This week on RuPaul’s Drag Race, the show sinks to new depths of low-effort self-promotion with a VH1 Divas Live impersonation concert where every one of nine famous divas are singing RuPaul songs.
This was an episode full of buffoonery, riggery, and straight up tomfoolery.
It could have been a truly iconic and hilarious event, as shown by BenDeLaCreme’s instantly-memorable performance lip syncing to RuPauls’ “Mother” as recorded in the style of Julie Andrews by actress/impersonator Christina Bianco.
Why was that performance so incredibly memorable, and all the others much less so? Two reasons.
First, “Mother” was sung in Andrews’ style but over what essentially sounded like original RuPaul backing track. It doesn’t stand up to a direct comparison, but it was a simulacrum of what you’d expect from Ru and nothing like a Julie Andrews song. BenDeLa benefited from the dissonance because she could play up the element of frantic, held-hostage nervousness in her performance. All of the other divas essentially sang an unrecognizable RuPaul song in their own style, which was less funny and gave many of them much less to do.
The second reason connects to that last bit. Essentially, Todrick Hall done fucked up drag race. He went totally ham on the choreography of Ben’s track because there was a lot for her to do. He also went ham on Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey, but barely touched the six other routines. Note his uncontained glee on the judges’ panel as the girls perform his super basic voguing during BenDeLa’s song, while he basically left the capable Thorgy (and, let’s be honest, Trixie) out to dangle.
Where does that leave our rankings? They’re not too shook compared to last week, though one queen is making her own case for an advance on the final three.