After an unexpected two week hiatus, I’m back! Sure, I watched RuPaul’s Drag Race while AWOL but I have to admit, it wasn’t as much fun without your comments. And Tamara Tattles did such a good job recapping last week’s episode, I knew I had to reclaim my show before she got too comfortable. So here we are again, hand in hand, enjoying another evening of drag eleganza. Ahh… It’s good to be home.
And just like that, we’re in the workroom following Farrah Moan’s eviction. The girls give her a 21 whine salute, the perfect tribute to our favorite drag baby. While Alexis Michelle cleans her farewell message off the mirror (“Hey ladies! I LOVE YOU ALL SOOO MUCH. YOU ARE ALL superstars and it’s so special to finally have a REAL family. Good luck! DON’T FUCK IT UP ♡ Farrah Moan”), the rest of the girls get frisky. Well, everyone but Nina Bo’nina Brown, that is. After enjoying one episode without pouting, Nina’s paranoia is back in full swing. She knows the other girls are talking about her! Even when they’re not. Trinity Taylor is over it. She’s ready to send all the filler queens home. She completely misses the irony of her statement. Hey Trinity, you’re filler. And I’m not talking about the kind you get at your doctor’s office.
It’s pilot season, y’all! This week’s maxi-challenge is to create, write and star in an original TV show. I guess World of Wonder is looking for their next smash web series. RuPaul lets the queens pick teams so Shea Couleé and Sasha Velour immediately link up. The other girl are bitter about it. It sucks to be left out of the talented group. Peppermint tries to join them but Alexis runs interference like she’s playing football. She knows that she needs real talent to make a hit so she’s determined to get Peppermint on her and Trinity’s team. And poor, sweet Peppermint is just too nice to say no. She stands there, watching her chance of a win slip away with a big, dumb smile pasted on her face. Meanwhile, Nina is fuming that no one picked her. Lady, you’re teamed with Valentina by default. Haven’t you realized that she’s good at everything? You should be thanking your lucky stars right now. I mean, look at how she smiles through the pain of being saddled with you. That’s a true performance!
Shea and Sasha are excited and inspired by each other. They’re productive but enjoy the process. The motley crew of Alexis, Peppermint and Trinity make me uncomfortable. I can’t put my finger on it but it’s like I hear ominous music when they’re on screen. Alexis is still reeling from being in the bottom last week. She thinks she has a lot to prove and it’s making her downright manic. Peppermint claims they’re not going to turn the whole pilot into the Alexis Michelle show but we’ll see if she actually follows through. Valentina is brow-less as she and Nina struggle through their process. Hopefully this won’t distract Tamara too much. From her table, Alexis gloats about how poorly they’re going to do. I’m not concerned. Valentina managed to get Nina out of her funk and they’re working well together. Cockiness is usually foreshadowing for the lip-sync. Just saying.
During the commercial break, Bob the Drag Queen and Katya do a stupid promo for the Baywatch movie. And it’s still infinitely better than that Wendy Williams trainwreck.
Alexis, Peppermint and Trinity are the first team to shoot with Carson Kressley and Michelle Visage. Their pilot is religious with a gay twist. Peppermint won the narrator role that Alexis wanted so Alexis acts petty. She tries to micromanage the voice-over and pisses off Michelle Visage in the process. Don’t forget who your judge is, Alexis. Especially when that Judge is Michelle Visage. Shea and Sasha are next with their blaxploitation heroine meets Russian spy mashup. They have the judges laughing from frame one. They end things by grabbing each other’s asses, of course. Finally it’s time for the Nina and Tina Show. Valentina and Nina agreed to ad lib most of their lines but Nina presents it to Michelle like they didn’t have time to finish writing. Oh, Nina. It doesn’t help that their ad libbing is pretty rough. Michelle gets more and more frustrated with their lack of preparation. Now I’m scared for them.
As the queens paint for the runway, Sasha Velour is giddy about her Club Kid look. Trinity, not so much. It’s quite a departure for a pageant queen. The queens treat us to a history of the Club Kids’ influence on drag. #TheMoreYouKnow.
