Drag Race Recap: Recapping the Recap Show

picture-116Well, if this isn’t meta, we don’t know what is. Welcome to the very special Queerty recap of the very special recap episode of RuPaul‘s Drag Race, which is just one week from its finale, when there’ll be actual stuff to talk about.

To fill time, the producers have “treated” us to a behind-the-scene’s look at the show that’s more padded than the queens’ bras. It’s not going to be a shock to you that a highlights show manages to be a low point for the series, but even by the standards of your average “let’s kill an hour with some interviews and extra footage” show, this one (to steal from Ru’s repertoire of canned phrases) “fucked it up.”

Coincidentally, Battlestar Galactica was also airing its recap episode last night, and because we’re big nerds, we watched both shows back to back for comparison. After all, both feature lots of slinky dresses and people pretending to be something they really aren’t to advance their dreams of obliterating the human race/nab a spot on the Absolut Pride Tour.

The big takeaway from this moronic TV-watching experiment is that the recap episode’s sole purpose is to please the fans and excite them for the final episode, so let’s judge Drag Race on how well it did those two things—with charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent.

picture-213We don’t learn much about the show this episode. We’re still wondering why we don’t get to see the queens interact at whatever fleabag motel Logo’s put them up at, and without the contestants around to liven the show up, it becomes really obvious what the weak suits of the show are.

For one, let’s talk about Santino and that other judge whose name we never bothered to learn and certainly aren’t going to learn now. They’re tasked with a “Top 10 Moments of Drag Race” segment, which they stupidly turn into a fashion discussion, which I guess is why they’re around, but who cares? If we had to come up with a Top 10 moments of Drag Race (which we won’t because Logo’s not paying us to), they would all be scenes of people bitching out Rebecca, who we still hate even though Recap readers keep trying to convince us otherwise. Why don’t we like Rebbecca, you ask? Because she’s boring and bitchy and has an attitude that’s wholly unearned. In fact, we learn this week that Rebecca’s first reaction to drag was disgust but that she came around. Who knows why! The show and/or Rebecca doesn’t elaborate.

picture-36But back to Santino and Nameless Judge. What do they name as their top moment of Drag Race? Was it Ongina’s tearful confession of her HIV status? No, it’s Ru in dresses, which gives Ru an opportunity to plug his designer. Oh my gawd! Why are they making us watch this?

Here’s the whole problem with this episode in a nutshell: It’s self-indulgent in all the wrong places. We expect the show to be a “How amazing is our reality show? Huh? Huh?” onanistic orgy, but the producers seem unaware of what makes the show great. 90 percent of the show is focused either on Ru, audition tapes (which should have run in the fist episode, thanks) or on filler. What they left on the floor was the human drama of the show. Had they focused on the final three and used the story of them beating the competition to get to the top as the story arc, this episode could have been fun. It’s the human element these queens bring to the runway each week that makes the show enjoyable. We love the cat fights, the mutual support, Shanelle’s ability to say how amazing she is in any and all contexts, Nina Flowers’ butchering of the English language. Instead, we got a five minute montage you could call, “A Salute to the Catchphrases the Producers Made Ru Say Each Week.”

If anything, we’re less excited about the finale now than we were before watching the recap episode. It reminded us of how short the series has been (six episodes? Really?) and how unfair it is that Ongina and Jade were kicked off just so the show could keep around the villainous Rebecca.

That’s not to say we won’t tune in for the finale next week. Who do you think it’s going to be? And more importantly, who should it be?

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  • Jason in WV

    Bebe- at least it should be. I don’t think Rebecca has the talent/attitude to be a “drag superstar”, and Nina (fun as she is) sometimes comes off as being clueless. Bebe has a restraint to her, but she will loosen up as she fills in the role.

  • Qjersey

    It’s Nina for the win Loca!!!!!

  • oneway

    Ni-na! Ni-na! Ni-na! Ni-na!

  • Anomaly

    “We’re still wondering why we don’t get to see the queens interact at whatever fleabag motel Logo’s put them up at…”
    That’s because they were kept in seperate rooms.

