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Drag Race season 16 episode 6: At this point, Trix, the dolls are the dolls!

Drag Race season 16 episode 6: At this point, Trix, the dolls are the dolls!

RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16 episode 6
MTV

We have thoughts and feelings about the dolls on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16 episode 6.

RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16 episode 6 reminds us of a quote that was once uttered to Trixie Mattel by poet laureate Gia Gunn: “At this point, Trix, the dolls are the dolls.”

Indeed, Ms. Boom Boom Gun — that’s all we can bring ourselves to say as episode 6 begins following the untimely sashaying of Amanda Tori Meating, the standout season 16 fan-favorite who is gone too soon. She’ll be fine, booked, and blessed… we know! But she’ll be missed on our screens for the time being.

Episode 6 goes on and the remaining contestants reunite in the werk room. Plane Jane tells last week’s winning group — Thicc & Stick girl-group members Geneva Karr, Megami, Mhi’ya Iman LePaige, and Nymphia Wind — that they were saved by the bell for going to Untucked before RuPaul asked the queens the dreaded question, “Who should go home, and why?”

To recap: Morphine Love Dion, Plane Jane, and Sapphira Cristál said Amanda Tori Meating. In turn, Amanda Tori Meating, Dawn, Plasma, and Xunami Muse said Q. As for Q, she said both Amanda Tori Meating and Xunami Muse. In the werk room, Q explains that “We had to say a name, [but] it wasn’t said in malice.” Xunami quips back, “We had to say a name, you said two. But, you know, I’m not gonna hold you back for that.” And I oop!

Plane Jane; Sapphira Crista\u0301l on RuPaul\u2019s Drag Race season 16 episode 6

MTV

While the queens are still in their runway looks for episode 5, Plane thanks Sapphira for giving her some advice and vows to “turn a new leaf,” suggesting that she’s now entering her congenial era. The girls in the room are trusting Plane as much as we’re trusting a Boeing 737 Max at the moment… but let’s just go with it, right? The next day in the werk room, Plane repeats Michelle Visage’s critique to Morphine, which Plane means as a compliment: “You know, Morphine, I just want to say: you’re so much more than a B.B.L.” The queens go around and realize that many of them have had lip fillers, so Plane tries again: “Honey, it may be the season of lip fillers, but nobody here is filler.” They all clap for that one.

Fresh off the Barbie movie, this week’s maxi challenge has the queens creating their own dolls. This means creating two identical looks: one for the queen, one for the doll. But wait, there’s more: this is a design, branding, and storytelling challenge. Plus, they’ll be critiqued by this week’s extra special guest judge, Law Roach, best known as a fashion stylist for celebrities like Zendaya, Céline Dion, and Anya Taylor-Joy, and also as a judge for three seasons of Legendary.

Law Roach on Legendary season 3

Max

The queens pick materials to work on their looks. Dawn falls in love with the color purple. Geneva highlights the lack of red stretch fabric. Nymphia grabs everything yellow that is in sight. Q is pumped by another design challenge so she can bounce back from episode 5. Plane suddenly realizes that her materials look kind of tacky. And Plasma is determined to give us the opening scene of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, the 1953 film that turned Marilyn Monroe into an even bigger star. Girling, the girls are.

Mhi’ya struggles with this new design challenge, but Sapphira offers to help. In Drag Race herstory, queens helping others in a design challenge usually leads to a positive edit. Namely, Bianca Del Rio in season 6, Yvie Oddly in season 11, Trixie Mattel on All Stars 3, and Trinity The Tuck on All Stars 7. But there are two big exceptions: Asia O’Hara in season 10, who helped everyone with their Last Ball on Earth looks and almost had to lip sync for her life; and Aja on All Stars 3, who helped BeBe Zahara Benet with her Ball look, which resulted in BeBe landing on the top, Aja falling to the bottom, and BeBe picking Aja’s lipstick to send her home. Choices!

