I’m a little nervous for tonight’s RuPaul’s Drag Race. I really like all of the queens left and I can’t imagine any of them getting eliminated. But it’s time to bite the bullet and face the music. The show must go on. As usual, we start out with the girls reacting to last week’s elimination. Seeing Naysha Lopez sashay away makes them realize that no one is safe. They read her message on the mirror: “Dear Ladies + Monsters. It was a pleasure meeting you all! Play the cards you are dealt + Turn DA PARTY! P.S. 1 <3 U Layla (sic) xoxo! The Beauty! Naysha Lopez <3” While everyone else is moved by the reality (and finality) of elimination, Cynthia Lee Fontaine genuinely mourns her friend Naysha’s departure. After lip-syncing against Naysha, Laila McQueen realizes that she needs to step it up and bring out her true personality. I mean, c’mon girl. I thought you might be the dark horse of the competition and you’re hiding your flame under a bushel. Set it free!
Naomi’s Smalls confronts Laila about throwing her under the bus on the runway. But Naomi isn’t bitter. As she points out, “I don’t blame Laila for being salty about being in the bottom two… Everyone wants to be the star not the entourage. And right now Laila’s just giving entourage.” The girls agree that Naysha was the prettiest in the competition. Bob stirs the pot by asking who’s the next prettiest. Thorgy Thor quips that Britney THINKS she is. When Derrick Barry asks why she can’t KNOW she is, Acid Betty snaps back, “…’cause Naomi’s in the room.” Gentleladies, we have a real race on our hands.
RuPaul’s “she done already done had herses” message is all about singing and music. Thorgy Thor gets excited. As a classically trained musician who supports her drag by playing cello and violin in orchestras, Thorgy is hoping for a music competition. RuPaul is wearing another ridiculous over-sized hat. I guess this is the look for the season. The mini-challenge is a latin style dance-off. Cynthia Lee Fontaine knows this is in her wheelhouse. I’m confused why they would focus on such a specific style but then the fog clears: RuPaul collaborated on a song called “Cha Cha Bitch.” Oh, Ru, you are the queen of self promotion. The pit crew brings out “latin” outfits and accessories and the girls have a few moments to get into “quick drag.” They each take a turn in the center of the circle. Acid Betty camps it up. Derrick Barry does drugged-up Britney doing cha cha (allegedly). In other words, she’s a mess. As expected, Cynthia is great. She shakes her cucu with gusto. Bob the Drag Queen does Rizzo from Grease. It’s not quite what they asked for but Bob cracks me up. Naomi Smalls falls out of her shoe as she’s doing a death drop. Luckily she didn’t break anything. Chi Chi Devayne does a pretty standard Cha Cha until she lifts her leg over her head, holds it and then goes straight into a death drop. Sickening! Kim Chi does some kind of rhythmic gymnastics performance minus the rhythmic and minus the gymnastics. Girl can’t dance. At all. As Bob explains, “Kim Chi has two left feet and vertigo.” Thorgy Thor is a possessed Frida Kahlo that makes RuPaul cackle. Not surprisingly, the winners are Cynthia and Chi Chi.
The maxi-challenge is to lip-sync and dance in the dragapella movie “Bitch Perfect” (a play on Pitch Perfect in case that wasn’t obvious enough). Kim Chi is scared of choreography. She should be. Luckily they’ll be supplied with music and a choreographer. Cynthia Lee Fontaine is the leader of Team Lady Bitches, the sweethearts of the Lacefront Institute of Technology. Chi Chi Devayne is in charge of Team Shady Bitches, the bad girls from the Lake Titicaca Academy of Braids, Weaves and Waffles. Cynthia gets to pick first and she chooses Bob the Drag Queen, followed by Derrick Barry, Laila McQueen and Robbie Turner. The team Chi Chi chooses is Acid Betty, Thorgy Thor and Dax Exclamationpoint. They get down to the final two girls. Chi Chi takes Naomi Smalls and sends Kim Chi to Cynthia. Kim knows she can’t dance but it probably still stings. “That’s okay,” she justifies. “I wouldn’t want me either.”
