RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 4, Episode 2 – WTF

After a staggering premiere full of zany realness, it’s perhaps not uncalled for that the sophomore episode would chug along at a slightly less energetic pace. Still, with a signature bootleg-yet-charming mini challenge where the contestants literally stuff their booties, and a main challenge requiring the creation of wrestling versions of their drag personas, it’s easy to forget these bitches still needed to walk the runway, ummkay girl!

As with last week, I’m rating this episode using BTYM’s incredibly advanced Drag-o-Meter system. What werqed and what didn’t? What crazy quotes to Ru manage this time?Oh, and side note: I’m including the content from RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked, which is the half hour behind-the-scenes show that airs immediately after the main competition episode. It’s a source for most of the catty comments and is sort of a more insider look at what goes on.

1/5: Here’s where the show could stand to improve a little. I know, it’s asking a lot from a show on a shoestring budget, but some things just can’t be overlooked. That’s why I give them a To Wong Foo, Thanks for Nothing, Julie Newmar!

  • Madame LaQueer immediately cites a supposed ankle injury not 30 seconds into brainstorming with team Chad Michaels.
  • Madame LaQueer, not 30 seconds into wrestling, flashes enough butt cheek to require blurring.
  • Ru’s runway gown. Do not like.
  • It was not really ever explained where the wrestling uniforms came from. Surely they didn’t sew them, what with the difficult fabrics and all. This could have been a throwaway explanation, so maybe I missed it.
  • All of the non-winning girls say that if someone has to go home, it would be Jiggly. Don’t these queens ever watch this show? Ganging up on someone always results in that girl feeling strengthened and lasting for at least 2 more episodes. Plus, the judges never agree to send home the person the contestants want, because they perceive it as jealousy.

2/5: OK, girl, we’re starting to get somewhere. You could maybe argue that RPR is at its most entertaining when it tries ever so hard, yet still can’t shake the obvious cheapness of it all, in a good way. With a smirk and a wink, I’m rating these instances a You bettah work!

  • The girls all vote to hypothetically exchange Jiggly Caliente (who didn’t get sent home) with Alisa Summers (who did). Mean. Especially since Alisa was pretty boring to begin with.
  • In reference to who’ll be good at the main challenge, Willam initially claims he’s well known for “falling, stairs, I do everything.” On television apparently. What the balls does that mean?
  • “Well, Princess is good in closed captioning.”
  • Lashawn Beyond gets the serious “too quiet” edit, and I just…do not care. I guess in wrestling being loud matters, but we need more drama than this!
  • Jiggly Caliente’s name should obviously have been some slutty derivation of Jigglypuff, the adorable Pokemon, but no one has yet recognized this.
  • It’s not such an exciting thing to watch, but seeing the girls in the process of their makeup really gives you an appreciation for how much work goes into transforming a man’s face into a woman’s.
  • Madame LaQueer and Chad Michaels rightfully win the group challenge and receive as prizes, what else, wigs. They deserved more. They dont even get immunity.
  • The Princess doesn’t attempt to feign a higher voice, which comes off as lazy. Her makeup doesn’t even seem that transformed either.
  • DiDa Ritz’s outfit is pretty boring, but I see where she was going.
  • Is Sharon Needles intentionally channelling Jorja Fox?
  • Though it’s only the second episode, Latrice Royale doesn’t know Jiggly’s real “boy” name.
  • The whole Jiggly intervention / screaming match / “believe me, ho, I know how you feel” part was just so tiring. I think the editing wants us to believe Jiggly had some kind of breakthrough, but honestly I don’t think she’s that smart. It was shade without being funny.

3/5: RPR strikes a delicate balance. It’s full of dichotomies. Feminine/Masculine. Performance/Audience. Autobiographical/Fictional. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s going on, if you know what I mean. It’s a real case of you be the judge. So for these the Drag-o-Meter registers a neutral, unspoken [snaps!]