Sapphira Crista\u0301l; Nymphia Wind on RuPaul\u2019s Drag Race season 16 episode 6

MTV

It’s the first time that we see the always-confident Sapphira looking shook and concerned. But Sapphira has an Immunity Potion with her, so there’s no real cause for concern, right? Nymphia also appears to be struggling with the storytelling part of the challenge, but the other queens just aren’t buying it. Oh, at all.

As they get closer to showtime, Sapphira tells Dawn that she plans on making a big opera coat to go with her look. “You’re crazy,” Dawn replies. In a confessional, Sapphira admits that she’s worried about time running out. Plane talks about giving us an aquatic edition of her doll given that she’s stuck with all this light blue fabric stolen borrowed from Plasma. In the meantime, Plasma is also making a garment with that light blue fabric, and Megami doesn’t love how it’s coming together. Then there’s Geneva starting from scratch, now also using that same light blue fabric.

We are bracing ourselves for a battle of the light blues!

Plasma on RuPaul's Drag Race season 16 episode 6

MTV

Category is: “Welcome to the Dollhouse!”

Plasma walks the runway wearing an outfit made with the same light blue fabric that, at this point, several queens have “borrowed” from her. The runway presentation and the doll are pretty similar, and she’s delivering on the storytelling of “old-school glamour hag” going on a cruise that she had planned for.

But as that damn scarf keeps falling behind Plasma’s head, and she keeps trying to play it off but also fix it, it becomes continuously distracting to anyone watching her walk the runway. As Law Roach would later advise, Plasma should “know how to use a bobby pin,” and that’s all tea, no shade, babes.

Plane Jane on RuPaul's Drag Race season 16 episode 6

MTV

The aquatic edition of Plane Jane is a slam dunk in terms of looks made with this freaking light blue fabric that a bunch of girls had to use. It’s not groundbreaking or anything, but there aren’t any noticeable missteps.

The doll is very similar to the runway presentation. The storytelling is classic “bimbo” energy. There’s also a callback to the “Burger Finger” reference of her Variety Show, which makes the judges laugh. RuPaul is laughing, Law Roach is smiling, and Ts Madison is living for it.

Mhi\u2019ya Iman LePaige on RuPaul's Drag Race season 16 episode 6

MTV

Mhi’ya’s “Queen of Flips” doll looks very cute, but it doesn’t look like her runway presentation at all. The hair is different, the design of the outfit is different, and the construction couldn’t be more different, too. The doll even has these huge earrings that are not to be found on Mhi’ya.

We have to give credit to Mhi’ya for trying her hardest to serve more energy and personality on the runway, and it’s a shame that this isn’t getting more praise from the judging panel. But unlike the very cute doll, the actual outfit isn’t great… and not even all the energy and charisma in the world could’ve helped her this week.

Geneva Karr on RuPaul's Drag Race season 16 episode 6

MTV

As a queen who had to start from scratch on the day of the challenge: props to you, mama! But it’s just not good enough for Geneva this week. The doll looks rushed, very last-minute. The runway presentation is plain — and again with the light blue fabric. The storytelling is also not funny enough to save her from the aesthetic that we’re looking at.

We’ve been really impressed by Geneva’s positive attitude as someone who’s either placed in the top, won a challenge, or had to lip sync for her life for five consecutive episodes. However, it’s hard to justify that this presentation shouldn’t have been in the bottom. Gotta love La Diva Más Latina, but this just wasn’t a cute look, sis!

Dawn on RuPaul's Drag Race season 16 episode 6

MTV

Dawn takes us straight to space, to “the valley of the Dawns, where all Dawns are from.” She absolutely nails the storytelling, and the look is pretty interesting, too. Extra points are probably also added to her presentation given that it’s so different from everybody else’s.

Most dolls featured in this episode look like they’re from the exact same collection. The point of this design, storytelling, and branding challenge was to show how your drag persona stands out from the pack, and Dawn really understands that assignment with this runway look and doll.

