So everyone who is anyone (or at least anyone who is gay) knows that RuPaul’s Drag Race is one of the most fun shows on TV. I started recapping the season in earnest, but then I realized that much like making fun of Ke$ha or delivering a dramatic reading of Jewel’s poetry, it is difficult to be snarky about things that are already their own most over-the-top parody. But it’s been a few weeks, so I thought we’d check in and see how the duct tape is holding up on RuRu and her remaining seven girls.
The point of reality television is to get a group of extreme personalities together and make them hate each other, right? Thank goodness that Drag Race wears its heart on its sleeve: tonight’s episode opens with the queens “reading” each other. For those of you who went to church camp, it’s like an inverted affirmation circle: one by one, each contestant takes a turn talking shit about the others. If you never went to church camp, imagine a family Thanksgiving at the Farrell house. It’s kind of like that. Raja’s reaction to being read seems like the face I’m making any time I watch this show:
The readings are mostly not that funny: everyone goes for Delta’s weight, Yara’s jokes are indecipherable, and pretty much everyone works less on their material and more on straight-up stealing Jujubee’s delivery style from last season. Unlike previous seasons, not all the readings are shown, which must mean that what we saw was actually the pick of the litter. You can almost see the tiny pink gears turning inside RuPaul’s head as she introduces the girls with every book/reading/library-related reference in the entire English language. She never mentioned due date slips, which, although antiquated, could have been tied into some kind of hilarious pregnancy joke, right? Oh god, now I’m going to get read.
Now that we’ve eliminated the Mimis and Stacey Laynes of the world, we’re down to the fiercest competitors. They are split between “The Heathers” (Delta, Raja, Carmen and Manila) and “The Boogers” (Alexis, Yara, Shangela). Or, as Shangela calls them, “The Looks” vs. “The Talent.”
My friend Chris pointed out that every week, no matter which E-list celebrity they’ve dug up from the grave to be a guest judge, Raja is absolutely smitten and starstruck (“Oh my god! Alessandra Torresani!” “Debbie Matenopoulos? I DIE!!!”). Well, this week, it’s Yara’s turn to be thrilled (“Oh by gaw it’s REEEEEDA RUUUUDNA!”). Shangela wins the reading competition, but this is no Book It! Instead of winning a personal pan pizza, she gets to pick the orders of the girls’ stand-up performances. Suddenly everyone’s favorite whipping girl gets to enjoy the view as a top. Erm, I mean from the top.
Rita Rudner offers some funny jokes to the girls, but she does that thing of when someone says “I laughed” instead of ever actually laughing. Yara’s performance for Rita is one of the best, most .gif-able things I’ve ever seen on the entire television. Unfortunately, I don’t have those kind of skills, but if you do, please: that awkward moment where Yara’s scrambling around on her knees doing a frantic bit about diarrhea.
The performances are, for the most part, surprisingly funny. The biggest dud is obviously Delta Work, who should have gone home about seven episodes ago. The second and third biggest duds are stuffed with foam:
The most surprising turn-this-shit-around moment came from how funny Yara’s performance actually was.
RuPaul’s weekly strut down the runway is surpassed only by the blasé expression on the faces of the judges. Has there ever been a more concise visual representation of disappointment in one’s own life and career arc?
First Merle inexplicably disappears, and now Santino. If Drag Race is fashioned after America’s Next Top Model, at least that bitch Tyra waits until the end of the season to dispose of the garbage. Last summer when I went to Lilith Fair (which shouldn’t have even been called Lilith Fair–it was a sad, Weekend-at-Berniesed version of that lesbian festival of love that lives so fondly in my memories of 1998), Miranda Lambert was there. She performed for an hour and fifteen minutes and I left the venue still not knowing who she was. I sort of feel the same way about Arden Myrin. You can tell me who she is and why she’s there and I still won’t understand who she is or why she’s there.
So, Manila and Delta are the bottom two, and they have to LSFTL to Donna Summer’s “MacArthur Park.” Not to be finicky, because, you know, bygones, but Donna Summer needed a more consistent grammatical house style. That song is called “MacArthur Park,” but the lyrics say “MacArthur’s Park.” Tacky. Anyway, Delta gets eliminated not a minute too soon (actually about 525,600 minutes too late), and that makes Manila feel all:
Where does that leave us? Well, this season still has no Pandora Boxx or Jujubee. Those bitches will forever be the “laces out” moment of this show. I think Raja is a stone-cold bitch, but she turns it out pretty much every time. I love her brand of club kid drag, and she always looks absolutely perfect. I just wish she wasn’t such a bully. Shangela has grown on me since the first episode, and with the exception of the completely fake “I’m offended” card she tried to play about Manila’s dumb Asian stereotypes, she’s been pretty perfect. I don’t care that she can’t blend her makeup–she’s funny, she’s usually pretty fair, and she’s worked harder than anyone else at getting her own catchphrase to take off. I can relate, Shangie, I can relate.
Who is your current favorite? Are you as bored by me that every week now the runway challenge is to “give us your best look?” Tell me how much you hate Shangela (I’m talking to you, Patty!) or come have an Absolut cocktail in my own Interior Illusions Lounge on Twitter.