The “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Recap: Basic Training Bra

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Remember when the walk into the workroom took up a significant portion of the show because the season started out with like 37 contestants? Well, we’re down to just five, and there’s an overwhelming sense of emptiness. Mostly inner emptiness, because everyone’s being downright awful. Coco audaciously refers to Alyssa’s dismissal as a “sweet moment” with a sincerity that almost obscures the comment’s innate nastiness. But that shade looks like sunlight in comparison to the group’s continued use of Jinkx’s self-esteem as a piñata. To bring about her strongest competition’s failure, Roxxxy summons a sewing challenge by performing it, which is maybe the gayest application of The Secret ever.

dragrace e10 01But just like the regular version of The Secret, it doesn’t work. For their first task, the girls will be exercising. Not in some euphemistic way: they’re flat-out getting a personal trainer and working out. Well, they’re still in heels and fake boobs, and their trainer’s name is Storm, so it’s not quite P90X, but sweats are broken nonetheless. Right from the start, Roxxxy lets us down by taking a minute to catch on to the apparently complex process of doing a jumping jack. Yet despite her struggle, it’s Detox who gets booted first. Those muscles are fake, remember? You can’t buy strength. Lanky little Alaska, on the other hand, looks like a Charles Atlas “before” picture but still manages to out-crunch her rivals.

Things kick into high gear as the week’s main task is announced and in march five sexy military men. (OK, four sexy military men and an old dude in jazz pants.) As the newly established Alpha, Alaska will get to match each stud with a lady friend who will give him a makeover. Her “everything happens for a reason” justification for her pairings elicits disapproval from Roxxxy, who doesn’t believe in chance because, as has been established, she uses The Secret. She is vociferously unhappy about getting a short, hairy man to work with while Alaska kept the tall, twinky one for herself.

dragrace e10 04Jinkx, who Alaska expected to sabotage by saddling her with the oldest serviceman, ends up being delighted because her guy knew (and possibly indirectly caused the death of) Judy Garland! She’s basically putting heels on the origin of the Stonewall riots! Or she would if his HIV meds didn’t make it so hard for him to walk in heels. That right there is proof positive that it’s not a gay disease, OK?

Coco’s man can wear heels, but can’t walk in them. Neither can he tuck. But since Coco has never done someone else’s make-up before, all that other business is maybe putting the cart before the show pony. The only problem over in Detox’s corner is that there’s not enough privacy for them to sissy that anal sex. Her recruit is a hot little number from the Castro and has girlishness to spare, so the runway won’t be a problem. She doesn’t know whether to beat his face or sit on it.

As preparations continue, the boys share some backstories about why they joined the military. As it turns out, no one enlists for a hilarious reason, and I’m not going to try to make light of any of their hardships. (After that HIV joke, I better not push my luck any further.)

Of course, walking the runway on its own wouldn’t be startling enough, so Ru pops in with the tried-and-true reality TV reveal that the challenge has… a second part. Beyond creating looks, the sisters will also perform a color guard flag routine. Though this insertion is supposed to intensify the drama, it ends up falling flat: the rehearsals and ensuing performances are edited down to a montage so choppy that they may as well have thrown the whole concept on the cutting room floor. If the producers want an intense insertion, I hear Detox has a suggestion.

dragrace e10 05The reveal of each look on the catwalk is delicious fun; Logo could probably double its revenues by running a daily program comprised entirely of turning random dudes to divas. They’d probably call it Dudes to Divas, and you’d probably watch it. Jinkx and Fortuna Monsoon do a campy Judy-and-Liza bit, which seems macabre given the whole “I killed her” thing. Next up are the Andrews sisters, Roxxxy and Isabella. Their cape-dropping reveal shows that they have a little something up their sleeve, and that something is ass. And it isn’t little.

Even if they don’t end up winning, Alaska and her sister Nebraska are going to be OK because they just robbed a bank and possibly boosted some canned goods in their hip padding as well. Detox had plenty of raw material to work with, but her lust obviously distracted her, because Beth Adone is a hell of a drug. Side effects include clown blush and tiny hats. The real tragedy of the night, though, is Coco’s sister Horchata Montrese. The earlier warning that she’d only ever painted her own face comes to ghastly, butch-queen-first-time-in-drag-at-a-ball fruition that the judges are quick to pounce on.

After critiques, Roxxxy’s ability to spread the peanut butter around her whole family lands her first place, complete with a shopping spree to… American Apparel? Really?! Do you see a lot of drag queens in basics these days? Like she’s gonna do a show in a breastplate under a solid-color v-neck. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Detox gets critiqued for her messy flag twirling and questionable taste level, while Coco gets even harsher feedback for blending so sloppy it was practically surrealist. (Somewhere, Serena ChaCha is fuming that a drag queen other than herself got compared to Frida Kahlo.)

dragrace e10 07For a couple of top-five contenders, the ladies sure do lack luster. Especially since they’re performing Seduction’s “It Takes Two” right in front of the faux queen who originally sang it, you’d think they could turn up the heat. Though constantly in motion, Coco can’t seem to milk any feeling out of the song. Detox, who doesn’t have feelings, remains mostly stationary. Her belief that no one will ever get tired of that jaw wiggling trick is horribly misguided: this is only her second lip sync (third if you count the glory hole challenge), and already I’m bored. The judges aren’t, I guess, because shante she stays. That leaves Coco to, well, leave. She tells the camera that she’s thankful for the closure on the Alyssa drama, and she’s the voice of a nation on that one, let me tell you.

You know what else the masses crave? Award Awards!

The first goes to Dave, Jinkx’s sister for the day, who earns a Cocktail from Yours Truly! Seriously, Dave, I know from the comments section that you read these recaps, and I owe you a drink for having now poked fun at you on the internet.

To Detox, I present Anne Hathaway’s Les Miserables Oscar. Not that I think Detox is acting; I’m just acknowledging the Fantine-caliber string of tragedies she’s endured. Also, she and Anne are kind of rocking the same haircut.

And finally, Alaska earns herself the Tammie Brown Memorial English/Whatever-Language-That’s-Supposed-to-Be Translator. In her interview segment, she threatened Jinkx with “so… [mouth click]” and subsequently shattered my brain. She literally replaced at least half a sentence with a sound that doesn’t even exist in the English language. And I still kind of understood it.

ON UNTUCKED: It will come as a surprise to no one that Coco is angry. Very angry. So, so, so angry, you guys. Later, Detox delivers an actual shock by shedding tears and tears and then more tears after watching a video message from her family. The moment also affects Jinkx, though I can’t quite tell if she’s feeling sad or drowsy.