Welcome to your second Drag Race recap of week! Aren’t you lucky? Especially because through the magic of technology, I have ACTUAL SCREENCAPS this time. I may go a little overboard with them because I’m so excited but YOU CAN DEAL.
So I was little underwhelmed by the first episode of the double-header, mainly because nobody went home, but this episode was a big improvement. It starts with the usual post-runway confab and DeLa is very, very relieved that she didn’t get send home by that stank factory Darienne Lake. But she’s sweating now, and spends most of her talking heads looking like this:
Also relieved is Courtney, who loudly declares that when Ru told Darienne she was safe, she was ready to yell “YOU MADE THE WRONG DECISION!” Courtney has gotten a lot of flak this week for being mean to Joslyn but come on, how can you not love her for doing that right in front of Darienne’s face? I love this bitch and I don’t care who knows it.
Laganja tries to steal the spotlight (so different for her! JK Laganja is always trying to steal the spotlight, it’s like her default setting) by whining that nobody congratulated her and Adore on winning the last challenge, but everybody is so over her by now that they don’t even bother getting into it.
Joslyn is off in the corner looking bummed out because she’s sad that on Untucked Courtney told her that her drag is not as polished as everybody else’s. She thinks this means that Courtney doesn’t think she belongs in the competition, which Courtney is quick to deny. She even offers to let Joslyn borrow some of her own wardrobe but this gesture is not taken very well, because Joslyn is determined to believe that there is nothing wrong with her outfits.
Joslyn, darling, I love you. But no.
Anyhow, she tells Courtney that her feelings are hurt and that she finds her offers of help patronizing. Which is unfortunate, because TBH she could use some help!
The next day, Laganja annoys the shit out of everybody with her random catchphrase spitting (I saw somebody call her a drag lingo See and Say which is pretty much 100% accurate) while they wait for Ru to come out and tell them about the next challenge.
After a perfunctory, masturbation-joke-centric She-Mail, Ru arrives and tells them that the mini-challenge will be a lip-sync competition, but they will have to do it upside-down, lying on their backs with their chins dragged out to look like their faces, in a sort of grotesque puppet show.
I thought this was going to be really dumb, but it was actually one of the more LOL-worthy mini-challenges of the season.
The best part of the challenge is when Joslyn points out that Trinity’s chin looks like Vivacious:
Though a close second is when one of Adore’s eyes falls off.
The winners of the mini-challenges this season have by and large seemed to be chosen somewhat arbitrarily (remember Laganja’s sweet potato triumph last week?), but for what it’s worth, Joslyn is declared the winner. Her prize is the chance to choose the order the queens will perform in the main challenge, which is to do a standup comedy routine in front of a live audience… of old people.
At first I was a little annoyed because this is the third standup comedy challenge they’ve done (the first being in season 3, the second in All Stars), but the audience of old people ends up being enough of a twist to keep it from being too stale.
Anyhow, some queens (Bianca) are delighted by the challenge, and others (Trinity) are shitting their pants.
Joslyn ponders what order to put everybody in, and Courtney suggests putting Bianca first, and then whoever she wants to throw under the bus second. Which TBH would be a good strategy because there’s pretty much no way Bianca isn’t going to win this one. Joslyn is feeling anti-Courtney today though so she ignores this advice.
There’s a weird moment where there’s a gradual zoom in on DeLa who is sitting at a table by herself, silently making weird reaction faces while the other queens look on in confusion. It’s fairly creepy, but luckily for her Laganja will not be outdone in the weirdo department.
While everybody works, Courtney says “Where’s Laganja?” and looks around the room, and after some hilarious tumbleweed sound effects, we get a shot of an empty table that pans down to reveal Laganja sitting underneath, reading her own catchphrase-laden jokes out loud to herself.
A recurring gag this season has been Joslyn excitedly telling a joke and receiving crickets in response, but she always cracks herself up so it’s very endearing. This happens again as the queens ask her to share what she’s working on, and she tells a “jumbo shrimp is an oxymoron” joke. Then we get a talking head of her saying that she knows standup comedy isn’t her “Cup-a-Soup” which is a real black horse for the title of Best Garbled Catchphrase of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season Six (though I don’t think anything will beat “Downward Debbie”).
Ru comes back to check in on the queens, and DeLa says that she hopes to bring more of her personality to this challenge, after being in the bottom two last week.
Bianca once again pretends to be nervous about a challenge she knows is going to be a slam dunk by saying that she does observational comedy, not standup routines. But she then makes an extended joke about the other queens helping her by being so terrible that it’s easy to send them home that has Ru cackling uncontrollably so I doubt she’s really shaking in her boots.
Trinity is looking very down and out and trots out the usual “I’m going to try but who knows” line, but Ru has had enough of that and tells her to bring the fire she has in her lip-sync performances to every challenge.
It’s at this point that Ru shares the “your audience will be a bunch of old people” twist with the queens. Some of them realize they’re going to have to rework their material to suit this crowd. Adore in particular is concerned because “Everybody knows that *BLEEP*, *BLEEP*, *BLEEP* and *BLEEP* are my favorite words.”
When Ru leaves, Joslyn shares the order she’s come up with. She mostly tried to choose the order that will make for the best show, but throws Courtney under the bus a bit by putting her second, after Darienne. She shoots herself in the foot a little by slotting herself second to last, right before Bianca.
And now it’s time for the comedy/attempts at comedy! Ru introduces the guest judges (Bruce Vilanch and Jaime Pressly) and we launch straight into the routines.
