The “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Recap: Turn the Other Chica

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Are you sad about Ivy being sent home? Well, not as sad as Jinkx is. Hell, Ivy isn’t as sad about it as Jinkx is. Not that anyone cares about Maudlin Monsoon and her Genuine Human Emotion™. They’d all prefer another rousing round of mindless yowling. Today’s trigger: Alyssa’s assertion that she will lip sync her way to the top if she has to. Rather than question the likelihood of such an outcome (which is zero), people try to label this as “bad attitude” and “lack of sportsmanship.” Who even cares? If she wins, it worked; if she doesn’t, it didn’t. End of story. Can we for once put our lashes away without things becoming a zoo? Like, how long before the lipstick message on the mirror is rendered unreadable by all the flung feces?

Luckily, the object of this week’s mini-challenge is to shout argumentative nonsense at the pit crew loudly enough to draw blood.

dragrace e09 01April Fools! The real contest is to see who can eject a different inside liquid. (Tears, ya perv.) This seems like the kind of thing that Jinkx would nail, what with her acting background and all. Instead, she accidentally validates the running critique that she can only do one thing by using the crying challenge to showcase her comedic abilities. Maybe she was all dried out after that backstage interview about Ivy? Then again, it’s possible I wasn’t clear on the instructions, because Alaska and Roxxxy follow suit, delivering over-the-top caricatures that are sad, but not in the way that makes one weep.

Alyssa, on the other hand, comes out of nowhere with full-on waterworks. And just when I’m trying to wrap my head around a world in which Overbite McNonsense is capable of that kind of success, Detox dives in while choking back sobs to relate the desperate tale of finding her boyfriend’s corpse in her home. What’s that smell in the air? It’s Genuine Human Emotion™, by Jinkx Monsoon.

The two clear winners wipe the mascara from their cheeks and go about the task of choosing teams. Their main challenge will be to act out a telenovela-style script while deploying as many stereotypes about the Latino community as possible. I could write a thesis on this episode’s problematic relationship with race, but there isn’t room for that here. All I’ll say is I’m shocked I didn’t see one of the queens give birth to an anchor baby or predict Armageddon on a stone calendar.

Anyhow, the team selection process is optimized for drama: Rolaskatox is reunited, while warring parties Jinkx, Coco, and Alyssa (Jilyssco?) are forced to call an uneasy cease-fire. Surprisingly, it’s Alaska who feels the worst about the arrangement. After emancipating herself from the clique at the advice of the judges, she’s basically like a child being adopted back into a broken home. I hope she doesn’t act out in school or start writing lamentable poetry!

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Both groups run into a critical snag before filming begins. Over on the Cojinkssa side, Alyssa’s decision to wear Jinkx’s dress saps the team of much-needed energy. It takes a lot of work to shove too much lady into not enough garment while rolling your eyes at maximum strength! Alyssa is nonetheless determined to have a giggling good time. Her ability to amuse herself has gone from cute to alarming, though: I have it on good authority that inappropriate laughter is a telltale symptom of schizophrenia. Meanwhile, Detox questions the logic behind getting rid of the garish mask she had intended to wear. I’ve never understood the girls who don’t immediately take Ru’s advice. You know that Ru decides who goes home, right? When she says she doesn’t like something, maybe take that to heart. Don’t be the idiot laughing during a crying challenge.

Team Alycocnkx (I’m beginning to understand why they didn’t get a cute name) struggles to meet even the low standards set by daily soaps. Despite her uncanny knack for overwrought facial expressions, Alyssa opts for subtlety in portraying her death-by-involuntary-orgasm. Is it opposite day up in here? If Michelle shows up with small boobs and tasteful beige slacks, I’m finding a bunker and hiding until the horsemen are gone. Coco can’t remember her lines because Wilmer Valderrama is so sexy, but even when she knows what to say, she says it blandly. Thank heavens for Jinkx, who singlehandedly carries the day by hissing, hollering, and humping the armchair until it’s pregnant with twins. (Word to the wise, though: don’t talk about serving Sofia Vergara when you’re really dishing out Amy Winehouse. Or Amy Casa de Vino, in this episode.)

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Rolaskatox has an easier time of it: Alaska’s legitimately funny, and Roxxxy and Detox at least know how to make a scene. Their main obstacle is that each of them wants to be the center of attention for as long as possible, and since there are a finite number of words to deliver, they end up inserting constant dramatic pauses. Ru has to jump in and save things before their segment becomes a silent film.

