TV Review

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

"RuPaul's Drag Race" Season 7, Episode 12: And the Rest is a Drag

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2015 at 4:00 AM

Tuning in to "RuPaul's Drag Race" Monday night, I asked myself, "Do I want to live in a world without Katya?" But of course, she's not dead, she's just not on the show anymore, and so I turned my attention to the little cat fights on the screen. We're down to the final four and bitches be nervous: Ginger Minj needed "a smoke and a nap."

Michelle Visage came into the workroom and announced the maxi challenge for the evening: each queen would be starring with RuPaul in the new video for her single "Born Naked." #BornNakedEach contestant was also invited to have one last meal with Mama Ru. At the end of the episode, not only would one of the queens be eliminated from the show, she would also be eliminated from the video.

Candis Cayne was brought in to help with choreography, which was in the style of 1980's pop idols like Sheena Easton and Paula Abdul. Violet apparently doesn't know what the 80's are because she was born in 1992. Do your research, girl; No excuses. If you don't know "Cold Hearted Snake," I don't want to know you.

Time for dinner with Ru, otherwise known as "Ru is going to bring up something deeply personal from your past and try to make you cry." Kennedy's dad told her on his death bed to go on "Drag Race" and she has spent most of her life looking after her mentally challenged sister. Ginger Minj uses humor to mask the pain of never really knowing her absent father. Pearl had some serious trauma starting at a young age. And Violet was Violet -- she has gotten away with not really revealing anything from her past. We learned that she had a sister that had some drama that put Violet on the backburner. She's like the human equivalent of vaguebooking.

It was time to shoot the music video which, despite some wig and earring problems from Pearl and Violet, seemed to go relatively well. There were some of the same issues from previous challenges in terms of choreography but nothing that I'm sure cannot be overcome by the time we see the final product. One fun tidbit we found out was that everyone call's Pearl's dance moves "Pearl Smash!" because her moves are super aggressive. Love it.

The second part of the video involved acting out a scene with Ru -- which definitely had its hiccups -- but more of the same old shit. Pearl needed encouragement to come out of her shell, but nailed the "mom on pills" character; Ginger was great; Violet was forgettable; and Kennedy forgot her lines.

More cattiness ensued in the workroom while everyone got ready for the runway. Kennedy and Ginger don't think that Violet or Pearl are mature enough to deal with all the responsibility that comes with being crowned the winner. Instead of lashing out, Violet just listened, which Pearl praised her for. You all know I love the Minj, but I saw a side of her on last night's episode that was just mean: you can tell she's feeling the pressure of the final four and reacts by trying to intimidate and berate the younger contestants.

Runway time! Judges were "just family" for the episode: Ru, Ross Matthews, Carson Kressley, and Michelle Visage. The queens were instructed to put together a runway look that represented their best drag.

Kennedy came out in full pageant rainbow glitter. Violet's outfit was very Violet, I thought, and she described it as Victor/Victoria meets classic burlesque. Ginger Minj was all glitter and fringe. And Pearl came out in her nighty.

Ru then held up a picture of each contestant as their younger, male, selves and asked them what they would say to them, knowing what they know now. Is the point of this episode to make everyone cry or have a breakdown? Jeez. I was crying; the dog was crying; it was a mess.

It was time for judge's final critiques. Carson thought that Kennedy's acting was not Oscar-worthy but Michelle liked her runway look. Carson thought Violet's acting was better and Michelle hated her runway look -- which I completely disagree with. The look was definitely Violet Chachki and that was the point. Michelle thought Ginger Minj's characters were great in the video and Carson loved the dress. Michelle thought Pearl did great in the video and loved the runway look.

Ru asked each queen why she should be crowned. Kennedy took the opportunity to rip into Violet and Pearl again, saying they were too young for this. Ginger did the same thing. Violet said she feels like she already won -- such a Violet answer. Pearl says she appeared tired on the show because she WAS tired. She's exhausted from working hard and busting her ass for everything she has.

At this point, neither I nor my friend knew what the hell to expect. I had no idea who was going home, who I even wanted to go home, who I wanted to stay, if I left the oven on when I left the house. Nothing! All the queens were lip-syncing to RuPaul's "Born Naked" and then Kennedy was gone before I even knew what happened. That leaves Ginger Minj, Pearl, and Violet Chachki in the final three.

Who are you rooting for?

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"RuPaul's Drag Race" Season 7, Episode 11: Hello Kitty Girl

Posted By on Tue, May 12, 2015 at 4:00 AM

For being as late in the game as we are, I expected more from last night's bore of an episode. There were only five queens left, and both the mini and maxi challenges made me want to flip the channel to "Dancing with the Stars." Just kidding -- I'll never watch "Dancing with the Stars."

Trixie Mattel's departure last week left us with five queens: Katya, Violet Chachki, Kennedy Davenport, Pearl, and Ginger Minj.

Monday night's mini challenge had the queens picking puppets that represented their competitors, dragging them up, and then putting on a puppet show. Pearl picked the Kennedy Davenport puppet and got in a nice dig over that rooster on fire?ensemble that everyone is still confused about. Ginger Minj was the winner for her puppet portrayal of Violet Chachki. "What is beautiful and completely useless? A chachki!"

The maxi challenge was for each queen to create their own runway eleganza with products provided by Hello Kitty, #HelloKittyGirl. Since Ginger was the winner of the mini challenge, she got to pick her Hello Kitty items first. Was this another sewing challenge? Yes. Were the older queens freaking the eff out? Definitely.

Violet was completely un-phased, per usual -- the girl has been unshakeable this entire season, I will give her that.

Ru came in to check on her girls and brought a special guest: Santino was back, ladies and gentlemen ... at least for this episode. The duo talked to each queen to see how they were doing -- which was not great. Kennedy called herself the cat suit queen -- but did she know how to make one? No.

