Bullet Points – RuPaul’s Drag Race 05:12

Oops! She did it again! To our eternal consternation.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves, and that doesn’t happen till the end of the episode. First, we have a final three to condragulate…

And there they are!

As it has been for so many years, the final challenge is shooting RuPaul’s video for her latest single (in this case “The Beginning”). And like it has been for so many years…

… there’s choreographer Candis Cayne and director Mathu Andersen coaching the girls…

… the de facto green screen and dancing bits where a queen has some trouble nailing the steps (Alaska)…

… “lunch” with Auntie Ru (which consists of one Tic Tac, and Ru doing her best Barbara Walters impersonation while the girls cry on cue)…

… and in a surprise twist, a coaching session with mega-attorney Gloria Alred helping the queens plead their case to the highest judge in the land.  And speaking of Ms. Alred, it was a treat watching her basically point out each girl’s flaw with pinpoint accuracy. Please Ru, have her come back as a judge.

And speaking of judges…

Order in the court room, hunties!

For the final part of the challenge, the girls had to film a court room scene for the video and take turns playing the defendant, the prosecuting attorney, and the defense attorney. Don’t ask me what this has to do with the video for “The Beginning” as we will find that out next week when it debuts.

On a side note, that is a fantastic hair color on Ru. It’s too bad she doesn’t change up her hair color as much because this is a killer look for her. But like she once famously said…

“Know who you are and serve it up at all times!”

Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to it then.

Roxxxy was in full on bitch mode this episode, and for good reason. When it comes to any other performing besides lip synching, she falls short (especially when faced with the other two queens). That said, Michelle rightfully nailed it when she called Roxxxy a video ho. During the dancing parts when she had to sell the song, she was on fire and worked the camera. And once again, her runway look worked for her, even if it was a little tacky by normal standards.

That said, her conduct during the courtroom scene and afterwards was rather shameful. It’s one thing to take out your frustrations on your competitors, but to say that Jinkx and Alaska were making fun of the art of drag was ludicrous! Part of the whole idea of the art of drag is exploring and exposing entrenched gender “norms” and critiquing them through parody. While I can understand Roxxxy’s critique to a small point, it came across as a desperate attempt to rattle her competition.

And speaking of desperate, when it came time to defend her life, Roxxxy’s answers were typical pageant queen answers (which is what Gloria Alred warned her about not doing). Then she tried to pull focus on her by “apologizing” to Jinkx for her poor behavior on the runway. It came off as a shameless attempt at damage control.

Speaking of shameless and tacky, Jinkx’s final runway dress was a flattering color, but a little on the bland side. Which is a shame as everything from the neck up was working so well. It was no surprise that she nailed the acting challenge; all three characters were sharp and distinct. What was surprising was that she also handled the choreography so well. While she still is the front winner to take the whole thing, her victory is not guaranteed…

…especially since Alaska has stepped up in a major way these past few weeks, culminating in a strong showing this week. While I can quibble with her clumsiness with the choreography, and while I didn’t think it was a smart idea to slap on some Party City devil horns for her defendant outfit, her performances in the courtroom scenes were as strong as Jinkx’s. She also managed to put together a fantastic look for the final runway. And unlike Jinkx and Roxxxy, she actually fulfilled the full brief on the “defend your life” part of the challenge by not only stating why she should be America’s Next Drag Superstar, but why the other two shouldn’t be.

But at the end of the day, there was only one way to settle who would win; all three girls had to Lip Sync For Their Lives to “The Beginning.” What was interesting was how it showed off the three different styles of the lip sync: Roxxxy was serving up class working her cape, Jinkx used the stage and showed off her grace, and Alaska threw everything she had into the performance complete with rolling on the floor.

In the end, there was no winner announced. As I mentioned last week, RuPaul has decided to wait till the reunion episode to announce the actual winner, giving the time between now and then over to the fans to voice their opinion on who should win on Twitter, on the show’s Facebook page, and elsewhere. While I can understand her attempts to milk out the suspense for as long as possible, I agree with all the criticisms that she received when she pulled this stunt last year; it is dragging (pun intended) out the end too much

Since next week is the recap episode, I won’t be covering that. Instead come back next week for a surprise.

Originally Published on 23 April 2013 as part of my column “The Idiot Box” for l’etoile magazine.


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