It’s week three and time for the first queen to sashay away. on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
The episode opens with all 13 queens coming face to face for the first time and, after a few (faux) tense moments, are all hugs and excitement. This excitement is fleeting, as Ru enters and delivers the first group mini-challenge.
No quick drag (darn), no reading, but lots of shade, as the winning queens from the premieres have to line up their competition from who they think are the tops to who they think will sashay away first. Widow ranks the queens from premiere part 2 and arranges them from Sherry at the top to Aiden at the bottom with Jan, Dahlia and Rock M. in the middle. Jaida states that Gigi is her toughest competition and has no fear of Heidi (Brita, Nicky, Jackie and Crystal fill out the lineup.)
After the teams are rearranged, Ru informs everyone that for the upcoming team challenge, the captains will be Widow, Jaida, Aiden and Heidi. There’s a swerve. Ru said the teams are going to improvise their way through a fake reality show celebrating lack of talent called “World’s Worst.” The captains choose their teams. Nicky and Crystal are Team Widow, Jan, Dahlia and Rock M. are on Team Jaida, Sherry and Brita are on Team Aiden and Gigi and Jackie are on Team Heidi.
In the show, there are some standouts (Team Heidi) and some real duds (Team Jaida, flopping as fruits.) The runway theme is “Buttons and Bows” and the queens strut their stuff in a fascinating array of fashions. We have our first bottom two and our first lip sync for your life. Who is going home? Check out our top moments and find out!
What the El?
While the queens are getting their acts together for the “World’s Worst” challenge, Ru visits the werk room and, in addition to getting the usual progress reports, he tells Crystal that her boy look (= signature mullet) resembles that of 80s R&B singer El DeBarge. Ru is not wrong. Of course, Crystal (and probably a large chunk of the viewing audience) has no idea who he is. I feel old, as I was a big fan of DeBarge (as was Janet Jackson who married brother James back in 1984. Oh, and Ru, when it comes to DeBarge, Chico > El. “Talk to Me” was the best DeBarge solo project.
The return of Ornacia
On the faux judging panel for the faux reality show are Ross Matthews, Charo (more on that in a sec) and the iconic Ornacia. If you don’t know your Drag Race her-story, Ornacia became a star as part of the legendary headpiece worn by season 6 queen-testant Vivacious. Ornacia should be a permanent judge, as she got jokes. From reviving Vivacious’ entrance line, “Mother Has Arrived!” to cribbing Latrice’s famous line “Get those nut butters away from my face.” #OrnaciaforAllStars
If you don’t know who Charo is, shame on you. As a child growing up in the 70s, Maria Rosario Pilar Martinez Molina Baeza, better known as Charo, was a staple of 70s TV – showing up on variety shows with Sonny and Cher and popping up on many episodes of The Love Boat. More recently, she competed on Dancing with the Stars and taught us all the best way to wash our hands. I love Charo and you should too. She was a gem on the judge’s panel. She taught the Del Rio Trio how to cuchi cuchi, impersonated a squirrel and butchered the pronunciation of “Mississippi.” Can we have her on every episode?
The Del Rio Trio
Team Heidi was assigned the roles of the Del Rio Trio, a group of way-past Golden Girls. Heidi said this challenge was “right up my avenue”. (I love Heidi.) I think they were inspired by the Del Rubio Triplets, who were the highlight of the Pee-wee Christmas Special. Carson scared the bejeezus of them, they did a hilarious, super slo-mo Charlie’s Angels tribute and then Gigi collapsed in a heap, leaving Jackie and Heidi to “Weekend at Bernie’s” her, to hilarious results. They won a ticket to West Hollywood as well as our hearts.
The Rest of the Worst
Widow’s team is the “Squirrel Scouts”, Nicky wanted to be the drunk scout, but ended up as the sexy one. Widow got her drink on and Crystal just looked lost as she tried to sell some “Nut Butter.” Team Jaida is the “Fruity Patooties,” all dressed like fruit (and one vegetable) who are all LGBTQ activists. Jaida and Rock M. squabbled over who would take the role of the bad apple, with the captain winning the fight. Rock M. (sans her signature makeup) was an orange, Jan was a bunch of grapes. Dahlia desperately tried to make broccoli sexy, which was a huge fail. Team Aiden is improvising their audition as “Three Girls, One Brain,” a trio of girls struck by lightning and can only speak in unison. Brita was concerned about Aiden’s lack of improv skills, but she was perfectly fine. I wasn’t getting “struck by lightning” as their look but the judges loved them.
OMG. Ru always stuns on the runway, but this time, she outdid herself in an animal print bodysuit with gorgeous over-the-knee boots. Her hair was crimped to the gods and her mug was beat. Would we expect anything less?
Gigi has the runway buttoned up
As far as I’m concerned, Gigi (and probably her Mom) won the runway in an orange minidress and boot ensemble, which was covered in buttons. As she said on Instagram, “25,000 orange buttons were hand-glued to the dress, two gloves, two suitcases, two boots, panties, and a pair of sunglasses.” It’s absolutely beautiful.
Jackie also gave us buttons – the pearl buttons of the “pearlies” (if you need a reference, check out the “Supercalifragalistic” number in Mary Poppins.) She looked so cute in her pink and yellow dress and jaunty hat.
Our ribbon-bedecked queens this week were Jaida, in a pink confection worthy of a Barbie doll, Dahlia gave us “pin-up bunny” in a mauve creation complete with ribbon “ears.” Crystal was another vision in pink bows, but her makeup hasn’t changed since she walked in the werk room so she had better get ready to up her game. Aiden gave us Lisa Frank with a hot pink dress festooned with colorful bows. Brita was also pretty in pink with a Polly Pocket-inspired dress covered in bows – with shoes to match.
Once upon a queen
It seems like some of the queens thought it was a fairy tale challenge – not that there’s anything wrong with that – and brought some fantastical looks to the runway. Rock M. Sakura gives us Alice in wonderland with Rapunzel-long locks (covered in bows, of course.) Jan is a “scary voodoo doll” with a huge bow on her head, Heidi is “Pinnochi-ho.” Widow was “brown clown stunning” in a colorful clown ensemble. Nicky served up what I would call a “deconstructed Cinderella”, complete with mice and a big, button-shaped hairpiece. She was definitely my favorite fantasy look. Who were your favorites on the runway?
While the queen who shall not be named won this week (Gigi was robbed), our bottom two of the episode are Nicky and our sexy broccoli spear, Dahlia. The two have to lip-sync to “Problem” by Iggy Azalea and Ariana Grande. As much as this song is a bop to listen to, it’s not a great song for a lip-sync, which the pair shows. The two skipped the death drops, high kicks and splits, but headpieces were removed and Nicky brought the sexy, which allowed her to stay to slay another day.
And…as we say goodbye to Dahlia, we say farewell for now. Until next week, everybody say LOVE and feel the “rhythm of the night”!