You’re going to need it.
Welcome back to RuPaul’s Maximum Security Prison Race.
Drag Is Not A Crime Scene
For this week’s Maxi Challenge the queens were improv-ing their way through a pastiche of Forensic Files in the case of Wha-ha-happened To Lil Poundcake?
I do think it was a Little Missed Opportunity to not bring Alaska and Lineysha Sparx back for a couple of cameos given that they were instrumental to the creation of Lil Poundcake – Lineysha’s contribution beyond puppeteer is dubious
There was ample opportunity for it too with the Ru-enactment to have Alaska play Lil Poundcake and Lineysha playing the security guard, although I won’t lie it was quite fun to see Ru doing it
I’m glad we’re back in the era of Ru having fun with the show – that season 9 to season 13 run was a slog, although I’m sure she’s feeling more protective of it as a showcase of drag than ever considering the attack drag is under, which is why she jumped in to fight so hard to keep Kahanna of all people around. It was nice to see her being protective of the queens, but I do wish she’d done it without the little Ben Shapiro garnish
it was also a bit futile effort given that Kahanna was already planning her lipstick message the moment Ru said “acting challenge” and was dead in the water from that moment on – no TED Talk was saving her
but a lot of her decision to partially pack her bags after being firmly slotted into the Pretty Showgirl character for the 3rd time was because the character selection process had not gone very smoothly with Alexis trying to choose a role like Sideshow Bob walking into rakes
she wanted the security guard but Lala took the security guard, so she settled on the detective however Kandy had sunk her teeth into that role and has the bite force of a Nile crocodile and not even Alexis’s jedi mind tricks were going to work
to be fair, Alexis saying that was the worst possible way of going about it and she should have taken it to a vote – I think the queens would have been a lot more sympathetic given that she’d lost her first choice in the Rusical and the other queens would absolutely want to prevent Kandy from getting two wins in a row and the easiest way to do that would be to lump her with a role she didn’t love. However, Alexis [sobbing] Michelle conceded the role of detective to Kandy and took the District Attorney – but not without a bit of dramatic flare
I swear to God, if she doesn’t bring out merch that’s just a black t-shirts with “- [sobbing]” written on it, she’s missing a trick, and on the back of them can be one of Jessica Wild’s many disgusted and slightly exhausted looks whenever Alexis does cry
as night follows day.
I did feel a little bad for Alexis because I think she was having a genuine reaction to the stress of the situation but Kandy’s “Who died?” confessional was very funny
but I thought we had covered it, Kahanna’s soul had died and was being extricated from her body to be used to keep RuPaul youthful for all eternity
and I think Lala Ri kind of perfectly summed up the whole issue with the current All Stars format
part of the fun of a regular season is watching the queens interact and develop their relationships with one another, but All Stars kind of stunts that because everyone has to be suspicious of one another and I have to think that this episode must have rung alarm bells in the producers’ heads and surely we’re in for a format change come All Stars 9 – drama and conflict are great for reality TV but this if beginning to feel like a badly run social sciences experiment that violates at least a couple of paragraphs in the Human Rights Act.
As it was an improv challenge the queens weren’t given a script (given the writers’ strike every Hollywood movie in 2024 is just going to be improved by drag queens) so instead the challenge was all about creating a character that made as much sense as one possibly can in a Drag Race acting challenge and given all of that, this was mostly a pretty good challenge and the parodying of a true crime show on Alibi TV that you end up watching mostly by mistake was spot on. Despite her little masterclass in improv from Jimbo, which was very sweet and patient, Kahanna was still very much the weak link – you could see the cogs grinding as she thought out a response to anything and was once again landing punchlines like a kamikaze pilot
the stuff she was saying wasn’t not funny, it was just delivered really poorly and lacked anything beyond “this is something a shady drag queen would say!” however one of the few moments in this when I really guffawed was when she and Jessica were just randomly polishing and cleaning fish?
I did also think Jessica could have maybe done more with her returning Miss Congeniality character – go the full slightly manic reputation preserving BenDeLaCreme hog with it, but she did deliver a monologue about Taco Tuesday like Meryl Streep delivering a monologue about the colour Cerulean
Guacamole IS expensive! She’s had this rant burning inside her for years and I’m glad someone is finally talking about how corrupt the Guaconomy is, actually literally everything Jessica said in this challenge was utterly fascinating – the “I’m not a Republican” line?
the fact Michelle scared her so much in the last acting challenge that she had to make suggestive blowjob noises rather than actually saying “blowjob”
Jessica Wild is now the lead script writer for Drag Race.