Chi Chi Devayne knows being a team leader is a lot of pressure but she feels confident she can handle it. Until Acid Betty starts acting up, that is. Chi Chi wants to focus on learning parts but Betty is adamant they need to create choreography. She won’t let it go and she’s being a real bitch about it. “I’ve known Betty for like ten years,” Thorgy Thor explains. “And sometimes, because Betty is so artistic, she gets away with being a fucking asshole.” Man, Chi Chi can’t get through anything without Betty causing problems or stirring the pot. Chi Chi is just barely holding it together and the rest of her team is feeling the tension. It’s going to be a long day. Finally Thorgy loses it in her talking head. “Acid Betty is an asshole and she knows it. And she loves it. And that’s why she doesn’t work in New York. She’s so demanding and mean to everyone that nobody wants to work with her. You’re going to be shamed, you’re going to be put down. So Chi Chi, good luck.” As if that isn’t bad enough, Dax Exclamationpoint is struggling with the choreography. Chi Chi is so worn out from Betty’s shenanigans that she doesn’t have patience for Dax. Then Thorgy tries to add some comedy but Chi Chi vetoes it. Thorgy says okay to her face but lets us know that she’s going to do it in the performance anyway. When Betty starts lecturing her team (again) Chi Chi can’t control her face any longer. “You’re looking at me like I’m Charlie Brown’s teacher,” Betty complains. “Wah wah wah wah wah.” Chi Chi is over it, officially. She even admits to RuPaul that she’s having a hard time with some of the “big personalities” in her group. She doesn’t mention Acid Betty specifically but you can tell Betty just added Chi Chi to her list. Drama!
Team Lady Bitches work together much better than their cohorts. Bob the Drag Queen starts passing out roles: Kim Chi will be the geek, Derrick Barry will be the Regina George of the group. Robbie Turner adds that Laila McQueen should be Derrick’s adoring little sister. Derrick quips, “Oh, Laila’s my impersonator”which bums Laila out. She knows she has to stand out and fears copying Derrick will impede that. I think it’s all in how you play it. The copycat could be a hysterical role. Hopefully Laila will work it out. She has a lot of talent. She just needs to use it. RuPaul asks Kim Chi if she’s a lip-sync artist. She is concerned that when she lip-syncs her lisp comes out. “I’m not mad at a lisp,” RuPaul assures her. “In fact I’m partial to a lisp. My empire was built on a lisp.” Moving on to Laila, Ru asks if she knows why she was in the bottom two. Laila acknowledges that her photo was lackluster. She makes the same promise that Ru has heard every season: this time I’m going to bring it. Let’s hope she does.
Cynthia Lee Fontaine’s team meets with choreographer Jamal Sims. He’s not too impressed with what they created. Kim Chi is struggling from the beginning. She can’t even do a step, touch, step, touch. Laila is also having problems because she’s overwhelmed with trying to stand out. Kim Chi looks miserable. I just want to jump into my tv and hug her. And then she falls. Jamal asks if she still wants to do it in heels and she tells him, “100%.” She is fighting through this like a champion. If this dance gets her eliminated I’m going to lose it. Her team knows she can’t dance so they encourage her to create a comedic character that also can’t dance. As they sang in Singing in the Rain, make ‘em laugh. Jamal Sims is much more impressed with Team Shady Bitches’ choreography. Acid Betty takes total credit, of course. Dax Exclamationpoint continues to struggle. She is too much in her head and it shows. She’s already thinking about being eliminated. Thorgy Thor does her comedy bit and Jamal loves it. Chi Chi Devayne is a phenomenal dancer but she’s concerned that she’ll have to lip-sync if the team loses. “They’re going to say the team captain should have everyone at her level.” Thorgy reassures her that she’ll stand up for her on the runway. Acid Betty clearly won’t.
As the girls paint for their performance, Kim Chi talks about being the “weird, fat art kid who had a strong lisp and a strong accent.” She lost weight three and a half years ago but knows the fat kid is still inside her. “It never goes away.” Acid Betty pulls out childhood photos to show Kim she was fat too. Dax Exclamationpoint was heavy too. “And I was always aware of it too because other people made it very apparent… Not only are you super gay but you’re chubby.” Dax feels like drag finally gave her the power to feel confident and strong. #TheMoreYouKnow. Kim hasn’t gotten there yet. Bob the Drag Queen asks her if people started hitting on her when she lost the weight. “I’m still a virgin so no.” Acid Betty freaks. It’s awkward until she explains that she hit on Kim when she first met her. Bob hypothesizes that people are attracted to Kim but she just doesn’t realize. Kim isn’t sure but Betty is. “I was (hitting on her) hard,” she confirms to Bob. Bob explains, “I don’t think Kim Chi knows what she looks like. She’s still a virgin because she’s not aware that she’s like a good looking six foot four man. You gotta own that.”
As always, Michelle Visage is sitting on the judging panel but both Ross Matthews and Carson Kressley are missing. Their spots are filled by guest judges Lucian Piane (who wrote and arranged Bitch Perfect), choreographer Jamal Sims and Ester Dean (who, in addition to being a singer/songwriter, appeared in Pitch Perfect).
