INTO Asks: Are Straight People Okay?

Listen, we here at INTO don’t want to come off as judgmental. We’re just concerned, is all. So we’re checking in: Hey, straight people, are you okay?

In this new video, our panelists gather to check in with heterosexuals and make sure they’re doing all right. Judging by some of their social media posts, the answer is a resounding no! For example, take this tweet:

“Is he your child, or is he your boyfriend?” panelist Bella Ja Ja asks. If we’re having to ask, you understand why we’re concerned!

Watch the full video below.

20 Queer Q’s with Matt Rogers

The 20 Queer Qs series seeks to capture LGBTQ+ individuals (and allies) in a moment of authenticity. We get to know the subjects, what makes them who they are, and what they value. These intimate conversations aim to leave you, the reader, feeling like you just gained a new friend or a new perspective.

This week, get to know comedian, entertainer, and co-host of the Las Culturistas podcast, Matt Rogers. Learn about his hopes for the LGBTQ+ community in the future, what his queerness has given him, what he feels insecure about, and more.

Name: Matt Rogers

Age: 28

Preferred Pronouns: He/Him/His

Sexually Identifies As: Gay

1. What do you love about the LGBT community? The various point of views you get within it. I think something you think before you’re actually in the community, is that everyone is the same. You see a kind of antiquated image of the gay community on television, especially in the 90’s when I grew up. The community is so varied, interesting, dynamic, and I’m happy to be a part of it.

 

2. Do you think it’s hard to make queer friends? I don’t think it’s hard, but I definitely think you have to get over yourself. We make it harder for ourselves, and I think one of the symptoms of being gay is that you second guess yourself all the time because that’s what we’ve been told to do and that doesn’t make friendships easy. I’m lucky I’ve had my friends that I’ve been close with for 10 years and having people to go out with and meet people with has made it easier, but when you meet someone new when their super interesting, you feel like you want to make sure you’re good enough for them and I think the insecurity that we all have that is ingrained in us just due to the experiences we’ve been through. That’s what makes it hard to open up to people in terms of friendships and romance.

3. What does pride mean to you? It’s the sense of safety in operating in your full potential as a human being and that’s expressing your joy to the max and having that received by the people around you.

4. Do you think LGBTQ+ youth have it easier now? I don’t like this hierarchy of struggle. Every individual is going through something and I think we need more compassion across the board. I don’t like it when my generation scolds the younger LGBT community. I think we have a lot more in common than we think. I’m so reverent and appreciative of the older generation. They had to go through something I couldn’t even imagine. It’s tragic what this community went through during the AIDS crisis and I think that’s trauma that’s with this generation and they’re angry because they never had to go through that.

I think we look at the younger generation and think, “Wow you’re allowed to be gay at 11 years old.” But at the same time, we don’t know what it’s like to have social media surround us at all times. When I say I don’t like the hierarchy of struggle, I don’t like to compete in terms of pain. I think everyone is entitled to their experience and what’s important is that we have compassion, it’s not that we remind each other that we’ve had it harder than anyone else, even if it’s true. Because it is, there are sects of this community that have had it extremely difficult. Specifically speaking about trans women of color, [they] are the most persecuted, disrespected, berated, and pursued negatively people on this planet. I think it would be ridiculous on this planet to say that they didn’t have it rough every single day. But I also think we should have compassion for everyone. In terms of these younger kids, they’re still grappling with their identity and are still in the minority and still need compassion.

5. What advice do you have for LGBTQ+ youth? Don’t be afraid of other individuals that are also different. Foster relationships with people that you find a connection with. If you feel a connection, foster that, because your community is going to be your family one day.

6. Do you believe in love? Yes.

7. What are values that you look for in an ideal partner? Patient, non-judgemental, gets it in terms of humor. You don’t have to be funny, you just have to get it.

8. Describe what being queer is like in 3-5 words. Girl, we are getting there.

9. What are your thoughts on people who say “masc4masc”? They’re people who are not going to get my attention or anyone’s attention who’s worthwhile. It’s a ridiculous thing to say which is a gross symptom of our community which is the app culture. It’s one of the ways in which the ugliness in our community is living out loud. It’s so gross and we’re so much better and [more] beautiful than that.

10. What hopes do you have for the LGBTQ+ community in the future? Happiness. I hope that for everyone, I hope that everyone can just get to a point where they say I love myself as much as I pretend to or as much as I see. I hope we can walk the world and be safe.

 

11. Is there a LGBTQ+ TV show or movie that has had a great impact on you? RuPaul’s Drag Race had the greatest impact on me, because the concept of “You’re born naked and the rest is drag” changed my life. … I realized that there are no rules, the only rules that you make are the ones that you impose on yourself. And that is so liberating.

12. What’s your earliest memory that you felt you were different? When I was little, the characters that I wanted to act out in the yard were all female — and my parents acted weird about it. My mom even asked our doctor about why I was doing that and the doctor said,  “It’s because he’s very smart, he wants to take on different personas.” I was perceptive enough to understand that my instincts were not “normal,” and it was gauging that from the reaction they had.

13. What do you feel most insecure about? My body,

14. What do you feel the most confident about? My sense of humor.

15. What’s your relationship with your family like? Very good, very positive, I’m very lucky in that regard and I see them often.

16. Have you found your chosen family? How do they make you feel? Absolutely 100%, and I’m so lucky. Oftentimes when I’m at Thanksgiving with extended family I’m like, “Why aren’t i with my real family?” It’s so true what they say, it’s such an integral thing for a gay person is to find those people

17. On a grading scale from F-A, how is life for you right now? A-. In the grand scheme of things, I can eat, I’m out here pursuing my goals, I do what I want, I have good family, my family and friends are healthy.

18. Have you ever felt/do you still feel uncomfortable holding another guys hand in public? Yes, unfortunately because no matter where you go, you are exposed and you hear horror stories. This is something I think people need to understand. You cannot fully understand the full experience of someone who is different or a minority because you don’t have those small instincts. Like when I hold someone’s hand in public, that’s marking yourself vulnerable and there’s a lot of crazy people out there.

19. Who is someone in your life who gets you? Bowen Yang, my best friend understands me 100%. We have a sort of sixth sense with each other, we’re very empathetic to each other, we often speak in the same cadences at the same time.

20. What value/quality has being queer given you? What have you gained? It’s given me my sense of humor and that’s everything to me. It’s given me my point of view which is great to pair with a sense of humor.

Listen to Matt’s podcast Las Culturistas wherever you listen to podcasts. Keep up with him and his upcoming shows in NYC and LA on Twitter and Instagram.

Which ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4’ Queen Is Most Likely to Return?

