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  DRAG STRIP

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Recap: Mock Me on the Dais

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Mirror, mirror, on the wall: who’s the least coherent of all?

“Cheers to my fish, fabulous, and fierce sisters,” stumbles Coco as she read’s Jade’s farewell message. The expression on her face is either regret that her friend is gone or confusion about what that little haiku might mean. With Jade’s afflicted by synesthesia, everything is a pink-semi-sentence made of lipstick and glitter.

The scientific name for her condition is Betsey Johnson Disorder.

Of course no one in the room is thinking much about their fallen compatriot: it’s every woman for herself at this point. Alaska, in particular, is experiencing a Diana Ross moment (Google it, Lineysha) and wants to break free from Detox and Roxxxy. It’s time for her to stop being part of a trio and start being last season’s winner’s boyfriend.

To announce this change, she skips the “Rolaskatox!” war cry during her workroom entrance, eliciting so many ooohs from her colleagues that I thought an ambulance was approaching. The editors do their best to make this a drama worthy of sirens, but everyone insists on reacting calmly, which honestly strikes me as a little ungrateful. Ru didn’t cast you for your ability to behave like an adult—you betta pitch a fit for the camera and earn that free vodka.

dragrace e07 02

After She-Mail, Ru appears wearing a flower so loud and overdone that I immediately named it Michelle Corsage. Though we can barely see his face from behind the lurid lavender petals, he manages to announce the long-anticipated reading mini-challenge. Because it’s what? Sickening, bitch!

Or the other thing, I dunno.

Everyone gets in a couple of decent barbs, though many of the reaction shots amused me more than the comments themselves. Alyssa delivers wild, unpredictable convulsions that are essentially the full-body equivalent of her make-up faces, while Jinkx doesn’t laugh so much as hinge her mouth agape like a Pez dispenser.

Special kudos go to Alaska, however, whose possessed-by-the-sunglasses concept is backed by some of the sharpest wit in the competition.

dragrace e07 04After reciting a convincingly chipper Absolut ad (some of us are willing to work for our booze), Ru announces the main challenge: the girls will be roasting her. Alaska, as the best reader, will choose the show’s running order.

I suppose this had the potential to be a shady and conniving prize, but again, the queens defy the odds and talk it out calmly like humans instead of their usual fabulous-apes-flinging-glittery-feces spectacle. They’re awfully composed when the drinks aren’t laced with Rolaskatox, which I suspect is a frenzy-inducing hallucinogen.

Here’s the thing: it’s a little silly to try to build tension over who will succeed, because we’ve been watching for weeks now—we know who’s funny. The next 30 minutes could pretty much write itself. Nonetheless, we sit through dreary montages of ladies staring intently at their notebooks. You don’t need to be psychic to know that Jinkx’s page is full and Roxxxy’s is blank.

You know the situation is dire when I’m actually thankful that Alyssa is there: the overconfident gasps and chortles at her own bon mots are sad and transparent—but at least they break up the monotony.

For some assistance, Ru intdragrace e07 05roduces the queens to comedians Deven Green, Nadya Ginsburg and Bruce Vilanch. It’s unclear whether this panel is giving or receiving help, seeing as their advice is haphazardly inconsistent and their collective fame couldn’t fill a box on The Hollywood Squares. (And if you didn’t catch that reference, I’ve made my point.)

There’s a lot of floundering all around, but Alyssa gets the darkest foreshadowing for not knowing the difference between telling a joke and just saying something mean. Anyway, the show quickly jettisons and forgets its guest commentators, as will its audience.

Before the ladies take the stage to lightly nibble the hand that feeds them, Roxxxy leads the charge in openly questioning Jinkx’s self-doubting ways. That expressing insecurity and admitting your flaws are foreign concepts to this group should surprise no one.

The Roast of RuPaul runs pretty much how you’d expect: Alaska goes first and is a-mahzing, Jinkx goes in the middle and kills, and Detox goes last and is pretty good, too. On the other end of the spectrum, Alyssa and Roxxxy’s roasts are so depressing I almost thought they were delivering eulogies. (Their own.)

Ivy lives up to her namesake and is something of a wallflower, while Coco delivers the night’s only surprise with a clever character, a fictional old friend of Ru’s from the Brewster Projects.

dragrace e07 07Her performance turns out to be a twofold shock when she beats perpetual underdog Alaska and newly glamorous Jinkx for the win. Maybe her best material didn’t make it to air, but it sure seemed like the other two were funnier.

