The two halves of season 16’s cast come together for the first time, resulting in boiling tension, 42 runway looks, a healthy dose of shade – and the first elimination of the series.
After two split premieres in which Sapphira Crístal and Plane Jane snatched respective wins – and mysterious immunity for a future challenge – the queens face their first proper maxi-challenge with a ‘Mom Ball’.
Unsurprisingly, Plane Jane hasn’t suddenly turned into Miss Congeniality, but none of the other girls are playing particularly nice either, and we see that in the dreaded first meeting of the two groups. There’s also a shady ‘Rate-A-Queen’ return.
Episode three gives drama and looks and it truly feels like we’ve returned to the golden era of Drag Race with this cast, where the queens don’t care – or at least seem to care – about being unfiltered. I live.
Here are 36 thoughts I had while watching RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16, episode three: “The Mother of All Balls.”
We’re well and truly back in the werk room following Plane Jane and Geneva Karr’s top two lip sync. Not to compare Jane to Donald Trump, but I am still gagged at her rigging the election (Rate-A-Queen twist) last week to make sure Nymphia wasn’t in the top. Is this Drag Race or Survivor?
I just realised Jane is going to meet Amanda and I am so scared for the latter. Get behind me mother!
The second seven girls then have to watch the first seven walk in like some sort of sexy Gladiator lineup, and I am immediately floored by Dawn calling Megami the ‘Eeyore of drag’?
Jane calls Amanda “hideous” and a “goblin”. She is really going for Phi-Phi/ Roxxxy levels of villain! You can fix drag, you can’t fix personality.
Morphine and Jane set up a storyline immediately by having the same drag mother and also being the shadiest girls there. More violence.
Noah Fence but if I was Plasma I would not be picking a fight with Sapphira. It’s giving a Chihuahua trying to square up to a Great Dane.
The next day the whole cast walk into the Werk Room to find two boxes on the table labelled for Jane and Sapphira, which contain their ‘Immunity Potions’ – instructions not included. Just how will this immunity work!?
Oh, Ru is telling us now. I should simply wait and listen! He says that they can use it to save themself from a future elimination – or another queen. Can’t really see Jane using that latter twist.
The week’s maxi challenge is revealed as a Mother-themed ball, with three categories. For those that are good at ‘maths’, we’re getting 42 looks. 42. That’s like half Ru’s age.
We’re at the point in the series where there are so many queens that the storylines are flying about like a bottle of poppers in the Two Brewers. Q has a homophobic grandmother, Mhi’ya and Morphine know each other but don’t particularly like each other, Dawn can sew, Hershii can’t, Amanda gets her makeup read, Jane is still gunning for villain.
ANOTHER TWIST? The queens are getting one more chance to rate each other on this challenge, and Ru reveals the results of the first two votes! Jane! You’re in trouble!
Morphine’s pressed that she was ranked in fifth position. I personally am pressed that Amanda was in last. I thought her talent show was fun!
Jane breathes a heavy sigh of relief that the details of the votes do not include who voted who where, ie. it’s not revealed that she voted Nymphia last. The latter then clocks Jane for doing so anyway. I hope they vote for Jane last this week. Alexa, play “Karma” by T Swift.
Mirage taking her design off the mannequin and saying: “Oh, we’re lip syncing this week, bitch.” Queen of being self aware.
If I could describe Jane in one word it would be villainous. If I could describe Nymphia in three words it would be ‘Spanish messenger pigeon’. Watch the episode if you don’t understand this.
Because there are 42 – 42!!! – looks, I’m only going to give my thoughts on the ones that actually gag me for better or for worse. That phrase sounds like a gay couple’s wedding vows.
First category is based on a character from a nursery rhyme – these are all pretty strong!
Mirage’s is a little bit simple, Amanda’s mug looks miles better than last week, Q’s got a moon on her head, Sapphira wearing an entire pumpkin? Sure.
Category 2 is ‘Significant Mother’ to pay tribute to a famous Mother. I would have gone as Diane from The Traitors. Hershii’s is bordering on dangerously simple, Amanda goes as Michelle Visage in front of Michelle Visage and Nymphia references Angelina Jolie’s wedding dress.
I’m saying it now; this Rate-A-Queen twist has the potential to be very, very annoying. Nymphia has gagged in both categories so far, but if Jane gets her shady mitts on the votes again, she might not even be in the top!
OK, now we’re into the design looks in ‘Call Me Mother/ Father Eleganza’ – a mother look made out of masculine clothes. Drag Race really said: this is the binary!
Geneva Karr says she’s giving military boss but I fear she is instead giving wetsuit.
LOVE Dawn’s look! Shea Coulée’s season nine ball look’s younger sister!
Hershii could be going home. The design look doesn’t look that … good?
NYMPHIA! This is actual couture! This is the best design look I’ve ever seen!
Plane, if you’re in the top for this, you’ve interfered with the election harder than All Stars 3’s jury twist.
It’s rating time. And I have the capacity to be very p**sed off. Jane rightfully puts Nymphia in first though, and Nymphia, Q and Dawn all receive high placements.
Jane has a vendetta against Amanda for some reason – but Amanda returns the favour and they both place each other low. This is what Ru is talking about when she says sisterhood!
Ru asks Sapphira and Jane if they want to use their immunity potions, but they don’t even know the placements? They both say no, obviously.
Top three is Q, Nymphia and Sapphira – correct, but I’m gagged that Dawn didn’t make it. Geneva, Hershii and Mhi’ya are the bottom three.
Mhi’ya is not the most talkative of queens… it’s kinda taking me out when Ru says, “I’m getting a timid thing from you,” and she just goes, “No.”
Nymphia wins! The fact that she was running around the Werk Room, acting the fool, and still outsewed everyone else! Forecast calls for wind.
Geneva and Hershii are in the bottom two; particularly tough for Geneva who was in the top last week. But also, her outfit was bad, I’m sorry to say.
What a fun lip sync! I didn’t expect Geneva to eat Hershii up quite so badly though? That’s a gag.
Kornbread’s baby sis Hershii is the first to sashay, and invokes the iconic ‘It’s chocolate’ line from season 14. We even get the wah-wah sound effect. There’s nothing Drag Race loves like a Drag Race reference.
If you haven’t watched Untucked this week – go and do it. Amanda and Plasma eat Jane right up and it’s delicious.
RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16 airs on MTV in the US and WOW Presents Plus internationally.