Welcome to Drag Race Power Rankings! Every Saturday, we’ll debrief the previous night’s new episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 to determine which queens are riding high, and which need she-mergency care. This week, we’re processing the twist-on-twist-on-twist delirium of the final six episode, and determine who has the best chance of returning to the competition this week.

10. Farrah Moan — POTENTIAL RETURNEE (last appearance: 9)

A note before we get too deep into this: According to VH1’s description for the next episode, the return challenge is a Lip Sync for Your Life battle royale, in which all the returning queens will get a chance to come back to the competition. So, with lots of love to Farrah, who looks amazing in her red return look, but I would be shocked if she were to win a lip sync.

9. Gia Gunn — POTENTIAL RETURNEE (last appearance: 8)

I actually think Gia has the lip-syncing skills to get back into this competition, depending on her opponent. But she spent the night of her elimination cursing out RuPaul … so yeah, she’s not getting back in.

8. Jasmine Masters — POTENTIAL RETURNEE (last appearance: 10)

All Stars 4

If there were to be just one returnee, I’d say Jasmine had no shot at coming back. But the description is clear that all the eliminated queens have the chance to come back. Jasmine is a talented lip syncer, and if she gets the right opponent, who knows! All that aside, though, I’m betting on just one returnee, and it’s not her.

7. Valentina (last week: 4)

Valentina

Time to go, Val. You’ve done what you needed to do here — got your lip sync redemption, endeared yourself to scores of fans — and now you’re just blowing up your spot. I enjoy Valentina’s delusions of grandeur as much as the next gay, but let’s send her on her way to Rent Live and narrow down to the strongest competitors left.

6. Naomi Smalls (last week: 5)

I actually don’t think Naomi will get sixth in this competition — in fact, I could see her making top four — but she’s this low because there is just no way she can win. She’s been all but invisible in the edit, and there aren’t enough episodes left to craft a compelling winner’s arc. Naomi is destined to be a bridesmaid in this competition, and considering how strong she’s been overall — though admittedly not this week — it’s kinda sad to see.

5. Latrice Royale — POTENTIAL RETURNEE (last appearance: 7)

The redemption challenge is a lip-sync tournament? Oh bitch, just put Latrice back in the competition right now. That said, if she can’t turn it out after winning her way back in, she’ll be back out the door right away.

4. Monique Heart (last week: 3)

The ooh-ah-ah sensation really did get screwed by the judging this week, earning a bottom placement despite being one of the clear best in the challenge. That’s the tough thing about All Stars‘ final weeks: If you’re not a winner, you’re a potential loser. While she was kind of mopey about it in the workroom during deliberations, I admire her for not getting too defensive on the runway. She’s learning how to work the judges, slowly.

3. Trinity the Tuck (last week: 2)

Trinity really threw Valentina under the bus after practically citizen’s arresting Manila for considering sending her home two weeks ago! Good lord. Trinity’s biggest issue is her inability to keep her eyes on her own paper. When she’s focused and working hard, there’s no one performing better in this competition. If she can get that focus back, I think she’s a lock for the finale, but that’s a big if at this point.

2. Monét X Change (last week: 6)

The biggest rise of the week goes to Ms. Change, who really, truly, and finally pulled her shit together. Both her challenge performance and runway were strong, and while I would’ve personally put Monique in the top two above her, I can’t quibble with the quality of her output this week. If she can keep this energy up, she could truly win this whole thing. But she has one massive obstacle standing in her way,.

1. Manila Luzon (last week: 1)

I mean, come on. If you’re not on the Manila train at this point — which, I’m very open that I wasn’t until recently — what are you doing? She’s slaying this competition, putting forward the most complete package of runway, challenge performance, attitude, and damn good TV of any queen left. In my mind, she’s the winner. Which probably means she goes home in two weeks. But we’ll cherish every moment until then.

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4’ Recap: Nobody Was Killed at Lady Bunny’s Funeral?

Usually I prefer to proceed somewhat chronologically in my RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 recaps, but this week, I think we have to start at the end. And what an end it was! Double lip sync win! Non-elimination! All Star rules finally suspended! A mirror message from Ru herself! Lady Bunny recreating the mirror gag from All Stars 2! And, of course, the inevitable return of the eliminated queens.

It was kind of the kitchen sink approach to reality TV production, and I wasn’t not entertained by it! It was just, you know, a lot. I’m still processing. Here, let’s process together.

Drag Race

The main challenge this week (well, only challenge, the mini-challenge drought continues) is a roast of Lady Bunny framed as a funeral. It’s a fun twist on the RuPaul Roast challenge, which previously appeared in seasons 5 and 9. Season 5’s roast episode was one of the all-time great Drag Race episodes, while season 9’s was … mostly just okay. Better than you’d expect in a season with zero comedy queens.

Two of the worst performers in that roast, however, were Trinity the Tuck (back in her days as Trinity Taylor) and Valentina. Trinity was bottom three, while Valentina was, ahem, lucky to be safe. The stakes are high for both of them going into this week, and they promptly make all the same mistakes they did the first time — despite guest judge Cecily Strong’s attempts to help them during rehearsal. Valentina completely ignores Cecily’s notes to avoid starting too mean, starting her set bitter and never letting up. Trinity, on the other hand, never gets a handle on her comic timing. The two contestants barely elicit a sincere laugh from the judges or audience.

I’m not going to lie to you, dear reader: It’s extremely satisfying to watch the season 9 alliance fail this week. While I enjoy Valentina tremendously as a TV character, and I think Trinity is playing in this competition with a level of technical prowess only previously matched by Alaska and BenDeLaCreme, they’re both carrying around big egos. Valentina has a warped sense of how she performs; she thought her performance in the season 9 roast was good (to quote Ru, “Was it?”), and completely misinterprets the judges’ comments this week. Meanwhile, Trinity once again whines about Manila Luzon’s deliberation process, after the season 3 queen reveals she would’ve sent Monét X Change home last week. It’s satisfying to see them brought back down to earth a bit. I think they both have what it takes to win this season, but I prefer a more self-aware Valentina and a laser-focused Trinity.

Speaking of Manila: She may never be my favorite in the challenges, but I am firmly Team Manila at this point in the race. Positively ridden with guilt that she once again couldn’t save Latrice Royale in a lip sync, Manila cries trying to explain her reasoning for wanting to eliminate Monét. Monét refuses to show Manila even an ounce of empathy for wanting to save her friend, and all but tells Manila that she’s not allowed to sit at the cool girls’ lunch table anymore. Seriously, she and the other girls all join hands in front of Manila as she’s crying, and don’t get up to leave when she does. It makes them look so damn petty.

