Ladies and gentle-thems, this has not been a very good season of Drag Race. Many of my closest colleagues are fatigued. Brave members of my weekly viewing party have dropped out one by one. Most of the queens from the show's eleventh cycle needed more time in the incubator, and what's more, the audience needs a break. On top of that, after Miss RuPaul just last week committed what many believe to be the worst elimination in Drag Race history, sending home the rightful winner of the season, at least according to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rihanna, and Leslie Jones,. We just really don't know what is keeping us here every Thursday, ahead of the show's finale next week.
But, like a glowing beacon in a dark and stormy sea, we finally have a reason to watch again.
Many things happened on this week's episode, which was the super-single performance challenge -- wherein the contestants wrote, recorded, danced, and performed a verse in a five-participant hip-hop number for RuPaul's "Queens Everywhere" in a single-take video. A'Keria C. Davenport gave us a compelling emotional arc, revealing that she is the legal guardian of a member of her family. Brooke Lynn Hytes really out-caucasianed herself, putting elegant pointe work in hip-hop choreo, deeming her rap name "Femme-inem," and exhausting us with another tribute to ballet for a challenge that really did not require a tribute to ballet. Vanjie, the legend, got in her head and let us down once again, not knowing her own lyrics to the song's challenge. Silky Nutmeg Ganache did a full 180 and decided she's a nice queen now (We'll see how that fares in the reunion).
But all that aside, dear reader, there is only one thing we need to talk about: Yvie Oddly's verse. Following Vanjie, as well as a jarringly short performance by Silky, wherein she performs a death-defying choreo technique of "throw-the-entire-weight-of-your-body-onto-the-ground-and-get-back-up-with-some-help," Miss Oddly concludes the track, and let's just say points were made.
\u201cAnd the queens keep coming! \ud83d\udd25 @Silky_Ganache, @VanessaVanjie, and @OddlyYvie round out the second half of @RuPaul's Queens Everywhere on tonight's #DragRace \ud83d\udc51\u201d
Emerging beneath the stage in a stoned jumpsuit, flame-red pussycat wig, and an "Oh wow, good for her" beat, Yvie crawls up from the stage in Oddly-fashion and gives us the performance of a lifetime. She twists, she pulls her body into spine-tingling shapes. She backbends with the perfect execution of a contortionist while rapping "I bend over backwards whenever I fumble," and then she walks. In perfect time. In full back-bend. Before back-flipping her legs over, locking eyes with the camera and sticking her tongue her teeth with an expression I found both terrifying and arousing. She closes the lip sync with her signature, guttural guffaw.
Ladies! We have a winner! No one on this challenge embodied a character the way she did, stuck the landing the way she did. Anyone who had been sleeping on Yvie before, or found her opinionated nature polarizing throughout the season, has no choice but to stan.
Before this moment, I have never been an Yvie stan. But she was the only thing worth watching this episode, and she very well may be the only thing worth watching in the show's finale. Her performance on the season has been shaky to say the least. Her risks, boldness, and weirdo ideas have often landed her harsh critiques and enemies on the show -- but at least she's out here taking risks. Whatever happens next week, we'll be watching Miss Oddly.