Katya was struggling to even come up with a concept; Ginger was falling behind in her execution; and the sexual tension between Santino and Violet made me very, very, uncomfortable.

Just as Ru and Santino were about to depart, Ru threw another twist in the game. Not only would the queens have to create the runway eleganza look, they would also have to create a Hello Kitty BFF character and costume.

At this point, I knew that things weren't going to go very well for Katya -- and that made me really sad. She was already struggling with the initial challenge and to have something else thrown in the mix was not going to turn out well. I was praying for a miracle.  On elimination day, Katya still had to finish her main stage outfit and the Hello Kitty BFF character as well. Hurry, girl!

The runway judges were Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley, Santino Rice, and Rebecca Romijn (not Stamos).

First up were the Hello Kitty BFF characters, and for as much as everyone was panicking about the additional challenge, most of them actually pulled it off well. Ginger Minj's country cow dreamt of "becoming a designer handbag or a filet mignon." Katya's Siberian, smoking, hooker BFF was hilarious. Pearl's character was reminiscent of Madonna's cone-bra phase. But Kennedy and Violet's characters were pretty tame in comparison.

It was time for Hello Kitty runway eleganza. Violet's "1960's Barbarella meets Harijuku meets Space Cadet" outfit was definitely the most inspired look. Pearl basically took a Hello Kitty blanket and cinched it. Ginger Minj went crazy with the Hello Kitty heads. Katya described her look as "60's housewife/stuntwoman in space, and maybe an aerobics instructor." Kennedy basically threw some bows on a leotard. It was clear how this was going to play out.

Santino thought Violet's look was beautiful -- GET A ROOM, YOU TWO. Michelle loved Ginger's BFF look but Carson was not crazy about her outfit. While everyone acknowledged that Pearl's look was basically just the belted-blanket, it was not in the bottom two. No one liked Kennedy's BFF character, or her runway eleganza. As for Katya, everyone thought her BFF character was hilarious, but her runway eleganza was confusing.

Violet was the winner of the challenge, and it was deserved. Pearl and Ginger Minj were safe. That meant that Katya and Kennedy were up for elimination. Dammit.

The song was Katy Perry's "Roar," the performances were intense (so many splits!), and the outcome was terribly disappointing.  Kennedy Davenport stayed and Katya sashayed away. *Sigh* Bye, Katya. I will stalk the shit out of you on social media.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

"RuPaul's Drag Race" Season 7, Episode 10: Prancing Queens

Posted By on Tue, May 5, 2015 at 4:00 AM

Guys, Monday night's episode made me very anxious -- that must mean we were down to the bottom six. The episode opened after Miss Fame's departure. Miss Fame really did seem like a sweetheart, further evidenced by the fact that she left individual notes for all the queens that were left in the competition. This made Kennedy's "wipe that mirror" reaction after her departure last night seem "Way harsh, Tai." I've heard that Kennedy's true colors shine through during Untucked, and they're not the fun, pretty colors, but are the nasty, bitter, tired colors.

The mini-challenge for last night's episode had the queens using plastic tape to create the illusion of bad, plastic surgery to shoot the title sequence for "The Fake Housewives of RuPaul's Drag Race." The results, as you can imagine, were equal parts hilarious and terrifying -- I'm looking at you, Katya.

Violet was the winner of the challenge, which meant that she was able to pair off the queens for the mashup dance maxi-challenge, #PrancingQueens. Each pair was assigned a dance mashup, like Country/Robot, Charleston/Twerking, and Salsa/Vogue -- but there was a twist. *Of course* there was a twist. Each queen had to dress in half man/half queen drag, "Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hide your Candy."

Violet Chachki and Katya were paired to take on the Salsa/Vogue mashup. Ginger Minj was paired with Trixie Mattel for Country/Robot. And Kennedy Davenport and Pearl took on Charleston/Twerking.

Each team was coached by Kim Johnson from "Dancing with the Stars" and Carson Kressley, who apparently was on DWS -- missed that one.

Ms. Minj was nervous about this challenge ... again. I don't like when she gets nervous because then *I* get nervous and then I stress eat gummy worms. She was feeling the pressure of not being a dancer -- "I can't even do the truffle shuffle." Trixie did not want to be outshined by Ginger again and Violet was challenged to bring something besides the sexy.

Each pair was kind of a mess in rehearsals, but that was expected when at least half of them were not dancers and trying to learn in one day what for most people takes weeks.  Most memorable exchange of the night?

Trixie: "I do yoga"

Ginger: "I do frozen yoga"

Elimination Day arrived and the girls were worried. Ginger stayed up all night practicing the robot and was afraid her half man-half queen look will look like "Honey Boo Boo meets Rosie O'Donnell."

The guests for the night were Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley, Rachael Harris (this woman has been in everything, she was Debbie Dangle on "Reno 911!"), and Alyssa Milano. Mona! Angela! It's runway time!

In my opinion, everyone pretty much nailed their half man/half queen runway looks. Standouts were definitely Violet and Pearl. And Katya and Ginger let their inner frat boy/douchebag sides fly for their half man personas. Time for prancing queens!

You can definitely tell it's coming down to the wire here, folks, because everyone was on their A-game for the dancing competition. It was really impressive to see how much they learned and mastered with not a lot of practice time. Trixie lifted Ginger and spun her around, Katya did a killer split, and Violet channeled Madonna *hard* with her voguing. This really was going to come to down to the details for the judges. I was nervous. Don't send my Minj home!

