In the grand history of RuPaul's Drag Race, commercials play a big part in finding out if queens can master comedy. Just like the Snatch Game, if you can't bring the funny, RuPaul won't bring you the crown.
The queens created their first commercial with fictional products on RuPaul's Drag Race Season 12 Episode 8.
Some queens thrived in front of the cameras while others had cringy edits. The commercials exposed a few weak links. But did the right queen end up on the cutting room floor?
Jan's time on RuPaul's Drag Race hasn't been smooth or spectacular.
She's consistently been labeled as "safe" by the judges and her development stayed stagnant. In the few times where she did stand out and could've ended up at the top, she was overlooked in favor of other queens the judges preferred.
Let's not forget the recent instance when Jan didn't win the musical challenge on RuPaul's Drag Race Season 12 Episode 7. Though, that round also included some questionable decisions too.
(Seriously, how did Jaida Essence Hall not end up in the top too?!)
Jan's desperation to win a challenge is what led to her elimination.
It's understandable why she was sad post-Brita's elimination since her best friend got the boot. But, let's be honest: Jan was sadder that she lost a Maxi Challenge designed for her to win!
The realization that her musical theater talent got overlooked yet again was a hard pill to swallow.
Much of her edits during "Droop" involved her crying, constantly reminding herself that she's not sad over losing a challenge (like at the couch debrief and mirror moments), and her doing whatever it took to win a challenge.
Jan: Everyone when I get home is gonna be so upset that she went home, and at least if there was any consolation, it could’ve been I would’ve won this challenge. I … it just sucks.
Jackie Cox: [In confessional] I think this is a build-up of weeks and weeks of her not breaking through to the judges. She also says she’s really upset about Brita, but I think it’s more that she’s upset neither her nor Brita have been able to live up to their reputations.
In any other season, Jan would be at the top since she has all the skills and personality, but she's outmatched by queens who are playing the game better than her. Sometimes a great drag queen isn't a great RuPaul's Drag Race contestant.
Jan might thrive in All-Stars instead.
Plus, if RuPaul isn't impressed by your drag or performance, there is nothing you can do to escape that bubble. Even though he never said it, RuPaul mentally labeled Jan as a "filler queen."
You could see this during Jan's edits where she was either completely cut out/minimized or given a shady edit. (The teaser for RuPaul's Drag Race Season 12 Episode 8 threw Jan all the shade!)
And, Jan got mostly removed during her lipsync against Widow Von'Du, but we'll get into that later.
The edit for "Droop" set the stage for Jan's elimination. The cut was coming; she didn't impress during her challenge, so she was the next easy out.
It's a tad predictable, but Drag Race isn't subtle sometimes about their clear elimination storylines.
For the Maxi Challenge, the queens had to create infomercials launching a new drag queen product. It's a bit of improvisation and adding a lot of comedy to ensure that RuPaul laughs.
The biggest surprise was The Biggest Loser's Bob Harper coming to manage the challenge and instruct the commercials. Does he have experience creating infomercials?
It was a strange tie-in for the challenge, like when singer/reality TV star Aubrey O'Day came to watch the commercials of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 5 Episode 8.
Just like the Aubrey experience, the judge provided a lot of funny one-liners and laughed through the acting. Though, it's a weird connection for role support since they were giving tips on acting and what to do to make the infomercials funnier.
Based on the Werk Room run-through and the rehearsals, I had complete faith in Jackie Cox and Heidi N Closet.
Both had realized concepts, an idea of what they want to say, and they could inject a level of humor that worked for them. Jackie had one of the best-structured infomercials; she knew exactly how it would be planned from start to finish. (Never underestimate the power of preparation.)
Gigi Goode: Crystal, now I know the judges are always saying that your makeup is just … umm … terrible. [Laughs] So, I got you the Season 1 filter, okay? It’s just a towel that you put over the lens of the camera.
Crystal Methyd: Thank you!
Heidi, on the other hand, was so funny!
Her going with the flow and improvising some lines helped her to shine with her natural talent. Bob's feedback to Heidi alone was enough of a reason why his appearance was a success; he truly made a difference that benefitted her video.
The scenes of her crying into the jar, the whistling, and the outrageous movements made it the best video of the round. Plus, her runway look was gorgeous, so her challenge win was assured, welcomed, and easily earned!
