Here’s a true thing: the first time I ever watched RuPaul’s Drag Race, it was to see Santino Rice.
I was in college for Project Runway season two, and I fell completely in love with designer Andrae Gonzalo. While Santino was busy getting his zany-villain edit, I saw him mostly as “the guy who agrees with me that Andrae is the most precious creature ever born.” Santino won me over with his Tim Gunn impersonations, and when Andrae was eliminated, I moved over to Team Santino. This isn’t a “fifty reasons why I love Santino Rice” post, but suffice to say, I went through a Santino Rice phase, one that eventually brought me to RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Lifetime is running Project Runway All-Stars right now, and Andrae was sent home tonight. While it was a fair and from-a-mile-away elimination, it still broke my heart a bit. Bye, Andrae, our little lamb.
There is no time like this exact minute to begin recapping RuPaul’s Drag Race. I dearly love this shit.
The queens roll into the workroom in their mostly-boy clothes; I’m loving Yara’s matching fuck-me-magenta hair, scarves, and “ESCANDALO” shirt, and I have to pause to sound out “DEBAKALIS” on Raven’s shirt. (The internet tells me that is the design team of Eddie de Barr and John Sakalis. It’s a great drag queen name.) During the obligatory kiki about the Latrilla’s elimination, the film cuts between Shannel’s lovably tacky gay-redneck ballcap in the workroom versus her different lovably tacky gay-redneck ballcap in her talking-head interview.
Or maybe I just don’t understand Las Vegas fashion. This might be on me.
Manila’s feathers match Yara’s look; Yara strokes them (and should have mopped ’em). Predictable post-elimination shade is thrown. Chad Michaels is a motherfucking assassin. Bitches musn’t forget.
Ooh, SheMail! Ru puns together every girl group she can work in, then strolls in (sporting a delicious argyle bowtie!) for the cheer-reading challenge. A quick close-up on an optimistic Rujubee lyrics sheet reads “FACE & ASS, FACE, FACE & ASS X2.” Commendations, you two, on editing yourselves on that one.
Time to read, bitches. I live for Chad skittering to the line-up and playing with her ponytail. This is why she gets read by the judges for being too-flawless; while the others are standing around like dudes in skirts, Chad never, ever, ever turns off the girlish poise.
Raven is giving me exactly one nipple’s worth of Too Much Look.
Yarlexis slays this challenge, fair and square: “Yu-Yu looks like Jackie Chan!” was the perfect read for the girls who still aren’t pronouncing Yara’s name with a J sound, and I nearly did a spit-take when Alexis answered “Shannel Who?” with a sad, almost-compassionate “Exactly.”
(Aside: Jujubee’s “Dance Class” is my all-time favorite segment intro on Drag U. I wish we’d seen that adorable D.U. mens’ room cheerleader on this most recent episode.)
Guest stars! Yarlexis wins the prize-in-the-room of Kelly Osbourne, Shad is graced with Vanessa Williams’s gorgeous daughter Jillian Hervey, and Rujubee gets Pia Zadora’s daughter Kady Z, who is not feeling this shit. Kelly O, on the other hand, is IN HER ELEMENT in the workroom! I wouldn’t be surprised if I were to learn that this entire episode was created specifically for Kelly Osbourne, and the other two women were just other famous-daughters that happened to be available.
During their rehearsal for RuPaul, I noticed the pictures in Alexis’s work area behind Kelly:
On the morning after the broadcast, on the Eliminated Queen Lunch Video-Chat thang on Logo’s site, that fluffy white dog in the pictures jumped into Alexis’s lap; her name is either Bambi or BAM!-bi, depending on your mileage. (Alexis was also asked whether she’d reconciled with the Marine to whom she’d dedicated her Season 3 Troops PSA, and strongly implied that they were together now. I wonder if that’s him in the picture?)
Main Stage rehearsals. Minor drama about whether Alexis and Kelly will tolerate Yara’s dozens of changes. On the other hand, we learn how to Rockette, which: cutest.
Rujubee is serving jort couture. (Go on, get Manila’s Hot Couture stuck in your head, substitute “Jort Couture” while you watch Raven and Jujubee’s rehearsal segment, and enjoy this earworm with me.)