First up is Darienne. Comedy is pretty much her thing, so she does a good job. The old people love her, which makes sense because some of her jokes are pretty old themselves (we’ve all heard the “round is a shape” joke before, come on).
Courtney is a good performer, but telling jokes isn’t really her forte, so after a couple of quips about being Australian and looking like a Barbie (“Don’t throw shrimp on me!” ba-dum-CHING), she sings a song about “the mean gays of West Hollywood.” And I love Courtney but it’s kind of cringeworthy. But the old people appreciate the razzle dazzle and she gets some laughs out of it.
Adore is next and I really expected her to do a good job because she’s a funny queen, but rather than tailoring her act to the audience, she goes for a routine centering around a lot of swearing and calling her grandma a whore. Which made me laugh, but is not really appreciated by the audience.
DeLa comes out in a kind of tragic red ensemble and gives a sort of tragic routine. There are some funny bits in there but she rushes through every joke so fast that nobody has time to process let alone laugh. There’s some shady editing, with a shot of an old lady getting bored and going back to her knitting, and then a bit at the end with a “heckler” which I don’t really believe happened because it’s just a disembodied voice right at the end of her routine to which she doesn’t really react. I don’t know. It was weird.
So then we have Laganja, who was going to be a train wreck no matter what, but exceeded even my expectations. She comes out and shouts “Hey hey hey hey, put your lighters up because Laganja’s in the house. YEAAAAAAAAAAAAOOOOWWWWWWWWW!” It only gets worse from there, as she moves on to topics such as “I love weed” and “Your vaginas are all dry.”
Expectations for Trinity are very low (the moment Ru announced it was a comedy challenge I wrote “RIP Trinity” in my notes), but she comes out with a lot of energy, looking great as usual, and actually delivers a legitimately funny routine. Her best jokes center around growing up poor, which could have gone terribly but she’s very charming about it. I’ve felt like a Trinity apologist for so much of this season so it’s good to see her finally deliver on her potential. Everybody seems to be attributing her success to Bianca’s influence, but I prefer to think that she had a little Latrice whispering in her ear:
So Joslyn goes next and her outfit is terrible. Just weird and unflattering. Sorry Jos, but it’s true.
She starts strong with a good ADHD joke, but peters out pretty quickly. She’s cute, but her jokes just don’t land.
And finally Bianca comes out and delivers a routine perfectly tailored to the audience, taking as much time making fun of herself as making fun of the audience and judges.
The evaluations go about how you’d expect since the queens fell very firmly into three groups: Very Good (Bianca, Trinity and Darienne), Very Mediocre (Adore, Courtney, Joslyn, DeLa), and Very Bad (Laganja, sorry ’bout it). Accordingly, Laganja gets read the house down and it’s everything you hoped and dreamed it could be. She whines that out in the real world when she performs at clubs everybody loves her and thinks she’s the best, and Ru snaps and says “This isn’t a fucking club!”
Ru also takes a moment to tell Trinity how proud she is of how she’s come out of her shell and overcome her self-defeating attitude. She gets a little choked up and it’s very sweet.
Ultimately, Bianca is named the winner of the challenge and let’s face it, if she hadn’t won this challenge it would have been hugely embarrassing for her! But even as the one person on earth who doesn’t love Bianca, I can’t say she doesn’t deserve it.
The bottom two are Laganja and our darling Joslyn, and they lip-sync to some Pink song I’ve never heard. They both give it their all, but Laganja’s performance reeks of desperation, with a wig reveal and multiple death-drops. There is a pretty great moment where they do simultaneous splits which somebody has already commemorated in GIF form which is why I love the internet:
After the song ends, Laganja says “Please don’t send me home” over and over, but it doesn’t work and she’s asked to sashay away. And we all rejoice.
Untucked is fairly unpleasant this week, packing a season’s worth of Laganja histrionics into one half hour. This is kicked off by Bianca deciding that it is her duty to call Laganja out on her meltdown several weeks ago when she got a video message from her parents, and yelled at the other queens for interrupting a moment she’s waited 24 years for. Bianca says that the math doesn’t add up because Laganja admitted that her parents were ok with her being gay but didn’t like the drag, so really she had only been waiting for their acceptance for a couple of years. And believe me, I’m as annoyed by Laganja as anybody and obviously she was exaggerating and basically being a baby, but I don’t think it was really necessary to bring this up, especially after several weeks had passed and Laganja had just gotten yelled at by the judges. It’s like poking an emotionally unstable bear.
And I think that gets at the heart of why I don’t like Bianca that much (though I like her more now than I used to). People defend her by saying that every shady thing she says is true, and maybe that’s true, but it’s this idea that she is obligated to share every thought she has about every queen with the world that gets on my nerves. I like a good read as much as anybody but a little goes a long way! But I know I’m in the minority here so I’ll stop ranting.
Laganja melts down after all the queens tell her that the way she talks is annoying and fake, and it’s kind of painful to watch. Like it’s easy to forget that reality TV contestants are actual people and I just feel so much secondhand embarrassment for the way she’s behaved on this show. Anyway, she storms out of the room, saying she would love to go home. The two class acts in this scenario are Trinity, who tells the room at large to “take it down to a 2” and Courtney who, after Laganja leaves, says “I don’t know if we handled that the best way.” Love those two.
But it’s not all Downward Debbie. There’s a very sweet video message from Joslyn’s fiance with a special appearance from their dog! And even though it was tough to watch at times, at least Laganja can go home and chill out with her beloved weed now.