10 things I loved from the second episode of this Rupersized week of drag racing.
1. The Aftermath : Just in case you thought that all of the drama produced by the pairs challenge last week would be put to bed, the antics of the contestants as soon as they returned to the workroom afterwards should have put you right. Ben weeping in confessional about the horrors of almost going home, then thanking everyone who “gasped in horror” at the idea of her being beaten by Darienne ❤ Courtney apologising/”apologising” to Joslyn for putting her down, offering to let her borrow her stuff, then getting told off by Joslyn for being patronising ❤ Laganja screeching at everyone for not congratulating her enough for “winning” the challenge last week ❤ This all being soundtracked by the groans, grunts and gurgles of an entire room of men loosening their corsets ❤
2. Adore Eating Her Own Eyes : This week’s mini-challenge involved the queens sticking googly eyes and carpet fluff to their chins and lip-syncing to a song whilst upside down. Seriously, the mini-challenges have degraded so much this year and are now operating on the level of “things you do on a rainy February Sunday afternoon to amuse yourself”. I can’t wait for next week, when Courtney gets to decide who sits in which seat for the “Drag Loose Women” challenge because she’s the best at drawing spunking cocks on the window in condensation. Whilst Joslyn was the best, and Trinity’s chin looking uncannily like Vivacious’ face was amusing, the undoubted highlight was Adore’s googly eyes falling off into her mouth because she hadn’t applied enough adhesive. Genuinely unnerving.
3. Darienne’s Classic Stand-Up Stylings : For winning the mini-challenge, Joslyn got to assign the order of ceremonies for this week’s stand-up comedy challenge. People in this position always end up being chided by the judges for not being sufficiently Macchiavellian even when they’re normal, let alone wide-eyed butter-wouldn’t-melt sweetheart of the century Joslyn Fox. Needless to say Joslyn agonised for half the episode over the morals of the situation before ultimately making two correct decisions – putting the best queen on last, and putting Darienne on first. It was very smart to stick Darienne out there to warm the crowd up, given that she has easily the most conventional sense-of-humour and could easily get the crowd of coot senior citizens going with jokes about her being fat, not going to the gym, being fat, getting dropped on her head as a child, and being fat. It was a welcome return to form for Darienne after weeks of nonsense, albeit probably a little too late in the grand scheme of things.
4. Bianca Reading Santino : Bianca winning the Stand Up Comedy challenge is the most obvious challenge result since professional celebrity impersonator Chad Michaels winning Snatch Game no? I know they tried to make it a little less obvious by not having it specifically be a roast like last year but, after some superficial ethnic comedy about her own roots, Bianca turned it into one anyway, blitzkrieging the audience and then turning her guns on the judges, mocking Michelle for always having her boobs out and Santino for losing Project Runway. Santino always acts so damned sour about getting mocked in these challenges that I’m glad that here finally was someone who could do it professionally and neatly, rather than futz it up like Ivy Winters did last season.
5. The Heckler : Let’s be clear here, Ben should have been in the Bottom 2, because that stand-up routine was amongst the worst 45 seconds of my life as a television viewer. I’m not even sure what he was going for but the babbling stream of consciousness nonsense jokes about Seattle felt a bit like that scene in Magnolia where the quiz show host has a stroke in the middle of presenting a live show. Although at least the quiz show host has the good grace to collapse in the middle and stop it. (Laganja’s also would have been in the bottom 2 on the grounds that it wasn’t even a stand-up comedy routine). I mean…people say Darienne was too mean for that “A HO HO HO WHAT A THIGHSLAPPER” read in the workroom when Ben was pontificating about his routine being a “blanket narrative” but then Ben ACTUALLY STARTED PRODUCING THAT PRETENTIOUS WAFFLE ON STAGE so frankly, Darienne was right. So thank god for that heckler yelling “TELL US A JOKE!”. I hate hecklers generally but frankly that was the verbal slap in the face Ben clearly needed to Just. Stop.
