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Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race: Phi Phi made Party City’s YEAR but they still gave Sharon all the credit on Twitter because karma’s a cruel mistress, Milan didn’t make much of an impression but Latrice did, and Madame LaQueer reminded Michelle of fungus so she had to sashay…away.
Morning after Madame gets the boot, and Willam isn’t even waiting for the post mortem, or Dida to sing about cheesecake, he’s claiming Madame LaQueer’s hangers. Because Willam has his priorities straight. Chad jumps in and claims Madame’s wig head and it’s time to get misty-eyed over a fallen queen. Chad says with Madame’s ouster the room’s starting to feel empty and Willam “takes umbrage” that Madame didn’t consider him a “true friend,” but she was a mess, so too bad, so sad, acknowledge and move on.
Chad asks Milan how it felt to be in the bottom two and Milan admits that she’s not 21 anymore and that shit hurt. Then she drops an anvil on her own head saying she’s glad she survived, doesn’t want to be judged because of it, and it’s a new day…to mess up another challenge. Splat. I might have made that last part up.
Latrice drops a tiny, little anvil on herself by saying that America’s next drag superstar will be a big bitch and now it’s time to hear from Kenya, to answer the question we’ve all be wondering: Why the hell hasn’t she been called out for being boring and one-note? She thinks that, even though she sucked so bad she made everyone cry in the last challenge, that her runway saved her…even though Milan had a pretty impeccable runway look and she still found herself swiffering the floor in her underwear while wearing a piece of pantyhose on her head. Then Kenya adds, nonsensically because she’s 21 and has no self-awareness, that it’s not what you say it’s what you do but what she did…sucked so bad it made everyone cry?
Regardless, it’s SheMail time. Everyone seems surprised by the announcement and gets all flappy to listen to Ru’s puns and try to figure out what this week’s theme is. She runs off the names of a series of game shows, most of which were already long off the air by the time half this cast was born because they are children.
And hello, hello, hello! Ru’s wearing a suit made from my friend Jeni’s bedspread from 1981. This week’s mini challenge is a game show called Beat the Cock. (hehehehe) Challenge will be in three rounds, with three queens competing in each round. Winner of each round will face off in a “cock-tacular” (because the word cock is funny) final round to determine the ultimate winner, who will receive a phone call home. Chad really wants to win because it’s his eighth anniversary with his partner Adam.
First round is Cock-a-Doodle Ru, because if there’s anything Ru likes more than a dirty pun is a pun on her name. Queens will have to pin a chicken on her mouth (uuummmm…) and the queen who gets closest wins. Phi Phi pins the chicken in Ru’s hair (hehehe) while Sharon just veers completely off course and pins her chicken right on Pit Crew Shawn, and Jiggly’s…there, so Phi Phi wins.
Next round is Pluck a Duck where Dida, Latrice and Chad have to blow one feather across a finish line. If the feather falls, the queen has to start over. Dida shows she has some marketable skills by easily blowing her feather high and straight. But this means Chad’s out of the running so, sadness.
Third round is…Choke the Rooster. Okay, then. Object is to throw rings around the cock’s (hahaha) neck and the queen who get the most rings wins. It’s not even close. Milan is a pro at throwing rings at cocks and wins. (I don’t make it up, I just report it.)
Final round is Dida, Milan and Phi Phi in Lay an Egg. Each queen will have to run an obstacle course made of wigheads and “lay an egg” in her basket. First to three eggs wins and the queens have to carry the egg, and I quote, “between me down there.” And thanks to being short and having meatier thighs, it’s not even close. Phi Phi chicken walks her three eggs to the basket before Milan or Dida even get one. But Dida did manage this:
So thanks, Dida, for at least a good laugh. But Phi Phi and her pit stains are really happy with the win. With that out of the way, it’s time for Ru to introduce this week’s challenge
Restaurant Wars, Go Sees, Visit from Loved Ones Snatch Game! All the queens are excited as Ru tells them it’s time to channel someone else’s Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent, and Chad lets us know that he’s planning on doing a “one word, living legend” and to “Get into it, babe.” Wonder who it could be. So, gentlemen, start your impressions and may the best woman, win!
