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Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race: Ru seared all of our retinas in his Technicolor Dream Suit, Milan “helped” Kenya by project managing their team and explaining how and when to fill out TPS reports, Phi Phi had a Napoleon complex, Sharon gave Phi Phi a “needs improvement” performance review, then won the challenge, Dida charmed everyone with her lip synch and got to chanté while the Princess sashayed…away.
Glitter, glitter, sparkle, sparkle…and the queens arrive to tell us that CATEGORY IS….CHEESECAKE. I get the feeling this is an in-joke that probably won’t get explained. Then Sharon, in her spectacularly sparkly and yet still creepy clown shirt tells us that The Princess has moved on to another castle and that Dida should do the honors of wiping off her message since she beat her. Dida gets a lot of (well-earned) praise for her lip synch and admits that a lot of it was fueled by anger at the judges, then continues that she feels the judges don’t really know who she is as a performer…and that she has to show them what she has to offer. Wait, accepting responsibility for your own weaknesses and failures? How did SHE get cast on a reality show?
No time to dawdle on the well-adjusted, we’ve got some anvils to drop. Chad asks Sharon, in a way that clearly was not prompted by production, how it feels to have two wins, while the rest of the queens listen, and Phi Phi smirks. But that could just be her face. Sharon starts off well enough saying she’s proud of herself and thought she’d be the first to sashay away…and then…oh no! Sharon interviews, at some point in the competition, that she’s “kind of getting used to winning,” (YIKES!) then goes on, in the workroom, to say that for any of those “high class gown-and-crown pageant queens that ever gave [Sharon] a raised eyebrow, who’s laughing now?” SHARON!! NOOOOO!! Never tempt the reality TV gods (Mark Burnett, Nigel Lythgoe and Jon Murray, FYI) by saying stuff like that out loud.
Luckily, Phi Phi is here to ease Sharon’s karma and talk angry, jealous, bitter gibberish that she knew Sharon would win because “she picked a character she knew Sharon would excel at,” forgetting that she’s actually on a TV show and all her shit talking the day before WAS ON TAPE. Life must be nice when you live it so far up your own ass that reality never has to enter the picture.
SheMail references about 183 different sitcoms that feature either all women casts or female leads, including Will & Grace and Hello! Hello! Hello! Ru has decided that this is a somber mini-challenge and is wearing a tasteful glen plaid suit with big, pretty lapel flower because he’s still Ru. He tells the queens they’re going to jail and smash cut to an interview with Latrice asking what the hell she’s talking about because, well, duh.
Mini challenge is for the queens to pose for a memorable mug shot, and the queens will be working in pairs. Most seem to pair off with the person next to them but before Willam can grab someone everyone else is paired off, leaving her to wonder what she “did that was un-Christian that [she] has Madame as [her] default partner.” Nothing, sugar, sometimes the reality TV gods just need a good soundbite. But wait, that’s not all. Queens will be responsible for painting their partners faces and, by the way, they’ll also be handcuffed to each other. As Latrice tells us she has no plans to be in handcuffs, Jason and Shawn walk in wearing aviator frames, cop hats, vests and teeny, tiny, bitty briefs. I think my brain shorted there from all my synapses firing at once.
Queens have 20 minutes to get ready…and go! Everyone’s just slathering stuff on each other while Sharon creates a disturbingly realistic sore on Chad’s lip (Hahaha, eww.) and Willam has a great idea but we don’t hear it, we just see Willam and Madame slapping bright blue paint on each other’s faces and chests. While Jiggly’s three brain cells are rebooting after the crash, she comments on how Willam and Madame look like they swallowed the Smurfs. Then she’s probably thinking about whether or not Blow Pops come in blue flavor, or if she’s going to have to stop the bus on the way back to the hotel to buy as many blue Sno-Balls as she can find at Bob’s Market on National because Jiggly has the attention span of my cat who just exhausted herself chasing after her own tail.
Up first for their mug shots are Willam and Madame. They’re covered in blue paint and money and even Ru’s all “What in the why, huh?” So Willam says, in her “in character” voice that they robbed a bank. The blue is the ink from the dye packs, and that really was a super clever way to approach the challenge. Time’s limited and painting skills vary, so find a creative and easy-to-execute theme. Good job, Willam. That’s quality. Both Willam and Madame pull off good poses, too, just to up the ante.
