Drag Race

Drag Race Recap: The Runway Has Landed

image005What a long strange walk down the runway it’s been. When we first started recapping RuPaul’s Drag Race on Logo, we did it as a lark, unsure of how long it would be til we gave up on the show and went back to posting hot pics of guys. Instead, Drag Race turned out to be Logo’s first hour of appointment television and each week, we returned again and again (okay, there’s only seven episodes, so how much returning could we do?) to follow the misadventures of Ru and her merry band of dragettes. Now, it’s down to the final three: Bebe Zahara, Nina Flowers and That Bitch Rebbecca. Who will win?! More importantly, what catty things will all the sashayed human wreckage say in the reunion special?

For their final challenge, Nina, Bebe and Rebbecca are forced to endure hearing Ru’s ‘new hit’ “Cover Girl (Put the Bass In Your Walk)” over and over til their ears bleed. Just kidding! That’d be your own personal home challenge, viewer. As if you hadn’t heard the song every week during RuPaul’s stroll down Vaseline Alley, tonight’s final challenge is for the girls to lipsync to the song and add in their own rap.

Yes, it all comes down to rapping drag queens.

We see the girls learn there dance routine from Ryan Heffington, better know here in L.A. as “Sir Heffington” a self-described ‘tranimal’ (that’s half tranny-half animal for those taking notes at home) performance dancer. Heffington’s presence is the sort of street-cred thing that impresses us about this show. After all, where else are you going to see a guy in a mustache and heels teach dance moves to drag queens?

Or try to teach. Nina and Bebe nail the routine, but poor, beautiful, perpetually pissed off Rebbecca can’t seem to get her act together.

Then we see the girls try to rap, with the aide of Cazwell, a gay hip-hop star who’s as overexpose as Heffington is under the radar. It’s not that we don’t like Cazwell, but he has a tendency in interviews to pretend he’s the only gay rapper in the world, which sounds as ridiculous on him as if Eminem were to say it, if you catch our drift. In any event, Caz helps the girls record their raps as best he can. Rebbeca decides she’s going to “speed rap”, but only as four bars of rap and even then, she fucks it up. Nina, for reasons that make no sense to me whatsoever, decides to rap in English. “I have never heard of this rapping thing”, she tells us in her adorable accent. I’m pretty sure they have rap in Puerto Rico. Can anyone confirm this? Finally, Bebe does her thing, which mainly involves saying “Face” in as many ways as possible, but sometimes simple works.

The girls also have to shoot in front of a green screen a lipsync of their rap. Since we have a lot of ground to cover: Nina- Amazing, Bebe- Amazing, Rebbecca- Late and her hairline shows ans she whines a lot. If you’ve seen any episode of Drag Race, this will all seem pretty familiar.

Mixed in with all these preparations, we get to see one-on-one interviews of the girls with Ru. The conceit is they’re having a “lunch of tic-tacs” and it’s a one-note joke that gets played way too much. We don’t really learn anything new about the girls, but are reminded what their basic storylines are: Nina is the adorable Latin can-do girl next door with a heart of gold, Bebe is the exotic, poised an articulate voice of the developing world and Rebbecca is a bitch who looks like she wants to cut you.

The final trip down Vaseline Alley begins and Rebbecca looks like a hooker, Nina looks like a stewardess for Flamenco Air and Bebe looks like an Oscar Award from the 28th Century. The judges quickly dismiss Rebbecca, finally coming to their senses and realizing she’s a no-talent hack (alas, too late for Jade and Shanelle) and Bebe and Nina are forced to do a final Lipsync for Your Life.

Watch the final moments of the show:

The two gals remind us why we love the show so much. They genuinely seem sad they have to compete against each other and hold each others hands, but once the music starts, they both go at it, working off their mutual energy. It’s sweet and fun and you can tell the girls really care for each other.

And Bebe wins. Bebe cries and Nina has to help her up off the floor and doesn’t seem the least bit sad she lost, which is why Nina Flowers is and always will be, awesome. Usually it’s a pro-forma thing to say, “The experience and friends I made are award enough”, but when our Lorca says it, we believe it. In any event– Congratulations Bebe and goodbye forever!

… But wait!

Turns out, there’s a reunion special which directly follows the show. All the queens are back and all the cattiness they reserved on the show is out in full force. Interesting things we learn: Akashia had a terrible childhood, which is why she’s a bitch. Tammy Brown was a weird kid, which is why she’s weird now. RuPaul loves D-Listed and singles them out for praise after we motherfucking recapped every episode of the show. I hope Shanelle haunts you in your dreams!

Alright, to be fair, none of these things are super-interesting and the reunion special would be a bore were it not for a.) Everyone hating on Rebbecca and b.) The imperious whining of our favorite showgirl, Shanelle.

Turns out, everyone hated Rebbecca on the show as much as we did and nobody hated her more than Jade, who was clawed and strangled on stage in her Lipsync for your life with Ms. Glasscock. How’d we miss that? Well, it looked like a performance and even in replays, we have no idea that these queens are actuall fighting it out. In any event, they fake make-up and hug, but half the girls agree that Rebbecca didn’t deserve to go as far as she did.

The best part of the reunion special is watching Shanelle’s meltdown. As you may remember, Shanelle felt the judges didn’t love her enough and argued in her final appearance that she should be sent home, a fact she points out to Rebbecca. “I did not lose to you”, she keeps telling her, “I chose to leave.” Uh-huh. Shanelle then turns on Santino and Ru for not liking her and here is why you and I should never go on reality television– by the end of her tirade, it’s obvious (as if it wasn’t already) that just below her facade of “I am the best here and should win everything”, Shanelle has some massive insecurity problems.

Oh! And she fesses up to deliberately knocking her Medusa wig off her head, which we called ages ago. We’re sort of impressed she admitted it.

Finally, Ru’s had it with the complaining and goes on this big passionate tear about being true to yourself, not looking for approval in others and owning your own identity that everyone, drag queen or not, should take to heart.

One last bit of business before the girls head to the runway– Nina Flowers is crowned “Ms. Congeniality”, which is supposed to be a surprise, but the nerdwit editor put in a shot of her wearing the sash before we see her get the award. Do people not watch the show before it airs?!

And on that note, we look forward to a second season of this show, which besides giving the Logo network a reason to exist, has truly been a groundbreaking piece of television. The show is unrepentantly queer, moving because it lets real gay people be themselves and share their stories and yet, still celebrates being fabulous with *ahem* “flair for your nerve.”