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“RuPaul’s All Star Drag Race” Recap: Dynamic Drag Duos

Well, that was something.

For all of the times Chad Michaels has compared Drag Raceto the Hunger Games, this elimination was the first time it actually felt like it: With Yarlexis saying adios last week, we’re left with Teams Shad and Rujubee.

At the top of the show Ru declares that the bottom duo will be lip-synching against each other. When I heard this, I made a silent prayer that Shad would finally falter. It’s the only way Chad could stay in the running but Shannel gets cut, thus ensuring drag justice is done.

For the mini-challenge, the producers go back to their masculinity schtick (remember that bad-boy butch photo challenge?) with a skins-versus-skirts basketball game. After taking a hot minute to doll up in daytime drag, the queens made their way to the only basketball court in L.A. that has neon-pink accents. They’re playing a game of F.I.S.H., which is like H.O.R.S.E., but jokier. (“For once, serving fish is a bad thing.”)

It turns out Shannel can spin the ball on her finger and grunt like a dude, but she and Chad Michaels still lose—badly. Without nary a stumble, Team Rujubee took the prize. (Raven even sunk a three-pointer.)

For all of its ridiculousness, the mini-challenge provides the winners with a real prize for a change: phone calls home! Jujubee has a touching call with her boyfriend (“I can’t wait to do it with you”) and Raven has an equally touching—but not that kind of touching—call with her mom. It was so sweet that you almost didn’t notice the clumsy product placement. (“I’m in the Silver Lounge with all this great furniture from Form Décor!”)

In the main challenge, our girls are going as dynamic drag duos: Each team will create one “super-shero” and one super villain, complete with civilian looks and credible back story. Chad heads down a path of utter ridiculousness, lest she pull a Jiggly Caliente and get cut for taking it too seriously. Team Rujubee  gets overly complicated with their concept, but Super-RuPaul swoops in and steers them away from certain doom.

The final part of this week’s tri-challenge was a group dance number that felt more forced than Lady Bunny’s corset. Shannel was so bossy I thought it was a setup to her getting eliminated.

For the main stage, I thought Rujubee killed it. They were Marvel-ous, with Jujubee serving up some Fifth Element realness in a red wig and white bodysuit, and Raven literally throwing shade as her shadowy archenemy.

Team Shad did fine but, once again, there was nothing exciting: Chad was polished as ever, but Shannel looked like she just bought an S&M outfit from the Pleasure Chest. (Their back-stories also lacked.)

When it came to reveal who was tops and who was bottoms, I was floored to hear Ru decalre Team Shad were the winners. Is this some crazy parallel-universe shit?

The only justification I can think of for putting Team Rujubee in the bottom two is that the producers knew that it would generate outrage: If they had put Team Shad in their rightful place, Chad would’ve just mopped the floor with Shannel. But forcing two besties to duke it out? That’s how you pull out drama, hunty.

Raven and Jujubee have to lip-sync against each other to a Robyn song—and not just any Robyn song, but “Dancing on my Own.” This is like putting out fire with gasoline.

Jujubee basically just walks over to Raven and they start crying together. They hold each other while mouthing the lyrics. For a moment I thought one of them was going to burst away but they just held each other for the entire time.

When it’s finally over, Jujubee falls to the ground as Raven tries to rustle her up from the floor. It’s all too tragic, and my heart is breaking into a million pieces.

Still, a decision must be made. The axe must fall.  After excruciating suspense, RuPaul says that they have left her with no choice: “Chanté, you both stay!”

So now we have a Top 4 , apparently. We’ll also have another voting situation like last season? Ru tells the audience to cast their votes onlineby tweeting @RuPaulsDragRace using #DragRace or going to facebook.com/RuPaulsAllStarsDragRace.

Jujubee appears to have an early lead, but it’s really anyone’s game at this point. May the odds be ever in your favor, ladies. Ever in your favor.

On Untucked: Not much happened: our queens answered a few fan questions, Shannel wouldn’t stop talking, and Team Rujubee starts pre-crying.

Jason Sweeten is a contributing writer for Queerty. Even if he’s not lip-synching against his best friend, Robyn has the same tearful impact on him.

On:           Nov 20, 2012
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