Tuesday, March 10, 2015

RuPaul's Drag Race: Glamazonian Airways

Another week, another episode of Drag Race, and another elimination. This week's challenge is a lip-sync performance to music and spoken word, and I can honestly say that this is one of the most well produced performances the show has ever put on. So far the entire season has been unreal with it's production values, and I hope it continues to rise. Meanwhile, the queens are also proving to themselves as one of the best crops of queens the show has ever had.

The girls return to the workroom, still naked from last week. Kandy Ho is incredibly blase about being in the bottom because "I knew I was gonna win." Violet is caught up on the fact that Michelle wanted more from her, throwing some rather rude statements about Michelle's body. It's a sign of her young age that she is stuck on that despite winning the challenge anyway. Pearl is irritated that Sasha told the judges that Pearl hasn't impressed her least so far. Sasha admits it was partially strategy, given that Pearl is one of her biggest competitors. That statement always confuses me in talent competitions, since I'd think that a girl's biggest competitor would be someone most like her; those two are on completely different wavelengths, so it doesn't make much sense at this point. Whatever, drama is necessary to have a tv show.

The girls return the next day for their mini-challenge: serving face while being blown by a leafblower. They're joined (for a reason that is never explained) by Moby. It's basically just an excuse to cause a little hilarity. Based on the challenge, Trixie Mattel and Ginger Minj are made team captains. The last two picked are Violet and Kandy (surprise, having a bad attitude gets you picked last).

For the most part, things run smoothly, with a few exceptions. Katya has a monologue that starts the whole performance which she struggles mightily to get through. Miss Fame has a tough time dancing, since she hasn't done much performing in the past. Sasha wants to perform the jazz scat section of her song, and is upset when she gets a smaller part. That's always the worst excuse: if Beatrice Straight can win an Oscar for Network based of a six minute performance, you can find a way to stand out in a small role in a drag show.

The final runway is cut shorter due to the length of the performance, but the look is Jetset Eleganza. Most of the queens don't really grasp the concept and just do evening wear. For my money, only Pearl and Jaidynn Diore Fierce nail the look, but neither one ends up top or bottom, so we don't even get to hear the judges' comments. The top three ends up being Ginger, Mrs. Kasha Davis (doing the aforementioned scat performance), and Violet Chachki. Violet is commended for letting her humor come out in the performance, but Ginger wins for leading her to team to victory in addition to her great performance. She also shows great attitude doing a John Travolta impersonation for guest judge Olivia Newton John.

The bottom three ends up being Katya, Miss Fame, and Sasha Belle. Katya's outfit is praised, but her attitude is commended. The judges worry that Miss Fame is letting her looks take over, but they enjoy seeing her personality come out more. Sasha was forgettable minus a snafu with her wig during her performance, and her runway wig is criticized for being too big. I, for one, wonder why Kennedy Davenport wasn't brought into the bottom three, as she flubbed all her words and her runway look was a miss, but I have to imagine she hit somewhere near the bottom.

In the end, Katya and Sasha lip-sync to Olivia Newton John's "Twist of Fate," leaving Katya "sweating like a hooker in church." At first it seems she may have peaked early, doing the splits on the very first chorus. She somehow manages to continue rising, doing an incredibly backbend and a slow split that ranks for me amongst the top ten moves ever done in a mainstage lip-sync. She sends Sasha Belle packing, which is a bit of a shame given her humor; as she walks out the door, she sighs "Aww, they're gonna miss me."

So another queen leaves, and twelve remain. Next week's episode is called "Shakesqueer" and looks like it could be one of the campiest things the show has ever done. I don't know if anyone is even reading this, but if you are and have suggestions, lemme know in the comments. Until next week!

Best Line: "Can we all just listen? Because when we're talking, we're not what? Listening." -Trixie Mattel, shutting down Violet's interruptions 

Predicted Top Three
Ginger Minj
Violet Chachki

Obviously it's too soon in the season to get a true grasp of what's going on, especially with no obvious frontrunner like Bianca del Rio last season. I'm keeping Katya in the top three despite her bottom two placement simply because if she isn't given any more monologues, I see her humor and fashion carrying her far. Ginger Minj strengthens her case for the top three with a win this week. I switched out Miss Fame for Violet, partly because of Miss Fame's performing limitations and partly because if Violet changes her attitude and listens to the judges, she could easily become unstoppable.

Personal Rankings:
1. Katya
2. Trixie Mattel
3. Ginger Minj
4. Max
5. Pearl
6. Mrs. Kasha Davis
7. Miss Fame
8. Jaidynn Diore Fierce
9. Violet Chachki
10. Jasmine Masters
11. Kennedy Davenport
12. Kandy Ho

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