This recap contains spoilers. Read at your own risk.
Though she was eliminated in the first episode of Season 14, that squirrelly RuPaul surprised the remaining contestants on “Drag Race” and brought back the two contestants who had previously gone home in the series’ first two shows of the seasons, Grand Rapids-based Orion Story and Dia Betty. RuPaul did a double season premiere, splitting the 14 contestants into two groups. One was sent home each of the first two weeks, Story and then Dia Betty, and surviving contestants were not that happy to see them given a second chance.
But the return allowed Story a chance to open up about herself. She shared in the workroom that her mother had committed suicide.
“My mom was going through a lot of mental issues with bipolar depression,” she confided in the girls in the makeup chairs next to hers. “She overdosed and it took me a while to process it because my mom and I were super close.”
Story credited her mother as being her drag inspiration.
“The reason I started doing drag is because we used to watch ‘Drag Race’ together and she was like, ‘I want to see you there. I want to see you doing that.’”
On Friday’s episode, RuPaul again split the contestants in two groups and had them participate in two separate balls presenting three looks each.
“Tonight is definitely a way to pay homage to [my mom],” Story said. “I based my look that I made off of her. My mom has definitely influenced everything that I am doing right now and I am here to make her proud.”
Sadly, Story did not receive good marks for her style choices.
“Tonight I wanted to pay homage to my mom because she always reminded me of those characters, like Fran Drescher, who had beautiful hair, dressed sexy. I’m giving you what Peg Bundy would wear to her wedding if she was in ‘The Flintstones.’”
The judges, though, were not impressed.
“I think for me tonight what was missing was a little bit more versatility,” said judge and RuPaul bestie Michelle Visage. “I thought there was a lot of repetitiveness.”
RuPaul, herself, said much of the same.
“You got a lot going on here,” she said. “It’s too much. And that was a constant thread throughout all of your outfits. So this is going to be a challenge to you throughout this competition.”
Still, RuPaul did not send Story home. Though she landed in the bottom three, RuPaul ultimately declared Story safe and saved her from having to lip-sync for her life. So while it was not her best showing, Story isn’t sashaying away just yet.