Last week on Drag Race, Trixie’s team and runway were both a mess, and despite her kind of rightfully being sent home we were all pretty sad about it.
After The Elimination
Pearl needs assistance (seemingly both physical and emotional) to walk into the room, while Katya interviews, “I am in complete shock, Trixie should be here, this is a fucking travesty.” Even Violet looks a little upset, but Katya has claws out immediately, asking Pearl if the judge’s critiques were fair.
Pearl informs us via interview that everyone loved her back home. This is one of the many reasons I think a college-attending queen has an edge in this competition – they know what it’s like to hop into a bigger pond and get your entire ego checked. They also know what a privilege it is if you do turn out to big a big fish in the new pond, as Violet doesn’t.
Katya continues her gnashing of teeth to Ginger and Kasha as they disrobe. “I gagged,” she insists, “I truly gagged.” Kasha is pissed off that after seven years of auditioning she’s seeing other girls willing to wilt and quit. She is also coming for Pearl, interviewing, “Buck up, buttercup – be grateful for the opportunity you have. Otherwise? Leave.”
This edit makes it out as if Pearl is a villain, but there’s no way to give someone who is so beaten down that edit. Something else has to happen here.
A New Day!
Ginger human-wheelbarrows Katya in as Kasha cheers behind, and this is a catty threesome I can get behind. The girls actually deign to speak to Violet, saying she looks like a boy scout, and she cutely poses for them. See how easy it is to get along, girls?
RuPaul’s video-mail arrives, and her speech is all about accepting awards. Jaidynn lights up like an Oscar statue. Ru enters in a pale red nearly-mono-chrome ensemble. The mini-challenge gives a nod to the awesome super-fan PaperDragRace, who recreates Drag Race runway looks using only paper! I love him!
The mini-challenge is to create paper versions of famous red carpet looks. The ladies are paired exactly as they stand – Ginger & Kandy as Lil’ Kim’s famous purple pasty look, Jaidynn & Kennedy as Lady Gaga’s meat dress (!), Pearl & Max as Cher’s Bob Mackie black-beaded show-girl, Kasha & Katya as Bjork’s swan dress (they die), and Violet & Fame as J-Lo’s open-to-the-crotch Grammy floral housedress. The latter pair exchange a loaded look, Fame interviewing, “I’m the glass half full, she’s the empty beer bottle you’d find next to the chair.”
Ginger Minj as Lil’ Kim is a good approximation – they had pink paper instead of purple and go with capri pants instead of bell-bottoms, but did give her a pink wig. It still reads as Lil’ Kim. Kennedy Davenport looks stunning as the meat dress – she and Jaidynn nailed it. The dress is actually gorgeous and coutour when you see it up close. It has all of the little details, the V in the front with the train, plus the lavender hombre hair and meat fascinator. Violet has not captured the spirit of J-Lo – it looks like they spent all of their time making very elaborate hair, eyelashes, lips, and sleeves and then gave up on the actually skirt. Max looks uncannily like Cher. The detailing they put into the criss-cross halter and the bristly head-piece is fucking stunning.
Katya as Bjork is also spot-on! They engineered the elaborate poof of dress, the drooping swan head, and even a mane of black hair! AND, Kasha comes out dressed as Joan Rivers to interview Ru and Bjork! They have a whole bit planned. This pair should never be separated. Ru jokes Bjork flew from Iceland and her arms are tired, and Kasha fires back, “the rest of her looks tired, too, the next thing you’re going to look like Pearl, honey!”
Should Win: I don’t know how you avoid giving it to Katya and Kasha, but Max and Kennedy were also strong.
Did Win: Kasha and Katya! Whoo-hoo!
Maxi-Challenge: The Despy Awards
RuPaul invites the girls to “the most prestigious aware show of the season – the first annual Despy Awards!” The pairs will be maintained to act as presenters, complete with banter, in the categories of:
- Sexy, Sexy Drag Queen for Jaidynn & Kennedy
- Most Busted Queen for Pearl & Max
- Shadiest Queen for Ginger & Kandy
- Meatiest Tuck for Violet & Fame
Kasha and Katya as the winners will be the Despy co-hosts coached by Kathy Griffin and this should be the best thing ever. Katya wants to read all these bitches to the ground as host! “I wanna win,” she growls. Seriously, what better Tina Fey and Amy Poehler than these two?
