By Lady Cocotte
RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Ru Hollywood Stories
As the girls head into the workroom, things feel different. For the first time in several episodes, no one was shocked at who went home. They read Mrs Kasha Davis’ goodbye message (“Love to the moon and back, MKD”) and Kandy shares an interesting theory. “I’m starting to feel that they’re putting me on the bottom to, like, so I could just take out the other girls.” Violet Chachki gives her the side eye for all of us. What would reality tv be without delusion? They talk about who won DESPY awards. They all make jokes about Violet winning the “Shadiest Shade” award. She’s over it. “I just want you guys to know, I’m going to be working on the way I come across.” Pearl leans over and mutters, “I won’t hold my breathe.” Shade on shade. Congrats go out to Max and Pearl for their win. Miss Fame looks like she’s ready to jump over the table and strangle Pearl. “I was not expecting Pearl to pull thru that strong,” Miss Fame explains in her talking head. “The energy is so toxic…I don’t even want it near me.”
As the girls wait for RuPaul’s “she done already done had herses” message, they start to talk about sex. Max literally removes herself from the conversation. “These girls, they’re all so vulgar. I mean, they’re all very… sexual.” You can practically feel how uncomfortable she is. There must be a back story to this. Even the other Queens notice it. “Max wasn’t having it, dahling,” Violet Chachki drawls. “It’s, like, girl, calm down.”
RuPaul lets the girls know that America’s Next Drag Superstar has to stay calm no matter what pops up. “Oh, pit crew!” The boys enter the workroom and they just keep coming. The pit crew have added to their numbers for this challenge. They’re all wearing hats along with their undies. The hats have different names on them like: Pete, Mary, Papi, etc. “I’m taking in the buffet right now,” Ginger Minj says. “Every size and color. It’s like Epcot for the thirsty bitches.” Miss Fame pretends to take off her wedding ring. Max looks miserable.
The mini-challenge is a game called Monster in Your Pants. It’s a pretty stupid game but it allows the girls ogle some man-meat. One by one, the girls pick pit crew members to show them the card they have in their pants. Most cards have number values but one card is the monster card. The goal is to get enough number cards that you end up with the highest number in the room. But you must freeze your number (ie: stop playing) before you pull the monster card or you lose all of your points. Make sense? I warned you it was lame. I have a better game for situations like this: blur your vision and it’s all just a jumble of pretty colors. Much better…
One at a time, the girls play Monster in Your Pants. They’re having more fun than we are. Everyone keeps getting the monster card pretty quickly. It’s Katya’s turn. “I have no idea what the rules of this game are. I don’t care what they are. When do I get to b*** them?” And she gets the monster card on her first try. Finally Ginger Minj actually gets some points. She’s the only one to make it past two tries. She decides to freeze with a score of 24. Not only is it the highest score, it’s the only score. Ginger Minj wins! At least the underwear company got some good exposure for their sponsorship.
For the maxie-challenge, the girls will perform in the reenactment series #RuHollywoodStories. This week’s episode is “What Ever Happened to Merle Ginsberg?” Merle Ginsberg was the original judge for the first 2 seasons of RPDR (back when the judges panel was shot super blurry to soften Ru’s edges). On season 3 she was replaced by RuPaul’s best friend Michelle Visage and, until now, has only been mentioned on the show as a punchline. I’m pretty surprised to see her back. She obviously has a good sense of humor. For this challenge, the girls will recreate 3 different versions what happened when Merle was replaced by Michelle: Merle’s version, Michelle’s version and RuPaul’s version. This should be fun.
As the mini-challenge winner, Ginger Minj is able to pick her team. She selects Kennedy Davenport and Katya. She also gets to assign the other 2 groups. The other girls aren’t very happy about that. Ginger puts Max, Violet Chachki and Kandy Ho on a team together. Max sees what Ginger is up to. “I think that Ginger knows that Violet and Kandy have not been the strongest, performance-wise. Regardless, I’m going to whip them into shape.” I love seeing Max’s confidence grow throughout the competition. And that leaves Miss Fame, Jaidynn Diore Fierce and Pearl as the last team. This should be interesting. The Miss Fame/Pearl feud has been brewing for quite a while and just seems to be getting worse. Ginger Minj used her advantage picking teams very wisely.
Team Feud begins working on their scene. Jaidynn Diore Fierce wants to start by reading their lines. Pearl wants to start by suggesting odd activities their characters could do. “I ain’t trying to get up in front of these people and look a fool again,” Jaidynn asserts, “and go home because you all want to do a stunt.”
Max tries to motivate her team to have fun with the challenge. Violet Chachki is negative, of course. “I’m a little bit over these acting group challenges,“ she whines. Violet picks her part by eliminating the characters she doesn’t want to do. Kandy Ho follows suit. Max is frustrated by their negative attitudes.
