Last week on drag race: the queens had to do their best Divine-inspired performances for John Waters, and Fame just wasn’t the right kind of terrible – which meant Trixie is still in the competition and the ranks got shuffled.
After the Elimination
The girls are all giggles as they head back into the workroom fresh from the runway and Miss Fame’s elimination. Violet seems to have grown some genuine, Real Girl TM emotions and will miss Miss Fame, and Katya’s eyes tell the same story. Violet unintentionally calls back to the best Untucked of last season, interviewing, “Fame probably felt really attacked.”
Well, we all know how that can go, right Laganja?
Violet also feels how close her brush with the bottom was as the only remaining non-lip-syncing contestant – which maybe leads Katya to declare war on her? It’d be smart; Violet is the Top-3-bound lady who Katya is most likely to knock off head-to-head.
The rest of the queens seem to be over the elimination (and Miss Fame, in general), which isn’t a big surprise. Despite not being a villain in the slightest, Fame had a lot to say and never quite put her talent where her mouth was. Pearl, particularly, takes exception with Fame calling her out in the “Who should go?” quiz in front of the judges panel. She claims that the ire will only inspire her to greater heights.
A New Day!
The ladies return to their stations to discover Miss Fame left them all brief individual notes, because she is that thoughtful. Everyone is rude about it (Kennedy slightly less so, maybe because her note was so glowing, calling her a “class act”), because outta sight outta mind! They don’t want to be reminded of the girl they just left behind the day before.
RuPaul’s voicemail is full of musical hints, quoting lyrics from Whitney Houston and Joni Mitchell. He enters in a slightly too-big orange corduroy blazer over a red-striped shirt. It’s dull. The mini-challenge is to serve “Rich Bitch Reality Realness,” nipping and tucking their mugs using only Scotch tape, and then cutting promos for The Fake Housewives of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
All of the girls dress the part and give hilarious quotes, so I’m judging just on face-winching. Pearl gave herself an upturned whoville nose, and her makeup looks a little better than typically does on the runway. Kennedy gave her forehead a lift, but otherwise looks like herself, completely. Violet is unrecognizable in Kelly Mantle drag – she seriously looks exactly like Kelly Mantle. I couldn’t even figure out how she was. She looks like she’s had a multiple nose jobs, and eye lift, cheekbones, and more. Ginger has a lot of tape on her face, but it’s just… a lot of tape on her face. Maybe it’s giving her some cheekbones? It’s hard to tell. Trixie went beyond over the top, covering her entire face with tape and completely altering the shape of it into some sort of insane burn-victim reconstruction. It’s a bit scary. Katya also made an entirely new face out of tape – like, there isn’t one part of her face that isn’t made out of tape at this point. It reads a little more Silence of the Lambs than Fake Housewives.
Violet is the clear winner here, with Trixie and Katya as runners up. Ru agrees, picking Violet! Trixie also noticed the Kelly Mantle resemblance.
The maxi-challenge is #PrancingQueens, dancing to oddball song mashups that cross genres, styles, and dance moves. Violet gets to assign the couples. Who is the best dancer in the bunch? Probably Kennedy, but that comes with its own set of problems, so I think you’d want to pick Katya – which Violet does with barely a second of hesitation.
Katya interviews: “Sorry. No way bitch. You’re on your own. Unless you can help me win a challenge. [WINK]”
Violet couples the remaining standing pairs of queens, which puts Ginger with Trixie and Kennedy with Pearl. Honestly, there’s not really a better configuration than putting obvious pals Kennedy and Ginger together (which could make a bit of sense if you assume couples may have to sync against each other, as they frequently do in the Top 6 or 8).
Trixie interviews: “So, Violet chooses my partner, Ginger. I’m a little frustrated, because I can sew, and I can dance, and she can’t.”
Katya and Violet have pulled some form of tango, and Violet’s only knowledge of the dance is “it’s Spanish.” Katya tries gamely to lead her through it, while Trixie exhibits some form of hoedown for a puzzled Ginger.
