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Last time on RuPaul’s Drag Race: Violet rightfully won, Tempest was unjustly sent home.
After the elimination
Max is inexplicably still using her braces to walk around – can we ditch the disabled-face and just keep the old-face, darling? Katya is eating her own hair and being the one to freak out about “someone’s got to go home” in her interview segment. Kandy Ho says she wasn’t nervous about the lip sync against Tempest, but she should have been nervous about that face.
The girls congratulate Violet on her win and ask how how she feels, and she quickly fires back with “I hate Michele Visage … what she said rubbed me the wrong way. To be honest, she probably has a bigger man body than I do without her implants” Sasha Belle and Mrs. Whatshername are shocked, and non-coincidentally will probably be the next two queens to be sent home. Fame calls Violet’s win “valid” which is a terrific way to show she’s “not mad about it” (riiiiiight).
I am loving Violet’s non-villainous shade, let me tell you. It’s so boring when every mean girl has to be a villain, and I think Bianca disabused us of that idea by being the mean hero last year. Some of the other girls are over Violet’s healthy ego already (Ginger and, surprisingly, Max). Violet gives a bummed lip trill in her interview to show us how she really feels about it.
Sasha fake apologizes to Pearl about saying she was the least impressive queen when quizzed by Ru last wek. Pearl can barely summon any emotions about it in her interview, which is pretty consistent to her approach to life on the whole. Opines Sashsa, “Half of saying Pearl’s name was strategy, because she is one of my biggest competitors right now.” Um… competitors for the bottom half? Like, lowest decent queen you may be able to reasonably knock off? That doesn’t even make sense, since Kandy Ho and Trixie Mattel are more of Sasha’s glam/trash vibe than Pearl.
Pearl, delightfully, fires back, “I get it girl, you’re playing the game [long emotionless robot pause] you should be.” And, in interview, equally deadpan, “I’m pretty, but she looks like John Goodman in a wig.”
A new day!
Jaidynn, Katya, and Ginger skip into the room together. Fame is missing her husband but also enjoys lingering hugs from the incredibly handsome Trixie, which makes both Ginger and I slightly uncomfortable.
Max interviews cutely and her sculpted boyish youth is so strange to watch since it isn’t even dressed up that much to achieve her stoney old lady glam. It’s like one of those pictures where you look and there is an old woman’s face and a young woman’s face but in this case they are the same exact face.
Ru’s message has a flying theme. The queens are probably worried they are going to be launched out of a cannon.
The mini-challenge is “face face face … while the Pit Crew blows you! (With a leaf blower.)” Basically, get glammed up and try to serve face while being hit with an air cannon. (See, I wasn’t that far off.)
Violet’s full mane of hair is gorgeous. Actually, I looked just like her as a 17yr-old. I will need to scrounge up photographic proof. The queens shave furiously (not a great idea, it’s just the mini-challenge) and quickly drag it up to be judged by … Moby? “I feel sort of short and homeless standing next to you.”
Mrs. Kasha Davis: Deep-set cheek shading makes her look like a skeleton!
Jasmine Masters: Decent make-up, but she has the biggest mouth in America, and also looks a little bit like Busta Rhymes?
Sasha Bell: Looks cute in Punky Brewster freckles and pigtails and manages to serve some okay face.
Pearl: Has an old Hollywood glamour thing going with a head scarf and bright red lipstick, and manages to turn her leaf-blower lips into a crazy Joker-esque smile.
Violet: Looks as cute as ever, but she’s losing her wig and is basically just a boy in blush.
Katya: Is made for this challenge, looking like a human blow-up doll with her crazy inflated mouth.
Max: Looks like a Marilyn Manson video with two bruise-like triangles of blush. She kind of has a disaffected Manson sort of vibe, in general.
Jaidynn Diore Fierce: She has the advantage of being a pretty boy to begin with, and is rocking some sweet dark lipstick and a wig that looks like spider webs.
Ginger Minj: Totally gets this challenge, with solid make-up, crossed eyes, and crazy head-whipping action.
