RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10 episode 3 review: The Bossy Rossy Show


Drag Race season 10 has a deep bench of talent, and it’s paying off episode after episode. But who’s the frontrunner in this race?

There are two kinds of Drag Race seasons. On the one hand, you’ve got the ones where the frontrunner is clear at the start. On season 6, Bianca Del Rio was the standout queen from the word go. On season 8, it was always the Bob the Drag Queen show. Then you’ve got the seasons where everyone seems about evenly matched, like this one. It makes it for good watching because it seems like anyone can go at any moment, but people like certainly. We’re five episodes in now, long enough to at least get a read on everyone, so we’re here to ask: who’s going to win this thing?

After a rocky start, Eureka seems like a strong contender. She seemed that way on season 9, too — she’s polished and outspoken, bold and fun-loving. I always lamented that she didn’t get to play the Snatch Game last year because with her outsized personality, there was no way she was going to do badly. And in this episode, the maxi challenge targets her strengths with deadly accuracy.

After mini-challenge winner the Vixen splits the girls into pairs, they have to improv their way through The Bossy Rossy Show, a fake talk show hosted by Ross Matthews (“You Rossed the line!”). Eureka and Aquaria get the best trashy talk show prompt (“I’m a sexy baby!”) and make the most of it, particularly Eureka, who shows up topless with no hair, looking every inch a giant baby, and throws a temper tantrum right there on the floor, complete with flailing limbs and angry squeal. Combine that with her Elvis-inspired jumpsuit on the “diamonds and denim” runway, and it’s no surprise she wins.

I can see the Vixen snatching the crown, too, even if she didn’t do well this week. Her looks are sleek — her paneled mermaid gown was my favorite look of the night — and she has nerve for days. She may not have acting training — her performance opposite Asia O’Hara in the “Why are you so obsessed with me?” improv is abrasive and little else — but she seems smart enough to work around her weak points.

The Vixen is also, by a wide margin, the biggest fire-starter on set. This being a reality TV show, we can’t afford to let her go before the final round. But thanks to the hour-and-a-half long episodes, the show can afford the time to show us different sides of her. After the caterwauling throwdown between Eureka and the Vixen on last week’s episode of Untucked, the pair of them, fixed up by Mayhem, talk through some of their issues in the workroom, and reveal that their outspokenness is rooted in things we can sympathize with and understand. Eureka, after being criticized for being flamboyant in her youth and retreating into herself, found her voice through drag and is making up for lost time, while the Vixen has only recently embraced her outspoken side and doesn’t yet “know how to get to 50” — it’s always 0 to 100 for her.

When watching reality TV, I’m always on guard for moments that feel manufactured, but this one slipped past my defenses. There aren’t nearly enough queer people on TV, so when we get some, it’s best that we try to understand them as complete individuals.

Image via VH1 press.

I can also see Miz Cracker taking it all. She hasn’t yet won a challenge, but she’s come close on three out of five episodes so far, including this one. She and Mayhem Miller have the oddest prompt (“I’m deathly afraid…of pickles!”) and Cracker runs with it, not only dressing like a pickle but revealing mid-skit that “I am actually a pickle.”

Cracker’s sense of humor is off-kilter enough to make that work. She’s funny in a different way than Eureka or Monique — quieter, smarter — and that’s going to pay off for her sooner or later. The title she makes up for Dr. Dill’s best-selling book is worth the price of admission by itself: Dill With It: Learning to Enjoy and Relish Life by Opening a New Jar of Joy.

Oh, and her pink denim runway look, with anti-gravity pigtails and buckteeth, is hilarious and stands out from the crowd. Mark my words: Miz Cracker is either making it to the end or going down in a shocking upset.

Aquaria, too, has chops, and an unshakable Violet Chachki-esque confidence. Her chances are especially good if RuPaul trots out more look challenges this year, which I’m all for — I’m hoping that the ball challenge dropping as early as it did is a sign of things to come.

Then there are the girls who are clearly talented but have been flying under the radar. It’s become standard for Monique Heart to complain about getting robbed after a critique, and while she stays quiet this go-round, by this point I assume she’s fuming. She is good in her skit with Blair St. Clair (“I Married a Cactus!”), giving us all the wig-snatching, pot-stirring Other Woman energy we could hope for. She’s just not quite good enough to outshine forces of nature like Eureka, with whom she shares talents in common. The question is: will she ever be?