The queens are all prepping for the competition and Phi Phi walks over to Chad…to give him the call home. Damn you, PHI PHI! I don’t want to cut my visceral disdain for you with some warm fuzzies because you chose to do such a nice thing with no obvious angle to it. But kudos, that was really sweet of you. Here’s hoping you act like a complete jackass during Snatch Game so my world is right again. Chad, in an interview, is really touched by the gesture and in the work room says she owes Phi Phi a big one, but Phi Phi blows it off because Chad’s “a sister.” Latrice fires one across Phi Phi’s bow saying “See, you’re not a complete bitch,” while Sharon laughs and Phi Phi chooses to keep riding this likeable wave by looking awkward.
Jiggly slackjaws her way over to Sharon to ask who she plans to impersonate. Sharon impishly/sheepishly says Michelle Visage but Jiggly doesn’t register anything because she’s on a seven hour delay so Sharon starts doing her impression. It’s loud and obnoxious, so she pretty much nails it. She continues that she thinks most of the other queens wouldn’t risk poking fun at the judges but, in her words, “When in doubt, freak them out,” then puts on a witch’s nose to drive the point home.
Latrice seems on board but Phi Phi is here to remind us of how deeply her insecurity and lack of self awareness go by telling us that the judges will finally see Sharon clearly has no talent and she should just pack up and go. And Phi Phi knows because every time she’s predicted Sharon’s demise, Sharon’s been in the bottom two. Jiggly finishes by telling Sharon not to take it too far because Michelle will see it, and Phi Phi yells out, “LET HER!” because she’s sure since she can’t laugh at herself, no one can. (Of course, she’s laughing with Sharon and her witch nose, so…)
Back from break and Dida tells “Snooki” it’s lovely to see her so Jiggly can act like a dumbass and shake her moobs and recaps the challenge. Meanwhile, Chad’s busting out her Big Box O’ Cher and telling us how excited she is to do Cher, since it’s what she’s most known for. Then she and Sharon get into a discussion about what is and is not Cher, including the trademark hair flip. (Which, I think Chad didn’t just mean the flip…because she did that every week on The Sonny & Cher Show.) At some point during Chad’s lesson in Cher, Jiggly trundled on over to listen, not learn and then bitch about how much Chad talks about Cher. But to Jiggly’s credit, she’s actually smiling and not being a pain in the ass about it, so baby steps, Jiggly.
Hello! Hello! Hello! Ru’s here for his workroom visits. First up? Phi Phi. Ru asks who she’s portraying and Phi Phi hesitates to say “Gaga.” Ru’s all “Bitch, didn’t you watch the second season? Gaga SUCKS on Snatch Game,” but he says it nicer, suggesting that no one really knows what Gaga’s personality is like so how do you make a wig and dress funny? She hits on all the obvious things and Ru cuts her off to point out that she’s not actually addressing what it is about Gaga that would be funny. Phi Phi actually says, and thank you Phi Phi for being so young and so far up your own ass, “I’ve been recognized a lot for my Lady Gaga,” but sweetie, your mother doesn’t count. Ru finishes with one of his patented wan “awright…” which sounds like “Your funeral”and moves on to Kenya.
And she’s doing Beyoncé. She sounds like she has an idea to do…something…but it doesn’t sound like Bey. Ru, again, sounds less than convinced and gently tries to point her away from something that will clearly be tragic, suggesting someone a little more Latin but Kenya is also very young and not very observant and is certain that she can sell Beyoncé.
Time to move on to someone with her shit together, Willam. She’s curling a blonde wig for her Jessica Simpson impersonation. Clearly, Willam knows what she’s doing and dryly starts doing her Jessica Simpson which prompts laughs from Ru. One last joke and it’s time for Ru to move on.
Time to check out a bottom feeder. Hello, Milan what are you doing for Snatch Game? Diana Ross with pink eye. At least that’s what her make-up is saying. Ru asks about being in the bottom two the week before wanting to know how, as a trained actor, could she suck so badly and what she plans to do not to suck so badly this week. Milan repeats Mutchdick’s (tm, JMo) note to go bigger and be told to bring it back but Ru also points out that she should aim for funny.
