Comedy is hard. Straight up. It’s easy to crack jokes with your judies and johnnies, but when it comes to making a room full of strangers smile, you better hope someone other than your mother has laughed at your joke. Ru brought back the Roast and this time it was Michelle’s turn on the spit. As caricature of a woman, Michelle is fertile ground for roasting—even if she’s drier than Carson Kressley’s wig. (Maybe roasting isn’t as hard as I thought?)

The Library Is Open

Ah yes, the reading challenge. I’m not going to condescend and explain the difference between reading, shade, and just straight up insulting someone. There’s plenty of YouTube videos explaining that and an entire documentary—PARIS IS BURNING—that can help you out. Can we talk about the reading glasses Ru brought this season?

Frankly, I’m shocked it took them nine seasons to grab a pair that’s Drag Race-related. Don’t get me wrong, the past seasons’ throwback to Meschach Taylor in Mannequin were great but this is fairly obvious isn’t it? Another thing I noticed this season is how the team’s out-of-drags looks have improved. Remember season two when everyone wore baggy denim and sandals in the workroom? Just take a look at Sasha:

Is it because fashion’s become more accessible in a world that constantly churns out garment after garment at a low price point despite the horrific effect is has on our economy and the people who work in production facilities around the world? Or has style just evolved? Who’s to say, really.

RuPaul

Well, fuck me up, dad. I love this colour combination so very much. It think orange is under utilized because people are afraid of it but it generally elicits a strong, positive reaction when you see it in action. You have to find the right hue for you skin tone, obviously. Neon isn’t for everyone. Jewel tones aren’t for everyone. Deep earth tones aren’t for everyone. But it can work. Be honest, when you saw Ru stroll out in this did you have to spend energy in keeping your arm by your side rather than waving it in a z-snap?

The Roast + Runway

Alexis Michelle

Come see the softer side of Alexis Michelle, because she’ll crumble if you even look at her sideways. I was actually mad watching her bitch and moan about people poking fun at her during the reading challenge. No, I retract that—I’m mad that she used a cry for originality to defend her butthurt. “I just wish they picked something less obvious.” Girl. When you’re reading, you’re going for the low hanging fruit (pardon the pun). If you want an elevated read, you need to enter a shade challenge and at this point in the show, everyone’s too mentally drained to shade properly. You got desperate, painted your body green, and were overconfident in your ability. I smell a pattern and it’s ripe.

Farrah Moan

This week, RuPaul and Michelle finally said what we’ve all noticed from the jump—Farrah is a pretty queen without anything going on. But, she’s also a young queen so yeah, she needs time to figure it out. But I saw glimpses of the queen Farrah could be this week and I loved it. All her whiny squeaks and that awful baby voice she puts on could be the basis of a hilarious airhead character. What’s funnier than seeing someone super pretty who’s actually a total goofball? That dichotomy is Comedy 101. Oh, and then her performance during the Disco Dolly lip-synch? Girl, you’re from Texas—country music is in your blood! Take those pieces and mould them into something we’ve never seen before. You could be like a down-home Laugh In era Goldie Hawn.

Nina Bo’nina Brown Butter with Sage

Y’all know Ru loves a good ol’ church lady character, so this was a smart move. Nina’s a queen who probably could be really shady but has too much pent up frustration so everything just comes off as insulting. You have to respect her commitment to her drag style. Painting on a pair of glasses rather than wearing a pair? I half expected her to pull out a collection plate woven from construction paper.

Peppermint

A lot of this material may have been recycled but Peppermint is so friggin’ charming it doesn’t matter. She’s dressed appropriately for a Michelle Visage roast. Plenty of hair and tit for the world to focus on. Your placement in a roast lineup is very important, as we’ve witnessed. I don’t think Peppermint was the best of the night but being there live, I can only imagine how draining it must’ve been before she got up there and changed the energy.

Sasha Velour

During the Snatch Game, we saw how intelligent Sasha really is and how she used it to fuel her comedy. Again, she stepped up her game and established her character before getting into classic roast material. Oh, and seeing her handle herself when a joke fell flat? That’s a true queen, bitch. Plus, she had the best read of the night when she called Ross Matthews a proud lesbian comedian. Watch back for context because if I type it out, the joke will die.

Shea Couleé

My favourite, duh. What I liked most about her set wasn’t the source material because, again, they were recycled punchlines. It was that she added a little something new to each of them. Saying Michelle has had more dicks in her that Dodgers Stadium? Old school read. But saying the difference is that the urinals get cleaned up afterward? Hilarious.

Trinity Taylor

You know, it was worth a shot but oh lord was this a disaster.

Me listening to yet another reference to 💩 during Trinity’s set:

Valentina

Another character, another awkward stumble on the stage. But to Valentina’s credit, she kept pushing through the set which can add to the overall comedy. She kept her cool and didn’t play into the audience’s reaction and sometimes that’s all you can do when you’re up on that stage.

The Lip-synch

No surprise here. It was time for Farrah Moan to go and I’m glad Alexis landed in the bottom two. Hopefully that will shake her up a bit. Just a quick throwback to one of the initial Untucked episodes (or maybe it was the workroom) when Alexis said she wouldn’t mind lip-synching so she could show off what “[she] can do on a stage.”

I’ll be honest, I loved watching her lip-synch to this song and not because it’s one of my favourite Dolly tunes. She had campy energy, hit every lyric and even pulled out a stage slide. I love seeing which queens can pull off the athletic shit, it’s always a surprise. It was time for Farrah to go and to her, I say, “Good day, queen.”