Trixie: “Do you dance at all?”
Ginger: “No ma’am! Not even the truffle shuffle!”
I don’t buy that for a second. Ginger tried the same sandbagging in the Glamazonian Airways challenge (in which she lead the winning team against Trixie) and wound up dancing just fine. Trixie, wisely, takes the rare appearance of Ginger’s humility to knock her down a peg.
Ru visits Kennedy (dance classes) and Pearl (can’t even nod in rhythm), and Ru seems moderately encouraging to Pearl on her weaknesses (as does Kennedy). Ru visits Ginger (not a dancer) and Trixie (doesn’t want to be outshined), together for a second week. Ru senses tension and slinks away. Ru visits Violet (arial performer) and Katya (no comment) and just makes small-talk.
We hit the dance floor to find that Carson Kressley and Kym Johnson have been reuinited from Dancing With The Stars to coach this week’s challenge.
Kennedy and Pearl have drawn Charleston + Twerking, and I think that describes how I usually dance at weddings. Kennedy casually breaks out some flips, splits, and kicks while Pearl looks on in terror. Pearl is trying hard, but cannot seem to do a single thing correctly – straightening her legs, shaking her ass – nothing.
Violet displays what might be her first positive challenge outlook of all time as she heads in with Katya fpr Voguing + Tango. Violet is nailing the vogues while Katya looks on in puzzlement. Seems like we’re back to the Glamazonian Airways self-defeating Katya. Meanwhile, Violet cannot do footwork, despite having some great turnout in her tango pose.
Trixie and Ginger pulled Country + Robot, and while this might be the highest difficulty level it’s also totally tailored to Trixie’s personality. Trixie seems to be picking it up the robot quickly, and also deals with the country two-steps well. They spend a lot of time with Trixie futilely trying to lift Ginger off of a bale of hay – uh, perhaps switch that particular aspect of the partnership?
Coming out of rehearsals, they all seem equally fucked except for Kennedy.
Ginger stayed up all night doing the robot, and she’s as worried about the moves as being sexy while doing them. Violet and Katya got to like each other in the past 24hrs, and Katya has done a complete 180 in terms of believing in Violet’s abilities and niceness. Kennedy puts the kibosh on that, as she and Ginger maintain their old lady brigade of bitchiness at the mirrors.
The category is half-man, half-queen – an oddball assignment playing once again on the genderfuck theme of the season. For a couple of these contests, it’s the man part that might be a challenge – this is a lovely group!
Pearl is half Dream of Jeannie, half Justin Timberlake. The split of her face is pretty darn dramatic, but the lady outfit is so-so at best – nude illusion figure-skating look with red gauzy capes at the shoulder and waist that give the illusion of harem pants. Fun fact: He had to paint on his facial hair!
Kennedy Davenport is half showgirl, half slick man. Her showgirl look is the typical – wide tentacles of pink fringe drape from her neck to her thighs and she glitters with jewels. Her male face is more of a revelation – slick, handsome, and not as jowly as she comes off in interviews.
Trixie Mattel dressed for her dance as a half cowgirl half bolo-tied southern suited man. The difference in face shading between the male and female halves is so dramatic it looks crooked!
Ginger Minj is in an unflattering strapless dress with ugly green fringe, and her male side looks like her girl side with a beard. It’s sloppy.
Violet Chachki is seemingly the only one who took this seriously, with a a ruby red ballgown on one side and a tux on the other – topped with a fancy mustache. Her man is as attractive as her woman with only subtle differences!
Katya is dressed very similarly – and though her dress is slightly less flattering, her makeup is more gorgeous. As with Ginger, he male side is a bit flat – she didn’t do enough to make it read from the stage.