  • Mark M

    The show became very un-fun for me pretty early. Any camp or fun energy was totally zapped in lieu of pandering to the ones who look like $20 hookers. Interestingly, when I watch logo, I always see ads for the show that feature the more interesting queens who were shoved aside early. Ru is a sell-out, bore.

  • Shirokuma66

    It was a mediocre episode, but the show is great. Many of the reality elimination shows have these recap shows. I adore RuPaul, despite other’s opinions, but I thought it was a cop-out to chose him as #1 on the fashion segment. Tough choice between BeBe and Nina. That damn Rebecca is a bitch and is only on the show to keep it spiced up. Everyone knew she should have been eliminated a long time ago–and she’s mean and vapid.

  • Sarina

    Was the love given to RuPaul any worse than the repetitive fawning clip-shows dedicated to Tim Gunn in every Project Runway reunion ?

  • TheWeyrd1

    I’m not much a of fan of the Drag Race or car races either… So much not a fan that I turned down an opportunity to watch an episode being filmed here in Denver at Track’s. I know, I’m missing my potential 15 seconds of fame (ya know from the crowd shot). However, I do enjoy RuPaul somewhat. Anyway, I guess his show is having a second season. Or else the finale was last night in Denver…hmmm. Maybe I should have gone after all.

  • ajax

    @Sarina: Because Project Runway has twice the number of episodes as Drag Race, we see Tim interact with the contestants far more than we see Ru do the same. From what the producers showed us of the series, Ru only provided any real mentoring in the Absolut Ball episode. Tim gets plaudits for his human connection to the contestants. The producers need to show us more of Ru developing a human connection to the contstants.

    The recap show was really lame.

    Nina is, FAR AND AWAY, the most imaginative and gracious of the three remaining queens. She is very clearly a strong and talented man. I want her to win and I want it bad.

  • Michael

    Next season, they would do well to make the regular judges drag queens, then rotate whomever they wish on and off the panel. They could use draq queens with different points of view, which would make their discussions interesting. Lady Bunny, Varla Jean, Coco, Amanda LaPore (I know, she is transgendered, but because she is so over the top, she still embraces her inner drag queen). Some might prefer a lower key queen, while others would provide a bit more insight to the over the top queens, two of which were the first to be voted off.

  • atdleft

    @Michael: Great idea! Let’s feature more queens in a show that’s supposed to be about the art of drag. As much as I liked Santino in Project Runway, I’m still wondering why he and Merle Ginsburg (is she the judge whose name you forget, Japhy?) are judging this show.

  • atdleft

    OK, so I didn’t miss anything last night. Good. I’ll save my bandwidth to watch next week’s finale. I guess they had to do this “recap” show to fulfill their contract for 8 episodes.

  • Cam

    Look, this show SAYS it’s looking for the next great Drag superstar, but it’s REALLY looking only for the next Ru Paul imitator.

    If they had ANY intention of giving ANY queen a bit different from RU Paul a chance, then the queens would have been allowed to choose their own songs for the “Lip Sync for your life” portion of the show. How in the world is Tammie Brown or shannel going to do a lip sync to some minor Beyonce dance hit? That isn’t their style, that isn’t where they have pushed their act or persona. So since the winner always comes down to who Ru likes at the Lip Syhnc, and since she only picks songs that SHE would do, the winner will unfortunatly probably be Rebecca.

  • osocubano

    If there is another season, will they clean the Vaseline off the camera lens?
    I keep thinking I need to put on my glasses every time Ru’s nose disappears.

  • Scrufff

    love the idea of drag queens as judges. the top tier drag queens like lady bunny, jackie beat, lypsinka, varla jean, charles busch etc. tend to be really good at adlibbing, which in a show like this you really need strong off the cuff adlibbers.

  • Cam


    Scruff, it would be great, but Ru would NEVER want to share the spotlight or the vaseline soaked lens with another drag goddess that might upstage her.

  • Qjersey

    Has anyone else noticed that the “Lip sync for your life” have all been R&B Black Diva songs? White girls doing Beyonce? They didn’t stand a chance.

    And Ru’s slant on drag is totally toward the House and Ball scene, all about “realness” and “beauty” and of course CUNT (Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent).

