Fierce and Funny
Dela shows the effects of the lip-synch. There are tear stains on her face. She thanks the back row for their gasp of support when they thought she was going home. Courtney declares she would have started a riot had Dela gone home. “You’ve made the wrong decision!” she cries. Darienne does not look pleased.
Laganja demands congratulations for her team’s win. Courtney flatly says they shouldn’t have won. Laganja sourly interviews that Adore carried her team, but notes that Adore has on a sweater and skirt from Forever 21, while Laganja spent a lot of time on her look. Adore’s response? “Party!”
Joslyn is still upset about Courtney saying she isn’t polished. Courtney defends her opinion, but offers Joslyn access to her stuff. Joslyn points out that she has an entire rack of stuff. What is really bothering her is that Courtney hurt her feelings. Courtney offers to help her get better, but Joslyn finds that patronizing. Courtney agrees that is, but all she can do is be honest. Joslyn interviews that she doesn’t look up to Courtney any more. From this point, it’s game on.
The next day, Dela is eager for a fresh start. Laganja has arrived with a casual look: A Laganja t-shirt, a “no smoking sign” sticking out of the side of her head, and some kind of de-stuffed animal on her shoulder. She calls Bianca “Mama,” and Bianca takes umbrage, saying her name is Bianca.
She-Mail RuPaul is wearing dark glasses. She advises the queens to “Do You. But not too much or you’ll go blind… Not funny.” This mystifies the queens, but Boy RuPaul arrives to explain things.
After the mini-challenge. Which is putting make-up on on their chins and lip-synching upside down. Like Blamtina did on Glee during “Don’t You Forget About Me.” As usual, I have no idea who is best — but RuPaul decides that Joslyn is the winner.
The main challenge is to write and deliver a stand-up comedy routine. This was done three times on the show: Season Three, Season Five, and All-Stars. Previously, however, the queens got mentoring help. There is no mention of mentors this time.
Because of her win, Joslyn gets the power of deciding the show’s performance order. Shangela claimed this to be a great way of strategizing. She supposedly screwed over the Heathers by putting them in two starting spots, and the two final spots. Joslyn puts the strongest comedy queens, Darienne and Bianca in first and last. The second and second to last spots are herself and Courtney.
Dela amuses the camera by doing crazy faces as she writes. She’s obviously going into character. Adore finds this hilarious. She asks Dela what she’s writing, and Dela answers she’s going to do a “personal narrative.” Darienne laughs loudly, which is strange and probably meant to intimidate.
Bianca wonders if Adore is writing an actual routine, or just random words to throw out. Joslyn brags that she does a lot of jokes when she waits tables. Her joke? When serving jumbo shrimp, she tells the patron she hopes they aren’t allergic — to oxymorons! Wonk wonk.
Now I’m worried for her.
In a bit of foreshadowing, Laganja has disappeared. They discover her under one of the tables, pretending she’s in a tent. She mutters her catchphrases to herself. Well, everyone has their own writing method.
Bianca thinks Laganja is just trying to get more attention. Dela, in an interview, think that Laganja is the one who really hides behind her character. Adore just keeps saying that Laganja on the show is not the person she is off the show.
RuPaul appears and asks Dela is she’s going to bounce back from being on the bottom. Dela is worried. Her comedy isn’t stand-up. It’s character based. RuPaul reminds her that Michelle wants to know who she is. Dela responds that this challenge will be perfect for exposing herself.
Bianca tells RuPaul that she’s more used to doing observational humor, not a set routine. That’s right, Bianca. Try to persuade us that you don’t have this in the bag.
Trinity is looking woebegone.. RuPaul encourages her to build on her good performance last week. “Your habit is to shut down,” he says. He tells her seize the moment and unlock the emotion that holds her back.
In leaving, RuPaul adds a twist: The audience will consist of senior citizens. Adore is devastated by the news. Her style is heavy with swear words. “I”m [bleeped]!” she wails.
Bruce Vilanch and Jaime Presley.
After some back and forth snark, and an inspiring story about Joslyn’s grandfather, we’re ready for the big show!
Darienne starts it off with jokes about being single, and overweight. She kills it. Courtney follows and does okay with Australian jokes. Her gay, drag jokes don’t get much response. She sings a song, which is nice, but not very funny.
Adore wears a tiny sombrero and calls herself the Mexican Katy Perry. I don’t think they know who Katy Perry is. When she starts to bomb, she whines that it’s her first time and promises to mow everyone’s lawn after the show. Dela tries telling jokes about Seattle (her moist area). An old lady starts knitting and a heckler calls out, “Tell us a joke!” She puts the mic down.
One old lady likes Laganja’s act. Until she starts talking about weed and calling the audience’s vaginas dry. Not good.
Trinity takes over and makes everyone stand up. The audience loves it! She makes jokes about being black, then segues into stories about her mother, her grandmother, and how poor they all were. She ends by taking her wig off.
Joslyn has a really funny bit about ADHD, where she gets distracted by a rhinestone during the middle of her joke. I like her humor, but it’s more conceptual than a traditional routine, and it goes over the audience’s heads.
Then, Bianca comes out an kills it. Kills it dead, buries it, digs it up, and kills it again. She starts with Cocoon, and Pearl Harbor, and goes into riff about her Cuban/Honduran heritage. The audience is rolling with laughter.
There’s some judging, but they all agree with me. And all you need to know about the looks is that Laganja is wearing a huge pink afro. Everyone else looks more or
less like a person.
They do warn Adore that she’s resting on charming. And Michelle still doesn’t know who Dela is, on the inside. Jaime gives Dela a good piece of advice, which is to let the audience breathe in between the jokes.