The girls gang up on Manila again in the workroom, when she says she’ll choose who she wants to eliminate moving forward on a case-by-case basis. (Getting to choose who you want to send home if you win is, you may recall, the literal format of All Stars.) I admire Manila for sticking to her guns — but then again, it’s pretty easy to do when you keep winning. She does again this week, and it’s probably her hardest-earned win of the season. (Though I would’ve also given Manila the win way back in week 1, when she was just safe.) Her roast performance is perfectly pitched, with just enough sight gags — the umbrella! the will! — to balance out her battery of jokes. Her look is perfect, and she’s the only queen to roast most of her fellow competitors plus the judges. It’s surprising that she’s the only one to turn that trick, considering that roasting the full assemblage is usually a staple of these challenges.

Joining Manila in the top is Monét, who maybe wouldn’t be my choice, but I get why she wins. From a pure comedy perspective, she has the most jokes, and they all land. I prefer the Southern preacher caricature her season 10 sister Monique Heart puts on, even though Monique swallows a few of her jokes in her delivery. Monique was the emotional choice; Monét was the comedy-as-art choice. The panel is particularly technical this week — more on that in the final thoughts — so their decision makes sense.

That leaves us with Naomi Smalls, who is just a disaster this week. I’ve been high on Naomi all season, but her lack of wins has left me wondering if she’s really cut out to win this competition. Sadly for the leggy season 8 queen, she falls into the bottom before ever rising to the top, on the back of a one-note performance and shockingly underwhelming funeral drag look. Luckily for her, she is one of four queens in the bottom, as RuPaul puts everyone who didn’t win onto the chopping block. This is likely done for two reasons: to scare the girls, and because Ru already knows no one is going home this week.

Bottom Four

Deliberations are, to be frank, a fucking mess. Trinity immediately seems to realize she’s screwed up by being so aggressive with Manila, and both firmly stands on the strength of her report card while also being conciliatory toward the queen with the power. Naomi is clearly bummed to be in the bottom, and worries her lack of wins will take her out. Despite this, Monét and Manila don’t really seem to consider her a legitimate choice for elimination, though — in fact, the winners practically ask the other one to take on the responsibility of sending someone home this week instead of them.

The consensus choice among the other queens, though, is for Valentina to go home. Trinity immediately names her as the correct option (guess that season 9 alliance only goes so far), while Monique — who outright refuses to do one-on-ones, that’s how certain she is she doesn’t deserve to go home — goes off on Valentina in her confessional for not having a full face of makeup for the main challenge.

I personally don’t care about the makeup issue that much, though it is worth noting how it comes about, and how she responds to Ross Mathews’ criticism. Apparently Val runs out of time in the workroom, unable to finish her set and her face. So she wears sunglasses as part of her costume — but then tempts fate by making a Maskgate callback. She practically dares RuPaul to tell her to take the glasses off, which RuPaul promptly does. This backfires big time, revealing her face is incomplete.

Upon presenting her excuses to Ross, he promptly takes no shit. “I still wish your eyes had been done,” Ross says with the exact right blend of sweetness and bitchiness. The look Valentina shoots back at him could kill, and probably has. So, yeah, Monique’s pissed about that, and while it doesn’t matter as much to me, I can understand being mad if you think you might go home over someone who didn’t even finish beating their mug.

It is hilarious to watch the other queens insist that eliminating Valentina is the only fair thing to do, when just two weeks ago they were lecturing Manila for even considering sending Val home. My guess is Trinity fans will justify her throwing Valentina under the bus by citing Val’s record, but that doesn’t wash for two reasons. One, Val has a win, which should conceivably put her ahead of the winless Naomi. Two, Trinity insisted in that episode that she wanted to take Valentina with her all the way to the top four. Now she wants Valentina to go home in sixth?

The truth is, there is no “fair” when it comes to making elimination decisions on All Stars, and it behooves no one to pretend like there is a particularly “moral” way to do it. Alaska eliminated Tatianna twice and Alyssa Edwards once over Roxxxy Andrews in All Stars 2. Kennedy Davenport eliminated Milk the second she got the chance during All Stars 3 because, to put it bluntly, she just didn’t like Milk. Manila saying she doesn’t want to adhere to one kind of elimination style is not new or novel, and she shouldn’t be ostracized or judged by the other queens because she doesn’t want to pretend.

The lip sync to Aretha Franklin’s “Jump to It” isn’t exactly a close one. Manila has a couple of good moments, but clearly fumbles words here and there, and Monét just really nails it. However, Ru declares a joint win — a head-scratcher of a decision that makes more sense if you look at the other lip sync ties in All Stars seasons. Be it Raven and Jujubee on “Dancing on My Own,” Tatianna and Alyssa Edwards on “Shut Up and Drive,” or Shangela and BenDeLaCreme on “I Kissed a Girl,” double wins tend to come when the performers mostly work together versus against each other. Considering the amount of interplay between Manila and Monét on “Jump to It,” the tie makes a bit more sense. (But make no mistake: If one girl was winning, it’d have been Monét.)

Ru’s other big motivation for declaring two winners is that ultimately, who they chose to go home doesn’t matter. No one goes home this week, and All Star rules are promptly put on hold. What that means — and what the returning queens’ challenge to get back in will be — will have to wait for next week. A return for Latrice or we riot!

Dearly beloved, we have gathered our thoughts here today:

• Cecily Strong and Yvette Nicole Brown both make for good guest judges this week. Alongside Michelle Visage and Ross, they really turn the judging session into an artist’s critique, getting granular about both jokes and looks in a way I love. I’m still holding onto Jenifer Lewis as the best guest judge of the season, but these two are easily the runners-up right now.

• I didn’t talk about the angelic-themed runway this week, but the girls are uniformly very good! Special shout-outs go to Naomi for a Prince-inspired getup, Monét for a gorgeous bleeding heart detail on her chest, and Manila’s dewy Grecian outfit, which makes her look younger than anyone else on the stage. Age 37 looks really damn good on her.

• I have some thoughts about Valentina naming Monique and Naomi as the worst of the week, but I’ll be as generous in my reading as possible and say she just didn’t want to name her friend Trinity. (Even though Trinity didn’t exactly show her the same kindness.)

• With “Jump to It,” Aretha joins Paula Abdul, Britney Spears, Madonna, and Whitney Houston with four songs performed as lip syncs. Getting crowded at the top! (After I included this stat in a previous recap, someone asked why Ariana Grande doesn’t also have four, the long and short of it being that she’s just a featured artist on “Bang Bang.” So you can place her in the same echelon, but definitely give her an asterisk.)

