RuPaul’s Drag Race loves to throw in branding challenges to help the queens define their styles and brand. To make it in this business, the queens have to know themselves best.
Even something as small as drinks on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 13 Episode 11 can be a branding opportunity for the drag queens.
Winning this challenge requires humor, style, and adding a bit of comedic flair. So, it’s shocking that the queen who spent much of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 13 utilizing the same color palette went home in a branding challenge.
Tina Burner’s fall from grace was a sharp tumble to the bottom. Throughout her rehearsals and judging panel, it became very clear that this was her time to go, especially since the judges flipped the script in their feedback to her.
Did anyone else notice how quick they were to rip her about using her trademark colors?
Granted, I think we’re all done with seeing a red/orange/yellow combination on the runway. However, the judges critiqued her for not using her brand colors on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 13 Episode 10, so her being faulted now for using them during a branding challenge doesn’t make much sense.
[In confessional] Olivia is a very sweet girl. I love her death, that’s my little sister. But, being the diva you are, there’s no way you’re gonna sit here and tell me that after four bitches said your name on the main stage, you’re cool, calm, and collective. Hell no!
Tina needed to elevate her outfits and branding throughout the competition, so the feedback might’ve been a slow burn to get to this moment.
Her commercial didn’t showcase herself or her brand properly; that alone would be reason enough to land her at the bottom. The other notes about her color use should’ve been provided before for it not to feel convenient now.
A good example of that contrast is how it was compared to Rosé. Rosé’s signature color was pink, but she changed up her colors on the runway (and in challenges) multiple times to give the judges something new.
Rosé had her branding, but she showed growth. So, her leaning into her trademark color and Rosé-isms for the drink challenge had more leeway to land the joke.
Her commercial was funny with the perfection nods, she opened herself up with jokes from the judges, and the drink had great branding with her name in it. Plus, her red demon outfit killed it on the runway!
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 13 Episode 11 was a great round for Rosé. A second challenge win has increased her chances of getting into the Top 4.
The same goes for Symone as well. Her branding shined because she leaned into everything that makes Symone a star.
Her cool confidence, the inflections in her voice, and the playful nods connected to the type of characters Symone loved to portray in the challenges. And her runway outfit was different compared to everyone else. Only Symone could pull off a foxy furry ensemble and make it fashionable.
Plus, the branding on her drink was the most unique. Those small touches made her stand out from the rest of the pack.
Symone has established a strong connection with the judges that will carry her far. The odds of her being in the Top 4 are basically set in stone now.
Kandy Muse’s commercial put her in the top half of this challenge.
Her personality and playfulness with the memes heightened the humor that the judges loved to see. Kandy knew her branding well and it translated easily to the commercial.
The alien runway outfit, on the other hand, was a bad choice. That look took her out of the top in a very noticeable way.
The colors didn’t blend, it looked cheap, and the ensemble didn’t meet the fashion level that goes with camp. Come on Kandy, that look wasn’t it!
Utica, Olivia Lux, and Gottmik each had the same problem but in various degrees. Specifically, they didn’t know their branding.
Olivia learned from her mistakes in the previous round to utilize the elements the judges called out (i.e., smiling, happy, small purse, etc.). However, she didn’t properly translate that to the storyboard.
Carson and Ross were absolutely right about her commercial. Olivia was too smiley in the video; she needed to structure it to showcase the transformation.
If she had done that, the video would’ve been a success.
Utica tried to showcase her quirky and eccentric self in the commercial.
Granted, that’s her personality and how she portrays her drag persona. The problem, however, was that she had interesting ideas of weird things (like licking the can and the cow utters), but those ideas didn’t connect to who she was as a brand.
The commercial was trying to be out there and weird for the sake of being unique. All Utica had to do was have fun and showcase herself more in the video.
I know my Drag Race trivia, but when you put beautiful men in front of me, everything goes out the window, Honey.
Gottmik, on the other hand, went for delusion and sexy, but it wasn’t a fully realized story.
Does anyone equate Gottmik with delusional sexiness? The direction focused more on a character than who she was as a performer. Her drag persona seemed more punk, avant-garde, and playful fun while breaking all the rules.
This may be a storyboarding issue. If the commercial had a stronger layout, the idea may have translated better in the final product.
The “BEAST Couture” runway wasn’t the strongest selection of gowns to stroll across the main stage. Symone, Gottmik, Olivia Lux, and Rosé had the best ensembles of the round.
Symone looked a bit more costumey than expected. Her sexy fox had style, fire, and playful touches that made it a cheeky character on the runway. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Furry community starts creating fan art about this look!
Again, these are questions so easy even The Pit Crew knows the answer.
Olivia Lux and Rosé both had fashionable demons that balanced costume and an editorial style.
Rosé’s look had more of a fashionable touch while Olivia played a bit off the nostalgia and camp of monsters. These looks were fun and playful for what they needed to be on the runway.
Gottmik’s cartoon monster stood out as the most editorial look on the runway.
The ensemble looked chic and different from the rest of the outfits. Though, the nipple pasties have been overused at this point! (The aesthetic needs to be retired for a bit before making a reappearance.)
Did anyone expect Utica to defeat Tina Burner in the lip-sync? Kandy Muse was gagged and bewildered by the news.
Chances are many viewers might be shocked too.
The lip-sync of “My Humps” by Black Eyed Peas is a sexy song, but it’s a comedic song about excess. You have to be funny and do outrageous things because it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Tina Burner danced around the stage, did tricks, and added humor to her routine. Utica did creepy movements and had some funny moments in the song.
Based on the lip-sync, Tina Burner should’ve won.
The edit itself highly favored Utica and gave away the winner. The edit had cut out a lot of Tina to minimize her dance moves and focus mostly on Utica. Whenever that happens, it makes the results obvious to everyone at home.
Tina Burner: I’m ready for it to be Top 4. Let’s just keep going. Let’s keep going!
Rosé: Yeah, you’ll have fun watching it!
[All the queens laugh]
Kandy Muse: Shady!
Tina Burner: Yeah, it’s gonna be real cute when I sneak right by you, sis. Gonna realllll cute!
Kandy Muse: She’s gonna sneak right by you at the airport on the way home!
[All the queens laugh harder]
I’m not a big Tina Burner fan, but that outcome should’ve gone in her favor.
Utica had landed in the bottom a few times and her challenge choices bombed on a few occasions. Tina, in contrast, hasn’t lip-synced and stayed mostly safe.
This elimination might be a case of RuPaul choosing the queen she liked the best. That’s the way it is sometimes; it’s their show and they’ll choose who survives the lip-sync or not.
Last Thoughts From The Werk Room:
“Are You Smarter Than The Pit Crew?” would be a fun game to play before any Drag Race episode.
- Kandy’s mirror moment was heart-breaking and very revealing. Her tough exterior made a lot of sense.
Regardless of what Olivia said, she was probably sad or pissed that most of the queens voted for her to be eliminated.
The passive-aggressive force between Rosé and Tina Burner was strong!
- Wintergreen will one day return to the Werk Room as a fully-fledged drag queen. Her impact has grown over the years that it’s a must.
Now, over to you, Drag Race fans!
What did you think of “Pop! Goes The Queens”?
Are you sad to see Tina Burner go?
Which runway look did you love the most?
Did you find all the trivia questions easy?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.