Team Ginger is already doing a table read with full characterization. Ginger Minj is doing an insane version of Michelle Visage. “Ginger is going to be the evil villain,” Katya explains. “Which is perfect because she’s playing it like Ginger Minj as Danny DeVito as Tony Soprano as the Fonz as Michelle Visage.” Katya realizes that she has to make sure she isn’t overshadowed by Ginger, especially since that happened to Kandy Ho last week and led to her lip-synching for her life.
Ross Mathews is directing the reenactments. Usually RuPaul and Michelle direct the acting challenges. I guess since the stories are about them, they sat this one out. Team Ginger goes first. They come to the set in full costume so Ross jokes, “Who’s going to play RuPaul?” Kennedy Davenport is clearly nervous and doesn’t get the joke at all. Poor thing. In Merle’s version of events, Kennedy is playing RuPaul, Katya is playing Merle and Ginger is playing Michelle Visage. Katya and Ginger are killing the scene and Ross is cracking up. Then Kennedy enters and immediately blows her lines. Once she gets her lines right, she is stiff and uncomfortable. Katya is nervous. “Kennedy’s RuPaul was the weirdest f***ing thing ever.” Ginger hopes Kennedy doesn’t drag the whole team down. Ross looks like he’s given up on Kenndy.
It’s Team Max’s turn and for Michelle’s version, Kandy Ho is playing RuPaul, Max is playing Merle and Violet Chachki is playing Michelle Visage. Kandy Ho has resurrected the beard shading she did in the first episode but I think she’s done it on purpose. Just a word of advice, Kandy: don’t make fun of RuPaul. You won’t like her when she gets angry. Max is doing a strange, witchy impression of Merle. Ross calls her out on it. But she’s a smart girl, that Max. “It’s not how I see Merle, but it’s Michelle’s side of the story…” Ross is impressed that she’s really thought it out. “You’re the Meryl Streep of Drag,” he compliments her. Ross tries to give Violet direction and she gets snippy with him. But he’s not skirred of Violet Chachki. “No one said it was easy,” he snips back. Kandy Ho has a hard time with her lines and her character. Looks like she’ll be on the bottom again.
Team Feud is Jaidynn Diore Fierce as RuPaul, Miss Fame as Merle and Pearl as Michelle. They have extra pressure doing RuPaul’s version (and, therefore, the correct, story). Jaidynn fully commits, even when she forgets her line. Then her frustration leads to forgetting more lines. Miss Fame starts out doing well but she also forgets her lines. She tries working thru it but starts to break down. It’s nice to see her vulnerability but the set isn’t the place for heart to heart discussions. It’s the place to work. After working with the other two teams, Ross is worn out and not in the mood for any shenanigans. Pearl, of course, is fuming. And yet Miss Fame keeps going. Shut up, Miss Fame. Shut up. Ross finally loses it. “Oh my god, I feel like I’m dating you.” Ross starts laughing, hoping to change the energy but Miss Fame is firmly entrenched in her drama.
In the workroom, the girls start talking about their parents. You can tell the conversation strikes a chord with Jaidynn Diore Fierce. Jaidynn explains that she and her mom are best friends but it’s hard “because of the sexuality.” Wow. Jaidynn Diore Fierce has never really come out to her family. “We just kind of ignore the issue.” They ignore the gay, they ignore the Drag. Speaking of her mom, Jaidynn says, “she’ll send me a text and she’ll be, like, ‘well, I’m just so grateful that one day you’re gonna find you a wife.’” Her biggest fear is being disowned. “That’s like a real fear,” Violet Chachki chimes in. Jaidynn is scared to change the relationship with her brothers and her mom. So she keeps it to herself. And by it, I mean her true self. “And it’s either I just live my life and marry a woman and do what my family wants me to do and be unhappy or I can do me.” “Well, then, do you and be happy.” Jaidynn sighs. “It’s a complicated thing.” My heart is breaking right now. She shouldn’t have to choose between her family and herself. It’s not fair.
The guest judges are Merle Ginsberg and Ariana Grande. Ross Matthews is on the judging panel again and Carson Kressley is AWOL for the 3rd week in a row.