Miss Fame: Repping some crazy-impressive lacefront action and solid quick makeup (she even managed to do her brows), but a weirdly messed up grille (wha?).
Kandy Ho: Rocking her trademark drawn-on beard and quickly losing her grip on her wig, but she still weirdly reads as “girl” from her motions and expressions.
Kennedy Davenport: Proving again what a benefit a high hairline is to this competition as her wig slides backwards, but otherwise just meh.
Trixie Mattel: Clearly winning this shit with super-glam makeup and wild pink lemonade hair.
Moby: Looks like your neighbor, or maybe your neighbor’s dad?
That was fun!
Should win? Ideally Ginger and Trixie, but I wouldn’t be mad about Sasha and Katya.
Did win? Ginger and Trixie! Wow, and I always thought the mini-challenges were graded unfairly.
What did they win? Leading two teams through a lip-sync-a-palooza to the safety video for Glamazonia Airways – the first airline run completely by drag queens!
The team-choosing goes like this: Ginger: Sasha, Trixie: Pearl, G: Jasmine, T: Fame, G: Kasha, T: Katya, G: Jaidynn, T: Max, G: Kennedy… leaving Violet and Kandy! Are the girls afraid of Violet, or do they just think she’s going to be a bad performer? And, who wouldn’t want Kandy after her lip sync last week? T goes Violet, and Ginger gets Kandy.
Man, Ginger sandbagged the fuck out of her team there – she picked the two weak non-bottom two-ers from last week first. It’s almost verbatim the weaker half of the competition aside from Kennedy and YOU KNOW girlfriend is smart enough to be incredibly aware of that. Maybe she’s stocking up with weaker players to keep herself safe if her team is in the bottom? It’s hard to tell.
(Also, what’s with that late pick of Kennedy? She would have been my first pick for this challenge. There’s something we’re not seeing.)
Trixie seems to be good at managing her team, but the editing has Violet undermining her at every possible turn AND TRIXIE GIRL SCOUTS HER RIGHT DOWN: “When we’re talking, we’re not what? LISTENING.” Trixie continues to smack Violet down repeatedly, and it’s highly enjoyable. Neither of them are evil, just appropriately pushy.
Ginger has the sane idea to listen to the recording first and then assign parts. Damn, these are two solid project managers. The girls seems like they’re having actual fun as they listen to the insane scatting of the soundtrack. Mrs. Kasha Davis is super-charming as her bald-headed boy self – I like her better as a boy than a lady. Sasha wants the scat, so Ginger promptly assigns it to Kasha. Sasha may think she’s the one who gets strategy from watching the show, but Ginger is quickly emerging as the one who understands how this game is played.
Ru visits. I am loving her pale violet flower on a plum blazer. He asks why Ginger picked her team. “Well, I wanted to go for a team that was not only very talented, but also very diverse. I mean, if you look at the other team, they look like Aryan Airlines.”
Ginger continues to interview like the most competent project manager in the history of the show. Ms. Minj, please send me your resume.
Trixie has a theatre background – “yea, totally, this is my gig.” Miss Fame tries to explain that her non-acting experience is actually like acting experience because it’s an “entryway” to acting. She talks forever. It sounds like she has as much actual acting experience as she has actual vagina. There’s a terrible “entryway” pun in there, but I’ll need to rewatch Hedwig to find it.
Katya gives great interview about how worried she is about Fame’s performance potential (us too, girl). Katya then goes on to give an actually-funny non-answer to Ru about being a not a dancer, as if to gently rub her self-awareness directly in the faces of the pretty girls Fame and Violet.
Team Trixie choreographs. The edit makes it out like Katya’s in trouble for not memorizing her lines. She crazily interviews “I HAVE A FUCKING MONOLOGUE.” I love that her intensity dial starts at 9 and just goes up from there. I cannot write about her without using lots of adverbs. Katya is quickly emerging as the most hilarious and likable queen of the bunch. Hopefully she delivers in the challenge.