The next day, the ladies do a little routine verbal sparring as they prep for the runway. At this point, throwing shade is as natural to them as tossing a ball back and forth, and twice as predictable. Everyone accuses everyone else of doing the same thing each week. You’re all special snowflakes, ladies. Now shut up. Once things have calmed down a little, Roxxxy gets Detox to open up more about her earlier revelation. While we don’t learn how specifically her boyfriend died, we do learn that he was actually her EX-boyfriend who had been stalking her for weeks, implying a grisly obsession-fueled revenge-suicide. I’m not making a joke about that. That’s horrible. I really thought getting abandoned at a bus stop was going to be this season’s low, and now I kind of wish it had been.

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The catwalk theme this week is “the first thing that pops into your Republican aunt’s head when you mention Mexicans.” Sombreros! Maracas! Clothes the color of Fanta!

Luckily, Jinkx’s aunt was smart enough to say Dia de los Muertos, carrying her to a sensationally spooky win. Even scarier than a sugar skull, however, is the prospect of watching Alyssa and Coco lip sync against each other, and that’s exactly what’s about to happen.

I honestly feared the two of them might run directly at each other, perhaps while extracting concealed razor blades from their wigs. Instead, they basically become a video game fight sequence: Alyssa does a spinning jump into a split while Coco whirls her mango jumpsuit sleeves into a terrifying whirlwind. Someone’s gonna throw a fireball any second!

In the end, Ms. Montrese lands a fatality by audaciously pointing to her mouth while stone cold nailing the rapid-fire lyrics. The feud over the Miss Gay America crown may not be over in their hearts, but at least I don’t have to hear about it anymore.

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I’m always sad to see a queen sashay away, but the end of that tired drama makes me so giddy I could issue a few Award Awards!

The first prize goes to Santino Rice, who gets a Boxed Set of RuPaul’s Drag Race DVDs to go home and review. You finally speak up at the judging panel, and it’s to say that Alyssa’s dress is the ugliest one you’ve seen in the history of this show? Let’s look back. Jiggly’s baked potato getup? Mystique’s mall realness? Serena Cha-Cha only left a couple weeks ago, dude.

If I hadn’t seen your entire bald head recently, I’d worry that you’d suffered a concussion.

Next, I offer guest judge María Conchita Alonso a Big Bucket of Appreciation and Apologies. Seriously, thank you for mercifully avoiding statements like, “Hey, this is some minstrel bullshit. I’m slapping the next white lady who rolls her Rs.” You would have been completely justified, but the whole ordeal was uncomfortable enough already.

And lastly, I give the Penny Tration Memorial “Nice Try” Blending Brush to Jamie-Lynn Sigler. Her repeated admission that she was less talented than the contestants she was critiquing got kind of depressing. Maybe an award would cheer us both up.

ON UNTUCKED: Was there a gas leak in the Gold Bar? Were those champagne flutes filled with sparkling vodka? Did I have a stroke? No one backstage made a lick of sense. By the time Alyssa uttered the non-word “squirping,” I had accepted the television as a portal into a parallel universe with different social norms and physical laws.

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  • QJ201

    RPDR can be such a clusterfuck. Pageant queens are sure are C.U.N.T.s but not sure about any “uniqueness” since they are all interchangeable…and have some nerve calling other queens ‘costumey’ when they parade around in custom made…costumes…and the “spotlight” highlighting in their makeup like they got a spotlight aimed at their nose.

    1 down, 2 to go. Jinkx, Alaska and Detox in the finals! (Ji-laska-tox?)

  • gauty

    @QJ201: I agree! Those three have been my favorites for a while now. And I cannot BELIEVE not one judge has made a comment yet about Coco’s terrible make-up, I only realized last night that she’s probably been applying the cake under totally different lighting somehow, because from some angles it looked okay. She must’ve been getting anxiety attacks every single week since the show started, when she saw how she actually looked in the episodes… Also she’s a vicious hypocrite, can’t wait to see her go.

  • CleJoke

    ROXXY has to go. How many times do we have to suffer he cottage cheese thighs and attitude. RU needs to leave her on a bus stop with her bags packed! I hate her. My friend hates Coco but I just love miss coco and her quips.

