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Nymphia Wind's campaigning on Drag Race is the energy we need in 2024

Nymphia Wind's campaigning on Drag Race is the energy we need in 2024

Michelle Visage; Nymphia Wind on RuPaul's Drag Race season 16 episode 3

On RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16 episode 3, we see the end of Rate-A-Queen, the introduction of Immunity Potions, and an exciting campaign strategy from Nymphia Wind.


These b*tches is my sons.

The ball challenge seen on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16 episode 3 does not disappoint. Unlike recent seasons, which always feature at least one queen (often more than one!) who completely misunderstands the assignment or isn’t able to put anything together, the entire cast this season presents “serviceable” looks on the runway.

Amanda Tori Meating and Plane Jane on RuPaul's Drag Race season 16 episode 3


But first, we start in the werk room with the groups from episode 1 and episode 2 respectively introducing themselves. There’s some shade-throwing between Plasma and Sapphira Cristál, which frankly comes out of nowhere and doesn’t go anywhere. Morphine Love Dion reveals that she and Plane Jane have the same drag mother, Athena Dion, and it’s kind of a gag since no one would’ve guessed that these two would be in the same drag family. Another surprising thing involving Morphine is that it doesn’t seem like she and Mhi’ya Iman LePaige, the two Miami dolls of the season, are particularly friendly to each other. We don’t see any direct rivalry, but we also don’t see an instant bond or rapport, either.

And then we get to Amanda Tori Meating introducing herself, and as soon as that is over, we jump to a confessional from Jane saying that Amanda’s drag is “hideous.” Jane follows that up with an apology “to the Drag Race audience for having to witness such a goblin.” Well, guess what, Jane? Trend alert: Princess Poppy just went viral at the Emmys for dressing up as a goblin. It’s incredibly ironic, and even poetic, for this statement to be uttered in episode 3 on the same week that Poppy’s goblin look made headlines even in the straightest publications on Earth.

But the point remains that Jane is not thrilled about Amanda’s drag, and Amanda is clocking what is going on, and we can’t wait to see how this turns out.

Sapphira Crist\u00e1l; Plane Jane on RuPaul\u2019s Drag Race season 16 episode 3


The queens find two boxes with Sapphira’s and Jane’s respective names on them. The boxes open up to reveal a vial inside each of them, which are called Immunity Potions.

RuPaul and Michelle Visage’s long-standing obsession with Death Becomes Her really comes through here, as the vials are reminiscent of the magic potions that grant eternal youth in the 1992 movie starring Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn. What is left to be seen is whether these Immunity Potions will have only positive effects on those who use them, or if those who dare use these powers will end up like Madeline Ashton and Helen Sharp at the end of the film.

When RuPaul comes into the werk room to set the ground rules for the episode, he drops the true gag of the season: these Immunity Potions can be used in a future maxi challenge of their choice, and it can save either the queens who have the potions (Sapphira and Jane) or another queen of their choosing.

Q; Nymphia Wind on RuPaul's Drag Race season 16 episode 3


The rest of the werk room segment brings up a very emotional story from Q talking about how much she’s learned from her grandmother, but that they’re no longer on speaking terms. Q says that her grandmother worried that Q would get AIDS just from being gay and doing drag, which is a very upsetting but also incredibly relatable conversation that LGBTQ+ people have had with certain family members. Even with how far we’ve come, it still feels necessary for this topic to be brought up on a mainstream LGBTQ+ series like Drag Race.

Operating on a completely different frequency is Nymphia Wind, who is in full “Vote Yellow” campaigning mode. This queen is playing the social game, mama! She is questioning Jane’s rating system without getting upset. She is going around the room and offering to help. She is even learning Spanish and becoming a trilingual threat who appeals to the Latinx/Latine voting block in the werk room. Is Nymphia our only hope to turn Florida blue in 2024? Maybe so!

Q; Nymphia Wind; Sapphira Crist\u00e1l on RuPaul's Drag Race season 16 episode 3


For the ball challenge, the top-three of the week is clear: Q, Nymphia, and Sapphira. All three of these queens killed it with every single runway look. As did Dawn, who probably placed fourth in the ranking and fell just short of securing a top placement. Q and Sapphira both feel confident, as this is their second time getting a top placement. Nymphia keeps her cool, basking in the critiques that she gets from the judges.

Here's the tea: Nymphia’s final look is something to behold. It gives us that unique, Raja-pilled fashion perspective that only creative forces like them can pull off. There’s also the sense that Nymphia’s “Vote Yellow” campaign in the werk room paid off, which makes for great reality TV and a successful social game being played. The fans have already clocked that Nymphia is a huge threat, but these queens are just happy that their quirky friend won a challenge.

Geneva Karr; Hershii LiqCour Jete\u0301; Mhi\u2019ya Iman LePaige on RuPaul's Drag Race season 16 episode 3


The bottom-three is as clear as the top-three: Geneva Karr, Hershii LiqCour Jeté, and Mhi’ya Iman LePaige. After a rather awkward “is there something on my face”-esque stare-off between Ru and Mhi’ya, the Queen of Flips is deemed safe for the week. This means that the bottom-two of the week consists of Geneva and Hershii. And the lip sync… this one’s for the maxinistas! Geneva and Hershii are asked to lip sync to “Maybe You’re The Problem” by Ava Max.

At different points, they both lean in on the joke that maybe their competitor is the “problem” and should be told to sashay away. The thing is, Geneva focuses on delivering a solid performance for herself. She once again gives us the full popstar fantasy that she had served in the “Shower” lip sync against Jane in episode 2. Hershii, on the other hand, seems to be playing a “church lady” character that is keen on interacting with Geneva while performing. Hershii keeps looking at Geneva for some back and forth, but Geneva doesn’t even notice where Hershii is, for the most part.

Geneva Karr; Hershii LiqCour Jet\u00e9 on RuPaul's Drag Race season 16 episode 3


Ru determines that Geneva is safe for another week and asks Hershii to sashay away. It’s not awesome for any queen to go home first… and Hershii’s story definitely resonated with a lot of people watching the show. During such a backwards period of time like 2024, it felt special to have a queen who is a parent to actual kids competing on Drag Race. It’s unfortunate that her story ended so soon, but we hope that her message resonates with viewers.

In the meantime, Sapphira, Jane, and Nymphia are now on solid ground establishing themselves as the frontrunners of the competition, at least for now. Q came very close to winning episodes 1 and 3, so we’re manifesting a maxi challenge win for her soon and hoping that this isn’t a Susan Lucci-type of situation. When it comes to Geneva, it’s rough out here for queens who go from the top-two to the bottom-two in the span of one episode when the season is just starting. Denali experienced that in season 13, and it basically plagued the rest of her experience on the show.

But one important, final note is that the Rate-A-Queen twist is now over. All of the top and bottom placements thus far have not been determined by the judges themselves, which means that episode 4 could be the start of a brand-new competition for certain queens. Hold onto your wigs, because things might be getting sh-sh-sh-shaky, and soon.

RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16 airs every Friday on MTV.

Nymphia Wind on RuPaul's Drag Race season 16 episode 3


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Bernardo Sim

Bernardo Sim is a writer, content creator, and the deputy editor of Out. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.

Bernardo Sim is a writer, content creator, and the deputy editor of Out. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.