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« Box Office: I Feel Pretty, A Quiet Place, and More... | Main | Tribeca 2018: Obey »
Monday
Apr232018

Drag Race: "The Bossy Rossy Show"

by Nathaniel R

Do people even watch trashy daytime talk shows anymore? Haven't they all been replaced by trashy reality tv shows that follow shameless people around in their "real" life for full seasons rather than inviting them to walk on to humiliate themselves for a single episode? No matter. RuPaul's Drag Race revels in nostalgia week after week while simultaneously living in the now when it comes to drag trends (notice all the flat chests this year? An about face from the breastplate rage a few seasons ago). For this week's maxi-challenge the queens were tested on their improv skills as guests on "The Bossy Rossy Show." The show was curiously believable (i.e. it's easy to picture Ross actually hosting such a thing) but the skits were so bizarre (marrying a cactus? fear of pickles?) that it seemed less an improv challenge than a comedy skit-writing challenge. 

As a result the episode felt messy and forced as if all the contestants were nervously scrambling to reposition themselves as viable contenders given that each of their strengths and weaknesses seem almost shockingly visible now. And not just to our eyeballs at home, but there in the room, too...

You're a winner, baby
Eureka is still on a comeback roll and aced the challenge by rolling around on the floor with a baby tantrum in only a bib and diaper (!) in her skit about adults who think of themselves as "sexy babies" and I'm still typing this sentence because these words are absurd and it's such a damn weird thing to type out  that it suddenly feels possible that this episode was just an elaborate hallucination. The "sexy baby" joke was a not particularly funny sidebar in John Waters parade of perversions movie A Dirty Shame (2004) but a really funny sidebar on an episode of "30 Rock" so that joke about horny adults acting like babies can go either way.

The win of the episode though, at least for me, was what I hope was the end of the story arc of Vixen battling with both Aquaria and Eureka. The Vixen seemed slightly thrown that her multi-tasking animosity didn't pay off. Her attempts at sabotaging Eureka backfired with Eureka deservedly winning the challenge. Her attempts to humiliate Miz Cracker and Aquaria also fell flat when the jokes didn't land. (The thing is, I'm pretty sure that if the jokes had been funny Miz Cracker would have been the one laughing hardest because she doesn't take herself too seriously. People who have mastered that character trait seem happier in general, dont they?)

The mandatory workroom argument portion of the episode was far more interesting this time around. The Vixen's "100" mode was organically subdued by her stated efforts to ignore Eureka and her comment about not knowing how to get to "50" struck me as her most vulnerable moment, though I suspect she'd absolutely hate that choice of adjective. Nevertheless the arc of the episode and the fallout from their previous fight allowed for an interestingly low key discussion in which The Vixen remained largely inscrutable while Eureka babbled about her issues and than everyone watching could project whatever they wanted on to The Vixen while this was going on (and even, to a lesser extent on Eureka if they chose to view the babbling as not fully self-aware default mode not unlike The Vixen's battling, which I do). I haven't looked around but I'm sure people are projecting a lot on to this conversation whether or not any of it was actually there  -- human psychology is fun AND obnoxious that way. 

As an unapologetic fan of Eureka's drag gifts (I do not care that you find her obnoxious. Do not care!) and as someone who finds constant babbling easier to deal with on a human level than constant battling I was delighted to be surprised throughout this interaction and at the end result. The Vixen's refusal to indulge Eureka's silly request for a "hand-shake" (lol) struck me as admirable in its unfriendliness. And you won't hear me calling unfriendliness admirable very often! A hug or handshake would have been so phony and self-care is totally A+ cool so long as it isn't paired with meanness / needless escalation. So, for me at least, they were both winners in this episode. (Plus they both served it on the runway)

Sashay away
Mayhem Miller, who had failed to ever really wow this season, was sent home after another undeniable lipsynch from Monét X-Change. Even if Monét is in the bottom every episode going forward it's hard to imagine her ever being sent home because she's so ALIVE during the lipsynchs... If only she would bring that much wit and fire into the other portions of the competition! 

