RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 13 Episode 3 Review: Phenomenon


Herstory is repeating itself on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 13 Episode 3.

Just like the lip-sync winners before them, the Pork Chop Loading Bay queens faced off in a team girl group challenge as well. The week is almost a mirror image to RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 13 Episode 2. Right down to the runway Mini Challenge.

No one went home. Fashionable looks were served. Unfortunately, it all felt very expected.

This isn’t the first time Drag Race cloned the same round two weeks in a row. Let’s not forget the split premieres for RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12 Episode 1 and RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12 Episode 2.

That premiere covered the same structure with a fashion runway and a group challenge.

The difference here, however, is that the queens are now in their third week of the competition. Seriously, we’ve made it three rounds without a queen going home!

Split premieres create a great opportunity for us as viewers to get to know the queens and their style. Plus, it gives the queens a chance to build a following and legacy before potentially getting eliminated.

That’s all well and good, but the build-up has gone on for too long.

We met the queens during RuPaul’s Drag Season 13 Episode 1, and now we’ve seen them perform twice. Let’s actually start the competition now because the same formula got redundant real fast.

Right into the Mini Challenge, it was the same runway themes from the round before. Sure, they changed up the names, but most of the looks could’ve carried over either week.

Denali, Rosé, Tamisha Iman, and Utica Queen had the best looks for the “Lady 2021” runway.

Rosé and Utica both thought outside the box to create artistic looks that wowed. And their personalities added extra flair to their runway walks.

You can’t have too many cooks in the kitchen. You can’t have too many choreographers on the dance floor.

Tamisha Iman

Denali and Tamisha, on the other hand, both looked stunning. Tamisha’s sophisticated realness shined in her ensemble while Denali’s fashionable dress had the finer touches that made it a gorgeous look.

Joey Jay’s and Kahmora Hall’s look, by comparison, didn’t stand out due to their simplisticness.

For “Vamp 2021,” the queens overall had a stronger turnout. (There’s something about naughtier and evil looks that bring out the best in the queens. Who knew?)

The best ensembles out of the queens were Denali’s burnt ball gown and Utica’s burgundy look.

Both queens stole the spotlight on the runways with their presence and elaborate looks. You could tell Denali had the most fun moving around her gown and serving face. Utica embodied the persona behind her costume. Plus, her makeup was perfection!

The rest of the queens each stood out for their special touches. Like, Rosé’s elaborate headpiece, Joey’s dominatrix look, Tamisha’s Elvira inspiration, and Kahmora’s designer outfit.

Speaking of Kahmora Hall, she should thank her lucky stars this was a non-elimination round. How did no one bring up her being late to the runway?

If this were America’s Next Top Model, the judges would’ve read her to filth about not being on time. The GIFs from Tyra Banks could instill fear in her.

Kahmora needs to learn to paint her mug faster.

[In Confessional] I look around. All the other queens are *poof* [Does hand gesture]. They have left for the main stage. Like, man, this is my second chance and I’m already screwing up. It’s sinking in … I blew it.

Kahmora Hall

There are going to be times that she’ll need to turn around many looks and quick drag. Kahmora has the fashion, but the agile application makes a Drag Superstar.

And, with her subtle performance during the Maxi Challenge, she can’t only rely on her looks anymore. Kahmora needs to bring it if she wants any hope of staying in the competition.

The Maxi Challenge was a retread of the previous round too, but in this case, the RuPaul song was “Phenomenon.”

Comparatively, the dance moves and group energy from “Condragulations” were stronger as a whole. However, the lyrics from “Phenomenon” had more of a catchier beat; this might be the track that’s more addictive to listen to on repeat.

Denali, Joey Jay, Rosé, and Utica shined brightest during the performance. Utica for her quirky personality, and the other three for their stellar singing/rapping/dance moves.

It is now time to figure out choreography for our “Phenomenon” track. I’m a professional choreographer, so I can take charge. But I am a little nervous about the other girls. When it comes to a group show, when there is one bad egg, it can bring the whole group down.


I’m glad the queens were able to pull it together on the main stage. Their rehearsal might’ve been the most chaotic and disorganized choreography session in Drag Race herstory.

Only one person should’ve been the main choreographer. Why didn’t someone put their foot down?

And when Tamisha trained to rein them in, why didn’t they just work together to step back?

The “We’re Sheer, We’re Queer” runway was a pleasant twist on a runway theme. Sure, it’s just sheer fabric on the runway, but the name made me giggle.

The two best looks from the main runway were Denali’s violet dress and Tamisha Iman’s glam golden dress.

Let’s face it: Denali had a stellar round overall. Her sheer runway outfit capped off a strong week. A little refinement in certain parts of the fabric placement would’ve helped to bring it over the top, but it was a great look.

Tamisha’s gown, on the other hand, was … perfection.

She oozed sophistication and floated down the runway. There’s a reason why all the judges melted for this ensemble; this look highlighted all of Tamisha’s features and made her into a bright spotlight.

Utica had a great look too. Her playfulness with the scarves matched her vibe, and I disagreed with the judges about the style; it didn’t feel basic or simple.

Kahmora’s gown was beautiful, but it wasn’t her strongest look. Some of her past designer ensembles are higher on my favorite’s list; for example, her dress from the group Maxi Challenge.

[In Confessional] Sis, we’re on Drag Race! It’s not called “Drag Walk.”

Joey Jay

Joey Jay and Rosé needed to step it up here with their sheer ensembles.

Joey’s outfit was another retread of her look all week. I agreed with the judges of her assessment that she wore the same look in four different ways. Joey needs to show versatility and try something different, including wearing wigs.

Rosé, on the other hand, was all other the place with the plastic and the coloring. The fit and style were strong; however, the added fabric and the colors of the plastic took away from the overall look.

The “If U Seek Amy” lip-sync was hands-down won by Denali.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved what Rosé tried to do with the comedic spin. She had the dance moves, the movement, and the extra comedic touches that could snatch a win. The problem, however, is that Britney Spears’ songs are poppy and sensual.

Going for a sensual routine was the right approach to match the vibe. Enter Denali, who served a sensual routine during the li-sync.

Her use of face and all the dance moves brought Britney to the stage. RuPaul and the judges love whenever a queen captures the essence of the performer and the song.

Plus, with her strong performance during the other parts of the round, Denali had the makings of a good redemption.

Last Thoughts From The Werk Room:

  • Drag Race needs more mature and older queens in the competition. Tamisha Iman’s confessionals were the gift that kept on giving.
  • Did Kahmora Hall’s confession of keeping her drag life separate make anyone think she was going home? Editing like that teases that someone might be getting cut.
  • Tamisha’s face during the rehearsal bickering was a mood we could all relate to.
  • How long before Joey Jay decides to ignore the judges and wear their short hair again?
  • “The Winners Circle” is a terrible alliance name.

Now, over to you, Drag Race fans!

What did you think of “Phenomenon”?

Which runway look was your favorite? Which queen do you think will get eliminated first? Who do you think would’ve been the best choreographer?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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