Chad and Sharon go a more traditional route of trashy barflies who are brought in after a brawl, but they have the skills to make the cuts and swelling look real, and Sharon’s wearing a sparkly, spandex Stars & Bars tank top and stretch, acid-washed jeans while Chad pulls off a flawless pratfall with gin-blossomed cheeks and streaming mascara, so they’re not far behind.
Dida and Jiggly did their best to paint each other pretty (?) but at least Dida gets that she should try to look upset that she got arrested while Jiggly…is too stupid to live. Really, other than a gaping hole of need and knowing Sahara and Manila, what does she bring to the competition?
Kenya and Phi Phi aimed for “drunk and disorderly drag queens at 4 in the morning” but landed on “grotesque” because they look like they applied everything with latex paint and a spackling blade. Or, for Phi Phi, like every time she paints for the runway.
Finally, Latrice and Milan. They decided to serve some more Dunka-doo Balls realness and pulled it off quite nicely, with Milan showing some personality for the camera, so it’s not like she’s entirely clueless on how to develop a character. That will probably come into play later.
So who won? Willam and Madame, of course. I thought they were the winners as soon as Willam said they robbed a bank. Time for Ru to explain the main challenge. He goes on about how in Hollywood one day you’re a big star and the next you can’t get arrested, so in this challenge the queens will do both, by starring in a sitcom called Hot in Tuckahoe (because Ru is forever 12 and loves dirty sounding town names like Tuckahoe and Titicaca) about four best friends who can’t stop getting arrested. Latrice chuckles the chuckle of the familiar while Milan and Willam both talk about how this is her challenge. I wonder which one is right?
Since it’s an acting challenge, the queens will be split into two teams with Madame LaQueer and Willam as team leaders. Madame’s all happy that she won’t get picked last…but Ru finally decided to do away with the pick’em and the team leaders are picking names out of a shoe box. Teams are Madame, Dida Sharon, Kenya and Milan on Madame’s team and Willam, Jiggly, Latrice, Phi Phi and Chad on Willam’s. Team leaders assign the roles so, gentlemen start your engines and may the best woman…win.
Ominous clouds metaphorically form over Madame’s team when she thinks it would be so funny to see teensy, weensy, teeny, tiny Kenya play Marge the prison guard. Dida points out the very obvious in an interview that Kenya’s so fishy that she doesn’t know if Kenya knows how to be butch while dopey music accompanies Kenya trying to read her lines and sounding even less fluent. Sharon helps her with the pronunciation of words like minor and Tuckahoe. Milan project manages, actually asking if Sharon asked permission from Madame to help Kenya. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Milan was probably the kid who also reminded teachers to assign homework. Then Madame LaQueer drops an anvil on her own head when she says in an interview that if Milan wants to direct the challenge, let her win her own mini challenge (by riding Willam’s coattails and good idea) and be team leader.
Happier music takes us over to Team Willam. Willam interviews, in his natural voice, that sitcoms are her day job while Latrice says that as soon as she saw a role for a prison guard she knew it was the role for her. While Latrice breezes through a line about hedges Jiggly’s here to remind us…that every silver lining has a storm cloud around it, and she’s just the cloud to rain on Team Willam. She doesn’t know what horticulture means so she gets belligerent, her default setting. Willam explains that it’s the study of plants and Jiggly finally laughs at the joke but dismisses horticulture as an SAT word, writing her own unintentional jokes. Willam tries to teach Jiggly about timing and beats in the dialogue but Jiggly hasn’t had a Blow Pop all episode so her attention wanders.
But there doesn’t appear too much tension with Team Willam, so let’s go see what’s up with Madame. And, for some inexplicable reason, she’s decided to do her lines with a “British” accent. Every control-freaking fiber of Milan’s being is trying to jump out of her body and strangle Madame but she just grits through her teeth that it’s “distracting.” Madame says in interview that she’s an actor and knows how to portray a character and that it’s one of her strengths. Guys, has Madame LaQueer always been this high and I just never noticed it before?