The judges were blown away by everyone's performance and knew they had a difficult decision on their hands. Ginger had all the feels and confessed to the judges that dancing put her so far outside of her comfort zone because of her self-conscious feelings about her weight. *Sob*

The judges all agreed that Violet had the most breathtaking runway look. Rachael thought Trixie lacked enthusiasm, but Michelle thought she was fun. Carson thought Kennedy's dancing was great, but she was missing the razzle dazzle -- Alyssa disagreed and thought she made it look effortless. Everyone thought Pearl was the hottest guy and was exuding more confidence in this competition than she had so far. Unfortunately, not much was said about Ginger Minj, except that her outfit was just kind of blah.

Ru announced she would be judging in pairs and that Katya and Violet were the winners of the challenge. Pearl and Kennedy were safe.

Trixie and Ginger would be lip-syncing. *Sigh* Here we go...

Both queens gave it their all to "Show me Love" by Robin S., but Ginger Minj brought it just a little bit more with some hilarious floor work at the end and cinched the win. Ginger stayed, Trixie sashayed away ... again. 

Next week: And then there were five!

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

"RuPaul's Drag Race" Season 7, Episode 9: Divine Inspiration

Posted By on Tue, Apr 28, 2015 at 4:00 AM

As a huge John Waters fan, I'd been looking forward to last night's episode all week and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. Last week's emotional rollercoaster of an episode saw Ginger Minj in the bottom two and defeating JaidynnDoire Fierce in a lip-sync battle for the books. Last night's episode saw the return of Trixie Mattel -- and as Kennedy Davenport said, "Today's a new day with an extra bitch."

Monday night's mini-challenge can be summed up in one word: SHADE. The library was open and each contestant got a chance to vent and hurl insults at the queens of her choosing. Ginger Minj was asked if she ever ended up saving that little girl from the poltergeist. (This house is clean! RIP Zelda Rubinstein.) Miss Fame threw insults and all she got was silence. Did anyone else see that tumbleweed roll by? But the winner of the mini-challenge was Trixie...she's baaaaaack.

For the maxi-challenge, the queens would be paying tribute to the legendary John Waters -- the King of Bad Taste; the Pope of Trash. The queens would be screen testing for a new "Rusical" based on John Waters' most iconic scenes. #JohnWatersForever

Is this a team challenge? Of course it is.

Team "Poo" -- Pearl, Miss Fame, and Violet Chachki

Team "Egg" -- Trixie Mattel and Ginger Minj

Team "Cha Cha Heels" -- Katya and Kennedy Davenport

This was gonna be good...

Team Poo's screen test was inspired by "Pink Flamingos," with each queen playing different versions of Divine, John Waters' muse. Team Cha Cha's screen test was inspired by "Female Trouble," with Kennedy playing Dawn Davenport. And Team Egg's screen test was also inspired by Pink Flamingos, with Ginger Minj playing the legendary "egg lady" originally played by Edith Massey. Each team would be screen testing with Lucian Piane and Michelle Visage.

During the screen tests, everyone was told to STEP IT UP. This is John Waters, ladies and gentlemen. You go big or you go the f**k home. Team Poo was a mess (shocker). Pearl stumbled through her lines, there was no cohesion, and Lucian told them they didn't feel like a group. Tell it, Lucian.

I would be perfectly happy if all three of these queens went home. Violet has been the most improved out of all three, but besides the visual, I'm just not seeing much to keep her here. Someone needs to spike Pearl's Ambien drip with some amphetamines: I can't take the monotone voice and the barely there performances anymore. Miss Fame just seems to miss the mark -- I can see the intention is there, and I think the passion is there as well, but the execution is just not doing it for me.

I was ready to see some ugly dresses, bring on the runway! The judges were Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley (He's alive!), Demi Lovato (Sure?) and *John Waters*. May the filthiest woman win!

Kennedy Davenport channeled Sophia from the Golden Girls for her look. Katya was a vision in hideous crochet, although as John Waters pointed out, the hippest girl in Brooklyn would probably kill for that dress. Ginger Minj was all neon green and polka dots. Trixie Mattel brought 1980's prom realness. Pearl's look was childish but not ugly. Violet Chachki served clown chic and Miss Fame came out in a glamourous tent.

It was time to watch the screen tests. Katya and Kennedy in "Cha Cha Heels" were fantastic with Katya going for it as the mom. Kennedy was whipping her around the room and when Kennedy threw the Christmas tree at her at the end, the judges were eating it up. Ginger Minj in "Eggs" was flawless. She channeled egg lady with all she had and it was clear who the winner was going to be. Poor Trixie was lost in her shadow, but still gave a good performance. Team "Poo" really lived up to their name: Pearl sucked, there was way too much random tongue work, and it just paled in comparison to the other two. Someone's going home...

Judges critiques were aligned with my thoughts. Everyone thought Trixie did a good job but Ginger was the star. John thought that Miss Fame needed ugly lessons because he found her dress rather chic, and he said Katya added a new layer of filth to her performance. (The highest compliment!) And Pearl just phoned it in.

What did the queens think of each other? Who should go home? Pretty much everyone said Miss Fame, except for Violet who thought Trixie should leave. Miss Fame told the rest of the queens to f**k off, and said that Pearl should go home because she's too cool for Season 7.

Who was the winner? Ginger Minj of course! From the bottom last week to the top this week -- she's already won three challenges. Kennedy, Katya, Trixie and Violet were all safe. Miss Fame and Pearl faced off in the lip-sync to Demi Lovato's "Really Don't Care." Guys, I really didn't care about this song. The lip-sync was boring ... BORING. This was their last chance to show the judges why they should keep one of them and it was a total snorefest. Pearl performed better than Miss Fame but that didn't say much.

Pearl got to stay and Miss Fame sashayed away.

Next week: Only 6 left!

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"RuPaul's Drag Race" Season 7, Episode 8: Conjoined Queens

Posted By on Tue, Apr 21, 2015 at 4:00 AM

We knew it was happening. We knew someone was coming back. I was taking bets all week that it was Trixie -- I think many Drag Race viewers were thinking that. It would be her chance for redemption. She was the obvious choice. It clearly wasn't going to be Kandy Ho; as Katya said, "She can't lip-sync four times." We were all wrong, guys. We were all wrong.