Also, and this is important, Michelle tells Laganja to stop with the stupid catchphases. She calls it a facade, and that she likes Laganja when she drops the “character” she’s playing.
Bianca wins, of course. She gets a custom gown from Marco Marco, which Bianca could probably make better for less money. But, it’s good that she gets that second win. Trinity is called safe, but RuPaul makes a point to praise her for getting past that “saboteur voice” that was holding her back. “I’m so proud I could be here to see it,” she says.
Laganja and Joslyn are in the bottom two. I’m very relieved. I don’t think I could take Dela lip-synching again so soon. They perform to “Stupid Girls” (Pink), and the other queens are really into it. There’s a moment when both Laganja and Joslyn — without looking at each other — do the same jump splits. The back row bursts into cheers and applause.
Laganja even lifts one leg over her head, like a Russian figure skater. But RuPaul’s eyes are looking at Joslyn. It’s not surprise, then, that Joslyn stays.
Laganja delivers an extra-long farewell speech, and says she will be the only queen ever to “chassé” away. (It’s a ballet step.)
She goes to the back room and says all the right things. She writes XOXO, Ganja on the mirror. It’s considerate of her to keep the message short (as Darienne requested long ago). And, she will be remembered for her annoying catchphrases, superior dance skills, and ONE HELL OF AN UNTUCKED.
Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night…
It starts out slowly. Adore is suffering from feelings on inferiority. Courtney calls the judging a “rollercoaster,” but loved it. Because she loved hearing RuPaul’s inspirational speeches, and the one to Trinity was terrific.
Laganja expresses surprise that Michelle found her voice annoying. Courtney gently tells her that the voice she uses “more than fifty percent of the time” doesn’t seem genuine. Joslyn observes that it looks like a cry for attention. She notes, interestingly, that Laganja demands attention, when she should command it. “You’re much better than that,” she emphasizes.
Laganja is dumbfounded. She isn’t aware that she does any kind of a voice. “Why aren’t you saying this to Dela?” she asks.
Trinity explains that Ben puts on the Dela character when in drag. Laganja does “the voice” in or out of drag, so it’s hard to know if it’s character or something else.
Laganja wonders why everyone is talking behind her back about this alleged voice. Darienne denies that anyone was talking about it. But they’ve all apparently noticed it. Trinity thinks it’s good to talk about the issue, and Laganja thanks the others for their honesty. She seems sincere, but Courtney squints suspiciously.
In an interview Laganja insists that she is always sincere. This is who she is.
They drop the subject, and Dela randomly says, “I am not going home.” She’s kind of joking, but that made it into the previews.
Adore complains about her critique, but the other queens agree with the judges. Joslyn tells her that her “charm” is endearing, but it gets old. Adore does a take ot the camera. “I’m not reading you,” Joslyn says. She wants Adore to own her talent and be the star she is.
Then they are summoned for the Big Furry Pink Box. It’s a video from Joslyn’s fiance. He talks about her dead nephew (only six years old!), who is looking down from Heaven to see her win the crown. As if that’s not enough, he bring in their pet doggie, and asks Joslyn to set a date for their wedding. It’s sweet, but these videos are getting a little formulaic.
But Joslyn breaks down, feeling guilty about leaving her family alone. The other reassure her, and coo about the wedding. “Are you going to cut the ass out of the wedding dress?” Bianca asks. Joslyn shakes her head no, and says she won’t be wearing a wedding dress. “Just nine bikinis,” Dela jokes.
Joslyn starts to talk about doubting herself. Laganja interrupts and pulls the focus back to herself. This sets Bianca off. She decides to confront Laganja about the parent’s video freakout. She tells the story again, quoting Laganja that her parents only disapproved of her drag, nothing else, and that she’d only been doing drag for two years. So, why was Laganja saying she’d waited twenty-four year for that video?
Bianca then calls Laganja out for playing a poor little drag queen character. (Bianca notes in an interview that she does on this night because she may never get another chance.)
Laganja responds that Bianca is cheap to come for her when she’s down. But, no surprise.
Bianca keeps coming. She points out that Laganja is real off camera. Laganja tells Bianca to keep coming for her if she to do that to make herself feel better. That shuts Bianca up.
In the silence, Courtney asks Laganja if she’s aware that she puts on this character. Laganja insists that there is no character. She is always completely sincere. At this, Adore chimes in. The Laganja on the show is not the Laganja she knows off of it. “This now, this is the bitch I know. I don’t know the ‘Yes, Mama!'”
“I do that with my friends, ” Laganja says.
“Not with me.” Adore replies.
“I think Laganja has got the message,” Courtney says.
Trinity urges Laganja to relax and strokes her arm soothingly.
Laganja interviews: I thought I could come here and be who am I am, and have a heart, and show that to people. But she concludes that the show is just like the human race. [Bleeping] evil.
For a moment, the room seems to settle down. But then Laganja winds herself back up and storms out of the lounge, asking for a PA to fetch a nail that has fallen off her hand. “Because I’m such a disaster!”
Silence. Courtney finally says, “I’m not sure we handled that the best way.”
We see Laganja crying and stamping her feet in the hallway. The queens discuss the fight a little, with Courtney sensibly pointing out that Laganja isn’t capable of hearing them at the moment. And that she may have missed the parts where they assured her that she was fierce and, annoying fake camera personality aside, they all enjoy her company.
Eventually, Laganja settles down and they go back to the runway for the lip-synch. The back row makes sure to show their support for both Joslyn and Laganja, clapping and cheering them on extra hard.
Episode 8 Untucked