It’s a new week and we have Trixie back in poor Jaidynn’s place. The queens have mixed feelings about this since Miss Trixie got herself a nice three week vacation while they’ve been busting their asses. In Katya’s words, “You can smell the resentment in the room just as much as you can smell Violet’s B.O.”
Miss Fame says she’s pissed off because she didn’t think Pearl and Trixie even deserved to win the challenge and in the confessional she elaborates that Pearl is lazy and has been coasting. Pearl tells her to chill the fuck out. They stare each other down and then we cut to Violet choking on a feather before the credits roll. I wonder if the show might be building up to something here? Nah, probably not.
The next day in the workroom Miss Fame asks “Is anybody excited about what today might avail?” demonstrating the whimsical grasp of the English language that characterizes so many queens this season. Ru’s video message comes on and it’s full of references to movie titles like Hairspray and Female Trouble and Cry-Baby. Katya responds:
But before we find out what the message truly means, it’s time for everybody’s favorite mini-challenge! The library is open, and the queens take turns reading one another to filth (or in some cases, to a mild layer of dust).
Everybody gets at least one laugh except poor Miss Fame who can at least rest assured that she’s not as bad as Laganja Estranja was last season. Anyhow, here’s each queen’s best read:
Ginger: Miss Fame, I think everything about you is so original… except for those lips, those cheeks, and everything you present to the judges on the runway!
Katya: Violet Chachki, you keep training those corsets girl, pretty soon your waist size will be lower than your IQ!
Violet: Trixie Mattel, haute couture? More like haute glue!
Miss Fame: Katya, now you get to increase your hooking fee. Thanks, RuPaul’s Drag Race! (This is actually a passably funny joke about how girls just go on the show to get their booking fee up but she does not deliver it very well)
Kennedy: Miss Trixie, girl I am waiting for you to change that lip color because your face looks like the back of a baboon’s ass.
Trixie: Ginger Minj, girl did you ever save Carol Anne from the poltergeist in the TV?
Pearl: Katya, are you confused? The saying is young, dumb and full of cum!
The challenge ends with Pearl turning to Ru and gearing up to read him. Everybody chortles heartily while Ru tells Pearl where she can find the door.
Trixie is named the winner even though she was not the funniest, most likely as a way to make the other queens feel threatened by her and increase the already existing tension. They last tried this technique in season 4 when Kenya Michaels won the build-a-drag-bear mini challenge but unfortunately in that case, my nightmares about La Transbear lasted longer than Kenya’s run on the show.
Ru announces that the main challenge will be a tribute to John Waters, specifically his work with Divine (who Ru describes as the original Drag Superstar). They’ll be splitting into three groups to perform musical versions of the most iconic scenes from John Waters’s films. They’re left to choose the groups for themselves, and Trixie lunges for Ginger immediately, apparently thinking her best strategy would be to attach herself to the strongest performer in the room.
When Katya sees Violet standing next to her she makes this face
and literally runs into Kennedy’s arms. This leaves the three queens I initially described as the Triplets of Dragville (before I came to know and love them as individuals) as the final group. None of them are happy about this because in addition to the fact that none of them has had great success in the 500 previous acting challenges, Pearl and Fame have never enjoyed working together.
The groups break off to choose roles and learn their lines. Katya wants to play the Divine role in her scene with Kennedy because it will give her a chance to grab the spotlight, but when she hears the song and the kinds of notes she would be expected to sing she decides to let Kennedy take the lead.
The triplets are playing Divine and the devil and angel Divines on Divine’s shoulder in the famous Pink Flamingos poop scene, and they practice the song and dance together which gives us a great opportunity to LOL at Pearl in her hipster boy clothes dancing around Violet and singing “Don’t play with doo-doo, no don’t play with poo!” She’s doing a pretty good job all things considered but Fame of course has to jump in and criticize her character choices. She goes on to basically shit all over everybody’s suggestions and her teammates are pretty annoyed.