On to Chad who is, duh, doing Cher. She has a long blonde wig and the infamous Oscars headpiece so no need to explain who, just why. Chad’s built her career on playing Cher and has been so successful at it that so much in her life is because of the Cher impersonation. Ru does a quick Cher hair flip, which may or may not have prompted Jiggly out of her stupor to laugh and Ru moves on to Sharon Needles.
Since it’s not readily apparent who Sharon’s portraying, Ru asks and while Latrice just lollygags in the background listening (It’s actually kind of cute.) Sharon says she’s doing Michelle Visage. Ru starts out sounding serious when he says “You know…” but says the challenge is to portray a woman, and they have a laugh at Michelle’s dragginess. Ru further wonders what mannerisms Sharon intends to use. At first she just points out the obvious harsh, nasal Jerseyness to her voice and laugh, but shows that she’s very observant, having picked up on phrases Michelle uses and that’s when I knew Sharon would kill it. Ru adds that it’s a risk because Michelle’s a
mouthy fierce queen, but Sharon has qualified confidence she’ll do Michelle justice.
Ru lets the queens know the guest judges will be “late night hot potato” Ross “Dog Whistle” Mathews, who gets some enthusiastic applause, and “legendary actress of stage and screen…and original Dream Girl,” Loretta Devine. Dida gets all excited and Milan points out that Loretta isn’t just an actor but a singer and all-around performer, but that’s true of all the Dream Girls. Except maybe Beyoncé.
In theory, Snatch Game should be a gimme for queens. You’d think they’d have at least one impersonation in their back pocket and surprise you with their deftness at comedy like Tati’s pitch-perfect Britney. But it’s also where so many of them crash and burn in dramatic fashion. Remember Raven’s tragic Paris Hilton? Shangela’s Tina Turner? Delta’s Cher? Mariah’s Joan Crawford? I’m sorry, were you trying to forget those performances? Let’s see how this batch does.
Sharon’s in the first seat, and she’s decided to play Michelle like an old vaudevillian. She has that braying and honking vocal tone and the most hilarious cackle but she tells random stories about when she and Ru were younger that are great. All that’s missing is the highball, even if Michelle doesn’t drink. This is clearly a hybrid Michelle Visage.
Milan? Tragic with pink eye. They didn’t even bother to hide her bottom two placement in the promos. Willam’s on her game from not knowing how to spell “Jessica” to, hawking her hair extensions, to the pleasantly vacant stare to using the little fan to asking “How shy is she?” and as we saw in Untucked, sneaking in a cardboard cut-out of Simpson to use so she could go to Macy’s. Awesome.
Latrice starts out good but fizzles and Dida is mostly a non-entity and finally, Chad’s Cher. And it does not disappoint. There are wig and costume changes and mild vulgarity because she’s a fucking Oscar winner and every vocal inflection and quirk is on point. There’s a reason why Chad’s famous for her Cher impersonation.
What about the other three? Well, they haven’t a clue in hell what they’re doing so when in doubt, act like an asshole. And act like assholes they did. Jiggly just bounced shrieking about “Snooki wanna smush,” while Phi Phi acted like Phi Phi in a Gaga wig and Kenya interpreted Beyoncé by falling down and farting. Bold move, Kenya. I’m sure it will pay off in the end. Latrice was ready to slam a few heads together and Chad ominously says something about taking things too far and we’re done.
Runway day and Willam decides to gently poke the hive by singing “I’ma gonna win…I’ma gonna win,” but no one’s bothered by Willam anymore, and Dida’s still talking about cheesecake. While the other queens are laughing and yakking in the background (Man, Dida’s voice could probably be heard 20 feet under water.) Latrice is not happy with how the Snatch Game went down and is letting Milan know it.
Chad opens to door asking what the fuck? And Dida pipes up, too, because she was stuck in the middle of it. This brings out the stern daddy in Latrice, and he lets them have it calling it shenanigans and fuckery and slamming the table to make his point. Continuing the rehabilitation of Jiggly, she manages to fall into some self awareness and apologizes for taking it too far while Kenya looks embarrassed and Phi Phi looks terrified, but damn if she’s going to admit to anything.