Prancing Queens Challenge
Kennedy and Pearl are up first with the Charleston Twerk. Their Charleston is a little mushy and approximate, and they’re doing a lot of leggy kicks to distract from the lack of footwork. Pearl is stiff as a board when they head into twerking, while Kennedy finally lays on the heat with a front handspring into a split. Pearl is looking smiley and delightful, but her limbs are all akimbo all the time.
Ginger and Trixie are dancing the Country Robot. There’s not much to say here. Ginger galumphs in the general approximation of a dance while Trixie performs well in both formats – but on the whole it’s dull and barely watchable.
Violet and Katya are doing the Tango Vogue. It’s incredible. There’s stiffness and wrong limbs, but on the whole it looks less like people staggering around the stage and more like a real dance routine. Violet is serving fierce manly fish in the voguing portions. It helps that they both are trained in other arts where flexibility and body extension are a major element
Predicted Winners and Lip-Synchers?
Challenge Bests: Violet and Katya were the best dancers, followed by Trixie.
Challenge Worsts: Pearl and Ginger were dreadful. Kennedy was safe.
Final Runaway? Winners: Violet is the only one who brought anything interesting to the dance. Lip-Sync Candidates: Ginger was a flop.
Should Win? Violet all the way, although I couldn’t be angry about Katya.
Should Lip-Sync? Pearl versus Ginger. Or, if they keep groups together, Pearl vs. Kennedy, because at least Trixie and Ginger were visually cohesive.
Ru is in a nude illusion dress with silver dollar sized sequins and a tearaway skirt. It’s stunning – one of her best looks this season. Our judges are Visage, Carson Kressley, Rachael Harris, and Alyssa Milano.
Carson thinks Pearl is handsome but has nothing nice to say about the dance, though Alyssa thinks her stiffness helped keep the Charleston in shape. That would be true if she hinged her legs and arms at the right spots and then kept them stiff, but she didn’t. Michelle loved the read of the good time off her face. The judges are split on Kennedy’s enthusiasm level in the dance, but have no negatives.
Michelle thinks Trixie nailed the runway, and Carson thinks the country dancing was technically strong. Michelle liked the butching of Ginger, but thinks the dancing seemed off. Ginger immediately begins to make excuses to turn it around. “My biggest fear is dancing in public.” It works – she gets lavished with praise from there on out.
Michelle loves Katya in dark hair. Rachael loved the male/female split – no comments on dancing. Alyssa Milano is obsessed with Violet. Carson thought the tango was technically strong.
What a weird challenge – there’s nothing to critique in the fake tuxedos on the runway, and the dances were remedial.
In private: Alyssa thinks Pearl is the hottest guy and Michelle thinks she was the most confident. Michelle felt Kennedy was shining, but Carson is alone in not feeling the dancing. Michelle really loved Trixie, but Rachael didn’t see a glint in her eye. Michelle didn’t enjoy the girl half of Ginger, and Rachael didn’t like the performance. Michelle felt the same as me about bleh boy side Katya. Carson loved her dancing, and Rachael loved how different her male side was (“hot and douchey,” for the record). The judges universally liked Violet’s runway best, but refer to her dancing as “Bambi” and “Taylor Swift in heels.” Yet, as Michelle points out, the tango is hard!
The girls return and Ru drops the bombshell that she’s judging them in pairs. Ouch.
Katya and Violet win the challenge. Katya is ecstatic and Violet actually gives her a kiss on the cheek. Very well-deserved. Pearl and Kennedy are safe and are in disbelief.
This is bullshit. We had the opportunity to give Pearl a credible exit against Kennedy or Ginger, but now we get the awesome Trixie sacrificed to the Ginger Minj freight train of finality on her weakest week.
Lip Sync: “Show Me Love” by Robin S! Classic! Ginger is selling the face on this, but Trixie is way bigger and clubbier than her last sync. This is yet another underwhelming lip sync, but Ginger is undeniably delivering the better performance compared to Trixie’s herky-jerky body movements.
Ginger stays. Bullshit bullshit bullshit.