By Contributing Writer, The Lady Cocotte
Sorry I’m a little late with this week’s RuPaul’s Drag Race recap. The Spring flu got me and replaced all of my snark with fluffy cotton balls. I feel like the Scarecrow from Wizard of Oz (which would have been much more fitting last week). “If I only had a recap…” But, the drag must go on so shake off that fairy dust (yes, I’m aware I’m mixing fairy tale analogies) and listen to my tale of woe.
Once upon a time, a beautiful queen from the Emerald City (Seattle, not Oz) named Robbie Turner had to lip-sync for her life against the Wicked Witch of Sin City. Well, the witch shook her Britney hips and flipped her Britney hair and poor queen Robbie was exiled from Dragopolis. But before she left, Robbie wrote a secret message on the magic mirror so all of her friends would know how much she loved them (“My dearest trashbags, I’m sorry to leave you all so soon, but know this, the love I have for you is REAL + quite strong, also whoever wins owes me a tea or a steak dinner! Love you all, Robbie”). And they all lived happily ever after, more or less.
It’s time for the Andrew Christian underwear ad. I mean, challenge. The pit crew plus some burly friends march out in their skivvies. The queens are all atwitter. These girls have been in total isolation for almost a month now so they’re having a hard time focusing on the rules of the game. But the rules are pretty stupid anyway. RuPaul gives a “fun fact” about one of the models and the girls have to decide if he’s a top or a bottom. For extra titillation, their choices then get on the top or bottom bunk of a bunk bed. Bunk buddies! The girls fill the bottom bunk up a lot quicker than the top (which is a common complaint in Weho). But things get even tighter when RuPaul has the models show their true choices: only one top out of the whole lot!
In honor of the election year, the girls are running for Drag President of the United States. Working in pairs, they must create campaign ads that promote themselves and smear their opponent. The judges picked the teams: Thorgy Thor vs Chi Chi DeVayne; Kim Chi vs Naomi Smalls; and Derrick Barry vs Bob the Drag Queen.
Thorgy and Chi Chi feel like true adversaries. After last week’s blowup on the runway, things are frosty. Thorgy fills page after page of ideas and smear before she realizes the ad will only be 45 seconds. Girl needs to edit, big time. Bob and Derrick, on the other hand, are working closely together. Although they’re each creating their own ads, they’re throwing ideas back and forth, encouraging each other while offering constructive criticism. They’re viewing it as a group project. Uh oh. Bob’s help might keep Derrick around for another week. Kim Chi and Naomi have their own struggle ahead of them. They’re such close friends that they’re not really comfortable smearing each other. That’s not good. When RuPaul asks for shade, he expects shade. Witty, cutting, honest shade.
Carson Kressley and Michelle Visage direct the campaign videos. First up are Derrick Barry and Bob the Drag Queen. Carson encourages Derrick to “Nancy Grace it up” and she fully gets the reference (sorry, Acid Betty). As Bob explains,” Derrick is doing this parody on like creepy Republican white women and it’s really funny to me.” It’s definitely a step up from his work on RuCo’s Empire. When it’s time for Derrick’s B roll (the smear on Bob) he directs Bob well and Bob gives it his all. You can tell they’re working as a team. Bob’s video is hysterical from the first frame. He’s a true performer. His B roll includes Derrick eating a baby and Derrick is totally on board. He’s a bit manic with it but he fully commits. I don’t think Derrick is going anywhere this week.
Next we get Kim Chi and Naomi Smalls. Naomi’s platform is that she’s a supermodel. I’d say yawn but she does it so well. Her delivery is pretty flat and Michelle encourages her to have more attitude. Kim Chi is using food as a metaphor. Huh? She thinks her biggest challenge is speaking clearly but I think it might be her concept. Her smear on Naomi is: “She thinks she’s the skinniest queen but her waist isn’t even 19 inches.” Come through, Violet Chachki! Unfortunately, Kim doesn’t take direction well. I’m worried about these two.