Ru comes in to check on their progress, starting with Katya and Kennedy. He reminds Kennedy that the judges don’t want to see too much pageanty stuff from her which Kennedy is very sick of hearing at this point, but she nods and smiles.
He moves on to Trixie and Ginger, who are both big John Waters fans. Ginger tells him that when she was a kid she convinced her grandma that Pink Flamingos was a children’s movie so she would be allowed to watch it. Ru says they should have an easy time with this challenge since they’re both singers, but Trixie says they’re really going to push themselves to exceed expectations.
The queens head to set to film their scenes with Michelle Visage and Lucian Piane (who also composed the music) as directors and Our Lady J playing piano. Kennedy and Katya go first, in the scene “Cha Cha Heels” based on the movie Female Trouble. The gist seems to be that Dawn (Kennedy) wanted cha cha heels for Christmas and her mom (Katya) bought her flats instead so she beats the crap out of her. Katya is totally over the top and out of control and it’s amazing. Kennedy struggles a bit with remembering her lines and can’t really match Katya’s energy.
Next, Trixie and Ginger film “Eggs” which is based on Pink Flamingos. Their scene seems to consist of Ginger playing an adult baby who’s obsessed with eggs while Trixie is… her mom? Her daughter? I don’t know, she has some eggs. Listen, you can call me young, you can call me illiterate, whatever, I’ve never seen a John Waters movie so I don’t even know. But Ginger is going all out while Trixie is just kind of timid in the background.
The triplets do about as well as you would expect, which is to say not very. They don’t engage much with each other and they all seem pretty awkward. But my biggest laugh of the whole episode comes when Pearl comes in to sing her first line but apparently doesn’t remember any of the words and just sings “da da da da da da” quietly while making an “oh shit” face.
On runway day the girls prepare and we get a little more Fame/Pearl drama as Fame makes comments about Pearl’s makeup techniques. Pearl confessionals that she’s always felt a weird underlying tension with Fame.
At the more boring end of the mirror Kennedy and Ginger talk about how hard it is to make a living just doing drag. I’m sure it’s very tough but couldn’t you throw some shade at each other or something while you talk about it?
Luckily this doesn’t last for very long and we cut to the main stage, where Ru comes out wearing A DRESS WITH A NEON ILLUSTRATION OF HERSELF RIDING A PANTHER WHILE NAKED.
Shut it down, Ru wins this week! She introduces the judges, starting with Michelle and Carson (who we haven’t seen since Pearl was sleepy and Violet was still considered a bitch), and guest judges Demi Lovato and John Waters himself. And then the queens come out dressed for this week’s theme: Ugliest Dress Ever!
Boy I bet Kennedy was mad that she already wore her Kentucky Fried Horse Corpse outfit! Kind of a bummer that her idea of ugly is to just look like a normal old lady.
One of the few queens to actually wear something passably ugly! The colors are garish and it’s very tacky and the hair is ratty and those SHOES. Her look also inspires the best Ru one-liner of the night: “Knitter, please!”
All T all shade but this isn’t even the ugliest thing she’s worn on this show. The color is ugly but it’s pretty similar to a lot of her past looks otherwise.
Like Ginger, Trixie has worn many things uglier than this in her brief tenure on the show. In fact, ugliness is part and parcel of her entire drag aesthetic so it’s doubly disappointing that the ugliest thing she can think of is a sort prom-to-funeral dress that wouldn’t be out of place in Bianca Del Rio’s wardrobe from the waist up.
Pearl failed hardest at looking ugly because this is super cute. The pattern mixing and googly-eyes are a half-hearted nod toward ugliness but the overall effect is even kind of fashionable.
Violet wins the runway by wearing something completely hideous and shapeless and tacky but still modeling the shit out of it. She inspires Carson’s best line of the night (“It’s not like the pride flag, it’s like the shame flag”) and Ru’s second best (“Her clown posse is on FIRE!”).
