RuPaul's Drag Race: You gotta be all woman!
|Written by Lauren Cheal|
|Tuesday, 07 February 2012 17:05|
Oh boy. We are back, people, and the most fabulous hour of reality television is with us. It is season four of RuPaul's drag race, and I am so happy to be recapping it again for you. If you are new to the show or to my recaps, welcome. This show gives us reality TV at its very best, a unique look at a bizarre world filled with larger-than-life characters. 13 drag queens compete to become "America's Next Drag Superstar", and this is evaluated based on four criteria. Charisma. Uniqueness. Nerve. Talent. The ladies enter one at a time and size each other up. My first impression reactions of each of them are below.
Willam: Willam starts off by telling us how she is an actor and has been on Sex and the City (or perhaps it is the movie, I don't know). She makes a point of saying he didn't come up through the club system, so she is a bit of an outsider. She really has a lot to say about herself, and I am guessing she will clash with some people. She is a very pretty lady.
Lashauwn Beyond: Lashauwn is a young lady,and she is also pretty. We don't see much more of her at this introduction stage.
Jiggly Caliente: Jiggly is a fun and funky plus-sized gal. She is super cute.
Phi Phi O'Hare: Phi Phi comes in a body suit with a sparkly hood, and she has tons of attitude.
Madame LaQueer: Madame LaQueer is another plus-sized contestant, and out of drag, she is a really sweet-looking dorky guy. Her look is a bit broke, but perhaps that is just her debut outfit.
Milan: Milan makes her entrance into the room and she is really pretty. She has the model attitude to match, but she seems sweet and funny too. I like her.
Alisa Summers: Alisa Summers is sort of prettier as a dude than she is as a lady. That isn't a great start. As a dude, she has delicate, simple features, but as a lady, her makeup makes her look like a jock guy in drag. It is hard to explain, but I just don't love her look.
Dida Ritz: Dida Ritz has a pretty fabulous body, but a terrible janky wig and not great makeup. Lashauwn is quick to notice this as well. However, the guy underneath Dida seems sweet and cute, if a little naive.
The Princess: The Princess has that sort of deranged Joan Rivers look about her, but in a way that works for drag. I like her outfit and fun hat.
Kenya Michaels: Kenya seems to be channeling last season's Yara Sofia, in the category of barely-understandable Puerto Rican Drag. She tells us she is "from the eyes-land of enchantment" (meaning Puerto Rico). Kenya also gets a weird slo-mo intro where they freeze the frame on her looking "sexy". Also, she is like 3 feet tall.
Chad Michaels: Ugh. Chad Michaels is primarily a Cher impersonator. The problems with this are numerous, and more will be said about it at the end of the article, but impersonators do not make great RPDR contestants. He seems sweets enough, and his Cher is pretty good.
Sharon Needles: First impression of Sharon Needles (Ha!) is that she is a bit crazy. She is dressed like a witch, and she has a crazy pale face and dark lipstick. The other girls don't know what to do with her right off the bat and neither do I.
Latrice Royale: Latrice is another large lady, and she is a really cute black man. He describes her as "Large and in-charge, chunky yet funky". Easily my favourite based on first impressions.
SheMail: Our very first SheMail! Here we have Ms. Ru at her most fabulous to introduce the season. She is so damn pretty.
Immediately following, Mr. Ru enters the room, and it is jarring, as always. I love his cute plaid suit. He introduces the big prize package, which includes such delights as a travel package from Al and Chuck Travel, as well as $100,000. Ru then brings in the Pit Crew who are toting a crate containing Shangela. Everyone freaks out for a moment because Shangela is a former dragtestant who appeared on the show not once but twice. Ru promptly sends Shangela out to the back alley to be eaten by a honey badger. Just go with it. We can assume Shangela is doing fine because she was in an episode of freaking Community. Crazy!
The ladies have their first challenge after this, which sees photographer Mike Ruiz shooting them in an apocalypse while the Pit Crew sprays them with paint. They are standing on a rotating lazy susan, and a couple of the bigger gals take a tumble. The photos range from pretty to mostly frightening. After the first challenge, the ladies start taking off their layers and becoming dudes again. Apparently one guy ripped a bunch of skin off when he removed tape (ouch). Kenya is notable because she looks like a 12 year old girl.
Jiggly Caliente takes the first win! As she says "fat girl wins the first challenge!". Word. I find it fascinating how these men take on the (more traditionally) feminine attitude towards their weight. Some of them just flat out own it and don't seem to give a crap, but others certainly seem self-conscious and self-effacing about their size.
The big challenge for the episode is a weird zombie thing where the ladies have to steal their wardrobe from a hoard of drag zombies. We get to see a bunch of former contestants, like Ongina, Delta Work, Raven, Morgan McMichaels, Venus, Chanel, and others. The girls head back to the workroom where they will create their post-apocalyptic couture.
Willam: Willam's outfit is destructed garbage, and it mostly works. She became less annoying as the episode went on, so that is good. In her zombie drag look, she really, really looks like Bernadette Peters as Tim Curry's "tomata" in Annie. Amirite? I am. I like her umbrella skeleton.
