Acting challenges can either be hit or miss. Depending on the script, it could be hilarious or a hot mess. And, a bad part can spell disaster, regardless of what's being done to save it.
On RuPaul's Drag Race Season 12 Episode 5, the parody of Grey's Anatomy brought back all the iconic tropes you've come to expect from an acting challenge.
Missed lines, some queens shining bright, and others suffering under bad roles. But did the scene come to life or did it flatline?
Before we dive deep into the challenge, we need to talk about Brita and Aiden Zhane. Why does Brita keep bashing Aiden at every turn?
Sure, Aiden is a weaker queen compared to the others, and she should have landed herself in the bottom two for RuPaul's Drag Race Season 12 Episode 4. However, everything Aiden does is so tightly scrutinized by Brita at every chance.
Brita brought up Aiden during the couch debrief, the practice during the scene, the scene itself, and even during the Untucked episode.
Brita needs to start focusing on herself. She keeps comparing herself to others and hoping that by bringing down someone else, it will help her rise in the competition. That tactic isn't working since she's landing in the bottom regardless.
Plus, it's making her look like a mean girl.
I had so much hope for Brita based on her pre-season reputation, but this edit is not a good look for her.
Aiden Zhane, on the other hand, needs to finesse her aesthetic.
During the acting challenge, she pushed herself to give a bit more personality. With a smaller role, that most likely helped her deliver the comedic timing to end up safe.
Widow Von’Du: Brita should’ve been safe.
Heidi N Closet: And you’re saying Aiden should’ve gone home?
Widow Von’Du: Yes!
Heidi N Closet: But I see a fire burning in her. I feel like she might…
Widow Von’Du: You see a candle.
Nicky Doll & Heidi N Closet: Ooooooo!
Her "Silence of the Lambs" cape also had a bit of fun to it, especially if you picked up the reference.
However, her hairline was visibly popping through the blonde wig during the acting challenge, and her cape only went half-way to the ground. In the iconic words of Britney Spears, she needs to "gimme more."
For the acting challenge, Nicky Doll and Gigi Goode were pretty fair in the breakout of the roles. They didn't seem to be shady or have ulterior motives for what they assigned to each queen.
If they wanted to be manipulative, they could've given Aiden Zhane a bigger role or put queens in spots that didn't fit their style.
RuPaul: Which girls were upset by the roles they got?
Gigi Goode: I could kinda see Widow upset that she didn’t get the role she wanted.
RuPaul: [To Widow Von’Du] You wanted to play Blac Chyna, is that right?
[All the queens laugh]
I understand Widow Von'Du's frustration at not getting Sherry Pie's role. That role was meatier with more opportunities to shine in a serious AND comedic style. And looking back now, it probably cuts deeper since Sherry Pie won the challenge.
Though, Widow Von'Du dominated in her role too!
Based on her scene, she had to have been in second place. Her ad-libs were hilarious, she stole the focus in every scene, and she made it work after RuPaul told her to get it together.
Widow is going to win a challenge eventually.
Other standouts in the acting scene were Jackie Cox, Jan, Aiden Zhane, and Gigi Goode
Between both of the "Meredith Gays," Jackie Cox did a better embodying the character. She had more control over the scene and added humor to the soapy flair. Don't get me wrong, Jan was good too, but she was more overdramatic once she took over the role.
Aiden Zhane, who despite knowing nothing about Mae West, channeled the iconic legend and added the trademark sexy flair.
The earlier edit may have seemed like there was trouble with her acting, but the final product translated to success. Unless Carson felt negative about her acting, the final product is what the judges were going to critique. Aiden did a good job in her scenes.
And Gigi Goode added quirky humor to her role! (She's looking like a lock for the finals every week.)
For the "Planet of the Capes" runway, all the queens delivered in their outfits ... to varying degrees!
