And the rest is hags…
1. So we began. And immediately as well, with no zombie aocalpyses, split premieres, Christmas miracles, scenic bus tours or Shangelas jumping out of boxes. Right into the workroom for the introductions. For some people this might be a relief, this treadmill sensation, a comfort that the show is back and rolling after a long (loooooooooong, too long) break, and a sign that the show is going “back to basics”. But…this show’s basics were a bunch of men in dresses pretending to sing pop songs in a thinly veiled parody of America’s Next Top Model with Vaseline all over the camera lenses. There are no basics to go back to. I want DRAMA and ARTIFICE and queens meeting up for the firt time in 6 year with the bitch who snatched their Miss Pacific Northwest pageant crown DAMNIT damnit. Form should meet function when the function is trying to find America’s most exciting entertainment-oriented transvestite. They could at least have had some killer robots with rainbow lasers or something. Although maybe I shouldn’t complain about lacking in artifice when the first long shot of the episode was this
Miss Fame dressed like a intimidating butt-plug.
2. Other highlights of the meet-and-greet were Ginger describing herself as an “overweight, asthmatic, chain-smoking crossdresser from Orlando, Florida” and “Glamourtoad”, Jaidynn casually cross-referencing three different previous queens immediately before Sasha claimed to be the show’s biggest superfan who had cracked the Drag Race Code (lol), Pearl’s Boy George inspired chin contouring, Violet effortlessly shading Jasmine’s naffness and Jaidyen and Ginger’s chub in one neat strafing motion (girl, I underestimated you), Mrs Kasha Davis referring to herself as an “international superstar” because she performed in Canada that one time, Katya’s glamorous look of total engagement with everything going on around her,
Jasmine eschewing a tagline catchphrase or physical signature in favour of screaming incoherently about how she’d MADE IT GIRLS WOO LET’S GET EXCITED (we’ll get that to that) and Kandy eschewing a traditional greeting upon seeing Tempest DuJour and instead asking how fucking old she was. But we’ll get back to that as well. Non-highlights were mostly limited to Tempest “hilariously” pooping a baby out which I’ve already complained about so…I’ll let Jaidynn cover it.
3. For those of you wondering what the new “hoo girl, you got SHE-MAIL!” is, after that catchphrase got nixed on taste and decency grounds…I have no idea. It sounded to me like “she laughing in her hair, and it hurt”. Whatever that might mean. Secretly I have to admit that I’m hoping it’s something far more offensive than that previous slice of trans-baiting, but in a language that none of us can understand, like Puerto Rican or Tammie Brown.
4. After last year’s run of generally crappy minichallenges (who could forget such classics as “cover yourself in paint and roll around on the floor”, “stroke a cantaloupe with fake nails on” and “shame women with masculine features”?) it was good to see this year’s run starting off with a bang (albeit a bang not featuring Mike Ruiz, which is always a pity) – a runway show, attended by Ru, Michelle, new judge Carson Kressley, Mathu, and Alaska Wintour.
Fierce. Contestants were challenged to show two different dresses, one representing their “Spring Collection” and one representing their “Fall Collection”. And as this was such a visual challenge, I present my favourite 7 and my least favourite 7 looks below :
8. Miss Fame’s Fall Look – nice hat
7. Katya’s Fall Look – and this is how you do furs Pearl, take note.
6. Tilda Swinton’s Fall Look – Tilda. Swinton.
5. Trixie’s Spring Look – What a doll.
4. Jasmine’s Spring Look – Real Housewives Of The WTA
3. Pearl’s Fall Look – it’s the walk (/saunter/disinterested shuffle) that really makes it though
2. Ginger’s Fall Look – glamourtoad indeed
1. Violet’s Fall Look – END THE RUNWAYS HERE, THIS IS THE PINNACLE.
8. Katya’s Spring Look – like the Babooshka video on LSD
7. Jaidynn’s Spring Look – Oooh good, an undiscovered outtake from Xtina’s Bionic album campaign
6. Mrs Kasha’s Fall Look – Zzzzzz
5. Jasmine’s Fall Look – It does not surprise me that this is what Jasmine thinks when she thinks “high fashion”.
4. Tempest’s Spring Look – Mmmm, that loft insulation brorange (also she totally almost fell over at the end of the runway, GET IT TOGETHER GRANDMA)
3. Kandy’s Spring Look – SHAVE, GIRL.
2/1. Sasha’s Everything – WHYYYYYY?
(An honourable mention must go to Kennedy’s Fall Look, which appeared to be “The torch of the Statue Of Liberty wearing marigold washing-up gloves”, and which hence defies ranking)
5. Speaking of visual challenges.
The one on the right yes? Fortunately this year the Pit Crew are no longer sponsored by Scruff, so there is no longer quite so much obnoxious woofing whenever they appear. Well…not on the show, anyway.
6. The…black-bar attire of the Pit Crew heralded the theme of this week’s main challenge – balls out nudity. The queens were challenged to create a resort-wear look from scratch that could then be peeled away to reveal a “nude illusion”. What counted as a nude illusion varied from queen to queen. Some of the skinnier girls just tucked and ran, working the androgynous angle for all it was worth, but for those contestants who don’t look like the offspring of a stick insect and a praying mantits (MISS FAME/VIOLET/PEARL) (or as Katya put it “I have the body of a 55 year old Irish rock climber, give me a break!”), they had to rely on nude-effecct body stockings. These body stockings came in a…variety of qualities, most obviously shown via Kennedy Davenport’s wonky nipple.
