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RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 16 Episode 10 RECAP: Werq The World

The remaining queens write and perform a new verse on a Ru single and choreographer Jamal Sims is a guest judge…

The events of last week’s episode have greatly divided Drag Race fans. The queens were tasked with making neo-goth looks from scratch for the runway and while some provided drop dead gorgeous concepts, others looked a little tired. Q took the win in a billowing overcoat. In a bid to show versatility, Plasma ditched her signature vintage-inspired aesthetic for an underwhelming pair of pants and one of Plane’s wigs which unfortunately landed her in the bottom for the first time. She faced Mhi’ya, who was in the bottom for the third time this season, and with a few flips and splits she sent Plasma packing. This week, the remaining queens will write and perform a verse for a new song and shade is thrown in the werk room between Mhi’ya and Morphine. Let’s get into it.

This week’s episode starts in the werk room following Plasma’s elimination. Q is feeling a little happy that one of her biggest competitions is gone but it reinforces that anybody could leave at any time. The queens are gagged Mhi’ya flipped in a gown and Morphine tells her she thought she would be going home because there wasn’t a wig under her wig when she ripped it off during the lip sync. Sapphira calls her THE lip sync assassin of the season. Mhi’ya says it’s not a good feeling to lip sync every week and she knows it’s going to be harder for her because the judges will be expecting more from her. Over on the couches everybody congratulates Q on her win, which has Q feeling like there’s a target on her back. Morphine and Dawn are the only two left that don’t have a win, so the pressure is on. Morphine and Mhi’ya get into it and the Miami girls are fighting.

It’s a new day in the werk room and it’s beginning to feel a little more spacious. Q tells the girls she’s started having dreams about them all. Ru interrupts with a video about the queens using their charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent to inspire people and save the country. Ru enters and tells the top seven that drag queens have always been on the front lines of social change. Since it’s an election year they’ll need to inspire people to vote for change. For this week’s maxi challenge the queens will have to dig deep and let their voice be heard in Power. They’ll have to be equal parts fierce and inspiring. They’ll write, record, and learn choreography for their performance. The song will be featured live on stage during the Werq The World tour, so the stakes are high. The queens get right to work on listening to the track and writing their verses. Over in a corner Morphine and Plane throw a little shade but Morphine is sucking up to Plane because she still has an immunity potion and it expires this week. Over at another table Sapphira is planning on using her experience of being black and queer in America to write her verse and Mhi’ya reveals some early lyrics where she rhymes equal with equal. 

Dawn redefines what power means to her to write her verse and Nymphia reveals that Megami helped her write her verse for the girl group challenge. Once again, Nymphia is struggling to get a shred of inspiration for her lyrics and Dawn thinks a curse has been placed upon her since this is the fourth week she’s been placed next to someone freaking out over a challenge. Everyone moves to the makeshift studio on the main stage to record their vocals with Leland and Freddy Scott who composed the original song. The queens record their verses with Morphine and she comes out of the gate strong with great lyrics. Mhi’ya has some trouble selling her lyrics and Dawn swaps her lyrics to a rap which makes it sound much better. Plane’s lyrics are good but she keeps flubbing which is getting her in her head. Nymphia is nervous, and for good reason. Her verse has less words than everyone else’s and she’s still having trouble nailing it. Over on the chairs Plane tells Dawn she doesn’t want to give her immunity potion to anyone else but she knows she has to do something with it. Dawn tells her she should tell Nymphia she’s going to give her the potion and then not. To nobody’s surprise, Sapphira’s lyrics and vocals are amazing and Q is feeling threatened, so she’s going to rely on her vocal range to sell her song. The energy is there but the notes are not hitting and none of the other queens can keep a straight face. 

They quickly move on to learn choreography with Jamal Sims. They don’t have a lot of time to pick up the steps, so they have to get them down fast. Sapphira impresses Jamal with her additions to his choreography and Q delivers stiff steps but she doesn’t give up, which is commendable. Dawn is having an equally hard time picking the steps up and Nymphia almost has it but she’s not hitting the marks. Mhi’ya immediately starts flipping and Morphine thinks it’s the only trick she has left in her bag, but she is picking up her choreography. Morphine tries her best to get funky and Plane uses her ballroom experience but she’s getting in her head about the fast foot movements. 

It’s elimination day and the queens are ready to hit the stage and funk it up for the judges. Morphine is feeling confident that she’ll be in the top this week and Plane feels like she’s going to kill the challenge but Q tells her she was giving rickety bones in rehearsal. Dawn tells Nymphia writing her verse has her getting in her feelings about her own mental health journey. Nymphia tells Plane she’s thirsty for her immunity potion and Plane doesn’t blame her. Q asks the room what they think about voting and both Dawn and Q make a great case for the importance of knowing your local representatives. Sapphira says their community gets overwhelmed and doesn’t vote, but their voices are needed now more than ever. On the mainstage Ru introduces this week’s panel of judges Michelle, Ross Matthews, and this week’s special guest choreographer Jamal Sims. The queens debut their performance of Power. Everybody does a good job and while some were stronger than others, it’s an overall solid performance. Following the performance, the category on the runway is “True Colours” and the queens strut in their fiercest monochromatic looks.

It’s time for critiques, but first Ru asks Plane if she wishes to use her immunity potion for one last time. Plane decides to extend her generosity to one of the other queens and gifts the potion to Nymphia. Nymphia takes a swig and is safe and exits the stage. Critiques start with Mhi’ya. Ross tells her she was in her element in the performance and Michelle tells her that her runway is the best she’s ever looked. Ross tells Plane her performance was fun and loved that she had a strong finish, but Michelle tells her it’s the first time she saw her in her head during the challenge but all of the judges love her runway. Jamal tells Sapphira she got the performance down perfectly and all of the judges love her lyrics and her royally-inspired runway. Michelle tells Dawn she didn’t really bring the funk but she looked cute and was relatable to the white folks in the audience, which gets a laugh from everyone. Michelle compliments her lyrics and Jamal loves her sleepy creepy runway look. Ross tells Q her outfit in the performance was her favourite of the week and was the perfect thing to wear to be a distraction from her performance. Michelle likes her hat but isn’t sure about the rest of the outfit. Ross tells Morphine she finally stepped out in a challenge and Michelle loves that she really shines in the song. All of the judges also love her runway. Ru asks the queens to answer honestly if they’re registered to vote, and they all say yes. 

Following deliberations, Ru announces that Mhi’ya, Dawn, Q, and Plane are safe. This leaves Sapphira and Morphine standing alone on the stage. Ru tells them they’re the top two queens of the week. Since there will be no elimination tonight the top two will have to lip sync for the win. Sapphira and Morphine lip sync to Made You Look by Meghan Trainor. Both queens have a lot of fun in varying stages of undress during the performances and both are really selling it. Ru decides that the winner of this week’s challenge is Sapphira! But Morphine is, of course, safe to slay another day.

Next week on Drag Race: The queens get funny with drag employee awareness seminars in front of a live audience and comedian Joel Kim Booster is a guest judge.

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