RuPaul’s Drag Race 12 – Gay’s Anatomy

The Aftermath : With sweet dumb try-hard Rock dispatched in a flurry of boo-hoos, sobs, gasps, tears and

one of the most drawn-out and incomprehensible mirror messages of modern times

(seriously, it’s uncanny), the remaining queens turned their minds to working out who to blame for the loss of the official woobie of the season so early. And the answer wasn’t Ru, or the other judges, or whichever tailor made that Basketball Wife look for Rock, or Brita for caving her skull in in that lip-sync in a needlessly aggressive manner, or even Rock herself, no the answer was

AIDEN’S WIG. The true villain of the season. The queens expressed their disdain for Aiden in a number of ways – Jackie and Jan via the medium of dirty looks, Brita via confessional, Widow in hushed gossip behind her back, and Jaida to her face, but one thing was clear – everyone is now out to get her. Except Heidi, who isn’t stupid, despite the folksy facade, and who knows what a mob-wielding pitchforks (even on behalf of Rock) looks like on tv, and so decided to airily talk about how she doesn’t know, she personally sees a fire in Aiden. As Aiden went off to the corner to have another nap presumably.

Also Nicky was very prideful to the girl’s faces about how having been in the top for the Ball had given her the confidence to show her goofiness and personality from now on, but then in confessional admitted she’s falling apart a bit because of the judges’ critiques. So either she was deliberately putting on a front or they edited together two clips from completely different points in the competition, because the Great Sherry Pie Editing Mess of 2020 has left them even more hard up for content than usual.

The Mini Challenge : This week’s mini challenge was for the sex-starved quarantine gays of America to see the Pit Crew dressed like this

and not die from testicular eruption. TOO MUCH! For the queens, there was no challenge – just a randomly assigned duel team captain role for this week’s main challenge – a medically themed scripted acting challenge. Here’s Jan’s face when she heard this week was an acting challenge.

Bless. Like a little dachshund sticking its head out of the car window. Anyway, Jan has a BFA, and you can all speculate on what that should actually stand for.

The randomly assigned captains were Gigi and Nicky (a rare instance of our fashion girls being asked to collaborate rather than compete), with pretty much their only job being to assign parts. Of course this is always the juiciest part of any acting challenge, drama wise (cf – Nina Bo’Nina Brown wanting to be Blac Chyna, Raven not wanting to be a chicken, Thorgy pouting over being Stevie Nicks, anybody who was assigned any role at all in Breastworld rather than them just cancelling the challenge entirely), so the table was set for wig snatchings a-plenty. Sadly though, designation went off with only a few small hitches. The main sources of drama? Widow and Sherry tussling over the role of the main character’s narcissistic mother, with Nicky and Gigi coming down on the side of Sherry

(how could they have known? How could any of us have known?) ; Nicky and Gigi pulling a Phi Phi and giving Aiden a spooky role she didn’t want because IT’S THE ONLY THING SHE’S GOOD AT NOW GO BACK TO CLAIRE’S ACCESSORIES WHERE YOU BELONG ; and Jackie (in the main role) not understanding why Jan wanted to take the part of said self same main role post-facelift, when the whole gag is that the main role post-facelift is supposed to look drastically different, and Jackie and Jan aren’t that dissimilar looks wise. I’ll give you a clue Jackie, the words are “main role”, and “Jan”.

The Rehearsals : After last episode’s absence, we actually got a walkthrough from Ru this week! Admittedly it was mostly

so she could flirt with Crystal some more. How many weeks away are we from her asking if she can smell that mullet? Two? Three? To be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if she goes full Delilah and chops it off and puts it in a little baggy to keep under her bed to give her strength. Ru poked a little at Widow (obviously still sulking over her role designation) and Aiden (“I’m not like these other girls, I’m not from big cities where they do acting skits based on Grey’s Anatomy in which two people are impaled on a giant cardboard fork all the time, I’m DIFFERENT!”) but why she was there really, ultimately? That hair. Anyway, here’s Jan’s face when Ru told everyone that this could be a real starmaking challenge (if the winner hadn’t been post-hoc disqualified for catfishing, fraud, drugging, and sexual assault)

terrifying.