Sharon backs Jiggly up telling her she wasn’t the only one and Willam jumps in to say they know it wasn’t done out of malice but that some of the younger people should have been more sportsmanlike in their performance. A legitimately non-accusational way of pointing out bad behavior that may not have been intentional, right? Who could POSSIBLY take offense to that? Why, Phi Phi and her endless pit of unself-aware bile, says she wants to slap Willam because at her age (all of four years older than Phi Phi, mind you) shouldn’t be such a bitch. Oh, Phi Phi, thank you for righting your bitch ship and reminding me why I want to throw a Frisbee at your head on principle.
Time for Chad to talk to his partner, Adam. They’re very sweet and very cute and Adam seems lovely, and even made Chad a giraffe body suit and there’s really nothing more to say. They’re a nice couple.
All this loveliness isn’t RuPaul’s Drag Race bread and butter, so it’s time to take one more spin on the Phi Phi delusion train. She’s defensively telling Kenya she liked her Gaga and that’s all that matters. You know, I like the pictures I take on my little point & click camera, it doesn’t make me Avedon, so like your Gaga all you want, the rest of us still think it sucked. Then she blames her bad behavior on how “others” were going over the top and she just wanted to keep up. Not to keep sounding like her mother, but if others jumped off a bridge, would Phi Phi jump, too? Or would I have to throw her over myself? She blathers on about being worried about her position in the competition because she’s been consistent(ly mediocre) up to this point.
Kenya’s kind of had it with Phi Phi, too, so she says she doesn’t want to go home and something about something and then be amazing so Phi Phi can agree that that’s all they can do. Maybe that’s how to be friends with Phi Phi. Only understand every fifth word and only make sense every seventh. Last second powder and spritzing and it’s RUNWAY!
And Ru is serving Miss Kitty realness with a dash of blue sunflower. She’s very saloon-keeper chic. Or wild west brothel madame chic. It’s a specific look, but Ru’s working it. Joining the panel are Michelle Visage, Santino Rice sitting in for Gail Simmons, Ross Mathews and Loretta Devine.
And with such a fetching gown, the queens have been told to “dress to impress” for the runway. How do you think they did? Other than Jiggly looked like ass, which is a given:
So no trainwrecks on the runway, just the sky blue stop on Jiggly’s world tour of ugly, Qiana knit prom dresses. Oh yeah, and the Shannen Doherty realness that Phi Phi served up last week appears to be a thing, and Milan has to take an anatomy course to learn that while Janelle Monae wears suits she wears women’s suits which usually have darts and stuff for things like ass and breasteses, you know? On the plus side, Willam looked fantastic. The Nadja Auermann German dominatrix/bondage/fetishist look really works for you. And Sharon, once again, gets marks for wanting to freak the fuck out of people. But what did the judges think?
Well, for one thing they somehow thought the slack-jawed human sloth Jiggly was, once again, only mediocre and she gets called safe with Dida and Latrice. And I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but unless there was a lot of shit that wasn’t shown, which seems to be the case, I thought Phi Phi should have been called safe instead of Jiggly, and there are a lot of things I can forgive, but I don’t know if I can forgive Ru for making me defend Phi Phi.
But on to the queens on stage. Everyone loved Chad as Cher and in her giraffe body suit. Santino loved Willam’s performance as Jessica Simpson but Michelle, who didn’t give a rat’s ass about Stacy Layne Matthews back story wants to know who Willam is. And Willam is someone who thinks emotions are for ugly people. HA! Ross says while they are, they’re for pretty people, too. I think Ross has a crush.
Milan gets taken to task for everything, but her failures are best summed up by Michelle, who says she felt he was portraying Chris Rock asking “How much for one rib?” HAHAHAHA. I love that routine. She tries to defend the man’s suit as Monae’s style but Michelle’s not having it. Phi Phi doesn’t do any better but this time, I’ll let Loretta sum it up when she tells Phi Phi that the shorts on her outfit cut too low on her hips and remind Loretta of old swimming trunks she used to wear. Ooh, burn.
