At the top of Episode 2, we see the first signs of a clique forming: RoLaskaTox (Roxxxy Andrews, Alaska and Detox). Seeing as these are all strong contenders in the competition, I’m sure we’ll hear more about this alliance as the season goes on.
For this week’s mini challenge, Ru brought out a piece of plywood that looked like a bunch of glory holes on one side but had her own face painted multiple times on the other side with mouths cut out. The queens had to lip-synch one of 3 Ru Paul songs with just their lips showing. The winners, who became team captains for the main challenge, were Serena ChaCha, Detox, and Ivy Winters.
|if I ever make a non-low-budget music video, this tactic WILL be employed.|
As for the main challenge, the queens had to lip-synching confrontational scenes from past seasons of Untucked. And somehow when the teams got divided up, Serena and Jade ended up on the same team even though they hate each other.
During her workroom walk-around, Ru Paul paid homage to Lypsinka, a queen who was legendary for putting Betty Davis and Joan Crawford movie dialogue into her lip-synch performances (a technique that queens like NYC’s Logan Hardcore have put to good use). At the end of the walk-around, Ru said, “Now, I warned you this was going to be a lip-synch extravaganza!” Am I the only one who felt like this was the exact same set-up she’s always used to throw in an extra challenge in seasons past (usually a group number)? Well, it turns out there was an extra challenge, but more on that later.
Alyssa Edwards and Jinkx Monsoon played a confrontation between Shangela (remember how I said Alyssa and Shangela look alike… turns out Alyssa was responsible for Shangela’s first drag venture) and Mimi Imfurst. Alyssa was trying to rush through between takes and Jinkx was not having it! Shockingly, Serena’s team wasn’t so confident in her competence or creative choices in her portrayal of Season 3 winner Raja.
|poor, poor Sutan.|
On Ivy’s team, Lineysha, who was playing Season 2 winner Tyra Sanchez, was a bit over the top according to her teammates, but they couldn’t deny her spot-on performance. Monica, who was playing Jiggly Caliente, wasn’t focused and struggled through her scene with Coco, who played Lashauwn Beyond in the “Ru Paul’s Best Friend Race” scene. Apparently, Monica had a huge secret that she was hiding. She broke down right before the runway, but they wouldn’t say what the issue was.
Not much to report from Detox's team's filming, so let's skip to the runway, shall we?
My thoughts on those who stood out on the runway (in reverse order of sickeningness):
• Roxxy Andrews just didn’t do it for me. I feel like there were too many gaps in the body suit between the strings of beads. Plus her color was a bit strange to me (too monotone?).
• Ivy Winters’ stilts were stunning but awkwardly executed.
• Serena ChaCha finally looked like a drag queen in her Carnival outfit. But get some damn bloomers or a bikini bottom! You're from the tropics, for crying out loud!
• I liked Monica Beverly Hillz’s outfit, but she looked like a stick figure wearing it.
• Jade Jolie’s lion-tamer outfit was a hit, but her makeup missed the mark for me.
• Alyssa Edwards looked great in her sparkly black.
• Detox’s dark feathers worked perfectly with her severe makeup, which made her fake nose look very beak-like.
• With Coco's shoulder pads, leather, spikes, and black-and-red motif, I'm buying whatever she's selling!
The first video was from Serena ChaCha’s team, which included Roxxy Andrews, Jade Jolie, Alyssa Edwards and Jinkx Monsoon. My ranking of performances (best to worst): Alyssa, Jade, Jinkx, Roxxxy (we barely saw her!), Serena (what was up with the coughing?).
The second video was from Ivy Winters’ team. My ranking: Vivienne, Lineysha, Ivy, Honey (who comes in last because she had one of the most classic lines in Untucked history and she didn’t nail it: “Bitch, I am from Chicago!”). She had a lot of nerve thinking she would win the challenge.
The last video came from Detox’s group. My rankings: Dexox, Alaska, Monica, Coco (she was just way too much, and it was distracting).
The judges chose Ivy’s team as the winner and Lineysha as the individual winner. I totally think that Dexox’s group should have won. Individual winner: Detox.
During the critique, Monica Beverly Hillz came out as a transwoman in a very emotional confession. Ru Paul gave her an inspirational pep talk, but Monica ended up having to lip-synch against Serena. Oddly, they sang Rihanna with Serena wearing something Rihanna would have worn for a performance during on her first album and Monica wearing something I could see Rihanna wearing on her recent Loud tour.
Nobody was surprised to see Serena go home. Her message to the other queens: “Pick up a book and go read.”
|cover to cover, honey!|
During Untucked, we learned that there was an added challenge that had been edited out: the queens had to choreograph a lip-synch to a mash-up remix of quotes from previous season as group numbers. That’s why it felt like something was missing when Ru Paul, at the end of her workroom walk-around, said her line about the lip-synch extravaganza.
Also, Monica Beverly Hillz’s estranged mother made a video telling her how proud she was of her and how sad she was that she wasn’t around for Monica’s childhood (drug addiction). Not long after that, the queens all ganged up on Serena ChaCha, who lashed out and called the other queens ghetto and implied that they weren’t educated. The rest of the queens basically tore her a new one until she apologized and said she was intimidated by their experience.
Now, one thing that I do want to bring up is the trans issue. This isn’t the first time one of the Drag Race queens has come out as a transwoman (Sonique and Carmen Carrera come to mind), but, if I’m not mistaken, this is the first time it’s happened during the show. I’d imagine this would raise a lot of questions among viewers:
• Does a transwoman have an advantage over a man who does drag?
• Is it even drag/gender illusion when you consider yourself a woman?
• Can biological women be considered for Drag Race?
• What forms of plastic surgery are considered un/acceptable?
|the legendary Candis Cayne|
As for me, I think drag is an art that can express itself in several forms. Queens like NYC’s Ari Kiki with her hairy chest and facial hair to Tyra Sanchez who wears prosthetic boobs are all under the drag umbrella. Then you have people like Candis Cayne, who has transitioned into a rather stunning woman but still does lip-synch performances. Is she considered a drag queen?* What’s the line she draws between her performance and living her life as a woman?
Did Monica's revelation stir up questions for you as you were watching? What do you think about transwomen performing within the drag community? What are your questions? Post them in the comments.
And sidenote: check out Alaska's fashions as a boy. One thing I brought up in my interview with Sharon Needles was her out-of-drag wardrobe. It seems that Alaska has been taking notes because their boy styles are quite similar. Be on the lookout for cut-up tees with iconic female faces on them throughout the season.
|this is so #6 and #12 of Hommemaker's "Why Everyone Hates Couples"|
“I do Sharon all the time!” –Alaska
“You were like Chewbaca in drag.” –Santino
“I tried to tease, it, but I just pissed it off!” –Jinkx Monsoon (about her hair)
“Is that a prosthetic nose?” –Juliet Lewis
“Oooo! No she betta don’t!” –Ru Paul
“I need my asthma pump.” –Monica Beverly Hillz
*I wager you'd be quickly and harshly corrected if you called Candis Cayne or any other performer who lives their life as a different gender than they were born a 'drag' anything.