RuPaul’s Drag Race – Episode 5 – Despy Housewives
Apparently, the collective fantrum over Trixie’s elimination last week overshadows BenDeLaCreme’s elimination by a factor of 8.347 million billion. Somewhere in Texas, RuPaul is sitting in his ranch house, cackling madly and diving through dollars bills like Scrooge McDuck. But, in the Werk Room, Katya can’t get over the shock. She asks Pearl if she thought the judging was fair, but Pearl is over the judges. Cue record-scratch sounds. Over the judges? ¡Escandalo!
I have to quote Pearl’s confessional, because this is priceless: “Back home, everybody loves me. When I came here, I thought I was going to be so sickening and everyone was gonna be obsessed with me but that’s not the case.”
Mrs. Kasha Davis mutters bitterly in the background that certain people, shouldn’t get to stay if they are so over it when others worked their butts off, making audition tapes for fifty-three years. We go to commercial and ponder this question: Who will prevail? The Bitter Brigade or the Over-it-Onslaught?
New day, new video. RuPauls hawks one of the RuPaul figurines, as she talks about trophies and “golden globes.” We’ll have to wait to find out what her cryptic puns mean, because we have mini-challenge first.
The mini-challenge, which RuPaul calls “Frock, Paper, Scissors,” is to work in pairs, recreating a famous red carpet look out of paper. It’s a tribute to super fan PaperDragRace, who recreated looks from the show in paper from — I think it’s Season 5. It’s bugging me that I can’t remember the name of the guy. The winners of the challenge are Katya and Kasha. Katya recreates the Bjork swan dress, but what puts them over the top is Kasha’s impersonation of Joan Rivers, fashion-policing the look.
The queens learn that they need to stay in their pairs to work on the main challenge, which is to put on an award show. It’s called The DESPYS, which is, I guess a play on the ESPYs? Seriously? I don’t get it.
Anyway, four of the teams will have to present one award to one of the contestants. In order to do that, they need to come up with a list of nominees, and write their own banter. The fifth team, Katya and Kasha get to MC the entire event.
Miss Fame got saddled with Violet Chatchki and the “meatiest tuck” award, so they spend a lot of their prep time with Fame thinking up jokes and Violet rejecting them. When RuPaul makes his Werk Room walk-through, they’ve decided to embrace their dark sides. He comments that darksided-ness is the very opposite of funny, so I don’t know what they’ll end up doing.
Kennedy Davenport, working on a list of nominees for “sexy, sexy drag queen,” looks miffed that she can’t nominate herself. Ginger Minj as no such scruples, but since she and Kandy are working on the “shadiest queen” list, it seems quite appropriate for her snatch a place on it.
The last team is Max and “Over it” Pearl. The award they are presenting is “most busted” queen, but, before that can happen, they actually win the award for Most Intensely Uncomfortable Ru-Session ever. RuPaul comes over to ask Pearl how she’s going to get out of her bottom three status, given her flatline personality. When Pearl whines that RuPaul is undermining her confidence, Ru replies that she’s “twisting your tits” to push her to her fullest.
Stare. Long stare. More staring. “Is there something on my face?” Pearl finally asks. “I want to see a fire under your ass,” RuPaul snaps. “That’s why I brought you here!”
Poor Max has nearly burrowed into the couch from how uncomfortable this is. After RuPaul leaves, Pearl stares into space. Max tries to give her a pep talk, but Pearl gets up and walks right out of the room.
After the commercial break, Pearl still isn’t back, and Max has no idea if she ever will be. The others are already editing their banter scripts, but she’s just sitting in the same spot, looking scared and helpless. Pearl finally comes back.
“How are you feeling?” Max asks. “Defeated,” Pearl drawls.
But things seem better in the special Kathy Griffin feedback session. She’s a very fun mentor, yelling at one team to make their jokes “More gay!” She tells Miss Fame and Violet that their jokes are too blue, and they’re so young they don’t even know what that means. She gives a great note to Max and Pearl about directly their shade away from the judges and audience, because that’s not going to go over very well.
