Ranking RuPaul: The Roast is Burning!

It’s the “Nice Girls” Roast, which is a bit of a problem given that arguably this season might have the most remaining nice girls left. It went… well, it was nice to see the congenial-ist of Miss Congenialitys back in the building–and Valentina and Nina West too. Utica Queen clearly gave up any chance at either that title or the crown itself as her nosedive finally met ground with her profane, fat shaming, and painfully unfunny tirade of a routine proved her last maxi-challenge flameout. Unfortunately, a more likeable queen might have secured the Miss Congeniality title simply because she’s too full of the milk of human kindness. One thing we do know is that the champion of season 13 will come from a coastal city as of the five remaining girls, three are from NYC, two hail from L.A. Let’s go to the videotape!… erm, pictures

Sashay’d Away: Utica Queen (LW:6)

Her rivals’ stunned stares say it all. The kindest way to look at it: no one is going to accuse the lankiest Minnesota queen of cowardice. Unfortunately, her zest for adventure in this competition often led her to choices that never had a chance of working. In 7th grade, I auditioned for the school play without a prepared monologue. The only reason I got a part was because my meltdown of hyperactive improv was so spectacularly bad they felt there had to be something there. Utica Queen’s bizarre performance art could be entertaining, but it also relied on the good faith of those watching. Mainly, if you’re going to come for the judges with cruel observations, you better be funny. 

She… was not! Not even close. And she was toast once it was clear that her partner in the bottom was going to be Symone. At this point, Symone probably would have had to mouth an entirely different song while lying on the ground during her lip sync for the judges to not send Utica Queen home. And Symone turned it out. So, we wave adeiu to one of the most polarizing performers in RDR history. I’m both relieved she’s gone and miss her chaos–mostly the former though.

5. Olivia Lux [12:1] (LW:4)

After three meh weeks, Olivia needed a challenge that was in her wheelhouse–and what she got was the exact opposite. While some may contend that Olivia’s niceness is a facade, if you think back to the beginning of the season–has she even made a single passive-aggressive aside without immediately negating it with her bountiful smile and endearing laugh. Olivia seems to genuinely trying to usher in a new kind of unironically sweet and companionable queens. I love it, but the judges very much do not (and even said as much, contrasting her to Bianca Del Rio). She may be the first queen to smile her way right out of the competition.

So, no, a format where she is required to savagely mock her friends and role models was not the best draw for Olivia. Although the judges dismissed her choice to play the role of a petulant child who did not know what she was saying, if they’re being honest, I bet they would admit it’s the only thing that kept her out of the bottom–where she still would have sent Utica home. While this loss does not mean she cannot make the finale, this last week was probably her last shot to gain momentum to win it all. I’m standing by my prediction that Olivia will be the victor of RuPaul’s All-Stars 7 with a Shea Coulee growth.

4. Kandy Muse [10:1] (LW:5)

For the second straight week, Kandy showed she knows her RDG history, quoting Farrah Moan’s roast intro while skipping into the workroom. Last week, I admitted I don’t get Kandy Muse. After her swaggering opening of this year’s roast, I finally get it. In the workroom, KM admitted that she had only participated in one of these once and bombed terribly; it turned out she was a quick learn. She not only was confident and naturally funny in her routine, but she set the tone for the whole event.

Kandy’s outfit was the best of the week (and by far her best), and she won the mini-challenge. It was a hell of a showcase for the native New Yorker, the one we’ve all wanted to see. It could be perfect timing, or it could just be too late. I went back and forth with whether this put her above Olivia and at the last minute I’m going to have to say yes. While Olivia has shown much more in the season, she has been in her own way for weeks now and can not see a path that would give her the overall win. Kandy Muse might be less likely to make it through this week and the finale’s final four, but her definitive win in every aspect of the competition last week gives her a sliver of a chance to win it all, especially if she goes into the ultimate episode on a 2-game win streak. 

3. Gottmik [3:1] (LW:3)

Of the four affable queens on the runway, Gottmik was the only contestant to figure out a way to be both cutting and funny. Sandwiched between meh efforts, her routine did what a roast is supposed to do, get the targets to laugh at herself. Ok, her perfectly timed entry jab comparing Utica to a UTI could have been planned, but it so captured Utica’s disastrous standup that it doesn’t matter. Besides, her gentle slam on Ross about how he’s the “only man she knows who cums when the pizza is delivered” was a Bianca-style schooling of Utica on the way to make a joke about size that is both funny and leaves the target laughing.

This was a reminder of just how strong Gottmik is, even when pushed outside her comfort zone. She’s only been in the bottom three once and has yet to lip sync for her life–and we suspect if she’s forced to this week, she’ll be impossible to beat. So we’re just going to put those jinxing words here: there’s no way Gottmik does not make the finale (sorry, Gottmik!)

2. Rosé [3:1] (LW:2)

There’s really not all that much left to say about these top three. I even loved Rosé’s runway interpretation of what would happen if Barbara Mandrell joined Prince’s Revolution. While I disagree with those who argued she should have won the challenge–this was her skill and she was coasting, whereas Gottmik and Kandy Muse were stunning.

As with Gottmik, she’s only been in the bottom twice, and also has yet to lip sync for her life (unless you count that dumb Pork Chop opening episode). Since we can’t jinx everyone, we GUARANTEE Rosé will be in the final four.

1. Symone [5:3] (LW:1)

E

Every time I suggest that there’s no way a queen can lose, she winds up in the bottom (sorry, Gottmik & Rosé). In a rare look, Symone was just lost as she clung to the cards and tried to find a funny angle. At one point, she made the worst possible sound in one of these things: silence. Darkness is no one’s old friend in a roast.

Anyway, while Symone’s invincibility may be dented again–had she aced the roast, the rest of the season might have been essentially a formality with her coronation a fait accompli. However, now, while most experts would agree she’s outclassed the rest, she’s had to lip sync to remain twice. That gives a definite opening to two queens who have never been in the bottom two–Rosé, in fact, has only not finished in the top in a remarkably low three out of 10 challenges.

It’s hard to believe, but with two weeks to go, it’s still a three-queen race. May the best QUEEN win!

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