RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 14, Episode 8: “60s Girl Groups” — 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 tomorrow’s new episode!
Back to Business
After an episode with no bottom placements, no eliminations, a Lip Sync for the Win, and more fart jokes than Drag Race spin-off series, the Season 14 cast returned to the workroom flying high, but the reality of the situation soon settled in the next morning. Conversation quickly turned toward the competition as Kerri Colby, Willow Pill, and Bosco all opened up about managing the balance of supporting each other as a drag family and competing with each other for a $100,000 grand prize.
Speaking of opening up… the library is about to be open!
The reading mini challenge arrived, and damn if this cast did not deliver. Sure, it’s easier to find a wealth of jokes when you only need to pull two or three from a remaining cast of nine, but who cares? I’d rather we only get the cream of the crop than bad television, and with the exception of Jasmine Kennedie—who wasn’t not funny—everyone really understood the assignment. Ultimately Bosco called her shot and was right to do so.
After declaring Bosco the mini-challenge winner, RuPaul gave the cast their maxi-challenge task: write and record verses for a 60s girl group track and perform them on the main stage to self-determined choreography. The gag? The cast were given the task of deciding amongst themselves how to break down into teams.
Girl Groups, But Make It Retro
A never ending discussion in Drag Race fan circles is how to approach situations where a cast has to collaboratively decide roles, partners, or teams. Increasingly, it seems competitors on Drag Race have gotten more assertive about claiming roles and refusing to back down. And here’s the thing: I think that’s exactly what they should do!
Did it feel nice when Daya Betty dug her claws into a team and declared loudy that she wouldn’t back down? No. But should she? Absolutely. It may not make you popular, but either someone else will relinquish or the group will agree on how to sort it out. In this case, DeJa Skye relinquished, and Daya got her role.
It’s been established that the judging panel wants to you stake your claim and doesn’t grade on a curve for accepting a role you didn’t want simply because you did so “for the team.”\
Let’s talk girl groups:
The Shang-Ru-La’s: Daya Betty, Willow Pill, and Bosco
Having successfully worked together in the Daytona Wind challenge, the Shang-Ru-La’s opted to apply the same strategy here—combine specific cultural references with their uniquely weird drag personas—and they were right to do so. From beginning to end, the Shang-Ru-La’s worked well together. They wrote their lyrics together, there were zero moments of conflict during their choreography session, and they absolutely killed on the main stage. Between their flawless performance and perfectly stupid song, it was never a question that the Shang-Ru-La’s were the winning girl group this week.
The Ru-Nettes: Jasmine Kennedie, Jorgeous, and DeJa Skye
From the recording session, you might’ve guessed this was the disaster group, but despite a deep lack of singing experience, the final product was cute! At the end of the day, all three Ru-Nettes have plenty of experience with choreography, and that experience is what showed in the live performance. It wasn’t without some awkward moments, but there weren’t any major mistakes.
The Ru-Premes: Angeria Paris VanMichaels, Kerri Colby, and Lady Camden
This team really felt like The Angeria & Camden Show… and also Kerri was there. Angeria won the talent show with an original song, so it’s no surprise she found comfort in the recording session. Camden is a dancer and choreographer, so she was destined to succeed in the performance portion. Kerri Colby though? No part of this challenge was made for Kerri—they didn’t even get the best performance outfits!—and it showed each step of the way.
Overall, I liked the idea of this maxi-challenge more than its execution. Splitting the cast into three groups instead of the usual two made sense thematically but was a mistake logistically. By the time the Ru-Premes performed their song, it felt like the challenge had gone on longer than usual, which… is never what you want.
Category is… Body-ody-ody!
This week’s “Heart-On” runway was a lot of fun. When the assignment is simply, “wear hearts,” you can go in any direction. And between Willow’s all-panty dress, Bosco’s massive ass cut-out, Jorgeous’ lengerie, and Kerri’s red netting cocktail dress, a popular direction was not wearing much at all. That’s not where the body ended, though, because DeJa Skye’s simple and clean latex magical girl concept stood out as playful and unexpected. And I think it was my personal favorite.
She Did It! She Finally Did It!
Daya Betty won! Like actually won. It’s no secret that I think it should’ve—or at least could have—come earlier, but I can only assume that the increased exposure from surviving this long has done Daya a favor in shedding the critique of being too similar to her drag mother, Crystal Methyd (Season 12).
As for the bottom two queens? Jasmine Kennedie and Kerri Colby battled it out to Toni Braxton’s “Un-Break My Heart (Hex Hector Remix)”, and Jasmine’s dancing experience and professionalism kept her alive in the competition. This woman lost a shoe, resisted the temptation to kick the other off, and continued to dance. Well-earned, Jasmine. Eight episodes in, Jasmine’s win made her the first person to survive two lip syncs this season.
As for Kerri, the bar was chocolate.
Tonight, the cast will be hosting their own Drag Con panels. I think the last time we saw this exact challenge was Drag Race Season 10. Remember proportionizing? The challenge is incredibly similar to talk show or commercial challenges, but this cast hasn’t done a talk show, and because the SPCA-inspired commercial required them to write in verse, this won’t be quite like anything they’ve done.
It’s strange to think we still have to see half of the remaining cast eliminated… and maybe more, considering someone still has a golden chocolate bar.
‘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.