, which means more writing and more acting. I don’t expect the status quo to drastically change as far as who’s succeeding and who’s struggling, but I am waiting for the moment when Bosco really starts to emerge, because it’s certainly coming. Her rare featured moments are great, and her confessionals are among the season’s best, so I have a hard time believing she goes out quietly, which is something I expect for the other queen I’ve barely mentioned: Orion Story.
Where have these two been? Hopefully tonight, we’ll find out.
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ airs on VH1 in the US and Crave & OUTtv in Canada, streams on Stan in Australia, and streams on WOW Presents Plus everywhere else.