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!

It’s Called Foreshadowing, Sweaty

In the aftermath of Jorgeous’ dominating performance in the Lip Sync for Your Life against the now twice-eliminated Orion Story, this episode delivered everything you needed to know about the next hour in less than five minutes: Jorgeous reflected on RuPaul’s claim that she was “born to do drag,” Daya Betty insisted she was “happy being safe” through gritted teeth, and Kerri Colby explained that at this point in the show the heat of the competition is beginning to form rifts between competitors. Consider yourself primed, viewer!

But wait, there’s more! The next morning, Lady Camden explained that despite doing well, she hasn’t pulled off a win, but it feels so close, like it’s just out of reach. She also responded to Jasmine Kennedie’s claim that Season 14 hasn’t had a single bad look on the runway with, “If you can’t see the booger…”

Finish the sentence, class.

“…it’s you!” Great job!

Now, if you had:

  • Jorgeous winning the challenge,
  • Daya losing her composure over being safe,
  • A massive blowout between two queens,
  • Camden being this episode’s “robbed goddess,” and
  • Jasmine falling into the bottom of a design challenge…

Well, I’m just not sure how you could’ve predicted any of that!

Glamazon Prime Couture

It’s another design and construction challenge! This time, RuPaul explained that the cast would be creating original looks out of mystery materials found in a stack of “Glamazon Prime” boxes. If you, like me, were hoping this wouldn’t mean a mad dash for materials, we can be disappointed together. And this time, in addition to drag artists playing tug-of-war over fabric, it meant that Willow Pill, who would’ve benefited most from a move away from the mad dash, was left struggling to even access the materials. Kornbread would’ve never allowed it.

So when the dust settled, who seemed set up for success? Well, Camden scored a number of items in the same pastel color family, including what looked like dyed mosquito nets, and Jasmine managed to hoard so many boxes that she landed multiple fabrics and a variety of yarns. On the flip side, Kerri mostly managed to find craft supplies and household items, and Jorgeous wound up with materials so challenging, she had to completely scrap her original plan and start from scratch with Angeria Paris VanMichaels’ leftovers.

But I am burying the lede…

“Bitter Betty” (No, Not That Bitter Betty)

This episode was entirely The Daya Betty Show. Upon learning that the task was a design challenge with unconventional materials, Daya excitedly let everyone know that this is what she does at home. She also told us that after weeks of being safe, she’s ready to do whatever it takes, selfish or otherwise, to pull of a win… which manifested in an awkward workroom moment where Daya ostensibly scared off Willow from pursuing a similar idea to her own. And finally, during RuPaul’s walkthrough, Daya went off-script *gasp* to ask RuPaul and Carson Kressley how she could elevate herself out of the safe zone.

Here’s where I began to frustrated. Carson and Ru’s feedback for Daya centered pretty much entirely on the fact that they believe she’s bordering on being a carbon copy of Season 12’s Crystal Methyd. Here’s the thing: it’s no secret that Daya is a member of Crystal’s drag family—they cast her knowing that—so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the two of them would explore similar drag traditions and aesthetics. But Daya is not Crystal, and even if Daya had a hard time explaining how the two are distinct, I think it boils down to this: Crystal skews more clown and club kid, and Daya skews more alternative and editorial.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the two of them aren’t doing similar forms of drag, but it’s very clear that the standard on Drag Race is different for folks who explore any form of drag that doesn’t fall into the families of traditional glamor or conventional camp. Think about every time you’ve read online commenters talk about any drag artist who paints an exaggerated and highly graphic face. Rock M. Sakura from Season 12? HoSo Terra Toma from Dragula? Gabriel the Queen, a well-known bearded drag queen in LA? They all get accused of doing “Trixie make-up” despite exploring wildly different forms of drag. Imagine all of the shady side-by-side montages we didn’t get of contestants painting like Raven.

I affirmed Blu Hydrangea on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs The World for their talent show act and commented that while I had seen it before, I hadn’t seen it on Drag Race. I do think that deserves recognition. But earning praise for being the first person to highlight a tradition on Drag Race and being penalized for being the second person to highlight a tradition on Drag Race shouldn’t be treated as opposite sides of the same coin. Drag Race needs more Crystal Methyds and Daya Bettys. What this criticism from the judges does is tell every artist who explores drag in a similar space to the House of Methyd that they don’t belong on the show, because Crystal already did it once, and once was enough.