Quotable Bitch
[On Fighting] “I'm not going to be any part of that. My teeth were too expensive” -Asia O'Hara.

Name dropping
Guest judges were actress Carrie Preston (yes!) and country superstar Shania Twain. Pop culture references this episode: Geraldo Rivera, Little House on the Prairie, Tina Turner in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Dolly Parton, Tanya Tucker, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Honey Boo Boo, Elvis, "Rhinestown Cowboy," Designing Women, "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend,"  Niecy Nash, and barbie dolls. 

Rankings
Shifts from last week indicated with arrows...

PREDICTION PREFERENCE
Subject to change as we get to know them
1. Miz Cracker 1. Monique Heart
2. 🔺 Eureka  2. Eureka 
3.  Asia O'Hara 3. 🔺 Miz Cracker
4. 🔺 Monique Heart 4. Asia O'Hara 
5. 🔺 Aquaria 5. Monét X Change
6. 🔻 Blair St Clair 6. Kameron Michaels
7. The Vixen 7. Dusty Ray Bottoms OUT
8. 🔻 Monét X Change 8. 🔺Aquaria
9. Kameron Michaels 9. 🔺 The Vixen 
10. Mayhem Miller OUT 10. Yuhua Hamasaki OUT
11. Dusty Ray Bottoms OUT 11. 🔻Blair St Clair
12.Yuhua Hamasaki OUT 12. 🔻 Mayhem Miller OUT
13. Kalorie Karbdashian Williams OUT 13. Kalorie Karbdashian Williams OUT
14. Vanessa Vanjie Mateo OUT 14. Vanessa Vanjie Mateo OUT

 

Gif as episode grade

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Reader Comments (16)

miss vaaaanjie might've been the first queen sent home but her name remains a constant presence in the workroom, so there's no way she should be ranked last

miz cracker's reveal of her buck teeth on the runway was funnier than anything else in the rest of the episode, plus dr dill was a well thought out performance - she was robbed [ahem, loudest isn't the same as funniest]. she's my ride or die pick for the whole shebang [personbang]

i wonder how cameron feels about shania today..?

April 23, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterpar

At the risk of repeating myself, Monét is being in danger of appearing more and more like a second-rate Bob. Right now, I don't see a lot that she has left to bring to the competition to make me root for her except those confessionals.

Kameron's fake tits on the runway were... well... they made me question my sexuality more than anything else I've ever seen on this show. Or anywhere else.

Eureka deserved this win, but I really, really want to see Miz Cracker finally win a challenge, as well. She increasingly emerges as the best of a very fine batch of queens, and I think she is the only one who hasn't mis-stepped once. (Well, thinking about it, Blair probably hasn't mis-stepped either, but Miz Cracker is on another planet than Blair.)

And wasn't that lip synch surprisingly meh, considering how much these two bitches killed on their respective other lip synch this season? Monét did a shtick, but it didn't really fit the song as well as it did last week.

April 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMrW

par - I agree, I feel Miss Vanjie made more of a presence in her one episode than any of the other eliminated queens did in their allotted episodes. I like her more and I only got one episode with her.

Am i the only one feeling like drag race is really missing the mark this season? like, the usual formula is there and but i just feel so apathetic towards the whole thing

April 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

Par I am of the opposite, I think the longer running time has made me enjoy this season more than Seasons 7 through 9. The editing isn't as weird as it was in those seasons (remember that weird bit where they showed Max sitting down and singing during the judging out of the blue!) , we get a mini- challenge and real runway every episode and I have no idea who will end up in the top 3 at this point in the game and I like pretty much all the contestants left on some level.

April 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRami

Sorry the reply was meant for Phillip, not Par.

April 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRami

Cracker is robbed second week in a row. Period.

April 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSTFU

I thought Kameron would be in the top this week over Monique (love her but she had a bad runway again) or Cracker (ducks. I like her too but I thought the pickle bit didn’t actually work that well in practice even if her writing was clever). Kameron is great with looks and characters (twice with characters—-but not being the straight-man/narrator) but she never gets recognized which seems odd. Eureka was funny in the skit and I liked the theming/tie-In with her runway but not so much the look itself.

