“RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 16 continued on February 9 with the sixth episode in RuPaul’s quest to find “America’s next drag superstar.” Previously in episode five, Amanda Tori Meating wowed her peers and the judges with her dancing skills in the “Girl Groups” challenge, but a miss on concept on the runway landed her in the bottom two anyway. In a Lip Sync for Your Life to new-to-the-bottom Q, Amanda lost out and became the third queen to leave the competition.
This week, the remaining 11 queens return to the sewing machine for what Ru refers to as a “design, branding and storytelling” challenge to create a customized doll version of themselves. Seated at the judges’ dais for episode 6 titled “Welcome to the DollHouse” was Emmy winning host RuPaul Charles, longtime bestie Michelle Visage, recurring judge Ts Madison, and legendary stylist Law Roach as the extra special guest.
The queens still vying for the crown are: Dawn, Geneva Karr, Megami, Mhi’ya Iman Le’Paige, Morphine Love Dion, Nymphia Wind, Plane Jane, Plasma, Q, Sapphira Cristál, and Xunami Muse.
Check out our full recap of episode 6 below:
Picking up the pieces of her fall to the bottom, Q understood that her only path forward would be to “use it as fuel” to regain her position among the top weekly performers. Her rise coincided with Geneva’s own return to the top (and one-fourth of a win, at that!) after back-to-back trips to the LSFYL. And even after hashing it out in “Untucked,” Xunami and Q were still at odds over Q’s naming of Xunami as one of two people who deserved to go home last week even though Ru had asked them only for one name. One fight we wouldn’t have to witness again is between Jane and Amanda, but no one in the room was buying Jane’s assertion that she will “turn over a new leaf” now that Amanda is gone.
The next day Ru arrived early with Spanish icon Charo in tow for another mini challenge. This time, Ru and Charo wanted to see some flare in a flamenco dance session with two Spanish male dancers. Morphine, Geneva, Mhi’ya, Xunami and Nymphia all twisted their hips and hit the right steps, but in the end Charo thought that Xunami was a cut above the rest and named her the mini challenge winner.
For this week’s maxi challenge, Ru wanted to give the queens their own chance to realize their love of dolls by creating a look from scratch that they and a doll version of themselves would wear on the runway. Ru made it clear that while this is clearly a design challenge, it is also about branding their drag persona and an ability to tell a compelling story on the Main Stage.
Most “pumped” about the challenge was seamstress Q who knew that this was her chance to immediately redeem herself from last week with a successful creation. Not feeling herself as much was Jane who quickly realized that the fabric she was left would not read well on the runway. Knowing that Geneva got a hold of a stretchy red fabric she wanted, Jane made her way over and somehow managed to take a dig at Geneva’s lack of sewing skills when attempting to ask for the fabric from her. Geneva knew what Jane was trying to do and shot her down straight away. Plasma was more chill with Jane, allowing her to take a large cut out of her bolt of fabric.
No one was buying Nymphia’s worry either, shutting down her whines that she was struggling to find inspiration in a design challenge after clearing them all with a win in the first one. Q was particularly interested in shooing Nymphia away from her station so that she can focus on her own work and hopefully claim the challenge win she has in her sights. Elsewhere, Morphine’s concern was listening Michelle’s critique from last week and trying to not focus on her BBL with her look and Sapphira was looking at running out of time with an ambitious opera coat concept.
The longer the day went on, Geneva found herself in the sticky situation of not having enough of her original red fabric to finish her garment and the realization that all that she could use is the same blue fabric that both Plasma and Jane were already using. Of course this was not what Jane wanted to hear after initially wanting to claim the red fabric that Geneva had claimed.
The next morning as the girls prepared for the runway, the room swirled with chatter about what stories everyone was going with for their concepts. Megami was not overly impressed with Geneva’s “Texas Edition” idea because it didn’t really make sense with her look and so she and Mhi’ya asked Geneva why she didn’t do her TikTok trend of leg hair styling instead. Geneva admitted that it would have been a good idea, but it takes too much time.
Xunami asked Jane if she has a plan for her Immunity Potion and for the first time this season Jane expressed a tiny bit of uncertainty about her presentation. She told Xunami that “as of now” she isn’t planning on using it and that when she looks around the room she doesn’t think she’ll need to, but warned that she does think Sapphira might need to consider using hers.
On the Main Stage, the queens presented their doll creations in the “Welcome to the DollHouse” category. Xunami started with a pants look in the “Fashion Week Edition,” followed by Sapphira with the “Grande Dame Diva Metrolpolitan Opera Edition” in a simple blue floral gown, Plasma’s “Passenger on the Pacific Edition” that was a simple baby blue dress with a darker blue head scarf, Jane’s “Aquatic Edition” that was a cute baby blue bodysuit, Nymphia wearing a yellow gown with oversized pink bow in her “Spring Banana Yellow Carpet Edition,” Morphine in a body hugging gown for the “Miami Bimbo Edition,” Mhi’ya capitalizing on the “Queen of Flips Edition” in a neon spandex catsuit, Megami taking on blue, orange and liberty in the “Native New Yorker Edition,” Geneva going with the “Daintiest Doll in Texas Edition” in a ruffled baby blue dress, Dawn’s “Galactic Empress Edition” wearing a silver and purple head-hugging gown, and Q wearing all copper including headpiece as her “Fantasy Edition.”
As Jane suspected, Sapphira decided to save herself with her Immunity Potion, but she immediately regretted it because she could tell on the judges’ faces that she probably didn’t need it. Jane was comfortable with her design and held on to her Potion tightly. With Sapphira already safe, Ru called Xunami, Nymphia, Morphine, and Megami forward as the other queens in the middle.
In judges’ critiques, Ts told Plasma that she’s a “bad bitch” and advised her to always “stay in that energy” even when there are mishaps like her scarf slipping down. Ru added that her storytelling “pushed” the jokes instead of letting them happen authentically, but despite that they all loved her makeup. Law told Jane that her look and doll were “immaculate” and Michelle said that her story was “fun and wacky.” Ts pointed out that Mhi’ya looked nothing like her doll and so all the padding that she had on herself needed to be matched don the doll. Michelle was disappointed that her whole story was about flipping, but there was no flipping in her presentation on the runway. Law read Geneva for filth by saying she looks gorgeous from the neck up, but “horror” from the neck down. Ru added that the “branding was confusing” and said she totally missed the mark. Law seemed to love Dawn’s dress the most and Michelle applauded her for ditching the elf ears and showing that she can be beautiful in a different way. Ts was happy to see that Q returned to form on the runway after being plain last week and Law said that her look was “couture” and he couldn’t find a single imperfection. Ru thought that Q had the “most collectible” looking doll because of how expensive it looks.
After further deliberation, Ru made the decision that this week indeed belonged to Q, naming her the challenge winner. That left both Jane and Dawn as safe queens from the top of the pack. Emerging from the bottom as the final safe queen was Plasma, meaning that Geneva was back in the bottom for a third time alongside Mhi’ya. In their battle to “Control” by Janet Jackson, Mhi’a finally delivered on the promise of her stage personality with an unmatchable performance of physical prowess. Mhi’ya flips, handstands, dips, backbends and splits came one right after the other, leaving no room for Geneva to pull the eye in her direction no matter what she tried to do. Unfortunately for Geneva, in the third time up for elimination there was nothing new for Ru to see and so she had to say “sashay away.”
NEXT TIME: Ru wants the girls to “act up a storm” in a rusical production of “The Sound of Rusic.”
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