Ten things I loved in this episode.
1. The Library : Because reading is fundemental. The library round is always the slightly woozy hangover to the ebullient party of Snatch Game, the point of it being to insult your fellow competitors in the most creative and cutting way possible. Notable fwipeouts this go around included Trinity and Laganja (no surprise on either account) but I’ve included a selection of choice cuts below :
Bianca to Joslyn : You’re so gay, even your ass has a lisp
Bianca to Adore : I know what you got on your SATs…ketchup.
Adore to Laganja : Next time you death-drop, reverse it and drop dead.
Courtney to Joslyn : When we need a low rent version of Courtney Act, we’ll let you know (mostly I enjoyed this one because it’s a rare case of someone referring to themselves in the third person AND in the third person plural at the same time)
Joslyn to Adore : You know you’re from the west coast, because it’s a three hour delay before you finally get the joke.
Ben to Darienne : Your jokes are like UFOs : they’re way out there and I’ve never seen one land.
2. Darienne’s Shade : Not only was Darienne Lake a worthy winner of the Library challenge with her neat take-downs of Adore (dumb), Ben (arrogant) and Milk (useless) performed in flamboyant style, but her bitchiness played a major role in the rest of the episode as well. As winner of the challenge Darienne was given the power to handpick her team for the week’s main challenge – a rap battle. She used this power to snub Ben, despite his performance background, partly because white-bread musical theatre edgefree BenDeLaCreme has about as much place in a rap battle as Morgan McMichaels would in a deportment contest (dat scoliosis walk <3) and partly as revenge for Ben strutting around the workroom five seconds after Gia’s departure asking *innocently* who won the premiere challenge she wasn’t present for. Just so that she could be sure she was the only person who’d won two challenges so far. Ben, for whatever reason, could not handle being snubbed, and spent the whole of the rest of the episode melting down like Gollum, as Darienne swanned around with a smug look on her face. Some people have taken this as an excuse to call Darienne Lake “bitter” (maybe) and “the new Delta Work” (NO). Personally it just made me laugh my ass off.
3. Milk’s Rap Dance : It should be said that the challenge this week wasn’t just a rap battle, it was a 90S rap battle. The era of Salt N Pepa, Da Brat, Monie Love and Foxy Brown. So the queens were required to bring a certain cartoonish street style to their performances. Several of them just about pulled it off. Despite their overall lacklustre performances Laganja, Trinity and Ben at least had the vibe down, and even Darienne’s trashbag look had a certain tragic appeal to it. Milk on the other hand turned up dressed like she was about to teach a zumba class for troubled teens down at the YWCA and danced around like another icon of 90s culture : Blossom. Special guest judges Eve and Trina found it charming. Special guest judges Eve and Trina weren’t in their 5th consecutive episode of…Milkiness.
4. Bianca’s Heart Of Gold : I’ve enjoyed Bianca up until now, but it wasn’t until this episode that she finally took it to the next level and captured my heart. This episode being when she finally started working the angles properly to propel her to the win, as she started to display the Heart Of Gold underneath her bitchy exterior. Lending Adore her cincher, reminiscing with Trinity about a friend she knew who died due to his shame at being HIV+, . It’s all so perfectly timed, as we hit the halfway point that I can both enjoy it on its own merits AND see it as a cynical piece of gameplaying. AND she’s not abandoned her old ways such that she can’t call Adore out for being dumb or ask Trinity what it is exactly that her talent is supposed to be.
5. Joslyn’s Rap Attitude: Joslyn continues to put in strong work in challenges whilst receiving a pretty undercover edit. We didn’t even see her rehearse, perform, or talk about her portion of her team (The Ru-Tang Clan)’s work, but she was by far the strongest of them, and wound up deservedly in the top when it came time to divide up the hot rap from the lukewarm crap. She had good attitude and nice attention to detail (that drawn on curl <3) and really I think the only thing holding her back from the win was her over-accessorised “Kitana from Mortal Kombat goes to Mardi Gras” look on the Main Runway. At this point I’m convinced that she’s doomed to 6th place like other Monkseal blog Drag Race favourites Jessica Wild, Shangela, Willam and Alyssa Edwards (NB : Only some fiddling with the awful “returning queen” twist was done to arrive at these placements) and can only hope that more attention is paid to her and less to Trinity’s seemingly endless moping.
