RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 13, Episode Twelve (Nice Girls Roast)
Disclosure: Oh my god, when will this season end! I love Drag Race as much as anybody, but this has to officially be one of the longest seasons ever in the herstory of the show. These are opinions, be kind, let’s enjoy this season while it lasts.
This week we had a roast of past seasons Miss Congeniality, and the queens had to be on their best/worst behaviour crafting roast jokes and looking sickening. There was no runway category tonight, but the overall winner of this challenge was Kandy Muse. Symone landed in the bottom two along with Utica Queen, with Utica sashaying back to Minnesota and leaving our Top 5 queens.
For our mini-challenge the queens made a debauchery of make-up artistry. Filming a fictional make-up tutorial one queen acts as the mouth of the operation and the other is the arms.Highlight here goes to Utica’s long arms juxtaposed with Gottmik’s short frame, making the whole set up insane. S6 saw a similar mini challenge with the girls interchanging legs instead of arms, do take a look at this cursed image of Bianca Del Rio with Vivacious’ legs.
The Rehearsing of the Roast
Roasting is a difficult art to perform successfully in 2021. Why? Well, in the traditional sense, roasting is ruthless, vicious and very politically incorrect, which means the usual tropes of a roast would include fat-shaming, sexism, homophobia, classism, you name it. In many ways a traditional roast would be hard to perform on international television these days, and so the queens are being asked to do a roast in their own terms, in queer terms. It has to be whimsical, joyous, kind-spirited, whilst also being mean and packing a punch: RuPaul has to laugh.
The show has had its fair share of roasting challenges, in a way the reading challenge is a consistent feature of the show which displays all the qualities of a roast. Only, a roast is a more structured affair, and we can see some great examples of roasters past in Monet X Change in AS4 at the Lady Bunny Roast, and Jinkx Monsoon in S5 at the RuPaul Roast.
Highlights here? Rose seemed to be in perfect control of her joke writing and her delivery, as did Gottmik! Who is actually The Comedy Queen of the Season ™ having won both The Snatch Game and the Reading Challenge. A huge highlight here has to be Utica and her unwillingness to change her act after Michelle Visage and Loni Love heavily suggested she put some wit into her set.
Category Is… Nice Girls Roast!
We had a couple of highlights this week, the first and most obvious being Rose wearing a Silver Master of Ceremony-esque Outfit suit by Florence D’Lee. It was such excess I completely loved it, I thought it was very Shannel (S1 and AS1.
Then we had two fairly simple but effective looks from Gottmik and Kandy Muse. Mik’s Green Dress is of course a designer one by August Getty Atelier. Whilst Kandy’s Black Crystal Dress is… well, there’s no label on the dress but I did hear from Bob The Drag Queen and Monet X Change on their podcast Sibling Rivalry that the outfit is store bought. Which, who cares she looked amazing, BUT ALSO! With crossing the 10 episode mark, I sympathise with all the queens and the rapidly diminishing drag ammunitions.
Lastly, of our cast, I thought Symone looked the best on the runway (as usual for me) and that Golden Number, fun trivia, was actually designed by Gigi Goode’s famous mom! As well as her hair being done by Gigi on this episode, Symone’s styling team has been on point throughout the season. I live… there’s no IGTV of our Ebony Enchantress modelling this outfit, but there is this breathtaking video of her performing Kiss It Better by Rihanna for a digital drag show. Category is… hypnotising winner to be.
Let’s give an honourable mention however, to two of our Miss Congeniality serving some gorgeous looks. Especially S9 fan-favourite Valentina, wearing the best of María Félix Mexican Glamour in a fitted Floral Gown by Olmos y Flores. And our S12 Miss Congeniality, Hedi N Closet doing a very polished drag re-creation of Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal White Suit by Rey Ortiz; other recent work by Rey includes Cardi B at the Grammy Awards (that Metallic Body Suit anyone?) which is… fierce.
Lowlights of the Week
Utica. Didn’t deliver a good set, insulted the judges by not making her jokes funny, and her outfit was not the best she’s ever delivered. Also, I am a fair fan, I did not think Symone’s performance was fabulous, she did struggle and deserved her place in the bottom. However! I thought whilst Olivia Lux had some good moments, overall the effect of her performance (paired with her Sunshine Dress by Garo Sparo) seemed more half-baked than Symone in my opinion. A little too Disney Channel for the Drag Race stage possibly.
Another lowlight! I love her, but Nina West wearing a very literal message on her was not the tea. Her Rainbow Ode was by John David Martin, but it was just not a favourite for me.
Lip Sync… For Your Lifeee!
The lip sync for your life this week broke a record, for the most songs by a female singer played as a lip sync on Drag Race: Ariana Grande!
What are the songs you might ask: Break Free (S7 Jaidynn Diore Fierce v Kandy Ho), Greedy (Valentina v Nina Bonina Brown), Into You (AS4 Valentina v Monet X Change), One Last Time (AS5 Miz Cracker v Roxxxy Andrews), Bang Bang (S9 Kameron Michaels v Aquaria v Eureka O’Hara), Problem (Dahlia Sin v Nicky Doll) and now, No Tears Left To Cry (S13 Symone v Utica Queen). I’m gay and won’t be shame into not writing this paragraph and letting the world know I know all this trivia FROM MEMORY. Okay?!.
The bottom two queens are Symone and Utica, who perform a really wonderful rendition of the song, even though the camera barely pans to Utica. Symone marks her territory, basking in every word, and ultimately wins the lip sync. Sending her makeover partner PACKING back to Utica, Minnesota.
Werkroom Moment of Grace!
This wasn’t technically the werkroom, but we did have an amazing moment after Utica was bombing her roast where RuPaul gave her two middle fingers, and a very rude… hand gesture, that we couldn’t see because it was blurred. This marks the first time that ever happens, it was funny, uncomfortable, it saved Utica’s rapidly tanking set, and it is bound to become a meme forever more. Bless.
Quote of the Week
“Loni Love! I just cannot believe I’m up here presenting my comedy in front of you. I knew there were gonna be budget cuts this season but I didn’t know it was gonna affect the judges panel too! [insert laughter here]”
— One of many Gottmik’s roast jokes
Unseen Lewk of the Week
For this week I would suggest taking a look at Tina Burner’s roast set on YouTube, where she is featuring jokes, a wig and outfit that is not red-yellow or orange, and a reference to the Meangirls’ Burn Book. The versatility we were looking for.