Hold your hats and halleluiahs (and/or your halleloo’s). Ru is gonna give it to ya!
And apparently promoting a new album already, as by the time you read this her new album Born Naked will already be out on iTunes. (Insert Wink Here.)
But enough of that because she is back!
Which mean, squirrel friends, that Miss RuPaul’s Ersatz School For…
Wait a minute. Didn’t I say all of this last week?
Well then, welcome then to the season premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race… Part 2: Electric Boogaloo! (Yes, I went there!) As I mentioned last week, RuPaul has split the premiere over two weeks dividing our fourteen queens…
…oh wait, thirteen queens! I must have miscounted… anyway, our queens have been divided into two groups so each judge can rip each queen to shreds before uniting the full cast together.
And so, our six returning queens decided to celebrate with champagne and cake! And just like all parties…
…Mother had to come by and break it up (with a face that will haunt my nightmares for some time) …
…and wouldn’t you know that the those naughty girls trashed the place…
…complete with ominous acts of vandalism!
Into this chaos, the second batch of seven queens arrived, asking themselves “What in the gay hell is going on around here?” Which was not helped by the arrival of Ru, fresh from his gig as a Mary Kay cosmetics representative. (And on a side note, Ru’s voice on helium sounds exactly like Stan in South Park. And while we’re at it, let’s get Ru on that show and Trey Parker and Matt Stone on Drag Race as guest judges. It’s perfect synergy, darlings!)
This time around, the queens had to have the photo shoot with Mike Ruiz in a boudoir shot with the Pit Crew (which derailed into a feather flinging pillow fight). For the main challenge, the girls were given boxes that were filled with party favors for different party themes (Princess Party, St. Patrick’s Day, Republican Party, Hoe Down, Luau, Toga Party, and Quinceañera) and then were challenged to create couture looks with these materials. And while there was a lot of shade throwing and nit picking, I have to say that this half of girls have a lot more personality on the whole than the last half; in fact I will go on record to say that this batch could be the better group in terms of having charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent.
Time to go to work (werk?) as it’s runway time with Ru, Michelle, Santino, and special guest judge Khloé Kardashian who not only had spot on critiques, she also had a great sense of humor about herself (“Oh Honey! Do you not know my family and sisters? We’re all queens at heart.”). It’s refreshing when the guest judges really get into it and give proper critiques and I would love to see Khloé come back ala dear LaToya Jackson (especially in light of recent developments which I’ll discuss at the end).
And now, on to the “troglodytes” (to use the other half’s less than flattering term).
TRINITY K(ardashian) BONET
Well, she is pretty at least. She might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but she is pretty (as evidenced by her win in the mini challenge – though to be fair most of the girls did really well in the photo shoot). And in a surprising turn of events, she can bring some edge to her looks. When she got the Princess Party theme, she told Ru she was combining space princess with royal princess, which sounded like a recipe for a hot mess. And by god, she delivered. While it was a little kabuki heavy, it was still as sharp look especially once she took off the collar. Expect her to be around for a while.
I admit, when I saw the preview pics, I was intrigued by the little fishy girl (but it must be said, she can’t hold a candle to Gia or Courtney). And she is cute in and out of drag (in fact a lot of the girls in this half are as cute out of face as in it). But here’s the thing, she’s young and dumb (emphasis on the latter as shown when she said she was the black horse of this competition). As for her runway, her Quinceañera look was a lot to take. While she got the over the top nature of Quinceañera, it’s a lot of look. That said, when she whipped off her skirt to twerk in Untucked, it was fabulous. Safe for now.
Oh. Dear. Far be it from me to come for a blue collar queen; in fact queens that play in the blue collar shtick can be awesome! But poor Mags here was a mess. In fact, the second she walked into the workroom I caught the dreaded whiff of “cannon fodder” and knew that she was not long for the competition. Combine that with (a) boring looks on the runway, (b) an over-contoured nose, and (c) worst of all, a piss poor attitude that caused her to get mouthy with the judges and you knew she was doomed. Even during Untucked, it was obvious that her sour attitude was causing all the queens to read her.
Oh, yayus hunny! I’ve head about Miss Milk for a while, and I love it when a queen can bring some edge to rattle the fishes and pageant queens on the show and I can’t wait to see what she brings to the table. And yes, I was indeed gagging over the first look (if Salvador Dali were to imagine a drag queen, it might look like Milk’s entrance outfit). And she did pretty well for herself in the photo shoot. As for the runway… well… it’s a look, I’ll give it that (and Santino swooned over it). The beard might have been a bridge to far for me but the judges adored it and more to the point the personality behind it (and Ru nailed it when she said it echoed Sister Dimension). So much so that she clearly tied with another queen for second place. The question remains if she can do fishy as well as edgy. But for now, she’s safe.
A few things before I go into it with this one: (1) You have to say her name in an Australian accent to get that it’s a play on “caught in the act”, and (2) despite what she said, she was a semi-finalist on Australian Idol. As I was chatting with a friend last week during the premiere, there is clearly going to be some conflict between Courtney and Adore given they were on Australian and American Idol respectively. And that was one ballsy move by entering the room and reading everyone en masse (“Is this America’s Next Top Model”? Oops, sorry.”).
