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RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 13 Episode 13 Recap: Henny, I Shrunk the Drag Queens

This week the queens prove that there are no small parts, only small actors, when they shrink down in the maxi challenge, and serve us Haute Pockets on the runway…

We’ve got our final five, and we are slowly inching towards this season’s finale. Last week we said so long, farewell to Utica after a particularly cringeworthy maxi challenge. In the end, her roast material wasn’t funny enough to justify how mean it was. After a lip sync against last week’s second worst roaster, Symone, Ru sent Utica packing, leaving us with a final five. This week the queens are shrinking themselves down for an acting challenge, getting acting advice from an A-lister, and another queen will be eliminated in the race to the final four. Let’s get into it!

This week’s episode begins in the work room following Utica’s elimination. The remaining queens read Utica’s lipstick message, and as she wipes it away, Symone vows to get back to the top. Over on the couches the queens congratulate Kandy on her first win, which has Kandy feeling like she’s finally in the race. After originally thinking she had no place in comedy, Gottmik suddenly sees a roast tour in her future, and the queens celebrate making the top five before admitting the final is so close, and they’re all ready to fight for a spot.

It’s a new day in the work room, and as the queens gather around the red table and bask in their own glory Ru interrupts with a video message, and an in-person appearance with her newest sidekick, a moustache. Ru tells the queens that for this week’s maxi challenge they will be competing in an acting challenge. It’s very “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”, but it of course has a Drag Race twist. Ru lets the queens know that this challenge will determine who will be in the top four, so the pressure is on. As the queens do a read through of their lengthy scripts, they pick their roles, but Symone and Kandy want the same character, and after some convincing, Symone takes the second-choice role. As they do some rough rehearsals in the work room, they also face some challenges coming up with things to wear in front of a green screen which is apparently difficult with a drag queen’s wardrobe. Symone is concerned about not doing this challenge justice, and really wants to impress. Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson interrupts the queens with a video chat to give the queens acting advice for this week’s challenge.

The queens get into character and make their way to the green screen where their directors Michelle and Carson are waiting for them to film.  Symone is second guessing her acting even though she’s got it in the bag, but eventually comes around and delivers a perfect performance. As the queens climb up a giant electrical cord, Olivia askes about one THOUSAND questions, Rosé proves she’s the best actress in this group, and Kandy controls the giant cat paw attacking Gottmik. The queens wrap their movie shoot, and some queens are feeling better than others about their performances.

It’s elimination day and everybody is excited to see the finished movie. Rosé said that there were literally no small parts, and that it’s really going to come down to their individual performances. Symone tells the queens she’s super worried about making her supporters back home proud of her run this season. She gets really emotional in confessionals, but I’ve assumed she’s been a front runner all season. Rosé admits that she was too uptight in the beginning, but she’s glad she’s relaxed and having fun with the challenges now. The queens talk about actors and characters that they identified with growing up. Gottmik talks about representation of trans men in media, and the unrealistic expectation trans people are held to be “either Barbie or Ken”. Kandy agrees, and says there is so much more to gay life than being a GBF shopping buddy, and thankfully, things are starting to change in today’s media representation of LGBTQ+ people.

Out on the runway, Ru introduces the judges, and this week’s guest judge actress Cynthia Erivo. The category is “Haute Pocket”, and the queens bring it in their hottest pocket looks to the main stage. After the runway, the queens get into the world premiere of Honey, I Shrunk the Drag Queens. The film is good. The queens definitely brought everything to this challenge, it will be hard to see someone go this week.  Since we’re down to five, all of the queens are being critiqued this week, and it starts with Symone. Michelle says she was worried about Symone when they started filming, but Symone really pulled it together, and popped on screen. All of the judges agree and love her pocket look. The judges tell Olivia that she’s played the same character time and time again, and her runway look though pretty, wasn’t all about pockets. The judges loved Rosé’s 60s mod look, and they all agreed her acting was top tier. Michelle called Kandy’s runway look “sloppy”, and the judges all agreed that her character was too close to her real personality for it to pop on screen. Everybody loves Gottmik’s runway look and applaud her commitment to physical comedy in the challenge. Ru finishes the critiques by asking the queens who should go home tonight, and why. Symone says Olivia has a lot of growing to do, Olivia takes about forty minutes to say Kandy should go, Rosé also says Olivia on also the basis of growth. Both Kandy and Gottmik also say Olivia for the same reason as the others.

After deliberations, Ru announces that Rosé is the winner of this week’s challenge. Gottmik, and Symone are both safe, and headed to the top four. This leaves Kandy Muse, and Olivia Lux in the bottom two, and lip syncing for a spot in the top four. The two bottoms lip sync to Cher’s “Strong Enough.” After an equally energetic lip sync from both queens, Ru decides to keep Kandy around for another week, and end Olivia’s journey this season. Though she’s out of the competition for the crown, I wouldn’t count her out of the race for being this season’s Miss Congeniality. Liv, Laugh, Love.

Front runner of the week: Rosé Rosé Rosé! She keeps proving she has it all, and now that she’s seriously having fun, nobody can stop her.
The Oscar for Best Drag Queen in a Supporting Role: Goes to Symone! I don’t know why you’re all gagging…she brings it to you every acting challenge.
What we’ll see next week: The queens put their spin on Ru’s new song, and each of them has to convince us why they should be America’s Next Drag Superstar.

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