Hello! Hello! Hello! Ru’s here to see how everyone’s doing. First up, Team Willam. Ru asks Willam about her TV experience. Willam leads with having been on practically every cop show in the last ten years and will be playing Karen the
slut man crazy one. Ru wonders why she chose that role and Willam says because she’s “very Samantha” and was on Sex and the City…and Sharon decides to drop an anvil on her head by mocking Willam.
Ru moves on to talk to Latrice about playing Marge the prison guard…and Phi Phi…in the peanut costume…for no reason…actually blunts her evil. Don’t be endearing, Phi Phi it doesn’t compute. Anyway, back to Ru and Latrice. They’re having a good laugh about Latrice taking on the role of the prison guard and Latrice booms that “the TABLES have TURNED,” and other than Jiggly’s “incompetent at life” ass they’re golden so it’s time to move over to Madame’s team.
Ru asks Madame if she’s a good director and says she’s written and directed plays twice, which Ru finds impressive, so she asks Milan, as a professional actor, how Madame is as a director. True to her project manager/teacher’s pet roots, Milan says she’s too laid back, giving her a “needs improvement” performance review which will only amount in a cost of living increase, but thinks the rest of the team is fantastic, so they should get the extra 2%. Ru says “Okay…awright, awright…” but it sounds like “Damn, I didn’t even know you were a bitch,” and moves on, leaving them with actual advice to find the rhythm. That doesn’t bode well.
Ru gathers the queens around to let them know that they’ll be joined on set by the
Emmy-Award-winning co-creator of Will & Grace, Max Mutchnik. Milan is assigned the ass-kissing line of informing us Mutchnik is a “star maker” and Ru reminds the queens to “break a leg and don’t fuck it up.”
Team Willam’s up first and Willam says she’s excited to have Max Mutchnik there because she auditioned for him once and didn’t get the job, and would like a second chance. Very professional and without a tinge of sarcasm or a wink. Hmmm. Jason comes on set with a bag telling us about his really big nut sack and their double entendre is: Nuts. While Phi Phi, Chad and Willam act their lines, Jiggly drools hers. Mutchnik tries to explain how to deliver a line but she still doesn’t manage not to sound like her tongue was stung by bees so they move on because you can only polish a turd so much.
Mutchnik tries to give Willam a note but calls her “William” and Willam corrects him. Then points out that it’s spelled right on her headshot on the wall on the way out, *click click*. Mutchnik doesn’t seem too offended but then Ru accidentally calls Willam “William” and Mutchnik wants to know why Ru wasn’t corrected. Without missing a beat, and in her “in character” voice, Willam says because Ru has a $100,000 check. And even Mutchnik has to admit that was pretty funny.
Latrice initially hits her line pretty flat but once Mutchnik gives her the note to just have fun with it and look into the camera, the big, old ham & cheese sandwich that is Latrice the Beast is unleashed and she’s channeling Florence the maid with her neck swivels and cracking everyone up, especially Mutchnik.
Team Madame LaQueer’s turn…and…well. First up, Sharon in a beaver costume. She’s having difficulty remembering a line and swearing when she messes up, and I didn’t notice it initially but Mutchnik was dismissive of her from jump. Doesn’t dismiss her own awful attitude, though, so pull yourself together Sharon. Just pretend he’s Phi Phi. No such luck as she tosses some ‘tude at Ru, and gurr. She keeps messing up the line so she and Mutchnik can having a pissing contest and it’s not pretty.
Thankfully (?), we move on to Kenya. She’s talking like Norma Desmond, clapping and staring at the ceiling, so Mutchnik tells her she sounds like a crazy person. Kenya never really seems to understand the criticisms, so time to move on to Milan. Not to be outdone in the crazy department, Milan, allegedly a trained actor who speaks English as a first language, also never seems to grasp that she’s supposed to be playing the scene off the other queens and not some spot on the ceiling.
This is tragic. Luckily, it’s Dida’s turn and with the fire from her bottom two last week, she’s managing to have some genuine, funny reads and playing off Sharon nicely, who’s recovered from her earlier fits to settle into the character. Mutchnik loves Dida and thinks she’s a natural. Dida’s still not providing the drama that the reality TV gods expect., so we move on…
Saving the craziest for last. Madame’s off in her own world, still trying to do a British accent and stumbling over every line. She barely even takes a breath between screw ups. It’s like watching Albert Brooks trying to anchor a newscast in Broadcast News. All that’s missing is the epic flop sweat. Mutchnik tries to get Madame to do the Lucy “ewww” but Madame hasn’t a clue what he’s talking about so she keeps switching it up to everything but what he’s asking. Her awfulness is mesmerizing…to everyone but Ru. And that. Is. A. Wrap.