But my complaints can be put to the side for now, because with the possible exception of Season 3’s Carmen Carrera, Courtney has to be the queen that most looks like a biological woman in the show’s history. And not only that, unlike most fishy queens on the show, she has the talent and presence to back it up. I honestly felt that her photo was better than Trinity’s (even Mike Ruiz was rapturous in his praise of her). And her runway was a model take on the Republic Party serving the infamous “body-ody-ody.” If there was one fumble, it was that the train was too long and she tripped up on it, but the judges were clearly impressed and she tied Milk for second place.
BIANCA DEL RIO
While I mentioned last week that BenDeLaCreme looked like Michelle Visage, Bianca acts like dear Miss Visage (and for good reasons; not only does Bianca pull from that insult comedy lineage but she is Michelle’s frequent co-host for the Drag Race premiere party in New York City). And Bianca and her Rolodex of Hate made for some of the best lines and commentary in the episode. While I would beg to keep her in the competition for that alone her talent will keep her here just fine, thank you. This was a fantastic outfit and a deserved win. That said, I have to agree with Khloe and Michelle in the fact that her eye makeup and lashes need a little softening as they’re closing off her eyes.
From the waters of Rochester, New York (the spawning grounds of none other than the great Pandora Boxx) comes the vivacious and voluptuous Darienne Lake. And thank the drag goddesses for that! We haven’t had a proper queen of size since the legendary Latrice Royale in Season 4 (I don’t count last season’s Roxxxy Andrews – she wasn’t that big), and not only that but she is charming and glamorous to boot (unlike say the old-school Victoria “Porkchop” Parker in Season 1 or the gorgeous but dour Delta Work in Season 3). It’s a known fact that bigger drag queens can be just as beautiful, talented, and fierce as their thinner sisters, and Drag Race has had trouble with bigger girls going all the way to the end (even the mighty Latrice made it only to the top four). All of the drag world has been waiting patiently for a bigger girl to finally win this competition and Darienne seems to be the great big hope we’ve been looking for.
That said, Darienne did not do as well as we had all hoped. While the photo shoot was surprisingly good and loaded with personality, the runway look was boring as hell; the face was glorious, the top was nondescript, and the skirt with the front ruching was a mistake (if she had turned it sideways so the ruching was on the sides instead of dead center it would have helped). Nevertheless, she ended up in the bottom two.
While I had no fears about who would survive, I was worried because of the song. As someone who has lip synched to Vicki Sue Robinson’s iconic disco anthem “Turn The Beat Around” before, I can tell you that it’s an incredibly difficult song, not only for Robinson’s melisma moments throughout, but also the rapid-fire middle section of the second verse. Bless Darienne as she nailed every syllable of that song! And so it’s a sashay for Magnolia and a chance for the girls to head back into the work room to untuck and relax…
And since these rude bitches decided to appear without giving our girls a chance to catch their breath, let’s clock their looks shall we? We have from left to right: Oscar The Grouch’s goth daughter in flapper drag (sorry not sorry Laganja), Lucy Liu’s ugly sister (I am sorry Miss Liu for comparing That Person to you and/or your family), a fishy 80s secretary turn from Sta. Carión (nicely done lady), Mary J. Blige in Moulin Rouge (great look by the way Vivacious), Christina Ricci as a post-modern Eliza Doolittle at Ascot (brava DeLa) and the love child of Debbie Harry and Courtney Love (atta girl Adore).
Before we judge them too harshly, let us sashay over to…
And once again, I am using the artwork of the lovely and talented Chad Sell for this (so do him a favor, go over to his site, gag on the art, and buy a print or 20). Like last week: 1 point for the mini challenge, 4 points for winning the main challenge, 1 point for being safe, 0 points for bottom three, -1 for “Shante, You Stay!”, -2 for “Sashay Away!” As a side note, I am giving Courtney and Milk 2 points this week as they clearly came in second to Bianca in the judges eyes
Therefore, here are the scores…
– Bianca Del Rio: 4
– Courtney Act: 2
– Darienne Lake: -1
– Joslyn Fox: 0
– Magnolia Crawford: -2
– Milk: 2
– Trinity K. Bonet: 2
NEXT WEEK: The first team challenge, a romp in the sand, some screaming queens, and Linda Blair shows us how it’s done!
One more thing, gentle readers: In her recent appearance on Watch What Happens Live RuPaul herself has just leaked that the Second Season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars has been approved to go into production. And if you read my recaps from last season, you will know that I had… issues with that season. Therefore, I have written an open letter to dear Mr. Charles…
You know I love you like the fairy drag godmother I never had, but I implore you – Do Not Force The Pair Challenges All Season Long. You’re better than this darling. And the girls deserve better than this.
Best Wishes (and Don’t Fuck It Up!) (No, really! DO NOT FUCK IT UP!),
Photo Credits: Logo