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RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 16 Episode 14 RECAP: Booked & Blessed

The final four take on their last challenge writing their own memoirs before heading to the grand finale. Ronan Farrow is a guest judge…

Last week we said goodbye to Morphine Dion Love after she failed to wow the judges during the iconic makeover challenge. Plane Jane came out on top with Nymphia and Q trailing just behind her. Sapphira survived the lip sync (which was her first time in the bottom) to hopefully slide all the way to the finale. This week the final four queens will take on their final challenge in the werk room writing and marketing their very own memoirs, complete with a cover shoot lensed by RuPaul himself. One more queen will be eliminated before we head to the finale. Who will it be? Let’s get into it!

This week’s episode begins in the werk room following Morphine’s elimination. The queens are feeling relieved to still be in the competition, especially so close to the end of the race. Q is sad Morphine is gone just because she knows how much she wanted to make it to the end and Sapphira reads her goodbye message. Plane says their lip sync was her favourite of the season. The werk room is going to be different without Morphine and Sapphira thinks the queens are living because they’ve finally seen a dent in her armour. Over on the couches some of the queens congratulate Plane on her win but Q comes at her with her opinions about her leotard. Plane gives it right back to her and Sapphira prompts them all to tally their wins. Everybody is feeling great about being in the top four and Nymphia hopes there won’t be any writing or comedy for this week’s challenge. Plane and Sapphira tell her she has to know she’s sickening at this point of the competition but Nymphia doesn’t look so sure of that. 

It’s a new week in the werk room and the top four are ready to take on the challenge. The werk room is feeling a lot emptier than usual and Plane tells the others she feels free to be the happy version of themselves. Ru interrupts and tells the top four queens that before they leave the werk room for good they must stay kind, stay humble, and be unafraid to play the fool. For today’s mini challenge the girls will be lip synching for their lives…under water. They’re given ten minutes to get into a  swimsuit quick drag and head to the pool. One at a time they’ll submerge just their faces in the kitty gurl pool and give the performances of their lives. After some truly gorgeous performances, Ru announces that the winner of the final mini challenge is Sapphira!

For their last maxi challenge of the seasons the queens will have to write stories about their own lives for their own memoirs inspired by Ru’s new book. They’ll also need to come up with a catchy title and pose the house down for a sickening covershoot. They’ll also be taking on a podcast interview with Las Culturistas’s Matt Rogers where they must remember to plug their new books.

The queens get to writing immediately at their separate tables. They’ll have to dig deep and get vulnerable to sell their stories. Plane likes to keep things light and funny, so this challenge is already proving to be a little more difficult for her. Q has a clear plan for what she wants to write about and Nymphia decides she wants to make her entire memoir a metaphor for farting. After writing it’s time for their book cover photo shoots. Legendary photographer Albert Sanchez is shooting the queens with Ru directing.  Nymphia is up first and she’s absolutely serving even without bananas. Q is up next and she’s nervous about one-on-one time with Ru. She’s not as fierce in front of a camera as Nymphia but she responds to being directed and she gets there in the end. Sapphira is third and she knows exactly what to do in front of the camera. Ru is loving it and is eating up everything Sapphira is serving. Plane is last and she’s feeling a little intimidated but she rolls with the direction to get some good shots. 

After the photoshoots the queens head out to the main stage to promote their memoirs with Matt Rogers. Plane is up first and she gives a great interview filled with a lot of humour but she doesn’t really dig past the surface level we’ve already seen from her. She does get shady at the end which could cost her a win. Sapphira is next and explains what it means to be Slue Foot. Sapphira gets vulnerable, chatting about her Nonna and how she embraces her insecurities to get to this point in the competition. Matt says it’s so easy to talk and connect to Sapphira which makes her look really good. Q is third and talks about how doing theatre in high school led to her finding drag and how her mother is represented in her own drag and art. She gets a little emotional talking about growing up in a low-income house and ends it by giving a sweet message to her mom. Nymphia is last and gets right into it telling a story about being ghosted on a date. She also talks about growing up in Taiwan and how it affected her own self-image when it came to beauty standards and how it led her to drag. She really opens up which impresses Matt.

It’s elimination day and all of the queens are feeling good about their books and promo. Q thinks she has a great chance at winning the challenge, but so do all of the other queens. Nymphia is feeling confident after the challenge for a change. Plane asks the other queens what they thought were the weakest and strongest points of their competition. All of them take a trip down memory lane to lay out the highs and the lows of the race. Nymphia reveals her low confidence in the challenge wasn’t a strategy to trick the queens which kind of gags Plane. They all talk about their first impressions of each other which gets silly with some light-hearted shade. 

Out on the runway Ru introduces this week’s panel of judges Michelle, Ts Madison, and this week’s extra special guest judge, author and journalist Ronan Farrow. On the runway the category is “Fandango” and the queens stun in their most sickening fanned and pleated lewks. Following the runway the queens all meet at the bottom of the stage. Ru tells them it’s been an amazing season and she knows how hard they’ve all worked. Critiques begin with Q. Michelle tells her it’s been a joy to watch her grow throughout the competition. Ts tells her she got emotional listening to her interview but all of the judges agree that they don’t really love the branding of her book. Sapphira is next and Ronan tells her he’s a new fan just from her powerful reveal. Ru and Ts tell her she’s a natural in interviews and how comfortable it is listening to her tell her story. They loved that she reclaimed her slue foot and made it totally her own. Ronan tells Nymphia her book cover is his favourite. Her runway look is great but Michelle says her Marie Antoinette look has been done before though her attention to detail is admirable. All of the judges loved how vulnerable she got in the podcast and Ru said it made them all fall in love with her. Plane is last and Ts tells her she looks amazing in her goddess glam on the runway and Ru agrees. Her book cover however is not wowing the judges. Ronan said she struggled to hear Plane connect with the message of the book and she didn’t give enough of herself in the promotion. 

After the judges deliberation Ru announces that the winner of the final challenge is Nymphia Wind! She’ll be moving onto the finale along with Sapphira, who is safe for the week. This leaves Q and Plane as the bottom two of the week.They’re both up for the elimination and it’s Plane’s first time. The two bottoms lip sync for their lives to Better Be Good to Me by Tina Turner. Both queens are turning it OUT and leaving it all on the runway because they both want a shot at the finale. Ru decides that Plane will move onto the grand finale. This unfortunately means it’s the end of the competition for Q.

Next week on Drag RaceAll of the eliminated queens return to compete in a Lip Sync LaLa PaRuza where one winner will walk away with $50,000. 

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