Is Daya becoming the “new Jan” as far as Drag Race story tropes go? I don’t know, but the fact that a “Jan trope” may even exist is infuriating, and having it wrapped up in the kind of feedback Daya is getting only hurts the art of drag.

And no, Daya and Jan don’t deserve to be sidelined while they’re doing incredible drag simply because they “care too much.” I’ve seen that take, and I hate that take.

Bring It to the Runway!

Anyway, let’s talk about some looks!

The winners:

  • Jorgeous – Here’s what I’ll say: before I knew the results, I was impressed with what Jorgeous pulled together given the circumstances. But was her little floral dress a winning look? No. She was gorgeous, and the dress was cute. I was shocked.
  • Lady Camden – My freezing cold take? Camden should’ve won. Her dress made of thin plastic pool strips with wings constructed in a day from a tent skeleton and bug netting was a gag. No, it was the gag.
  • Angeria Paris VanMichaels – I still don’t fully know how she managed to make this classy LBD given the incredibly unforgiving materials she used, but she stunned. Appropriate placement for sure.

The losers:

  • Jasmine – For someone who was so excited to get a second chance at designing a look, Jasmine sure didn’t deliver. She seemingly spent all her time making accessories and then wrapped some fabric on her body.
  • DeJa Skye – The judging on this look was confounding to me. They loved the two-tone garment but hated the accessories, but the garment looked like two large pieces of fabric sewn together. DeJa is a seamstress, and this did not give seamstress. But maybe I don’t see it, because I am actually not a seamstress.
  • Maddy Morphosis – I don’t think this country-inspired patchwork skirt was the worst look or even the second worst look, but her ability to execute it properly just wasn’t there. And “Daddy Morphosis” the blow-up doll couldn’t hide that.

The safe bunch:

  • Daya Betty – I’ve said plenty already about the story. As for her own assessment of her pink and yellow baby doll look, Daya told no lies as far as I’m concerned. She had a clear concept, the garment and accessories were executed damn-near-flawlessly, and she sold the absolute hell out of it. It was top material.
  • Bosco – She made pants out of a tarp! This placement surprised me too, because Bosco used no materials even tangential to fabrics or clothing material. Also a top placement in my mind.
  • Kerri – This was stuff glued to a corset. Aside from the fact that Kerri Colby would be alarmingly stunning wearing literally anything, I have no explanation for how this didn’t land her in the bottom.
  • Willow – Her “children’s nightmare” with unsettlingly long arms was the look I was most excited for, but I think it was appropriately placed. It wasn’t a complete mess, but it was too ambitious for the time allotted.

Not DeJa Skye, Déjà Vu!

Hey, tell me if this sounds familiar. A queen who claims dancing as one of their primary talents dances circles around a queen criticized throughout the competition for their low energy and perceived lack of fire. It was the story of Jorgeous vs. Orion Story, and now it’s also the story of this episode’s bottom two: Jasmine Kennedie vs. Maddy Morphosis.

Maddy did not have the golden chocolate bar. And it’s strange: aside from a little bit of backstory and an Untucked argument explosive enough to be previewed in the episode proper, it was a relatively quiet elimination episode for Maddy.

What’s Next?

It’s a proper acting challenge! We’re talking full cast, full script, full production. I imagine some of the queens who managed to shine in the SPCA-inspired infomercials will manage to shine here. I’m not worried for the likes of Angeria, Bosco, or Camden, and if we’re to believe the preview—a dangerous exercise, I know—it looks like Jorgeous’ streak of impressing RuPaul could continue.

Who should be worried? DeJa can’t seem to crack the judges, so I’d expect to see her in the bottom. As for who will meet her there? The chalk pick might appear to be Kerri, but I have a strange feeling about Willow, especially after Kornbread’s exit and what seems to be slowing momentum. Jasmine’s lip sync win could inspire confidence, but I’m not willing to bet on her success in acting.

As for Daya Betty? Something’s telling me… safe.

‘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.