Agree that Monét is set up as the lip sync assassin this season. I think Vixen should have been in the bottom this week (most awkward skit performance) but my guess is they wanted Mayhem to go home and they knew Monét would beat her. While it was certainly entertaining Monét struggled a little with the costume in the lip sync which was awkward to watch. A good episode and I still like most of these queens. (Seriously want deck-of-cards Monique back!)

April 23, 2018 | Unregistered Commentercatbaskets

I'm a little more than frustrated that the show chose to focus on the mostly catty argument between Eureka and The Vixen instead of the substantial and much needed conversation that occurred from The Vixen and Aquaria's situation a few weeks back. And the specific conversation about race in regards to Aquaria's behavior has yet to be mentioned again. By comparison, this rivalry is just noise when the necessary conversation got dropped like a hot potato.

But this does remain one of the very best casts in the show's history. I love everyone, even though I'm still waiting on Blair and Kameron to catch my attention. Just when I think Monique can't endear herself to me anymore, she's goes and has the brown cow bit.

April 23, 2018 | Registered CommenterChris Feil

Monique Heart is killing it. Did not pick her as a standout from the jump but she's exceeding expectations every single time. Others (Dusty, Mayhem, Asia, Monet) are stumbling hard on the expectation management front.

The Vixen's attitude confuses me but I love her drag. The peacock look was one of my favorites and her denim look was this week's best. Impeccable from head to toe. Trixie Mattel WISHES.

I obviously enjoy Blair more than you do-it's refreshing to see a young queen who's not jaded. Aquaria is so affected and Blair is the perfect counterweight.

Cracker: Imagine diluting Katya's wit with Sasha Velour's self-seriousness. Not a winning combination.

April 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHayden

Monique is consistently being overlooked which makes me nervous for her. She deserved the win this week but ah well. She’s also total Miss Congeniality material.

April 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Rech

I also can't watch another Monet Exchange outfit disintegrate during the course of a lip sync. Last week it was fun and forgivable. This week it was a hot mess. Your screengrab sums it up perfectly—better than Mayhem but still not my cup of tea.

April 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHayden

I think Miz Cracker is very, very witty, but I keep thinking that there's something lacking in her delivery of her lines. Her Dr. Dill said all the right things, but in such a muted, monotone way. It reminded me of a high school play, to be honest. Am I the only one? Otherwise, I do agree she's very talented.

Monique Heart is funny and was my favorite, but she seems to be getting louder and louder as she vies for attention. I'd also agree with the judges-- her two 2-in-1 looks have each been made up of two looks that have nothing in common. I worry there's a deficiency in taste level.

I find these queens all very interesting to watch, but their performance has been somewhat disappointing. Every week, I like this season less and less. This season needs a Eureka-sized Rudemption.

April 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

This is actually the best regular season since 6 so far. Kudos to the producers for (probably unintentionally) course-correcting from AS3.

April 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBD

We've had at least 2 iconic lip syncs by episode 5, which makes this season already way ahead of season 9 :)

April 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRami

@Rami: Well, season nine had at least two iconic lip syncs, although admittedly, in both of them, props stole the show: Sasha Velour's rose petals and Valentina's mask.

April 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMrW

This episode was a letdown.

None of the skits made me laugh (Blair and Monique's was the best, but still, all it did was make me smile a bit). Eureka performed well and deserved the win, given the lot of lackluster performances. At least she was committed and capitalized on her own personality (annoying, loud and spoiled) for comedic effect.

The runway was also uninspiring, but the denim and diamonds theme was probably never going to produce a gag-worthy batch of looks.

Finally, the lip-sync was a bit dulll. Funny that Mayhem and Monet had two great lip-syncs in a row and, when pitched against each other, neither particularly shined. In the end, it was a toss up, and I think they kept Monet because she brings more to the show, personality and entertainment wise.

April 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCarmen Sandiego

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