• Naomi’s shade that she’s the only queen left who can give a millennial’s point of view is funnier than any of her roast jokes.

• Monique practically racing off the stage after Ru saves them all, saying “She ain’t gotta tell me twice,” is the biggest mood.

• In the preview for next week’s episode, we see each of the eliminated queens picking a lipstick from one box. My guess? We’re getting a full set of Lip Syncs for Your Life next week, with the eliminated queens getting to choose who they want to face off against. Winners earn their way back into the competition; losers face elimination. That might be too complicated — plus, Drag Race always seems reticent to shell out more money for lip sync song royalties — but we’ll see!

• So both Monét and Manila were going to eliminate Valentina, right? That would certainly make a certain piece of intel season 4 bad girl Willam leaked before the season started airing more interesting…

The next episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 will air Friday, Jan. 18, at 8 p.m. Eastern on VH1.

Why Expectations for Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg’s Golden Globes Hosting Gig Are Sky-High

There’s a ton riding on Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh to kill it tonight at the Golden Globes. Why? Two words: Kevin Hart.

Okay, also two more words: The Oscars.

The Hart hosting fiasco has been nothing short of an epic disaster for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Oscars’ parent organization has managed to look, at different turns, unprepared, out of touch, and desperate. That they’re now apparently just going hostless entirely, while a potential fresh take on the ceremony, speaks to how thoroughly they flubbed this. The common wisdom is now that hosting the Oscars is a hellish experience absolutely no one would want to take on — wisdom that could, in turn, affect other awards shows.

Enter Oh and Samberg, an out-of-the-box pairing likely chosen based on how well they presented together during last year’s awards season. The general reaction to Samberg and Oh has been nothing short of ecstatic, and every bit of pre-show material we’ve gotten from them has only upped the expectations. This video, in particular, I’ve watched no fewer than 200 times:

So even without the Hart situation, Oh and Samberg would be walking into tonight with a lot of enthusiasm to live up to. But the added pressure comes from proving that, put simply, hosts for awards shows are still a good idea.

Luckily, these two have great chemistry, killer comic timing, and already have the media on their side. (Seriously, I haven’t seen such good press for awards show hosts since the halcyon days of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.) As long as they walk into tonight confident and ready to have fun, I think they’ll be — pardon the pun — golden.

Golden Globes 2019 Predictions: Who Will Win in the Film Categories?

How many Golden Globes will Lady Gaga have by tonight’s end?

Currently, she has one, from her work on FX’s American Horror Story: Hotel. She could have up to three after the Golden Globes this evening, being nominated for both Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama, and Best Original Song, Motion Picture. Will she complete the double play, walk away with just one win, or instead go home empty-handed?

Ahead of the awards tonight, let’s take a look at the film categories, and try to read the tea leaves on what will win big.

Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Crazy Rich Asians
The Favourite
Green Book
Mary Poppins Returns
Vice

Should Win: The Favourite, with a nod to the delightful Mary Poppins Returns.
Will Win: Vice heads into tonight with the most nominations of any movie, but I think the mixed critical response probably hurt it. Let’s go with the more generally well-liked Green Book.

Best Motion Picture, Drama
Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
If Beale Street Could Talk
A Star Is Born

Should Win: Black Panther or If Beale Street Could Talk
Will Win: Something in my heart tells me tonight is not going to be an A Star Is Born sweep. I’m gonna predict it to win here, but don’t be shocked if Bohemian Rhapsody wins instead.

Best Motion Picture, Animated
Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs

Mirai
Ralph Breaks the Internet 
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Should Win: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Will Win: Probably Incredibles 2.

Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language
Capernaum
Girl
Never Look Away
Roma
Shoplifters

Should Win: Shoplifters
Will Win: Roma, unless awards bodies are cooling on it after it tore through critics prizes season.
Thank God It Won’t Win: Girl

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
Glenn Close, The Wife
Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
Nicole Kidman, Destroyer
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me? 
Rosamund Pike, A Private War

Should Win: McCarthy
Will Win: The Globes love Gaga! Expect her to take this prize home easily.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate
Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman

Should Win: I’m not too hot on any of these performances, to be frank, but I’d probably give it to Cooper or Hedges.
Will Win: I think this is where Malek starts his sweep of the season.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns
Olivia Coleman, The Favourite
Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade
Charlize Theron, Tully
Constance Wu, Crazy Rich Asians

Should Win: Theron, but this is an incredible category. Literally every nominee would make for a great winner.
Will Win: Blunt, who the Globes have always loved more than the Oscars.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Christian Bale, Vice
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mary Poppins Returns
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book
Robert Redford, The Old Man and the Gun
John C. Reilly, Stan & Ollie

Should Win: Yikes, this category. (Admittedly, I haven’t seen Stan & Ollie, and I do hear Reilly is delightful in it.) I’d probably go Redford.
Will Win: Bale, in a walk.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Motion Picture
Amy Adams, Vice
Claire Foy, First Man
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

Should Win:  King, though Stone is aces in The Favourite (but absolutely a lead).
Will Win: Half of prediction is advocacy, so for that reason, I’m going to say King. Don’t be floored if it’s Adams, though.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Motion Picture
Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Timothée Chalamet, Beautiful Boy
Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell, Vice

Should Win: Grant
Will Win: Ali, since they snubbed him two years ago when he was winning for Moonlight everywhere else.

Best Director, Motion Picture
Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Peter Farrelly, Green Book
Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
Adam McKay, Vice

Should Win: Cuarón
Will Win: So I have a fear that, because they want to reward Malek in Actor, they’re going to reward Cooper here. And the Roma contingent is not going to take that well. But yeah, I think it’s Cooper.

Best Screenplay, Motion Picture
Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Tony McNamara, Deborah Davis, The Favourite
Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk
Adam McKay, Vice
Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Green Book

Should Win: The Favourite
Will Win: I think this is where they reward Vice.

Best Original Score, Motion Picture
Marco Beltrami, A Quiet Place
Alexandre Desplat, Isle of Dogs
Ludwig Goransson, Black Panther
Justin Hurwitz, First Man
Marc Shaiman, Mary Poppins Returns

Should Win: Hurwitz
Will Win: Shaiman? This is a tougher one.

Best Original Song, Motion Picture
“All the Stars,” Black Panther
“Girl in the Movies,” Dumplin’
“Requiem for a Private War,” A Private War
“Revelation,” Boy Erased
“Shallow,” A Star Is Born

Should Win: “Shallow”
Will Win: No matter what happens in Actress, count on Lady Gaga to walk out of the Beverly Hilton with at least one Golden Globe tonight. “Shallow” is the most certain win of the night.