The best performances in terms of characterisation were Jimbo and Lala by a country mile – Jimbo playing German forensic scientist Eva Dentz and Lala playing security guard Sharisha “The last ‘sha’ is silent” Coleman. It did also help that they had the most to do and work with – I think it’s easy to play up the comedy of a forensic scientist contaminating a crime scene by brushing her teeth with the swab
and I could watch Lala trying to unscrew the hipflask with her acrylics or driving the golfcart while talking like Donnie from The Wild Thornberrys for hours
it’s her leg partially steering it like she’s in The Flintstones that really gets me, and I honestly think the exchange between Kandy and Lala about the linguistic evidence is one of the funniest things Drag Race has ever produced
it’s just so delicious dumb and if I were Kandy I would have absolutely broken character, although if Kandy had broken character it wouldn’t have mattered because Kandy was just playing Kandy – which I can’t entirely blame her for, Ru has frequently told the queens not to overthink acting and improv roles and just be themselves – it’s why she made Jonbers perform an extremely insensitive parody of Irish culture for Snatch Game instead of Enya. I was fully on board with Kandy’s act at first, the idea of the local gossip somehow getting roped into this as a detective and being out of their depths is a funny idea
but then it got dropped the minute she found out she had to film scenes in an interrogation room so she just ran with being a real detective (a script may have helped, actually)
(a round of applause for Kahanna’s one funny and well delivered line.)
But in an acting challenge all about creating a consistent character, you might think that was a fundamental failure of the challenge but you have to remember that RuPaul is RuPauling harder than ever before
and truly there is nothing in Ru’s eyes more unforgivable than being slightly boring, which sadly Alexis playing the hard-nosed district attorney was – although she had the look down and you could not convince her in this moment that she was not the District Attorney of New Jersey – fuck Philip R. Sellinger’s drag
but I cannot remember a single thing she did or said in this challenge – I watched it twice and the only note I wrote was that I liked her wig
it was a good wig though.
Little Missed Opportunities
The runway theme for this week was Little Miss [FILL IN THE BLANK] and my impression was that everyone would have to do a punny, pageant Mis_____ look and I love puns – I once got a comedy script back at university and the feedback was “puns are the lowest form of comedy, try to include less of them” and I almost went the full Ophelia in the department fish pond because there is nobody more dramatic than a second year film student. So fully bracing myself for some good old punnery and Jessica Wild emerges as Little Miss Sausage Party
and I was VERY confused, just saying “sausages?” like the man in the Walls advert
“Miss Sausage? Misausage? Massages? Is a Massaging Party a thing?” – Google (safe search) suggests not and apparently they just had to put Little Miss in front of literally anything, although Jessica’s isn’t far off an actual title, with Geene Courtney being crowned The Sausage Queen by Zion Meat Co. (quite the brand name) in 1955
I can’t imagine why nobody was ever been crowned Sausage Queen since, but I guess now we know where the fashion in the diaper-baby-hotdog is
Jimbo meanwhile was putting her best breastplate forward as Little Miss Tits McGee
which felt a little bit like it was referencing one of the looks from Diana Ross’s TV special in 1977, which has in turn been referenced by Symone in the Bag Ball in which she didn’t pad her hips so she looked a bit like a highschooler’s drawing of a willy
Jimbo however didn’t pop her breasts like a pair of balloons
tit popping might be her best chance of winning a lipsync though, so one to save for later.
The only queens that did give us puns were in the Fame Games with Kasha coming out as Mrs. Senior Centre before revealing to Ariana Grandma (I never said my lecturer was wrong about puns being the lowest form of comedy)
I hope she goes on a tour with with Biddie Eilish
and of course Darienne also gravitated to the puns with her Miss Shapen look
I LOVE this – it feels genuinely high fashion and couture, like something out of a Gareth Pugh or a Commes des Garcons runway
I would never have expected to see something like this from Darienne coming into the season so it’s a nice surprise and it probably would have been my favourite look of the night had it not been for Lala’s Little Miss Bootlegger look
it would have been easy to crap this look up but she kept it concise and polished without losing the character and truly the whole thing ascended when she brought out the Asia O’Hara’s Drag Race DVD referencing the infamous slap
Lala just knocked it out of the park this week – truly nobody was catching up to her, although Naysha’s Little Miss Shady Lady look was also really cool
given that she looks so good in a gown, I don’t know why she’s so married to the bedazzled scuba suits! I did however have a slight issue with her Snellen Chart of Shade
I just can’t stop reading it as “What do you do BACK ROLLS SUCCESSFULLY?” which really reminds me of the “Do a barrel roll!” meme and usually it’s Darienne’s job to catapult me back to 2011 with an outdated meme and an I Can Haz Cheezeburger? t-shirt.
