After last week’s uneven episode, I’m counting on the drag gods to bring me a great evening of RuPaul’s Drag Race. It’s not too much to ask. I mean, I certainly worship at the altar of drag. I see live shows. I buy the merch. I talk about it all the time (even in therapy). Some call it an obsession. I call it commitment. So come through, Drag Race. Come through!
As always, we start at the end. The end of Jaymes Mansfield, that is (goodbye message: You live to love me more each day. P.S. JK I love you all. J.M). James was too overwhelmed by the show to ever open up so the girls don’t really know her. All they can do is learn from her legacy: never let fear stop you from being you. It’s the quickest route home. Kimora Blac, who can’t see further than her nose, couldn’t care less about Jaymes. She’s too busy complaining about being in the bottom two. How could the judges be so blind? She’s the bomb dot com. She certainly doesn’t belong on Jaymes’ level. As she patiently explains, she’s a ten compared to his one. I’d consider her the villain of the season if I didn’t know she’d be leaving this week (not a spoiler, just common sense). It looks like Trinity Taylor will be taking the villain role. You can literally feel her jealousy of Valentina ooze through your tv screen. Girl should be careful with all the side-eye she’s giving Valentina’s candle. La Virgen de Guadalupe doesn’t come to play.
The next day in the workroom, the girls lick their cheer wounds and hope for a non-impact challenge. Nina Bo’nina Brown suggests knitting. Uh, Nina, are you trying to get Drag Race cancelled? RuPaul directs the girls’ attention to her Madame Tussaud wax figure. Is that what that is? I assumed it was some sort of Japanese sex toy that RuPaul included in the workroom as a joke. I should have know better. RuPaul takes the business of RuPaul very seriously. And just like Lisa Kudrow last week, the wax figure has nothing to do with anything. Sigh. You know, I was excited for Drag Race’s move to VH1. Mainstream visibility is key to acceptance. But if it means giving up crucial show time to Wendy Williams and these ridiculous sponsorship moments, I cry foul. I mean, come on already.
This week’s maxi-challenge is creating an original fairy tale princess. The queens have to come up with a name and mythology, a fantasy frock and a sassy sidekick (which they will also play). Hmmm. It sounds intriguing but all I can think of are those ridiculous superheroes from All Stars Season One.
Aja thinks her avant garde, high fashion mindset will win the day. Those are big words from such a little girl. I hope she can back them up. Farrah Moan can’t sew. Every year, folks. Every year. Kimora Blac is pissy again. She doesn’t think she should have to work for her craft. “Would Kim K sew her own outfits? No.” Enough, girl. You’re not a Kardashian. Eureka isn’t afraid to get ugly. She’s collecting rats and cockroaches for her sewer princess look. Kimora is worried for her. I think it’s a brilliant idea.
Valentina is wearing an old Hollywood turban and oversized sunglasses. To sew. Sigh. I love this girl. Farrah whines. She can’t sew. She can’t glue. Wahhh! When the whining reaches peak level, Eureka grabs Farrah’s outfit and gets to work. There’s a reason Farrah moans. It gets results. Cynthia schools Kimora on what an adjective is. Do I need to point out the irony of the native Spanish speaker teaching the native English speaker English? She follows that lesson with the story behind her obsession with the word cucu. Her mother didn’t allow “bad” words in her house. At three years old, Cynthia had to find a way to express her need to go to the bathroom. She came up with, “Cucu, mama, caca pee pee.” It worked and from that day forward, cucu was the word.
As they paint, Alexis Michelle asks Aja if her fans are going to be surprised to see her makeup without Facetune. The shade! Aja isn’t worried. She thinks she looks the same with or without photo editing. But she’s wrong. There’s a big difference between performing drag queens and social media stars. You can’t hide behind technology in person.
Eureka asks Trinity about the Pulse massacre. She wasn’t there but as a former Miss Pulse, and a member of the Orlando LGBTQIA community, it rocked her world. Cynthia was originally scheduled to perform that night but ended up canceling. A friend went to see her perform and lost his life. Trinity reminds them that even though they’re not 100% safe or accepted, they can’t hide away. They have to live their lives. “Preach, girl! Preach!” Peppermint shouts.