  • Phi Phi O’Hara’s team’s idea is that they were given the wrong hormones and ended up growing beards. Which is…an interesting back story.
  • The guest judges (Rick Fox and John Salley, actual sports people apparently) are totally random, but it’s commendable they’d come on this show? Or are we beyond that? No, no we’re not.
  • When Willam is announced as safe she immediately and curtly says, “bye,” and walks away. She clearly thinks she should have won.
  • As previously mentioned, the Lip Sync For Your Life is a pretty novel concept. However it frequently showcases the dancing talent and little else, often allowing an otherwise boring performer to outshine whoever did better in every other way. Case in point, Princess beats Lashawn at the last second. Still, it’s like the only time we see them dancing.
  • Chad Michaels had silicone injections (which he describes as “not surgery”) when he was 21! What he described sounded horrific, requiring corrective procedures. It was only mildly inspirational since, you know, she didn’t “need” injections in the first place. She really does look like Cher, though.

4/5: Alright, now we’re really starting those engines! I can hardly contain the excitement, what with the fake boobs here, the double entendres there, and everywhere else a caustic sarcasm choking the air. This is where the real meat of RDR lives, and that’s why we’re gonna go ahead and call it a Heyyyyyyyy Girl!

  • Ru ends the intro video with an in-character plea for her attacker to, “Not the face. Please, just not the face.”
  • “When drawing your ass, always start with the shape of Africa,” someone helpfully says during the booty-stuffing mini challenge.
  • The drag equivalent to the WWF and other 3 letter wrestling acronyms is “WTF” which at first I took to mean “World Tranny Federation,” but it’s actually “Wrestling’s Trashiest Federation.”
  • Madame LaQueer reveals she doesn’t really speak with her family, citing her fellow drag performers as her real family, and Chad starts crying. Or maybe it was rouge in his eyes. Either way, cute.
  • “My look today is rich bitch mistress realness,” Willam explains.

5/5: At last we arrive at the creme de la creme of drag. The apex. The pinacle. The other metaphors for top things. Here’s where you just double over in laughter at all of the zany antics and unbelievable jabs. Where do these girls get this? Who is making this show? It deserves an Emmy because, girl, it’s full-on Sickening!

  • Madame LaQueer stuffs her butt with a styrofoam head.
  • Milan dresses up (down?) for the mini challenge by donning oversized red granny glasses, gaudy gold chains, and dangling a cigarette just on the edge of falling off her lips. It’s hilarious.
  • The main challenge is brilliant. The girls split up into 3 teams of 4 and must come up with wrestling personas, which are themselves iterations of their drag personas, which are yet still variations on their non-drag “boy” selves. The layering of fakeness is staggering. They have to choreograph not only the antics in the ring but also the fighting backstage. I don’t watch wrestling, but it seems on point. It’s weird and really fun.
  • “Hollywood’s Own” Joey Ryan, the professional wrestler/coach with the hairy chest and bright blue speedo…okay girl.
  • The first team’s schtick is basically having Valley Girl accents, carrying around hand mirrors, and saying, “oh, you so pretty.” Somehow, it works.
  • Their opponents retaliate by slamming their faces with a giant pom-poms of powder.
  • Willhema Hater and DiDa Diddles = excellent drag wrestling names.
  • Chad Michaels and Madame LaQueer (forgetting their individual names, though the team name was “The Bitch Kickers”) probably have the best wrestling outfits. They’re disproportion is a great gag, and Madame’s crazy boobs are quite a sight to see. I also love Chad’s hate face.
  • As much as I like the cleverness of the oddball runway challenges, the open-ended ones are typically better because the girls get a chance to do what they’re best at. Kenya Michael’s Little Kim/Nicki Minaj, for example, we haven’t seen anything of yet, and it’s great. She looks famous.
  • We later learn that Jiggly said some shady shit about Sharon Needle’s boyfriend, Alaska, because he’s another drag performer. Somehow Ru’s already set up a video message from him, much to Sharon’s surprise. The video includes, among other things, fake crying, jokes about cutting herself, and a fake proposal that Alaska skillfully changes to a screaming, “DID YOU TAKE MY CORSET TO LOS ANGELES YOU BITCH!?!?!” Sharon cries maybe a little too much given that this show is surely filmed over the course of, what, 2 and a half weeks? Still, adorbomax.