Also giving us a strong Drag Race reference was Kandy with her Miss Arrogant look that was paying homage to the time she stapled 6 backpacks together and called it a skirt (she’s so lucky Lala had a worse case of badly stapled together bags)
it was also the outfit she was wearing during the Untucked in which Tamisha Iman called her “arrogant” and all hell broke loose
so the look wasn’t as mislabelled as the judges made out, but expecting them to remember an inconsequential design challenge look after filming 10 seasons between Season 13 (2021) and All Stars 8 (2023) is probably asking RuPaul “This one right here… your name is?… Oh Jinkx?” Charles a bit much. I think the look could have been gownier given it was a pageant themed look, but I loved the hair show inspired hair, which was giving excellent pageant drama, and Kahanna had a wig in a similar vein
it’s a beautiful look, she’ll always look very pretty, but this is when you really begin to feel the effects of Kahanna running on fumes because the runway required a certain amount of humour and I think Kahanna just lacks that wit to make a campy look work – if you’re going to do Little Miss Tired Ass Showgirl – you can’t just show up in a showgirl outfit and do 1 yawn
I know it’s been done before by Courtney Act 9 years ago, but come out looking like you’re in bed and won’t get out for less than $10,000
or at least have your sculptural wig shaped like a set of ZZZZs.
The last of the competing queens was Alexis Michelle doing a whole fucking lot
which isn’t entirely surprising given that they had a similar-ish challenge on Season 9 in which they could be any princess they wanted and Alexis chose Princess #SubwayFish (and the hashtag was not silent)
I think about it FAR too much. However “Little Miss Manpig” was the funniest title of the bunch and for a gown designed to make you look like a jockstrap she looked marvelous – I could have done without the piss-stained mermaid skirt (the title of the blog post if the algorithm wouldn’t have buried it – prudes) but I’m a big fan of the glass dildo scepter and the fisting hanky train – it is now completely unsurprising that the rumours of Alexis Michelle’s casting on the season began because she stopped being active on Grindr in New York. Fame is fame, I guess.
Over with our Fame Gamers, Monica was a little too wordy with her Little Miss Sunshine on the Skin
also a little bit unfortunate that she was, I #believe, wearing an outfit that was meant to look like it was the dress from the Sisterhood of the Travelling Bob Mackie that Ru, Lynda Carter, Beyonce and Cher all wore at some point that Lux recreated perfectly
Monica still looked good in it, her dressing up a look can be hit or miss but she looked gorgeous in that huge honey blonde wig – it’s definitely her colour but she tends to wear a lot of heavier black wigs.
Lastly we have Jaymes as Little Miss Queen of the Ring as a nod to her love of wrestling
I fully thought she was dressed as Carol Channing when she first came out and I’m sure Carol would win many a cage match.
Lala absolutely deserved her win and it was nice to see her excelling at an improv challenge given that she was eliminated for her last one – although I still think her caucasian pregnancy belly was the funniest part of that whole season 13 Bossy Rossy Disaster
but as for the bottoms – Kahanna was an obvious choice and then it was between either Kandy or Alexis. Personally, I would have put Kandy in the bottom 2, I didn’t find either hers or Alexis’s characters to be particularly funny but at least Alexis was consistent with her story and it just seems a bit too blatantly obvious that this was a Kandy push. I don’t even think she would have gone home if she was against Kahanna because that was beginning to feel like a hostage situation, and plus they’d brought Jorgeous back to remind everyone of what happens when you keep someone beyond their sell-by date
brace yourselves – they always bring an assassin or two back for the next season of All Stars and I’ll eat my hat if Jorgeous “Born To Do Drag” McJorgeous isn’t on the cast.
A Little More, A Little Lizzo
The lipsync assassin this week was obviously Jorgeous, who had come dressed like a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills about to do an ill-advised Paso Doble choreographed by whoever the Brendan Cole of Dancing With The Stars is
and Lala Ri had changed out of her Bootlegger outfit, which honestly probably would have worked great with this lipsync, into an outfit that felt Beyonce inspired in the way that any black and gold outfit with a blondish wig can feel Beyonce inspired
and they were facing off to Lizzo’s About Damn Time in what was a really strong match up, it’s got a good groove which is great for Jorgeous and she did great, delivering a stellar dip
but the effervescent fun of a Lizzo Lipsync suited Lala to perfection and she was just magnetic to watch so you kind of forgot that Jorgeous was skittering around the stage like a balletic praying mantis – although Lala didn’t hit the stunts quite as well, I fully thought she’d faceplanted because she’d got dizzy
someone get the emergency ice!
Lala did end up winning, bagging $10,000 and getting the priviledge of being the person that finally gets to mercy kill Kahanna
it was unfortunate that she never got another episode after the first one to really show off her performance skills again and given that the best thing she had to offer for the last 5 episodes were her runway looks, she’s a good addition to the Fame Games.
And so, 5 queen remain (when is the finale? Because the Fame Games voting starts on the 14th of July which means 3 queens get eliminated before then giving us an episode with just 2 queens competing? Unless it’s announced at a Reunion, in which case KimChiPopcorn.gif)
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