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RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 16 Episode 12 RECAP: Bathroom Hunties

The top six queens take on the iconic interior design challenge and actress Mayan Lopez is a guest judge…

Last week the queens gave corporate seminars on drag-related topics to a live audience which had to be equal parts funny and informative. Q and Plane Jane made a wonderful team and seamlessly pulled their performance off but it was Sapphira who took the top spot of the week. During mirror chats Q revealed to Plane that she is HIV positive which prompted Plane to respond with the instantly iconic “Mama, kudos for saying that. For spilling.” which has been THE meme of the week. Unfortunately the Miami queens had to lip sync against each other at the bottom and it was a performance Mhi’ya couldn’t flip her way out of, so she was sent packing. This week the top six will take on the iconic interior design challenge and tension builds between Q and Sapphira over the results of last week’s challenge. Let’s get into it.

This week’s episode begins in the werk room following Mhi’ya’s elimination. All of the queens are sad that she’s gone home but it was a lip sync to remember. They all read her mirror message and celebrate Morphine beating the queen of flips. Over on the couches Dawn leads the group in giving congratulations to Sapphira for winning the challenge. Q has a sour look on her face which Sapphira does address. In confessionals Q says Plane or her deserved the win and that it makes no sense. They all cheer to being in the top six and get out of drag. Plane tries to go over to console Q but she kind of brushes her off which is noticed by Morphine.

It’s a new day in the werk room and the queens are feeling rested and ready to take on another challenge. Around the table Nymphia asks who they would swap out for one of the eliminated queens. Q addresses her behavior and why she chose to keep quiet and Q says Sapphira’s win wasn’t deserved which Sapphira took some offence to. She was saved by the Ru video before she could say anything she could truly regret. Ru enters the room and tells the queens that for this week’s mini challenge the queens will pay homage to the iconic Tammy Faye and recreate a famous T-shirt using only their faces. Ru welcomes Norvina, the president of Anastasia Beverly Hills to help judge the challenge. The pit crew enters with one shirt for each queen because they only have one chance. The shirts are revealed and Ru announces that Plane Jane is the winner of this week’s mini challenge.

Ru then tells the queens for this week’s maxi challenge they will be starring in a hot new design show “Bathroom Hunties”. Working in pairs they’ll be designing bathrooms for an eclectic couple (Michelle and Carson) who are opening a new night club. The bathroom will have to be gender inclusive and packed with amenities. The pairs are Plane Jane and Sappira, Nymphia and Dawn, and finally Q and Morphine.

They split into their teams and get to work on coming up with a concept for their public bathroom. Morphine tells Q she was a little nervous to be paired with her incase she was still mad about being robbed last week but Q assures her that won’t become a problem for this challenge but they seem to be working well together and the ideas are flowing. Dawn tells Nymphia they won’t be doing a yellow bathroom but she does like her idea of building a bathroom around the concept of a fart museum. Sapphira and Plane get along really well but Plane feels a little nervous about finding a common ground with her, which they do with the idea of a speakeasy-themed bathroom. Plane quickly becomes nervous that she won’t shine as bright as Sapphira does. They move to a different sound stage with three empty white rooms. They get to work painting and designing their rooms. Each team has their issues while putting their rooms together. Morphine and Q aren’t on the same artist level, Plane and Sapphira’s concept might not work in a nightclub setting, and Nymphia and Dawn can’t seem to come to an agreement on their room. Plane decides to spice things up a bit and starts a paint war between her team and Nymphia’s.

It’s elimination day and Q feels good about their room but it is the first week where there will just be tops and bottoms, no safe. Plane really wants to slay this week and is feeling more grounded than usual which has Sapphira worried. Nymphia doesn’t know how she’ll survive this challenge, which means she’ll probably be in the top but it’s stressing Dawn out a little. Morphine asks the other queens if any of them have pooped themselves as an adult and she shares her own graphic story of a problematic fart she had during a show once. On a serious note Sapphira asks if any of the queens have struggled with gendered bathrooms and a few of the queens share personal stories. Sapphira talks to Q about what she said about Sapphira not deserving her win and Q admits she should have chosen a different word and Sapphira tells her one word is all it takes between getting your point across and hurting somebody’s feelings. Plane admits that underneath the touch exterior she just really really wants to make it to the finale and she gets emotional talking about her own insecurities. Sapphira encourages her to get her negative thoughts out of her head by writing them down, reading them out loud, and tearing them up. 

Out on the main stage Ru introduces this week’s panel of judges, Michelle, Carson, and this week’s extra special guest judge, actress Mayan Lopez. Before their bathroom ruveals, the category on the runway is “Chain Reaction” and all of the queens strut in their chained and heavy metal lewks. After the runway the queens and the judges watch the very first episode of “Bathroom Hunties”, where Michelle and Carson tour each bathroom and choose which one they would like in their new nightclub. Q and Morphines “Bowels of Hell” inspired bathroom is up first. They seem to enjoy the concepts and most of the amenities. There’s definitely a theme and they stay true to it from beginning to end. Next up is Nymphia and Dawn’s Fart Museum bathroom. A lot of their bathroom is interactive which Michelle and Carson get really into. Finally, Michelle and Carson head to Plane and Sapphira’s speakeasy bathroom. They have a really strong concept and both of them are really committed to the bit, which really comes off in the delivery of their jokes. 

Critiques begin with Morphine. Carson tells her that the concept was cute albeit not the most inventive but it did work. The teamwork wasn’t there for him though because Q drove the group for the most part. However the judges like her runway. The judges tell Q she took control of the situation but she agrees some of the comedy could have been fleshed out a little more. Michelle gives her some tips on silhouette but tells her it looks great while she’s moving. Michelle tells Dawn she loved the concept of her room but she got steamrolled by Nymphia in the presentation and Ru said it felt like improv that’s still being workshopped. Carson likes her outfit but doesn’t love the chains on her face. The judges love Nymphia’s runway but Michelle tells her she didn’t let the room breathe between jokes which made the pacing of their presentation fall off a bit. Carson tells Plane he really enjoyed his time in her bathroom and says they really knew the details which allowed them to really be in the moment and enjoy it, which all of the judges agree with. Michelle likes her look but calls it predictable. Carson tells Sapphira he’s living for her BDSM latex dog look and Michelle tells her she loved her improv in the challenge and would love to perform with her just based on that single performance.

Following deliberations Ru announces that Plane and Sapphira are both winners of this week’s challenge and they step to the back of the stage. Q and Nymphia are both safe which means Morphine and Dawn are this week’s bottoms and are both up for elimination.

The two bottoms lip sync for their life to Bodyby Megan Thee Stallion. This is Morphine’s third time lip synching and Dawn’s first. Both queens are giving but the song is definitely more suited to Morphine’s style of performance, so it’s not really a surprise when Ru announces Morphine will stay and Dawn will sashay away as she becomes the next queen to be eliminated this season. 

Next week on Drag Race: It’s makeover time! The queens are making over dancers into fierce drag queens and country singer Kelsea Ballerini is a guest judge. 

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