RuPaul’s Drag Race GIF season 11, episode 4 recap: GOATs and ‘hoes’ gotta go

The sticky residue of Honey Davenport’s burst bubble lingered in the Werk Room as the 12 remaining ladies gathered for a post-elimination kiki. Little did they know, however, that a golden shower of talent — on display in a Donald Trump-themed musical — waited in the wings to make up for the absence of their fallen flaxen sister.

This week’s episode kicked off as the trauma of RuPaul’s unprecedented six-queen lip-sync had Shuga Cain shooketh to the core.

Unsympathetic to Shuga’s human emotions, Silky Nutmeg Ganache continued her crusade against “hoes,” pointing them out one-by-one and informing that they “must go.”

The ongoing quest to rid hoes from their posts continued with a Rachel Maddow-inspired mini challenge, which saw the queens playing newscasters breaking news live from a teleprompter peppered with deliberately tongue-twisting phrases (hello, America’s Next Top Model cycle 4 challenge that bridged the gap between a calm “Tiffany, I am very disappointed in you” and a gale-force “I have never in my life yelled at a girl like this!”).

As she shaved the “boy” from her face, Kenya-born Mercedes Iman Diamond explained that she had no idea who Maddow was, and in exchange for our bewilderment assured us that she was super-familiar with farm animals.

In the newsroom, most of the girls flubbed the challenge, but Vanjie’s every failure is our universal joy, and she made amends and won our hearts by serving her best “Roz from Monsters, Inc.” realness.

Back in the Werk Room, the girls prepared for Trump: The Rusical — a high-school-set production that combined bits of Grease with contemporary political satire featuring unflattering portrayals of Trump, his family, Rosie O’Donnell, Hillary Clinton, as well as White House staffers new and old — as RuPaul guided their approach.

When Ru asked the ladies about their voter registration status, Silky revealed she’s a registered Republican — for the right reasons, she assured, explaining that she wanted to help combat gentrification of voting districts.

RuPaul later explained the move as “infiltrating the Republican Party and circumventing their gerrymandering.”

Vanjie pretended to follow (as did every person watching Drag Race at this moment):

Elsewhere, in “an eerie foreshadowing of something to come” news…

Mercedes shot herself in the foot by translating her love of goats into an ominous portent of her prospects in the challenge by proclaiming herself the “greatest of all-time,” just so editors could contrast the moment with her impending failure on the main stage.

Later, Ra’Jah O’Hara elaborated on her dance “background” while the queens prepped for the Rusical, telling choreographer Yanis Marshall her experienced spanned literally a dozen different genres, space, time, and the length of Naomi Smalls’ legs. She then promptly flubbed her way through the steps and tried to say it was because she hasn’t danced for 15 years.

Basically, it was “I am such a good dancer haha” followed by this:

Honestly, Scarlet Envy doing this was more entertaining:

Meanwhile, Yvie Oddly gave the most adorably, quintessentially Yvie description of a connective-tissue disorder that prevents her from putting too much strain on her hyper-flexible, easily dislocated joints:

(Or “oot,” as Canadian Icon Brooke Lynn Hytes put it.)

With all relevant things tucked into panties and joint sockets, the ladies hit the stage for a lighthearted roasting of Trump, with Yvie’s portrayal of Kellyanne Conway and Nina West’s performance as Sarah Huckabee Sanders stealing the lackluster show.

The best performance (and rightful challenge winner), however, was Michelle Visage pretending Trump: The Rusical and its accompanying soundtrack slapped as hard as “Why Did You Do That?” (a.k.a. “the butt song”) from A Star Is Born.

Still, Silky’s take on Lord Oprah Winfrey scored the large-and-in-charge queen her first weekly victory.

Season 7 star Ginger Minj (!) also made a brief appearance as Trump.

On the orange-themed runway, Brooke’s Robyn-meets-late-’90s-Milla Jovovich (big ba-da boom, Canadian chicken good!) earned top marks from the judges.

As did Shuga Cain’s feminine take on Trump’s presidential attire…

… all while guest judge Joel McHale brought a curious brand of disruptive, macho bro-yelling (“I can see her butt!”) to the runway clearly edged Michelle Visage one step closer to actual murder.

Anyway, though she applied glistening Cheeto dust as contour — for real! She carried a bag with her as she strutted down the runway! — under a messy blonde wig in an attempt to ding Trump’s physical “quirks,” Shuga’s outfit actually served us the Tiffany “New York” Pollard / Pumkin reunion we’ve waited 13 years for as the Flavor of Love icon also made her Drag Race debut as a guest judge alongside her former The Soup nemesis McHale.

Pollard was arguably the best thing about the episode, with her critiques ranging from ass worship to literally fantasizing about “sitting” on the face of Rosie O’Donnell (whom Vanjie portrayed in the challenge).

In that moment, Brooke and Ra’Jah served as sequined mood rings. As the theory posed by the legendary Miss Britney Spears in her 2009 single “Circus” argued: “There’s only two types of people in the world” — ones that sweetly indulge in Pollard’s O’Donnell fantasy like Ra’Jah:

And those who recoil like Brooke:

(It’s worth noting that there might also be a third brand of human in the world: one who identifies with Shuga’s reaction to the bottom-six showdown with regard to Pollard’s facial fantasy.)

Though no one outright flopped during the challenge, consistently underwhelming performers Ra’Jah (who played ousted White House employee Omarosa) and Mercedes (Ivanka Trump) landed in the bottom two. This apparently stirred Ra’Jah’s repressed dancing skills, and it was kind of obvious that it was over for Mercedes when her foe started doing this…

… and this…

… at the same time Mercedes did sh— like this:

Meant with warmer affection and genuine sentiment than Pollard’s original message, we bid Mercedes Iman Diamond (and her orange eleganza) a fond “Bye, Pumkin!” as the episode drew to a close and we a GOAT set out to graze pastures new! 

Now that she’s a free woman, where’s Mercedes headed back to? Let’s explore via the lyrics to this week’s lip-sync song, “Living In America” by James Brown.

Is Mercedes headed to…

No. What about…

Not quite. Reading Mercedes’ lips, perhaps it’s…

Definitely not. Maybe…

Uh-uh! Let’s try…

Keep guessing, girl! For f—’s sake, is it…


RuPaul’s Drag Race season 11 returns Thursday, March 28, at 9 p.m. ET on VH1.

Related content:

RuPaul — as host, mentor, and creative inspiration — decides who’s in and who’s out.

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