Improv and comedy challenges seem to be the weakness of these queens. Case in point: the mixed reception of the jokes during RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 14 Episode 13.
Landing a joke is a fine art, and some of these performers were skilled comics. For the others? The cringe was in full effect.
But did “The Ross Mathews Roast” live up to the Roasts that came before?
For an excellent Roast to be legendary in Drag Race herstory, it needs some powerhouse zingers, a few memorable moments, and more than half of the queens doing well.
“The Ross Mathews Roast” didn’t meet the match of the strong Roasts of the past.
The Roasts of RuPaul and Michelle Visage were epic challenges that will never be forgotten. And the laughs from the Roast on RuPaul’s Secret Celebrity Drag Race can still be heard today.
Where this Roast fights for its spot is against the Nice Girls Roast on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 13 Episode 12. There were some strong queens then, but when a queen failed, they crashed and burned. Utica Queen’s fall will always be a chilling reminder.
It’s not to say every queen failed to shine. Queens like Bosco and Lady Camden dominated with strong jokes to keep them at the top.
And even the performers who bombed their sets fell more into uncomfortable cringe than a total trainwreck.
The Ross Mathews Roast was a below-average Roast. There weren’t any jokes or zingers that we’ll remember in seasons from now. It was a safe and forgettable challenge.
On the other hand, the Nice Girls Roast had some excellent zingers that kept it from falling. It’s a battle for the bottom between them.
Bosco’s opening set was the clear winner and breakout star. She has a natural talent for reading people and landing a joke; if anyone were going to do well, it would be Bosco.
And she needed redemption after nearly going home on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 14 Episode 12. This challenge was an easy win for her.
I got the golden chocolate bar!
- Permalink: I got the golden chocolate bar!
Bosco felt effortless in her comedy. Her zingers gave the Roast the jolt of energy it needed.
Unfortunately, the rest of the challenge didn’t match the energy.
Only Lady Camden, Willow Pill, and Angeria Paris VanMichaels could keep the fire going, albeit with mixed results.
Lady Camden’s set was funny; she got a few strong quips before struggling with her echo joke. If only she had listened to Michelle and Dulce, removing that joke could’ve pushed her higher to the top. Though, nothing could’ve toppled Bosco this round.
RuPaul: Queens! We’re back.
Norvina: And we’re scared!
- Permalink: And we’re scared!
Willow and Angeria had the same issue in varying degrees. Both queens could land a joke and get laughs, but it wasn’t a consistent set; we could never tell if a good joke was about to come.
Each queen needed a bit of what the other had. Willow had the strong jokes and more of them to spare, but Angeria had the confidence to make any joke funny.
Together, they could’ve dominated if this were a team challenge.
Jorgeous’, DeJa Skye’s, and Daya Betty’s performances were uncomfortable and awkward. We couldn’t look away from the cringeworthy vibe.
If Daya had stuck to the same tone from her rehearsal, “The Ross Mathews Roast” would’ve been a completely different story. That Daya had the zingers that could land and steal the show. The Daya during the Roast took too long and was anxious; it’s a bad combination for a bad performance.
[In confessional] I am snatching this nose down! She can’t even breathe how pinched it is.
- Permalink: I am snatching this nose down! She can’t even breathe how pinched it is.
Jorgeous did better than we could’ve expected; she got a few laughs from her personality. However, the awkward pauses in between took away from any momentum she built up after a good joke.
And we can all agree that DeJa’s set was terrible from start to finish. She lost this challenge the second she ignored Michelle’s and Dulce’s advice; there’s no going back when you have to face the music on the main stage.
In the words of Trinity the Tuck, “Where are the jokes?!”
During “Tutu Much,” Bosco, Willow Pill, Daya Betty, and Lady Camden had the best ensembles on the runway.
Bosco, Daya, and Lady Camden had stunning takes on the ballerina trope. Bosco’s bloody buzzsaw ballerina melted my horror heart; I loved all the touches of the blood and the buzzsaws as the tutu. It’s a clever and chic style change.
Daya’s ballerina had the hint of rebellious flair that worked with her drag style. She balanced both prim elegances and distressed edge. In contrast, Lady Camden’s full glam ballerina looked positively stunning! The ballerina is Lady Camden’s best look by far.
The same goes for Willow’s Cruella de Vil-inspired queen ensemble too. The regal black gown elevated her runway style and blew everyone away. This gown could’ve been her grand finale look (that’s how great she looked!).
Compared to the runways, the lip-sync of “Good 4 U” by Olivia Rodrigo was flat and average.
The only shocking thing about this lip-sync was that two queens would be eliminated. And for the most part, it was a tight race between all three queens.
Jorgeous, Daya Betty, and DeJa Skye gave the same lip-sync. Sure, Daya served the face and anger more to win, but all three queens went for the same lip-sync performance: angry with a focus on speaking the lyrics.
[In confessional] I was kinda unhappy when Bosco gets immunity because… what else is gonna get these bitches out of here, you know? It’s frustrating. This is a lot. It’s a lot.
- Permalink: What else is gonna get these bitches out of here, you know?
Don’t get me wrong, lip-syncs don’t always need tricks and splits. “Good 4 U” was a solid lip-sync that was all about the lip-syncing, but it wasn’t an entertaining or exciting number.
It’s not a memorable performance without the twist.
Last Thoughts From The Werk Room:
- The queens did an excellent job during the Mini Challenge. They painted more than what would’ve been expected from that mural design.
- Michelle and Dulce weren’t kidding around during the rehearsals. Their feedback was blunt-yet-honest.
- We’re so close to the Grand Finale. After many weeks of no one going home, it feels unreal that there are now only five queens left in the competition.
Now, over to you, Drag Race fans!
What did you think of “The Ross Mathews Roast”?
Were you shocked about the double elimination? Which joke made you laugh the most? Which queens will end up in the finals?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.