The edit of "Droop" had the rest of the commercials up in the air. Though, there were some queens we could easily remove from consideration based on past performance ... and common sense.
Jaida Essence Hall hit a few snags by continuously hitting her microphone, but once she stopped doing that, her infomercial was hitting its mark. And, she always brings it on the runway, so her top position was guaranteed.
Gigi Goode's poor performance during the infomercial was shocking! She's been killing it through the competition, and she just dominated a comedy Mini Challenge with the bosom buddies reading game.
Though, even with a lackluster commercial, there was no way Gigi would be lipsyncing for her life. She already won three challenges and RuPaul loves her!
In the wise words of Aja, Gigi could walk out there in a diaper and the judges would tell her that her smile was beautiful. Gigi would have to crash and burn an entire round for her to hit the bottom two.
Crystal Methyd's outcome was in two phases: pre-runway and post-runway. All of the chaos in getting her commercial created made it seem like she was in trouble, but once her corpse bride hit the runway, there was no way Crystal was ending up in the bottom.
Her corpse bride ensemble was incredible!
Crystal's commercial was equally amazing as well. It was full of humor, had an actualized concept, and played off something the judges loved about her. This challenge brought Crystal to the top half of the competitors.
When it came to Widow Von'Du, it's a shame that one rough day brought her down in the competition so hard. She was second-guessing herself and she couldn't find a natural rhythm to make the infomercial work.
Based on the rehearsals, it was expected that she'd be at the bottom.
Widow Von'Du is so full of personality and quips during her confessionals, but none of that translated during her infomercial. She flatlined and didn't bring the humor.
Widow Von’Du: Well Heidi, I know that you get a lot of s*** from pretty much everyone about how busted your mug is.
Heidi N Closet: Oh?
Widow Von’Du: So, I felt I should get you a new mug
[She pulls out a mug and everyone laughs]
Widow Von’Du: Try not to crack this one.
It's not surprising that everyone chose Widow to go home during RuPaul's elimination question. This round was not her week.
Whereas Widow had low energy, Jan had too much energy. Her infomercial wasn't terrible, but Michelle Visage was right: Jan tried to do everything in the hopes it would get her the win.
Ross's suggestion of leaps and bounds with her energy would've helped give progression to the tone of the commercial.
Widow Von'Du and Jan ending up in the bottom two wasn't surprising.
Widow did poorly in the infomercial, and RuPaul kept reminding her that she hasn't won a challenge since RuPaul's Drag Race Season 12 Episode 1. In Jan's case, she hasn't been winning over the judges.
Sherry Pie could've ended up in the bottom; her commercial was terrible and too ambiguous. However, she's won a few challenges, so that probably saved her from elimination.
With the lipsync song of "This Is My Night" by Chaka Khan, Widow dominated the song far and above Jan.
She brought the emotion and feeling to the performance that matched the tone of the lyrics. Her outfit flowed with the music, and she embodied the spirit of Chaka Khan.
Plus, Widow is a HUGE fan of Chaka and openly said how much she idolized her. Those three things were checkmarks in her favor snagging her the win.
Widow is really selling the words and emotion of this song. I think Chaka Khan’s soul has now entered Widow and is coming alive on this stage.Jackie Cox
Jan tried her hardest with the dancing and movements, but she didn't have the fire and spirit of the song. Plus, the edit of the lipsync made it clear: Widow was winning. Jan was rarely shown, so the suspense got removed and became predictable.
RuPaul's Drag Race needs to fix its editing. As viewers, the edit shouldn't give away the winner of the lipsync within 5-7 seconds.
Keep us on our toes!
Last Thoughts From The Werk Room:
The queens doing impressions of each other are the type of light-hearted and fun moments that need to come up more. It's not RuPaul's Best Friend Race, but the show can include the fun times too.
The Bosom Buddies Mini Challenge had plenty of good zingers, but hopefully, there is still a "Reading Is Fundamental" challenge. This game felt too much like a product push instead of reading each other to filth.
- All of the outfits on the "Black Wedding" runway were gorgeous!
Now, over to you, Drag Race fans!
What did you think of "Droop"?
Could this be the start of Gigi or Sherry hitting the bottom? Are you happy for Heidi winning a challenge? WIll Widow rise from the bottom or is she the next to go?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.