This is actually kind of stunning and her makeup is beautiful. It kind of bothers me that formerly pudgy Fame thinks the way to look ugly is to make herself look bigger. Also that neck piece is the same thing she wore for Leather and Lace in a different color.
The musical scenes are screened once the runway presentation ends, and I must emphasize once again that I am almost completely unfamiliar with John Waters’s oeuvre so you should take my opinions with a grain of salt. Katya and Kennedy’s scene is first.
Katya is hysterical and wacky and weird while Kennedy is just kind of there. She sings well and gets all her lines right and everything, but when a bitch is doing this
you have to bring your A game. I truly believe that queens should be held to higher standards when they are working within their wheelhouse (and also be given extra credit when they succeed in something that doesn’t play to their strengths) and since Kennedy is a singer she really needed to bring something funnier and more energetic to the scene.
Next is Ginger and Trixie.
It’s strange and gross which I think was the intention, so good job ladies! Ginger’s line delivery starts off eerily similar to the way she played Michelle Visage a few challenges ago, but I can’t hate because she does a very good job. Trixie seemed very meek and awkward in comparison, once again failing to deliver on the promise of her sense of humor. Other than some cute prop work with a spatula and frying pan she’s a bit of a snooze.
Finally the Triplets of Dragville present “Poo” which is the only scene for which I have any frame of reference. All three of them decided to add some padding to make themselves look “fat” with varying degrees of
Nobody is very good in this scene although Violet has definitely improved since the last acting challenge. Fame’s Divine makeup looks great but her performance is unimpressive, and Pearl is fairly awkward (which is disappointing since she was so funny in the Merle challenge and the Snatch Game).
Each queen gets critiqued this week, starting with Kennedy. The judges agree that her runway look wasn’t really all that ugly, and I really expected them to read her to filth for letting Katya outshine her in their scene when she was supposed to be the main character but they instead compliment her performance. I’ve come to like Kennedy and I think she’s funny but I think her performances in a lot of the challenge have been really over-praised.
Katya is next and she is applauded for both actually coming out in a truly ugly dress (John Waters thinks the hippest girl in Brooklyn might wear it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not ugly) and turning a small role into a hilarious scene-stealing performance.
Ginger’s choice to wear the ugliest shade of Michelle’s least favorite color gets her a pass on the runway look, and she gets well-deserved praise for her performance.
Trixie gets called out for not being ugly enough and not standing out in the video.
The judges tell Pearl that her dress was the least ugly, and to her credit she says “I’m not going to lie, I feel cute.” I guess if you’re going to fail to meet the parameters of the challenge you should own it! Michelle says that she knew her lines and that was good, but her performance was a little shy.
The judges agree that Violet had the best ugly dress and that in her scene she was the most believable as Divine, but Michelle calls out her weird baby-bump padding for not being over-the-top enough and the judges thought her performance was flat overall.
Nobody thinks Fame’s dress is ugly, because it’s not, and they think she was too busy making evil faces and trying too hard to look like a devil to actually be a part of the scene with the other queens.
Ru wraps up the critique by asking the queens to say who they think should go home. Kennedy kicks things off by saying Miss Fame, because “the struggle is real” (that is definitely the catchphrase they’re pushing hardest this season). And they go down the line each saying Fame one by one, which is completely fair considering how poorly she’s done in the majority of the challenges, but still kind of a bummer since Fame is such a sweetheart. The only one who doesn’t say Fame is Violet, who thinks Trixie should go home because after being brought back for a second chance she should have delivered a lot more. I 100% agree with that and I’m glad somebody said it. And finally, Fame tells all the other girls to fuck off and then says Pearl should go home because she has a “too cool for season 7” attitude. Pearl is like “Yeah, no.”