6. Adore’s Panty Ho : Despite Bianca arguably outshining her on the runway with her 60s J-Lo couture and less harsh eye make-up, Adore took home this week’s win easily, meaning Ben can rest easy still being the only two-time winner in the cast. Adore clearly got what was required of her from the off, putting together a great butch look (such a rarity) and carrying off her rap with aggression and charm. That charm also probably played a large part in the win in a different way, in that her patented on-take Adore flubs were hand-waved away by Special Guest Judges Eve and Trina mostly due to her charisma and star-power, and they reported back to Ru that she had been 100% perfect from the second she entered the rehearsal room. This in turn enraged Laganja who spluttered that she thought that Adore would have been in the bottom because she FLUBBED UP REHARSALS (…about as often as Laganja did) to a disbelieving Ben and Courtney. A disbelieving Ben and Courtney who then both in their own chirpy way told Laganja to shut up because Adore was clearly going to win. At least Laganja made her issue with Adore clear this week – she’s fed up with someone she considers to be one tier below her finishing two tiers above her. And she also remembered what it was that Adore said that upset her so much on a personal level. It was that she wanted to win. So I’m glad we got that cleared up.
7. Courtney’s Bedtime Look : The most memorable look from this week’s runway (with the theme of Crazy Sexy Cool) (ie no theme at all) (and a theme that seemed to change to “accentuate your favourite body part” in time for Untucked) was obviously Courtney’s bedtime couture. Referencing high-fashion and her own sleepwalking through the competition, Courtney came out wrapped in a duvet dress clutching a teddy bear and wearing a face-mask, all of which she stripped away to reveal the tiniest of lingerie. It was a strong look, but it pushed Ru into telling Courtney that she was “resting on pretty”. Incidentally I wish that phrase had been used way back in the early days on this show when its status as a parody/callback to America’s Next Top Model would have made even more sense. At any rate this jibe left Courtney feeling slightly put-out and confused as to what to do. I hope it’s a wake-up call to her to step up and be more memorable, because Courtney’s brand of slightly-off putting delusions of grandeur is so much more appealing to me now it’s clear that she’s an upper mid-tier contestant, and not a total ringer as it appeared at the start of the series.
8. Gia’s Letter : It was kind of a bland episode of Untucked truth be told, with none of the queens really coming for one another too hard, apart from the usual round of eye-rolling at Trinity’s weekly pity party. So the show fell back on two time-tested methods of getting footage to pad out the 20 minute running time : Drag Queen 20 Questions and the bitchy letter from a departed queen (last seen on this show emanating from the pen of…that treasure Kenya Michaels) . And of the two, whilst watching Ben huff that Darienne was MEAN and Courtney dismiss Joslyn as a cheap-looking man was undoubtedly illuminating, it was Gia’s Letter that was the episode highlight. Mostly because it was being read out by Bianca, which meant that the cheap barbs and swears for effect were being delivered by somebody with a sense of comic timing rather than…Gia Gunn. Gia calling Joslyn “Jizzlyn” and waffling on about how Lagnaja is “theboots.com” (?)? Not funny. Bianca doing it, making sure to throw in plenty of asides about how Gia was a dumb cooze who JUST GOT ELIMINATED? Hilarious. I only wish she’d made more of the fact that Gia had opened the letter with “you’re are all dudes”. I mean…really.
9. Trinity’s Lip-Sync : I do wish that Trinity had come back to Bianca’s asking her what she did successfully on the show with “lip sync”, because it’s undoubtedly her strongest suit. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a queen who is otherwise fairly forgettable cake-walk two lip-syncs in the same season. Of course she had the advantage of it being to “What A Man” and of course her roomy hippy themed outfit was much more suitable for performing in (although part of that is because her outfit was much better in the first place and not held together with safety pins and sellotape WITH THE WIG NEARLY FALLING OFF AGAIN FOR THE THIRD WEEK IN A ROW MILK JESUS CHRIST) but she was genuinely sexy and there was a wholly thought out performance there not just…jumping up and down and pulling faces. I know the lip-sync fireworks only really get going in the second half of the series (unless you’re Dida Ritz and you’re in front of Natalie Cole and damnit you just can’t help it) but it’s going to be a brave drag-queen who tries to take Trinity down, whenever her last LSFYL is going to be.
10. Milk Going Home : Lol bye.