SPOILER ALERT: This article contains details about the episode 15 of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
It’s reunion time for the queens of season 15 and based on the buzz and the opening tease, it’s going to be quite the shade journey with Mistress leading the charge.
We get an introductory montage of all of the queens to the tune of RuPaul’s “Bring Back My Girls”, appropriately. And as a bookend to their entrance lines into the Werk Room, each of them get a voiceover over their intros — and believe me, we need a reminder about who some of these queens are because the first episode of the season seems like ages ago.
With RuPaul in the center, the queens flank mother on both sides: Salina, Robin, Poppy, Jax, Loosey, Sugar, Spice and Irene on one side; Sasha, Luxx, Amethyst, Malaysia, Marcia, Aura, Mistress, and Anetra on the other. I point out the seating arrangement because Loosey is seated far away from Mistress and Luxx — which seems like a good idea considering their history. Also, this gives all parties the ability to look each other in their eyes when they read and come for each other.
It should be noted that even though we are here to kiki with these queens, Drag Race makes it known that they are fully aware of the anti-LGBTQ laws being introduced all over the country. That said, Ru reminds everyone to donate to the ACLU Drag Defense Fund before the queens dig into each other.
In another package, we get a reveiw of guest judges, major performances and lip sync moments as well as jaw-dropping lewks and emotional moments that led to the final four of Sasha, Luxx, Mistress and Anetra. However, where do we start with this season which was full of face crack moments, shade, shenanigans, dips, flips, duck walks and “-gates”?
How about we start with Mistress mopping things from other queens — and she has witnesses! But there’s a surprise thief in the mix as well because we learned Anetra stole a “light bulb” because it was “lit” and she wanted a piece of it.
We quickly go to the twins of the season: Sugar and Spice, who have since been adopted by their new mother Mistress. The twins were very much a spectacle of the season. As I said before, they were like aliens in a new world that they had no idea how to navigate. Now that they have more of a drag family away from their isolated suburb world, the pair are different from when they first did their signature trot into the Werk Room. Ru says that they adapted to this new world as outsider fairly quickly. From this, Sugar has a very good moment of realization saying that she was stronger than she thought she was because Drag Race tested that. Also, she very much realizes that all the queens are more similar than they think they are.
C’mon, Sugar with the moment of clarity… which was immediately followed by the older twin, Spice (only by 57 minutes) trailing off on a random thought. All of this is on brand for the twins, but they also seem more mature and are able to be shadier at a moment’s notice. This is probably because of the teachings of Momma Mistress.
There seems to be some fun discussions about all of this “era” talk but Ru starts digging into the season as she brings up how everyone was arguing about who was in second place this season. A montage that primarily focuses on various moments of “who’s number 2?” discussions featuring Loosey, Luxx, Mistress, and a little bit of Marcia. Its setting up for a juicy conversation.
When they start discussing this season’s Snatch Game (which I still argue was too early this season) with Mistress’s Rosie O’Donnell and Marcia’s Tim Gunn, the latter thinking her impression was better.
“I don’t care about being number 2,” says Mistress, adding that Marcia brought that up during Untucked. “Which is why I had to gather the girls and clock the tea.”
The next “Battle of Second Place” is between Luxx and Loosey during the “All Queens Go To Heaven” challenge. Luxx steps in and immediately claims she was in second place, based on they way they were called on the mainstage. Also, Luxx is very confident of herself so she’ll always be in second place if she isn’t first.
This discussion leads to a second “Battle of Second Place” between Luxx and Loosey but this time it’s during the “50/50 News Magazine” challenge — which is immediately interrupted by Sasha chiming in to say, “Let’s talk about both those challenges and who was number one, though!”
Sasha jokes and says that Luxx and Loosey’s rivalry is all about “sexual magnetism” but Loosey just thinks that they are just two ultra competitie people who want that win. For Loosey, it was especially apparent that she wanted to win during the “Daytona Wind” challenge when she said she was “f*cking pissed” that she didn’t come out on top. Loosey blames that on the alcohol.
Thus brings up Mistress’s theory of drag delusion and according to her, Loosey is not the only queen on the cast suffering from it. However, being the clever drag queen Mistress is, she immediately punctuated her shade with self-depricating charm saying that she may be patient zero when it comes to those suffering from drag delusion.
After this fun moment of light shade (believe me, it gets a little tense later on), we get a celebrity message from Kevin Bacon to Loosey. The Footloose icon praises Loosey for her performance as Heaven Bacon in Wigloose! which was based on Bacon’s Ren McCormack from Footloose.
Ru segways to the next topic: all the incredible lip syncs of the season. The first wants to discuss Anetra and Sasha’s sickening “I’m In Love with a Monster” lip sync during the Lalaparuza.