On Elimination Day, a box is set up so that the queens can vote for the winners of each award. Splendid way to stir the pot, producers! We’ll have to see whether that generates any drama on Untucked. Pearl thanks Max for being supportive and talks to the camera about her teen abandonment issues. Miss Fame tells us stories about her youth, which was spent on a chicken farm. She used to show chickens — which sounds a lot like pageant work. She also does a mean chicken imitation.
RuPaul’s runway gown is made of gold lame, with hair bow that sticks up like bunny ears. This is the second bunny dress in a row. Is she trying tell us something?
The DESPY awards begin. Katya, like me, doesn’t know what they stand for, but her best guess is “Desperate Egotistical Sluts Prancing in the Yard.” There’s an audience, which includes all the queens and pit crew. Plus some random seat-fillers.
The entire show is pretty good. Everyone seems funny, although the editors try to convince us that some jokes are falling flat. It’s pretty obvious that they aren’t. Kennedy gets a great laugh by referring to herself and Jaidyn’s figures as “hourglass and… wall clock.” Pearl turns up her energy to eleven when presenting with Max. She looks gorgeous, in a Marilyn Monroe way. I think she’s even wearing pads.
Violet wins the Shadiest Queen award, and babbles like Sally Field. “You don’t like me! You really don’t like me!”) For all their difficulties writing the script, both Violet and Miss Fame deliver their jokes like champs.
There is no runway, the queens are judged in their award show gowns. And nobody really misses the mark. But, probably because of Pearl managing not to fall apart, Team PearlMax wins. This makes two in a row for Max. Pearl thanks RuPaul for giving her a smack down in the Werk Room. Kennedy and Jaidynn are safe, and the bottom three teams are subjected to judge comments.
Mrs. Kasha Davis is told she needs to be more over-the-top. Michelle Visage tells Katya that her hair needs more volume. She tells Ginger Minj to cut back on her forehead shading. Kandy is told that she’s fading into the background. Violet is told to slow down when talking — her words are getting lost.
RuPaul tries to call Violet out for winning the Shadiest award — and theorizes that Violet spends too much time reading fashion magazines instead of interacting with other people. But Violet shoots back, “the Internet happened… don’t know if you’ve heard of it.”
Miss Fame is praised for her fashionable gown, and the judges commend her for trying to get out of her head.
The critiques are so specific and small that it seems like there’s no real critique to make. Nobody was terrible. But it’s obvious that the judges are going to put Kasha and Kandy in the bottom two. Violet is the last one called safe. I suspect that RuPaul gave her a warning about playing nicely with the others.
Mrs. Kasha Davis tells us she’s ready for this lip-synch. She pulls up her skirt, which fortunately has a high slit, and starts moving to “Loverboy” by Teena Marie. Kandy takes a little longer to warm up, but soon she starts hitting the moves, and it’s too close for me to call at the end. RuPaul ends up sending Kasha home. To be honest, I don’t expect Kandy to last much longer. But I will say that her look tonight is absolutely beautiful. Then again, so was Kasha’s.
I’ll come back tomorrow with the Untucked recap and the links to the videos.
So, who are your Top Three at this point? Let me know in the comments!
Max and Pearl clutch hands as they skip to the lounge. Max is pumping her fist, and Pearl is actually smiling.
At the non-lounge, Pearl accidentally knocks over Jaidynn’s cocktail, leaving red stains on Max’s tights. She and Max, by the way, are drinking water. I don’t know if this is a Midwest thing, or if everybody these days is just automatically going into rehab upon reaching the legal drinking age. No wonder Absolute stopped sponsoring this show.
