We’re covering Logo’s only worthwhile show, RuPaul’s Drag Race, in all it’s queeny, catty glory. This week, the queen’s are challenged to a Mac Cosmetics Viva Glam screen test and to speak out about HIV/AIDS.
This week’s episode brought a lot of looks – and quite a few tears – to Vaseline Alley. When we first started covering this show, the one thing we never expected was that it would make us cry, but cry we did. Find out what happens when drag queens stop being bitchy and start being real.
This week’s challenge was all about Mac Cosmetics and to start things off, the queens have to do each other’s make-up. If the show has any regular theme, it’s the Bitch of the Week and this week it’s Rebecca Glasscock, who opines that people don’t understand her because she’s shy and that if people think she’s a bitch they can just “Fuck off!” No better way to disprove your bitchiness than by swearing, right? Anyway, despite all her whining, Jade wins the make-up challenge, giving her an extra 15 minutes in the main challenge, which is to shoot a “Screen Test” PSA for Viva Glam cosmetics by MAC, which donates 100 percent of its profits to HIV/AIDS research.
Ongina, Shannel and Bebe all decide to go for emotional honesty in their ads, with Ongina doing her fun baby clown routine and saying that she wants to “celebrate life,” Shannel droning on self-importantly about HIV while dressed as a schoolmarm and Bebe, who is from Africa, dressing in native garb (and looking amazing) and talking about AIDS’ impact on Africa.
The other girls don’t fair so well. Nina Flowers has an amazing blond mohawk fronted by a tiny wedding cake of blond curls, but the language impediment is getting to her, Jade manages to crack a literal whip while still being boring and Rebecca—where to begin with Rebecca?
First off, her make-up had some serious raccoon eyes problems going on, but as soon as she gets on set, she starts to cry. Unfortunately, the tear ducts are a little rusty on the S.S. Glasscock and she just winds up looking constipated. Rebecca is determined to get to Breakdown City, however and walks off the set, where she reveals in the bathroom that she has a friend with AIDS and that he’s going to die. Now, we’re not the sort of people stupid enough to question a crying drag queen, but Bebe is and she all but says that Rebecca is faking it and trying to amp the drama to win.
Cut to Vaseline Alley, where the queens do their runway routine, and honestly, the only memorable one this week is overachieving showgirl Shanelle, who – I swear to God – juggles while sashaying down the runway. We were going to say something about Shanelle desperately needing attention, but hello? Drag queen!
Ongina wins for her upbeat PSA and she immediately breaks down on the stage crying. I am shouting, “What is this? A crying contest?” when she looks up sobbing and reveals that she’s been living with HIV and that she didn’t want to say anything because her parents didn’t know and I feel about two inches tall, as does pretty much everyone on stage as well as the judges. Looking up through tear-streaked make-up, she explains that she wanted to make her screen test upbeat and life-affirming because that’s how she lives her life. Even Ru looks like she’s about to cry, but of course doesn’t because she’s Ru-fucking-Paul and nobody makes her cry. I do, however, and, seriously, this is probably the most genuinely honest moment I’ve ever seen on a modern reality TV show.
Anyway, Jade gets booted over Rebecca, and as much as we hated Rebecca 10 minutes ago, we don’t really care. Ongina, you’ve stolen our hearts.