The Drag-o-Meter needs another week to recover, so let’s take a break and listen to some of Ru’s more colorful comments from this week. 

  • “Now Jiggly is serving cellulite realness.”
  • “Tuck and cover.”
  • “I see London. I see France. I see Milan’s underpants.”
  • “Where’s there’s smoke, there’s a twat on fire.”
  • “Heidi Montag called. She wants her old body back.”
  • “The Princess. She had time for a little blowout.” (Her hair is completely sideways.)
  • “Telenovela realness.”
  • “Oh her legs are like peanut butter. Easy to spread.”
  • “Latrice Royale. Ooh, Crown Royale. I’ll have one on the rocks.”
  • “Star Jones called. She wants her old body back.”
  • “Wait a minute. Wrestling is not fake.”
  • “How are your balls?” (She’s wearing gumballs all over her dress and carrying a gumball machine.)
  • Rick Fox says, “her look was supposed to be Sex and the City, and it was more like Sex and the Alley.” Ru replies, “hey, im not going to turn that down.”
  • “Good luck, and don’t fuck it up.”
  • “Peek-a-ru!”

Team As the Day is Long is doing…alright. I’m up to 28 points, thanks in large part to Chad Michael’s double win but also because no negative points were deducted (for example, for crying). Willam and Sharon Needles, step it up!

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5 thoughts on “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 4, Episode 2 – WTF

  1. xt_blog says:

    Can you tell us more about this? I’d like to find out more
    details.

  2. willam says:

    wanna know the real reason behind the BYE? http://www.itaintwilliam.blogspot.com/

    also explains my TV compliment. I’ve done all my own stunts on the shows i’ve worked on.

    your drag-o-meter reviews are a great idea. gets old reading paragraph after paragraph. love how you break it up.

    • Jerch says:

      Ah, context! OK, that makes a lot more sense. For those who don’t go to the site (http://www.itaintwilliam.blogspot.com/), here’s the explanation:

      “Right before I said BYE, The Princess was asked to lip-sync. RuPaul then told me I was safe and I asked him if i could lip-sync for The Princess because I was the team captain and wanted to take responsibility (I have no clue if The Princess would’ve let me but I wanted to offer). But Ru, without even making eye contact said “You’re going off script” and as soon as he got out the last word i was like ok peace in my head so i just threw out a “BYE” and walked off.”

      So basically, Ru didn’t appreciate the off-book moment. Ironically, it sounds like it could have made for good TV.

      Thanks! Yah, we are trying to make things nonlinear. Less recapping and more repurposing to make something more interesting, hopefully. Glad you like it, and keep up the good work!

  3. Jerch says:

    I agree. As soon as one of my 3 fail me, Milan’s getting cycled in. I forgot about the “meth” comment! Did you cringe at all when she said how grateful she was to be working with Chad Michaels the famous drag queen with…Cher plastic surgery? It was sort of a, “oh you’re so nic…uh, nice. thanks. thanks for that.”

  4. Love the drag-o-meter! I cannot describe how perfect I thought The Bitch Kickers were. I mean, it was some Hanna-barbara cartoon spin-off/ Misfits vs. Jem realness. You missed one of the best exchanges in the first episode, when Princess told Sharon Needles “you’re just my type, you know the whole…meth look.” Sharon: “Only I would take that as a complement.” Finally, I have a feeling that Milan may secretly be a genius and we just haven’t gotten it yet. I base this solely on the, ahem, butt stuffing competition.

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