Image via Getty

Tips on Getting Healthy for the New Year from Mina Gerges

In 2019, we are aiming to be healthy and in shape — and body positivity advocate Mina Gerges is here to help us out.

Gerges, a proud proponent of loving the skin that you’re in, joined INTO for a video to talk about how you can be happy and healthy in 2019. The goal isn’t to look like the Instagays that fill your Explore tab, but to get to a place where you really love your body.

“Let’s get to the point where thinking about our body isn’t the only thing that we do,” Gerges says. Amen to that!

In the video, Gerges shares tips for getting to a healthy place in the new year. Watch the full thing below.

Petroglyphs of the Green River

My cousin Haley wobbles out of our Winona canoe onto the muddy riverbank of the Green River as the tamarisk rustles in the hot wind.

We had spent the morning paddling the maze of Labyrinth Canyon as a part of a four day self-guided backcountry river journey that winds us from Ruby Ranch to our pick up at Mineral Bottom, nearly an hour and a half outside of Moab, Utah.

Utah

I waggle from the canoe, slipping in the mud that scoots below my Tevas. It is thick, river bottom sediment. I secure the stern of our canoe to a young cottonwood with a rope in a tight two half hitch and the bow to one of our 10 gallon water jugs for extra security. Our canoe is our lifeboat, we would be lost as a river running into an unknown sea if it were to catch the current and float away.

We snag our water bottles, a few snacks, and daypacks from the basin of the canoe and set off to explore one of the river’s remote side canyons in search of thousand year old petroglyphs we were told about by our outfitter, Kevin at Moab Rafting and Canoe Company.

The tamarisks are thick before us and smell like hay and honey. They stroke and tickle us as we ford through them on a little game trail (that I assume was cut by desert bighorn sheep.) It leads us into a separate dry canyon off Labyrinth Canyon — a canyon that once held the Green River within it, before its oxbow gave way and the river shortcut itself by miles.

In the clearing beyond the tamarisk, the canyon called Horseshoe stretches wide as taffy. Orange-red walls soar towards the cornflower blue sky. It is one of my favorite color contrasts — one imprinted in my mind when my eyes shut. It is a mood, it is a vibe, it is some serious Georgia O’Keeffe “Red Hills and Sky” (1945).

The greasebrush thickens, the faint trail narrows, and Haley kindly cuts me off, like she did when I came out to her one tequila heavy night in college, before she proceeded to steal the thunder and come out to me.

I say this in jest — we’ve been eminent in one another’s lives as we embarked on our own queer voyages — yes, through vastly different landscapes — but like the canyonlands of Utah and the LaSalle Mountains mountains above them, topography belonging to the same southwestern region.

She hikes ahead of me wearing her bikini top and pants and Chacos and a pair of very bro-y Oakley wrap-arounds with blue tints and a wide straw sunhat that keeps the sun off her face and lightly freckled shoulders. Her body is covered in the dirt of the canyon from all the swimming, from all the sleeping below the full moon on sandbars, from gusts of wind that have blown the little red particles onto her skin that stick like sand art. It is our third day of our canoe trip and we are dirty, happy, desert rats.

High noon blasts 100 degree sunshine onto the canyon floor as we wander further from the lush Green River. Cacti begin to punctuate the landscapes — mostly beavertail and claret cup — it is September, and the grasses are brown and gold and we fear the sun drying us up, too. We straight line for the thin yard-wide sliver of shade the canyon wall provides.

We mosey along the debris of fallen slabs and boulders in the shade where it is a full ten degrees cooler. Haley walks ahead of me and wistfully brushes a fallen boulder with her fingertips.

“Whoa,” she says.

“What?”

“Look.”

There, ten feet in front of us, is a gallery of petroglyphs.

The rock has blackened around the carved shapes, but they remain orange, reddish, and bright as ever. It is as if they were pressed onto the rock that very day. But they were not, they were etched on the rock face a thousand or more years ago by the Fremont people, a people predating the Utes, Navajo, and Paiutes who later called the region home.

On the walls of the Glen Canyon Group rock are an abundance of sheep — identified by their curly horns, much like the ones whose trails we followed from the river and led us to the gallery. Beside the sheep, there are deer with pointed antlers, there are little resilient coyotes, there are some animals we can’t fully make out, a zoomorph, as well as two or three human figures sprinkled throughout — a minority among the masses of fauna.

We as a society are used to seeing sites like this in museums, removed from their original homes. But here in the canyon far away from anything, they rest largely undisturbed. They are among the hundreds of thousands of pictographs (paintings) and petroglyphs (carvings) living, existing, and dancing on the geology of the Southwest.

Their common viewers are the white-throated swifts, golden eagles, and turkey vultures soaring in circles above them. There are no ropes or railings, no signs that read do not touch, no museum employee watching your every move telling you to wear your backpack in the front — these petroglyphs are over a thousand years old and lay completely exposed to the elements and rare common passerby. They make the U.S. Constitution look spry and puerile. Their age constellates respect and we do not touch.

Many times when we travel, explore, camp, and backpack we forget to acknowledge the land’s original residents — typically we don’t even know the history of the places we visit, even when it stares us in the face.

We ignore past traumas of landscapes and the peoples who lived there because they make us, as non-native Americans, Australians, Canadians, and every other nation guilty of colonialism uncomfortable. Most of the time, this history has been erased, moved, eradicated, and displaced to make way for whiteness and guiltless consciouses.

That’s one of the reasons the Southwest is so significant; in many ways it is a largely unprotected, unwatched museum with evidence of first peoples literally carved into the landscape. Petroglyphs on the Kayenta and pictographs painted on the Navajo Sandstone tell us stories and speak a poetry of existence.

This brings us to territory acknowledgement — a practice gaining popularity in many civic events (especially in Canada) to help undo the erasure of colonialism. A site, Native Land, defines the process, “Territory acknowledgement is a way that people insert an awareness of Indigenous presence and land rights in everyday life.”

The act to many is “a small but essential step toward reconciliation”.

Native Land helps users generally identify indigenous territories that they are traveling to or living upon by location of zip code so the territory can be properly acknowledged. If I type in my zip code in Los Angeles, it shows the territory of the Tongva.

And when I pinpoint our exact location of drop in on the Green River, it shows the Ute, though, after reading about the area, I also understand the area to also have reports belonging to the Diné and Paiutes. So, outloud on the banks of the Green, I acknowledged the canyon, the river, and the territory of the Utes, Diné, Paiutes and the many other ancestral peoples that came before them.