Jujubee’s heels, while genuinely impressive, do not have an eponymous heel, which seems like an unnecessary level of challenge for this rehearsal. Hightlight of the rehearsal: Raven referring to Kady Z as a “firecracker bitch” and Kady Z momentarily taking it as an insult.
During Shad’s rehearsal, I can’t help but remember the dubious distinction Shannel and Yara share: both of them were locks for Top Three on their season, but both of them self-destructed in front of RuPaul during the final moments of the Top Four. In rehearsal, Shannel is wound-up and neurotic, and Chad can clearly hear “Nobody’s telling me I’m beautiful!” ringing in her ears as she mitigates Shannel’s complaints.
Morning breaks, and the queens get ready to leave the hotel. (Last night online, Willam was werking her Logo deal, watching the show and hosting a, what? Live-vlogging? Simul-capping? NewNowNexting (“snexting”)? Anyway, she commented that all of these “getting ready in the morning” snips are filmed at once, on the first day of production, and that they had her doing crunches for an hour. Movie magic! Anyway.)
I can’t quite tell who this is, but it wins “most ambitious thing to let the producers make you do for an hour.”
Yarlexis has a marvelous kiki with Kelly. I’m loving her, and I’m with her: as a fellow bio-lawd-gical woman with kinda mannish features, Kelly asking Yarlexis to “contour the fuck out of” her “jaw like a bloody bulldog” made me grin from ear to dude-cheeks ear, and her statement about wanting to be a drag queen rang genuine.
Chad and Shannel have a bittersweet moment about their past. Forgive my crassness, but: between the history they’re describing now, the math that says they knew each other for years before Chad started dating his partner, and this gem from a few weeks ago, I’m read for a drunk-and-tacky podcaster to straightforwardly ask them when they stopped hooking up.
Meanwhile, Rujubee struggles to convince Kady Z that they know what they’re doing. Kady, have you seen Drag U? You can fucking trust Raven and Jujubee to drag out your ladyface.
Judges! Best Breasts of the Evening awarded to Michelle Visage.
Shad and Jillian as the Savage Sisters are stunning. They’re undeniable. I ate it to pieces. I claim no impartiality: if Chad Michaels doesn’t win this competition, something will have gone terribly wrong. That said, I have to give Shannel credit for her nitpicking; clearly it was worth the trouble.
Yarlexis and Kelly as Fanny Shosha have the best energy of the night. Willam said it last night, and it’s hard not to agree: in this number, the strongest member of Yarlexis is Kelly Osbourne, who is LIVING on the runway. Yara’s made-from-wholecloth costumes are sickening, and Kelly’s booty tooch rivals Yara doing Rockettes for the cutest gif of the night:
I love the gleeful applause inches from her butt.
Rujubee and Kady Z as V3 look great, and Jujubee proves again that she’s the best lipsyncher in the building. Surely, next episode, they’ll split the teams so Chad and Jujubee can battle this out properly? I was delighted at the contrast between their album cover, in which Raven’s wearing her outfit as a miniskirt, versus on the runway, where she’s straightforwardly wearing a shirt with no pretense of wearing bottoms.
Judging! Shad is correctly named the winner, and the other two teams are left to lip-synch. Before this episode aired, I had predicted that the final two would come down to Chad and Yara, but that was before seeing Raven perform “Don’t Cha.” Holy hell, Raven. Bitch left me WET. Michelle Visage said in today’s Eliminated Queens Chat that Raven’s performance gave her a boner. Yep.
The gif doesn’t do her an ounce of justice, and sweet Alexis never had a chance. Jujubee was incorrect when she said there was no point to Yara tagging in, because from where I’m standing, Yara prompted Raven to step up mid-LSFYL and bring home perhaps the sexiest lip synch since Carmen and Raja faced off after “Jocks in Frocks” in Season 3.
And have I mentioned that I’m in love with Yara Sofia? Every frame she’s on-screen is magic. Watch her, trying not to press the button. Bonus: the line being sung as she pressed it was “Fight the feeling, leave it alone.” Do not give Yara Sofia a big red button and tell her not to press it.
Like I said, I’d expected Yara in the finale, but after that lip synch, they rightfully sashay away. The non-eliminated teams dance with their drag daughters, and I’m sad that Kelly’s not up there, but I’m excited to see what sort of Ball Extravaganza challenge (from the preview, basket…ball?) awaits the Top Four!