Violet: “I have the smallest waist RuPaul’s Drag Race history!” Truthometer says: maybe. I can think of some slimmer queens, but maybe that was all post-cinching. Anyhow, Violet’s obsessed with having a minor element of seat-belt tightening choreo delivered to her by Pearl actually make her look thin. Uh, sure, girl. Pearl manages to summon some feelings about this in her interview, but they are dismissive feelings, so I’m not sure if they count.
Fame: “I’m feeling a little bit nervous. I can dance at the club and get a husband, but I’m not a choreographed dancer.” Except, she cannot even shake her bottom. She got that husband through dancing how? Opines the choreographer, “Her hips don’t move like a woman’s hips move.” Trixie is sweating her choice of Fame already.
Ginger on choreographer Jamal: “I about flood my basement, because that is one good-looking man.” Sasha and Jasmine clearly have danced before and leap right into a series of skipping kicks. Ginger takes some heat for not being confident on her moves, but actually looks fine in the wide shots. Jaidynn is also having some issues, but is working through a knee injury – which she downplays while still up-playing it, if you get my drift.
I get very frustrated with the manufactured “uh ohs” in the task prep story lines. It seemed like Ginger’s team was crushing it, despite the editing.
Ginger to Fame, “I know you’re not, like, a PERFORMER performer … you’re a fashion girl … you don’t have to evoke emotion and one-two step [simultaneously] all the time.” Kennedy adds a gentle read in here as befits her mature queendom – that you’ve got to watch what you brag about in the room lest it be turned against you.
Jasmine (glued at the hip to her idol, Kennedy) is not a master of such subtly and chimes in with, “Every drag queen should know how to perform, otherwise you just playing dress-up and going to the clubs – it’s not about trying to be pretty and trying to be all that, it’s about getting your ass on stage and entertaining.”
Fame shoots back, “Some of our aspirations are not to be at the clubs for the rest of our career.”
BURNS ALL AROUND. WE NEED THE BURN UNIT.
Later, Fame shows some family photos of her husband (adorbs), mom (struggled with drugs), and grandparents (one of whom may be Wilford Brimley). He was murdered when Fame was 15! So awful, and Fame is emotional about it. Violet gives an unexpected pep talk both in person and in interview and makes me feel good about liking her so much.
Strong Fame plotline in this episode.
Trixie’s Team Aryan Air is on point at the start. Max is great, which halfway surprises me and halfway doesn’t, since she has clearly been in some musicals in her day to turn into an elderly Lady Gaga at age 22. Katya’s monologue lip sync is mushy, and Ru seems to notice. You can watch Violet get nervous about it as it happens. Trixie is hilarious and gives Ana Gasteyer vibes with her wackily crossed eyes. Fame basically just gives up on the choreo and focuses on lip sync while Pearl delivers a serviceable emulation of Real Girl Emotions TM. Trixie is hilarious again. Violet is surprisingly animated and sells the tiny waist thing HARD. Max is super-fantastic syncing to a terrific cut of a song with the lyrics “when the oxygen mask dropped down!” Max and Trixie trade-off rapid-fire remarks at the end in perfect rhythm.
Team United Ginger of Benetton comes out fierce with more complex steps than the other team, and no one misses a beat (SEE, I told you so). It looks like a real routine, with everyone in lock-step while serving great face. Jasmine looks gorgeous and nails her not-easy lengthy intro lip sync, totally burying Katya’s performance. Kandy Ho looks beautiful and seems to have dealt with her shading issue. Sasha is a little clumsy as she undoes her hair, but if that’s your weak link you’re doing fine! Kennedy manages to make a joke with her lips about mumbling hard lip sync words that actually shows how good she is at lip syncing (it was deep). Kasha Davis sells the hell out of the scat, which turned out to be not all that hard. Jasmine comes back to be amazing at life. And then does it some more. And more. Could she win this week?
Team Ginger clearly won the challenge, hands down. Katya and Fame should be in trouble if this thing carries any real weight, and Trixie, Max, or Jasmine should win.
