Well, we’re at the point in the race where there aren’t enough queens to have any real drama. So we’re down to extra long product placements; transparently manufactured conflicts and faggy filler. And even with all of that, the producers have still managed to create some of the most compelling challenges yet, imho. I still think this is one of my favorite seasons thus far, but I’m definitely feeling the sag. You know you’re in trouble when even the villain of the series is tepid at this point. We need someone new to hate.
Be careful what you wish for, huh?
So the queens find Willam’s mirror send off. And once again, Sharon proves that she is the most astute and aware. She recognizes the power of Mr. Belli’s exit. “There’s nothing more punk rock than being kicked off.“ Personally, this Queen agrees. However, Bianca was very disappointed by Willam. He expected more from an accomplished artist. He feels that Willam took a spot that could have gone to a queen who really wanted to win the Race. I personally think Willam had his own goals and worked the exposure for everything it was worth. And I’ve no doubt that Willam would have truly lauded Sharon and Phi Phi’s hilarious re-enactment of his departure. And of course: Drag Queens puke glitter!
So we get to the Blatant Product Placement Challenge. Another “make something pretty” undertaking. But it also confirmed something about Dida which the Queen will get into a little later in the post. The girl is a sweetie with some great instincts…but she is painfully under-educated. “I was inspired by the Victorian Age, so I took from Marie Antoinette…”
While a grasp of history is not a true indicator of intelligence, the Queen must tell you that he was embarrassed for, and by her. Unfortunately it perpetuates the stereotypes of the dumb black male. Granted, a good percentage of the people watching of all ethnicities probably didn’t catch the faux pas–but it definitely helped me pinpoint why Dida basically gave up in this episode.
So now RuPaul steals my idea of doing a RuPaul’s Drag Race parody of the race for the Republican Presidential Nomination. Don’t try to get all logical on the Queen and remind him that this show was taped months ago. RUPAUL STOLE THE IDEA, I tell you!
The pre-Main Challenge workroom was fairly free of drama, however it brought up some issues that the Queen would like to muse upon. The primary bee in my bonnet being the schizophrenic directions given to the contestants by RuPaul and Dan Savage. In every other performance challenge it’s been all about the laugh. Now they’re going to get all serious on the queens and tell them to discuss real issues during the debate? WTF? The Queen is still trying to figure out what he feels about the workroom mentoring. It was kind of interesting to watch Dan challenge the lady boys with current events and gay propaganda, but just like all of the other challenges that depend on parody, most of the queens really don’t have an idea of how to approach it. And then having the mentors coach and critique as if the debate were legitimate, just really set those particular queens up for failure.
Bianca and I mused about Latrice and Dida’s general current events and pop culture knowledge base. There is no doubt that Latrice is the King of Common Sense. But this show is so much about being tongue-in-cheek and quick witted on all things kitsch, that we watch them fail in the wake of the other queens who seem to have a disparate understanding of the world. We can’t help but wonder if it has to do with culture and race. Both Dida and Latrice are articulate and well-spoken. But they really do seem to need someone to break down the components and premise of each of these challenges to be successful. Latrice dutifully takes every one of Dan Savage’s suggestions, but left to her own devices doesn’t seem to understand how to incorporate them into a compelling and relevant character. And Dida is smart enough to know what she doesn’t know much of the time, but instead of inspiring her, that understanding seems to takes all of the steam out of her process.
The Queen was SO glad that Chad Michaels stuck to his guns and created a character that he thought fit the challenge best.
And so we Frock The Vote.
We’ll get into individual performances of all the dolls in the Queen’s next post. Bianca and I agree that it was a tough call between Chad and Sharon. Both gave fully realized performances. We think the main reason that Sharon stood out was a very specific platform that she could articulate well. While Chad’s character was stellar, there was a little less focus on actual issues which put him slightly behind. But what a pleasure it was for the two of us to have such great characters to choose from, so that it came down to very specific things to determine who we thought shone the brightest. We also agree that the brouhaha over Phi Phi’s character’s comments was ridiculous. The only thing she could be criticized for was a relatively generic delivery of the line. It could have been SO much funnier. All in all, it was one of the better challenges in our opinion.
Again, we’ll discuss the individual runway looks in the next post. However, the Queen HAS to say, regarding Chad Michaels:
She. Looked. STUNNING.
But, it’s Condragulations to Sharon Needles.
The only thing that will stop this bitch from winning (besides producer manipulation, of course), is her dogged need to be true to her aesthetic. She’s got it all, and she is definitely somebody, about something, and Prances like nobody’s business. But she will never win the judges over completely until she goes totally Glam. If I were her Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent Coach, I would sit her down and say: “Sharon, I know you want to stay true to your shock personae. Has it ever occurred to you that if you REALLY want to shock these judges, you would come onstage COMPLETELY GLAM? They would never expect it, and you would almost be assured the win.”
And it’s Sashay Away for Dida Ritz.
Ah, my sweet little dude in a dress. What a winning personality, and great instincts. Dida got tired. She was beat down by the criticisms of her look. And she knew she didn’t really have a grasp on the topics needed to be successful in the race. That’s what all the machinations about Politics was all about. It was her Mystique Summers Madison way of avoiding the fact that she really wasn’t quite ready for a competition of this magnitude. If she just sticks her head in a book from time to time and really thinks about what she learned through osmosis from folks like Sharon Needles, Chad Michaels–and even from Latrice on makeup, hair and costume–she will DEFINITELY be a star. Good luck lady boy.
And last but not least: the God-Forsaken Twist.
Who’s coming back?