‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Recap: The Vixen Vs. Aquaria
This week, there was an exhausting amount of bickering in the workroom.
Image via VH1
Everyone who watches knows this is not RuPaul’s Best Friend Race (thanks Lashauwn Beyond) but this season The Vixen is taking it to a whole new level. When she entered the workroom, her tagline was, “I’m here to fight.” She later clarified that she meant that she was here to fight for the crown. However she’s proven herself to be more willing to tussle than your drunk uncle after someone insulted the Packers offensive line.
In the first episode of Untucked The Vixen said that if she wasn’t going to be in a fight she was going to start a fight and she’s provoked and prodded all around her since. The fight with Aquaria actually started in that first episode, when Aquaria was trash talking her long-time rival Miz Cracker backstage and saying that she not only stole her makeup, but that she’d copied her drag looks on multiple occasions.
After everyone adjourned back to the workroom, The Vixen brought it up and forced Aquaria to explain her stance, and, when she was unsatisfied with Aquaria’s diplomatic answer, she hollered, “Too vague!” at her and forced her to really cop to how much she’d been complaining about Miz Cracker.
Things boiled over again this week when Aquaria threw a jab at The Vixen, saying that her “best drag” look included a borrowed wig. The Vixen clapped right back at Aquaria saying, “You wanted to be shady, and then you were.” Right as things were getting heated, someone discovered a spider in the workroom and all the queens jumped on the table like they were in a Tom and Jerry cartoon.
Later, when painting their makeup, the girls discussed religion, and Dusty Ray Bottoms talked about her experience being sent to gay conversion therapy by her Bible-thumping parents. Things turned on a dime when Aquaria made a joke and The Vixen said it was not funny. Aquaria called The Vixen out for being negative, and that awakened the whole fight again. It was impossible to make our their views because they were just shouting over one another. It was like when Bill O’Reilly was on The View. It ended with Aquaria leaving the room and Monique Heart asking The Vixen why she couldn’t be the bigger person.
The Vixen doesn’t seem like a villain in the classic Phi Phi O’Hara mold, where her maliciousness is only outmoded by her lack of self-awareness. She is more like an Omarosa, who is not here to make friends and justifies calling everyone out as “being real” and “telling the truth.”
She said that, “Aquaria likes to poke the bear and run away, but I will chase her.” It’s one thing to defend yourself, it’s another thing to eviscerate someone in the process. That’s what The Vixen keeps doing and it is not a cute look. Also, The Vixen created the bear by coming for Aquaria first. Is Aquaria just supposed to take it but The Vixen isn’t?
Aquaria, however, is a Phi Phi O’Hara. She thinks that she is fabulous and funny, but she really comes off as entitled, immature, and too big for both her britches and her hip pads (if she ever bothered to wear any). It doesn’t help that Aquaria’s main point seems to be that the judges aren’t judging the wins based on the runway looks or else The Vixen wouldn’t have won in her borrowed wig. She obviously thinks she’s all that , even though she has yet to really stand out in any of the challenges or be singled out on the runway.
The point is that they’re both villains and this fight is helping no one. It doesn’t behoove Aquaria to come for everyone and it doesn’t behoove The Vixen to go in for the kill every time. As Kennedy Davenport taught us, this is really about who can get the longest lines at the meet and greet after the show. That’s more easily accomplished by being memorable for one’s talent and charm than for cussing out everyone and being insufferable. Just ask the unbookable Phi Phi O’Hara.
On Untucked things got crazy again when Monique tried to get the two to reconcile and they both got some harsh criticism from the other girls. Everyone thought that Aquaria can come off as snide and that The Vixen is too defensive. The Vixen addressed the racial element of the dispute, saying, “You say something, I say something, you start crying, you have created a narrative of ‘I am an angry black woman who is scaring off the little white girl.’” Which is true. Everything that happens to a black man in America (especially one that dresses as a woman for a living) is about race.
However, the whole thing was dropped and The Vixen started it up again by telling Aquaria her joke wasn’t funny. She kept saying that Aquaria started it, which she did initially, but The Vixen was the one who wouldn’t let it go. Also, The Vixen was the one who started it in the first place by calling out Aquaria to Miz Cracker. It was a feud of her own making. When Aquaria was crying she said, “These tears are so gross [...] Here I am sitting staunch in my truth and, her crying next to me now, I look like a bitch.” She’s right, she did. Because she was acting like a bitch.
Anyway. Back to the challenge. This week the queens split up into three groups lead by Blair, Monét X Change, and control freak Monique, the winners of a mini-challenge where they had to do their best screen tests in a wood-paneled 90s Calvin Klein commercial room. Each team had to come up with a commercial for a fake dating app. Eureka, Blair, and Asia were the tops and Asia justifiably took the crown in her Jeremy Scott inspired giant Tweety Bird dress and black feather duster hat.
The bottoms were Mayhem Miller, Kameron Michaels, and Yuhua Hamisake, all of whose jokes made absolutely no sense in their respective commercials. Kameron saved herself with a gorgeous Maleficent by way of Legend feather number on the runway, which was the best thing we’ve seen out of her yet. Yuhua’s inabilities to take criticism—either from her teammates or the judges—and her lackluster lip sync to Hole’s “Celebrity Skin” were what eventually sent her home. I can’t say I’ll miss her, but I’m sure she’d have some sort of response to that comment.
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This article originally appeared on VICE US.