Sasha was ready to go up against a powerhouse like Anetra. The queens gushed about this lip sync. Irene says “I’ll never count to eight the same way again” in regards to Sasha’s booty pops while Salina adds, “I think we were just happy we didn’t have to lip sync against either of them!”
Ru then brings our attention to what has become one of the most iconic lip syncs of the season and Michelle Visage’s favorite lip sync of all time: the battle of Marcia Marcia Marcia vs. Anetra to Doja Cat’s “Boss Bitch”.
Ru asks Marcia, who was eliminated after the lip sync, what she thought of the outcry from fans that this should have been a double shantay. Marcia doesn’t really disagree, but appreciates the validation considering she is still a little green to drag. “I tried my darndest,” Marcia says.
“I don’t think it was a coincidence that [Anetra] was in two of the best lip syncs of the season,” says Irene. She turns to Anetra to tell her a phenomenal performer admitting that she was excited everytime Anetra was struggling during an episode because that meant everyone would get to see her lip sync.
The conversation continues to address specific moments during the Lalaparuza including Malaysia’s reasoning for picking Marcia which Mistress immediately calls a “fairytale”.
We then get to the moment where the queens thought Jax beat Mistress when it was actually Mistress who was the victor from that battle. To this day, Salina and Loosey continue to stand by their opinion that Jax won that lip sync while Jax feels that the performances were pretty balanced. Loosey and Mistress get into it and it feels bizarrely intense — like at any moment someone is going to leap out of their seat and throw hands. This is why they sat the queens the way they did!
— RuPaul’s Drag Race (@RuPaulsDragRace) April 8, 2023
The show goes on and we learn that Robin and Amethyst will never date again and that Aura had a crush Poppy, but that crush did not last long at all because Aura is now engaged to someone else! (Congrats!)
The reunion continues to roll along and it’s… cute. Drag Race alums ask the queens some fun questions and we learn about that Marcia is launching her own cosmetic line to which Aura asks, “Is it just eyeliner?” We also learn that Sasha’s most inspirational drag queen is Monica Munroe and Robin’s former life as a Best Buy employee — which she did in drag.
Irene addresses her trolling on social media, saying “she likes to have fun with the girlies online” because she didn’t get to do it much in the Werk Room. Even though she thinks it was all in good fun, Mistress says she blocked her…but it turns out she was joking. Ru asks the queens if anyone was really offended by Irene and Spice answers, “It really doesn’t matter if you were offended because karma got her.”
I’m really liking these new shady versions of Sugar and Spice — but it all comes from a place of love. “Once I really got to know her, there’s a heart under all that crazy,” says Sugar of Irene.
Derrick Barry pops up on the screen to ask Loosey, “Based on some of your tweets, are you a queen who blames it on the edit?”
“I was hacked!” screams Loosey. She says the edit showed a very specific side of Loosey, but not all sides of her. She admits she came off as uptight but she claims she has “let loose”.
I feel like this isn’t the last of this conversation.
In an unexpected twists, some mothers (not of the drag variety) pop up on the screen to confront some of the queens. Robin’s mom interrogates Mistress about her coming for her daughter’s wigs in the first episode while Aura’s mom comes for Spice, asking her, “Why did you say Aura should have been in the bottom for Snatch Game — don’t you know she would have sent you home in the lip sync?”
A package of unseen footage from the reading challenge — and there are some good and there are some “meh” reads. Ru then re-opens the library for the queens who weren’t able to participate in the reading challenge. Sugar who wastes no time: “”Luxx coined you as the swamp witch of the season. She’s absolutely right because what witchcraft did you pull to only be one episode and still get more screen time than Robin?”
Poppy probably has the best read of the night when she says, “The rumors are true… I did give someone on set COVID. That’s why all season long, Loosey Laduca had no taste.”
We then come to the point where we have to address all the “-gates” of the season: “metalgate” (the music group challenge for the “‘metal’ genre), “baby bumpgate” (that time where Luxx called Loosey out on her “Night of a thousand Beyoncés”) , and “heavengate” (the one where Luxx and Loosey battled for the role of Heaven Bacon in Wigloose!) — all of these are absurdly petty moments that we all ate up. It’s exactly the kind of Drag Race drama we live for — but for the queens, they learn some life lessons in retrospect. Oh, and by the way, Loosey admits she was wrong in “baby bumpgate”.
Then we get to “heavengate”. My God. This was a journey of a “-gate”. The fight for the role of Heaven Bacon in the Ru-sical was one-part strategy and one-part “do it for the team for Luxx, who eventually caved and gave it to Loosey while Mistress basically fanned the flames of this battle.
“Drag queens fighting over anything is entertaining,” admitted Anetra. This includes “40-inch-gate”, when Irene and Luxx were comparing wig sizes. This was very early on in the season, so it’s less exciting now then it was then.
After the break, Ru shows some unseen lewks from the eliminated queens, but let’s be honest, Aura’s “Night of a Thousand Beyoncés” lewk.