Violet and Fame sit down to write jokes and realize they don’t have a shred of humor between them. They just stare at each other helplessly, and then acknowledge they are staring at each other helplessly. Except, we’ve learned Fame is at least a little bit funny. Is Fame willing to risk elimination to take down the humorless Violet?
Jaidynn and Kennedy are also drawing blanks, but in interview Jaidynn is like, “I don’t know nothing about this award show stuff but we going to sit down and we going to write us some jokes.” Kennedy glassily interviews about her confidence doing comedy. I wonder if it will include some further slow spinning like her last two performances. She helpfully crosses out the jokes from Jaidynn’s pad in real time as she writes them.
Ru checks on the teams, first visiting our hosts. “Who are you patterning your banter after?” Katya: “Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosting the Golden Globes was perfection, so that’s kinda what I have in my mind.” Yaaaaaaaaaaassssss. Kasha shares that Katya is too young to know old Hollywood stars like Dean Martin, and Katya returns, “I’m not actually that young, I’m just ignorant.” DYING. Ru: “Your big opening is the one we’re all looking at.”
Ru checks on Violet and Fame, who continue their blank staring contest. Fame gives one of her famous rambling non-answers, calling Violet “dark-sided” along the way. Katya interviews, “Violet and Fame? Oh, that’s going to be a laugh riot,” she says while staring blanking off-screen.
Ginger hosts many shows around Orlando, but Kandy claims she’s lucky to earn a chuckle accidentally while tipsy. Ru gives solid advice about creating a moment, referencing Sally Field’s famous second Oscar speech.
Ru visits Pearl & Max, and Max thinks presenting the “Most Busted” awards allows their banter to be more cutting. “Now,” Ru says to Max, “you have a big personality. Pearl, you do NOT have a very big personality.” Pearl raises her eyebrows. “How are you going to overcome that for this award?” Ru “twists her tits” about upping the ante, and Pearl fires back, “Well, you just told me I have no personality, so that doesn’t make me feel good or give me confidence.”
And, you know what? She’s right. Ru saying she doesn’t have a personality and then asking her what personality she’ll bring was just mean-spirited. The whole room notices the exchange. Ru somewhat obnoxiously replies, “Well, I’m hoping it will light a fire under your ass.” Ru stares Pearl down, who grins and replies, “Do I have something on my face?” Ru tries to turn it into a pep talk, but it’s clear he’s actually angry, and Pearl continues serving non-plussed responses to just egg him on.
It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a contestant get under Ru’s skin like that. Max is so uncomfortable from the memory of watching it that she tries to pop her eyes out of her skull with her thumbs in her interview segment. In the moment, Max goes into her amazing, “this team will be awesome” mother hen mode, but Pearl excuses herself from the work room.
We come back from commercial break, and Max is still sitting alone on a pink couch. Meanwhile, Katya and Kasha are at the point of editing stuff out of their routines they have so much material – and there’s still no Pearl in sight. Finally, she saunters back in, wordless.
Max interviews, “Pearl feels defeated, and I’m like shit shit shit that energy can’t be in this situation. I’m hoping that we’re just going to be able to shake this off. She knows that if she doesn’t do well tomorrow she’ll probably be [dramatic pause] saying goodbye.”
A little part of me wishes Violet got paired with either Pearl or Max so we could see funnier sparks fly. This is just sad.
Kasha and Katya run out like crazed toddlers to meet Kathy Griffin. Kathy is cutting their jokes and screaming, “Gayer!” “More gay!” This is one of those edits that seems to be making the team out to be in worse shape than they probably really are. There’s no way they spent all of that time writing and Griffin annihilated all of it.
Kathy again slashes and burns, now on Jaidynn and Kennedy. She wants to take out the repetitive, “Girl…” that starts every phrase, even though that’s the only laugh they’ve got at the moment. She informs Fame and Violet “it’s a little too blue – and you’re hearing that from me.” Fame does not know what “blue” means. Kathy is shocked by their vapidity (again, that’s saying a lot). She enjoys the shade of Max and Pearl, but she warns them not to point it too much at the judges and audience less it turns into a “shade shit-fest.” Kathy feels like Ginger and Kandy are re-using all the same already-heard drag jokes.
Now the queens need to make nominations for each category.This is intense. What if some people don’t get nominated at all?
Kandy finally gets a line of interview, “The shadiest queen? Violet’s going to take that one by a landslide.
Max tries to fluff up Pearl, who agrees, “I feel very good today. Thank you for being so supportive and amazing. I’m just going to have fun with it and do a good job and bow out gracefully if that’s what destiny has in store.”