On the runway, RuPaul is padded for the gods in pewter lamé. Michelle Visage and Carson Kressley are joined by All Stars Season Two judge Todrick Hall and actor Cheyenne Jackson. They’re ready to see queens turn into princesses.
Some of the Princesses are more successful than others. Peppermint’s Princess Carcinogenetta has been through a fire but keeps it gorgeous (I’m looking at you, Kennedy Davenport). Charlie Hides’ celestial hairpeice for Princess Climaxica is out of this world. Shea Couleé’s fishtail gown and ice queen belt gives Princess Aquaria high fashion tendencies. Valentina is a pretty, pretty ballerina Princess. But Sasha Velour wins the runway with her gorgeous Princess Uglina look (a white gown with cascading pink flowers and bird cage hat) and mythology about freeing herself from the confines of her own mind.
Farrah Moan as Princess Pacifica is your standard mermaid. Her swampy socialite mythology makes a cute backstory but it doesn’t save her boring look (especially compared to Trinity Taylor’s sizzling Princess Aquapussy). Alexis Michelle, on the other hand, has a good look for Princess #SubwayFish but her story makes no sense. I understand that she is trying to incorporate her existing social media hashtag into the challenge but it doesn’t work. I had high hopes for Eureka’s You-Reek-of-Daria but she doesn’t go far enough. Aja’s Princess Disastah has fashion potential but her disastrous wig and makeup land her in my bottom.The saddest look on the runway is Kimora Blac’s Princess Banana Lady. She simply wrapped herself in furs and scraps of fabric to become a jungle princess. Her sidekick’s poorly conceived banana puns only underscore how ill-equipped she is for Drag Race.
But what will haunt my dreams for the rest of my days are the sidekicks. They’re basic animations with the queens heads attached so I don’t understand why they look like demons from hell. With a few exceptions (like Charlie Hides’ fairy Isabella Snatchpacker and Nina Bo’nina’s robot Inc) they’re gruesome creatures. Why would you do me like this, RuPaul? Why?
RuPaul makes Cynthia Lee Fontaine, Charlie Hides, Eureka, Alexis Michelle, Sasha Velour, Nina Bo’nina Brown and Shea Couleé safe. I’m a little surprised and I’ll go to my grave claiming Sasha was robbed.
Top queens: Peppermint, Valentina and Trinity Taylor
Bottom queens: Farrah Moan, Kimora Blac and Aja
The judges love everything about Peppermint’s presentation from her look to her sidekick, Petey the Pilot Light. Todrick Hall calls Farrah Moan on the piece of fabric wrapped around her waist as a skirt. Cheyenne thinks she missed an opportunity to do something interesting with her character. The judges have nothing nice to say about Kimora’s runway look or characters. She makes nonsensical excuses and the judges get annoyed. Cheyenne calls Valentina “Linda Evangelista.” They all love her beautiful look and shady backstory. Michelle is completely confused by Aja. She doesn’t get her look, her story and most of all her bad makeup. Carson loves Trinity’s fashion look and Michelle appreciates her comedic sidekick, Stanky the Starfish. She’s proving she’s more than just a pageant queen.
LIP-SYNC FOR YOUR LIFE
The two queens up for elimination are Kimora Blac and Aja. The rest of the queens audibly gasp. Aja has made quite a name for herself in the drag world. No one thought she be on the bottom so soon. But she can still turn it around with her lip-sync to Holding Out For A Hero by Bonnie Tyler.
Kimora is a fierce performer so this is sure to be a bloody fight. Or maybe not. While Aja goes for it, Kimora stands in one spot and doesn’t even bother to get the words right. She’s given up before she even began. Aja dances, kicks, plays to the judges. Kimora drops to the ground and writhes around. Todrick tries to give Kimora some attention but Ru only has eyes for Aja. Aja tries to not get sucked into Kimora’s vacuum of lethargy with death drops and grimaces. Finally it’s over and RuPaul puts Kimora out of her misery. Aja, shantay you stay. Kimora Blac, sashay away.
Next week: The queens join the morning talk show wars with guest judges Naya Rivera and Jeffrey Bower-Chapman.
Special programming note: On Thursday, April 13, Logo TV will air Drag Becomes Him, a documentary about Season Five winner Jinkx Monsoon. It’s must see drag tv.
And don’t forget to watch Untucked, right here at TamaraTattles.com!