The RuPaul Re-Cap: Reality Show Matryoshka

Welcome to The RuPaul Re-cap, a weekly series where I will be discussing the newest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. All-Stars 3 is finally here, and I will be choosing 3 topics to discuss. A SPOILER WARNING is in effect…

First: The Challenge. The majority of the episode consisted of The Bitchelor challenge, where the girls were assigned a personality type for a dating show. Here is the rundown: Aja and Kennedy were given the roles of the needy girl and the party girl, respectively. Trixie and Milk were paired as the fake bitch and the psycho stalker. Ben and BeBe played the cougar and the virgin, and Chi Chi and Shangela played the polyamorous couple; Chi Chi was intensely interested in the bachelor and Shangela in Chi Chi.

We quickly learned that some queens felt much less prepared than others. BeBe admitted that she did not consider herself a comedian, but was very excited. Initially, I felt worried for Ben because BeBe’s idea was not clear to me. BeBe is polished and regal, and Ben is campy and funny. But, they made an interesting couple! I was excited for Aja, but it became clear that she misunderstood her character. I was definitely most concerned for Chi Chi, who did not seem to embody a distinguishable character. Trixie remarked that she could easily imagine Shangela bulldozing Chi Chi because the former has a background in improv. Everyone’s favourite Celine Dion made a point of saying that she felt “good about playing the stalker bitch” because of past experience. She was “very confident about [her] role.” Sound familiar?

That smug smile..

Here is what went down: BeBe’s acting overall was a shock because she created an entire character. Her costume was very cool. I found the bowing a little overdone, and it felt like she gave a lot of exposition, but she choose a unique take on the character. She was consistent, and her quiet giggles played up the shy aspect effectively. It was a funny juxtaposition to have the virgin and the cougar together. Ben immediately had her ‘private parts’ blurred out because of her wardrobe choice. With a drink already in hand, she delivered lines equally cringey and hilarious. Ben had me laughing the most. One fantastic line was that her friends called her Bedtime Baby because “I like to tuck a big boy in night-night.” She was disgusting, chewing up a banana and rubbing it on her breasts. Like a good Mama Bird, Ben’s regurgitated food was “perfect for a wittle baby like [Jeffrey].”

Trixie and Milk seemed like the perfect pairing. Trixie exited the car, already on her phone, and shit-talked the driver behind his back. “Some people might say I’m fake, but those people are alcoholics” she quipped. Throughout the challenge she constantly forgot Jeffrey’s name, solidifying her character’s indifference. When Milk came out she opened with a line about restraining orders. Her set of binoculars were funny, but very over the top. Trixie struggled to be heard over Milk, even though Michelle had warned them not to talk over each other. I seemed that Milk did not get the memo. Trixie played the fake bitch perfectly, but seldom got lines in. Milk started out rough, and became unbearable. Her joke about wearing the same shirt as Jeffrey was funny. But as the challenge progressed, she was more and more obnoxious.

Giving fake realness since 1989.

Aja misinterpreted her character badly, thinking that needy and spoiled were the same thing. I understand the mistake, but her performance was a complete miss. She immediately came off as annoying and did not improve as the challenge wore on. Kennedy was the biggest surprise as she solidified her right to be on All Stars 3. She reminded everyone why she won her Snatch Game. Her outfit, and her padding were hysterical. The way she was talking, and her false teeth were outrageous. She was silly and messy in all the right ways. By the end she was licking Jeffrey’s face and had taken her wig off. My favourite line was “As I’m looking into Jeffrey’s eyes, I just get so moist inside. I need his babies.” Kennedy is certainly not the girl that you bring home to Mom and Dad.

The queen of kings!

Chi Chi and Shangela were the weakest team. Kennedy carried her team at a level which Shangela could not manage with what little Chi Chi gave her. Each time Chi Chi was thrown a bone, she seemed to throw it back to Shangela. This is necessary for playing off each other’s characters, but for Chi Chi it felt like she did not want the spotlight. Shangela this week, in my opinion, was average, but that could be because of the assigned coupling. Chi Chi also repeated Shangela constantly, betraying how uncomfortable she felt. Chi Chi’s only funny line was at the end when she said, “do you wanna have my babies?” but it was so inconsistent that it fell flat.

Second: The Runway. The runway this week was inspired by Roxxxy Andrews: Wigs on wigs on wigs. Before the queens got on stage, Trixie admitted that she thought she had a chance at top two this week and Chi Chi expressed her self-doubt.

