"If you're not watching Untucked, you're only getting half the story," RuPaul says in the intro of every Untucked episode. And after a few weeks of the series feeling a little meh — the queens were understandably settling in and getting to know one another in addition to entertaining the celebrity guest judges — the show certainly lived up to that tagline.
To set things off, Sherry Pie brings the attention of the week's tops to a large, oversized pink button with the word SHADE emblazoned on its front.
"I have an idea for a game," Pie, who was the overall winner of the week, said. As a result of Pie being disqualified from the competition post-filming, RuPaul's Drag Race has announced they are donating $5,000 to the Trevor Project. "I think if we're going to spill tea, I've been watching this giant shade button this whole time, and I think every time we feel the shade somebody has to hit it." Jan volunteered herself as the button hitter, and the stage is officially set. But we have to admit: things quite quickly progressed from shade, which is a an elevated, discreet form of verbally sparring with someone, to full out reading.
It was Aiden Zhane at the center of most of what happened, and to be fair, many of the frustrations her fellow competitors had with her were based in facts — that sort of "no tea, no shade," sort of vibe. Jackie Cox kicked it all off.
"I'm a little surprised to see you here," she said, referring to the fact that Zhane was picked by the judges to be in the tops. Jan takes up her spot by the shade button. "Only 'cuz we had to memorize a lot of lines and the other two who dropped lines, [Jaida Essence Hall and Nicky Doll], they're in the bottom and you're not." Well Miss Cox, tell us how you really feel!
And that vibe kept up throughout the episode, with queens bringing up things they had previously said in confessionals to Zhane's front door. Frustrations about her sleeping in the Werk Room while others are hard at work, and otherwise seemingly being less dedicated while being praised by the judges were all brought up. Both Brita and Nicky Doll, who were both in the bottom with Doll having to lipsync, when they were made how they felt abundantly clear.
"I'm serving you looks every single time compared to other people," Brita said about being in the bottom. "It sucks being up there with your sisters and you have to say who should go home when you think that someone else, in this room, who is safe should be going home instead. I'm shook about it." And while that certainly skated the line of shade and reading given Brita didn't name names, shortly after she put it out there: hi Aiden Zhane.
Zhane didn't let it pass and addressed it all head on.
"Can I say one thing to get this out of the way for the rest of the fucking season," Zhane interrupted as Hall began to speak. "From day fucking one of this competition, I have had pretty much everybody in this goddamn place coming for me." And then .. it all hit the fan.
Of the most memorable moments? The gem of a serious Miss Continental candidate Heidi N Closet shutting it all down.
"At the end of the day it doesn't fucking matter, the bitch is safe — leave her alone," Closet said after having previously removed herself from the conversation to focus on preparing for her lip sync performance. "I'mma worry about Heidi. Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, and fuck you." She points to a few of the queens feuding. A mother!
"Y'all need to leave it alone," Closet finishes it out. Her competitors don't listen and keep at it.
Later Brita, Jan, Gigi Goode go off to the side to have another description in what seems to be an alliance beginning to form.
"It is made apparent to me that we can't play nice anymore," Brita said. "People are dropping like flies and we are going one by one. Like we can be cordial to one another but this is a game now and I thought I was playing the game but I guess not."
Sounds like the race has officially begun. Total number of times Jan hit the button: 4. How many times she should have? The limit truly does not exist.