For weeks I’ve had this inexplicable sense of dread surrounding Katya’s stay on Drag Race. Each week I convinced myself that Katya would be going home, mostly in part to all of the chatter on Reddit, and while it all proved to be untrue (thankfully), I always had a feeling that the Top 3 was not meant for Katya. Now I’m not saying this because I think Katya is less talented than the other queens, in fact, she is really the only queen who has delivered on both the runway and in the challenges. I was more afraid that Katya didn’t fit the mold of a typical winner and that her storyline on the show wasn’t strong enough for the editors to push her to the final round. Sure she was funny, but she wasn’t as polarizing as Ginger nor did she get the story arcs of Pearl or Violet. She was simply left with her hilarious confessionals and struggles with anxiety throughout the competition.
Last night I went to a club to watch Katya provide commentary on the episode and from the moment she started I knew things wouldn’t end well for her. She was ominous the entire time, hinting that tonight was not her episode and that we needed to accept things for what they are. I knew then that the Redditors were right; the episode would end with a Katya vs Kennedy lip sync and Katya would be sent packing. But let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
This episode started with the infamous puppet challenge where our queens are asked to create puppets mocking their fellow competitors. For the most part, they all do terribly, with the exception of Ginger who skewers Violet to perfection. Following the mini challenge,RuPaul announces the main event: “Hello Kitty” inspired runway looks, which is both delightful and bizarre. I’m glad “Hello Kitty” is a fan of drag. Oh and not only do they have to construct a runway look, they have to also make a life sized “Hello Kitty” best friend look. Because-fuck you.
Who knew “Hello Kitty” would do in so many queens? Katya, Kennedy, and Ginger begin to panic as soon as the challenge commences. Ginger is afraid of ending up in the bottom yet again for a sewing challenge and Katya can’t control her anxieties long enough to come up with a look. And Kennedy? Well she kind of just sits around and blames her inability on her basicness. Violet, however, knows she’ll slay the challenge from the start, and she ultimately does. Her runway of the week is one of the top ones in Drag Race her-story.
The guest judges for the episode are Rebecca Romijin and Santino Rice, who they must have temporarily released from prison for the occasion. Violet’s vapid “Hello Kitty” character along with her 1960’s Barbarella inspired look make the judges gag. Pearl’s trashy “Hello Kitty” character and her minimalist glamour look impress the judges. Ginger satisfies the judges by wearing something that isn’t COMPLETELY ugly and unfortunately Katya and Kennedy fail to deliver. On a side note: can we talk about how hilarious Katya’s Ukrainian “Hello Kitty” character was? Apparently the editors cut out a lot of her funny lines- especially the one where she said, “I’m going to piss on this runway” She should have won the challenge just for that!
Kennedy vs Katya is the showdown we’ve all been waiting for. We’ve already seen Katya slay Sasha, but we’ve yet to truly see Kennedy showcase her “dancing diva of Texas” abilities. But the moment “Roar” starts, we all know Katya is doomed. Kennedy stomps around the stage, dancing her heart out, and quickly reminds the judges how talented of a queen she is. Katya, on the other hand, seems a bit defeated in the beginning; almost as if she knows she is going home already. She quickly rebounds, however, and fiercely commits to the lip sync. It ends up being one of the best lip syncs of the entire series. Unfortunately, Kennedy is chosen to stay over Katya, and the heartbroken queen manages to muster up one last laugh before sashaying away. Don’t fret Mom, the top 5 is a wonderful place to be. I mean just think of all the great queens who ended up in that spot-Pandora Boxx, Bendelacreme, and Alyssa Edwards. So don’t worry, great things are coming your way!
Ginger’s been on a downward spiral for the last few episodes, mostly because she’s a dud on the runway, but this week she started to redeem herself. She’s proven time and time again that she can crush an acting challenge and with next week being yet another acting challenge I think she’ll deliver. Her desire to win outweighs her insecurity, which may be enough to snag her the crown.
Let’s be real, Violet is the top runway girl of any season. She may not be as risqué as Raja, but she is flawless in her execution and has an outrageous amount of talent for someone so young. She’s yet to be in the bottom two and she manages to make it through every challenge. Violet is a breath of fresh air and her transition from bitch to softie is enough to win her the crown.
It’s a shame that Kennedy had to send Katya home as I’m sure she is getting a ton of hate mail now because of it. She may not be the best actor or serve incredibly inspired looks, but she commits to every challenge and has shown more versatility than expected. She danced the house down boots, and with RuPaul in her pocket, she may have the favoritism needed to get her to the top.
Out of all the queens left, Pearl has the most unpredictable track record. She either performs well or miserably fails. But this week, Pearl managed to display both her enthusiasm and runway talent. She’s accrued a large fan base and her laidback demeanor is refreshing. She may not deserve the crown, but her magnetic personality and sultry aesthetic could very well land her in the top three.
What’s most upsetting about Katya’s elimination is that she let her self-doubt get the best of her. If she believed in herself a bit more, she could have SLAYED this challenge. With that being said, Katya didn’t need to be in the top 3 to be successful. She has become one of the most beloved queens of any season and her Ruflections and Rugrets have me in stitches every week. The funny part is that I’m not really sad to see her lose, I’m just sad to know that next week when I tune in she won’t be there. So thank you, Katya, for the laughs, and I wish only the best for you in the future.