Finally we get Chi Chi DeVayne and Thorgy Thor. Chi Chi is wearing short hair and a suit. Coupled with the deep voice she’s using, she’s reading man. Michelle tells her she sounds like John Wayne. Shade! The directors encourage her to bring out her accent more but that proves difficult for Chi Chi. “I’m struggling with this because where I’m from being country is not the thing to be. I kind of want to seem Presidential. Damn!” Thorgy is on fire, in a theatrically manic kind of way. Her problem is she has too much material. She didn’t edit enough so she’s doing it on the fly and it’s awkward. It’s also taking too long and the judges are annoyed. Her B roll is Chi Chi feeding the poor. I’m not so sure how she plans to turn that into a smear. Michelle asks her if she wants shots of Chi Chi drinking booze to match her video script but Thorgy is kind of flustered and decides she doesn’t need it. Yikes. Always listen to Michelle Visage, Thorgy. It’s a basic tenet of Drag Race.
While the queens are getting painted, Bob the Drag Queen talks about her political work. In 2010 she started demonstrating for marriage equality by holding mock weddings for drag queens in Times Square. She was even arrested in full drag for blocking traffic at Bryant Park. While she doesn’t think everyone needs to get arrested to make change, she encourages political action. “It is really important because politicians, they literally make very real and very, very important decisions for you.” “Like you could have done maybe something about it before it happened?” Naomi Smalls asks. “Oh, you can definitely do something about it,” Bob concurs. Drag the vote, people.
RuPaul is joined by judges Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley, MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts and Vivica A Fox. The runway theme is Black and White realness (based on Detox’s season 5 finale look).
Bob the Drag Queen based her look on the movie Freaks. She’s scary and beautiful at the same time. Derrick Barry’s look is mediocre until she turns her little black dress into a long white slinky number. Quick change is always exciting. Naomi Smalls does an homage to Raven from season two. She even padded her legs and butt and it looks delicious. Kim Chi is the epitome of a Pierrot (a sad french clown). Her makeup is so good she makes me want to cry. Thorgy Thor describes her look as “Mae West meets Carrie Bradshaw.” It’s not my favorite Thorgy look. Chi Chi DeVayne, on the other hand, goes traditional old school and it’s lovely.
And now we get to see the completed political ads. Bob the Drag Queen’s is hysterical. She wants BJ’s for everyone. “Bob the Drag Queen has a plan: the gay agenda. And it’s designed by lesbians so you know it works.” The judges love it. Michelle challenges Bob to give a fully realized glamourous look. I bet she can pull it off. Derrick Barry’s ad is pretty good. Her smears include, “Bob spends his time dropping acid with his friend Betty and engaging in orgies with his friend Thorgy.” Naomi Smalls’ ad is boring but the judges laugh anyway. Kim Chi’s ad doesn’t really make sense but she’s adorable. “Shady gays believe in No Fats, No Fems and No Asians. As someone who is all of the above, I understand your pain!” Michelle and Carson critique her harshly and she starts crying. There’s nothing sadder than a crying clown! Thorgy Thor’s ad has some funny lines but it’s a bit scattered. And her character is too manic for me. Thorgy! Pull it together! I need you to stick around, girl. The judges didn’t like it either. Uh oh. Chi Chi DeVayne took Michelle’s advice and went country. She’s cute but the ad isn’t. “Thorgy wants America to walk around with horrible hip pads that resemble Peggy Bundy. Who wants to walk around with a FUPA? America says, ‘Not me, Thorgy Thor.’”
Top queens: Bob the Drag Queen and Derrick Barry win!. It pays to work together…
Bottom queens: Thorgy Thor and Chi Chi DeVayne.
LIP-SYNC FOR YOUR LIFE
The two queens up for elimination are Thorgy Thor and Chi Chi DeVayne. They perform And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going from Dreamgirls.
I’m not ready for this lip-sync. I want them both to stay. Chi Chi is living this song from the very first note. Thorgy is fighting for attention but it’s a losing battle. Chi Chi is giving me chills. This can’t be happening! Thorgy is my girl but tonight she’s just a distraction from the main event. Chi Chi DeVayne, shantay you stay. Thorgy Thor, sashay away. My heart is broken. Is there any chance they’ll bring Thorgy back? Please? Please…
For more backstage antics, and Thorgy’s goodbye, check out Untucked, here on Tamara Tattles!
Next week: The queens compete in a pageant of book-inspired couture.