RuPaul came out to announce the mini-challenge and announced she had a special guest. Is this it? Do we find out now? Out walked Latrice Royale, Season 4 alum, dressed in a prison guard's uniform, for the mini-challenge, Orange is the New Drag. Each queen was given a prison uniform to "drag up" and could only use items from the commissary for the Tuckahoe Prison Fashion Show. Drag queen walkin'!  

Chola makeup and tampon earrings were all the rage for this fashion show. Katya definitely will visit me in my nightmares at some point this season with her tiger-printed face mask and colored teeth. Kennedy Davenport was announced the winner with a fierce side ponytail.

It was time, you guys: Someone was back. A door opened. And it was Trixie! Another door opened: it was Tempest DuJour! Another door opened: it was Kandy Ho! Kandy Ho? What was happening? How many doors were in this room? The eliminated queens kept coming out until EVERYONE WAS BACK.

RuPaul announced the maxi-challenge: Each contestant would be paired with an eliminated queen and had to make her over as her twin ... her conjoined twin. #ConjoinedQueens. Because Kennedy won the mini-challenge, she got to pick her eliminated queen first and she got to pair up everyone else. The eliminated queen in the pair that won the maxi-challenge got to stay. Kennedy picked Jasmine Masters (duh) and then paired up everyone else. The teams were:

Ginger Minj and Sasha Belle (Oh God. Do you remember her?)

Pearl and Trixie Mattel

Miss Fame and Kandy Ho

Katya and Mrs. Kasha Davis

Violet Chachki and Max

Jaidynn Diore Fierce and Tempest DuJour

Ginger was not happy with her partner and it stressed her out for most of the episode. First off, neither of them had strong sewing skills so making their outfits was a challenge, and second, Sasha just wandered around the workroom talking to people the entire time, leaving Ginger to do most of the work. Ginger was frustrated; I was frustrated; we were all frustrated.

Pearl and Trixie were happy with their partnership and Trixie was ready to go for the gold with the funny. Katya and Mrs. Kasha Davis decided they were going to be aging hookers from Atlantic City that were joined at the vagina and I nearly wept from happiness.

We learned more about the contestant's backgrounds while they were doing each other's make-up for the challenge. Tempest DuJour revealed to the group that he went through conversion therapy to please his devout Mormon mother -- but it didn't take. Trixie talked about her abusive step-father that would call her a "trixie" anytime she acted effeminate, so she decided to embrace the name, use it as her drag name, and turn it into something positive. *Tears*

Runway time! The judges for the night were Michelle Visage, Ross Matthews, Nelsan Ellis (Lafayette from "True Blood," I love him!) and LeAnn Rimes (was everyone else busy?)

Miss Fame and Kandy Ho came out as surgical sisters, sewn together via plastic surgery. Jaidynn and Tempest were disco divas joined at Jaidynn's back and Tempest's front. Kennedy and Jasmine were pageant queens joined at the ... thigh? (I couldn't tell.) Pearl and Trixie were contestants in a beauty pageant, with Pearl being the pretty one and Trixie being the "special one." Violet and Max served carnival realness, joined at the corset. Sasha and Ginger came out joined at the breast in hot pink spandex. Last, but certainly not least, Katya and Kasha came out leather skinned, spiky haired, and joined at the vag.

The judges weren't impressed with Miss Fame and Kandy Ho. Michelle thought it was uncreative and RuPaul thought it was safe. Jaidynn and Tempest were not a favorite either: Ross thought they just didn't stack up compared to the others. Michelle thought Kennedy and Jasmine's concept was predictable because they both were fashion queens; she wanted them to go over the top.

Nelsan thought Pearl and Trixie were stunning, and Ross added that he thought they were the best storytellers. Everyone was cracking up. Everyone agreed that Violet and Max were gorgeous. Michelle loved the idea behind Ginger and Sasha's joined-at-the-breast costume, but she was not crazy about the execution. There was glue showing on the outfit and LeAnn wanted the breasts to look more realistic. Everyone loved Katya and Kasha -- including me.

Would it be Pearl and Trixie or Katya and Kasha?

Pearl was the winner, which meant that Trixie stayed!

Katya, Kennedy, Violet and Miss Fame were safe, but Jaidynn and Ginger were up for elimination. And they would have to lip-sync with the other person attached to them to "I Think We're Alone Now" by Tiffany. (It's too bad that I wasn't a consultant on this show or I could have taught them the coordinated dance moves to this song that I used to do on my porch as a child ... and as an adult.)

The lip-sync was absolutely entertaining. Ginger went for it: She ripped off her clothes and fake breasts and rolled around on the floor. And everyone on the panel was laughing hysterically.

Ginger Minj stayed, Jaidynn sashayed away.

Next week: Trixie is back as a contestant!

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

"RuPaul's Drag Race" Season 7, Episode 7: Snatch Game

Posted By on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 4:00 AM

It's the episode we'd been waiting for all season, Snatch Game! Eight queens remained for what was sure to be, to say the least, an entertaining episode. We started last night after Kandy Ho's elimination (Bye, Girl!), and Max still refuses to give up the gray but told the queens that she's going to make one non-gray wig to appease Michelle Visage. All of the young queens think Kennedy Davenport needs to go, and Katya's plan is to kill a few of the girls to make it to the top.

Season six winner Bianca Del Rio appeared via video and had one tip for the queens this week: "Be funny." Okay, everyone, less talking and more planning, it's time for Snatch Game.

