Drag Race Season 13, Episode 2 Review: Condragulations, Queens!

Okay, let's kiki about what's basically the extended premiere of RuPaul's Drag Race. Now, we know nobody went home last week, and it looks like this week is another non-elimination episode (even if the queens don't know that at the moment). Instead, it's very Drag Race All Stars, with the top two of the winning group lip-syncing for a cash tip and the week's win. Will every episode feature this instead of lip sync for your life? We don't know yet, but I'm not sure how I feel about it either.

Drag Race Season 13 Cast Ru-Vealed and These Sisters are Ready
Image: ViacomCBS

And I haven't even gotten to the lipsticks yet! Yes, the queens in the Pork Chop loading dock had to vote one of the queens in their group to go home…or so they all thought. At first, it was a tie between Utica and Elliot with 2 Ts, but then another vote happened and Elliott won (er, lost) that one. And the very next scene, that bitch is back…joining the other team, full of the girls who all thought they legit sent half the competition home already.

But, there's no time to dive into that now, because we start off this week with a group of queens who won their lip syncs, (plus Elliott with 2 Ts) competing in a mini-fashion show serving both a day and a night look. GottMik was sickening as were Elliott with 2 Ts, Symone and her 90s flair, and Olivia Lux.

Kandy Muse stepped outside the box, while Tina Burner stuck to her signature red, orange, and yellow color palette. LaLa Ri had some interesting fashion – very Atlanta real woman and I am LIVING. She looked like luscious chocolate wrapped in the most extra gold wrapper ever – there were bows, draping, and it is giving me and Michelle Visage absolute life. Speaking of LaLa and her fashion, the runway category tonight is lamé you stay, and honey, they all brought it, boots the house down, mama. LaLa wore this absolutely luxurious gold dress/overlayer/giant sleeve goodness, GottMik had a full ruffled and blinged lamé bodysuit, hood, and cape, and the whole look is very Ongina.

A few extra things I loved about this episode: things are more inclusive this season and less about male anatomy, which I love. In past seasons, it's come off as a little alienating and crude, especially when it's well known that many queens in the drag community especially are trans, gender non-conforming, or express themselves outside of the "binary gender system". It gets cringe to watch them constantly talking about "Oh, you thought this was a woman, surprise! It's a man! Tee hee!" and I'm glad we can put that antiquated rhetoric behind us. Though, if it's just for this season with GottMik or if it's here to stay is anybody's guess.

Another thing I hope is here to stay is Bubly as the drink sponsor. I understand club culture is crucial to modern drag, and that often includes copious amounts of alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs…but something always struck me the wrong way about feeding the queens cocktails during untucked and having RuPaul's Drag Race sponsored by alcohol companies…when Ru has been out of club culture and publicly sober for decades. I mean, RuPaul is the definition of a sell-out, but this in particular just seemed especially disingenuous. I hope we don't go back to her hawking Smirnoff every time they throw to commercial and keep things light, refreshing, and Bubly.

Drag Race Season 13, Episode 2 Review: Con-Drag-Ulations, Queens! (Image: VH1)
Drag Race Season 13, Episode 2 Review: Con-Drag-Ulations, Queens! (Image: VH1)

Now, nobody went home this week, which means we saw the "premiere pt. 2" with all the winners…and it looks like next week is the episode with all the queens who lost their lip syncs. It looks similarly structured to this week's challenge, except with this group of queens performing RuPaul's song Phenomenon and a different runway theme (that looks rather plastic). The big question is…will next week bring our first elimination? Rumor says yes, but we'll have to watch and see for the real tea. Drag Race airs at 8 pm Friday nights on VH1 and on their website.

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About Eden Arnold

Having spent far too much time in front of the television growing up, Eden has lots of opinions about television (as well as movies and everything else). She puts this to good use along with her journalism degree and writing experience with by-lines over the years in many print publications, books, and online media outlets. You can find her on Twitter at @Edenhasopinions
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