RuPaul Drag Race Season 13 Recap: Condragulations
Disclosure: as a fan of the show, remember! These are informed opinions presented not as facts but as banter to be enjoyed by readers as entertainment. Amidst lockdowns and unrest, Drag Race is here to bring our lives much needed light and levity; now, let’s get started!
Beginning of the episode, the losing queens vote Eliott with Two Ts out of the competition. She is then brought back to the winning queens group, whose main challenge this week is to write and perform a verse for Ru’s song Condragulations. The runway category is Lamé, Gottmik brings the best outfit of the season thus far, but Symone and Olivia Lux are picked as the top two of the week. They lip-sync to Break My Heart by Dua Lipa and Symone wins!
Lady & The Vamp Runway Time!
We begin the episode with a Lady & the Vamp Mini Challenge! The Queens are asked to strut and show versatility in their best Daytime Realness and Night Time Is The Right Time looks. An immediate highlight here was Symone and Gottmik.
Symone’s IG @the_symone is at the moment pumping out amazing content with all her looks, her IGTV for her Night Time lewk is something to behold and my favourite was for sure her Striped Powersuit creation.
Fun fact! Popular hair sculptor Tony Medina is responsible for Symone’s hair in her Daytime look, and also for Michelle Visage’s 60s Hairspray The Musical moment on the judge’s panel this episode! Moving forward.
Gottmik’s Dark Lady Elvira-esque look by August Getty Atelier was a definite standout for the Night-Time lewks, and showcasing makeup versatility by not doing her signature clown white, she was already on the right track.
Condragulation Girl Group Extravaganza
Although I didn’t feel the challenge itself produced a lot of highlights, I think Olivia Lux carried herself beautifully and even gave us a taste of her musical ability. She was the only singer in the group and masterfully navigated her verse from beginning to end. Her fringe outfit by Eddie Couture was on point, her hair was huge, and if the show was based on the challenge alone she should have won.
Category Is… Lamé.
Again, Gottmik took the cake looks-wise for the best runway outfits we have seen this season. The designer for it, Diego Montoya, has worked with many past queens from the show (most recently with Blair St Clair and Jujubee for the All-Stars 5 finale), and this pleated lamé sea dragon inspired look was breathtaking.
I know it is early in the season, but I see this shaping up to be Symone’s Drag Race. It is hard not to be infatuated with her confident take on categories. Her boxing match interpretation was a superstar move, adored by the judges alike.
Notice her belt had AVALON imprinted on it, in reference to the House of Avalon, a drag house she belongs to in Los Angeles. Her outfit was produced by BCALLA and her wig styled S12 finalist Gigi Goode! Fellow Avalon member. LaLa Ri’s golden confecture deserves an honourable mention for representing gorgeousness though.
Lastly! Tina Burner’s Tin Man with a Heart by Florence D’Lee was an absolute delight. The reference to the Wizard of Oz (see S8 Makeover Challenge to further unpack Ru’s love for the film throughout the series), boldly dressing in head to toe silver is the type of commitment we. are. looking. for!
Lowlights of the Week
Lowlights this week were, unfortunately, Kandy Muse, for her Day and Night looks (although fierce) did not fit the category at all. She forgot her choreography in the routine and her lamé outfit was a great piece of body-positive nightwear, but alas, a fairly simple piece. The other lowlight for me was the unnecessary shade by the group towards Elliott, thinking she was a spy (reporting to who exactly? what?!). We’ve barely seen anything from Elliott to start shading her and so, I think this is where this premiere format falters most evidently.
Lip Sync… For Your Lifeee!
This week’s offering was Break My Heart by Dua Lipa, from her 2020 album Future Nostalgia, and in the Top 2 were Symone and Olivia Lux. Olivia played up the camp, and Symone played up subtle movements and expression, which in the end proved successful! Winning a $5000 tip and her first win of the season. We love to see it.
Werkroom Moment of Grace!
Gottmik is, of course, making herstory as the first trans man contestant on the show and a lot of the episode’s story arc focused on his journey of acceptance, transitioning, doing feminine drag and living his life as a man. As a very useful educational note later in the episode, Gottmik explained his pronouns to the audience! Which in drag are She/Her and outside of drag are He/Him; exactly the same as cis-gender queens who report to the show.
Quote of the Week
“I was thinking of the medieval mother of the hookers, but she is the head hooker. You know, like, she gives it to the girls — in my head it made sense *smiles*”
– Kandy Muse explaining her Daytime look to Michelle.
Unseen Lewk of the Week!
Every season, there is a combination of queens who don’t get to showcase a look they brought for whatever reason. I’ll be posting links to some of my faves here every recap, and this week we got Kahmora Hall & Utica Queen to highlight.