Cysts, Skits, and Splits: RuPaul’s Drag Race Reflections, S11E02

Yet another season of the Emmy-award winning RuPaul’s Drag Race is here, with the strongest cast in years. The last episode, Whatcha Unpackin’, served fans a glimpse of what can be expected of the new season. Iconic guest judges, amazing runways, and a set of personalities louder than ever, it was a lot to take for a premiere episode.

With fan-favourite Soju eliminated within the premiere episode, the All-Stars quote appears to resonate clear this season as well:

“Expect the Unexpected.”

Hence, without further delay, let’s discuss the second episode of the highly anticipated season 11.

The Other Oats in the Room

The episode kicks off with the girls entering the workroom, to see a cyst-erly (don’t blame me, she made the pun) Lipstick message from Soju. Seeing the exploding popularity of cyst puns ever since, it won’t be surprising if the show tries to pull another “Miss Vanjie.”

As Brook Lynn celebrates “not only surviving the first elimination, but thriving,” we get a hard cut to Scarlet Envy, who feels she deserved to be in the top with her admittedly gorgeous look, and a Gunn-styled extended metaphor suggesting Brook better watch out. This begins the setup of a brilliant mini-storyline for the entirety of the episode.

Scarlet seems to be underestimated by the fellow queens, considering her being picked last for the two teams. She calls this a mistake, due to her experience with acting. In typical Drag Race style, this leaves two possibilities: either she bombs that challenge, or wins.

Scarlet receives the lead role on the team, which is surprising since she was just picked last. This plays to her advantage, of course, as she goes on to give a stellar ‘white girl’ performance (one of the best the show may have seen, in fact. With a unique and mesmerising runway, Scarlet positions herself as one of the THREE frontrunners of the episode.

Now, This is what Nightmares are Made Of

The second episode also brings the first rivalry of the season into play, involving none other than Ariel Versace and Silky Nutmeg Ganache. Considering Ariel’s existent social media following and fanbase, and Silky’s rapid rise to fame due to her over-the-top personality, (not to mention, involvement in several controversies,) this is one of the best pairs that could’ve been chosen if dramatic impact is what is sought.

The feud is sparked by Ariel’s comments to Ru about Silky being “problematic,” which RuPaul chooses to convey to the other team. This move invited criticism, going against several things RuPaul himself preaches, as he now takes the role of “stirring the pot.” The show does not require drama THAT badly… or does it?

The episode also serves as a redemption for Silky, with her pleasant, quirky side being the majority of her screentime, rather than a horseback ride to Miley Cyrus. She’s pursuing a damn PhD in team leadership and is tactical and capable enough to lead her team to clear victory.

Ariel, on the other hand, is shown to be way into her head during “Why it Gotta Be Black, Panther?” but is saved by yet another stunning look on the runway, impeccably carried by her characteristic quirks and personality.

It remains unclear where the girls will be taken towards the final stages of the show, although it does seem likely that Silky gets to the top few.

An Odd Turn

Back in the werqroom, Yvie Oddly asks about the Ariel x Silky feud, and with no one except Ariel speaking about their words, Yvie asks them to “step their pussies up.”This starts an altercation with Ra’jah D. O’Hara, although this rapidly begins to look edited due to dependence upon confessionals for continuing the conversation. The extension gives the conversation a pointless feel and appears to be a failed attempt at making Yvie’s narrative unclear.

Yvie Oddly, on that note, has been getting what is referred to as the Sharon Needles edit: the weird underdog the judges and fans love. It is extremely likely that she reaches the top three, and it would not be surprising if she is crowned the winner. I mean, look at this fucking horoscope, Digimon themed outfit: it’s fucking brilliant.

Good God, Girl.

The acting challenges have been infamous for a majority of the show due to the average drag queens inability to act (is this really a surprise, Drag Race?) However, this episode provides hope for the season, since it seems that the show may finally have a cast that can rise up to these challenges. So far, the intrigue has been kept up well, and it should be interesting to see what comes next.

Kahanna Montrese should’ve been a lip-sync assassin though.


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