What is happening to me? I am having a complete turnaround on all three of those queens. But, I bet Jasmine will wear something egregious so I change my mind.
Category is Jet Set Eleganza.
Trixie Mattel: Serving Jetsons realness that completely matches her madcap Barbie Doll make-up in a quilted white vinyl mini-dress with dual cleavage peakaboos and satellite hair. Perfect – manages to be eleganza by virtue of dressing up a very specific look from a certain period.
Katya: Wears a 60s flight attendant look entirely made from floral couch upholstery of the same period, complete with tiny bellhop hat. She’s beautiful. It’s a good look, but perhaps not eleganza.
Max: Kills it in a gray, double-breasted jacket and slick black thigh-length skirt, plus luggage bags. She looks old, expensive, and sexy. This was a break-out week for her.
Pearl: I Dream of Jeannie on the bottom meets (per her usual) Madonna on the top. It’s a nice look, but she’s going to get read for ankle-length gaucho pants. Shoulda worn them as a tearaway last week for the resort theme.
Violet: Wearing a low-neckline jumpsuit with itty-bitty waist and a french-fry print. Face reads as boy, with some man-jaw and seemingly no contouring, but on the whole she actually feels on-theme.
Fame: A mess – a weird neck-high short dress with a ankle-length train paired with a cheap-looking red wig and bad nose-contour. The judges almost universally hate neck-high stuff if it merges into the shape of your hair, especially when paired with bows and sashes. Did I mention there’s a bow? Between this and her performance, she’s in deep trouble. I call shenanigans if she doesn’t get trashed in the judging edit.
Kandy Ho: Better shading than we’ve seen from her, but on the whole it’s a non-event – simple floral dress with a belt and a wicker sun-hat. Not eleganza.
Ms. Kasha Davis: Serving Katie Segal curviness in a white dress with black accent lines. Might not be eleganza enough, but puts her safely in the middle for me.
Kennedy Davenport: High-concept fashion, of course! Black velvet skirt suit with a jacket that flairs out at the waist but hugs the shoulders with a peekaboo cut-out and a head-scarf. Unfortunately, the scarf seems to wrap down around the front of her neck to cover up her chest, really cutting the effectiveness of the boob-window. It’s still a cool, Jet Set-themed, eleganza look, but she handed away being in the top group here.
Sasha Belle: A mess. Silver horiztonal-striped dress with plunging V neckline and hair as big as her entire torso. It doesn’t sound awful, but it’s shapeless and with the hair to muddy the silhouette just reads as “sack.” Also, she’s wearing zero jewelry, which really adds to the plainness.
Jaidynn Diore Fierce: Another variation on her trademark “big girl in a one-piece swimsuit” look, this one in “faux flight attendant jacket” variety. Purple, of course. With five out of five of her looks in two episodes being exactly the same I am officially done with this queen.
Jasmine Masters: Oh, honey. After the week-winning performance in the lip sync she comes out in an off-the-rack black mini-dress with cheap asymmetrical bejeweling and big hair. It’s bad. She’s another one in this consecutive threesome that seemingly cannot dress themselves.
Ginger Minj: Crazy-gorgeous in a seafoam grecian dress with a one-shoulder cape that serves yet another different silhouette for her. Yet, she misses the theme (what does this have to do with flying or jet-setting?) and she needs to deal with her forehead shading.
Predicted Winners and Lip-Synchers?
Winning Team: Ginger, by a mile.
Challenge Bests: Max or Trixie from Trixie’s team. Jasmine erased memory of everything else from Ginger’s squad, which is quite the accomplishment given Ginger’s all-around awesome team.
Challenge Worsts: Miss Fame and Katya are in deep trouble from Team Trixie. I’d be hard-pressed to choose a worst from Ginger, but it’s probably Sasha.
Final Runaway? Winners: Trixie nailed it with an imaginative look, but Max might pull it out with her old-lady jet-set realness. Lip-Sync Candidates: Everybody else, but the worst was clearly Sasha followed by Jasmine, Fame, and Violet.
