DRAG STRIP

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Recap: These Drag Queens Are So Blank

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The shadow of the double elimination looms large over the remaining contestants as they enter the workroom to review the fresh banalities lipsticked onto the mirror. Roxxxy in particular is feeling the pressure. She thought for sure that a daily dose of Rolaskatox would grant her immortality, but the only recipe for legendary longevity is Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent, darling.

In what is fast becoming a trend, no one expresses regret that the eliminated ladies aren’t there anymore. With two less people around, there’s that much more room to hurl insults, so Jade and Alyssa fill the space with longer, sharper claws. A word to the wise, Ms. Jolie: Alyssa might not have a 26-inch waist, but you might not either in ten years, so maybe keep your body shaming to yourself. The thing these young kids forget about being 22 is that it only lasts a year.

Providing a much-needed break from the antagonism, the jaunty credits sequence jumps in, followed by an equally jaunty SheMail, and then an even jauntier real live RuPaul. She’s dressed like the bellhop in a 1940s farce and comes bearing fittingly zany news: the girls will be customizing fleece garments (referred to here as “cuddlers” because they could afford to buy Snuggies but not to call them by name, apparently) for a step-and-repeat “Who Wore It Best?” challenge.

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Visiting judge Ian Drew, senior editor of Us Weekly, picks the wrong winner in all three groups. Sure, it was clever of Detox to dress as Pizzazz from Jem and the Holograms, but Coco was serving truly eye-catching fashion. Roxxxy’s bustier is cute, but Alaska paired her giraffe print with a lion head! (She must have a whole closet full of Carrot Top’s castoffs. Party City indeed.) And everyone sucked on the pink team, but at least Jinkx made me laugh with her arthritic shuffle as the lost Olsen Triplet.

And speaking of the Olsons, who are celebrities: this week’s main challenge is the Snatch Game! (Segue. Nailed it.) “Who are you doing?” is asked repeatedly with the breathless excitement usually reserved for “Who’s taking you to prom?” Well, I asked Dan Hall, but he was already going with Rebecca Schulman, that slut. And I’m doing a pop star with no discernible personality, obviously. You are too? This’ll be great.

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The lineup that player/judges Julie Brown and Downtown Julie Brown are subjected to ends up being awfully listless. Ivy’s Marilyn Monroe, Jade’s Taylor Swift, and Alyssa’s Katy Perry can barely get the editor’s attention. Lineysha either sucks or is a secret genius, I can’t tell. Heeding Ru’s advice not to go forward with what would have been a nuclear disaster of a Michelle Obama impersonation, she opts instead for a flailing, English-challenged Celia Cruz. The look might have been busted, but the portrayal turned her linguistic liability into a strength. There’s debate among my friends as to whether “flip my hair back to front” was intentional, but regardless, it got a belly laugh out of me.

Coco does a stellar Janet look, complete with the cruelest nose contouring you’ve ever seen, but Chad Michaels managed to change costumes and still tell jokes at the same time, so she has some sharp stilettos to fill. Detox fares slightly better with her filthy Ke$ha antics, but fake urinating near Tamar Braxton is maybe not as gut-busting hilarious as she might have hoped. Also, we’re all in agreement that she faked it? Just making sure.

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Speaking of which: Roxxxy, how are you gonna call out Little Edie Beale as too obscure when you’re doing Tamar Braxton? Did Braxton Family Values get a Criterion DVD that I missed? Still, her wild, vivacious energy is worthy of cut-rate reality TV. Like, other than Drag Race. Alaska’s Lady Bunny has the mouth of a trucker, and oddly the husky voice to match, but she knows the power of personality and is one of the only standouts. It’s clear from the moment we hear Grey Gardens, however, that Ms. Monsoon’s revolutionary costume makes her the staunchest woman around.

This week’s runway is literally fish themed. Less misogyny, more zoology! During catwalk prep, the girls share a heartwarming moment of united purpose. Well, all of them except Jinkx, since their purpose is to tear her to shreds. No amount of foundation can hide seething jealousy, and the fact that being funny is suddenly important leads everyone to pick on the new frontrunner for delivering all humor and no look. Jinkx is too busy crying or falling asleep or not being able to swim to give them much of a comeback. Time to grow a MILF-y Jewish backbone, you basket of never-again-mentioned personal differentiators.

Of course, there’s no need to say anything when the results speak for themselves. Sure, Roxxxy’s pantsless blazer look makes the judges drool and there’s lots to love about Alaska’s mermaid dress (accessorized with an actual trout because SERIOUSLY, hon, did you think you were going on Let’s Make a Deal?!), but they’re both washed away by the Monsoon. She earns herself a jewelry prize that looks like it’s made of discarded plastic and nightmare chemicals. Everyone who handles it probably needs a Silkwood Scrubdown afterward.

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Ivy’s delicious goldfish frock can’t hide the fact that she’s one bland cracker, but she remains safe. The bottom two this week are Detox, whose impersonation of a loofah sponge is polarizing, and Lineysha, who consistently kills it fashion-wise but can’t quite hang when the gift of gab is required. It’s a brutal lip sync, and while I think Team Puerto Rico brought the heat implied by Cher’s disco anthem “Take Me Home” (she’s singing about sleeping with a dude she just met, guys), the former Ms. Icunt unleashes a vicious twirl that reveals an even more vicious tuck. If she were an actual undersea creature, that would be how she killed her prey. On dry land, it’s how she makes them sashay away.

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If you’re a D-lister on a game show panel, you’ll never win an Oscar, but you might clean up at the AWARD AWARDS!

To Ian Drew, I present the Liza Minnelli Combination Wedding Ring/Touch-Up Scalpel, because I’m going to guess that a picture of his face is what David Gest’s cake-decorator-turned-plastic-surgery-intern used as a reference.

Michelle Visage has won A New Stylist And A Mirror because I love her dearly but this garish retro nonsense ensemble was a mistake.

And last and certainly least, Santino Rice gets a Free Career Consultation. The frequency of his commentary has dwindled each week, and I’ll be shocked if they aren’t phasing him out so they can replace him next season.

 

ON UNTUCKED: Putting Alyssa, Coco, and Jade alone in a room is cruel to both the participants and the viewing audience. If they’re not going to put weapons in the Interior Illusions Lounge so these ladies can kill each other, they should at least send me one so I can kill myself. Once the whole group reconvenes, Detox is in a snit because Lineysha said she wanted to go home to see her “friend.” Because yeah, that’s totally crazy, not to want to be around this group of delightful sunshine people 24/7. Whatever was she thinking?