God, can we get Max returning as a coach or judge or something?
It turns out Pearl does feel like she’s in a shell, due to abandonment and anger she dealt with as a teen. “If I can learn here that it’s cool to open up more – come out of your shell, Pearl – it’ll be a good thing in the end.”
Fame sings a song. “Ooo! When I think about chicken, it makes me happ-y.” What? She interviews,” I love chickens, they’re my favorite animal. I grew up on a farm with hundreds of chickens and my job was to raise them to be beautiful and flawless for the fair.” Flash to a chubby-faced teen Fame (“imagine me 30 pounds heavier) holding up a prized chicken. “You can blow-dry them and use vitamin E on their feet.” We cut to more Fame. “Liquid bluing makes a white chicken sparkle.” Yet more Fame. “You can basically flip them upside down, show the asshole to the judge, and they say your bird’s healthy.” “I hatched chickens underneath my bed in an incubator.” Indicating her tattoo, which is now clearly a chicken, “This chicken won me an award, right here.” “Animals were my best friends.” She stares at the camera, motionless, and makes clucking noises with her throat.
Where has this humor been? They should have made the whole damn presenting speech about this. Meanwhile, Violet is now sweet on Miss Fame, and Fame says she sees a change in Violet! Awww, I’ll be so sad if one of them gets kicked off now.
The DESPY Awards
It’s the Despy Awards! With a live audience!
Ru arrives in an award-show gold dress with a massive sash and old-Hollywood hair and makeup. Drop dead gorgeous. She very rarely does retro anymore. Our judges are Michelle, Ross Matthews, and Isaac Mizrahi. No Kathy Griffin?!
Kasha and Katya are glittering in silver and red sparkling dresses, respectively. Kasha trips over over her third word. Katya goes a little too mean on her first joke and keeps the “Ginger is the Danny DeVito of drag” joke that Kathy cut (and it kills). Katya keeps up the super-mean jokes, calling Pearl, “the drag equivalent of a valium taking a xanax in a K-hole.”
They introduce Kennedy and Jaidynn as “the stars of Tyler Perry’s Roots.” I laughed. Kennedy is in a truly beautiful gold cinched dress with horizontal wrapping of glittering gold brocade (which avoids making her look fat because it subtle V’s inward at the center) while Jaidynn IS NOT WEARING A BATHING SUIT, HOLY CHRIST. She’s in an baby-pink baby-doll dress with tatters of fabric blossoming from every crevice. Kennedy goosed a previously pitched “we look like a 10” joke to “we look like an hour glass and a wall clock,” which is less coherent but funnier. They milk the clock bit with some physical humor, and it’s great – they’re both natural comediennes.
Sexy Sexy Drag Queen Nominees: Kandy Ho, Miss Fame, and Max (No Violet!) The winner is Miss Fame. “I wish I could cry, but goddamn botox got me every time.” All of her jokes are hilarious. This is the best we’ve seen Fame be at anything.
Next up are Pearl and Max, both also serving old-Hollywood with Max in a demure black gown and Pearl in Marilyn Monroe face and a bustier-topped mermaid dress with a poof of tulle below the knews. “What is a busted drag queen?,” she smarmily introduces, “I’m glad you asked.” Their jokes are all about the nominees, who eat it up.
Busted Drag Queen Nominees: Jaidynn, Ginger, Katya, and Mrs. Kasha Davis. The winner is Jaidynn, appropriately. Her speech is not that funny.
Ginger Minj and Kandy Ho look okay, Ginger looking like straight-up Delta Burke (yes, not “Work”) and Kandy Ho dressed as some kind of blue muppet with a man-head attached to it. Danger, girl. It look like she bred Big Bird and Cookie Monster so she could skin and wear their progeny. Ginger kills with every joke, and she delivers them in a wonderful elbow-jabbing way. Probably smart to make Kandy the.. erm, straight man, in this situation.
Shadiest Drag Queen Nominees: Ginger Minj, Kennedy, Violet. The winner is Violet! “You don’t like me! You really don’t like me!”
Violet and Fame! They look stunning, with Violet in a sort of Jessica Rabbit nude illusion (again with the weak chest shading) and Fame in a super-tight dress patterned with green diamonds. The audience does not seem to enjoy the ribald jokes. They’re in trouble.
Meatiest Tuck Nominees: Katya, Jaidynn, and Pearl. The winner is Katya. Her nonsense speech is hilarious.
There’s no runway!
