Tired and overdone jokes predictably pork this season’s roast.
My friends, did you know Ross Matthews was gay? And not just gay. A homosexual?
Roasts on RuPaul’s Drag Race are always a challenge. Queens have difficulty with the structuring and delivering of jokes. The “recipient” of the roast has to fight through participatory grins. But most importantly, we at home have to endure the same jokes over and over, season after season.
With The Gold Bar Rush over, the queens are a bit nervous that the safety net of immunity is gone forever. The finish is in sight; there are still seven queens in the way, but there’s a finite number of episodes to this race. This, too, must end.
Rupert wastes no time this week and calls the gals immediately to the soundstage, where she’s set up two paint-by-number murals of herself and Dolly Parton inspired by artist Gus Cutty’s similar mural in North Carolina. For this mini-challenge, the queens must dip into a paint palette inspired by Anastasia Beverly Hills and paint their murals as best they can in a short amount of time. It’s a perfectly charming and irrelevant aside, all in aid of choosing a top team.
The winning team of four gets to determine the lineup for the seven queens as they prepare to roast Ross Matthews. Already Jorgeous is starting to shake in her vinyl knee highs. She’s not alone in her worries, but she is the most vocal. It’s a tough challenge. Is there anything funny about “the hilarious” Ross Matthews?
I am (dis)pleased to announce that all targets walk out of The Ross Matthews Roast unscathed.
Michelle and comedian Dulce Sloan (The Great North) are on hand to help the queens find their material. They quickly learn they have a lot of work to do. Poor Dulce looked like she was ready for a light afternoon of filming, only to realize she would need to do some heavy lifting if she was going to have a good time. She does her best to instill a sense of “economy of words” in these long-winded queens. These chatterboxes needed to learn that “brevity is the soul of wit.” And thank goodness she did because this episode would have fallen a lot harder on its face without her insights, reassuring laughs, and jaw-dropping beauty.
Michelle has sat through her fair share of god-awful roasts in her time as a judge. She’s been called a whore by more men on the Drag Race stage than Mary Magdalene meeting The Apostles. Her wise advice to “be deliberate” is also a challenge. If you shoot for the queen, you have to kill the queen.
I am (dis)pleased to announce that all targets walk out of The Ross Matthews Roast unscathed. We don’t hear anything new: Michelle is a slut. Ru is old and makes terrible music. Ross is effeminate and only takes it up the butt. These jokes are store-bought and way past their shelf date.
There are some pleasurable seconds during the roast. Bosco wins this episode because she can take notes and turn her opening acting into a cutting and self-referential surprise. Willow remains silly and intelligent. A deliciously outrageous runway ensemble quickly eclipses any faltering she had. And though her shade may not be “jokes,” Angeria follows Michelle’s advice to the letter and sells it all with intention and confidence. Lady Camden decides she will follow Michelle and Dulce’s advice for a minute and then throw it all away at the end.
This leaves Jorgeous, Daya, and DeJa deservedly at the bottom. Of the group, they told the same three jokes the worst. They each tried their hardest; the trouble is, you could see it. Jorgeous never really gets going while Daya goes on too long. DeJa hits flat.
Suddenly the arithRUtic discussed last week gets writ large on the chalkboard. All three will be up for elimination, with only one going through to next week. There’s a gagged silence as the three queens dressed in tutus take their place for the lip sync. The selection of “good 4 u” by Olivia Rodrigo helps Jorgeous and Daya because their outfits from the Tutu-themed runway have a feminine edge that works with the song’s lite rock-pop anthem vibes. Jorgeous looks like she’s auditioning for Grease: Live! (if she liked musicals) while Daya’s a distressed pink ballerina. DeJa’s tulled-out version of Ru’s Season 8 promo look is incongruous and draws further attention to the fact that she’s not as settled into the song as we’ve seen from her before.
In the end, Daya’s earnest performance keeps her in the competition. Ru maybe a little dismayed to see his precious Jorgeous go, but Jorgeous’ admission on the runway that she didn’t have a good time this week sealed her fate — she had reached her limit. DeJa’s help and heart will make her tough competition for Miss Congeniality.
For now, we, at last, have a Top 5. Finally, the quarterfinals are upon us. Season 14 finally feels like it has momentum, but that’s only because all objects rolling downhill pick up speed.