And now, Sharon Needles. Ru eases into the discussion by asking about her runway and Sharon says she’s obsessed with plastic surgery. This is Ru’s segue to ask Michelle what she thought of Sharon’s performance. Michelle starts off that she’s not as old as Sharon tried to make her, bitch, but she loved it. Then Sharon puts an exclamation point on it by doing one last Michelle impersonation that has the panel laughing. So with all that love shown to Sharon, it’s time to tell Kenya why she sucked. Basically, no one knew what the hell she was doing.
In private they agree that Chad really planned her performance out to a T but Michelle thinks it was safe. Ross, showing that he’s not a complete buffoon, points out that it wasn’t safe because Chad has a lot to lose since his reputation is built on playing Cher. Michelle preferred Sharon for being untraditional (playing her) and not sucking up, but Loretta jokes that after meeting Michelle Sharon could have used “more hair, greater makeup…bigger tits, even,” and hahaha to you, Loretta. And Michelle for loving all the jokes at her expense. And finally, Willam’s a talented comic actor, but they want to see her cry, dammit. This is reality TV and it’s powered on bile and tears.
No one understands how Milan could have reached the ripe old age of 36 and still hasn’t figured out men and women are not anatomically the same and wear different suits. Kenya’s still an incoherent mess who hasn’t a clue about pop culture and made Ru uncomfortable. And Phi Phi sucks on principle. With that rehashed it’s time to bring back…the girls.
Who won? Chad. It wasn’t even really a contest. They tried to make Sharon sound like she might have put up a good fight, but after watching Untucked, I’d even place Willam ahead of Sharon in the top three. All of them were great, but Chad and Willam brought just a little more to the challenge, and Chad was both funny and pitch perfect as Cher, so congratulations, Empath!
Sharon and Willam are excused as well, and Willam starts crying. She says she’s never had drag queen friends and it’s sad that someone will have to go home…so she can win…(heh) and swears she’s not acting. And sincere or not, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, just remembering to point out that she’s worked with Loretta on Boston Public in the middle is why Willam’s professional. Always working, baby.
That leaves the bottom three. Kenya’s the first called out for bottom two leaving Phi Phi and Milan, but it’s not really a question. Milan’s up for elimination. Ru does take a moment to tell Phi Phi to stop being mediocre and bring her A game every time, though. Phi Phi cries her way back to the other girls.
The music starts and FINALLY after nearly three and a half seasons, the ultimate LSFYL song starts up as the opening notes of Vogue play. I guess they finally upped the budget enough to afford a Madonna song. Milan starts off well, like she did last week, and has a better grasp of the culture that inspired the song, as well as Madonna’s video, so her dance moves gibe better with it, but, as she did last week it starts to go off the rails and get desperate as Kenya starts performing. She still manages to wrangle her desperation enough and keeps her wig on. Kenya, did a lot of posing and arm flapping and a few death drops so I didn’t really think it was much of a question who won, but Dida was tasked with interviewing that it was close, to keep up appearances.
What did Ru think? Milan chantés for another week. She tells Kenya that for a little queen she packs a big punch and now the world knows she’s a knock out. Phi Phi realizes she has another moment to steal some spotlight so she cries and runs on stage to give Kenya a hug, but this isn’t last season, so they all share that spotlight.
Kenya says she’s not sad to leave RuPaul’s Drag Race because it was an amazing experience. She also says the Puerto Rican people can be proud of her work because she’s a champion, and while she drove me a little batty with her constant plays for attention early on, she seemed nice enough by the end, if way out of her depth. So goodbye, muñeca.
And what did we learn on Untucked this week? Dida is loud and funny but still has bad wigs, no one knows how to do a Sharon Needles impersonation, Latrice’s gown was too tight, Kenya’s sad to leave her friends, sentimental cross-dressers make Willam cry, editing will save key bits of information to make sure you watch Untucked, and Sharon may be a monster but she still gives hugs.
As a thank you for being so patient with all the TVG craziness this week, I present to you…when worlds collide:
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Thanks for being here!