First we get to see Bitch Please: the story of two rival dragapella groups competing in an underground sing-off. The Lady Bitches wear blonde wigs, matching cardigans and bobby socks while the Shady Bitches are in leather and shorty shorts. Derrick Barry looks like Britney in Baby One More Time (sigh). Kim Chi totally geeked out. And Thorgy Thor is sporting her dreadlocks (no wig). It’s hard to tell who is who on the Lady Bitches because of their similar wigs. Kim Chi is pulling off her character and her bad dancing isn’t distracting. Cynthia Lee Fontaine, on the other hand, is having a hard time. I didn’t expect that. Laila McQueen is playing a basic bitch but she’s just coming across as basic. And then they do a shout out to Mary Katherine Gallagher while singing Superstar! They get points for that one. The Shady Bitches have better choreography and more energy. Acid Betty is really good. Dax Exclamationpoint is just okay and on a stellar team that is dangerous. I’m living for Thorgy. We’re finally seeing the personality of boy Thorgy come out in her drag. And then Chi Chi does a handstand and continues to do the bad girl neck roll. Amazing! Finally both teams realize it’s silly to battle each other. “Aren’t we all just mens in wigs?” Betty asks. They sing and dance a RuPaul mash-up together. Cynthia does a high kick and her shoe goes flying through the air. The consummate professional, she finishes continues to dance in one heel. RuPaul is impressed.
The runway theme is Movie Premiere Realness. Cynthia Lee Fontaine thinks she looks like “Roselyn Sanchez and Sofia Vergara have a baby” but the judges think she looks like Valerie Harper. Bob the Drag Queen wears a stunning black dress. Now, that’s how you do a sheer skirt! Derrick Barry looks like Britney with red hair (sorry but it’s true). Laila McQueen is in green sequins that makes her look heavier than she is. Robbie Turner is very proud of her Vera Wang wedding gown dyed bright red. She pulls off classic Hollywood starlet for sure. Kim Chi wears a pale pink gown covered in cherry blossoms. RuPaul calls her “Anime West.” Chi Chi Devayne does her pageant walk in a red sequin gown. Most people would probably call it plain but I love it. Naomi Smalls is living her 90’s model fantasy in a dress slit to her stomach so all we see are those legs. Acid Betty is in a flesh colored gown that is nude illusion in the thighs but then has a big bottom tier of fabric. She’s also wearing a “Philip Treacy wannabe hat” that is basically a fan of spikes worn on one side of her head. It’s an unusual yet stunning piece. Dax Exclamationpoint calls her look “Lady sings the green and gold blues” because of the big white gardenia in her hair but I think she looks more like Bettie Page in a homemade dress. Thorgy Thor breaks all the rules by wearing a sequined jumpsuit and big hair. She looks like she’s going to Studio 54 after the premiere. RuPaul calls her “the drag daughter of a Solid Gold dancer.”
Top queens: Kim Chi, Chi Chi Devayne, Acid Betty and Thorgy Thor.
Bottom queens: Kim Chi, Laila McQueen and Dax Exclamationpoint.
LIP-SYNC FOR YOUR LIFE
The queens up for elimination are Laila McQueen and Dax Exclamationpoint. They perform I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor. Rupaul explains, “If you’re ever going to lip-sync a song, this is the song to do.”
Laila McQueen starts out a bit theatrical while Dax Exclamationpoint is treating it like a Billie Holiday song. Laila goes angry but Dax is tapping into the emotions better. Neither of them have much energy. It takes a while before they start moving around the stage. Jamal Sims is grooving harder at the judging table more than the performers are. It’s not Vivienne Pinay vs Honey Mahogany flat but no one is knocking my socks off either. Finally Laila rips her dress off. Luckily she’s wearing appropriate undergarments (ie: female) but Ru doesn’t look happy. Dax pulls off her underskirt and starts swinging it around. Michelle Visage looks pissed. RuPaul tells both Laila McQueen and Dax Exclamationpoint to sashay away! It’s only the second time in the history of RuPaul’s Drag Race that both girls have been eliminated. They are crushed.
RuPaul isn’t done, though. She asks Michelle Visage for her phone. She calls someone and says, “Hi. It’s RuPaul. Listen, I had to eliminate two queens today. How soon can you get here?” Shocker! RuPaul, you shady bitch. You certainly know how to craft a story.
Don’t forget to watch Untucked, right here at Tamara Tattles:
Next week: Someone is coming. Or someone is coming back. Who could it be? And the girls are asked to overact in RuCo’s Empire. Bring on the Cookie!