The “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Recap: Reeking Havoc

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Last week, the “shante you both stay” moment was greeted with epic orchestral music, uncontrollable sobbing, and confetti raining from the heavens. OK, confetti wasn’t in the budget, but you get the idea. This week: only a sad little banner that says “after the non-elimination.” How quickly we gain perspective! Roxxxy admits that this was the first time her childhood trauma made her cry, and is likely thrilled to realize how thick and juicy her tears are. Her sense of compassion also has some cushion for the pushin’, allowing her to give Jinkx an apology with a big ol’ tank ass on it. (Just kidding: that “sorry” looks a little bony to me.)

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At least no one went to bed angry. They all march in the next morning looking fresh-faced and ready to kill each other with kindness, which is a nice change from their usual efforts to kill each other with killing. After a SheMail about smells, Ru segues into a mini-challenge about men’s underwear. No one comments on that juxtaposition. Though the game involves on-demand partial nudity from gorgeous models and at least one porn star (I see you, Brent Corrigan, and I need you to stop denying our love), it’s still just Memory at its core. Have you ever watched your toddler nephew play Memory seven times in a row? It wears thin.

Ivy Winters, it turns out, can make the quickest matches — I have no doubt she immediately updated the Special Skills section of her professional resume. Her prize, a phone call home to her mom, is anticlimactic all around; the show barely touches on it when it happens, so neither will I. She has a great relationship with her mom. Snooze. Transitioning back to the topic of scents, Ru informs the contestants that they must create a fragrance, design its packaging, and write and film a commercial for the product.

What ensues is a revealing and often harrowing exploration of each contestant’s psyche.

Ivy initially pitches a product called Poisoned Rosebud. It titillates her that the name could mean “deadly anus” if you worked it hard. Like, really stretched it… just lubed it up and punched it, you know? Ru, on the other hand, thinks the concept is geared toward too old a crowd. Hey, MILFs enjoy smelling like death ass too, OK? By the time she gets in front of the camera, Ivy has switched bottles and names, but Dress Code doesn’t seem any more promising, especially since its spokeswoman is a twitchy robot. Then again, it’s impressive that the robot is a transformer. You know you gasped when that dress turned into that other dress.

Making specious use of the phrase “double entendre,” Detox names her concoction Heroine. Despite the negative feedback she got for her whispers, that Jekyll and Hyde vocal performance had me laughing all the way to rehab.

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Alaska hasn’t won a challenge yet. If you did a shot every time she said so, you’d be dead and embalmed. Worse still, it looks like she’s headed for failure when she tells Ru that her perfume smells like dirt and Ru tells her that the name Red is already taken. Luckily, the ad shoot is smooth like buttah because Miss Thunderfuck 5000 (who should be a robot with a name like that) knows what she wants and she knows how to get it: by spinning around and making ridiculous faces.

The lack of reinforcement is beginning to wear on Jinkx, but she apparently has an understanding connection with Ivy to help her through. Also, there’s the little boost you get from totally nailing the challenge. Though her unedited performance in front of the green screen serves humorless camp and sexless sex, the finalized commercial for Delusion delivers the perfect pretzel-thighed punchline.

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The remaining queens drive right down the middle of the road. Roxxxy Andrews sells Thick and Juicy, a luscious blend of oils that she absolutely bastes herself in while describing its rich, savory aroma. I’m almost positive it’s just a bottle of gravy. RuAnimal by Coco (by Coco) is a psychedelic nightmarescape of bulging eyes, animal prints, and a mask borrowed from Alaska.  As for Alyssa, I suspect her secret is that she’s been functioning all these years with half a pig brain. The memory of the truck stop transplant she received will resurface next week and earn her immunity, no doubt.

Back in the workroom, Alaska pulls out a book of pictures to show the queens. It’s cute how she talks like it’s a photo album when really it’s a published collection by a friend, for which she wrote the forward. No URL and wink to the camera? Hasn’t Ru’s shameless product whoring taught these girls anything?! Meanwhile, Jinkx confesses her relationshippy feelings for Ivy Winters, which gives my heart the hugest boner.

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I’m glad we get a proper runway since there wasn’t one last time. Jinkx in vintage Hollywood elegance and Detox in a subtext-on-top transparent gown both earn praise, but are only safe. The top prize goes to Alaska for creating the only tolerable fragrance and finally, finally wearing something other than a slinky little dress. Roxxxy serves fetal realness in that glossy pink cat suit complete with umbilical cord bow, but still manages to slide by; Coco’s overaccessorized white tiger or zebra or heffalump also dodges a bullet. That leaves Ivy and Alyssa to make their final sales pitch, as it were.

The battle isn’t exactly a photo finish. Ivy, decked out in something Nancy Kerrigan decided not to wear 20 years ago, can’t dance and doesn’t know the words. The comparison makes Alyssa shine all the brighter as she moves like Jagger and dresses like a coked-up werewolf at a board meeting. Casting Miss Winters aside with an epic final yodel, Ru establishes that I’ll miss the way she says that name more than anything else.

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Hey, do you smell that? Must be the foul odor of AWARD AWARDS in the air!

For Jinkx Monsoon, I have a Totally Platonic Homemade Mix Tape. She earned it for the way she straight pounced on Ivy after the elimination. I hope her perfume hid the stink of desperation hanging off her.

Guest judge Aubrey O’Day gets a Spare Face for Storing All That Extra Mouth. She’s got a lot of opinions for someone I had to Google. Then again, I’ve got a lot of opinions, and when you Google my name, the first few hits aren’t even me.

And the Latrice Royale Memorial “Natural Woman” Pregnancy Bump goes to Ivy Winters. Not everyone can pull off the motionless lip sync, darling. Especially when “everyone” doesn’t know the lyrics.

ON UNTUCKED: Can we leave Jinkx alone? Seriously, Coco lost both her parents, Roxxxy was left at a bus stop, Alyssa has had two crowns taken away from her, Detox did porn… we’ve all experienced tougher things to process than whether the judges liked someone’s outfit. Next season, I nominate Yogi Tea as a new sponsor. We need some chamomile up in here.