Ru and the judges deliberate on their own before bringing back the queens and declaring Ginger the winner. BUT KATYA! DID YOU NOT SEE KATYA? Anyhow, Katya and Kennedy are sent to safety which really gets my goat because Kennedy deserved to be in the bottom group, but whatever. Trixie is declared safe and I feel like I’m being really harsh on her this episode considering that I actually do like her, but clearly this was a decision that was made because after making such a huge deal of bringing her back they couldn’t have her go the way of Carmen Carrera and Kenya Michaels. Violet did perfectly fine in the challenge and had the best runway, so why she’s in the bottom three is a mystery to me. But the producers once again go for narrative over sense in picking the bottom two, as Pearl and Fame are asked to lipsync (when it really should have been Trixie and Fame).
They face off to a tremendously mediocre and boring Demi Lovato song (this is my crankiest recap yet, I’m so sorry, you seem very sweet Demi but this is not my jam), the highlight of which is them flipping each other the bird simultaneously.
It’s kind of like the vicodin version of the time Joslyn Fox and Laganja Estranja did simultaneous splits. Anyway, I make no secret of the fact that I love Pearl with all my heart but I was really convinced for a minute that they were going to do a double elimination. Because it wasn’t a good lipsync! Fame’s lack of performing skills has been much talked about since she comes to the competition as a makeup artist without having put in a ton of time lipsynching at clubs, and my theory that they never put her in the bottom before this because they knew she wouldn’t survive a lipsync proves to be very plausible. Bitch had room for like six tearaways under that dress and she didn’t even do one! She could have had a whole damn flock of chickens emerge from her undercarriage! But she didn’t even so much as twirl! And though Pearl gave it more energy, it was pretty clear that she didn’t really know what to do with the song except flail her arms around more emphatically than usual and do some low-energy dance moves. But it was enough to keep her safe, since Fame just kind of walked back and forth across the stage the whole time.
Ru sends Fame off with a line I’m sure she wrote down weeks ago and has been waiting and waiting to be able to say: “Miss Fame, your 15 minutes with us may be up, but your legend will live forever.”
This week’s Untucked was pretty delightful and weird! There were a couple of bummer moments (Fame getting very emotional and crying because everybody called her out on stage and she’s been trying really hard and it hurts to hear she’s not good enough, and Trixie taking Violet to task for saying she should go home which, come on, she had a valid reason honey) but the rest was highlight after highlight after highlight. So I made a list of highlights!
- Pearl calls out Fame on giving a bullshit reason for saying she should go home, since she really only had the one week where she was feeling really frustrated and over it and has been doing really well ever since. And everybody, including shade-masters Kennedy and Ginger back her up!
- Trixie and Katya tell Pearl they envy her chill attitude because they both get too stressed out all the time and it’s not cute.
- Ginger calls Katya’s look “Cowardly Lion with an identity crisis,” leading to Katya writhing around on the couch and the floor making weird noises.
- Everybody then immediately starts talking about how they wouldn’t be mad if Katya won the whole competition because she’s so great. I have so much in common with these queens!
- Violet, on the relative ugliness of her and Kennedy’s outfits: “In no context in no time period would my dress ever be acceptable to wear anywhere. Miss Meemaw wearing that to Easter Sunday would be sickening.” Kennedy responds that if her grandma tried to wear her dress, she would snatch it right off her body.
- Ginger, Katya and Pearl take a smoke break together. Ginger starts saying “Can we all agree that if Miss Fame doesn’t lipsync tonight…” and Katya finishes “We kill her!”
- Katya gently twerks while standing on a grate.
- Katya and Ginger harass a poor crew member who is just standing there texting. Ginger says that he wears the tightest pants with the biggest bulge, leading to a prolonged crotch shot. Katya tells him “You know you want this crochet pussy.”
- While the other girls are outside, Kennedy gets so bored of talking to Trixie and Violet that she legit lays on the couch and takes a nap with her skirt pulled up and her granny panties on display.
- After the elimination, John Waters pops backstage to say hello to the remaining queens and congratulate them on a job well done. It’s sweet! He was also very sweet as a judge.
- Miss Fame says an emotional farewell, and tells us all that she’s only just begun leaving a beauty mark on the face of the world.