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RuPaul's Drag Race Recap: "Queens of All Media"


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The theme song for this show reminds me of Planet Unicorn. Oh, how I miss Planet Unicorn.

The show opens with the obligatory group-hugging-and-talking about Tammie, who just sashayed away after an abysmal, well, everything. She couldn't dance or lip-synch and then her shirt fell off, the end. They will miss her "incredible level of quirkiness and funness." Aaaaand done. We're over Tammie and back to talking about how awesome it is that everyone else is still there, woo!

It's Tyra Mail! No, wait. It's She Mail, from RuPaul. "In the beginning, God created Adam and Eve. A few years later Shaniqua, the garden's first drag queen, came along and stole a pair of pumps from Eve! Well, the rest is history." Fashion inspiration from fabulous women talkyspeak. The contestants guess that this week's challenge will likely be impersonations.

Then there's like, some kind of trivia thing. I don't know. RuPaul's assistants are like, really really gorgeous men and they are only wearing boxer briefs and the answers to the questions aren't really a competition but clues about...Oprah.

Shannel announces that if Oprah is there, she will die, like you do not understand, Oprah and Cher are Gods. Nina Flowers looks extremely bored, bordering on bitchface bored.

Oprah is so not there, so Shannel doesn't die. The challenge is for the ladies to channel their "inner Oprah" and create an "Oprah-inspired outfit." That's...vague? Ru leaves them to prepare. "Don't fuck it up."

Nina Flowers interviews that she never watches Oprah, as she came from a very poor family who didn't have a TV.  And there were never enough sparkles to go around, either.

Shannel says Oprah helped her lose a ton of weight during a really tough time in her life when she'd just come out and it was like, pivotal and blah blah inspiringcakes  and LOOK, OPRAH ISN'T COMING, SHANNEL.

Jade is panicking, because she's misinterpreted the challenge and thinks she needs to impersonate Oprah.  Which means...blackface? Oh my God, she for real thinks it means blackface, but in this kind of sweet, naive, clueless way. She asks Bebe to "borrow her some" darker makeup and proceeds to slather it on, before the other queens take pity on her and gently set her straight on the point of the challenge. And by "gently" I mean "haaaaaa you dumbass." Jade washes her face and starts again, but is now worried about the time.

When we come back from commercials, Shannel is still laughing at Jade, who interviews that Shannel is soooo not embracing the spirit of Oprah, because Oprah would never hurt someone's feelings like that, so...I didn't misunderstand the challenge, YOU DID! Meh!

Ru does a lap around the workroom to see how everyone is doing. He reminds Rebecca to leave time to shave her mustache. He questions Akashia's choice to channel Oprah As Generous Giver (or, possibly by the weird jowl-like makeup she's got on her cheekbones, Oprah As English Bulldog), because Akashia doesn't quite come across as America's Next Top Nice Person, you know? Akashia claims she lets friends stay in her house rent-free when they have no where else to go and has her own "came from nothing, pulled fabulous self up by her fishnet thigh-highs" hard luck story. Except it sounds like she had a TV. So Nina still wins!

Speaking of Nina, Ru is concerned by his ugly frumpy dress. And he's concerned about Shannel's ugly crazy dress, which appears to be for some kind of glittery demon. Seriously, that collar is screaming for a pitchfork. There's some discussion about where Oprah would wear such an outfit, and Shannel thinks she could wear it on a fashion runway. Of course!

Ru calls his "squirrel friends" into a circle and launches into the next part of the challenge, which will involve a television studio, where they will "retrace Oprah's career" in a series of on-camera segments.

Nina is now concerned about her Inglish Eeeshoes.

The ladies arrive at the studio and take turns reading a news story from a teleprompter. The news story, by the way, is that Britney Spears was caught having an affair with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They met last year at a conference on Nuclear Proliferation and were caught canoodling everywhere from Tbilisi to Tehran.

In other words, this challenge is officially awesome.

