By Lady Cocotte
The girls make their way into the workroom and you can tell they’re all genuinely upset about Katya leaving. Kennedy Davenport reads Katya’s message on the mirror: “Девочки! Я вас любитЬ! If you need me, you know where to find me. (The dumpster out back) XOXO Katya AKA The Brooke Hogan of drag AKA Diarrhea Perlman ♥♥♥.” We’ve seen the girls shocked by eliminations before but this one is the saddest. I guess Katya was everyone’s favorite. “I need a smoke and a nap,” Ginger Minj quips. That’s the story of my life, Ginger. The story of my life…
Michelle Visage shows up to tell the girls about their maxie-challenge (a challenge so big they’re forgoing the usual mini-challenge and even RuPaul’s “she done already done had herses” message). As always, the Queens are going to perform with RuPaul in a music video, this time for her song “Born Naked.” It’s a great final challenge because it incorporates dancing to choreography, lip-syncing, acting and fashion. In addition, they also get a one-on-one “meal” with Mama Ru. She serves tic tacs (because a girl’s got to watch her figure) and heartfelt encouragement. At least one girl every season cries. It’s good tv. Ooh, they’re shaking things up tonight. Usually only the top 3 perform in the video. This season, all four girls will shoot the video and when one is eliminated at the end of the episode, she will be edited out of the final video. Harsh! But also smart. There were a lot of girls who were eliminated right before the video that would have done an amazing job (cough, BenDeLaCreme, cough).
They start by learning choreography from Candis Cayne. No shade (because she’s younger than me) but Candis looks really mature tonight. I almost feel like I’ve watched her grow up on Drag Race. Or maybe it’s just that she’s more done up than usual and makeup ages a bitch. Ginger Minj knows that dancing is her achilles heel but she’s not letting it get her down. Instead, Violet Chachki is the one struggling a bit. Candis tells her to give it more of an 80’s, Cheryl Tiegs vibe. “I was born in ’92,” Violet snipes. Candis looks exhausted already.
RuPaul is preparing lunch for Kennedy Davenport. She takes a few tic tacs and throws them in a blender. “I’m juicing now, you know.” That’s our Ru, always on trend. She asks Kennedy why she never tried out before this season. Kennedy explains that she was always too busy working but finally decided to do it after she lost her dad. I assumed she was going to say he was opposed to Drag but in actuality, Kennedy’s Dad supported her dreams. He even went to all of her pageants. “He told me, ‘you have to go on RuPaul’s Drag Race.’ So by him passing it was like, yeah, it’s time. I’m gonna do it for my Dad.” What a sweet story! That’s how to parent! Kennedy’s sister is mentally retarded so he helped raise her. And with their father gone, Kennedy is her sole caretaker. She wants to win because she feels like it’s her reward for working so hard and taking care of others.
Ginger Minj sits down with RuPaul and starts talking about her family. Even though she knows it’s a cliche, Ginger adores her mother. Her father left his family for another woman when Ginger was 14 and she cries about the lack of relationship. “Growing up, I was so tormented in my life that the only way I could deal was to make jokes and use humor to cover it up.” Despite everything, she hopes her father is proud of her. RuPaul assures Ginger that she is very proud of her and the person she is. RuPaul sends Ginger off with a tic tac for “the ride home.”
Pearl and Violet Chachki are talking about their final look. Violet isn’t sure if she wants to do a gown. “I have tons of gorgeous dresses but I just feel like it’s really expected,” Violet explains. “I don’t want to blend in with these pageant girls.” Violet and Pearl start playing with violet’s clothes. All the while, Kennedy Davenport and Ginger Minj are building giant wigs and sneering at the other two. “While Kennedy and I completely appreciate what these kids are trying to do with their modern take on Drag,” Ginger admits. “Old school is the only school, honey.”
RuPaul welcomes Violet Chachki to her luncheon. Violet admits that she’s always seen herself as the winner of the show. RuPaul asks about her confidence. Violet has always had to rely on herself and so she became her biggest fan. RuPaul worries that it’s very lonely. She brings up Violet winning “shadiest shade” at the DESPY awards. Violet admits that it hurt but also pushed her harder to prove everyone wrong. RuPaul gives her lots of props for being so strong and confident. RuPaul never mentions the rumor that Violet once stole Sharon Needles’ Drag Race crown and posed naked with it (but I did). And finally, Pearl gets her sit down with RuPaul. Unlike Violet Chachki, Pearl didn’t think she’d make it this far. She talks about her rough childhood. RuPaul acknowledges that she recognized trauma in Pearl. “I’m really not the kind of person that opens up a lot so every time I do, it makes the weight feel a little bit more lifted off my shoulders.” They end on a high note. Fla-say-dah, girl.
