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RuPaul’s Drag Race

The girls sashay back into their room the next morning to find a message scrawled in lipstick from the dearly departed Mystique with no less than two “b-words” thrown in for good measure.  Chatting about Mystique’s departure , Sonique says she feels that the large lass was destined to go home, saying she just didn’t have “it” while some of the other girls crack a few jokes about Mystique’s weight.  Tatianna defends Mystique and in the camera confessional talks about how she’s not a fan of the Mean Girls clique who have something negative to say about everyone.

In keeping with this theme, the girls have a SheMail from RuPaul who tells them “Sincerity is everything…And if you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”  Which is a small clue as to what this week’s Mega Challenge will be!

But for now, Real Ru breezes in to involve the girls in a fun little game called “The Queen is Right” in which the gals must guess the correct prices for drag essentials in order to win some faaaaabulous prizes, including a much-coveted phone home.  Up to this point, none of the girls have been allowed to contact anyone from the outside and are dying to connect with their family and friends.  

Styled like “The Price is Right, the ladies must correctly guess the prices for each item.  Raven correctly guesses the cost of a six-pack of tubesocks (perfect for creating cleavage out of thin air!) .  Jessica Wild knows how much hemorrhoid cream for under-eye puffiness costs, and Sonique is the expert on the price of Tuck Tape.  Each of these three girls go onto the final round where they must guess the cost of a “Ladyboy Night on the Town” package.  Raven guesses right and wins the package which includes brass knuckles, pepper spray, and a brand new human hair lace front wig from Wig Pro, in addition to the phone call home to Mom. 

Raven seems almost human and a lot less catty when he talks about his mother, saying that she’s his drag inspiration and the most perfect person he knows.  Not much of the quick phone call is heard, but it seemed somewhat rushed, with Mom hustling to go to her church meeting. 

RuPaul then informs the girls that this week’s challenge is for the girls to whip out their best celebrity impersonations as guest panelists on a mock game show, “The Snatch Game.”  Highlighting that humor and authenticity is valued, he encourages the girls to be charming and funny with their celebrity impersonations. 

As the girls attempt to decide who they’re going to be, many of them cite that the drag characters they create are a combination of several different celebrities and personas smashed into one.  Tatianna and Jessica Wild, however, perform as larger-than-life versions of themselves in character.  

Morgan and Sonique both admit that their character is somewhat based on P!nk, however, Morgan calls performing as P!nk, which leaves Sonique to play the role of Lady Gaga.  Ironically, I always thought Morgan’s drag character looked quite a bit like P!nk when she was first introduced.

Tatianna decides to do Britney Spears since she has Brit-Brit’s little head nod down pat!  Morgan, in a really nice show of kindness lets Tatianna wear one of her long, blonde wigs which looks decidedly more “Britney” than the one in Tatianna’s collection.  Tatianna thinks it’s because Morgan doesn’t see her as a threat to her and lets her borrow it, but I’m going to give Morgan the benefit of the doubt that beyond that Mean Girl exterior, there’s actually a pretty sweet queen in there somewhere.

Jessica Wild goes out on a limb and is going to be RuPaul.  It’s risky, being a parody version of someone who’s already there, but she seems up to the challenge of giving Ru some Latina flavor!

Pandora Boxx kicks it old school as Carol Channing.  Having recently conquered my fear of Carol Channing, I’m stoked to see Pandora’s interpretation of this theatrical grand dame of comedy!

Raven plays it rather sedate with Paris Hilton and Tyra similarly goes for au courant with a choice of Sasha Fierce herself, Beyonce.  RuPaul reminds Tyra of Santino’s comment on her voice — or lack of drag voice, but also says that the deep voice worked for Bea Arthur, so the decision is up to her to use a fake voice or not.

Sahara Davenport decides to go for crazy with Bobby Brown-era Whitney Houston, sweat-mopping hanky and all, while Jujubee decides she will have a lot of fun playing Kimora Lee Simmons, who some of her Jujubee persona is based on.  Ru asks Jujubee where her stellar sense of humor comes from and Juju acknowledges that it comes from her father’s passing.  His death made her re-evaluate life and decide to treat every day like it’s her last.  It’s a very sweet, yet unexpected tribute. 

The girls get into full character makeup and onto “The Snatch Game” panel, answering the questions of celebrity guest players, Phoebe Price and Ugly Betty’s Alec Mapa. In makeup and in-character, Pandora does a spot-on Carol Channing, giving zany answer after zany answer, 100% in character ranging from being a member of  “Broadway Actresses Against Scurvy” and other random, Carol-Channing-Goes-Senile bits.  (Pandora is easily my favorite queen of the bunch!  She’s nice, she’s hilarious, and just so much fun!) In the judging, Pandora Boxx is critiqued as needing to develop her personal style more, while Merle Ginsberg defends her as a wonderful throwback and comedienne. 