Honorable mention to Irene’s “Puffer Please” lewk.
After a game of “toot” or “boot”, Ru welcomes Maddy Morphosis to present this year’s Golden Boot award which goes to the worse lewk of the season. The nominees are: Marcia for her “Tie Dye to Die For” lewk; Jax, also for her “Tie Dye to Die For” lewk; and Salina for her “Metallica” runway.
The winner is… Salina!
“I finally won something on Drag Race!” Salina says.
A lot of this is cute and very celebratory but we are waiting for that moment in the reunion when things go off the rails. I think the moment comes when Ru makes the top six queens revisit the time when they were asked “Who should go home?” Specifically, she brings up Luxx’s TED talk which ended with her saying that Loosey’s drag was “generic”. Loosey says she punched down and was very hurt by Luxx.
“You seemed to take joy in doing that,” Loosey tells Luxx. Loosey also claims that Luxx said that “Everything she has done has been done before”. Luxx disagrees… and it seems like they agree to disagree on that. Also, it should be noted that Loosey comes for Luxx’s red and black wig which was also on Mistress’s puppet in her “Night of a Thousand Beyoncés” lewk.
Seriously, this is getting spicy.
“I’m not a mean and malicious person,” says Luxx who admits that she was probably dogpiling on her before.
Just when we thought things were getting a little light, Loosey tells Luxx that if she were to pick who were to go home for that week’s challenge, it would have been Luxx. The two get into another argument about who did and didn’t struggle with the choreography that week.
There are some plenty of “loose” ends to this rivalry that I feel will never be tied up.
— RuPaul’s Drag Race (@RuPaulsDragRace) April 8, 2023
Leaving that feud behind, we get a clip package of unseen footage of celebrity guests and Aura has the opportunity to talk about performing with Maren Morris for a benefit concert. Also, as a Nashville queen, she expresses her concern and lack of safety when she goes to work and appears in drag. In addition, Robin visited Yale Law to protest and Malaysia talked about being nervous when she was booked to perform in Nashville. Irene points out that a lot of these anti-drag bills are also targeting trans people who are not drag performers.
“As a trans drag queen, I feel like the legislation right now is particularly zoned in on people like me,” says Sasha. “I feel nervous traveling. What if I go into the airport bathroom and someone recognizes me that is not a fan and wants to call the police because I am in their bathroom?”
“It’s really the other side showing their cards and knowing that we have displayed so much power and unity in the past few years that they need to throw anything at the wall and see what sticks,” Sasha points out.
Robin chimes in, “Because we are now out and proud, those small minorities are very loud so it’s very important, no matter where we are to speak up and protest in any way possible.”
“It means we are doing something right if they are getting nervous,” says Sasha.
“People who are used to having an advantage in our culture — these people are in full fear so they’re lashing out at us because we are having a good ol’ time living our life and they can’t stand it,” said RuPaul, adding that there is nothing more powerful than a registered vote. Speaking of voting, the Connecticut queens get some love from their Lt. Governor — and it makes Loosey very emotional.
After Loosey dries her tears, Ru just basically says “attack!” in a segment she likes to call “Gather Her”, a last chance for any queen to get something off their chest.
Irene comes for Mistress about something that Loosey said about having loose skin. It’s a very petty drag queen “she said, she said” fight that becomes another log in the fire of the “Loosey vs. Mistress” fire.
The conversation then turns to online etiquette and behavior of the queens. “Do you feel muzzled by the impression that you might give on social media?” asks Ru.
Luxx answers, “No, I don’t because there’s going to be someone out there who doesn’t like what you’re doing… you can’t please everybody so do what you got to do to make yourself happy.” She goes on to talk about hate comments on social media and says she blocks and doesn’t internalize them because “they’re all coming from people whose opinions don’t make a difference in my life.”
Mistress talks about the time when her Instagram account was blocked three times because “all the White twinks” ganged up on her after she and Marcia had their moment in Untucked after Snatch Game. Those moments for the queens are, as Mistress says, “a bump in the road”, but for truly invested fans, it brings out some racism, fatphobia and other ugly behavior.
“In those moments, we don’t feel like we’re really going at it, it’s a bump in the road.” @luxxnoirlondon & @MistressIBrooks address the hate they’ve received on social media. #DragRace pic.twitter.com/xJ7VFtonpr
— RuPaul’s Drag Race (@RuPaulsDragRace) April 8, 2023
Ru higlights some of her favorite moments including Anetra’s talent show performance which introduced the phrase “Walk that f*cking duck!” to the world; Luxx’s zebra pants fashion moment; Mistress’s Emmy-worthy “Daytona Wind” performance; and Sasha’s otherworldly, sickening “Blame it on the Edit” video performance — and that happens to be the final four.
At next week’s grand finale of season 15, it looks like the four queens will perform solos but only two will go on to lip sync for the crown. Who are you rooting for?