Finally, it’s time to dance. Candis Cayne reminds the girls that this is it, their final chance to win the competition. Kennedy Davenport does great in front of the green screen. It’s no surprise that she kills at the choreography. Ginger Minj looks cute. You can’t tell if she’s scared, even when part of her hair falls off. She just grabs it and tosses it away like she meant for that to happen. Candis isn’t happy. Pearl does her Pearl dance. The other girls snicker and call her dance move “the Pearl smash”. Candice stops because Pearl’s wig is sliding back on her head, exposing her boy hair. “These Queens, come on. Don’t they know a bobby pin when they see one?” Pearl goes back to the workroom to fix it while Kennedy and Ginger exchange knowing glances. Violet Chachki steps up, hoping her wig stays in place. She loses the choreography and then her earring falls off. Candis can’t believe it.
In the acting scenes, directed by Mathu Andersen, RuPaul is playing the father while each girl takes a turn playing the mother, the daughter and the son. For the finale, they’ll create a video where each girl plays all the roles. The first time around, Ginger Minj is funny as the daughter but Pearl is pretty flat as the son. Mathu asks Pearl for more and RuPaul suggests using the anger she felt when she almost left the show. Violet Chahcki laughs at her but it works. They switch roles and Pearl is hysterical as the pill popping mother. This time around it’s Kennedy Davenport who is boring as the son. When Mathu gives her direction she doesn’t really understand. Violet is hamming it up as the sister while Kennedy stumbles thru her lines. Apparently, no one understands the role of the son because Violet is also doing a terrible job. Unlike Kennedy, she does listen to direction but it’s still pretty painful.
The girls go back to the workroom to dress for their final runway. You can see the divide between them. As Ginger Minj explains, “At one end of the room you have Violet and Pearl, the ‘pretty girls’ (which they call themselves…we don’t call them that) and on the other end of the room you’ve got Kennedy and myself representing the bitter old lady brigade.” They start talking about first impressions. Violet Chachki thought Pearl was high (hello, chinstrap). Kennedy Davenport thought Violet was vain. And she still thinks Violet is vain. Which morphs into Kennedy and Ginger telling Violet that she’s too young and unprofessional to wear the crown. “This is a job title,” Ginger vents. “It’s not just ‘here’s a check and a crown, have fun.’ It’s ‘you’ve got to be an ambassador for RuPaul’s Drag Race.’”
There are no guest judges. Instead, both Carson Kressley and Ross Matthews join Michelle Visage and RuPaul for the final runway.
The runway theme is Best Drag. Kennedy Davenport wears a rainbow, fully beaded dress. It’s not to my taste but it’s definitely a statement piece. Violet Chachki has a top hat, highwaist pants and a beaded/fringed bra. Definitely an unusual look for the final runway. She is corseted so tightly that she actually has a line of flab hanging over her pants. I’m not sure how that’s possible since she’s so thin but it’s distracting me. Ginger Minj comes out in a white dress covered from the waist down in fringe. The sleeves are blinged out and her hair is high. Just like with Kennedy’s dress, I don’t like it but I can appreciate that a lot of work went into making it. Pearl is dressed as Pearl in underwear/negligee. She took a cue from the pageant girls and her hair is large and in charge.
RuPaul shows the girls pictures of themselves as children and asks what they would say to their younger selves. Kennedy Davenport tells Rueben it’s ok that he’s different from the other kids and that he’ll be respected for his gift. Violet Chachki tells Jason to try to have more patience, to know how special he is and to get to a ballet class as fast as he can. Ginger Minj tells Joshua that he can always count on himself and to make himself the grand marshall of the idiot parade. Pearl tells Matthew he’s about to enter the toughest years of his life and it’s gonna suck for a long time and you won’t understand why. RuPaul asks Pearl if she knows why now. “Yeah,” she squeaks out. “You’re a star, baby,” RuPaul informs her.
