RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 4, Episode 4 – Queens Behind Bars

Start your engines. And may the best woman WIN! It’s that time again. No, not that time. The time for more RuPaul’s Drag Race, naturally (unnaturally?). This week the ladies were tasked with serving penal realness in the fictional “Tuckahoe County.” The patented “Drag-o-Meter” is recharged and ready to rate, so let’s not waste any time…

And by “not waste any time” I mean let’s take a second to ask, “what do y’all think?” Is anyone else watching this gem of a show? It’s free online every Tuesday on Logo, by the way. I think I mentioned that.

Now for reals, the meter:

Drag-o-Meter Rating 1 / 5: To Wong Foo, Thanks for Nothing, Julie Newmar!

  • Latrice Royale lets her boob hang out for the mugshot mini-challenge. Realistic but gross. Later in Untucked when the winning girls get to see the photos for the first time, everyone is literally too stunned to say anything when Latrice’s popped up.
  • Madame LaQueer, who is not a native English speaker to begin with, attempts — and is proud of — a British accent for her character. Yikes! honestly, it is pretty bad, and the judges slam her for it.
  • Matt Mutchnick needs quite a few verbal introductions, explaining that he created Will and Grace. I’m still not sure I care.
  • Did I miss the explanation for why there is a random Pit Crew member standing in as another cop in the sitcom challenge? Not that I necessarily need an explanation…but more importantly, why is he wearing pants?
  • I definitely jinxed it by saying two episodes ago that the runway challenges are much more interesting when the dress stipulations are light or nonexistent. Nope. This week was pretty boring overall. Although, I did enjoy some of the performances, notably Sharon’s and Chad’s. Maybe they’re holding back for future episodes? Let’s hope!

Drag-o-Meter Rating 2 / 5: You bettah work!

  • Princess had apparently attempted to correct the grammatical error in her farewell lipstick-on-mirror message (from last week’s elimination), but it still reads, “This is the only beginning.” Ha.
  • Sharon Needles has an actual syringe under her bra strap in the mini-challenge.
  • While Phi Phi O’Hara probably wins in the “cute as a boy” department,” oh girl her angry face is a real turn off. To be fair, that’s true of most of us. Most of us are not on television, though. Regardless, Sharon comes to Phi Phi just to let her know [in case anyone else spreads gossip] about what she said during last week’s judging challenge. Which wasn’t even very critical.

Drag-o-Meter Rating 3 / 5: [snaps!]

  • If you haven’t seen the intro before, do yourself a favor and check it out.
  • I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: DiDa Ritz just doesn’t pull off a feminine face. I feel like she should spend energy working with that rather than around it. Like maybe with some crazy makeup or a really edgy haircut or something. I dunno. I’m not an expert. She looks like a man in a dress is what I’m saying. Still, she’ll probably win every lip-sync, if she’s forced to.
  • Latrice wins the episode, deservedly, and her prize is…a cruise! I love how it’s not even mentioned whether it’s a cruise for 2. It’s probably just for her!
  • Jiggly explains that a “pointer sister” is a queen who just points and points for her dance moves.

Drag-o-Meter Rating 4 / 5: Heyyyyyyyy Girl!

  • Ru’s intro video this week is composed almost entirely of references to gay-iconic television shows. I’ll be amazed if this schtick is held up in each episode.
  • The cop-themed pit crew. OK girl.
  • Latrice points out that she’s been handcuffed plenty of times already. True dat. In fact, she’ll be channeling inmate realness this episode quite convincingly.
  • The fictional prison’s name is “Tuckahoe County Women’s Penal Facility.”
  • Willam and Madame LaQueer win the mini-challenge with their “dye pack makeup.” Clever but not the funniest. I’ve watched the instruction VHS for a dye pack, like the actual video a bank teller would watch. That is a true story. I don’t remember any drag queens in it.
  • Yah, Willam’s not particularly…humble, but if were on several sitcoms like Sex and the City, bitch you bettah believe I’d be talking about it! All of these queens would too. When she snaps at the guest judge for calling her “William,” yet let’s it slide when Ru does the same thing, she clarifies, “that’s because she has a $100,000 check for me.” Catty, but it works because she follows through to the end. It’s not bitchy for the sake of being bitchy; she has a point.
  • Several girls ask Latrice to “take them to church,” and he proceeds to sing “oh Jesus is a biscuit” in a gospel voice, as they all spin and dance and clap. Loves it.
  • Once again we have an actual, current pop song during the lip-sync. This time it’s Pink’s “Trouble.”
  • Latrice really does have the best laugh. If HEAVEN FORBID one of my fantasy team members (see below) are cut, she’s definitely going into the mix.

Drag-o-Meter Rating 5 / 5: Sickening!

  • The “Hot in Tuckahoe” show-within-a-show’s intro video is pretty great, what with the cliché ham faces and cheesy muzak. Whoever’s in charge of the various video clips peppered throughout RDR deserves a technical Emmy.
  • DiDa’s legs. I will give her that. Those are a woman’s legs.
  • There seems to be more to the dispute between Sharon and Matt, the guest judge, then we see onscreen. His point is that she doesn’t take direction well and/or has a character that doesn’t appeal to him personally. But is the point to mold these performers into a set character? I surely hope not. Sharon’s one of the most interesting and unique contestants to come along in a long time. Plus, she sticks up for herself and — rare for reality TV — always backs up her decisions and behaviors with coherent explanations. The best is definitely her defense to Phi Phi’s critique that she’s too “Party City”: “What I do is for the future of the children of drag.”
  • Willam’s explanation of Milan’s thrilling yet possibly painful cross-floor split-slide dance move is, “Milan Swiffered the floor with her taint.”
  • Sharon’s backhanded compliment backstage to Jiggly and Latrice for being big girls but not failing at life: “We have two big girls right here, and they have their body game together…mostly.” Ha!
  • Latrice’s critique of Kenya Michaels: “5 G’s. Good God Get a Grip Girl.”
  • Sharon’s impersonation of Kenya’s acting and accent is too spot on to ever explain in writing. It made me laugh out loud, yet there wasn’t a hint of condescension in it.
  • Latrice’s tragic coming-out story (she basically had to run away at the age of 19 and is estranged from her family to this day) is a necessary reminder that while we’re at a place where a show about drag queens exists and equal marriage is possible in a few states and countries…yah there’s still a lot of work to do.

Ru’s once again falling a bit into the shadow of her increasingly funny co-judges. Still, she had a few choice gems for us this week.

  • “She’s so vaginal in white.”
  • “I see the Beverly hills.” (to Latrice, who seems to elicit a topographical pun every week)
  • “Madame LaQueer as folk.”
  • “It’s always Jiggly in Philadelphia.”
  • Nicole Sullivan, guest judge this week, says of Kenya Michael’s video, “It’s like she’s more worried about her appearance than her performance, and I don’t like that,” to which Ru quickly responds, “Why were you looking at me when you said that?”

Team As the Day is Long is fairing a bit better this week. Yet again no one was eliminated, and we had a few minor wins to celebrate. Overall we’re up 16 points, notably due to the efforts of Sharon (who swore 7 times) and Willam (who won the mini-challenge). Chad Michaels brought in only 1 point this week, but so far she’s pulled in a net 14 points — almost a third of my total score so far. But I’m watching you, Ms. Michaels…

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2 thoughts on “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 4, Episode 4 – Queens Behind Bars

  1. willam says:

    when you win your Fantasy Drag Race, you owe me a bag of Funions and some dick.

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