Well, after last week’s fiasco that was Snatch Game 2016, we have a surprisingly good episode. And I say surprising because it’s the dreaded makeover challenge, and they have a tendency of going south real quick (*cough* Justice for Pandora Boxx! *cough*). But it helped by having a great theme, which led to a fantastic runway and some surprising results.
But no time to chat as we have company, in the form of Entertainment Weekly contributor Marc Snetiker has come by to serve as a special guest judge. And why? Because “in the great tradition of RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Mr. Charles once again appropriates a famous bit of gay culture and gets it somewhat wrong. I mean, “in the great tradition of Paris Is Burning,” it’s the annual reading challenge. And “in the great tradition of Todd’s recaps for l’étoile,” I am going to turn the floor over to the legendary Dorian Corey and Venus Xtravaganza explain the fine art of (and differences between!) shade and reading (which Ru has mixed up on more than one occasion)…
Well, the season premiere taught us a very important lesson…
Never ever ever forget your herstory, henny!
And it’s an important lesson to remember as the season 8 premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race was all about the herstory of this show. As the twelve new contestants entered the WERKroom for the premiere of the 100th Episode, it also served as an intro to the 100th queen to walk into the room and compete for the title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar.”
Spring has truly returned! How do we know this? Because, in four days, our good friend Mr. Charles will open the doors for the latest class at his Finishing School for Wayward Gender Illusionists.
And with it, comes the latest crop of fresh, young starlets that are competing to show their Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent to the world as they try to become the eighth person to claim the title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar.” Along with the usual amounts of glamor, shade, and shenanigans, this also heralds the return of my favorite part of the show…
… no, not THE DRAG RACE SCOREBOARD (though trust and believe that it will be back in its full glory come Tuesday)…
… no, we’re talking about the best part of the show (or, what should be the best part)…
The Lip Sync For Your Life!
And we’re back… with what was a surprisingly mediocre episode. I say surprisingly because this should have been a great episode. Between having one of the most eagerly awaited mini-challenges of the show, and having a long-overdue main challenge (I refuse to call them a maxi-challenge), my expectations were high. But alas, it was a gloriously entertaining mess when it should have been something transcendent.
But before we begin, let’s start with an important announcement by clapping for this hooker…
To all things… an end.
Well, squirrelfriends, the time has come… for RuPaul’s Drag Race… to crown… a winner!
But first let’s spend 90 minutes padding out way through an over-stuffed review/variety show to get to that point.
If it sounds line I’m being slightly bitter, well yes I am. Ever since Season 4 when they switched the format around, I’ve been against this over-wrought drag extravaganza. I missed the days of just naming the winner then having a closed set reunion so we could watch the queens (and, most tellingly in the Season 1 reunion, Ru) get real with each other. These extravaganzas just feel padded out and have no real consequence.
That said, of the big production number reunion/crowning episodes, this one is perhaps the best done of the lot. Rather than do a full play by play analysis, I will do just a smattering of my favorite moments:
Well, it’s that time of the year again for RuPaul’s Drag Race to indulge in the annual clips show…
Well, here we are at the final episode…
… and frankly I’m conflicted by the outcome.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
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.
Side Note Before We Begin: Dear Friends, as you may or may not realize, this episode’s recap is out late. And I do apologize for it, as it was due to some real world stuff (a planned appendectomy that resulted in me staying in the hospital longer than planned – I’m doing just fine, thank you) interfering with our continuing coverage of the most glamorous show on television. I do apologize and thank you all for your patience and support. And now, on to the recap…
Dearly Beloved: We are gathered here in the presence of YAYUS GAWD to celebrate marriage equality…
…by celebrating heterosexual marriages on a drag competition show.
Yes, you read that correctly.
When we last spoke, I had mentioned that RuPaul’s Drag Race on Monday night broadcast two episodes back to back (along with two episodes of Untucked back to back following). This was motivated partially by the show moving to its new time slot next week. It was also motivated as the last episode had no elimination.
Before we get into this episode, a few side notes:
1) Joining us at this extravaganza on Monday was none other than iconic local drag queen Bitch Flowers (the non de femme of stylist and designer and longtime friend of l’étoile Richard Anderson) who was plugging her annual April Showers Brings Bitch Flowers party this Friday, April 11 at The Varsity. Not only is it one of the best parties in the city, but it’s packed with more glamour than any other affair in town. And what’s more, this year, the special guest entertainer is none other than the iconic Pandora Boxx!! And I know for a fact that there are still a few tickets left, so get on it!
2) The one big downside to this stacking of the episodes is that Untucked got glossed over. As we get closer to the finish, Untucked becomes more and more essential a viewing experience, especially as the Untucked for the last episode was wonderful for (a) Season 5 standout and internet sensation Alyssa Edward’s special messages to the girls, and (b) especially watching Trinity emboldened by her experiences on the show and by her good work in the last challenge to let her empathy come out. (Plus watching her throw loving shade at everyone for getting read while she was safe was the highlight of the season.) More of this please, Miss Bonet.
3) The breakout star of RuPaul’s Drag Race has returned. Take it away Miss LD:
(Like I said last time, I want a full RuPaul’s Drag Race / Adventure Time mashup right now!)
And now… the rest of the Ru-persized episode.