They review Kennedy Davenport’s video dailies and Carson Kressley thinks all her characters seem the same. Michelle Visage really likes her runway look and is impressed with how much she’s grown. Michelle also likes Violet Chachki’s dancing. Carson enjoys how Violet gave each character their own personality. Michelle is not impressed with her runway outfit. Violet is shocked. And Ross disagrees. “For me it feels like a natural progression for you. I think I get what you’re doing.” “I think you do,” Violet shoots back. Michelle gives her major stink eye. Michelle thinks Ginger Minj’s characters were the most fleshed out (plus, she was the only one who played the son character well). Carson acknowledges that dancing isn’t Ginger’s strong suit but she did it her way. Michelle is impressed that she was able to roll with the hair malfunction and it shows her professionalism. Carson really likes her runway look. “You saved the best for last.” The judges panel cracks up watching Pearl’s dailies. Ross calls her a weirdo which Pearl takes as a compliment. Michelle thinks she went out of her comfort zone in the acting but compares her dancing to “that stoner stripper that’s so high she just wants the dollar, she doesn’t care about anything else.” But she follows that up complimenting Pearl’s beauty and telling her she deserves to be in the top four.
RuPaul asks the Queens why they, and not their competitors, should be the winner. Kennedy Davenport talks about her experience and professionalism but she repeatedly uses the word “condone” when she means “comport”. She also thinks Pearl and Violet Chachki don’t know how to condone themselves (sic). Violet admits that she already feels like America’s Next Drag Superstar. “And I’ve been telling myself that for a really long time now.” also, compared to her competitors, she represents the past, present and future of Drag. Ginger Minj wants to split the crown with Kennedy Davenport. “We’ll get conjoined twins gowns and we’ll wear them all year.” She’s afraid Violet’s temper will get her in trouble and she is upset that Pearl was ready to walk away at one point. She also thinks it’s time for a big girl to win. Pearl talks about how hard she has worked for everything she has. “You have been telling me how exhausted I come off and I am… from life.” She acknowledges she had a moment but that doesn’t define what she’s done.
In the final judging discussion, Michelle Visage brings up what a great dancer Kennedy Davenport is. Ross Matthews defines her as “Glamorous.” Carson Kressley calls her the professional of the group. Michelle asks, “If she’s the pro, then why wasn’t that speech professional?” Michelle thinks Violet Chachki gave a great lip-sync and her acting was great. Ross talks about how Violet tells a story with her looks. “I believe that she had this last outfit planned all along.” “That is not the best look,” Michelle interrupts. “Don”t try to convince me.” Carson calls Ginger Minj a fine dancer and Michelle adds that she can give comedy, glamor, acting AND singing. Ross appreciates what she represents for the plus size community. “You know, I grew up as a full figured young boy… And it does say something to kids in small towns everywhere, who may be chubby, that there’s a chance that they can really rise to the top here.” Ross agrees that there was a time he was ready for Pearl to leave but he likes that she fought her way back. “She made me fall in love with her.” Carson cites her “boozy charm.” RuPaul calls it star power and finds her intriguing. He wonders if fans will fall in love with her. RuPaul says, “There just one more topic we need to discuss: Michelle Visage. Uh, Carson, pros and cons…” And we get that famous Michelle Visage “Jersey” laugh.
LIP-SYNC FOR YOUR LIFE
All four of the final girls must lip-sync for their life tonight. They perform Born Naked by RuPaul.
It’s kind of overwhelming watching four performers on the same stage. It’s our first chance to see what Violet Chachki can do. Ginger Minj sits down on the steps to differentiate herself. Violet moves her body beautifully (I wish we could see more). Pearl is doing the “Pearl Smash.” Kennedy Davenport is being pretty still. In fact, no one’s really moving much. It’s pretty crowded, though. Kennedy is performing right to the judges. Ginger moves in and demands their attention. Violet is shaking her boobs. Kennedy Davenport, sashay away.
Next week: Countdown to the Crown, highlights of the season plus the world debut of the music video for “Born Naked.” The week after that will be the finale. I will personally be in attendance at the live crowning ceremony to bring you all of the dirty details. And don’t forget to watch Untucked, available every Tuesday. You can watch this week’s episode right here on TamaraTattles.com !