Snatch Game is a parody of the popular, 1970's game show, "Match Game." Each contestant was tasked with taking on a celebrity persona to serve on a panel, and this week's guest judges would act as contestants on the show. The panel tries to match their answer to a series of questions to the contestant's answer.

Uh oh! Miss Fame and Violet Chachki both wanted to impersonate Donatella Versace and Violet had no other character to do. Kennedy thought of doing Little Richard -- BUT HE'S A MAN! Katya and Ginger encouraged her not to do it. Max took on Sharon Needles as her celebrity persona and JaidynnDiore Fierce chose Raven Symone. What? Really? You couldn't think of anyone other than Raven Symone? Ru told her that people have to be able to recognize her. For a moment, Miss Fame chose the Long Island Mediaum Theresa Caputo instead of Donatella, but Ru advised her to do what's in her best interest, not another girl's best interest, so Miss Fame decided to stick to her original celebrity persona, Donatella Versace.

Katya chose financial guru Suze Orman as her celebrity persona and Ru asked her why she's didn't choose a Russian persona. Katya was afraid to show her Russian character because it's what she does best outside of Drag Race and she was anxious, but Ru assured her not to be afraid, adding that she's addicted to anxiety. #REALTALK

Ru was not impressed with Violet's Italian accent and asked her how she was going to do a better Versace than what's already been done, so Violet said she was considering a switch to former contestant, Alyssa Edwards. Ru replied that all she has to do is make her laugh.

Snatch Game time! This week's guest judges (contestants) were Michael Urie (Ugly Betty) and Tamar Braxton (Braxton Family Values -- I had to look that up). Here is the Snatch Game celebrity panel:

Max as Sharon Needles

JaidynnDiore Fierce as Raven Symone

Katya as Suze Orman

Violet Chachki as Alyssa Edwards

Pearl as Big Ang

Miss Fame as Donatella Versace

Kennedy Davenport as Little Richard

Ginger Minj as Adele

It was clear who the standouts were from the panel: Kennedy was making everyone laugh with her Little Richard impression and the way that Ginger played Adele (dim-witted, always snacking) was hilarious as well. Pearl has stepped up her game over the past couple episodes and her Big Ang was busty and over-the-top.

Max had the look of Sharon Needles down but her jokes fell flat. Miss Fame's Donatella Versace by way of Moscow was yawn-inducing.  After all was said and done, the winners were to be announced at the judge's panel.

On Elimination Day, Katya was second guessing herself about her choice to be Suze Orman, and her anxiety was the getting the best of her. Katya has been sober for a year and a half and was feeling vulnerable -- she didn't want to fall off the wagon. She confided in Miss Fame, who is also sober, that she was terrified of failure and didn't think she belonged.  But after she talked to Fame she said she felt like a weight had been lifted.

The runway challenge for this week was themed around Leather and Lace and our judge's panel was Ross Matthews, Michelle Visage, Michael Urie, and Tamar Braxton. Katya was serving "sexy and confidant whore, 20 percent sexy, 80 percent disgusting." God, I love her. Jaidynn came out with hair like Chaka Khan and Max wore a BLACK wig -- you must appease the judges, darling.

Violet Chachki and Pearl were safe -- time for the more in-depth critiques. Michael Urie thought Ginger Minj was brilliant; Ross Matthews wanted more from Miss Fame; Michelle Visage is not a fan of boy-drag but thought that Kennedy's Little Richard KILLED IT. Visage thanked Max for ditching the gray but said her Sharon Needles was lacking a very important element: humor. At this point, things get super dramatic. Max couldn't breathe in her corset so a team came out to assist her with removing it, then Max leaned back on the stage and started singing. I had no idea what was happening, and neither did anyone else. The panel thought that Jaidynn's Raven Symone was NOT So Raven, but everyone thoroughly enjoyed Katya's "Britney Spears at 45" runway look.

Katya was safe, and Kennedy was named the winner of this week's challenge -- but hold the phone, so was Ginger. For the first time in Drag Race history, two queens won for the same challenge. Miss Fame was safe, but Jaidynn and Max were up for elimination.

The lip-sync was to "No More Lies" by Michel'le. Jaidynn worked that Chaka Khan hair, while Max played it kind of dainty and cute. But in the end, Jaidynn stayed, and Max sashayed away.

I'm kind of indifferent about this elimination. I wasn't a huge fan of Max -- in fact she was starting to get on my nerves over the past few weeks. I don't think Jaidynn has a chance of winning; that will come down to Katya and Ginger Minj. But, wait a minute? What are you saying, Ru? You let someone go home too soon and a former contestant is coming back next week? SCANDAL.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

"RuPaul's Drag Race" Season 7, Episode 6: Ru Hollywood Stories

Posted By on Tue, Apr 7, 2015 at 4:00 AM

And then there were nine. "RuPaul's Drag Race" started last night after Mrs. Kasha Davis's departure. Kandy Ho made a comment about the judges putting her in the bottom two so she can take out the older queens. Kandy? Let's have some real talk: The reason you've been in the bottom two twice now is because you haven't demonstrated that you're a viable contender in this race, and you've been skating by on group challenges where you can fade into the background. I'm over you, Kandy.

Ru came in to announce this week's Mini Challenge, Monster in Your Pants. The Pit Crew for this week has quadrupled in size, but the size of their underwear seems to have shrunk. Each member of the pit crew had a number tucked into their tiny, tiny shorts, and the goal was for each queen to choose members of the crew to try to rack up as many points as possible all while trying to avoid the pit crew member that has the monster in his pants, an automatic loss. Apparently there was only one member of the pit crew that had the monster in his pants, but hilariously, EVERYONE chose that person -- with the exception of Ginger Minj, the winner of the challenge with 24 points.

