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RPDR RANT: Season 7, Episode 10

Aedan Roberts

Hey all. A delayed rant for RPDR Season 7, Episode 10. This week has everything up in the air! All the predictions I previously had are thrown out of whack and at this point its anyone's game. THE BREAKDOWN! (in no particular order)

• Ginger Minj: girl made a very salient point in one of her confessionals: every time she wins something she seems to immediately do poorly in the next challenge. However, that's hardly a unique trend. Drag Race herstory (also Project Runway) is riddled with this exact same phenomena. My belief is that it is a confidence issue. A queen that wins a challenge is riding high on endorphins and feeling fairly invulnerable. This inevitably leads to mistakes. Ginger, in this particular instance, was helped along this trend by being given a challenge she was not good at in addition to coming fresh off a triumphant win. While I don't believe her for a second that she doesn't know how to dance (it was about as transparently misleading as Ben Dela's "I can't do a british accent" was for Season 6 Snatch Game) I do completely trust that she can't sew (and honestly that her style is severely lacking). Her performance in the Maxi Challenge was fine (not amazing, but not the kind of performance that reeks of "I can't dance"). However her runway was the worst of the night. I've said it before and I'll reiterate it now: Ginger's biggest weakness, outside her insecurity, is her lack of versatility or taste in visuals. Her wigs are almost always identical, her makeup nearly always the same as well, and her runway looks bland and predictable. This hasn't been a problem before now (seeing how this season seems to want to be ALL group acting/performance challenges)- but this is the point in the series where every single challenge has BOTH a performance AND a fashion/sewing element to it. And I honestly am curious to see how Ginger handles it. If this week is any indication her reign on top may be coming to a close.

PS: this will have been Ginger's second Bottom 2 appearance, which places her in the same limbo that Pearl found herself placed in last week: no queen, to date, has taken the crown with more than a single LSFYL (before Top 3). This means that Ginger's seeming inevitability may be merely Top 3 as opposed to the full win, which I'm actually fairly happy with. The girl is good, don't get me wrong. She's a VERY talented performer and an extremely intelligent lady. But I've never gotten on board with her and this recent development makes me happy that my personal choice for the crown is all the more likely at this point.

• Katya: Katya killed this challenge (and her mini-challenge face was horror-show perfection). I never knew how much I'd want to see a Violet/Katya pairing until this week's episode- but now I wish I had seen it more often. They really looked great together, and both seemed to enhance each other's strengths. At this point it should be obvious: Katya is my favorite to win. Her looks are far more varied and fun than Ginger's and her ability to perform far outpaces Violet. She's the closest thing this season has to the best of both worlds and I hope that is enough to take her all the way to the top. She now has two wins under her belt (which ties her with Pearl, Kennedy, and Violet) and with only one LSFYL so far she still has the capacity to win based on previous RPDR trends.

• Pearl: Pearl is a roller coaster ride. To be perfectly honest she's still my favorite- even if her current track record keeps me from putting my eggs in her basket (so to speak. Something Kennedy apparently wants to do in an entirely different figurative sense). She's better at (most) performance challenges than people give her credit for (with some fairly fatal exceptions) and her runways are second only to Violet (her looks appeal more to me than Violet's but I also recognize that Violet is a bit in a league all her own). She's also showing a sweeter, more personable side as the show progresses. Outside the bit of Fame melodramatics she gave us in the beginning of the episode (which I'm fairly sure she was joking around with) the rest of the challenge was her just going whole-hog and giving it her all. And quite honestly? While her dancing wasn't the strongest technically it was by FAR the most fun to watch. More than any of the other queens she seemed to be thoroughly enjoying this challenge and completely embracing the ridiculousness of the whole thing. And in the end it made for really great TV- something this season has been a little short on. Pearl has once again redeemed herself (in my eyes) from her absolutely horrendous performance last week and I hope, once again, that she can somehow make it to the Top 3, even if she is extremely unlikely to take the crown.

• Kennedy Davenport: She did fine. Her look was okay (though I'm really confused why she gave her male side a boob. That's the MALE side, Kennedy. And men don't tend to have Madonna-esque breasts.) Her performance in the dance portion was also perfectly acceptable. While probably the strongest technically (though honestly not as refined or strong as I was expecting it to be) I think Carson's opinion of it was completely right (the only correct opinion this annoying judge seemed to have all episode to be honest): Kennedy simply looked bored for most of it (the parts where she wasn't faux-fucking Pearl). She just looked like she was just going through the steps. And while I don't hate this girl as much as I used to I also don't want her to go any further. She's just too boring, tired, and doesn't seem to be giving this competition the level of performance necessary to justify her continued success.

• Violet Chachki: She deserved this second win. She really did. Her look was probably the most flawless of the night (loved the mustache and the fake jawline on her male half) and she pulled off the Tango (probably the most challenging dance of the night) with a lot of flair. She even managed to steal the spotlight here and there from Katya- and that's a tough thing to do. At this point Violet has managed to cast away her completely bitchy, juvenile attitude for a friendlier (yet still bitchy) mature one and I'd be extremely happy to see her make it to Top 3. In fact I pretty much expect it at this point. She's not a great actress. She's not all that funny. But she's sickening as filth and she's showing a capacity to grow and learn from her mistakes and the criticisms of her fellow contestants. That goes a LOOOONG way in RPDR. PS: she's also the only one left who has yet to LSFYL- which is also really telling.

• Trixie Mattell: Trixie was shafted yet again. While she wasn't performing at the capacity her work outside the show indicates she should have been- she was still one of the strongest girls of the night when it comes to both runway AND performance. So her appearance in the bottom 2 just felt completely inconsistent in terms of what we were presented with, which is par for the course this season. Creating a flimsy justification to knock Trixie back out of the competition by judging the girls in pairs- which at this point in the competition is fucking stupid- felt really nasty and unfair. But here we are. More than any other girl this season Trixie seems to have been given the shaft in order to further the narrative of other queens, regardless of how well she did or did not do. Farewell my sweet Trixie. You're return was prematurely cut short- but trust me when I say no one with half a brain would blame YOU for that.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

• To get out on top of this before it's asked: my personal Bottom 2 this week was Ginger and Kennedy. I KNOW! Kennedy did JUST FINE with her dance. I get it. But her look was second worst of the night and EVERYONE did at LEAST "just fine" in the Maxi Challenge. So it really does come to splitting hairs. And at the end of the night Trixie's look was superior and her performance in the dance challenge was just as good as Kennedy's. So that would place Kennedy slightly below Trixie which means that SHE should have been the one going up against Ginger. That's my reasoning and I'm sticking to it.

• The opening mini-challenge may be the hardest Jon and I have laughed all season. I actually just wished the entire episode had been devoted to creating opening one-liners for these train-wreck personas.

• Hey Carson! Yeah! YOU. How about YOU "twerk" for the cameras. Let's see how much better than Pearl you are at it. I'd place my bet on "just as bad if not worse." Some people aren't built for twerking. It's hardly worth getting caught up on. And at least Pearl embraced how bad she was at it and just had fun being silly. Overall Carson's time on DWTS seems to have given him a massively over-inflated ego when it comes to dancing. Lets tone it down please.

• My current Dream Top 3: Katya, Violet, and Pearl with Katya taking the crown.

• My current Realistic Top 3: Katya, Violet Ginger with Katya taking the crown.