RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11, Episode 12 Recap: Queens Everywhere
And then there were five…
It’s been one week since we said goodbye to the camp queen Nina West, and Vanjie was robbed of winning the drag family values challenge. The season is coming to an end, and by the time this week’s episode finishes, we will know which four queens are making it to the grand finale. I feel like I have a pretty good idea of who that four might be, but as always, there’s a chance for some editing, and producing tom foolery. Let’s get down to business.
This week’s episode starts in the werk room following Nina’s departure from the competition. After reading Nina’s sweet message on the mirror, the queens reminisce about Nina’s influence on all of them. The narrative quickly turn to Silky saying she was being set up to fail by Brooke Lynn, almost as if she hasn’t realized she’s been competing against other people for the past 11 weeks. In confessionals, some of the queens talk about how they were underwhelmed by Silky’s performance in the lip sync after she talked such a big game about being a terrific entertainer. Silky and Yvie make up, I’m guessing temporarily, and just like that it’s a new week in the werk room.
The top five enter the werk room the next day, each of them ready to take a spot in the finale. Michelle enters the room for a change (looking stunning, by the way), and announces that this week’s challenge is a musical one! Each of the queens must write their own verse to Ru’s new song Queens Everywhere, and learn THE MOST COMPLICATED COREGRAPHY ON DRAG RACE HERSTORY. Following the song challenge, each of the queens will be appearing on Ru and Michelle’s podcast What’s the Tee?You know… the usual. While the queens are working on writing their verses, Vanjie reveals she’s feeling confident with this challenge (finally). Brooke Lynn has decided to dedicate her verse to Canada, and it looks like we’re going to wait and see how good it is until we take the compliment. Vanjie is up first to record her verse, and although the rhyming and lyrics weren’t really there, she could definitely have enough gusto and personality to shine in this challenge. During A’Keria’s podcast recording, she revealed she was raising her brother’s son. For fading into the background for most of the season, I personally have some newfound respect for A’Keria. Yvie is up next to record her verse. Lyrically, it’s stunning, but Todrick needs to work his magic to bring it all together. Over on the podcast, Silky talks about her first time in drag, and her disappointment in the lack of confidence in her from the other queens. In the backstage recording studio, Brooke brings her Canadian rap to the mic, and although Todrick looks a little confused by the national jargon, she might be able to pull this one off (justice for Celine!) Yvie’s podcast interview revealed her inner struggle with feeling acceptance from the other queens. Michelle provided her with some advice about becoming more open, and while the advice was good, the competition is almost over. Silky decides that her verse would be dedicated to the big girls of the world. Her delivery is good, but Todrick can’t really understand what she’s saying. Brooke’s podcast interview centered on her relationship with Vanjie, and her reluctance to make room for imperfections. Last up to record her verse is A’Keria and although her lyrics are on point, her delivery needed some work. Vanjie is last on the podcast, where she opens up about her mom, and her relationship with Brooke Lynn.
The queens must now learn the choreography to the song, and based on past dance performances; the dance ability is pretty much split down the middle. Each of the queens had something to work on (including Brooke), but it seems like out of all the queens, A’Keria is having the most trouble picking the steps up. Hopefully she can get out of her head and perform her verse. Following the rehearsals, Todrick reveals the performance is one take in a set, which is something we’ve seen in the last few seasons.
Following a quick break it’s elimination day, and after sipping some drinks, getting a bit emotional about their time in the competition, the queens get down to getting ready. Out on the main stage it’s finally time for the queens to PERFORM. With no special guest judges, it’s just family for the last time on the main stage. The one-take performance was really well done. Brooke’s verse slayed, so Canada will take the dedication, thank you.
Out on the runway, the final runway category was “Best Drag” as always, and all of the queens looked absolutely stunning in their last runway lewks. The judges last critiques started great for A’Keria, but fell kind of flat for Brooke, whom the judges were waiting for some edge from. Silky was given praise for her passion, her black underwear seemed to rub Michelle the wrong way. The judges praised Vanjie’s runway, but said she looked disconnected during the performance. Yvie stunned in both the performance, and the runway. I for one, am so proud that Yvie made it to this point being weird, and herself, while still taking the time to improve, which is something we can all take notes from.
After the break, Ru asks the queens what advice they would give their younger selves. This point in the season is always raw, and emotional, but so powerful. Following the judge’s deliberations, Ru announces that Yvie, A’Keria, and Silky are moving onto the grand finale. Making our power couple Brooke, and Vanjie, lip sync for their spot in the finale. The queens lip sync to Aretha Franklin’s Pride (a Deeper Love),and aside from both queens delivering, this one is hard to watch, as I believe both of these queens should have made it to the final. Unfortunately for me, I am not RuPaul, and the final decision is his. Ru decides to send Brooke Lynn to the final, sending Vanjie home after her stellar comeback after being eliminated first in Season 10. Her exit was as memorable this time around, and she should be proud of her progress in the competition.
What we’ll see next week: Tea will be spilled during the Season 11 reunion. It’s just like Real Housewives, but not annoying!
Frontrunner of the week: Yvie really pulled it out this week and she is deserving of every bit of praise she receives.
Quote of the week: “My haiku ain’t hittin me right” -Vanjie on not being able to come up with a metaphor on the fly during the podcast recording.
Missed a week?: Read our RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11 recaps right here!