RuPaul’s Drag Race 06:11

Okay, this episode was a lot to take in; from people’s behavior to the genuinely surprising ending. Not even the return of Khloé Kardashian could make this better. Not even the return of iconic designer Bob Mackie (who, lest we forget was the very first guest judge all the way back to the first episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race) could make this episode better for me.

Why am I so upset? Because of the ending.

But first let’s have a little therapy. Puppet therapy.

 

 

 

RPDR0611-01

One of the newer mini-challenges that has caught on is the puppets challenge. Basically the queens are given boy puppets of their fellow competitors and they have to drag them out and use them for a reading session. It’s a fun stress reliever of a challenge and if done right can be hilarious.

As for the results…

RPDR0611-Darienne

Courtney, as Darienne, was kind of a mis-step.

RPDR0611-Courtney

Darienne, as Courtney, however nailed Courtney’s backhanded shade throwing. (“You’re not hideous, it’s just that your body is misshapen.”)

RPDR0611-Adore

Bianca had Adore, which was too easy a target, thus she was middle of the road.

RPDR0611-DeLa

Adore, frankly should have won the challenge with her dead-on take on DeLa’s voice. The oatmeal joke (as to what DeLa uses to conceal her eyebrows) alone should have won it.

RPDR0611-Bianca

But BenDeLaCreme’s manic take on Bianca was declared the winner. While I would have given it to Adore, the oversized teeth made the puppet look.

It’s then that Ru reveals the main challenge; a mini drag ball. The queens have to perform an opening number, and then create three jewel-inspired looks in three different categories; banji girl realness, executive drag, and then a couture creation inspired by various jewels (diamonds, rubies, sapphires, topaz, and rose quartz). And it was interesting to see everyone’s actions during working. Darienne changes her gown last second. DeLa thinks Bianca is sailing through the competition. Adore has a breakdown during Ru’s walkthrough about her lack of sewing skills.

But enough of that. It’s time for the Glitter Ball!

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And once again, the opening number is half-assed. I get why Ru makes them do it (to take away some of their much-needed work time to finish their looks) but at this point in the competition it tends to have the dreaded “throw crap on the mannequin and hope to God that it works” desperation about it. Or, as we will soon see, they default back to basic looks that they can put together quickly. That said, of the final five, Darienne actually delivered on the opening number.

Let’s break this down person by person:

ADORE DELANO

RPDR0611-Adore1 RPDR0611-Adore2 RPDR0611-Adore3

Adore won the challenge, and rightfully so. It wasn’t that her looks were top of the line per se, but each look was a distinctive character that she sold. While I wasn’t buying the lesbian executive realness per se, her banji girl look was on point and the eleganza was sold by the presentation (a Blade Runner ballerina). Best of all, there were three distinct characters on that stage to go with each of her looks. A deserved win.

BIANCA DEL RIO

RPDR0611-Bianca1 RPDR0611-Bianca2 RPDR0611-Bianca3

Bianca was safe, which must have stung for her on a costume challenge. That said, I have to agree with the criticism especially about her eleganza gown in that it look like many of her other gowns in terms of silhouette. Her banji girl look was a little too uptown to be banji but the overall effect was that she was safe.

DARIENNE LAKE

RPDR0611-Darienne1 RPDR0611-Darienne2 RPDR0611-Darienne3

Darienne tanked in this challenge, and to her credit she knew it. The banji look was pure 90s rave, the executive look was tragic and the eleganza look could have worked if rendered in different fabrics. As it was it was sagging under the weight of the gemstones appliqué. She even admitted her fault after everyone else named her in the dreaded “Who should go home?” sequence. I feel bad for Darienne and the shit storm that she’s receiving for what happened. But that comes later.

BENDELACREME

RPDR0611-DeLa1 RPDR0611-DeLa2 RPDR0611-DeLa3

I felt bad for BenDeLaCreme this episode. On the one hand, the banji girl look was cute and a surprise left field choice for her. However, the executive realness look was costumey (and Ru was right to call out that it invoked Bette Midler’s costumes in Big Business and Outrageous Fortune). The eleganza look was frankly another cute showgirl costume that we’ve seen from DeLa before. It’s not bad per se, it’s just that we’ve seen it and it really didn’t invoke the concept of eleganza. Not only that, she had mentioned her inspiration was the film What A Way To Go. Alas, she missed the mark. (Click here to see what I mean.) That said, I was shocked that DeLa was in the bottom two…

COURTNEY ACT
RPDR0611-Courtney1 RPDR0611-Courtney2 RPDR0611-Courtney3

…because Courtney deserved to be there instead.

In my ideal version of the show, Courtney would have gone home last week so Joslyn would have gone home this week. As it is, Courtney should have been read to filth for all of these looks. Her banji girl look is more sanitized 90s grunge, the executive look was okay, but the eleganza look was a bra and a piece of fabric. Courtney may be talented, but more than any of the other queens, she has been coasting by on her looks to carry her through. The problem is that her looks are getting to be nothing more than pretty dress and basic makeup. While she should have been on the chopping block, she was surprisingly spared.

RPDR0611-04

As soon as I saw that Darienne and DeLa were lip-syncing again against each other I knew that DeLa was going home. Like last time, Darienne delivered a much more energetic and engaging performance than DeLa did, which sent DeLa home. Frankly DeLa should not be going home; she deserved to be in the final. As it is now, she’s instantly in the short list for Season 2 of All Stars, and has won the hearts and minds of the audience.

Time for THE DRAG RACE SCOREBOARD:

– Adore Delano: 17
– BenDeLaCreme: 19
– Bianca Del Rio: 25
– Courtney Act: 17
– Darienne Lake: 8

NEXT WEEK: It’s the final challenge which means lunch with Mother Ru, and time to shoot her latest music video, this time for the song “Sissy That Walk”.

And did I hear that right in the commercial? Final THREE?!!?!!

Special thanks as always to The Gay 90s for hosting one this season’s viewing party. Join me and the rest of the l’étoile-ites on Monday nights starting at about 8pm  as we cheer (and boo) the girls on! 

Photo Credits: Logo TV / World Of Wonder

Originally Published on 29 April 2014 as part of “The Idiot Box,” my television column for l’étoile.

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