Once on set, it became clear that whilst Gigi and Nicky had done their best to be as fair and generous as possible in giving out roles (except to Aiden, lol) they had accidentally managed to recreate a number of scene pairings (Widow/Nicky, Brita/Aiden, Jaida/The English Language Of Words As Spoken Out Loud Coherntly) that hadn’t worked in the last improv challenge, leading once more to bungled lines, awkward moments, and tensions all round. Most specifically in a truly iconic scene where Aiden complained bitterly to camera about Brita SPITTING ALL OVER HER whilst she was delivering her lines. And in case you didn’t know which side the editors wanted you to be on in this series’ most gloriously doomed hatemance, this confessional was then accompanied by a

slow motion video shot of Brita spittling everywhere, accompanied with doomy music. Cats in a sack, it’s wonderful. Maybe spitting everywhere is how you make it to the top in a big city like New York AIDEN, maybe that’s why you could nevah.

The Backstories : Another iconic moment in editing in a post Sherry Pie world here, as we got the following exchange

Jan : Sherry, my best friend who I’m trying to help get airtime, was your inspired performance as the awful deranged narcissistic mother in this challenge based in any way off any mother figures in your life?
Sherry : Not really, my own mother was very supportive of (*REST OF INTERVIEW ABRUPTLY EDITED OUT*)
Jackie

(*this shot is held for 10 seconds at least over DEAD SILENCE as Sherry no doubt prattles on about her wonderful family*)
Jackie : my mum made me be an unpaid medical intern for her, forcing me to collect stool samples for her to analyse in her lab, and banned me from pursuing my passion for dance, and doesn’t know I’m a drag queen!
Jaida : well hopefully she will see via this show that you are happy and successful in your life and tell you that (and hopefully on an Untucked, because there’s clearly not going to be a live final this yearm where Ru would have wrung this out like he’s clearly dying to wring his [PUNCHLINE REDACTED] out of Crystal’s mullet)

This then moved on to Widow talking about how her mother (the only really supportive member of her family) died in a car crash when Widow was 17, following an argument that Widow never got to resolve or apologise for, because this show never doesn’t escalate like that

The Performance : So, I have to say, that as scripted acting challenges on this show go, this wasn’t too bad! I don’t watch Grey’s Anatomy, but I think I got most of the archetypes down based on the performances, and whilst the script wasn’t really funny, the girls went over the top enough to make it camp, and I like that the producers allowed them to insert improv moments to keep things fresh. That said, there’s still no excuse for this

total Kahanna/Mercedes of a role, I think they had about two lines each. Crystal probably made the better of it, in that she didn’t just inappropriately reprise her performance from “The World’s Worst” again, as Heidi did (although given that Crystal’s performance in “The World’s Worst” consisted entirely of “stare off into space whilst Charo does the hoochy coochy”, that’s doubly for the best). Maybe “random patients impaled by a cooking utensil” had far more lines that got cut in the edit, who can say.

Of the main doctor roles, Sherry was clearly the best (oops again, you can’t say she’s not talented I guess, oh well, let’s all plough on through this series together), although of the two Meredith Grey(/Gay)s, Jan did better as she overacted


more, made a better choice of stupid voice to put on (no idea what Jackie was aiming for, it sounded like Janice from Friends meets The Great Gazoo), and didn’t get as thoroughly upstaged by her scene-partners as Jackie did. Indeed Jackie herself admitted that Gigi (the…ditzy beta Catherine Heigl doctor role?) completely subsumed her, with a stronger range of

funny faces

funny walks and

random cat licking. It always helps to have a prop. And a stage mom. Otherwise Widow (as a sassy back-talking pregnant woman) and Nicky (as her sour French baby) went exactly as it did in the last performance challenge – Widow completely obliterated Nicky, getting over her sour offstage attitude and turning it into on-stage magic, and Jaida (tyranical hospital supervisor/meta-comment on Shonda Rhimes) badly needs Cheryl Lee Ralph to come and tell her to put a cork in it (literally), as her lines still got lost in micropauses and weird enunciation. Importantly though, yes

she did channel Kenneth Williams at all times, even through the worst of her dry-mouthed flailing.

Most compelling though, in a truly weird way, was the pairing of Aiden (hypersexed terminal patient) and Brita (…I have literally no idea what Brita was supposed to be conveying, or was trying to convey, either one, no idea, she was a doctor, that’s about all I got out of her), by which I mean Aiden, by which I mean Aiden doing Alaska doing Mae West with a truly







endless array of mouth acting choices, with her One Wig showing through as roots the entire time, all culminating in

rampant SPECIAL EFFECTS and her yelling “EVER HAD SPOOKY SEX?!?!?!?!”. I mean, I’ll remember it, which is more than you can say about a lot of the performances in these challenges. She bought herself a week anyway.

