RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5 — Episode Two – Recap and VIDEO

Lip-Sync Lock

The queens come back from the runway to read Penny’s farewell message written on the mirror with lipstick (a Drag Race tradition). Monica confesses that she thought she would be up for elimination. Serena feels that her win against Penny in the lip-sync will earn her respect from the others. However, she’s disappointed to learn that they all wanted Penny to win.

We spend a little time learning about a threesome that’s developed: Rolaskatox. It seems that Detox and Roxxy (who were already friends) have bonded with Alaska. This kind of thing provides interesting backstage drama, but not this week.

Instead, we go straight into the mini-challenge. RP brings out a large plywood board painted with five RuPauls with the mouths cut out. The challenge will be for the queens to lip-sync in groups of four or five, using only their mouths. Since only their lips show, the queen exaggerate their mouth make-up with dark lip outlining and glitter. Smart!

The three winners are Serena Cha-Cha, Ivy Winters, and Detox. They then do a school yard pick. Serena gets first choice and picks Roxxy (last week’s winner), Alyssa, and Jinkx. Detox is second and gets Alaska, Monica, and Coco. Ivy is last and picks Lineysha, Vivienne, and Honey.

Jade is left unpicked and goes to Serena’s team by default — something she is not happy about. She’s even less happy when she discovers her team assignment. The queens are challenged to re-enact Untucked scenes from previous seasons. Serena’s team gets two scene from Season Three, and Jade is randomly given Delta Work (a “big girl”) to impersonate. She vows to throw Serena under the bus if they lose the challenge.

Over on Team Detox, they divide up the roles from Season Four. Alaska grabs the part of Phi-Phi O’Hara (who famously fought with Alaska’s boyfriend, Sharon Needles). Detox plays Sharon, while Monica and Coco will re-enact a fight between Jiggly Caliente and LaShawn Beyond.

The Ivy Winters team is working on scenes from Season Two. Vivienne fears that Lineysha will suffer from not speaking English that well.

RuPaul comes to mentor the teams. She asks Jade about playing Delta, and Jade perkily replies that she’s a team player. Alyssa tells RuPaul that she’ll play Shangela and reminds him that she is Shangela’s drag mother. RuPaul questions Serena’s lack of characterization in impersonating Raja in the scene. Which is a bit of a pity, because Serena is actually doing a fairly good imitation at this point of Raja’s rather flat, understated persona.

RuPaul drops in a little history by telling the queens about Lypsinka, who is famous for lip-syncing to spoken word.

Moving on to Team Detox, RuPaul asks Alaska why she didn’t choose to impersonate Sharon. “I live with Sharon, I do her all the time,” Alaska replies. Detox mentions that the biggest challenge in the task is listening to Phi-Phi’s voice over and over gain.

Back to Team Ivy, RuPaul asks for some Tatianna and Tyra, Lineysha misunderstands and doesn’t do anything. It’s not looking good for her.

We cut to the filming of the scenes. Team Serena adds a funny bit to the Shangela/Mimi fight where Shangela rushes Mimi and gets lifted up into the air. (Mimi was infamous for doing this during a Lip-Sync for Your LIfe.) Serena has unfortunately taken RuPaul’s words to heart and is playing Raja as an octogenarian. So stupid. Roxxy headtalks that she knows they’ll be on the bottom.

At first, Lineysha bugs the hell out of her team by acting crazy and pulling focus. Which, oddly enough, is exactly what Tyra used to do. Once she calms down, her impersonation (and lip-sync) of Tyra is incredible.

Alaska confesses that she uses Phi-Phi’s frantic gestures to cover up the holes in her lip-sync. Monica is very distracted during the taping. Coco, as LaShawn, has a hilariously pulled a ponytail straight up, looking like a Dr. Seuss character.

As the queens put together their runway looks (“Dress to Impress”), Monica is again distracted. She has a huge secret. Coco comforts her, but admits to being worried for her in a talking head.

RuPaul takes the runway in a gorgeous black gown with white lace accents. The guest judges are Kristen Johnson (from Third Rock from the Sun) and Juliete Lewis.

The standouts on the runway are Ivy (who walks on stilts), Roxxy (dressed in a nude bodysuit covered with sequined fringe), Coco in a red and black leather ensemble, and Detox, who is wearing a black feathered evil queen gown. Serena looks like Miss Panama in a huge carnival costume. Unfortunately, the effect is marred by a pair of granny panties that show from the back. (Carmen Carrera would have worn a thong with that and wowed for days.)

The judges view the finished Untucked videos. Alyssa, Jinkx, and Roxxy are all very good, but Serena is terrible and Jade is doing the lamest, cheapest imitation of Delta Work possible. The entire joke is basically that Delta is fat.

Team Ivy’s video is tight on characterization and lip-syncing. Team Detox’s video ends with “Phi-Phi” and “Sharon” making out in the grossest possible way. It earns laughter and applause from the judges.

In the end Team Ivy wins, and Lineysha gets the prize for best player. She wins a couture latex outfit from Siren Latex, plus immunity for the next week. Honey, who thought she was the standout, gives a bitch face at the news.

The two losing teams stand up for judgement.

The judges praise Alyssa as being better than the original Shangela. Michelle dings Serena for her abuelita panties. Santino calls Roxxy’s runway outfit, “Chewbacca in drag.”

“Shut up!” says Kristen, earning the love of every queen who has ever stood on that runway. “It was fabulous.”

When the judges criticize Monica, she dissolves into tears, admitting that she has a secret weighing her down. RuPaul asks what the secret is and Monica admits that she’s a transgendered woman(!). RuPaul reassures her that she deserves to be in the competition. Jinkx says, in a talking head, that Monica is now his hero.

The judges deliberate, with Kristen consistently giving the best critiques. She says she loves Raja and that Serena failed completely. Although the other judges like Jade, she points out how cheap the humor was. She correctly dings Alaska for going over the top as Phi-Phi. And she gives an interesting critique (that I’m not sure I agree with) that Detox is a bit too “been there, done that.”

Monica and Serena are up for elimination. They lip-sync to “Only Girl (in the World).” From the very beginning, Monica is slaying it. Serena is using the two tricks she knows, but Monica is embodying the lyrics. You can see the judges turning to watch Monica. At the end, someone calls out Monica’s name — I can’t tell if it’s a judge or a queen.

Serena writes her farewell message on the mirror. The only words I can make out are “God Bless,” but in her exit interview, she urges the others to “pick up a book and read.” College queen!

Serena Cha-Cha made a mistake that a lot of young queens do. She thought her youth and fishiness was more powerful than it actually is. It takes time to learn all the tricks of the drag trade. I”m not at all sorry to see her leave. I only wish that she’d gone sooner and we could have had another week of Penny Tration.