It’s the final four y’all! I can’t believe I ever doubted Chad Michaels. She’s never been in the bottom two, and her presence there this week was understandable given that there are only four girls left.
We have a little time to kill before next week’s finale (though I still recommend watching the clip show currently up), so let’s take an in-depth look at the most recent episode.
The Drag-o-Meter (TM) is all-knowing!
Drag-o-Meter Rating 1/5: To Wong Foo, Thanks for Nothing, Julie Newmar!
- Phi Phi is pissed when Chad assigns her the bloodhound. Calm down, girl. Someone had to get the bloodhound. Too much scowling!
- After last week’s bizarre absence, Absolut Vodka is all over the commercials [online] this week. Who drinks toasted marshmallow vodka? Gross.
- Ru asks if Phi Phi’s dog’s saliva is an inspiration. Obviously there are lots of cuts to the dog’s slobber running down its cheek and some double entendres, which…gross. It’s a dog.
- This might be Ru’s worst runway look to date. Everything is ugly. The frayed dreadlocks up-do. The vinyl dress. The giant black rosettes. Hideous.
- The “Bitch Ball” dog costume lip-sync performance is embarrassing for all involved, including the viewers at home. Where did that song come from?
- I truly hated all of Phi Phi’s runway looks. Well, except the over the top dog park look, which wasn’t “realness.” It was still fabulous. But that doesn’t count because she didn’t follow the rules. I feel like she brought that wig and just wanted to use it for the season ended.
- When asked which queen should go home, Sharon cogently explains why it should be Phi Phi. Then Phi Phi arbitrarily says it should be Sharon. Ugh, why are you on my team??? Then Latrice claims it should also be Sharon, but because she consistently shows imperfections. Um, OK? Isn’t that what everyone says about you?
- Speaking of editing, the promos for Untucked are THE WORST in terms of showing you what’s going to happen. Invariably whenever someone is shouting or being shady it is NEVER about what the editing makes it seem like.
Drag-o-Meter Rating 2/5: You bettah work!
- Latrice’s dog looks like a fox from a Disney film. Which is to say, neither a dog nor a fox.
- Surprise, Phi Phi is nonplussed to take direction from Chad during the group rehearsal. Ugh, she’s awful. I can’t believe she’s in my top 3. Oh right. Girlfriend pays the bills.
- Sharon decides to sew a bolero, forgetting that she has never even approached such a project before.
- Phi Phi Complained that Chad’s puppet version of her was too orange. Then, she literally covers herself in orange makeup for the main challenge. She more than passingly resembles an Oompa Loompa.
- You know you are on a show about drag queens when Wynonna Judd has the least zany outfit.
Drag-o-Meter Rating 3/5: [snaps!]
- In what’s become a tradition, Phi Phi impersonates last week’s loser as they all read the lipstick wall. His Kenya Michaels is not bad.
- “Daytime Dog Walk Realness.” OK, so that’s actually a good concept for a drag runway look.
- Sharon’s fur boots somehow took 5 and a half hours to make. They look effortless and miraculously match her dog, but really…5 and a half hours?
- I kind of want Michelle’s outrageous, giant, pink “fierce” necklace. I have no idea what I would do with it. But I want one.
- Phi Phi, in an Untucked moment, rebuked Sharon with the complaint that she continuously complains about having never won a cruise, despite winning several challenges. I love that Phi Phi both doesn’t realize this was a running joke nor thinks that a cruise is a joke prize in the first place! She adds that she is destined to be the real drag superstar because she’s a “role model for being true to who you are.” True to what? My husband chimed in at this point and said, “for being a bitch.”
Drag-o-Meter Rating 4/5: Heyyyyyyyy Girl!
- The use of “realness” requirements is getting…out of control? The main challenge forces the girls to come up with three canine couture/party bitch personas. One of the categories is described as “pooch in a purse party girl.” What…does that mean?
- Among the normal drag embellishments (glitter, glue guns, sequins) that are provided, the girls are also given dog treats to utilize…somehow.
- Thank god Chad checked off the Creulla Deville box. Her spin on the classic is to reimagine Cruella on vaca in Aspen. Loves it.
- As part of her doggie duties, Sharon picks up a fake poop on the runway.
- Every time a guest judge happens to be a singer, the “Lip Sync for your Life” is one of their hit songs. This show is nothing if not consistent, making use of every bit of source material. Maybe it’s a clear production decision, but it seriously makes me so happy. Latrice does an acceptable job, but Chad clearly got the song’s point.