When I first heard of the practice — as a white,  cis, queer man — I felt that it wasn’t my place to perform land acknowledgments. That in an attempt to be respectful as I passed through the southwest and acknowledged the land that I would be seen as inauthentic and phony, that I would be stepping on toes and doing more harm than good.

It wasn’t until I read Chelsea Vowel’s  Beyond Territorial Acknowledgements that I began to understand the practice better. A part of the text reads,“[land acknowledgements] can be transformative acts that to some extent undo Indigenous erasure…The fact of Indigenous presence should force non-Indigenous peoples to confront their own place on these lands.”

The key words are to some extent. Land acknowledgments are just the beginning.

They are the bare minimum on the road toward a societal reconciliation that many believe will help combat the further erasure of the history of indigenous peoples. A land acknowledgment before a trip makes non-natives grapple with the past, their history and lineage and ancestors, and again, as Vowel wrote, “confront their own place on these lands.”

It makes us ask, what is the backpacker’s place? What is the queer nature lover’s place? What is the birdwatcher’s, the alpinist’s, the Instagramer’s, the ranch owner’s, or the road tripper’s place?  How can we address our privilege constructively and help one another in our common journey to true allegiance for our land, its history, and the preservation of it and of all the cultures that call it home?

This is something we often forgotten even in the outdoor community, even though we spend intimate time on these lands. Coming across petroglyphs and pictographs all over the southwest have always been mandatory land acknowledgments themselves to me — how could one not acknowledge and respect the people who once called this place I recreate in, home? How could I not feel but a small tresspasser? It is only now that I vocalize this acknowledgment and when writing, do all I can in telling the story of a place, beginning with its first peoples.

Unfortunately, little is being done by our federal government to protect the pictographs, petroglyphs, ruins, or territorial lands of North America’s indigenous people.

Before our trip through Labyrinth Canyon, I read about a man who scratched his and his wife’s initials (surrounded by a love heart) onto the iconic Corona Arch, outside of Moab, looting in Bears Ears National Monument, as well as over 374 reports of vandalism (this year alone) in nearby Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument that were logged on the app Terra Truth, which helps users show exact locations of vandalism, wreckage, illegal off-roading, and looting on public lands.

The increase in these comes along at the same time as the shrinking of many public lands (like Bear Ears and Grand Staircase) were authorized by the Trump Administration in December 2017, led by former Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, who resigned in December 2018 with over 17 active ethics investigations to his name.

He departed officially in January, 2nd, during the government shutdown, as understaffed national parks like Joshua Tree and Yosemite are being littered with human feces, trash, and vandalism, with no federal employees to look after basic facilities.

By shrinking many of Utah’s monuments, the Trump administration literally cleared the road for many new oil, gas, and coal leases to be purchased. Their greenlighting of these leases and shrinking of monuments has left more than a million of acres of Bears Ears (the monument was shrunk from 1.35 million acres to 201,876 acres) exposed and without protection. Take for instance,  the illustrious petroglyphs in Moqui Canyon, the cliff dwellings in the Dark Canyon Wilderness, or the grand Cedar Mesa (which is said to contain 56,000 archealogical sites, some of which date back to the Clovis people who lived in the area over 12,000 years ago), as well as many other culturally significant sites.

Next to the petroglyphs Haley and I came across in Labyrinth, not far from Bears Ears, were the markings of 20th century visitors J.A. Ross, Ella E.V. Ross, Bennie J. Ross (1903), and Noel Jackson (1927). Beside these were seemingly recent carvings left other canoe trippers thinking they could leave their own mark beside the petroglyphs, in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but the tamarisk watching.

There was even another damn love heart scratched into the wall as well as a couple of other chaotic cat scratches for no purpose at all but recklessness.

This kind of vandalism on our public lands, especially in Four Corners region of our country with rich indigenous significance, history, and archaeological evidence show the Trump Administration’s aggressive disrespect and harm towards our indigenous peoples and our environment. It shows the administration’s 21rst century brand of colonialism (and white nationalism?) that continues to erase the proof of indigenous territories (and existence) from these landscapes.

The vandalism, selling, and mismanagement of our public lands also potentially erases the documentation of all historic queerness in the region. As I wrote about in “A Queer Ode For Bears Ears National Monument,” “Connell O’Donovan, an administrator at UC Santa Cruz and a writer focusing on queer Mormon history, found a petroglyph twenty years ago while living in Moab. He describes the petroglyph as “two men with erections reaching out to embrace each other; it dates to circa 800 CE.”

This is just one known instance of the documentation of what he categorizes through a queer lense as a possibility of queer archaeology. There is very little written on the subject. Perhaps, there are even more queer petroglyphs and pictographs to be discovered in the vast landscapes of the Southwest. How can we know if we sell culturally significant land to leasers? Shouldn’t we want to preserve the history the human race, no matter what we look/ed like, where we live/d, or who we love/d?

If vandalism and destruction of our public lands continue, there will be erasure to all of our histories. This is why it is important to know what land we are on, acknowledge exactly who we are, and follow the guidelines of leave no trace as we respectfully travel on land that was taken from indigenous territories.

How will we ever reconcile and unite if we erase each other, forget who we are, and dismiss all the terror and wonder we’ve ever done?

Where Do the ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4’ Queens Stand at Top 6?

Welcome to Drag Race Power Rankings! Every Saturday, we’ll debrief the previous night’s new episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 to determine which queens are riding high, and which need she-mergency care. This week, we;’re drying our tears and saying goodbye to season 4 legend Latrice Royale, and checking in with the rest of the top 6.

7. Latrice Royale – ELIMINATED (last week: 7)

Latrice Royale

This blows. Latrice was the worst of the week, no doubt, but watching an icon like her go out in 7th feels like shit. I do think, of all the eliminees so far, she’s the likeliest to win her way back in the midway-point redemption challenge. She just needs someone she can beat to go home next week.

6. Monét X Change (last week: 5)

Yikes. Monét is just not popping in All Stars 4. Her win back in episode 2 was all but erased by the edit, and she’s been underwhelming in every other episode. She fell into the bottom two for the first time this week, and weakly defended her chance to stay against the emotional Hail Mary coming from Latrice. She’s lucky her best friend won the lip sync, else she was going home this week. That said, she does look good in the upcoming roast challenge, so maybe her fortunes are about to change.

5. Naomi Smalls (last week: 3)

Naomi’s always-the-bridesmaid streak had to end sometime, but color me shocked that it ended because she fell out of the top. I figured she was going to win sooner versus later, yet here we are. Halfway through the season and she’s the only queen left without a win. She needs to pull one out fast, because combined with her relatively slim story value, there’s not a ton keeping Naomi in at this point.

