“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Recap Realness: Four Left Feet

rpdrs7e10 01Remember how last week on the runway, everyone was all, “Fame should probably go home,” and then RuPaul agreed? Well, if it had slipped your mind, there are flashbacks helpfully inserted into the beginning of this episode. It’s not any more interesting the second time around. Violet worries that those verbal attacks might have made Fame feel attacked. I worry that Violet might have the worst deductive reasoning skills of any contestant in this show’s history. (Which is saying something, because RuPaul’s Poor Deductive Reasoning Skills Race would be just as fierce a competition as the actual show.) Sensing Ms. Chachki’s ever-diminishing mental capacity, Katya and Ginger question whether she can last. The editors try desperately to rope Kennedy into the drama in an old queens vs. new queens showdown, but it’s too late: this season is already boring and there’s no saving it now.

The next day begins without a talking head segment announcing “it’s a new day,” and I’ve been Stockholm Syndromed into actually missing it. The girls find that Fame has followed up her message on the mirror with personal, hand-written notes for each of them. This action perfectly encapsulates Fame’s sweetness and chronic inability to shut the hell up. Everyone reads their glamorous fortune cookie aloud, awkwardly wonders whether to pretend like they miss her,  and then ultimately decides against it. The tension is relieved by the latest video update from Ru.

rpdrs7e10 02It’s something about dancing, but before they get further details, the gals will have to stick it to this week’s mini-challenge: an intro video to The Fake Housewives of RuPaul’s Drag Race featuring Scotch-taped botched surgery makeovers. The credits sequence is so uniformly hilarious that I wish it were followed by a full-length show. If the regular competition is going to be this sleepy from now on, maybe we should go with the Housewives format full-time next year.

Since everyone did well, Ru selects Violet as the winner on a whim. Her prize? To pair the girls up for another group-based performance challenge. It’s like the producers are worried that one of the queens will wander off and get lost if we don’t have a buddy system set up at all times. This isn’t a field trip to the museum, let them work alone. Just once. Pretty please. Violet chooses Katya for herself and reunites Ginger with Trixie, leaving Pearl and Kennedy as the third group.

Their challenge will be to do a choreographed dance that melds old and new styles while dressed in half drag. After setting up the battle between seasoned queens and fresh faces, you’d think that a task highlighting this divide (with three pairs made up of one child and one adult) would yield all sorts of juicy drama. You’d be very wrong.

rpdrs7e10 03Each of the teams rehearses with noted choreographer and ballroom sensation Carson Kressley. His continued presence is some of the best publicity Ross Matthews has ever gotten. The ladies are actually tossed some decently challenging moves, given how little time there is to learn them, and at least one person from each duo struggles to look as though she has full control of her own limbs. Maybe someone will crash and burn during the judging presentation and it’ll be a delicious disaster!

Nope, afraid not. The runway at least starts off with a bang when RuPaul tears away the bottom half of her dress to reveal her long luscious legs. I immediately shit my pants. The place where her skirt lands sprouts a tuft of hair that blossoms into a magical wig tree that all the up-and-coming legendary children can harvest. For a bright, beautiful moment, the lesbian seagulls sing and everything is perfect.

But then the contestants take to the stage. Half-drag, as it turns out, is precisely 50 percent as interesting as full drag. Like, I wonder what the rest of that dress looks like. Or how that face would work if it were painted all the way. I guess it’s nice for the judges, who don’t usually get to see these dudes as dudes, but I’ve been watching men in t-shirts for the past 45 minutes and I want a god damned ball gown and a full set of lashes.

rpdrs7e10 04The dance performances aren’t spectacular enough to impress me, but neither are they misguided enough to entertain me. The only real tension comes from whether Ginger will cry on the runway. She’s worried that people will judge her, she tells the judges. (She’s also worried that she looks like a cross between Honey Boo Boo and Rosie O’Donnell, so no one give her a mirror, OK?) Oh, and Pearl spouts legitimate gibberish so confidently that the panel actually tries to dissect the etymology of the non-word rather than checking to see if the poor girl is having a stroke.

Given how uniformly OK everybody was, Ru has a hard time making a choice. I feel you, girl. Try recapping an entire season of inexplicably boring TV. I’m glad the queens and editors and producers are all taking their allergy meds, but maybe for Season 8 we could go back to a format in which things happen? If we could guarantee that two or three things definitely happen every episode, that would be fantastic.

rpdrs7e10 05Anyhow, the pairs end up being evaluated as units, which earns a win for Katya and Violet and a lip sync for Trixie and Ginger. Both girls sell the song, but the plastic lady has already been recycled once and we have outgrown this particular doll. Getting eliminated twice has to suck. Plus, now she has to think of a second cute thing to write on the mirror.


Chris J. Kelly performs under the drag name Ariel Italic; in addition to this recap, he hosts weekly Drag Race viewings at the 9th Avenue Saloon in New York City.