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RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 14, Ep. 13 Recap: Edging Closer to Release After the Ross Roast


If you’ve figured out one thing about me from reading my articles, it’s that I’m a diehard lover of theatre. If you’ve figured out two things, it’s probably that I’m also decidedly an old soul who has a passion and a pension for the days of past. I love Vaudeville (in which drag as an art has deep roots); I love girl groups from the '60s; and I my entire home aesthetic is Mid-Century Modern (earth tones, because duh). So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that I absolutely fucking adore the Friars Club Roasts and all subsequent iterations (Comedy Central, etc.). Growing up, I would watch hours upon hours of Foster Brooks, Dean Martin, Phyllis Diller, Don Rickles, and countless others eviscerate their closest friends and colleagues. And this week’s episode was “The Roast of Ross Matthews!”

This week’s episode opens following the reveal of Bosco’s Golden Ticket-wrapped chocolate bar. She was spared a trip home after not only all the judges literally sending her home, but also every one of her fellow competitors saying the same. That might really shake a lesser queen, but to Bosco’s credit, she is a level of empowered I hope to see in every queen at this stage of the game. In a competition like this, you only have two ways to react: let it weaken you, or let it strengthen you; Bosco decidedly leaned in to the latter. Not only that, but the strength is rooted is a genuine understanding of self, and an ability to act not only aggressively going forward, but also humbly, as well. The same goes for Lady Camden, who upon being apologized to by Bosco, humbly and wonderfully accepts. As much as I love the cutthroat nature of this competition show, it’s also more impressive to me when we see the queens remembering that is just a show, it is just a competition, and they should all be acting like adults. I’ve really loved getting to “know” a few of these queens throughout this season, because we’ve gotten to see those growth dynamics play out a few times. Notably un-thrilled with Bosco remaining are DeJa and Jorgeous, which, also… fair.

The mini challenge this week is revealed to be a mural painting of Ru and Dolly Parton, which was an homage an actual mural of the two in South Carolina by artist Gus Cutty. The groups split into two teams, with one painting Dolly (Lady Camden, Bosco, Daya, and Willow) and one painting Ru (Angeria, DeJa, and Jorgeous). After a less-than-flattering nose on Ru, as well as wooden teeth, and a shady contour, it wasn’t too big of a surprise that team Dolly won. Their prize? They get to decide the order of the roast of Ross. I dig it. They do a solid job of deciding the order, and Bosco, again leaning into her emboldened spirit post-being saved, very smartly decides to go first. We love the confidence. The order would be as follows: Bosco, Jorgeous, Willow, Angeria, Daya, and DeJa, with Lady Camden being the closer. Each of the queens choosing their own slot.

The queens all got to do a practice round of their material under the watchful, evaluative eyes of Michelle and Dulcé Sloan from The Daily Show with Trevor Noah on Comedy Central. The two gave really great advice and were the perfect level of “heed our warnings” to the queens. When it came time for the actual roast, all-in-all everyone did a generally great job. Bosco’s opening was *outstanding* and was a quintessentially classic roast. She was self-deprecating, savage in her roasts without ever attacking anyone’s humanity, and she made sure to drag the other hosts, including Ru. My favorite of her burns doubled as both a self-deprecating jab, as well as a Ru burn: “I’ve been told to go home more times than RuPaul when she tells her record company she has a new song.” At the first run-through, she was instructed to hone her material, and hone it she did. On the opposite side of the spectrum is a surprisingly pre-defeated Jorgeous. She seemed to give up early on, and that really showed through in her comedythe jokes were duds.

Following the roast, the theme for the runway was “TuTu Much.” I love it! It’s perfectly camp. This category is made for queens like Lady Camden and Willow. Lady Camden looked breathtakingly beautiful in a rosé colored ballerina outfit, covered in jewels, and a classic tutu. Willow, being the genius that she is, designed a tutu lewk (a tu-tewk?) that was like if Maleficent and Queen Victoria fucked and had a baby that they named Bizzarro Bjork. That also feels like the perfect description for Willow in general. This look gave her the runway win. I also really loved Bosco’s bloody saw look, because not only did it look great and cool, but it also harkened back to the days when budgets were cheaper. I know that sounds like a back-handed compliment, but it’s not. I didn’t LOVE Angeria’s look, but she looked beautiful, for sure. On the less-impressive end of the spectrum for me was DeJa, who though looking very pretty, just didn’t impress with the look. It was pretty enough, but boring. I also didn’t love Daya’s look, because it looked a bit like the less-impressive version of Lady Camden’s look.

Jorgeous, DeJa, and Daya are declared the bottom three, and (THANK FUCKING GAWD) Ru tells them that two will be going home. To the tune of Olivia Rodrigo’s “Good 4 U” the three battle it out. Jorgeous, the truest of lip sync assassins this season, unfortunately just couldn’t assassinate anymore, and DeJa just couldn’t bring it enough to out-do Daya. Daya is declared the winner, and just like that the field goes from seven to five.

I think it's safe to say that anyone who has made it this far into the competition has, if nothing else, something of a career ahead of them if they want one. They've all proven themselves to be solid competitors and they're all generally young. Particularly Jorgeous, though. I think Jorgeous is, all things considered, a really terrific performer who just needs to keep slogging it out for a few more years. Even if she's not yet built to win a competition like this, she is clearly built to perform. And I can't wait to see her career and her art keep growing.

It was so fitting to me that Daya said this season reminded her of edging, because that exact thought has been going through my head the last few weeks. Good edging starts out slow. It’s just setting getting the groundwork laid and playing with it a bit, ya know? Things inevitably get harder, but that’s also when you really start to have a little fun. Hard is good. Then maybe you give a little tug of the balls just to add in the tiniest dose of light pain that makes the coming cumming feel even more incredible. But before the release… before the reward… you pick up the pace a bit, and start getting more and more intense. That’s where we are right now. We’re not at the release of the massive edge session that this season of Drag Race has shaped up to be, but we are, at the very least, starting to pick up the pace and the intensity. Our balls have been pulled a bit too hard this season tbqfh and they’re even starting to get a bit blue, so now I really needed the pace/intensity to start picking up. Well, pick up they did! And I can’t wait to see how things wrap up in these final few episodes.

Questions? Comments? Email [email protected].

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