Predicted Winners and Lip-Synchers?
Winning Team: This is hard. Kasha and Katya did well, but didn’t kill as they should have. Fame and Violet are in danger. Kennedy and Jaidynn had a good opening bit, but their nominee jokes were flat. Ginger carried her team on her back. Max and Pearl were okay for me, but based on the audience reactions I think they had it (plus, Max gave ALL the good bits to Pearl).
Best Acceptance: Fame!
Challenge Bests: Ginger! Followed by Katya, for really committing to being awful towards everyone.
Challenge Worsts: Kandy the boring muppet-hunter and either Fame or Violet for their wide misses, but probably not both.
Final Runaway? Winners: Kasha’s silver glitter dress versus Max’s demure older lady versus Kennedy’s brocade lion. Lip Sync Candidates are Kandy “I skinned a muppet” Ho and Jaidynn’s ragpicker ballerina.
Should Win? I didn’t get the sense Katya was well-received enough, so I guess Ginger?
Should Lip-Sync? Kandy vs Fame, who was more of a snooze than the raunchy Violet.
First, RuPaul quickly hands the win to Max and Pearl! Max is thrilled, and Pearl seems to have just remembered how to breathe. Pearl thanks RuPaul for her rude awakening. Kennedy and Jaidynn are safe along with them.
Mrs. Kasha Davis looks gorgeous but Isaac needs her to take it “way over the crazy top.” He’s totally right. She’s just giving classy Katie Segal here when we need Peg Bundy. Ross thinks she was overshadowed by all that followed. Ross thought she struggled, but he loved her acceptance speech (clearly there was more to it). Michelle wants volume from the hair, since Katya left it out for once. Katya is looking mannish in the tight shots. Ginger Minj was beloved by Ross, but Michelle clocks the black spray forehead! FINALLY!!! Ginger calls it, “my black felt forehead.” Kandy Ho looks like Natalie Wood, according to Isaac, but he thinks the muppet dress is “swallowing her” up. Honestly, it looks pretty if it didn’t have the massive boa shawl draped over it. When will these girls learn to always show off their figures? Michele things Ginger stole the show, and Kandy looks nervous. Isaac thinks Violet “is a modern queen” and “so refined.” Michelle gives solid advice about Violet always speeding through her speaking. She seems to take it in stride. Michelle claims she loves “the short-sleeved turtle-neck with the opera-length gloves,” and I cannot tell if she’s serious. Ross thinks she was low-energy, but Isaac thinks she’s funny. (Michelle sees her trying to serve more than just beauty, and they banter about her getting out of her own head. We can see her visible brow tape again.
In private, Ross is frustrated that Kasha has the chops and didn’t bring them, and Isaac thinks she’s a workhorse. Ross is still obsessed with the acceptance speech, and Isaac loves “layers and layers of irony.” Michelle thinks Ginger ate Kandy up and Ross thinks she’s fading away. Michelle thought Ginger was a powerhouse, but Ru wonders if it’s her fault that Kandy was so flat (Ross: “That’s showbiz, kid”). Michelle thinks Fame stumbled and picked herself up, and Isaac is obsessed with her. “It’s so fresh to have a queen look like that and then be this honest, goofy kid.” Wow, I guess chicken lady came through! Ross caught that the other queens don’t like her, and thinks she was a letdown, but Isaac thinks her acceptance was hilarious.
Clearly we missed a ton in editing this week, especially from the speeches.
Kandy is a goner, but which queen will they send up to dispense her? It seems Kasha’s up, although in a shocker it could be Violet.
Ginger is safe, Kandy is up for elimination, Miss Fame is safe, Katya is safe. Violet (“your jokes got lost in the shade) and Kasha (“your big opening was a little sloppy”), with Kasha lip syncing. Violet seems appropriately mortified.
Lip Sync: Lovergirl by Teena Marie. At least this is a good 80s deep cut. The older Mrs. Davis should have the edge on this one. And holy glam am I right! Kandy is still working on her opening arm movement and Kasha has crossed the stage twice, hiking her dress up to the waist to free her thighs for mincing. This is by far the best lip-sync we’ve seen so far this season, full of energy and totally connected to the song. Kandy starts to wake up but won’t take off the muppet cape. She’s doing everything with big arms while Kasha is actually performing the song.
Ru KEEPS KANDY HO WHAT THE EVER-LIVING FUCK IS HAPPENING HERE?!
I would like RuPaul to sashay away this week. She was awful.