‘Drag Race’ Finale & Trailblazer Honors on VH1, Sports Doc ‘Alone in the Game,’ a ‘CMT Crossroads’ Crossover
A selective critical checklist of notable Thursday TV:
RuPaul’s Drag Race (8/7c, VH1): Life is anything but a drag on this most flamboyant and grandly entertaining of reality competitions. The finale of the milestone 10th season pits the final four in one last spectacular drag-off, and odds favor Brooklyn’s Aquaria—who has yet to lip-sync for her life—to strut away as winner.
This is followed by the annual VH1 Trailblazer Honors (9:30/8:30c, also on Logo) ceremony, celebrating diversity and social justice, with honorees including power producer Ryan Murphy, whose latest triumphs include Pose on FX and Broadway’s Boys in the Band revival, plus James Baldwin, the ACLU and social activists Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin (the parents of Florida shooting victim Trayvon Martin).
Alone in the Game (8/7c, Audience Network): This feature-length documentary examines the challenges still facing LGBTQ athletes on the pro, collegiate and Olympic levels. Featured prominently in the special is out soccer star Robbie Rogers, formerly of the MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy (and husband of mega-producer Greg Berlanti), who laments that his coming out in 2013 didn’t spark a trend among other pro athletes. (Of 4,696 pro athletes in America, none are openly gay.) An SEC player does come out on camera, while a Divison 1 player protects his identity—not from shame, but from fear of how his teammates and coach would react.
CMT Crossroads (10/9c, CMT): The latest crossover concert from this musical series pairs country singer-songwriter Luke Combs with Grammy-nominated R&B star Leon Bridges, filmed earlier this month in an outdoor venue on the corner of 5th and Broadway in downtown Nashville. Speaking of which, this special follows a new episode of the final season of Nashville (9/8c), during which Deacon (Charles Esten) receives an unwelcome visitor: his abusive father, played by Ronny Cox, who’s a seasoned musician himself. (Remember Deliverance and “Dueling Banjos?”)
Inside Thursday’s TV: On Freeform’s Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger (8/7c), Tyrone (Aubrey Joseph) puts his Cloak superpowers aside long enough to play in the basketball state finals, while Tandy/Dagger (Olivia Holt) tests her own powers to get new insights into the Roxxon cover-up. … Emmy winner Regina Hall (American Crime) lightens up as one of the guest judges on ABC’s The Gong Show (8/7c), where the acts include a human hamster inside a giant wheel. Because, why not? … The workplace steps aside for a Duvet family reunion on Comedy Central’s Detroiters (10:30/9:30c), with Sam (Sam Richardson) taking charge as grill master. With these doofuses, very little is actually well done, so there’s reason to be concerned.