Don’t be shy nipple. You are amongst friends here. Come up to meet the light. Still, Kennedy found herself in the “top” group over far more deserving candidates (Max’s deranged capering polio chic, Katya’s nude Soviet Hippie, Pearl’s robotic Versase, Ginger’s perfectly judged proportions in and out of clothing) I guess because she just carries herself like a champion. Which, early on, as the obvious fodder ping pongs around, is all you really need. There was no doubting the winner though. As much as Miss Fame thinks she’s the Look Queen of the season, there’s only one victor from this almost entirely visual first episode. From resort
she was so burlesque as to make Ditta von Tease redundant. Well…more than she already is in this year of our lord 2015. It remains to be seen whether Violet is a performer at all beyond making cutting remarks backstage, but as far as fashion goes, this is the champion. Or at least until Michelle goes at her with a crowbar in a back-alley (THEY DO NOT LIKE ONE ANOTHER – I AM EXCITED)
7. The most marked difference between the pre-season and reality came from Jasmine Masters, who promised a snooze of a contestant in her audition tapes, but transformed into a sheer FORCE of obnoxious glee the second she entered the workroom, cackling such bon mots as “I am shitting out happiness up here”, “you see a little bitta tit, you see a little ass, and you see a little couscous” (?) and “no t, no shade, no pink lemonade”. In addition, her insane fandom of Kennedy already all but promises to make Joslyn Fox’s Courtney Act fandom look like a half-hearted flea-market Greatest Hits Of Album purchase and she delivered the following justification of her resortwear theme :
“It’s like a butterfly in a cocoon. So I’ll be like, some type of cocoon and it grows as I’m walking down the runway. I’m gonna grow, because the butterfly is actually in the cocoon. This is the cocoon.
And I’m the butterfly. You know how, like, a butterfly is in a cocoon? Every step I take down the runway, the butterfly inside is growing. So once it gets revealed at the end of the runway, the butterfly is there.” *makes a butterfly noise* (verbatim)
What a delightful halfwit. Trixie also grew on me this episode, not because I’m particularly excited by her Barbie Doll meet Bride Of Chucky act (I’m not really sure how much play it’s going to have over an entire series, although I did admire her creativity in working the hinges into her nude illusion), but because he is CUTE AND NICE so there. I felt compassion for him as he was telling the story of how his boyfriend’s mother told him to dump him because of his drag, and also kind of intrigued that it was the fact that it was CLOWN DRAG that offended her. Like, she would have been fine with it if he came out in a gay bar dressed like Miss Fame and danced for tips (Miss Fame incidentally was EXACTLY what I was expecting in that she said “my brand” and “trademark” every second whilst underwhelming as a performer and “look” entirely).
8. The Week In Michelle Visage Looking Pissed Off
9. So our elimination then. First of all, I have no idea how Sasha wasn’t in the Bottom 2. Her minichallenge looks were HIDEOUS and she turned up for the “nude illusion” challenge
WITH HER BLACK BRA SHOWING, HOW IS THAT A NUDE ILLUSION? I don’t care about her constant claims that she “misunderstood the challenge” (by the looks of it to mean “wear something beige”) she should have been down there. Not that Kandy Beard
(srsly) or Tempest covered themselves in glory, but I’m sure nobody would have objected to Ru calling for the show’s first ever three-way lip-sync. Really though the reason that Sasha was saved and Kandy and Tempest were forced to battle to the sounds of “Geronimo” by RuPaul (now available on iTunes) was because theirs was the signature feud of the first episode. Kandy called Tempest old and tacky and Tempest expressed bafflement that Kandy couldn’t sew and ratted out her rudeness on the runway to the judges. Such things are one episode storylines on reality tv made of. The problem with this storyline as presented was that it was impossible not to sympathise with Tempest, jut because she had so much endearing backstory behind her. She was an older queen following her dreams, she’d just lost 700lbs (or whatever), she and her husband had adopted two children and he just wanted to show them somebody on tv doing what they loved (although I think “I got to the point in my life where I decided my children were more important than a bucket of fried chicken” sounded more heartwarming in her head than it came out her mouth). I’m sure we were all rooting for her to destroy Kandy Ho, who seems like a dull bitch relying on sex appeal. Unfortunately Tempest sucked out loud on every level and Kandy wiped the floor with her. As a comedy queen she wasn’t funny, as a professor of costumery her outfits sucked, and as a drag queen she looked a bit like the end result of one of those “make over this UFC fighter/inspirational older gay” challenges.
And not one of the better ones. Before I root for someone to stay, there needs to be a base level of competence and judging from this showing…Tempest needs to cook a little longer and COMB HER WIG ONCE IN A WHILE AT LEAST FOR GOD’S SAKE.
10. From the Untucked Files :
- Jaidynn told us she was living for the runway
- No shit, Shangela
- Everyone congratulated themselves on not being the First Boot, like that means anything. Serena ChaCha wasn’t the first boot ladies, you can still be remembered solely as an embarassment to humanity.
- Katya revealed that the sole lighting in her apartment is a single candle, so the tricks can’t see her naked body. (<3)
- Nobody has a clue what Max’s “British” accent is about, not even Max.
- Everyone came for Pearl for being cold, stand-offish and uncaring. Pearl didn’t care (<3).
- Trixie Mattell told us all about her mashed dick.
- Santino was waved out of drag history with Ginger saying he was incredibly talented and Pearl saying he was one-dimensional. I think Ginger might have succesfully guessed he will be back as a guest judge, clever girl.
- Pearl just doesn’t feel very inspired by what Sasha does. Amen
- Swipe right
- Swipe right
- Swipe left
- Pearl has only been doing drag for one year and got on the show the first time she auditioned. NOBODY ELSE IN THE CAST IS AT ALL JEALOUS OF THIS AT ALL.
- YOU. ARE. MAKING. IT. WORSE.
- Anybody who believes this new Untucked format is in any way less artificial than the old version…they’ve also taken the word “gullible” out of the dictionary, so it’s been a big week for you all round well done.