RuPaul’s Drag Race 06:12

 

Well, here we are at the final episode…

… and frankly I’m conflicted by the outcome.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

Rather than Ru coming into the work room, it’s none other than BenDeLaCreme’s stunt double Michelle Visage explaining the final challenge, which centers around the girls filming the official video for Ru’s theme song for the season “Sissy That Walk;” a timeless tale of a small town girl who becomes “Sissy,” International Supermodel Of The World.

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Which involved learning choreography with choreographer Jamal Sims…

…and film two improvised scenes with RuPaul. The first, as a model working for an insane photographer doing insane poses, in an oblique homage to the film Blow Up

…and the second, where he plays the love interest Charles as Sissy, our heroine falls to pieces, in a dead on homage to the film Mahogany

…not to mention having lunch with dear Ru; complete with Tic Tacs.

Comes the dawn and the final four sashay down the runway for Ru, Santino, and Michelle knowing that one of the four will be eliminated right then and there.

Let’s assess how the girls did. In alphabetical order…

ADORE DELANO

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Give the bitch her due, she was on fire in this challenge. Nailing all of the choreography, nailing the acting challenges (even channeling her famed Anna Nicole Smith impersonation into the second scene), and looking not bad on the runway (I would have liked a little more length on that dress and a little less of the dark roots on her wig; the judges were right to call it out that it looked like she was wearing a head band). Frankly this is not a surprise to me. From Day One, Adore has shown herself to be a charismatic presence on stage and on camera when she buckles down does the work. But is it enough for her to win the crown?

BIANCA DEL RIO

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Bianca is an interesting case. It’s been clear from the beginning that she has been the queen to beat all season, but this challenge we saw a little stumbling on her part in the fact that some parts of it (the dancing and being overtly sexy on camera) are just slightly out of her wheelhouse. That said, she looked lovely in her final gown and nailed the two acting scenes (the second one in particular as she got right away what Ru was referencing and was able to play up the parody that Ru was going for).

COURTNEY ACT

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I have one thing to say about Miss Act, and that is “I Can’t!” I can not take it any more with Courtney. Now given her past history she’s shown herself to be charming and astute, and I realize that reality television shows (especially RuPaul’s Drag Race) are heavily edited to tell a story. But while Courtney may protest how she’s being portrayed in the show, editors can only work with what you give them. I wouldn’t be half as upset with Courtney’s passive-aggressive shade throwing if she could back it up, and in the video she comes off looking manic during the choreography, underwhelming in the first acting scene, and bizarre in the second one. Not even her gorgeous runway presentation could make up for it.

DARIENNE LAKE

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And then there’s Darienne. While many people might not agree with her being in the final four, you have to admit that once she got there, she more than delivered on the final challenge. Darienne’s greatest strength (aside from having a world class face and the makeup skills to show it off to great effect) is her on-point lip sync skills. She served it during the video shoot, was okay in the first acting scene, and was so demented in the second that it literally changed the plan with “Charles” coming back in to take her away from all of this. She was that good! And attention must once again be paid in that she manages to serve up glamour consistently (as opposed to the trap most queens of size find themselves in which is veering towards campiness).

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And then it came down to a four-way lip sync to the song “Sissy That Walk.” It’s times like these that I miss the good old days of earlier seasons just having the final two girls go head to head (you will recall the Season 1 finale with the epic performance by Bebe Zahara Bennet and Nina Flowers). As it was with all four of them, the editing made it had to track the girls and see who was delivering and who sucked. Adore and Darienne delivered in their signature styles; Adore giving us punk girl realness while Darienne nailed each syllable with precision and energy. Bianca was okay and worked the stage and the dress like they owed her back rent. Courtney, surprisingly, gave a very scattered performance, not really engaging with the song or the audience (and her attempts at the duck walk were poor).

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In the end, and to no one’s surprise, Darienne was the one let go. And frankly I call foul. (In fact, the reaction at The Gay 90s to her elimination was mixed between people happy to finally see her go, and people that were surprised by it.) Do I think she deserved to be in the top three? Not necessarily. Did I think she was going to win the whole competition? No. But, did she nail this challenge and do better than her competitors? Absolutely. In fact, she was neck and neck with Adore in doing the best on this challenge. If anyone should be going home for this challenge it should have been Courtney for veering between a manic delivery and phoning it in in every single aspect of the challenge. As it is, Darienne at least got to leave with her head held high.

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And now we have our final three: Adore Delano, Bianca Del Rio, and Courtney Act. And now it’s time for RuPaul to hear your thoughts. Tweet @RuPaulsDragRace with your choice. And then, this Friday, May 9, is when they will film the reunion and crowning (and knowing Ru, she will probably film three alternate endings for each queen). Tweet your opinions now! But remember…

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“The final decision is mine alone to make!”

Random Notes:

* Damn me for being a fool and not getting last week’s rallying cry of “Everybody Loves Puppets!” is a nod and wink to Ru’s friend the late Tammy Faye Baker-Messner. (You will recall that Ru himself narrated the documentary The Eyes Of Tammy Faye, which was produced by World Of Wonder, his production company.)

* BenDeLaCreme’s epic mirror message was hilarious!

* Next week is the recap show along with the special 21 1/2 Moments That Made Us Gag. So instead of a recap of a recap, come back next week for a few surprises.

* Also debuting next week is the official video to “Sissy That Walk,” but as you may have heard Ru and Co. asked the fans to show off their best walks. Thus came the lyric video (and the cop is everything!).

* Speaking of that song, when Born Naked dropped, Ru created a fake version for the torrenting sites, and it is everything. Hear the torrent version of “Sissy That Walk” now.

Photo Credits: Logo TV / World Of Wonder

Originally Published on 6 May 2014 as part of “The Idiot Box,” my television column for l’étoile.

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