All night I was expecting Hurricane Sandy to send my electricity (and windows) sashaying away. Heck, even a weak thunderstorm causes my TV to take a raincheck. But I was one of the lucky ones: The only thing I saw sashaying away was another team of queens on RuPaul‘s All Star Drag Race.
Our girls start off playing a game called #InDaButtRu. (Yup, it came complete with its own hashtag). It’s basically The Newlywed Game, except the questions are about whose tuck is tighter. Team Latrila struggled to really guess anything correctly, while Team Rujubee dominated. When asked about the type of boy-underwear her partner wears, Jujubee got it in one. (Raven hilariously deadpans, “The Devil wears nada.”)
Rujubee wins the challenge—but their prize is just a cream pie in the face. I was expecting some type of main-challenge advantage or maybe a Sequin Queen gift card? Nope, just pies. But it did provide RuPaul with a segue for the next challenge: The girls had to impersonate celebrities in the campy RuPauls Gaff-In, which apparently was taking the place of our beloved Snatch Game. This week’s guest judge, Vicki Lawrence, appeared in the skit as well in her Mama guise. (So edgy!)
The challenge itself is a whirlwind of scene changes. First there’s a swinging cocktail party with Mama and the Pit Crew. Then they have to feed jokes to RuPaul in a segment called “Howdy Ru.” And then they’re popping out of the joke wall. A season of Drag Race without Snatch Game hurts my soul in a deep place, but we did get a Laff-In style joke wall where the queens popped their heads out like cuckoo clocks and delivered jokes they wrote themselves.
Most of the puns fell flat, but watching the girls desperately try to open the barn doors was hysterical. These girls can work a runway backwards in hells. But opening silly doors? Now that’s a challenge.
Latrice was largely unsuccessful as Oprah, shouting “You get an African baby! And you get an African baby!” Even Manila’s gap-toothed Madonna couldn’t steer them in the right direction.
Team Yarlexis stuck to Spanish-speakers—Yara cuchi-cuchied it up as Charo, and Alexis channeled Shakira. Nina Flowers chose La Lupe, a Cuban singer banished by her country and the music industry. Why? Because there’s nothing funnier than a pariah most of the audience has never heard of? Tammy Brown impersonates Tammy Fae Baker, but the transformation purely cosmetic.
After the comedy chaos, our girls prepared for a runway delivering Sixties realness: Realizing they still don’t know much about one another, Latrice and Manila kiki about growing up and coming out and Manila’s boyfriend, Sahara Davenport (who has sadly since passed away). It was a quick mention but my heart breaks a little.
And we move on to talking, once again, about Tammie Brown’s craziness.
On the catwalk, all the queens give us an Austin Powers vibe. My nitpick is that there was a lot of matchy-matchy among team members, which I hope doesn’t become a thing. We’re already getting cheated out of so much with the forced pairing. Identical outfits make it that much more blah.
At the judges’ table, Vicki and the gang are joined by second celebrity judge Busy Phillips. Chad’s Betty Davis redeems Shannel’s unlovable Lucy Ball. My favorite part was Manila getting read for her ridiculous white eyeliner, which made her look completely cross-eyed. Michelle Visage certainly noticed it—how did Latrice not?
Team Yaralexis took the home the prize (custom jewelry!). Team Rujubee is also called safe; the judges didn’t love Raven’s Bea Arthur (I beg to differ), but Jujubee’s execution of a Fran Drescher laugh keep them safe. That leaves two teams for the bottom: Teams Brown Flowers and Latrila.
Eeep! Manila and Latrice won last week—how the fabulous have fallen.
In the end, it’s Tammie versus Latrice, lip-synching “No Business Like Show Business.” Latrice will always be my chunky-yet-funky mother hen, but Tammie is just so damn intriguing! It’s especially true in the lip-synch—her face, which is always twerking, was really working overtime. The queens weren’t sure. I wasn’t sure. And part of me expected Manila to press the emergency siren.
But that didn’t happen, and Latrila won the challenge—sending Brown Eye, er, Flowers to chantay away. After the usual good-byes, Nina Flowers packs her bags and Tammie Brown takes her spaceship back to Planet Eyebrow.
On Untucked: Chad Michaels receives an emotional video note from his father, with whom he hadn’t spoken in 25 years. Chad loses it. Then Manila loses it. And finally Yara starts sobbing uncontrollably, too. The mascara and daddy issues flowed until Latrice got all Mother Hen with “It takes a really strong man to become a woman.”
The whole thing was very emotional—a lot more than you’d expect to be pulled from that pink, furry box.
Jason Sweeten is a contributing writer for Queerty. He would like you to use #InDaButtRu in a sentence.