As the winner, Ginger got to choose her teammates and assign the other teams for the Maxi Challenge, #Ru'sHollywoodStories: "Whatever happened to Merle Ginsberg?" For those unfamiliar with Merle, she sat alongside Ru as a judge in the first two seasons of "Drag Race" but was replaced by Michelle Visage. Each team was tasked with reenacting versions of what actually happened, with each team assigned the perspective of either Ru, Merle, or Michelle.

Team 1: Ginger, Kennedy Davenport, and Katya (Merle's perspective)

Team 2: Max, Violet Chachki, and Kandy Ho (Michelle's perspective)

Team 3: Miss Fame, Jaidynn Diore Fierce, and Pearl (Ru's perspective)

Jaidynn took this week's challenge *seriously*, while Violet was over these acting challenges. You're on "Drag Race," Violet, suck it up. This week's episode confirmed my feelings of being over everyone except for Ginger and Katya. I like Max but I don't think she's got what it takes to win this -- the grey-hair, old Hollywood thing is getting tired.

Katya explained Ginger Minj's portrayal of Michelle Visage as "Danny DeVito as Tony Soprano as The Fonze as Michelle Visage," and I COULDN'T WAIT.

Ross Matthews was sitting in the director's chair for #Ru'sHollywoodStories this week.  Ginger's team was on point, except Kennedy's version of Ru Paul was just...strange. Kandy Ho contoured herself a beard again to play Ru, and Miss Fame decided to be the dramatic one this week. You see, Miss Fame is having a bad day! *Pout* She knows she can do better than this and is it SO WRONG for her to explore her feelings?! Next!

Elimination Day came and all the ladies were prepping for the runway. Jaidynn revealed to the group that she has not officially come out to her family -- they know that she does drag, but chooses to ignore it. She has a real fear of being disowned and doesn't want to live without her family ... and by that point I was crying. You've warmed my cold, cold heart, Jaidynn.

The runway challenge for this week was "Death Becomes Her: How would your drag character die?" The guest judges for this week were Merle Ginsberg and Ariana Grande (singer, human ponytail).

The runway this week was pretty great. Katya had a shark leg (WINNING); Ginger was eaten by a bear; Kennedy -- I don't know what the hell Kennedy was. She described it as "after her night of hooking she got in the fire and crystallized."

Max cut out her heart, Kandy Ho was a sexy vampire (yawn), Miss Fame had a knife through her head, and Jaidynn got caught in some barbed wire after a prison break. But the *gasp* moment for the night was Violet's ridiculously tiny, corseted waist.

The judges then watched each #Ru'sHollywoodStories, and Ginger's team nailed it. All I can remember from Max's team was Kandy Ho's beard and Jaidynn's team featured drag queen (erotic?) Jell-O wrestling. Team Ginger won it, with Katya pronounced the winner and Ginger and Kennedy declared safe. Michelle Visage is over Max's grey hair and had an issue with Violet's portrayal of her accent, "I'm not from Staten Island." Ru told Miss Fame to learn how to listen and gave kudos to Pearl for finally waking up. The judges were not impressed with Jaidynn's prison break outfit or her acting. But Max, Pearl, Violet and Miss Fame were safe.

Kandy Ho and Jaidynn were up for elimination, lip-syncing to Ariana Grande's "Break Free." Both queens were giving it their all, but in the end it was time to say goodbye to Kandy Ho and her beard. Bye Kandy! Sorry, not sorry to see you go.

Next week: Snatch Game!

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

"RuPaul's Drag Race" Season 7, Episode 5: The DESPY Awards

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 4:00 AM

After last week's shocker of an episode I didn't know what to expect for this week. Apparently most of the ladies felt the same way and expressed their shock at seeing Trixie Mattel sent packing while barely awake Pearl got to stay. Judging by the tears on the runway, one would think that Pearl was grateful for the opportunity to stay and show the judges what she can do -- but the second she gets backstage she says she's "over the judges" and pouts. I'm angry and it's only two minutes into the episode. I had to press pause and go make myself a drink.

Ru announced the mini challenge for the week: the queens will be making paper versions of classic celebrity red carpet looks. They were paired off based on where they were standing and assigned a celebrity.

Ginger Minj and Kandy Ho: Lil' Kim (purple pasties).

JaidynnDiore Fierce and Kennedy Davenport: Lady Gaga (I actually thought they could have picked something more over-the-top).

Pearl and Max: Cher (black and spiky Bob Mackie).

Mrs. Kasha Davis and Katya: Bjork (swan dress).

Violet Chachki and Miss Fame: Jennifer Lopez (*That* dress that was basically a robe)

This mini challenge was fun to watch and I thought everyone did well. Seeing Ginger Minj in a skin tight, purple, paper suit with a shell pasty made my life. The obvious winner for the challenge was Katya -- her impression of Bjork consisted of making nonsensical noises and looking around with child-like wonder (which, to be honest, is a pretty spot on Bjork impression) and it totally worked. The added bonus was Mrs. Kasha Davis as the late, great Joan Rivers. Katya and Kasha took home the win and were given the honor to host the first annual DESPY Awards, #SnatchingTrophies.

The queens would be working in their current pairs as both the presenters and the nominees, and were tasked with coming up with funny banter as well as acceptance speeches if should they win. Presenting for "Sexy Sexy Drag Queen," Kennedy and Jaidynn; "Most Busted Queen," Pearl and Max; "Shadiest Queen," Ginger and Kandy Ho; and "Meatiest Tuck," Violet and Miss Fame. Kathy Griffin returned to the show to as the comedy coach.

The queens broke into their teams to start brainstorming -- and this is where things got UNCOMFORTABLE. Ru came in to check on everyone's progress and when Ru got to Pearl and Max, it went wrong. It went very, very wrong.