The runway theme is Club Kid Couture. RuPaul wears a dress reminiscent of her season seven “ugliest dress.” Michelle Visage and Carson Kressley are joined by QVC’s Lisa Robertson and The Real O’Neals’ Noah Galvin. Noah, a gay man who plays a gay character on TV, caused quite a controversy last year when he lambasted other gay actors and LGBTQIA youth in a Vulture article. He almost lost his job on The Real O’Neals, which is based on the life of beloved sex columnist (and It Gets Better campaign creator) Dan Savage. It’s interesting to see him on the judging panel.
On the runway, Sasha Velour presents half Pierrot, half ball gown. She’s gorgeous but I actually expect more from her in this category. Shea Couleé does Leigh Bowery in a bathing suit. Girl loves to show off those long, long legs. Nina does another skull look. It’s great but once again, I expect more. It is interesting to see her without her tittys though. Valentina is a toreador with a lace veil. It’s not Club Kid. I’m having a hard time explaining Trinity’s look. It’s definitely Club Kid but I can’t tell if it’s good or not. Peppermint finally gives me the Club Kid look I’ve been expecting. She brings her namesake to life with big shapes and bright colors. Alexis Michelle looks like an extra from Bladerunner. She steals Detox and Alaska’s runway makeup from the All Stars Snatch Game episode but doesn’t quite pull it off. Her pilot performance better be good or she’s lip-syncing again.
Then we get the pilots. Shea Couleé and Sasha Velour are hysterical as Teats and Asky. Shea’s Foxy Brown character and Sasha’s Natasha from the Rocky and Bullwinkle show team up to fight their biggest enemy: bad fashion. The jokes are tight, the acting is over the top, and the judges can’t stop laughing. Nina and Valentina’s Nina & Tina Show is just as rough as it seemed during filming. The jokes are flat and so is the acting. Carson is the only one to clap. Yikes. Alexis, Peppermint and Trinity’s pilot is about two church ladies who turn to a nun for guidance when they find out their sons are gay. I think it’s pretty painful to watch but the judges laugh.
Winners: Sasha Velour and Shea Couleé. I mean, duh.
Everyone else is up for elimination. Michelle Visage complains about Nina & Tina’s lack of preparation. Noah explains that shows that ad lib have a fully developed story. You can’t make the whole thing up as you go. Lisa Robertson loves Valentina’s runway look but Michelle points out that it’s more high fashion than Club Kid. Lisa Robertson’s favorite runway look is Trinity’s. Lisa Robertson isn’t my favorite runway judge. Michelle and Carson praise Trinity’s maxi-challenge work. She clearly stole the show. Alexis fumes. The judges love Peppermint’s look and Michelle singles her out for extra praise for the pilot. Alexis fumes. Michelle doesn’t like Alexis’ runway look and you can see her visibly deflate. Noah adds that she didn’t stand out in the pilot. Alexis says she doesn’t want to throw her teammates under the bus and then she throws her teammates under the bus. She takes credit for doing everything so of course the extra work impacted her role. With each word she speaks you can see the steam building in Peppermint. She finally interrupts. She refutes everything Alexis said and they get into a tit for tat argument. Messy.
The two queens up for elimination are Nina Bo’nina Brown and Valentina. I’m shocked. I actually wrote in Alexis Michelle’s name before RuPaul announced anything. They perform Greedy by Ariana Grande.
Valentina is wearing a veil over her mouth. I keep expecting her to rip it off but she’s not. Even Michelle Visage is asking what she’s doing. Come on, Valentina! We have to see your mouth. Nina, on the other hand, is happily lip-syncing away but no one watches because they’re too busy talking about Valentina’s veil. Holy hell! RuPaul stops the lip-sync. I don’t think this has ever happened before. RuPaul tells Valentina to remove the veil and she refuses. He stares her down until she takes it off. Awkward. I was just talking to a friend last night about how Valentina was the clear winner of the crown and now it looks like she’s going home tonight. What the what! My head is about to explode. They restart the lip-sync. Valentina doesn’t know the words! She tries to hide her mouth behind her hands but it’s obvious. Sigh. I can’t even write anymore. This is so sad. Nina Bo’nina Brown, shantay you stay. Valentina, sashay away.
Next week: The queens make over members of the Drag Race crew.