RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11, Episode 4 Recap: Trump: The Rusical
“Why do I have to be Oprah?”…
Last week we witnessed two ends of the Drag Race spectrum. On one end we experienced comedy, and pun gold. On the other, we got stink, stank, stunk (Ru’s words, not mine). The pressure of the challenge, and the lip sync where all six of the losing team had to fight for their lives, and a group of drag queens not knowing the correct title to Mariah Carey’s movie Glitter sent Honey Mahogany home. We start this week’s episode after her elimination, where all of the queens were feeling a bit shook up that all of the bottom queens had to lip sync for their spot in the competition. The queens connect over the close call, but Silky doesn’t seem to be bothered, which is not surprising at all really.
The next day in the werk room, Ru appears to tell the girls about this week’s mini challenge in which the queens would get into quick Rachel Maddow drag, and deliver breaking news. In a mini challenge that closely resembled a broadcast class I took in university, the queens read a breaking news report off of a teleprompter (trust me, it’s harder than it looks). While it seemed like nearly every queen couldn’t figure out how to pronounce the words “alleged”, and “Colonel”, Scarlet Envy took top place and was announced as the week’s (alleged) mini challenge winner. Ru used this news challenge, to segue into this week’s maxi challenge. A Rusical re-write of Grease, with a Trump twist. Gross, but sure?
Since she won the mini challenge, Scarlet was awarded the task of casting the musical. After some truly great casting choices, and also some hurt feelings, it’s time to get down to business. Brooke Lynn reveals to Ru that she was a dancer, and is really excited to get into her character of Ivana Trump. Then in a SHOCKING twist Silky reveals she is a registered Republican, BUT only to infiltrate, and de-rail gentrification, and zoning plans. We love a scheming queen. With the queens excited about their roles in the musical (with the exception of a few), and Todrick Hall not choreographing, this musical should be a fun one to watch.
Out on the main stage, choreographer Yanis Marshall was waiting to instruct the queens. Unsurprisingly, the majority of the queens were absolutely shaking in their boots when they realized they would actually have to learn steps. Brooke Lynn Hytes however, was picking up all the steps in record time, thanks to her French ballet training. Through some trials and tribulations in the rehearsal, some queens were feeling more confident than others. Poor Ariel Versace, who was burdened with the main role of Shandy, equated her role in the choreography as performing the Beyoncé Superbowl half-time show, and is now worried that she’s “that girl”. You know… the one that “can’t get the choreography”. Yikes. Good luck girl.
Following the break, it’s performance/elimination day, and all of the queens are getting ready for opening night of Trump: the Rusical. Ariel is feeling a bit more confident after practicing her part all night, and for all of our sake, I hope she pulls it off. Silky makes her second big reveal of the episode and tells the queens that she uses Sharpie to draw her brows on. “It’s two dollars honey!” Backstage, the queens talk politics, personal experience and religion in a super inclusive, informative moment in Drag Race herstory.
Out on the main stage it’s time for the Rusical. Honestly, this was one of the most entertaining Rusical’s in the show’s history. It beautifully combined political humour, with the essence of Grease, and Ginger Minj as Trump… what else could you want? Out on the runway, the category was Orange Alert, so finally we will see Vanjie in a different colour! This was the first runway of the season that really showcased a bunch of different looks, and we were eating it up. Tops of the week include Yvie Oddly, Silky Ganache, and Brooke Lynn. Where there’s a top, there’s a bottom, and the bottoms of the week were Mercedes Iman Diamond, Ra’Ja O’Hara, and unfortunately, Vanessa Vanjie Matteo.
Following the judge’s deliberations, Ru announced that the winner of the week was Silky Ganache. Not bad for a 40 second part in a musical she literally complained about. Mercedes, and Ra’Ja would be lip-syncing for their lives. The two bottom queens competed against each other lip-syncing to James Brown’s Living in America. In the end even though Ra’Ja’s wig fell off, she was spared, and it was Mercedes that was sent packing. She seemed ready to leave though, and her parting message was an important and beautiful one. See ya later girl!
Front-runner of episode 4: Yvie Oddly is creeping her way into my heart. No matter how small her role is she always seems to steal the show.
Most memorable quote of the week: “Yvie looks like the crypt keeper, so she’s GOTTA be Kellyanne Conway”. – Ra’Ja O’Hara
What we’ll see next week: God Trixie Mattel makes an appearance, and a Sharon Needles-esque Monster Ball guest-judged by Elvira herself? Sign me up!
Because who doesn’t love a musical: Here is the definitive ranking of all of the musicals on RuPaul’s Drag Race
Missed a week?: Read our RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11 recaps right here!