First, Ru told Pearl that she did not have a big personality. Pearl said that she thinks she has a great personality because OF COURSE SHE DOES. So Ru just stared at her ... for so long. I could actually feel my body sinking into the couch. Pearl asked Ru if she has something on her face ... SHUT UP, PEARL! Poor Max just sat; I just wanted to give her a hug. Ru just wants Pearl to do well and walks away. Pearl says she's over this bullshit and walks out of the workroom.

Did someone lock the door behind her? Throw the deadbolt! No? *Sigh*

It was time for the ladies to rehearse with Kathy Griffin and she's not impressed with any of them. Kennedy and Jaidynn are starting every sentence with "Girl"; Miss Fame and Violet are being too blue but they don't know what that means; and Max and Pearl are throwing too much shade. It's back to the drawing board for everyone.

At this point, all the ladies have to vote for which queens will actually win a DESPY Awards. We're also given a little backstory on Pearl and her abandonment issues, which is actually sad and might be why she is so guarded. And we're also given chicken grooming tips by Miss Fame -- so there's that.

The judges for The DESPY Awards were Michelle Visage, Ross Matthews, and Isaac Mizrahi. The DESPYs actually go over pretty well. Mrs. Kasha Davis fumbled at the start, but she and Katya looked great and called out Pearl for being the "drag equivalent of a Valium taking a Xanex in a K-hole." TRUTH. Actually, all the presenters did pretty well. I thought Jaidynn and Kennedy were hysterical. Below are the winners:

Sexy Sexy Drag Queen: Miss Fame

Most Busted Drag Queen: Jaidynn Dior Fierce

Shadiest Queen: Violet Chachki (duh) "You don't like me! You really don't like me!"

Meatiest Tuck: Katya

Ru announced that Pearl and Max are the winners of the challenge, and Pearl thanked Ru for being so hard on her. She kind of stepped it up this week but I still can't get behind her. Kennedy and Jaidynn are safe, but the judges felt that Kandy Ho needs to up her game, especially when she's paired with a personality like Ginger Minj.

At this point, I am amazed that Kandy Ho is still here -- she has contributed nothing to this competition and has managed to skate by each week while being a wallflower.  Isaac thought that Kasha needed to take it completely over the top and he loved Violet. Miss Fame's performance was low energy -- but in her defense, she "doesn't know how to turn off her thinker." *Cricket noises*

Ginger was safe, Miss Fame was safe, Katya was safe, Violet was safe. Wait a minute -- is Kasha going to be up for elimination? No!

Kasha and Kandy Ho were both up for elimination and will be lip syncing to Teena Marie's "Lovergirl." This is sad. This is really, really sad. To see someone like Pearl -- who looks like she barely cares that she wakes up in the morning, let alone be a viable competitor on this show -- be allowed to stay each week and someone like Kasha, who is hungry for this and has so much more to show the judges up for elimination? It's BS. I don't like it.

Kandy Ho stays, Kasha sashays away -- and I want to turn the TV off, forever. 

Next Monday: Ru's Story

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"RuPaul's Drag Race" Season 7, Episode 4: Spoof!

Posted By on Tue, Mar 24, 2015 at 4:00 AM

*Yawn* -- Sorry, I dozed off for a bit after this week's snore of an episode. Until the very end (and what an ending), it was just same old, same old. Was Violet difficult? Yes. Did Pearl appear barely conscious for most of it? Yes.

The queens were split into teams again for the Maxi Challenge -- creating music video parodies of RuPaul songs -- #PunnyOrDie. Each team was tasked with writing the lyrics, recording vocals, and shooting their own videos. The difference from the previous week's challenges was that this time they got to pick their own teams.

The team assigned to parody "Let the Music Play" consisted of Ginger Minj, Kasha Davis, Kennedy Davenport, and Kandy Ho. "Sissy that Walk" was given to Max, Jaidynn Fierce, and Violet Chachki -- which left "Dance with You" to Trixie Mattel, Miss Fame, Pearl, and Katya.

During the team brainstorming sessions, Violet was bitchy (shocker), Miss Fame was bitchy (shocker), and Ginger's team seemed to be the only one that was getting along (again...shocker). "Are you awake??" my friend shouted from across the room. "Unfortunately," I responded.

Each team recorded their vocals with Lucian Piane, RuPaul's producer. The "Dance with You" team turned the song into "Tan with You." Katya is climbing up my list of favorites: her weird, drunk, skank persona for the song was hysterical. For all of her boasting about having the best voice, Miss Fame did not impress. As for Pearl -- *eye roll* -- Lucian asked her what she was like when she was performing and she responded "wild." Maybe if the comparison group consisted of people in comas, then yes, she could be considered wild.

RuPaul and Michelle Visage critiqued the video rehearsals. The "Sissy that Walk" team decided to do a parody of last season's "Sissy that Walk" video -- Jaidynn would be playing Bianca Del Rio, Max is Courtney Act, and Violet is Adore Delano. Max was trying to play Courtney Act in a funny turn -- which she couldn't pull off.  The "Dance with You" team was a complete mess (except for Katya, who looked tragic and amazing -- like an orange Jane Lynch) and Trixie appeared super nervous and was just kind of wandering around. The "Let the Music Play" team was on point -- but may have chosen unwisely when they called out RuPaul's "Drag U" as a failure (Ru was not impressed).

It's time for Elimination Day and the runway challenge was "All Green Eleganza." Guest judges for this week were Lucian Piane and Jessica Alba -- and Ross Matthews returns! Stand outs for this challenge were Katya (in a dress that looked like the Emerald City and with HUGE hair), and Violet (going full showgirl -- also, THAT ASS). Pearl's look was very Grace Jones amphibian. Ginger Minj was "perky in pistachio" and was serving "leprechaun realness." I still love her. Max looked great, but the only green in her outfit were the pasties.