My favorites included Jaida Essence Hall, Brita, Jackie Cox, Jan, Aiden Zhane, and Widow Von'Du. While Brita and Aiden needed to bring more fire to the runway, their inspiration nods captured the energy of the costume. And I didn't have a problem with Brita's sheer cape (she was going for a sexy/dominatrix spin on Little Red Riding Hood).
Jaida Essence Hall loves her shoulder and fitted gowns. She continually comes to slay!
Jackie's attention to detail might be what brings her to the finals. All of her outfits come across as elaborate and thought-out; the finer details with the jewelry and pants made the look pop.
And, Jan always has fun on the runway. Very clever to have the look be inspired by a sky-diving outfit!
In contrast to these looks, Heidi N Closet's cape fell flat. It was a black bodysuit with rainbow wings; there needs to be more of a conception placed into the outfit.
Crystal's outfit was fine, but it paled in comparison to the other looks on the runway. The ensemble essentially amounted to gold fabric with an elaborate headpiece.
Nicky Doll's ensemble, on the other hand, was barely a cape.
Michelle Visage and the judges were right on the money here: Nicky should've kept her larger coat on longer before shedding it for the fashionable outfit underneath. The cape was barely visible and it translated more to stylish fabric compared to a cape.
During RuPaul's Drag Race, the judges LOVE to throw out the infamous question: who should go home and why?
The only acceptable answer is throwing another queen under the bus. It doesn't have to be savage or cutting, but you need to say a name. None of this diplomatic "it should be me" nonsense.
RuPaul and the judges have shown time and time again that they don't agree with safe answers. (Just look at the 6-way lipsync they enacted during RuPaul's Drag Race Season 11 as retribution!)
RuPaul: Nicky Doll, what say you?
Nicky Doll: Due to the challenge, I would say myself. I believe I could’ve been wittier in my own language. I have to translate what I say.
RuPaul: Alright, so say if it wasn’t you, which of the other girls would you choose?
Nicky Doll: Ummmm … only due to the runway, I would have to say Heidi.
What was Nicky Doll thinking?!
She was never going to survive the lipsync by openly stating that she should be the one sent home. Nicky wrote her elimination notice at that point. Why would RuPaul keep someone who is fine to leave when someone else wants to stay?
Always pick another queen to leave and fight to stay.
The lipsync of "Heart To Break" by Kim Petras was a bit flat at points. I love Kim Petras, but the song mostly stays in the same tone throughout. There aren't many moments for the beat to rise and allow the queens to deliver "wow" moves.
Nicky Doll went for a subtle-yet-sexy lipsync that translated more to a lack of energy. Compared to Heidi N Closet, who was fighting to stay with her emotion and dance moves, Nicky seemed flat.
It wasn't surprising that Nicky was the one asked to sashay away.
However, when Heidi N Closet's wig fell off, we were all Carson Kressley at that moment!
RuPaul sends home queens who don't properly fasten their wig or have something underneath. You need to be prepared, especially if you plan to do moves and any time of acrobatics. Heidi made a huge mistake not keeping it in place.
Heidi is lucky that Nicky threw herself under the bus earlier at judging and failed during the lipsync.
Last Thoughts From The Werk Room:
The Pit Crew members dressing up as sexy nurses adds to the list of campy and scandalous outfits that the team has worn over the years. Bryce and Jason deserve kudos for playing along!
- Did anyone else catch Dahlia Sin's cameo appearance?
Pit Crew, your patients await. And ladies, I’m sorry to inform you, there will be no anal option.RuPaul
The girls not lipsyncing to "Motivation" by Normani is a damn shame.
- The mirror moment was so heartbreaking and touching. Poor Jackie and Widow! These are the scenes where we truly get to know more about the queens and their history.
Now, over to you, Drag Race fans!
What did you think of "Gay's Anatomy"?
Who will win the Brita vs. Aiden Zhane war? Should Sherry Pie have won the challenge? Which queens have emerged as frontrunners?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.