He’s so excited! He just can’t hide it! No no no no no!
Well, it’s time for the annual singing challenge. But this one had a nice twist to it. Not only that, we all learned a lesson: While sisterhood can be powerful, it is not necessarily a good thing for a reality TV competition.
First up an interesting mini challenge: having the queens apply their makeup in the dark. Detox wins by default but a lot of the results were not as good as they hoped (and I’m being charitable).
And then comes the main challenge: in the tradition of USA for Africa and Band Aid, the queens must write and record a charity single “Can I Get An Amen?” For winning mini challenge, Detox breaks the queens into three groups for the song. As a child of the ’80s, I was howling over the idea of the queens serving ’80s Music Video Realness and cringing at the prospect of tone deaf queens. So the girls threw on their best ’80s frocks and laid down the tracks with Ru’s producer Lucian Pianie.
Coco and Alyssa had the first verse. One of the best things that Detox did was put these two together to throw each other off. And while Alyssa pulled herself together to get the work done (even though she knew she couldn’t sing worth a lick, she brought a ton of energy to the video), Coco was thrown off her game, to the point where she was throwing snide commentary to Detox not only during the recording, but also on the runway. It didn’t help that Coco had no energy during her performance, which would come back to hurt her.
Meanwhile, Jinkx, Ivy and Jade sounded great on the second verse. It helped that both Ivy and Jinkx can actually sing (Ivy nailed the harmonies and Jinkx’s held note would have made Ethel Merman proud) and had no problem with the tune. While Jade was able to keep up, she was so timid in her performance that she got lost.
Meanwhile, RoLaskaTox — aka Alaska, Detox and Roxxxy — had the bridge and it was not good. Alaska can carry a tune, but she was rightfully worried because of her fears that her RoLaskaTox sisters are upstaging here. And while Detox is funny, she was only okay. Roxxxy on the other hand, needs to learn that it’s either a “sequin” dress or a “sequined” dress, not a “sequinsed” dress.
It’s runway day and the queens are challenged to dress to showcase their best feature. Ru, Santino (may he never say Her-story again!) and Michelle are joined by the Pointer Sisters (well, Anita and Ruth — RIP June), and frequent Drag Race judge LaToya Jackson. And while LaToya is daffy as all get out, she often has on-point critiques.
As for the runway and critiques…
COCO went for a touch of edgy, but it couldn’t spare her from being in the bottom.
ALYSSA showed off her legs but it’s basic as it gets. She’s safe.
JADE was kind of all over the place. Bottom two.
IVY wins! While I would have given it to Jinkx for her performance, Ivy’s dress (made of photos of her face) was pretty brilliant. Plus her win was a fitting rebuke to RoLaskaTox.
JINKX looks tragic. While I have no problem with her lack of “glamour” (whatever the hell that means, Michelle!), I do have a problem that this look felt half-assed and didn’t feel like a fully realized character, which is what she should be doing.
ROXXXY shows off her ass. Again. *Yawn* I’m sorry but I’m bored with her ass. And the rest of her for that matter.
DETOX proved there is a way to show off your ass artfully and well (with her laced up dress that showed her backside. That said, I appreciated Ru and Michelle’s takedown of the RoLaskaTox hydra in that their respective circle jerk is not helping them. Whether they heed these words remains to be seen. One member who was listening was…
ALASKA. She got a bit of a smack down this week not only as part of the RoLaskaTox mess, but also because, as Ru puts it, she needs to show more vulnerability. Ru then did something that I found shocking and a little out of place; she compared Alaska to her boyfriend Sharon Needles. While I get that Ru was using Sharon as an example that Alaska could get, I thought that it was unfair in the fact that Alaska should be judged on her own merits. That said, I agree with Alaska and the judges that she needs to step it up or else she’s going to get left behind.
In the end, Coco and Jade had to lip sync for their lives. As soon as I heard that the song was the Pointer Sisters’s “I’m So Excited,” I knew who was going home. And while Coco easily won, I have to give it to Jade for actually showing up and giving a good performance (which is a rare thing to see this season).
Side note #1: “Can I Get An Amen?” is now available for download. At iTunes, of course.
Side note #2: The other reason I’m featuring the cover of the single is to feature the art of illustrator Chad Sell. If you haven’t seen his illustrations of the various RPDR cast members, you really should!
NEXT WEEK: A celebrity roast! A corporate sponsor! Bruce Villanch! And my other favorite challenge of the show.