Phi Phi O'Hare: Phi Phi really comes off as a piece of work in this episode. She has all sorts of judgements about other people, and seems to be rubbing people wrong early. Her outfit is ok—it is sort of a gladiator number with a lot of crap hanging off of it.
LeShauwn Beyond: LeShauwn, verbatim "So Ru tells us we have to make a post-apopalokick outfit…and I don't know what that means". No one does, sweetie. I love how dumb she is. Her look is very theatrical, and she is sporting an absolutely gigantic headpiece. It is like 3 feet high.
Chad Michaels: Chad's look is a pretty version of apocalyptic garbage, and it mostly works. Even with the psychotic contacts (which I hate), she still looks too much like Cher. I feel like she has had work done to make her face Cherian.
The Princess: The Princess completely changed his look after Ru's critique and she is afraid it won't be good enough. The Princess also hits on Sharon Needles. Her look is a nautical costume, and it doesn't really seem like it hits the post-apocalyptic. The judges say that it is channeling Waterworld, but I think that is a stretch.
Kenya Michaels: This is our crazy pipsqueak. She is so tiny! She created wings and looks like a bird, but there is absolutely no connection to the post-apocalyptic theme. The judges also mention that her tuck is not tight.
Latrice Royale: Ru talks to Latrice and we learn that he spent "18 months in the hole", and no, that isn't a gay pun. We only learn that she was in prison for some "stupid mistakes". Latrice has worked to get back from that, and she is living her dream. I am really enjoying Latrice so far. What is not to love? Her outfit is decent, and she does work the runway, for sure. I like that she isn't afraid to show off her giant legs and part of her ass.
Alisa Summers: Ru immediately calls Alisa out as "a breastplate girl", meaning she uses a silicon breastplate instead of padding or other fake boobs. The breastplate girls often like to show off their fake boobs in a very overt way, which is what happens with Alisa. Her outfit is not really post-apcolalyptic at all, and she just looks weird. We also learn that Alisa has just finished up 15 months probation for a DUI (where she got arrested in full drag, which must have been rather scary). She doesn't seem very apologetic about her impaired driving, but does seem annoyed that the charge interrupted her life. Not a great role model, in any case.
Milan: Michelle Visage calls the look "an infected Betsy Johnson", and i just can't improve on that. Her look is very destroyed, but cute.
Jiggly Caliente: Ru aptly makes a hoarding reference with Jiggly's outfit. It is just pieces of garbage taped together in a big mess.
Dida Ritz: Dida has a pretty amazing body, and she shows it off on the runway. Her butt is half on display, and it is a good one.
Madame LaQueer: We haven't really seen anything of this lady during the episode. Her outfit is not really post-apocalyptic, but she is carrying a severed foot on a tray. Her outfit is sort of grape leaves and leopard print, and she is channeling some Liz Taylor. If there weren't bigger messes in the group, she might have been in the bottom.
Sharon Needles: Sharon has a grown on me over the course of the episode. She is proud to do a different type of drag, one more concerned with dark humour and the macabre. She also has a fairly awesome tattoo of Tammy Faye Baker, from whom she gleamed makeup tips at an early age. Her outfit is a brown dress with lots of texturing and layering in the colour of the dress, and she is made up to look very freaky. During her strut on the mainstage, she lets a capsule of blood ooze out of her mouth and down her dress. Very appropriate to the challenge.
Ms. Ru is a vision in red sequins. It is a gorgeous gown, and I love the wavy hair. Along with her, we have standard judges in Michelle Visage and Santino Rice. Guest judges today are photographer Mike Ruiz and Elvira. The queens got really excited when Elvira was announced, but I don't know why.
Ru dismisses the lion's share of the girls, but some of them are offended that they weren't in the top. Ru hilariously tells them all to step it up, and the daggers she receives in return are fun to watch. Phi Phi takes serious offence at not being called to the top, and I am already tired of it.
Top and Bottom
Ok, so I tried to figure out who was in the top and who was in the bottom, but I can't tell if I am right at all. Sharon Needles' ultra-creepy zombie outfit wins her a spot in the top. Jiggly Caliente's mess of a dress lands her squarely in the bottom. I think the judge's like her personality enough that she will stay. Kenya Michaels is also in the bottom, I think because her bird outfit wasn't post-apocalyptic at all. LeShauwn is called out for a beautiful look, but not having enough confidence. Alisa Summers' look is not well-liked by the judges. The Princess is also bottom, I think mostly because she missed the apocalypse part.
Sharon Needles wins the first challenge!
Up for elimination this week are Jiggly Caliente and Alisa Summers, which means that, yes….they will have to Lip Sync…….for their LIIIIIIIIVES!
And thus begins the strangest elimination task in reality television (and that is saying something). Two stressed out queens have lip sync and dance for a spot in the show going forward. The song is "Toxic" by Britney Spears. Jiggly's performance is clearly way better, as Alisa sort of walks through it.
Ru tells a tear-stained Jiggly that she can Shante, and Stay, and Alisa Summers is sent Sashaying Away.
|Last Updated on Monday, 20 February 2012 02:47|