6. Adore’s Potty Mouth : Adore’s routine was the perfect example of how she’s just coasting through the competition on her star-power, because it was literally just a minute of her yelling “MY MOTHER’S A FUCKING WHORE! BIG BLACK COCKS!” like Sarah Silverman but without the punchlines, and pulling stupid faces. And I laughed anyway because, you know, it’s Adore. I can see why she’d be upset at the judges for thinking they’re implying that she’s all star-power and no actual talent but hey, it’s better than being none of either. Magnolia.
7. The Redemption Of Trinity K Bonet : Geez, I know it was over the top and corny as hell, but I loved RuPaul going the full tears, hand-clutching and REDEMPTION ARC CLOSED mile when she was telling Trinity that she had finally overcome her own inner saboteur and shone in a challenge, as she finished a nice third with her Tales Of Ghetto Life stand-up routine. I mean…we all know what happens when a redemption arc ends, so Trinity probably should be more worried than pleased by RuPaul giving it the full Lifetime Movie treatment, but her jokes were genuinely warm and funny and she should get many bonus points for bringing the audience back to their feet after the unmitigated disaster that was Laganja’s routine (OH KOOOOOOOY). So good for her. It should also be mentioned that both this week and last week Trinity rose to the top by “going hood” and that this only consolidates my opinion that Bianca Del Rio is always right.
8. The Double Death-Drop : The lip-sync this week was understandably quite anaemic. By the time she’d been dragged through Untucked Laganja was clearly a raw exposed nerve who didn’t want to do anything other than crawl into a corner with a joint, and “Stupid Girls” by P!nk isn’t really classic lip-sync material to begin with. Joslyn did her best, and clearly deserved to stay, but the sole highlight was obviously the DOUBLE DEATH DROP, with both Laganja and Joslyn dropping into the splits and hitting the floor at the same time. Close viewing of the episode will show that Laganja clearly cued it up, hopping around on one leg with the other stretched up above her head for a clear second or two until Joslyn got the hint, but really expecting Laganja to be spontaneously amazing in any way is hoping for too much. Laganja then went on to do about another 12 death-drops…well, because that’s how Laganja rolls.
9. Joslyn’s Boyfriend : 95% of Untucked was…well we’ll get to it in a minute, but let’s just say that there needed to be some positivity to cut through the unrelenting pile-on, and it came from an entirely expected source : Joslyn Fox. Buoyed in on a sea of Jennifer Lopez references, her boyfriend appeared via video to tell Joslyn to let herself cry over her nephew’s death (?) and that if she won and got the attendant prize package (whatever that is this series : 3 packets of crisps and a book of cosmetics product coupons) then they would definitely get married. Joslyn of course cried rainbows and giggle-snorted everywhere and was generally adorable and straightforward (also amazing of Joslyn this episode : her accidentally insulting Trinity and Adore in the space of about 5 minutes). Like when Laganja got her message from her parents, Courtney made a joke about how Joslyn clearly wasn’t going to win to cut the treacle. Unlike when Laganja got her message from her parents, Joslyn didn’t melt down for the rest of the episode. The Joslyn for Miss Congeniality bandwagon rolls ever onwards.
10. The Laganja Pile-On : And now for what we all came for. It started on the main show, with Ru almost going full Series 1 Reunion on Laganja when the self-pity got a little too much. But the main show came backstage on Untucked, as a slight joke by Courtney about Laganja’s “Laganja Voice” opened the floodgates, with Trinity, Joslyn, and Darienne all joining in to agree that it was an abomination that needed to be destroyed. THEN, when they moved rooms to allow Joslyn’s video to be shown the main event started, with both Bianca and Adore turning both barrels on her and telling her that was a phony and full of shit and a professional victim and putting on an act, until Laganja ran out of the room crying (in a giant pink wig). Then finally, to bury her utterly, the mic picked up her begging “please don’t send me home, please don’t send me home”…seconds before she actually got sent home. It wasn’t quite Serena Cha-Cha’s evisceration, but there aren’t many other that come close.