RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 4, Episode 9 – Frock the Vote

Sorry for the long delay since the Drag-o-Meter last registered a blip on RuPaul’s Drag Race. As you’ll recall, it was a sad and unexpected day for the crown jewel of team As the Day is Long. I have been sitting shiva for Willam, may she rest in Palm Springs, ever since. But we must move on.

Hush, just stop. There’s nothing you can do or say, baby. I’ve had enough. I’m not your property as from today, baby. You might think that I won’t make it on my own, but now I’m…

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

  • It’s time for a voting/election-themed episode, for some reason. Because it’s primary season? I don’t get it.
  • Phi Phi’s belching.
  • While I appreciate Dan Savage as a judge in general, is this the best episode for him? Isn’t he a sex columnist?
  • Clearly, all of the contestants thought this challenge was meant to be fun. Go figure. Ru and Dan Savage’s criticisms are super serious and bordering on awkward. The “secret service” (AKA the Pit Crew) is nearly nude. What’s going on?
  • Phi Phi refers to Latrice and DiDa as “the help.” Yikes.
  • Santino, who wasn’t at the debate, for some reason thinks Phi Phi’s offensive character was funny.
  • I just didn’t get DiDa’s runway outfit or hair.

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

  • Phi Phi’s platform centers on “making America pretty,” which will be accomplished by building warehouses full of wigs. It’s an idea, I suppose.
  • Phi Phi’s decision to go with a Sarah Palin-esque ditsy lady candidate is admirable, but as we’ve seen before she can’t pull off a humorous character.
  • Latrice’s stray bra strap.
  • If you have to take off parts of your outfit to lipsync for your life, you’re doing it wrong. DiDa, I’m looking at you.
  • Being in the top 5 of the 4th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race does not make you “drag royalty.” DiDa, I’m looking at you.

Drag-o-Meter Rating 3/5: [snaps!]

  • “Good bye shady bearded lady,” all of the girls sing as they happily kiss Willam goodbye.
  • DiDa’s running on the “wig campaign,” and I wonder if anyone told her about the real Whig Party. Missed opportunity?
  • Sharon admits that she wasn’t just gay in high school, she was “gay and weird.” You don’t say. We later learn she had a horrible adolescence, to the point where her being bullied was seen as a distraction to other students, and it was suggested she leave school. Sad face emoticon.
  • Ru’s runway look is great until you get to the hair, which is the color of urine. Was she electrocuted? OK, now I sort of like it more.
  • Sharon explains that she’s from the future, since obviously a drag queen isn’t going to be elected any time soon.
  • Phi Phi defends her off-color humor ad nauseum back stage, even going so far as saying she made the judges laugh. In true RDR tradition, we’re immediately treated to a flashback cut to the stone-faced judges.

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

  • The intro, which I maybe haven’t mentioned yet, is yet another example of the punny editing and video clips, what with the rear view mirrors and race flags.
  • I love how there is Absolut-ly no sugarcoating the fact that a vodka company is a major sponsor of a show catering to the gays.
  • The mini-challenge is to design platform shoes around a boozey drink.
  • I don’t know why, but Chad’s choice of simply ending each of his answers by calling out the lights changing from green to yellow to red is very funny to me.
  • We finally see Sharon’s crazy circular blonde wig (see below) from the promos. It’s important to remember just how many wigs and outfits they had to bring with them to this show, in addition to their normal clothes.
  • The prize for the winner, Sharon, is a $5,000 gift card from InteriorIllusionsHome.com. I’m completely blown away. For 4 years I assumed “Interior Illusions Lounge” was a clever play on words, which is of course the bones of this show. No. It’s an actual company. Now I’m going to second guess everything else. Is the Big Pink Box real? What about the Gold Bar?
  • Latrice really feels the holy spirit in her lipsync for her life. Loved it.
  • In Untucked we learn that Latrice appropriately critiqued Santino’s critique from 2 weeks ago (when he said her dress looked like a “Rent-a-Center couch.”) Good for you, bitch.

Drag-o-Meter Rating 5/5: Sickening!

  • Sharon and Phi Phi reenact last week’s judging. I can’t decide what’s better: Phi Phi vomiting glitter [as Willam] or Sharon [as Ru] saying that Sharon was slightly better than her partner (Phi Phi). The meta compounding is delicious.
  • Sharon’s “Nava-ho” shoes include dream catchers, or as she refers to them “nightmare catchers.”
  • The “secret service” is nearly nude.
  • Sharon’s solid, staid, boring persona in the debate challenge is so spot-on that it swings all the way back around and is brilliant. Making us laugh out loud without any jokes is a talent.
  • When Phi Phi sticks a “Vote for Phi Phi” yellow heart poster on everyone’s podiums, Sharon blows her nose into it while Chad douses it with hair spray (for some reason!). I loved it. The non-Phi Phi parts, I mean. Phi Phi is terrible at this, let’s be clear.
  • I LOVE Chad’s 60’s southern bell-inspired inaugural ball gown, which Ru describes as “Gorge Bush.” This is the definition of creating a character for a drag challenge. You could easily see this at the inauguration too.
  • Backstage, after explaining how little she would like to hypothetically see her parents (who are apparently very unapproving), DiDa is treated to the most politically/sensitively correct “you go girl” video from them. She sits, mouth agape, completely stunned. It’s amazing.
  • The judges decide to bring back one past contestant, and among the possibilities is Willam. Don’t taunt me, Ru! We’ll have to wait until next week to find out who it was.

Once again Sharon Needles really came through in the quotable quotes department this week. I have obviously been burned once before for saying this about Willam, but I think she’s a standout star who not only deserves to win but should have some serious C-list opportunities after the season wraps.

  • “I had everything I needed to convey the plight of the American Indians…though I wish I had some poker chips.” -Sharon
  • “Everyone says that until they’re down in the poles.” “Well I’m fine with going down on a pole, so it’s something I can handle.” -Dan Savage and Sharon
  • “Aren’t you done? I took Debate for like 7 or 8 years.” -Sharon
  • “Break a lash.” -Ru
  • “Her ballot box is stuffed.” -Ru
  • “President Morticia Addams.” -Dan Savage
  • “I’m serving transparency realness.” -Sharon
  • “That dress shows off her stimulus package.” -Ru
  • “I love vodka, and I have responsibly enjoyed your [Absolute vodka products] company many a night.” -Sharon, slyly misquoting the company’s many plugs on the show thus far.
  • “Now Michelle, any cons?” -Ru after Michelle totally reads DiDa’s many many missteps.
  • “What it comes down to is you’re a 20-year veteran who never learned how to be a fucking bitch, and I don’t know how you did it.” -Sharon giving Chad an apt compliment.

Team As the Day is Long pulled in a respectable 18 points this week, which is average. That’s how I felt about the episode in general. Just average. A few zany moments here, a few confusing production choices there. Not terrible. Latrice, with her first day on the team, of course comes in second to last place. Which, OK, everyone needs to be in the bottom some time. But the first week…really? I’m starting to rethink, but we’re low on options at this point, obviously. So it’s with a heavy heart that I will be sticking with Sharon, Latrice, and [shudders] Phi Phi…for now.

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