The Runways :


Jaida Essence Hall : This is a cape


Spita : This is not a cape


Jackie Cox : This isn’t really a cape either but I appreciate the headdress


Jan : This is Jan trying far too hard as usual


Crystal Method : This is a cape


Heidi N. Closet This is a shower curtain


Aiden Zhayne : This at least trying


Widow Von’Du : God only knows what this is

The Lip-Sync : Those of you following my favourite c-tier unspoken storyline of the series (Jan is desperate for feedback, praise, attention, anything, and never ever ever gets it, ever) will be glad to learn that this week Ru basically just said “Sherry you win” then swept her off-stage with all of the other semi-competent performances without even bothering to talk to them. You could practically hear Jan screaming “AT LEAST TELL ME I WAS BETTER THAN JACKIE!!!” as she was dragged off. This left Jaida (ultimately safe because of her runway), Crystal (ultimately safe because she changed her make-up like Michelle told her to), and Brita (ultimately safe because they’re saving up for that Aiden vs Brita lip-sync, I still feel it a-coming down the track) briefly in danger, but not really, and a face-off between Heidi and Nicky to avoid elimination. And if Heidi had been eliminated here it really would have felt unfair given that she couldn’t really have made a lot more of her role, whilst Nicky could have, but mercifully she won the lip-sync face off (“Heart To Break” by Kim Petras) AND a superfluous vote of the bottom queens as to who should go home (in which Nicky voted for herself to leave, always a sure sign that someone wants to go home, smoke a gauloise and go on strike before their wardrobe of outfits from home really starts to wear thin). The lip-sync itself wasn’t hugely special, but Heidi gave you slow-splits, she gave you

floor work, and she gave you a much better sense of how to work the stage than Nicky, who remained resolutely low energy throughout.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll miss our French-Moroccan Fashion Maven, but there’s other more compelling stuff going on amongst the less secure queens at the moment. I think this series is doing something very interesting thus far, in that all of the queens that are either leaving or circling the drain (Rock, Nicky, Brita, Aiden, Crystal, Heidi) are getting much more developed edits than the queens that are doing well overall (Gigi, Widow, Jackie, Jaida, unavoidably Sherry) (Jan, of course, is sitting dead in the middle of the road frantically waving for any attention, good or bad). We’ll see if they keep rolling this out over the entire series and we end up caring about everyone or if it all falls apart and we get an endgame of queens who nobody really identifies with.

The Untucked : Jackie, Nicky, Jaida, and Brita all continued to pile on (guess who) AIDEN, Heidi continued to defend her adorably, and Jan and Widow capered around in the back enjoying it all far too much.

8 thoughts on “RuPaul’s Drag Race 12 – Gay’s Anatomy

  1. Matthew Thomas

    Another great recap, been binging on a lot of these whilst in lockdown. I also enjoyed this episode and liked the lipsync song which i’ve never heard before. Also trying to work out who Aiden reminds me of in drag, i’m getting a bit Rose McGowan, but it’s probably someone else.

    Reply
  2. Beyonce Castle

    Most of that runway was brought to you by Edna Mode.
    Rose McGowan Meets BabyJane Hudson Meets Jim Carrey Dumber.
    I shaved my eyebrow off at Xmas, never a good look.
    Au revoir Nicole.

    Reply
  3. Neio

    Brita really is insufferable, and that slow-no of her spittling everywhere was gross. I’m not even a big fan of Auden, but all of them piling on her is making me be on her side.

    Reply
  4. jgcameron1992

    If Michelle could also take some time to offer Trixie the same advice about her new eye make up , I would appreciate that because its AWFUL. Her eyes have actually vanished.

    Reply
  5. Sue Howarth

    This season really seems fun, I guess that having to botch together the edit means it does feel less contrived.
    I had thought we were seeing a lot of Aiden confessionals to fill the slot left by Sherry, but maybe she does have a big story arc. Certainly she was not terrible, OK so it was Alaska not May West, but that is not a bad idea, if you want to make a clear character, and you are not comedy/actor copy someone else who was successful, it is a good way of getting a pass. I was surprised she was in the top, was that a dig at Britta?
    You cannot imagine she will last long, but a clever choice in Snatch game might get her through another week, she does seems clever if not dynamic, AH Pearl parallels, surely not top 4

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      I’m sure they saw the opportunity this week of the “tops” being over half the cast to slide her in nicely.

      Reply

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