Runway, day…and the queens are all in a good mood. Sharon asks Latrice if she was sweating it in the jail cell. Latrice jokes that it was nice to be on the other side but gets serious about how you can either wallow or acknowledge and move on. Chad is still an empath (love her) and is nodding in support of Latrice.
This leads Phi Phi to ask Latrice to take us all to church and we FINALLY get to hear her sing the greatest gospel song ever, Jesus Is a Biscuit, featuring the immortal lines “Jesus is a biscuit…let him sop you up.” Have mercy.
Milan, Dida, Willam, Chad and Kenya are all dancing, and everyone’s laughing and the mood is light…so into the breach steps Sharon. Thinking she can have an adult conversation with Phi Phi, she walks over to discuss “bringing up Phi Phi’s name at panel” when she thought she was in the bottom two. Sharon’s explaining how she felt Phi Phi pushed her into doing her “spooky shtick” and thought it was lazy so Phi Phi gets her back up and defends herself that she wanted Sharon to do something she was good at…which is not how I remember it from last week, but I’ll go with this interpretation. Phi Phi starts defending herself as “team leader” but when Sharon turns it to she was defending herself against the charge of being one-note, Phi Phi switches her own tack and claims Sharon is an adult and could have just told her she didn’t want to do it. Because Phi Phi CLEARLY is open to suggestions.
Sharon says she was just being “realistic” with the panel and here is where Phi Phi unleashes every ounce of resentment and insecurity she’s been bottling up. She actually claims that she, Phi Phi, “picked out a character for you to do and you did it great,” sounds good until…“because you won the goddamned challenge.” Oops…probably didn’t mean for it to sound quite so bitter, huh, Phi Phi? Phi Phi’s tone is near tears/throwing Sharon out a window as she takes credit for Sharon’s win.
Sharon rightly claims it’s her talent, not Phi Phi’s lack of creativity, that won her the challenge so Phi Phi’s out of legitimate argument options and just says Sharon’s not at her level. Sharon’s all “Damn straight, I’m so much better than you,” and FINALLY calls Phi Phi a “tired ass showgirl,” so Phi Phi can make Party City’s YEAR (seriously, their official twitter feed was living for this fight) by telling Sharon to go back to Party City where she belongs. And spoiled or not, that was some good drama. Much better than cliques whining to each other about how the other group sucks.
Sharon’s not one to back down so she flings out an “I’m the future of drag and you’re 20 years ago,” which…not too far off base, then tries to bring it back down by saying she was trying to talk to Phi Phi as a sister but Phi Phi knows she exposed her insecure underbelly and says they’re not sisters. Phi Phi whines in an interview about Sharon “tarnishing her reputation,” (bitch, you’re doing fine all by yourself) and Sharon’s bitchpainting and muttering about being the future of drag…then Kenya cracks everyone up by singing “JEE-SOOS EES A BEES-KWEET.” Heh. And with that, it’s runway time!
And Ru is resplendent in navy or purple sequins. It changed with every shot. Billy B’s sitting in for Gail this week and the special guest judges are Max Mutchnik and comedian Nicole Sullivan.
Runway theme is red carpet looks for their TV premieres.
So, yeah, I mentioned in the minicap comments that I think Jiggly is under the false impression that she is willowy and leggy like Willam or Dida because looking at that yellow bubble skirt was like looking directly at the sun. Painful, blinding and brought tears to my eyes. Skinny bitches look bloated and hippy in bubble skirts, gurr. Meanwhile, unless she was aiming for Shannen Doherty realness, Phi Phi needed to fix her eye makeup because she had two entirely different eyes on her face. And, sadly, I haven’t a clue what Sharon was thinking. Good in theory and execution, and the performance nearly sold the hipster granny look, but her head was not in the game because this felt like she was intentionally baiting Mutchnik.