Should Win? Trixie. She was a strong captain, she performed well, and her look was the bomb. Max also has a chance, but less so since she wasn’t the captain. Ginger would be in the running, but her look was off-theme.
Should Lip-Sync? Sasha vs. Fame, with Katya eeking by for matching the theme with her runway. Jasmine’s amazing performance should keep her safe.
We’ll be judging the gang as individuals! So much for the power of Team Ginger! Katya is terrified!
Ru is in a shiny purple mermaid gown and short wavy hair, which is a subtle change-up from her norm. Visage is again dressed to match the challenge – is this her thing this season? Judges are Jordin Sparks and Olivia Newton-John – holy star-power, Drag Race! We’re blowing this pair on a non-singing challenge? Carson is present, but Ross Matthews is not.
Stepping Forward: Trixie, Max, (duh, this is NOT the safe group), Pearl, Jasmine, Jaidynn, Kennedy, Kandy.
And they are the safe middle. WTF ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME SHUT UP. I have no time for this silliness from Ru. Trixie had this in the bag, and Kandy could have been sent home for her wide miss on the runway look.
That leaves Katya, Violet, Fame, Ginger, Sasha, and Kasha, NONE OF WHOM WERE THE TOP, but I guess they’re going to be nice to Ginger and Kasha and I cannot argue with that too much.
Jordin Sparks loves Katya’s “Hawaiian Barbie Flight Attendant,” but Michele reads the lip sync. Katya is appropriately horrified. Olivia loves Violet’s outfit (blah), and Jordin thought she was appropriately not-over-the-top funny. Michele pegs that she takes herself seriously but is also a clown, and she wants more of the latter. Violet gives bitch-face for a split second, despite this being a nice comment and valid critique.
Carson knocks Fame for being non-eleganza, Jordin tags her for stiffness and Michele tells her to loosen up. Ouch. Michele rightfully claims victory for Team Ginger AND reads Ginger for missing the theme. This is why I love Michele: she is almost always right, and when she’s not it’s just a personal vendetta. Ginger takes it in stride; Olivia loves her. Jordin lost Sasha in the routine though she tries to be nice about it, and Michele tags the “sack of crap” vibe of her runway. Olivia loved Kasha, but Jordin wanted MORE. Michele’s not feeling the eleganza, but doesn’t hate it.
I guess Violet wins out of that? I’m so confused.
In private, Michele loved Katya’s look and seems genuinely pissed about how badly she flubbed the lip sync. Olivia says she has great attitude. Everyone is obsessed with Violet except Michele (“there’s more to her that she has to let bust out”), and she will be proud to know that Jordin singled out her seatbelt bit as a highlight. Fame “needs to let it all hang out” so she doesn’t get lost just being beautiful. Carson and Olivia loved Ginger. Sasha gets read about her hair fussing (really not all that bad, even on replay) and fashion (yeah, still bad). Michele and Ru loved Kasha’s performance, but Michele calls her fashion “so regular.”
You know what would have made that more interesting? Having Trixie and Max out there.
The girls return. Sasha is in the bottom, Kasha is safe, Violet is safe, Ginger wins (sweet), Katya is up for elimination and Fame looks appropriately humbled for brushing the bottom two.
Yeah, Katya is going to annihilate Sasha.
Lip Sync: Twist of Fate by Olivia Newton-John. Sasha doesn’t sweep her hair back even after hearing the judges didn’t like it hanging in front of her body. Katya makes sure the judges see that she knows all the words to this song and goes into a leaping split at the first chorus. “I try to pound my vagina into that stage so hard that the building shakes.” She later pulls out an impressive ultra-slowmo forward split – very controlled. Overall, it’s a weak lip sync to a kind of dull song. Sasha isn’t awful – just boring.
Katya rightfully stays, and cannon fodder Sasha sashays. It’s a shame, she’s a sweet lady and man, but she wasn’t ready to compete with some of these fiercer queens.
What did you think? Offer your reads in the comments below.