4. Valentina (last week: 4)

Valentina drink

I said this in my recap, but I sincerely would not be shocked if Valentina actually goes out the door next. Her edit has suddenly turned negative, after weeks of nothing but glow and admiration. Plus, she ran through basically her entire redemption arc in episode 2. I don’t think there’s a viable path to a win left for Valentina, though I’m excited for her to prove me wrong.

3. Monique Heart (last week: 6)

I am, as a general rule, cooler on Monique than most. Her runways almost never work for me, and her confessionals, while loaded with charisma, also skew too catchphrase-heavy for me. But Monique’s performance in the challenge absolutely killed me. She was hilarious, from yelling “objectify!” instead of “objection!” to bantering effectively with Michelle Visage. I wish she hadn’t gone back to the brown cow well on the runway, but hey, it didn’t bother the judges. I’m starting to think that Monique may actually outlast Monét — unless the latter can really pull out the stops in the next week or two.

2. Trinity the Tuck (last week: 1)

Trinity the Tuck

I loathed Trinity’s attitude this week, but also was mostly underwhelmed by her challenge performance. Her runway keeps her from falling too far down the list, plus the fact that she still hasn’t hit the bottom two. At this point, I think Trinity is playing an excellent game for getting to the finale, but maybe needs to start making a case for herself as the actual winner. All Stars seasons are short; you don’t have all the time in the world to play around.

1. Manila Luzon (last week: 2)

 

It’s funny; despite her wins, I still don’t think Manila is very good at the challenges. I’d have slotted her third at best this week, behind Monique and Valentina. But almost everything else about her is winning me over. Though she got a bit melodramatic about it, her devotion to Latrice is beautiful. My heart twisted seeing her cry upon losing the lip sync. And even though she didn’t quite nail the prompt on the runway, she still looked super cute. Slowly but surely, I’m warming up to the season 3 fashionista. At this point, I wouldn’t mind seeing her take her spot in the Drag Race Hall of Fame.

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4’ Recap: The Fourth Cut Is the Deepest

I said last week that the top seven queens on RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 were so unbelievably evenly matched, every cut from here on out would be tough. I just couldn’t imagine exactly how brutal this first one would be.

This episode was a tough one, with relatively little fun to go around and a lot of heavy hearts. I don’t think it bodes poorly for the rest of the season, but it is the first All Stars 4 episode to disappoint me — and I’m not even talking about the eliminated queen yet.

MIchelle Visage

This week, RuPaul challenges the queens to compete in a Judge Judy-style improv challenge, Jersey Justice, aptly titled for its lead character, Judge Michelle Visage. The challenge is a complex one: create a cartoonish Jerseyite in look and voice, execute the actual story of the case in pairs (or in one case, as a trio), and make it all funny. Simple, right? Heh.

Somewhat surprisingly, Manila Luzon and Latrice Royale don’t team up for this challenge, with Latrice instead joining the ultra-close Monique Heart/Monét X Change duo and Manila pairing with the free agent of the season, Naomi Smalls. Though this isn’t a paired season like All Stars 1, Team Latrila has been close in spirit and energy, so I’d have expected them to work as a team. You have to imagine Latrice regrets her choice when Monique and Monét immediately start riffing, leaving Latrice all but cut out of their dynamic.

Each team gets a different legal scenario: a suit over a cake, a suit over a celebrity impersonator, and a suit over a botched makeover job. I like these improv challenges — including The Bitchelor in All Stars 3 and Bossy Rossy in season 10 — because they’re faithful to the core spirit of Drag Race. The most interesting thing about Drag Race as a competition has always been the sheer scope of skills that it requires. You can’t just be a fashionista. You can’t just be a comedian. You can’t just be an actor, a singer, a makeup artist, a writer. You have to be everything. The improv challenges adequately test for a wide range of skills. If you can’t make it here, you can’t make it anywhere.

Appropriately enough, everyone fucks up somewhere this week, even when their performance is otherwise stellar. Winners Manila and Monique are both very funny in the challenge, riffing with Michelle particularly well, but Manila’s curves and swerves runway look underwhelms and doesn’t quite nail the prompt. Monique gets major praise for her runway look, which, yes, is structurally impressive. But it’s yet another brown cow look, no matter how stunning it may be. And her voice in the challenge is irritatingly shrill, which Michelle does note (though ultimately doesn’t care).

Valentina seemingly comes in third, if my interpretation of judge impressions is correct. She absolutely slays the main challenge as “the OG Snooki,” nailing both the character and the comedy. Judging solely based on the challenge, I’d have placed her in the top with Monique. However, she goes a little too high-concept for the runway, serving a deconstructed look that’s more interesting in concept than execution. (It also doesn’t quite fit the runway prompt for the week.) Guest judge Erica Ash rips into the look with a sharp “I don’t get it,” which inspires some, ahem, strong words from Valentina. More on those in a bit.

In a break from how she’s been doing so far, Trinity the Tuck, Not the Taylor mostly fails to impress. She teams up with Valentina, keeping the season 9 alliance together, but for the first time is fully outshone by her sister. Trinity actually forgets her character’s name at the start of their scene (a truly awkward moment) and otherwise essentially plays straight woman for Valentina. Her runway is incredibly strong, though, with one of the best wigs I’ve ever seen on Drag Race. That seems to keep her firmly in the safe group, where Naomi joins her after receiving her first real criticisms of the season. She couldn’t quite keep up with Manila in the scene, and a strong ’50s housewife look on the runway doesn’t help her. That said, I did love Naomi’s season 2 shout-out: Her Nicole Paige Brooks impression while yelling “cherry pie” is flawless.

That leaves Latrice and Monét in the bottom two. Neither Latrice’s elegant runway nor Monét’s Kim Kardashian-allusion look can save them from being utterly flattened by Monique in the challenge. The one who clearly belongs in the bottom is Latrice; Monét isn’t great in the challenge, but I might’ve put Trinity in the bottom instead. Nonetheless, this is the bottom two we get, and it feels like a goddamn funeral the second Ru announces they’re up for elimination.

Latrice is a beloved icon, and the idea of her even possibly going home makes the air in the room thicken like soup. She monologues emotionally about spending 25 years doing drag, and expresses dismay that she’s not able to fulfill a “prophecy” for herself on Drag Race. Back in season 4, it was almost universally understood that Latrice was cheated out of the top three in favor of season villain Phi Phi O’Hara — never mind that Phi Phi did legitimately beat Latrice out in the final challenge, and Chad Michaels out-lipsynced Latrice at the last second. It was a robbery in fans’ minds, as was hers and Manila’s loss on All Stars 1.