Drag-o-Meter Rating 5/5: Sickening!
- The mini challenge is to create a puppet in the resemblance of another contestant. The production team has already hilariously selected/customized puppets to look like them as their real-life manly selves. Then the contestants must dragify the puppets. Finally, they must improvise a bitchy skit with their puppet. I love Sharon’s impersonation of Chad Michaels, with a huge plasticky set of lips. Did she melt the puppet? I also love how Phi Phi takes offense to Chad’s, WHICH IS A PUPPET. “That puppet looks nothing like me.” She makes up for it when her Latrice puppet looses its pearl necklace (the real kind), falling on the floor, ala the real Latrice’s wardrobe malfunction from a few weeks ago. It’s RDR back in form. I missed you, good mini-challenges.
- Once again Ru managed to pull in actual celebrities (Rose McGowan and Wynonna Judd) as guest judges. What’s more amazing? The fact that lesser celebrities appear on ANTM, or how little the celebrities on RDR actually contribute onscreen (because Ru and the contestants shine so brightly)? This is a show where I believe the contestants are genuinely impressed when the guest judges’ names are revealed. That is how it should be.
- Sharon’s “heroine chic hungover party realness” look includes a SCRAMx alcohol-monitoring anklet.
- Oh my god. Maybe the funniest moment [in editing at least] of the whole series is when the winners and losers are announced, we see cutaways to the dogs waiting backstage. They even edit in fake dog noises when the respective contestant gets good or bad news! This shit is amazing, people. Just…amazing. I literally blurted out when I realized what they were doing.
- Speaking of speaking of editing, when Ru comes on screen in the Interior Illusions Lounge to tell the contestants to go to the Gold Bar for the pink box moment (which is an appearance by Dita Von Teese, because they apparently couldn’t fit her in the season as an actual guest judge…again), no one listens because they’re shouting at each other. She comes back on the TV later and tries to get their attention. Obviously this was added in post-production, but that doesn’t make me appreciate the creative license any less. We even see Dita apparently waiting in vain, pensively. At one point she starts talking to herself, observing that the decorative lemons in a bowl are fake. Then she leaves! Because she was made to wait! This show is a parody of a parody of a parody of a parody of itself? My brain is tired.
Let’s talk about Phi Phi O’Hara.
In Phi Phi’s defense, every season needs a villain. You don’t get a pass for all of the scowling, but I’m willing to give you a little benefit of the doubt. Just kidding. She is terrible. And not to belabor this too much further…but Phi Phi’s defense against Sharon’s apparent character assassination (which was basically that she is a catty, unsupportive, mean person) is to essentially portray the worst qualities on camera. Chad sums it up by saying, “You know what? I’m gonna see very little of Phi Phi O’Hara in the future. Very little.” There are vague references to a trouble childhood, but I’m not sure that’s an excuse. What is it about growing up rough that allows people to confuse “being true” to oneself with not being adaptable to how others behave? Growing up rough and easily snapping at people. These things go together.
Enough critique; we need quotes! I hope you like dog puns.
- “She’s all up in the club. The kennel club. -Ru
- “She carries her poochie in her Gucci.” -Ru
- “I’m serving structured Kardashian realness.” -Chad
- “Look at that furry muff.” -Ru
- “She’s dressed to the K-9’s.” -Ru
- I just think you have a lot of sass and a lot of class.” “And a lot of ass.” -Rose and Ru
- “You have changed my life forever. You have changed the world of drag forever. I love you and respect you, and thank you for seeing something special in me.” -From a once convict now minor reality TV star-cum meme, it’s a powerful sendoff from Latrice.
- “She’s large and in charge. Chunky and funky. I am Latrice Royale.” “LATRIIIIICE!” -Latrice and everyone else, as she leaves the stage
- “I wonder what our dogs are doing right now.” -Chad, followed by a heavily edited and perhaps gratuitous segment where the dogs variously bark at each other whilst some crafty editor has added a subtitled conversation comprised primarily of memorably lines from contestants past. Too many to list, but some of the best are: “Bitch I am from Chicago!” “Your tone seems very pointed.” “This is not man’s best friends race!”
Team As the Day is Long
The girls racked up an impressive 42 points this week. Good job y’all! We were 364th out of almost 15,000 people. I’m…impressed with myself? Is this sad? This is sad. No changes for next week, the finale, since obviously we’re down to the top 3. With the exception of Willam — whose departure you could argue was fixed — my top 3 has been correct since the beginning. Sharon deserves to win.