The runway category is “Death Becomes Her” (ie: how your drag character would die). Katya is wearing a sequined captain’s outfit with a shark eating her leg. “I’m summoning up my best Tara Reid in Sharknado with the stringy blonde hair and I’m feeling the shark week fantasy.” Ginger Minj is wearing a bear skin coat with her bloodied head sticking out of the bear’s mouth. Very cute. Kennedy Davenport looks like a burnt chicken. She has some story about getting thrown in a fire and coming out a fierce Glamazon Drag Queen but she looks a mess. Max is gorgeous as a woman who cut out her heart, which she carries in a crystal box. Michelle Visage calls her, “the ghost of Drag present.” Kandy Ho is a vampire in a long black dress with feathers at her neck. It’s pretty but boring. Miss Fame looks stunning in a sequin dress with a knife thru her head. She’s wearing a Nene Leakes Ramen noodle wig but unlike Nene, she’s pulling it off. Pearl is in a neck brace and looks like she went thru a window or something. And, even though this is the death challenge, she looks more alive than she has yet in the competition. RuPaul finally woke her up. Jaidynn Diore Fierce looks like a zombie in an orange prison jumpsuit. Once she explains that she tried to get over the fence but didn’t make it, I see the barb wire. Cute, but not as clever as some of the others. Violet Chachki comes out is a corset with a teensy, tiny waist and an oxygen tank. We’ve seen this look in promo videos but it’s still shocking. In the past Violet has bragged about having the smallest waist in Drag Race history and I think she’s right. It’s terrifyingly beautiful.
Then we get to watch the completed reenactments. They start with Merle’s version (team Ginger). Katya is hamming it up as Merle but editing couldn’t save Kennedy Davenport’s awkward portrayal of RuPaul. Ginger Minj as Danny DeVito as Tony Soprano as the Fonz as Michelle Visage is a laugh riot. Once Kennedy leaves the scene, Katya and Ginger do a great job. They would win for sure if they hadn’t been saddled with Kennedy.
Next up is Michelle’s version (team Max). Max does a crazy Merle (as seen thru Michelle’s eyes) but Kandy’s RuPaul and Violet’s Michelle are fairly stilted. Oh Max, your talent is wasted in this group. I wish you were on team Ginger with the other comediennes. I’m not wasting any more words on Kandy and Violet’s performance.
Finally we get to RuPaul’s version (team Feud). Jaidynn Diore Fierce acts her heart out as RuPaul. Miss Fame can’t get out of her head so her Merle is very wooden. Pearl does a manic Michelle, which I guess is an upgrade from her usual sleepy performance. Jaidynn tried but she made some strange acting choices and the other two felt boring. A boring food fight? Boring jello wrestling? Yep. Snorefest. Sorry, ladies. It just wasn’t good.
Top Queens: Team Ginger. They’re all safe. Kennedy Davenport really should be lip-synching for both her performance and her runway look. She better be thanking Ginger Minj and Katya for pulling her out of danger. Based on her runway look, Katya is the winner. I think Ginger outacted her but Katya’s comedic runway looks really do deserve acknowledgement. Good job, Katya! You (mostly) deserve it.
Bottom Queens: Team Max (Max, Kandy Ho and Violet Chachki) and Team Feud (Jaidynn Diore Fierce, Pearl and Miss Fame)
Michelle reminded Max that she asked to see her without the grey hair. Ross disagrees that Max needs to change. “But nobodies asking her to change,” Michelle states. “Just try something different.” “That’s exactly what changing is!” Ross replies. Luckily RuPaul laughed because we all know what happened the last time a judge disagreed with Michelle Visage (I kind of miss Santino). Ariana Grande loves Violet’s look but Michelle thought her Michelle accent was more Staten Island when it should have been Jersey. Michelle, the accent was the least of the problems with Violet’s acting. Merle finds Kandy’s vampire thing boring and Michelle gave her a hard time for the beard. Ross thought she was too stiff.
RuPaul asks Miss Fame, “How’s your head?” and Miss Fame goes on a rant about how uncomfortable her headpiece is. Finally, Michelle interrupts with the punchline Ru was looking for, “She hasn’t had any complaints yet.” I’m pretty sure RuPaul tried this same joke on Miss Fame last week and she didn’t get it then, either. She may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but she’s pretty. Ross asks about her breakdown yesterday and she explains that she just couldn’t stop talking to save her life. RuPaul starts to say something but Miss Fame cuts him off to talk more about how she can’t stop herself from talking. Miss Fame’s best comedy is unintentional. Ross gives Pearl props for waking up. Michelle isn’t impressed with Jaidynn Diore Fierce’s runway look. Ross brings up that she didn’t know her lines.
LIP-SYNC FOR YOUR LIFE
The two Queens up for elimination are Kandy Ho and Jaidynn Diore Fierce. They perform Break Free by Ariana Grande.
Jaidynn Diore Fierce starts strong. Kandy Ho isn’t performing as well she normally does. Jaidynn is bringing it! Uh oh, Kandy is heating up. And she’s wearing Ariana Grande’s ponytail. If Jaidynn goes home because Kennedy Davenport was safe on Team Ginger, I’ll be so pissed! Whew. Jaidynn Diore Fierce, shantay, you stay. Kandy Ho, sashay away.
Next week: Snatch Game! I can’t wait… And don’t forget to watch Untucked, available every Tuesday. You can watch this week’s episode right here on TamaraTattles.com !