Something about this has clearly taken hold in Latrice’s mind. She believes she deserves this crown, even if her performance record so far hasn’t indicated that to be true. This separation between expectation and reality makes deliberations a nightmare. Manila is absolutely devastated by the idea of Latrice going home, throwing herself onto her best friend while sobbing and pledging to keep her safe in the lip sync. Monique is wrecked, clearly wanting to keep Monét, but worrying about the implications of sending Latrice home. She knows how much fans love Latrice, because she is one of those fans. She even outright states how much Latrice means to black queers and queens in particular — something that’s unmistakably true, but rarely stated on the show itself.

Trinity, meanwhile, has no problem saying Latrice deserves to go home. And honestly? It’s a bad look! In fact, Trinity comes off as kind of an ass all episode. She all but lectures Manila for even considering sending Valentina home at the start of the episode. Later, when Valentina indicates she’d have a hard time saving Trinity over Latrice if they were the bottom two, she gives a dramatic confessional that feels either faked or just plain whiny. Then, she moans about “morals” when Manila and Monique weigh whether or not to save Latrice. It’s all quite obnoxious, like the best student in the class protesting about the rules when the kids she sees as below her don’t act the way she wants them to. No one likes that kid, Trinity.

What’s especially perplexing is that Trinity clearly doesn’t mind being cutthroat — she’ll eliminate beloved legend Latrice if she has to — but only likes her form of being cutthroat. Eliminating a strong competitor? That’s immoral to Trinity. In Big Brother, which this season reminds me of more than any other Drag Race season, they call someone like Trinity a “game bot.” She’s too fixated on her own game and can’t see outside of it. It’s likely going to take her very far in this season, but will also likely make her unpleasant to watch if she keeps the unpleasantness up.

The season 9 girls both behave strangely this week. After she gets some criticism for her runway look, Valentina throws what seems like a joking fit about it during deliberations. It seems too exaggerated to be honest, but also not funny enough to be a very good joke. Worse, she chooses to unleash right after Latrice and Monét emotionally plead to be kept in the competition. Monique rolls her eyes and all but tells Valentina to calm down. To quote Trixie Mattel, “That’s a lot of emotion for safe.”

It illustrates the main problem I still have with Valentina, who has otherwise been such a delight this season: She’s still not behaving like a human being. It’s clear she had a plan to be funny and have a diva moment this week, but couldn’t read the room and realize it would play horribly in the emotional moment. For better or worse, Drag Race is won by those who can, at least once or twice, let their guard down and be themselves. We’re not getting that from Valentina right now. I remain skeptical about whether she can actually go all the way in All Stars 4.

Ultimately, all the hissy fits in the world can’t distract from the ultimate choice: Latrice or Monét? Manila, like Trinity last week, makes her intentions known (“After all these years, I am still Team Latrila”), while Monique holds her cards closer to chest. After an evenly matched (and, admittedly, somewhat low-energy) lip sync to Tina Turner’s cover of “The Bitch Is Back,” Monique wins. Does she win mostly because there’s no narrative tension to Manila winning? Perhaps. Does she win because she keeps her hair on for the first time? Also perhaps! Regardless, win she does, and through tears, she eliminates Latrice.

Latrice Royale is, next to Alyssa Edwards, my all-time favorite Drag Race queen. She is a living legend. Her final speech to RuPaul on the runway in season 4 ranks among the best moments in Drag Race herstory. It sucks to see her go home in 7th place. But I cannot deny that she was the worst in the challenge, and didn’t stun on the runway. Her going home is an entirely fair call. That doesn’t mean it can’t feel like shit, because it does. But Monique made the right decision.

One can only hope that Latrice will find her way back into the competition during whatever inevitable comeback challenge is on the horizon. All Stars 4 should be a chance for every queen to prove they’re sickening — even if it takes a little bit longer than we expected.

Drying our tears with some final thoughts:

• I’ve alluded to it in this and other recaps, but it intrigues me that, despite this not being a teams season, our remaining queens have mostly settled into pairs. Monique and Monét are united, as are Valentina and Trinity (though I wouldn’t put it past Valentina to eliminate Trinity if she gets the chance). With Latrice gone, and Naomi unaffiliated, I wonder if the two fashion queens will team up moving forward. They could each use an ally right now.

• Record check-in: Manila and Trinity each have two challenge wins, with one lip sync win each, and neither has hit the bottom two. Monique has two challenge wins and one lip sync win as well, but hit the bottom two once. Valentina won one challenge and one lip sync. Monét X Change also won one challenge, but has not won a lip sync. Both have hit the bottom two once. Naomi, queen of safe, has never won, nor hit the bottom two. My guess is she does not stay safe for another week — either for good or for ill.

• Manila bowing to Trinity’s dominance during Snatch Game, but insisting that she’ll still be listed as the winner of the episode on Wikipedia, is delightfully nerdy.

• The main stage critiques are edited strangely this week, with a ton of shady noises thrown in even when the judges give positive feedback. Monique’s entire critique sounds like the judges are trashing her simply because the sounds are wrong.

• Love Monique, but I can no longer defend her getting praised for brown cow callbacks when Monét got trashed for doing sponge callbacks. It’s an absurdly unequal standard.

• Strange that the show specifically uses the Tina Turner cover of “The Bitch Is Back” for the lip sync while emphasizing that it’s originally an Elton John song, no? While most Lip Sync for Your Life/Legacy songs are by women, there have been plenty of songs with at least some male vocals: “Love Shack,” “Macho Man,” “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real),” every RuPaul song, etc. Might’ve been a rights issue, though considering Elton John himself appears in a pretaped message to say “don’t fuck it up,” I doubt that.

• I don’t care how fake-mad she was, Valentina calling MadTV alum Erica Ash “that judge with the bun” is disrespectful. That entire staged hissy fit was so ill-advised. And Val’s been so charming and enjoyable so far!

• Even though Stacy Layne Matthews’ cameo shots as the court reporter were clearly not shot on the Jersey Justice set, I still like seeing her pop up with reactions. More Henny!

• Speaking of: While I don’t entirely agree with her critique of Valentina’s look, Erica Ash is otherwise a good guest judge this week. She gives insightful notes and appropriately drags Trinity for blaming her reserved performance on trying to make room for Valentina. Zoe Kravitz is a good bit quieter as a judge, but still gets some good notes in. (Perennial reminder that Jenifer Lewis remains the best guest judge of the season.)

• Best guess for the next queen out the door: Monét. Could be Naomi if she doesn’t get a win soon. Although the person I’d maybe be the least surprised to see go next? Valentina.

The next episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 will air Friday, Jan. 11, at 8 p.m. Eastern on VH1.