Alyssa and Roxxxy have been in the bottom since the episode started, so Ru announcing that they’re up for elimination is almost repetitive.

They lip-sync to Willow Smith’s “I Whip My Hair Back and Forth” with great gusto, though their grasp of the lyrics is oddly shaky for a song that mostly repeats the same seven words ad nauseum. What they lack in basic verbal capacity, they make up for in gale-force back-to-front hair-flipping. Roxxxy in particular pulls early focus for calling in a pinch hitter when her first wig just can’t whip hard enough. Pretty soon they’re both having seizures like a gay Exorcist sequel that I now desperately wish would get made.

dragrace e07 08Choosing who to send home is made even tougher when Roxxxy suddenly explodes into sobs. With some prompting from Ru, she explains how being in the bottom two makes her think about the time that her mother abandoned her at a bus stop when she was a toddler.

At this point Alyssa is probably furious that she wasted her estranged dad story last week.

In the end, a roasted Ru is a merciful Ru, and she allows both of her girls to stay. The episode ends in a group hug. Unfortunately, this tender moment is filmed from above, so it doesn’t look like a display of affection so much as a pile of discarded weaves.

I don’t have a cute segue into the AWARD AWARDS, but just follow me anyway.

* To Jinkx Monsoon’s contoured breast, I pin the Sequined Purple Heart. In her neighborhood in Seattle, the crickets have shotguns, so she deserves a straight-up combat medal.

* Santino Rice gets his Janky Old Hat and Bandana back. I thought he looked bad before, but seeing his entire head made me never want to see his entire head again.

* To Alaska, I offer an Honorary Awesome Prize of Awesomeness, mostly because I feel like if she hasn’t won on the main stage after two comedy challenges, then she’s probably missed her chance.

 

ON UNTUCKED: Jinkx earns my eternal gratitude for making Alyssa and Coco promise never to bring up their old feud again—ever. Usually I’d have further catty commentary, but since the rest of the episode is about how Jinkx and Roxxxy had twisted, broken childhoods, I’m going to leave it alone.

By:           Chris J Kelly
On:           Mar 12, 2013
Tagged: , , , , , , ,

  • 5 Comments
    • dkmagby
      dkmagby

      It was interesting that Roxxxy and Coco were so threatened by Jade and her insecurities. It really showed how these girls have really overcompensated with their bickering to cover up their vulnerabilities. Which became pretty obvious with Roxxxy’s breakdown. Which she perfectly timed to survive this week. I feel bad Alaska missed her opportunity but she did screw herself over by going first. I am pleasantly surprised Jinkx is starting to look like a real contender. I’ve seen her other work and that queen is waaaay overqualified for this show.

      Mar 12, 2013 at 12:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KEVINVENTION
      KEVINVENTION

      Whoever came up with that headline is, quite simply, B-R-I-L-L-I-A-N-T. (And I’ve written quite a few in my time.) BRAVO! (And Very Punny!) ;)

      Mar 12, 2013 at 12:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Snapper59
      Snapper59

      I wasn’t satisfied to see both stay. Ru’s had to make some tough decisions, she sent Latrice Royal home after all. I remember first season she was so upset at having to send Ongina home she had to leave the set then compose herself and come back and do it. Buckle up!

      Mar 12, 2013 at 9:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      We could tell that Ru was going to give Coco the win because Jinx and Alaska were really laying some funny jokes and Jinx had some amazing Timing. Coco was doing a funny character, but she would say something like “You look like Pee Wee Herman with your short pants” and then it would cut to Ru almost keeling over laughing while none of us watching were laughing. However when Alaska and Jinx were up there we were actually laughing out loud.

      Again, Coco did great, but the fake editing was DEMANDING that the audience think Coco was hilarious.

      It’s like when they case somebody like Tara Reid in a movie and then demand that the audience think she is smart because they give her glasses.

      The only Broadway/TV actor Comedian on the Panel didn’t have her in the Top Two, but then again, Ru usually seems to have the finalists picked out in her head before the last few weeks. Why else not send either of the bottom two home? Easy, ru wants them in the finals.

      Mar 13, 2013 at 10:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • thebicameralmind
      thebicameralmind

      These recaps are almost better than the show itself – dessert that outshines the main course. As always, this week’s installation was beautifully written, hilarious, and downright clever.

      I felt the same way about Alyssa Edwards this week – she’s f***ing nuts! The only reason she’s been growing on me over the past few episodes is because she’s so oblivious and crazy.

      Mar 16, 2013 at 10:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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