A clip show is a lot like a visit home for Thanksgiving. It’s a necessary annual event at which we feast on the familiar. We anticipate it with a mix of eagerness and dread, knowing in advance that it will be in turns boring, painful, and sublime. And like a family holiday, there’s often not much to say about a recap. We’ve all been there, you know? At times like these, I like to pull out a movie. Films give you a new perspective while ensuring that your relatives will shut up for 90 minutes.
With this in mind, I followed last night’s episode with a viewing of To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. The improbably-titled queertastic road trip comedy isn’t always accurate in its depiction of drag, but it lays down a clear path to queenliness. By following the Four Steps defined by her elders, young Chi Chi Rodriguez ascends from squalor to stardom and earns herself a big, sparkly crown.
Since RuPaul makes a cameo, I think it’s fair to measure this season’s final three against the standards laid out in this 1995 oddity. If Jinkx, Alaska, and Roxxxy were being judged by Miss Vida Boheme and Miss Noxeema Jackson, how would they fare?
STEP ONE: Let Good Thoughts Be Your Sword and Shield
I think we can safely throw Roxxxy under the bus(stop) here; she has never pretended at congeniality. If she could, she’d reach for an actual sword and shield. Jinkx tries at positivity and is kind whenever she can be, but misses full marks in this area because of her inability to think well of herself. Her near-pathological need to chant “water off a duck’s back” each time the panel addresses her does not bespeak overwhelming confidence. It’s Alaska who nails this piece of the puzzle. After failing hard at the first challenge, she learned to slap on a smile and work her well-meaning, witty wiles.
STEP TWO: Ignore Adversity
Reality television mostly erases the possibility of this advice being applied. Adversity is essentially the point. While each of the girls has different coping mechanisms for the drama, none of them truly manages to rise above it. This season lacked a Zen mistress like Latrice Royale to guide her fellow queens on a path to peaceful righteousness.
STEP THREE: Abide by the Rules of Love
Alaska’s love connection with Sharon got her here, but she was fickle with her alliances once the show began, dropping her clique without hesitation in the hopes of bettering her chances in the competition. Roxxxy, though more loyal to Detox, couldn’t exactly be called loving. The truest displays of heart came from Jinkx, who sought to accept and be accepted by others even when such an outcome proved impossibly unlikely. Plus, she had that crush on Ivy. Is it too late for us to band together and force them to get married?
STEP FOUR: Larger than Life Is Just the Right Size
Finally, an area in which Roxxxy can excel. Sure, Alaska has her crazy moments, but she’s more bargain basement than opulent penthouse. Jinkx gives over-the-top personality, but hasn’t quite mastered the extreme look. But if this were Game of Thrones, step four would be on the House Andrews crest. When she hits the runway, there’s always fringe blowing in the breeze, jewels sparkling everywhere, lashes that practically touch her hairline, gowns hiding other gowns, wigs hiding other wigs, and boobs like the majestic Alps. She’s mighty mighty, just letting it all hang out.
Each of the contestants seems to have embraced at least one of these tenets, but none has managed the quartet. So it’s… a tie? A three-way loss? Then again, those masquerading straight dudes in To Wong Foo didn’t even know how to contour, so maybe we shouldn’t trust their judgment.
Normally, I’d give out prizes to others, but tonight I’m going to do a clip show of my own and dole out all the AWARD AWARDS to myself. Join me, my children, in reliving my funniest moments. Yes, I’m doing a tribute to myself. No one else was going to. Deal with it.
“In drag, you wear your hair big so you never have to look back.” – Hold Me Closer, Whiny Dancer
“Everyone is straight-up dicknotized. People’s eyes get so hungry that Eric Carmen got a royalty check.” – Hold Me Closer, Whiny Dancer
“It’s time for her to stop being part of a trio and start being last season’s winner’s boyfriend.” – Mock Me on the Dais
“Ru appears wearing a flower so loud and overdone that I immediately named it Michelle Corsage.” – Mock Me on the Dais
“Roxxxy Andrews sells Thick and Juicy, a luscious blend of oils that she absolutely bastes herself in while describing its rich, savory aroma. I’m almost positive it’s just a bottle of gravy.” – Reeking Havoc
“She’s got a lot of opinions for someone I had to Google.” – Reeking Havoc
“The only problem over in Detox’s corner is that there’s not enough privacy for them to sissy that anal sex.” – Basic Training Bra
“In her interview segment, she threatened Jinkx with ‘so… [mouth click]’ and subsequently shattered my brain. She literally replaced at least half a sentence with a sound that doesn’t even exist in the English language. And I still kind of understood it.” – Basic Training Bra
“Girl, your project must have skipped a pill, because it’s LATE.” – Floored Her in the Court
“Meth-Addicted Saruman is unimpressed.” (“Basement Santa” was a funnier nickname, but it was part of a longer, less amusing quote.) – Floored Her in the Court
Thank you for indulging me in that, darlings. Now, go pull up your profiles on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and LinkedIn and Friendster and ChristianSingles and let the world know who you want to win this season. Brave men and women have died for your right to vote for female impersonators on the internet. (OK, they didn’t die for that precisely. Bonus rights!) See you next week when we finally have , as Ru says, “a WINNAH.”