Q on RuPaul\u2019s Drag Race season 16 episode 6

MTV

“Talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, showstopping, spectacular, never-the-same. Totally unique, completely not ever been done before, unafraid to reference or not reference. Put it in a blender, sh*t on it, vomit on it, eat it, give birth to it.”

As soon as Q comes out with this doll and this outfit, all we can say is: condragulations Q, you are the winner of this week’s maxi challenge.

Sapphira Crista\u0301l on RuPaul's Drag Race season 16 episode 6

MTV

Before the critiques, we need to talk about this moment with Sapphira. She is indeed unable to make the big opera coat that she had planned for due to time constraints. Her doll also doesn’t look exactly like her runway presentation.

The storytelling is fun, but the outfit is simple, and she does look like she’s in her head this week (unlike last week, when she was critiqued for it). When Mama Ru asks Sapphira if she’d like to use her Immunity Potion and she says yes, we’re all thinking that this is the correct choice and a perfectly fine move, right…?

RuPaul; Sapphira Crista\u0301l on RuPaul's Drag Race season 16 episode 6

MTV

…except, when Sapphira does drink the Immunity Portion, the edit of the episode sends a very clear message that this wasn’t a good move at all. This moment makes us go back to our recap for season 16 episode 3, when we wondered: “What’s 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 [Death Becomes Her].”

When we wrote that, weeks ago, we were mostly just wondering out loud due to the Death Becomes Her reference attached to this Drag Race twist. But as we clock the judges’ reactions to Sapphira drinking the Immunity Potion and clock Sapphira’s reaction to the judges’ faces, we’re now officially concerned that this power comes with a price, as most powers do.

Is this place, as Sapphira said in her entrance line, really haunted after all?

Law Roach on RuPaul's Drag Race season 16 episode 6

MTV

Let us guide you through the critiques using Law Roach’s rubric system, which ranges from “pursed lips” to “radiant smile.” For Mhi’ya and Geneva, those lips are so pursed that not even a Wi-Fi signal could make its way through. Meanwhile, Plasma gets pursed lips for the ever-falling scarf, but a friendly smile for stoning the doll’s shoes.

Plane Jane gets an approving smile with a side of shade, as Law quickly points out to Plasma how much better Plane’s look is using the same light blue fabric. Then, Law gives Dawn a dazzling smile. He adds, “If I was still working as a stylist, I would definitely borrow this dress and put it on one of my clients.” Yup, we’re all gagging!

Last but not least, the critiques for Q are overwhelmingly positive. The judges are obsessed, as they should be, and so are we. Q gets a full beaming smile from Law, who says that he can’t “see any imperfections” in her outfit. Here it is, Q finally wins a maxi challenge in the competition, and everyone is so happy for her.

Mhi\u2019ya Iman LePaige; Geneva Karr on RuPaul's Drag Race season 16 episode 6

MTV

Geneva has to lip sync for her life again — the dreaded third lip sync, not counting the top-two lip sync from episode 2. But this time, her opponent is the Queen of Flips herself, Mhi’ya, who’s on her very first lip sync in the competition.

The lip sync starts, and it’s to the tune of “Control” by Janet Jackson. Geneva does her best pop star performance, which has been working for many weeks now. But there’s something very impressive about the moves that Mhi’ya can pull off. We all knew that from TikTok, but it’s a gag to see it on the main stage of Drag Race.

As expected from what we see in the lip sync, Geneva Karr is asked to sashay away. This Mexican queen from Texas has done a great job representing the Latinx/Latine community and being in the spotlight during every single episode of the show thus far. We salute her!

As for next week… we shall find out what happens in the aftermath of Mhi’ya’s first lip sync, Sapphira no longer having immunity, and Q finally having won a maxi challenge.

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

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Bernardo Sim

Bernardo Sim experiences and explains the queer pop culture multiverse. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.

Bernardo Sim experiences and explains the queer pop culture multiverse. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.