  • kingkuy

    i don’t know who i can’t stand more; Coco or Miss Roxxy… they constantly complain about how the challenges don’t play to their strengths and that is complete bullshit

    the reason why? the runway. at the end of EVERY challenge there is the runway segment. that pretty much guarantees everyone a chance to somewhat redeem themselves. how many times have we seen queens read to filth for their poor challenge performances right before the inevitable “… BUT you look flawless tonight!” comment

    and the worst part is the pageant queens haven’t been very impressive on the main stage either. yet they constantly criticize the other queens for wearing questionable runway looks, when they don’t have the untucked balls to take a risk with their outfits (well Roxxy did in that awful pink cat suit but you couldn’t convince her she didn’t look fabulous)

    and i usually let Ru slide with her foolishness but Coco should not have won the Roast challenge. i was really disappointed by that

    sorry that was so long winded. the “pretty” girls this season are really trying my patience

  • kingkuy

    also, i hate to even say this but i am living for those bronze lips. you did that Miss Coco

  • Vince Smetana

    This writeup and the comments were amazing.

    I wish there were three queens worthy of the final three. I don’t think DeTox and her quivering lip and chicken voice belongs there. Sorry. I thought she had something at first, but she has kind of flatlined for me. Coco needs to go, but now that Alyssa is gone, she is the only one who can play a foil. Roxxy is just horrible at it. I loved her at first, because I thought she was sweet and talented, but she’s terrible at throwing shade. She doesn’t come across as entertaining at all. Just mean and boring.

    And, I was disappointed that this whole season they’ve played that clip of Alaska saying, “I will whoop your ass,” and it turns out she wasn’t directing it at anyway. What a bust.

    Ms. Monsoon is obviously going to win and we’re going to have to see more of that GHE. Gag.

    Onto the next season. Stick a fork in this one.

  • davegun2

    @Vince Smetana: Stick a fork in it? This is not done until I’m on. So hold off a minute honey and keep watching.

  • ThePinkSuperhero

    I like that Wilder Wilmer Valderrama didn’t get to be a runway judge.

  • ThePinkSuperhero

    @ThePinkSuperhero: What? Ignore the Wilder part.

  • Snapper59

    “Stereotypes about the Latino community”??
    “This show’s problems with race….”??

    What a wet blanket you are. It was all done in fun and obviously you’ve never been to Brazil or Mexico to view local TV and their “comeda” with the drunken character and hypersexual one and the idiot blonde and the nasty maid….and the effeminate character of course…

  • Snapper59

    In fact I remember being in Brazil and watching a prime time comedy show where the gag was a filmed on the street type thing where a guy walked around with some machine that made a siren and let off smoke and was his “gaydar” – he’d point it at random guys (usually who were with girlfriends) and it would go off and the guy would say “Gay!” “Oh, this one’s gay!” and the audience would howl at the reactions from the macho men.

  • ElCurupi

    It’s funny how these drag queens only idea of “latino” is Mexico. There’s a bunch of other countries south of Mexico that are Latin America too!

  • Ingrid

    @Snapper59: You *obviously* don’t understand the difference between Latino/Latina actors performing in telenovelas and a bunch of mostly white drag queens rolling their rrrrs and aye-yay-yaying. A sombrero? Detox? PLEASE.

  • Ingrid

    I cannot fucking believe Coco’s boring ass is still here. Orange-y makeup, disgusting personality? Can we PLEASE be done with her?

  • Snapper59

    @Ingrid: Oh yeah, I much prefer the serious drag queens in the Judi Dench-Maggie Smith mold.

  • ElCurupi

    I will miss Alyssa Edwards’ runway walks though. She totally danced her walks.

  • DarkZephyr

    If either Alyssa or Cocoa had to go, WHY THE HELL not Cocoa? She and Roxxxy are both so nasty. I can’t take either of them. I thought when Roxxxy had her break down on stage she would stop being so fucked up, but nope. She went right back to it THE MOMENT she left the stage, bitterly claiming that she really won the lipsync against Alyssa. Yeah right bitch, your tired headbanging totally beat Alyssa’s amazing dance moves. NOT.

    And I want Jinkx to win. :-D

  • DarkZephyr

    Also, I do not know WHY they went on about how great Cocoa’s boring orange suit was. I used to love Santino because he is kinda hot, but he is also kinda dumb and annoying as well.

  • hamoboy


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