  • Stevie Nickas

    Third Place: Rebecca
    Second Place: Nina
    Winner: Bebe

    Over the past week or so, Rebecca and Nina were in Boston – performing and DJing – at different clubs. Rebecca got drunk at the club she was performing at and told the manager/promoter that she came in third and Nina came in second.

  • mark

    Whats with the super super bright unflattering light projected onto Ru at all times?


    Listen to this interview Jade gave to this Chicago website, the “DJs” are annoying, but Jade give some back story to the show AND SHE SAYS REBECCA DID NOT BOTHER TO GO TO THE RED CARPET PREMIER OF THE SERIES. Does that mean she didn’t win? God I hope so.


    I’ll be pissed if Rebecca wins. I’ll be happy if Nina or BeBe win, they both seem kind and equally talented. I love them both, I can’t pick a favorite.

    I like Nina’s accent. Work it MAMI!!

  • BrianZ

    I do so hope that Nina wins! She’s extremely talented and fierce. Enuff said.

  • JS

    I’m hoping that either Nina or Bebe win. I agree that they are pretty equal. But I do like Bebe’s style just a bit more. If Rebecca wins then the world of drag that we know of will forever be damned and cursed….

  • sparkle obama

    >>Has anyone else noticed that the “Lip sync for your life” have all been R&B Black Diva songs? White girls doing Beyonce? They didn’t stand a chance.<<

    ongina had to lipsynch to britney spears.
    i would have hated to have to do that, but i would have sucked it up and found myself in the song.
    once, in a drag contest i almost had to lipsynch to *pink*.
    pink is fine, but she’s not my style…
    luckily? i was voted off before the next week.

    if shannel couldn’t make a gospel song seem real, it’s because SHE AIN’T REAL!
    i’m really surprised at how many of y’all are sooo understanding whare shannel is concerned.
    i guess she is speaking to you.

    good luck with that!

  • sparkle obama


    rupaul was always coming out of left field in the drag shows.
    one time he would sing live to an original techno track while brandishing a giant prop bazooka,
    next time he would sloganeer and testify while leading the crowd in call 7 response in front of his own videos and fake fragrance commercials…
    and then he would blow you away with unbelieveably focused, minimalist, fully-formed, unique lipsynchs of cher or taylor dane.
    …taylor dane?
    you damn right
    don’t let the smooth taste fool ya!

  • osocubano

    The super bright light washes out what the pantyhose in front of the lens doesn’t hide.

  • Jon

    I’m over the R & B shit. I want somebody to lip synch ROSE’S TURN, for Christ’s sake! Or MY MAN from Funny Girl. (Okay, bitches, I’m over 60..and white..but not near dead). Maybe even AND I”M TELLING YOU I”M NOT GOIN.

  • Johnny

    Nina must win!

    Bebe is boring.

    Rebecca is absolutely gorgeous. Totally hot. Slightly in love.

  • sparkle obama


    well, those are old songs, but maybe next cycle they should concentrate more on *lipsynching* challenges.
    i checked out rebecca on youtube & her lipsynching ain’t that hot.
    beauty-wise, she has got them all beat.

  • waverly

    I was all about Ongina, sigh. Moving on.

    I have to say, if I were Shanelle, and week after week, despite putting out some of the best work, they just weren’t buying what she was selling, I would have left them with a butt shake myself.
    The other girls are what you see at your hometown neighborhood gaybar, accepting grubby dollar bill tips, but beloved by the locals. Shanelle is the big time…Vegas, baby. Her makeup skills, her costuming and her talents were on a whole different level. She is already a freaking star, I don’t even know what she was doing there…slumming with the amateurs? So she wasn’t “vulnerable” enough? are you kidding me? I would love to see the unedited version of her exit; I hope she left the place in flames.

    With Ongina gone, and Shanelle gone, I no longer care who wins. I suspect Bebe will win because she is closest to the RuPaul clone they are so shamelessly seeking. I stopped liking her when she did the “emotional” wig toss, so exciting, if you’ve never seen a drag queen before.

    And on a personal note to Ru: please wipe the goop off the lens and show us a proud, over forty drag queen. You look like Casper on steroids. How about a little “realness”? Can I get an amen?

  • meeryy2

    :) quite dead in here. On this interwebs.

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