RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10 episode 11 review: Evil Twins


An inventive new challenge tests the girls’ styling skills, their ability to follow directions, and their willingness to examine themselves.

I get the idea that RuPaul really likes this challenge. Generally, she sits at the judges’ table and lets Michelle Visage and the guests debate the pros and cons of each queen, but in “Evil Twins,” she dominates the discussion. And I think I get why. Ru has become as successful as she is in part because of her commitment to catch phrases and pet issues, and the idea of the “inner saboteur” is a big one. I think Ru believes everything she says about beating back fear and silencing your inner critic. Sure, being able to boil those philosophies down into easily digestible slogans has helped her bottom line (“What other people think of me is none of my damn business”), but she is sincere.

So of course she’s invested in whether the queens can take those lessons to heart and channel their inner saboteur through a new, “evil twin” drag character, to be debuted alongside a version of themselves at their best. This is one of the things that makes Drag Race good reality TV. On the surface, this episode presents the queens with a fashion challenge. But it’s also a test of how willing they are to examine themselves, even if what they see is hard to look at. That’s a lot more compelling than someone in a well-designed dress.

Which brings us to Miz Cracker. If there’s anybody who should be able to personify their inner saboteur, it’s her. We’ve seen her grapple with it all season, whether she’s chastising her acting during the Breastworld taping, second guessing her Snatch Game character, or wondering whether Ru is losing interest in her. Her inner saboteur is close to the surface, and she’s smart enough to recognize what she’s about and why she’s about it.

And yet, when it comes to recording her voiceover for Miz Crumbs, her Evil Twin character, Cracker pulls her punches; her most withering comment is when she compares herself to a Bratz doll. So I see why Ru is disappointed by Cracker’s unwillingness to soak up the ugliness of it all, which has nothing to do with her ho-hum stone age Evil Twin getup.

Compare this to Eureka, who, as alter ego Eufilthior, screams at herself to just give up and apply for disability, since she’s never going to amount to anything. Ru wants these queens to dig deep, and this is what she means.

And yet, we don’t lose the high-energy Eureka we know and love. Even that line about disability is over the top to the point where we can laugh. And Eureka has fun styling her outfit, incorporating plaid into both her good and evil looks and channeling a pretty good Divine. She finds a way to make it work.

Asia also does a terrific job of following instructions, lacerating herself for having an “old stank booty washed up pageant ass.” Her evil twin look is the best of the night, a high drag vamp complete with black feather boa, black leather, black fringe, and a 500-yard death stare. Asia deserves, and gets, commendation for having a ton of contrast between her looks. Seeing her characters react to each other on stage is a trip. (Because we can do that. The editors make it so both characters appear on stage at once, even for the critiques!)

Oh, and Asia’s Evil Twin character is named North Korea, which is worth a point by itself.

Aquaria on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Image via VH1.

But Aquaria takes the win. Predictably, her style choices are spot on. I love the pastel color scheme on her Good Twin character, as well as the wide-brimmed hat and bare shoulder moment. She looks like a kinky Easter egg. Likewise, her Evil Twin outfit is striking, an animal-print-on-animal-print number with a completely different silhouette. However, one shoulder is spikier than the other, echoing her “good” outfit without mirroring it exactly. It’s very neat work all around.

But it’s the way Aquaria sells her outfits that pus her over the top. She brings a ton of animation to both characters. As Aquaria, she never loses her Stepford smile, and as Evil Twin Sabotina, she displays a mania I hadn’t seen before. Also, while I don’t think Aquaria confronted her demons as directly as Eureka and Asia, her characterization of herself as “lonely, awkward, and isolated” made me look at her with new eyes. Like Violet Chachki before her, Aquaria can seem confident to the point where you wonder if she has any self-awareness at all, but it also means she has a hard time relating to others, and it would be a mistake to assume she didn’t feel the weight of that even if we can’t see it.

Kameron, meanwhile, makes some of the same mistakes Cracker makes. Like Cracker, she has a lot of contact with her inner saboteur off the runway, and like Cracker, she finds it hard to channel that once she takes the stage.

Aesthetically, Kameron goes for a clean flip. Good Kameron shows a lot of torso, carries a staff, and wears a shiny slit skirt. Evil Kameron shows a lot of torso, carries a spear, and wears a tan slit skirt. The horns and forehead makeup are nice additions to the Evil Twin character, but Kameron interprets the assignment a shade too literally, which wouldn’t be as big a problem if her voiceover weren’t so limp. Ru wanted more incisive self-examination, less puns about being two-faced and popper references.

So Kameron and Cracker end up in the bottom together, and they know it. This is the first Untucked I can remember where no one bothers to ask who’s going to lip sync. Kameron and Cracker get down to the controversial-in-1982-but-laughably-tame-today “Nasty Girl” by Vanity 6.

They both do a solid job — thank god the queens are taking the lip syncs seriously this year — but Kameron shows us something new, namely a move where she lays on the floor and crosses and recrosses her legs in a way that makes it looks like she’s having sex with herself, which is…different. Cracker knows the words and does the splits and dances across the stage, but I get the idea that Ru has given up hope that she’s going to have a breakthrough. And after 11 weeks, I have to agree with her. Cracker is a fierce queen — that’s obvious — but she was never quite able to find her groove this season. There’s always All Stars.

And then there were four. At this point, it’s anybody’s game…except Kameron’s, probably.

Next: Meghan Markle gets the honor of a royal train ride with the Queen

Random Ruflections

  • Yeah, why don’t they use the sponge to wipe off the mirror every time?
  • Mini-challenge. Decorative pancakes. Cheyenne Jackson. Pan’s Labyrinth reference. So bored. It’s times like this I wish the episodes were cut down to an hour.
  • Now Ru’s just saying “Vangie” during the Untucked commercial breaks. At this point, I’m expecting the finale to be 60% about Vanessa Vanjie Mateo.
  • Aquaria is disgusted just by being around food. No wonder she’s so thin.
  • “Are you allergic to peanuts, because our queens are known to hide their nuts.” Sometimes puns are their own reward. I also liked “Sybil disobedience.”
  • Kameron can’t say “saboteur” and it’s funny.
  • “Girl, you’re a drag queen. A sewing machine should not have that much power over you.”
  • The conversation the girls have about how being confident in drag can make you less confident as a boy is a great example of a well-chosen theme turning into a teachable moment. Also, Aquaria comes up with a new catch phrase. “If you pee clear, cheer!” Well, we can’t all be RuPaul right out the gate.
  • “Bring back my girls…No, seriously, [guest judge] Lena [Dunham], bring back Girls.”
  • Having the Good Twins watch the lip sync backstage was a fun touch. I always like when Drag Race drops the pretense and admits everything’s a put-on.
  • “Asia O’Hara, this week you made us root for North Korea. Damn you!”
  • “She shakes her ocelot.” Eureka was punch drunk during Untucked.