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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Focus 45: A History of Photography Commemorating Ratification of the 19th Amendment @ George Eastman Museum

Focus 45: A History of Photography Commemorating Ratification of the 19th Amendment @ George Eastman Museum

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Little in the Lot: <br>"Hearts Beat Loud" (2018) @ Little Theatre

Little in the Lot:
"Hearts Beat Loud" (2018)
@ Little Theatre

An outdoor bar, concessions, and food from The Little Cafe — served...

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