Jujubee is funny as a diva-licious Kimora Lee, paying attention to detail, as Santino points out and going so far as to draw “lines” on her neck from tanning or aging, or whatever.  It’s small, but such a hilarious detail to include in her characterization.

Jessica does a decent job as RuPaul, getting Ru’s wild-eyed, wide-eyed look of mock-outrage down pat.  As much as I love Jessica, I think she gets a tad too much credit for her RuPaul impersonation, however, being that it’s Ru’s show.

Raven doesnt really look very much like Paris and doesn’t even get the voice or mannerisms down.  Although Morgan has P!nk’s look down to the nines, her mannerisms are among the most lackluster.  Similarly, Sonique is less-than truly outrageous as Lady Gaga, coming off as perhaps the most sedate of the bunch where Gaga would lend herself to being a very wild drag persona. 

Sahara does a pretty funny impersonation of Whitney Houston, mopping her forehead and spitting out a “Bobb-bay!” or random song lyric here and there.  I just wish Deborah Wilson (from MAD-TV) was a guest on this week’s panel to have done a Whitney “in-stereo” with Sahara. 

On the flipside of divas, Tyra’s Beyonce is gorgeous, but she should count herself lucky she won immunity last week because her Sasha was less-than fierce.  Still using the same ol’ man-voice, Tyra doesn’t really play too much in character, answering a “Snatch Game” question with a snide remark about Mystique eating more than just a 2-piece and a biscuit.  Seriously.  The gal’s gone.  Let sleeping queens lie already!

However, the standout performer (behind Pandora’s Carol Channing, IMHO) was Tatianna who plunked a fedora on top of Morgan’s borrowed n’ blonde wig to become Britney Spears.  Tatianna had Brit’s mannerisms down, giving airhead answers to the questions and coming off as a sweet, li’l country bumpkin in a pushup bra. 

Backstage, Tyra and Tatianna tangle when Tyra states that she doesn’t find Britney funny or sees any humor in Britney Spears, but that Beyonce is “very funny.” Tatianna finds the humor in most celebrities, telling Tatianna that she doesn’t think Beyonce herself is funny, but thought it was hilarious when Beyonce fell.  Tyra is incensed and angrily begins defending the honor of one Beyonce Knowles in a manner that would make even Jay-Z take a step back.  Tyra is mortally offended and stomps away from Tatianna, telling the camera that she thinks she’s “crass.”  This is about the second or third time Tyra has placed her stamp of disapproval on someone.  I’m hoping once this season wraps, she’ll put out an etiquette book just to clue the rest of us plebs in on what is or isn’t crass.

Judging time comes and RuPaul is wearing a gorgeous sequinned gown of varigated vertical stripes in a  multitude of colors, which sort of resembles the flag of Germany.  How very Olympic of you, Ru! She introduces guest judges, Niecy Nash and Lisa Rinna who watch as the girls rock their own personal style on the runway.  Tyra Sanchez dazzles with a high-end couture look complete with shopping bags and peplum skirt.  (I have to hand it to her.  Tyra is gorgeous and dresses wonderfully!)  Morgan continues the P!nk impresonation with a sort of “Lady Marmalade”/circus-inspired ensemble, while Jujubee looks like an Asian Li’l Kim.  Sonique pays homage to Julie Newmar with a Catwoman outfit, while Tatianna hoes it up with a micro mini that could have used some double-sided tape to stay in place.  Sahara also makes a nice showing with a lacy Grace Jones twist on the dominatrix look.

The judges deliver their verdicts and laud Pandora box for being “funny camp, not cheesy camp” and telling Tatianna that she had absolutely nailed Britney and won immunity for next week, as well as a Billion Dollar Babes shopping spree!  Go, Tatianna!

Tatianna’s only caveat is that while she has a million dollar face and body, she dresses like a two-dollar ho and needs to amp up her personal style.  Ru also tells Jujubee that she’s got star power, but keeps falling short of the mark and needs to step her game up. Pandora is also told that while comedy is her strong suit, her personal style needs more attention.

Morgan McMichaels, who admitted that her P!nk “went over like a fart in a spacesuit” found herself in the bottom two along with Sonique.  The girls must “Lip Synch…. For your LIFE!” to ’80s gem Stacy Q’s “Two of Hearts.”  Sonique whips off her dress and whips out the tricks, throwing backflip after backflip and executing steps that would make even the most experienced pole dancer feel inadequate.  Morgan, however, delivers crisp dance moves and uber-precise lip synching on the song. 

It’s a very tough decision since both girls performed equally well, albeit with two totally different styles.  In the end, RuPaul tells Sonique to sashay away.  In her exit, Sonique tells the camera that she wishes she hadn’t been so “serious” and had more fun with her stint on Drag Race.

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