The story is packed with as many hard-to-pronounce foreign names and cities as possible, and it doesn't really look like anyone gets through the story without stumbling fairly spectacularly. Ongina signs off as Connie Chung, while Nina reads, "This is (Your Name), goodnight!"

Next up, they need to sell a hair dryer in an infomercial-like segment. Predictable jokes about blowing follow, along with contestants blanking on what to say and talking about the...uh...on and off...switch...thing...uhhhh.

And lastly, interviewing! With a couch and everything.  I'm guessing Shannel came to grips with the fact that Oprah didn't come to see him because there's no shot of him fuh-reaking out about the couch and omgomg Oprah I will like, die right now.

The special celebrity guests are Tori Spelling and her husband. Whose name I do not know and all the queens mispronounce anyway. We'll just call him Mr. Tori.

Bebe does great. Akashia forgets to stand up to greet them and then just sort of...wanders away at the end while Tori looks sad and waves, all "Bye?" Nina flubs a line and asks Tori to talk about her "HIV." Shannel never shuts up. Ongina is charming. Tori thinks Rebecca is gorgeous. Mr. Tori is really into Jade's abs.

Then everybody gets liquored up on some refreshing Absolut and they make Mr. Tori sashay around the workroom in some super-high lucite heels. He...um...already has painted toenails, you guys.

Fashion show! Fashion show! Fashion show at lunch! The queens deck themselves our in their very best drag for the judging. RuPaul comes out to meet the judges in HER very best drag, and oh, these bitches better work, because Ru looks amazing.

In addition to Merle Ginsberg and Santino Rice, we have Some Media Consultant Guy and Debra Wilson Skelton, who I guess is known for her Oprah impression on MadTV. (Is that still on? For real? No way that's still on but I'm not looking it up because it's time for the show).

Shannel looks like she's naked from the waist up, save for some Medusa-like snakes circling her absolutely enormous and truly realistic-looking boobs. Ongina looks adorable and chic, and usual. She has a Barbie doll attached to her hat, with Barbie's legs dangling down like ribbons. Rebecca is seriously prettier than I am, like, dude, not fair. In fact, EVERYBODY looks amazing (although Jade has a bit of a bulge) and Ru and the judges are really impressed...

And then Akashia wipes out and lands flat on her ass three steps onto the runway. She goes to flip her hair and just...falls straight over. Merle screams, "FASHION ROADKILL" while the other judges encourage her to make it work, work it, other catchphrases from all the shows they're parodying. She gets up and finishes her walk, and then gets snippy with the cameraman backstage, like, "YEAH. I FELL. I FELL DOWN. ON THE GROUND. ON THE FLOOR. WHAT OF IT, BITCH."

Ongina, Rebecca, Nina and Bebe all get high praise, while Shannel, Jade and Akashia are at the bottom.  Bebe is the winner, and deservedly so. I cannot stop staring at her ass, incidentally. Shannel and Akashia are the bottom two. RuPaul tells Shannel several times that she needs to bring a little vulnerability into her look and performance, while Akashia is just ass and arrogant and inexperienced and all that.Which means it's time for them to...


This week's song: Whitney Houston's The Greatest Love of All. Don't fuck it up, ladies.

It's all well and good with lots of pointing and emoting and glory-noting...and then OMGAH, Shannel's headpiece just falls the fuck off. She keeps on performing, although it looks like Ru is waving goodbye to her at one point, and goes for a big finish by ripping her boobs off, and it's hilarious and awesome and Ru ends up applauding her while Akashia struggles to finish the song because she's laughing.

And weirdly enough...Ru got exactly the sort of vulnerability she wanted to see from Shannel, and decides to keep her, while three-times-in-the-bottom-two Akashia is given the sashay away-ing and totally bawls backstage while packing up her eye pencils. Aw. "I haven't cried in like, four years!" she wails.

Sexy runway dance-off to Cover Girl, and we're out. (Pun not intended, but I'm keeping it.)

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