What? Did you think I was stopping this in light of my shocking announcement last week? In the words of drag queens everywhere, “Bitch, Please!” How could I abandon our glamorous girls just when the season is starting to get interesting. But before we go on, first a word from our sponsor…
… Well not our sponsor, but from something we endorse wholeheartedly. Once again, The Gay 90s is hosting a weekly viewing party of Drag Race every Monday night at 8pm, and I encourage you all to go and support it. It’s one of the most fun ways to watch the show. Now back to our regularly scheduled recap of Drag The Children… I mean, RuPaul’s Romper Room… I mean, RuPaul’s Drag Race…
* We begin, again, with the end of the last episode after Serena’s elimination and the girls reactions range from diplomatic (Jinkx) to not (Jade’s quip of “Came a mess, left a mess.”
* Then it’s off to the mini-challenge, The Junior Miss Drag Superstar Pageant. Working in pairs, the queens have to transform a box mannequin into their drag daughters. And it descends into Toddlers & Tiaras madness (complete with flippers and references to GoGo juice). The rightful winners are Lineysha and Alaska with their daughter Lil’ Pound Cake (whose catch phrase is “You’re not my real father and you never will be!” and who “enjoys riding dirty and being a straight-up mother f*cking d*ck pig”).
* Lineysha and Alaska become the team captains for the main challenge; in teams of two, they need to create a children’s television show that’s subversive and “edumacational,” in the vein of many great children’s TV shows, but most notably Pee Wee’s Playhouse.
* Alaska’s team (which is her, Vivienne, Detox, Roxxxy, Alyssa, and Monica) is hit and miss. While Alaska was a good host, her decision to appear in boy drag was a bit much (and coupled with the obvious riff on Pee Wee Herman it did her no favors). Detox was hilarious, Roxxy even more so, Alyssa was stilted, Monica was lost during the filming (earning the ire guest judge Coco), and Vivienne committed the number one sin in show business according to guest judge Paulina Porizkova – she was boring.
* Meanwhile, Lineysha’s team (consisting of her, Coco, Honey, Ivy, Jade, and Jinkx) ranged from ok (Jade’s joke about blue lips from blowing), to train wreck (Ivy and Honey were ok but saddled with poor scene partners in Lineysha and Coco respectively). With her “Glenn Close circa Fatal Attraction” children’s host, Jinkx was “the north star for her team” (according to Michelle).
* The next day arrives with the cry of “Ro-laska-tox” (and on a side note, ladies, it wasn’t cute with the Heathers in Season 3 and it’s not cute now) and Coco can’t get her head back in the game because of her and Alyssa’s feud. So the ladies talk it out. Or rather, they talk around it without saying exactly what happened to have Alyssa dethroned from Miss Gay America. And why do I have the suspicion that they (Alyssa, Coco, and the producers) will milk this for all it is worth throughout the entire season? Why else would Coco break down on the runway? And who didn’t love it when Ru basically said to her, “Sack Up, Ho, and get your head back in the game!”?
* Runway time, and Ru, Santino, Michelle, Coco, and Paulina watch the girls take the runway, with looks that range from bland (Monica’s Shanghai Airlines look) to fantastic (Detox looking like “Faye Dunaway and Angelica Huston had a baby and forgot to wear clothes” according to Paulina, Jinkx’s fabulous Marie Antionette frock, Roxxxy serving corrected JLo) to questionable (Coco’s homage to Shirley Temple). And I have to give props to both guest judges this episode: both were on point in their critiques. In fact the judging panel had some of the best zingers so far this season; from Paulina admitting that she had been trying to get on the show for five years (which is a shock to me – after all Ru has admitted that Paulina was a major influence on her style) to Ru’s classic line “And you know, Santino, playing the dummy can be a real scene-stealing role. Right Michelle?”
* While the judges deliberate, over on Untucked, while there’s still more Alyssa/Coco drama (yawn!), Jade receives a surprise video message from her boyfriend (but does he know about her pornography past), and Roxxxy and Detox blur the line between complimenting and flirting (but does Roxxxy know about Detox’s alleged porn past?). (Please note that the links in this paragraph are NSFW.)
* In the end Detox won the challenge, and while I can see where the judges were going with it, I was surprised that Jinkx didn’t win. After all, she carried her entire team, and is a natural in front of the camera. (And that’s no accident, as you can see by her videos on FunnyOrDie . And yes, this link is SFW.)
* Monica and Coco unfortunately found themselves in the bottom two (which was a shock as I would have thought Vivienne’s boring performance would have sent her there automatically). Thankfully, as Michelle predicted last week, Coco brought it to the lip-sync and saved herself (though Coco came prepared by whipping off her dress to reveal a teenager-appropriate top and shorts perfect for the song “When I Grow Up”). And it’s a sad but hopeful sashay away for Monica who is certainly leaving in a better place then when she arrived.
So now I ask you, gentle readers; Have any favorites emerged for you? Unlike past seasons, where it was easy to determine who was good and who was not, this season it’s hard to find one person to root for all the way to the end.
NEXT WEEK: Dancing Queens! And The Artist Formerly Known as Ms. Bono!
Originally published as part of my column “The Idiot Box” for l’etoile magazine on 12 February, 2013.