The panel then saw the final music video parody videos. I actually thought the "Tan with You" video was really funny, thanks to Katya who made it her own. Jaidynn really stood out for the "Sissy that Walk" parody and the "Let the Music Play" video was fun and campy -- calling out RuPaul on her endorsement deals. Ru seemed to agree and called out Katya, Jaidynn, and Kennedy as the stars of each group -- and awarding Kennedy as the winner of the challenge. I disagree. It definitely should have been Katya -- unfortunately this was the lesser of the bad decisions for the night.

Jaidynn, Katya, Miss Fame, Ginger, Kandy Ho, Kasha, Max, and Violet were safe. Pearl and Trixie are up for elimination. At this point, I was like "THANK GOD, Pearl is going home." Honestly, I didn't even feel I needed to pay attention to the lip sync because: A) it was Blondie's "Dreaming" and I just couldn't picture Pearl nailing this, and B) None of the judges had anything nice to say about Pearl! Through the entire judging process she was a shoe-in to go home.

But Pearl decided to crank up the intensity -- which was honestly kind of terrifying and didn't really fit with the song, giving some definite Grace Jones and David Bowie vibes from this one - while Trixie was cute and bouncy and I thought did a great  job. What say you, Ru? Pearl stays, Trixie sashays away.

WHAT. Wait. WHAT? What just happened?

I'll definitely watch Untucked this week to find out everyone's reactions to this one.

What did you think? Were you surprised?

Next Monday is "The Despy Awards."  I need to go lie down.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

"RuPaul's Drag Race" Season 7, Episode 3: ShakesQueer

Posted By on Tue, Mar 17, 2015 at 4:00 AM

On last night's "Drag Race," I got to hear eliminated Sasha Belle say "I overthunk my strategy" again which made me even happier that she was gone. Before sashaying away in last week's episode, Ms. Belle wrote "Ginj for the win" on the mirror, causing Kennedy Davenport to mutter, "Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one." Katya was up on the chopping block last week and vowed that she was going to murder the next challenge.

There is a clear divide this season between the older and younger queens with some of the older queens accusing the younger ones of not knowing anything about performing and "not wearing panties" (Violet).

In a *gag* moment from last night's episode, Jaidynn Fierce was complaining about her feet after a long day of performing in heels, to which Kennedy responded "You gotta pop them corns so them kids can eat." NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT.

Is it time for this week's mini challenge so I can stop thinking about popped corns? What is that beeping sound? Oh, it's just RuPaul on a Jazzy. This made my night (read: life). The challenge for this week is for the ladies to release their inner Golden Girls and perform in an old fashioned Soul Train dance line. It's time to "sissy that walker," ladies.

This challenge was hilarious. Mrs. Kasha Davis was rubbing her droopy chest on the pit crew, Pearl went full Elaine Stritch, and Jasmine Masters somehow found a loaf of bread to dance down the line with. The two winners of the challenge were Max and Kennedy Davenport. For the first two episodes of Drag Race, I was not a fan of Max -- I found her irritating, and that accent she was doing was tired. She's lost some of the accent and I'm slowly getting on the Max train.  

Another team challenge was on the docket for the night's episode: this time the ladies would be performing ShakesQueer -- drag interpretations of Shakespeare's most famous plays. Did you know that it's argued the word drag was first used by Shakespeare as an acronym for "dressed as a girl"? I did not. I had an "A-Ha!" moment, #Oprah. The plays that the ladies would be performing in were "Romy and Juliet" and "MacBitch."

Because of their win, Max and Kennedy got to pick teams:

Team Max - Ginger, Trixie, Kasha, Jaidynn, Miss Fame

Team Kennedy - Jasmine, Katia, Pearl, Kandy, Violet (last picked AGAIN)

After finding out that the category for the runway challenge will be "bearded and beautiful," the ladies broke into their teams to assign roles for the ShakesQueer challenge. Kennedy assigned the role of MacBitch to Jasmine, but then changed her mind halfway through the challenge, assigning Jasmine the "ghetto" role and giving MacBitch to Violet. It's time for rehearsals.

Each team ran through a rehearsal performance for RuPaul and Michelle Visage. These rehearsals were A HOT MESS. Jaidynn was totally nervous and couldn't remember her lines -- and then Jaidynn is SOBBING. She gets a pep talk from Max and pulls it together. There wasn't any crying during Team Kennedy's rehearsal, but there should have been. When RuPaul whispers "What is happening?" to Michelle Visage, we all feel her. Ru tells the team that in seven seasons of Drag Race she has never seen a car crash like this before.

It's time for the runway challenge. The guest judges for this episode were Kat Dennings (Two Broke Girls) and Mel B (Spice Girls). RuPaul announces "may the best bearded woman win" and they are off.

This challenge was fun to watch, with Max, Trixie, Katya, Violet and Pearl (in paper mache devil beard) as the standouts.  But then there was Kennedy who looked like she had glued hair from a nether region onto her face, and Jasmine, who literally just airbrushed a beard on -- no hair.

It was time for ShakesQueer. Team Max kills "Romy and Juliet" and even ends with a tribute to Heathers - "Teenage Suicide, don't do it!" I loved it. Team Kennedy -- oh, Team Kennedy -- it was bad, it was really bad. Team Max is safe and their team leader wins the challenge, and some latex! And all of Team Kennedy is up for elimination and Ru is NOT happy. The one lighter moment came when Michelle Visage praised Kandy Ho for changing her contouring -- but she took the beard away for the beard challenge! Kandy Ho, Katya, Violet and Pearl were safe, but Jasmine and Kennedy had to lip syncing for their lives to "I Was Gonna Cancel" by Kylie Minogue.

Jasmine had some interesting moves -- it kind of reminded me of the dancing one would see at Oktoberfest: lots of squatting and kicking.  But ultimately Kennedy stayed and Jasmine sashayed away.

Next week the queens will be creating their own music videos.  

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