But now it’s time to watch the videos. First up, Madame LaQueer’s team. And even Shawn can’t save this sinking ship. Sharon and Dida did manage reasonable performances, but Kenya, Madame and Milan weren’t even hilariously bad. Just, bad. Although Madame’s insistence on doing a “British” accent almost made it so bad it was good.
So, yeah, this was telegraphed from space but Team Willam performs much better. Even Jiggly is just there as opposed to being detrimentally awful and she pulls off one of her creepy “all white” eye rolls, which may be her only talent. But what did the judges think? Duh, they think Willam’s team was better, too. They win and all are safe but Latrice wins the overall challenge. She wins a trip and is super happy because she feels like she’s in the game, now. Ru dismisses them and Willam says “Let’s go,” in her “in character” voice, because she’s a professional.
So what did the panel think about Madame LaQueer’s team? They thought Kenya and Milan gave awful performances but turned it out on the runway, while Madame LaQueer was a big old mess all around, Dida was great in the video but needs to lotion up her ashy knees on the runway and get better wigs, while Max just rips Sharon a new one for first not liking her type of drag or her defensive attitude in general. Ouch. And that was to her face.
In private, they really didn’t like Kenya’s performance but seem willing to blame it as much on Madame for a “piss poor casting choice” as Kenya for being a lousy actress. Max reminds us that he thinks Milan is a crazy woman and that Madame LaQueer isn’t cut out for TV, but that Dida has the raw skills for sitcoms, even if Michelle thinks her ashy knees are an abomination. And then, Max makes sure they know just how much he hated Sharon. While Nicole actually couches her comments by saying that in her “limited exposure” to Sharon she thought Sharon was quirky and cool, Max just rips her to shreds and says he doesn’t want to watch a sitcom “starring the little girl from The Ring,” but most of us could have done without a sitcom starring Debra Messing but we’re not pissing in your Cheerios about that, Max. Meanwhile, Billy and Nicole share a look that says “smell that bitch.”
So, who’s in the bottom two? Despite his visceral disdain for everything Sharon Needles, Max wasn’t able to hold much sway and it’s Milan and Madame LaQueer, because they were truly awful. Sharon is clearly relieved but upset so when Ru offers her a chance to say something, she says she’s spent her adult life trying to build a life where she didn’t have to answer to anyone but will work on learning how to take direction better. They edit in Max haughtily putting on his glasses and Nicole looking at the desk thoughtfully, but that was probably B-roll, and Sharon gets to join the other girls and a comforting back rub from Dida.
They’re lip-synching to Trouble by Pink and from jump Milan’s outperforming Madame, so Jiggly gets a moment to show how little self-awareness she has by calling Madame LaQueer a Pointer Sister because all she does in her lip synch is point, never considering how lucky she is that she’s not up there with Madame.
Meanwhile, Milan’s doing back bends and is actually giving a pretty good performance for most of the song…until…her dress is gone. What? She’s doing the played-out death drops (for real, they should be banned) but that’s not enough, she’s in a split and dragging herself across the floor, and I will allow Willam’s unedited, unvarnished words to speak to the whole thing: “Milan just danced circles around you and Swiffered the floor with his taint.” Indeed, Willam. Indeed. I bow to you. From there all that’s left is some wig snatching, one last bon mot from Willam about this not being Wig Wars, and it’s over.
There’s really not much to say after someone Swiffers the floor with his taint except that Milan gets to chanté while Madame LaQueer sashays away. She’s already snatched off her wig so she graciously thanks Ru for the opportunity and says she’s “made history” and wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Another seemingly nice, if completely insane, queen but really not made for the competition so, good luck Madame. And, please, stop looking like my Aunt Yolanda.
And what did we learn on Untucked? Latrice is like a clean, sober and sane Gary Busey, so not really much like Gary Busey at all, she also tucks and, yes, it’s a one-man job, Phi Phi is tightly wound and has no sense of humor, Jiggly still has no self-awareness or mirrors but remembers to thanks Jesus and her mother, rather than dumb luck, that she’s safe, Sharon’s more sensitive than she thinks, Willam gets funnier by the week, no one minds being called bitch after Latrice explains what it means (Being In Total Control of Herself) but Jiggly draws the line at Fat Bitch. She does not express an opinion on being called either a mouthbreather or a dumbass so I’m still good.
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