'RuPaul's Drag Race' Recap: Episode Six, 'The Draglympics'

Erica Thompson,Brittany Moseley
The judging panel for this week's episode included Olympic figure skaters Mirai Nagasu and Adam Rippon (left) and choreographer Travis Wall (second from right).

Erica: Nyass! If I ever get fired like Ariel Versace, I hope to go out with a hair flip. The ladies barely had time to regroup before Yvie “Spooky Tea” Oddly critiqued both Vanjie and Silky’s performances. But the thing is … she wasn’t wrong.

Brittany: As much as Yvie riles all the other girls, her critiques are always spot on. Which is probably why the others are so bothered by them.

Erica: Exactly. Vanjie would admit as much later. Silky, not so much. But I did agree that Yvie has yet to show her glam side, so she has room for improvement as well.

Brittany:After the required spilling of the tea, the queens entered the workroom the next day ready to work… out that is. For the mini challenge, they had to get into quick workout drag—my favorite quick drag thus far—and follow Love Connie through a totally ’80s, Jane Fonda-inspired workout. As usual, A’Keria said what everyone was thinking when she looked at Love Connie bouncing and high-kicking around the room and quipped, “I’ll have whatever she’s on.”

Erica: Ha! I’m glad we’ve been seeing more of A’Keria’s personality over the last couple episodes, but I must admit I didn’t expect her to win this “Galisthenics” challenge. I actually thought Brooke Lynn Hytes would outshine everyone. To my surprise, Plastique Tiara stepped up and shared the victory with A’Keria. As usual, Vanjie provided the comic relief, rolling around on the floor like a log with a wig attached to it. 

Brittany:I’m learning that it isn’t always the best queen who wins but rather the queen who best fits that week’s storyline. (More on that later.) This week’s challenge was the Draglympics. The queens would be judged in three categories: fanography, voguing and shablam. As the winners, A’Keria and Plastique were team captains. It was soon clear that A’Keria’s group (Team Tuckpanistan) were the stronger contenders with Brooke Lynn and Yvie to lead them.

Erica:I got déjà vu when Scarlet was picked last. However, instead of applying her usual Julia Roberts attitude (“Big mistake. Huge.”), she seemed unnerved and never really found her footing… literally. The best part of the rehearsals (led by the amazing Travis Wall, omg) was Silky’s effort. She may have looked insane onstage, but, like Brooke Lynn said, girl can commit. 

Brittany:Plastique’s group (Team Glamazonia) also included Nina West who, even when she is out of her element, looks so happy to be there. Vanjie and Ra’Jah were able to keep up and impress Travis. All they could do was hope it was enough to carry their teammates. As Vanjie said, “I’m praying they get hit by the ‘Rhythm Nation’ stick.” Team Tuckpanistan of course killed it, what with Silky’s personality and Brooke Lynn, who I could watch dance all day. Yvie mentioned in a previous episode that she needs to be cautious when it comes to dancing because of her bone/cartilage issues. But she didn’t let that stop her in practice. The girl’s got some moves.

Erica: Vanjie kinda read Nina when she counted her among the “iffies” on their team. As she said, this wasn’t a comedy challenge. However, Nina’s comedic skills and enthusiasm paid off; she really caught the eye of the judges. And although Team Tuckpanistan had the best technique, Team Glamazonia was just as entertaining to watch. I agree; Yvie did an amazing job despite her condition. And can we talk about Big Silk’s skills with a baton? 

Brittany:Who’d of thought Silky was a regular majorette? But before we got to the main show, there were some emotional moments backstage with Yvie discussing herEhlers–Danlos syndrome (a connective tissue disorder) and Vanjie revealing her self-doubt about her performance this season. Yvie’s drag career essentially has a “best by date” due to her illness, which is why she brings it so hard every time. The farther we go in this season, the more I root for her. I hoped Miss Vanjie would turn her self-doubt into a win, but while she stood out during the Draglympics, I wanted to pull my hair out when she walked onto the runway in another damn leotard.

Erica: Absolutely! I couldn’t believe she wore that. You know she is one of my favorite personalities in the competition, but if she doesn’t switch it up next week, I will be fine with her going home. Not too many ladies impressed me this week on the runway with their “all that glitters” attire. I feel like A’Keria glitters each week, so I was a bit bored. And can we stop talking about her ass? She has other things going for her. Kudos to Yvie for her interesting “old lady drug lord” look, but again, I’m ready for some glam to compete with Brooke Lynn, who hit it out of the park with her outfit. 

Brittany:I loved Brooke Lynn’s old Hollywood look. With that gold lamé turban, she looked 10 feet tall. I thought it was clever (and very Yvie) that Yvie incorporated her cane—which she needed after injuring her ankle in the Draglympics—into her outfit. Nina’s viking outfit wasn’t very glittery. It reminded me of that classic Bugs Bunny cartoon,“What’s Opera, Doc?” We know Nina loves camp and comedy, but it would be nice to see her glam it up for the runway as well. 

Erica:And like the judges said, some more strategic padding would go a long way. Ra’Jah O’Hara and Scarlet Envy were left to lip sync for their lives to Donna Summer’s “Last Dance.” I must say Scarlet impressed the hell out of me with her performance, which included a quivering lip, fake tear, death drop and glitter! And, my god, she cut one layer of her outfit off to reveal another. I forgot she couldn’t dance. I couldn’t take my eyes off her.

Brittany:A quick aside: The judges oohed and ahhed over Nina’s performance and their only critique was “pad your hips.” But if you only saw the part where they said she was safe, you would have thought Nina barely made it through. She did great in the performance, and they diminished it with the final judging. It was bullshit that A’Keria won the challenge. I love her, but let’s be real: She was not the best by any means. (See bit above about fitting the week’s storyline.)

And that lip sync. When Scarlet cut her dress off and revealed that perfect ’70s jumpsuit, I wanted to scream, “Why didn’t you wear that on the runway!?” She threw handfuls of glitter for god’s sake! And yet ... I can’t even say it, Erica. 

Erica:I know. Ru has finally ruined my perfect image of her. What the hell? Ra’Jah stayed. Ra’Jah! I honestly don’t know how that happened. I get that all the other women in the bottom told Ru Scarlet should go home, but I just chalked that up to jealousy and/or annoyance with Scarlet’s often over-confident demeanor. This was a mistake.

Brittany:The only thing consistent about Ra’Jah is her appearances in the bottom two. With seven queens gone and eight left, we’re at the halfway point in the season. And Nina is still here! And that’s what matters, right?