Frankly, I’m more interested in Kameron Michaels, who I think it was easy to write off as a novelty in the first couple episodes (a drag queen with muscles, have you ever seen such a thing?) but who has proven to be a steady, nose-to-the-grindstone kind of competitor. I’ve come to expect solid looks from him (his diamonds and denim look is a fun riff on Dolly Parton), but what I didn’t see coming was how fully Kameron committed to his “Freaky Addiction” character. An addiction to huffing tucking panties is an inside drag baseball sort of idea, but when Kameron is shoving them up his nose with such abandon, complete with a satisfied shudder, it doesn’t matter; it’s just funny.

Kameron could fly under the radar all the way to the crown, and because he’s not much of a talker, it may surprise everyone.

On the other end of the spectrum, I can’t seem to bring myself to get excited about Asia O’Hara’s prospects, although she got off some good one-liners during her sketch. I’m not sure what the block is, either. It might be that she doesn’t have enough of her own — that may not be a detriment in the real world, but it’s necessary to hold my attention on reality TV. Meanwhile, Blair St. Clair is pleasant and sweet and fun and seems destined for a middle-of-the-pack finish.

Then there’s Monét X Change, she of the fantastic drag name and curiously intermittent charisma. Monét seems like she would excel at an improv challenge, but she’s muted in the challenge, outshone by the normally quiet Kameron. Her ill-fitting runway look doesn’t help, but when she lip syncs against Mayhem Miller to Shania Twain’s “Man, I Feel Like a Woman,” she’s every bit the powerhouse queen she seems to be. Girl brings a bag of tricks a mile deep, including a wig reveal, a nude reveal, and a couple cans of hairspray. Also motorcycling mine. She brings so many props they’re almost a hindrance, but damn if it isn’t entertaining.

Mayhem, who whelms in the challenge and underwhelms on the runway, does a decent job, too (the lip syncs this year are far better on average than last year’s), but doesn’t come as prepared as Monét. She goes home, and I think it’s time. She’s a seasoned queen but never had her breakout moment.

This is RuPaul’s Drag Race, so everything we think we know about who’s going to win could change next week, but it’s the not knowing that’s keeping the season going.

Next: 5 times Elizabeth Hurley sizzled on Instagram

Random Ruflections

  • Perls of wisdom from Miz Cracker: “When you give a gift, you have to give it freely.”
  • “Asia learned a very important lesson today: When something goes wrong, you can only blame…your friends.”
  • “Talk is cheap, but then again, so is Michelle Visage.”
  • The Vixen: “I have a lotta friends who enlisted before.” Cracker: “Vixen, you said you had a lotta friends? I don’t believe that.”
  • “[Monet] earned her stripes during Operation Trippin’ Balls, where she risked her left silicone you-know-what to save Honey Mahogany from herself.”
  • I am so happy Vanessa Vanjie Mateo isn’t forgotten. I recommend all the girls repeat her “Vangie, Vangie, Vangie” refrain when and if they exit.
  • Blair St. Clair: “I’m trying to keep the lord in this b*tch, but I’m gonna have to throw him out!” Then she throws a Bible. Oh, visual puns.
  • Ross Matthews: “Imagine your shock if you found out that someone had been copying your every look online for years. And no, I’m not talking about me and Nathan Lane, or me and k.d. lang.”
  • “Vixen feels very intimidated that not only is there one Aquaria to beat her out of the competition, but there’s another one, too.” Aquaria can throw shade and hit multiple targets.
  • “Don’t poke the bear, goddammit. I gotta figure out how to make that a tee-shirt.”
  • Monique is obsessed with reveals on the runway. But as of yet, I don’t think she’s done one that completely works.
  • “Look what you did, Shania!”
  • “I thought you had to act with a real prick.” RuPaul: “Welcome to Hollywood.”
  • “Had you done improv before?” Miz Cracker: “I’ve lied to my boyfriends before. Never on stage.”
  • “Your pickled panic portrayal peaked prematurely.” Goodnight.