Pearl talks about her traumatic staredown with RuPaul the day before. What fascinates me is seeing Max’s hand sneak into the frame when Pearl insists that she does have personality to give Pearl a supportive shoulder rub. Max reminds me a little of Chad Michaels. She combines flawless runway character with lots of backstage nurturing. She’s only 22, but she seems like the house mother.
But getting back to problem child Pearl, Pearl was “ready to bounce” the day before. She realized, though, that she’d regret that in six months. So, instead, she delivered. She apologizes to Max (who reassures her), and everyone concludes that RuPaul will do anything to drag out a queen’s potential. Or, as Max puts it, “it fucking worked.”
Jaidynn laughs about winning the Most Busted award. It stung a little, but she knows that she’s short and fat. She makes it work for her. She praises Pearl’s hilarious Ginger Minj imitation. Max imitates RuPaul laughing at that — and then there’s this weird transition to them talking about the bottom teams. Kandy, Kasha, and Violet are called the weak links of their respective teams. (Although Kennedy thinks that both Violet and Miss Fame flatlined. They talk — for the umpteenth time — about Violet’s negative energy. Kasha is beloved, but Max notes that she gets nervous on the main stage.
They talk a little about how time that lost meaning in the game. Nobody knows how long they’ve been there, or how long it is until they’re done. Kennedy can’t, because if she keeps track, she’ll get homesick. Pearl is always surprised when she goes outside to find out that it’s daytime.
The unsafe queens come in. Kandy announces that she’s over it. She confesses to us that she’s tired and drained. She doesn’t know if she can keep going. (I suspect she won’t have to very much longer.) Kasha gives “no excuses,” she then she blames her critique on Katya writing the script and giving herself the best material. The only critique she minds is the judges saying that she “isn’t trying hard enough.” Not when there are other queens who a) packed their bags, b) almost left the production, and c) are saying they’re “over it.”
Ginger minded Michelle saying her gown looked cheap. It cost her $5,000! This surprises everyone. Kasha says her gown cost $19. Pearl’s was $4 a yard. Jaidynn made hers from some fabric her aunt gave her. Ginger apologizes to Kandy, because the judges said Ginger steamrolled over her. Kandy isn’t bothered. This is the most I’ve liked Kandy yet.
Max checks in with Katya (who is disappointed), and Violet. Well, it’s time for the Violet drama we were set up for with the Shadiest award. Nobody is mean, but all the queens let her know that she’s coming across as negative, rude, and defensive. Violet tries to explain and apologize, and tells them she’s overwhelmed. Well, they all are, so that’s not going to go anywhere. “I’m not here to make friends!” she cries out. That’s not going to work, either. Right now, they’re all she’s got — and it’s hard to hear whining from someone who gets constant praise from the judges. However, Pearl points out that she’s finally showing some vulnerability, and they all applaud her for that.
We finally get a video from home! It’s Ginger’s boyfriend, who loves her, misses her, and supports her no matter where she ends up placing. Ginger immediately starts crying. She tells them that she didn’t have a very good life until she met “that man. And he’s the first person who’s ever made me feel attractive, and talented, and funny, and like a human being.” By now, they’re all crying. Even cold-hearted Violet. Ginger tells them she lied to the producers: she’s not mentally stable.
That joke breaks the tension. The five-minute warning is called. Pearl runs out for a smoke. Miss Fame can’t stop crying because of Ginger’s reaction to the video. Not until she flips into hysterical laughter, and we’re into a glorious meltdown. This is the most I’ve liked Miss Fame. It’s even better than the chicken farm story. Jaidynn laughs, because she’s had these kinds of meltdowns herself. “Get those feelings out!” she grins.
Kasha gets a little pre-leaving time. She doesn’t want to lip-synch, but she leaves the main stage with class. While packing, she reiterates her annoyance with queens who give up, but she has nothing but gratitude to RuPaul and the show for rewarding her determination. She’s looking forward to a brighter future.
Bonus Bonus Video
Have we done this one yet? Great series!