In came as no surprise that Ben slayed the runway. The judges commented on her resemblance to Michelle, which was mostly in the hair. Ben choose a pitch-black wig and dress, and the reveal was a sleek, straight ponytail that went past her hips. It was an added plus that Ben pulled out a brush on stage, and that her dress had a hair reveal too! Personally, thinking of a hairy dress really grossed me out, but the judges said that it was a smart move because it was unexpected.

Making me gag in a bad way.

BeBe presented the best runway she has done this season. The colour she choose was beautiful, and her revealed wig reminded me of Princess Jasmine. (By the way, why the heck has there not been a Dress-as-your-Favourite-Disney-Princess challenge?) I would have gotten rid of the gloves but overall, she looked beautiful.

Trixie walked out giving Lady Bunny realness. Luckily, Trixie has no shortage of massive blonde wigs. Her glasses, outfit, and reveal were all great. Having a wig underneath that is so diametrically different than the first was a smart choice for many queens, and Trixie did it well.

Lady Bunny’s smallest wig.

Milk’s look was interesting, and as per usual I felt conflicted about it. I did not care for the first wig. I loved her garment though. The way it caught the light, the way it showed off her legs.. it was a great costume. However, I hated the second wig. The dark roots against the blond was really off-putting. But pulling the ponytail out was something a little different. For me, the best part of her runway was her make-up. I loved it all except the lip pieces, but even those did not make me mad.

I loved Aja’s first wig, but the second wig was not as strong. Luckily, she took the Wigs on Wigs on Wigs Challenge literally and she had a third wig to reveal. The third wig was much better than the second. I felt indifferent toward her outfit; it was neither bad or good.

*gasp*

Kennedy’s first wig was alright, but it was her dress that really carried the initial look. Her second wig was a beautiful, light pink that matched her make-up perfectly. I also really liked her big sparkly earrings! Milk wore similar ones, which I also liked, but Milk’s were much smaller. Like Aja, Kennedy also had a third wig, but her second was my favourite.

The runway surprise this week came from Chi Chi. She was incredible! Absolutely my favourite runway of the week. Although it might not have been the best compared with the rest, it was my favourite because it was so polished and fashionable for Chi Chi. She wore a long dress with patched zebra print, and various colours. She wore a septum piercing and had Twiggy-eqsue eyelashes. Her first wig was an afro, and the second was long, and sleek. I beseech you to find an image online if you did not see the episode.

Shangela choose a very campy outfit, that was mostly successful. When she stepped onto the runway, she was inside an ear of corn! Both of her wigs were incredibly unique, but I did not care for the dress. Her first wig looked like the outer skin of a corn cob, and the second was a green wig with pieces of popcorn attached. I have not seen that on Drag Race before, but more importantly it did not look cheap despite how odd it may sound.

Third: The Elimination. This week, Tall-and-Milky left the competition. Well, sort of, because she will be back! Throughout this episode, I went from being sympathetic with Milk to finding her insufferable. Although I felt mostly the latter, I do think that I have started to appreciate Milk more than I did before. She is a polarizing queen, and that makes for good TV.

In the beginning of the episode, we saw Milk being very vocal with Kennedy about her opinion of Thorgy’s elimination. Thorgy, of course, drew a lovely penis on the mirror for Shangela to wipe off and Kennedy did not take it lightly. This sparked an argument between Milk and Kennedy. The former of the two thought that Thorgy was not being offensive or mean-spirited. This escalated to tensions during which Milk voiced that she found Thorgy’s “concepts and looks much more exciting” [than Kennedy’s.] Milk is a fashion queen, and she considers herself on the cutting edge of novelty. With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that she sided with Thorgy, who is extremely innovative. Milk explained what many of us thought, that Thorgy was unfairly given a less funny role and was consequently eliminated. But her delivery of her opinion was rude, considering it was uncalled for and that Kennedy is such a professional queen.

Two fashion clowns hittin’ the town.

Throughout the remainder of the episode, Milk continued to show off her massive ego, still recalling how impressive she thought she had been the week prior. She even went so far as to say that she “thought she killed it” this week, and that “The idea of being in the top is so exciting.” I do feel badly when any contestant works hard and never gets to the top. But her attitude had gotten irritating and her ego was so inflated that she was being downright mean to the other girls.

When Kennedy won the lipsync against Ben, and she had said that she did not need to talk with the others, it was clear that she was out to get Milk. It is hard to say how much emotion played into this decision, especially considering I had no reason to think of Kennedy as someone who would hold a grudge until now. But she was very hurt by how she felt Milk had treated her. Aja also called out Milk for being rude and, according to her, not giving the other contestants the time of day.

 

In the end, Milk was convinced that the ruling was unfair when she landed in the bottom. She said that she did not understand why, and had not expected it. BeBe and Shangela, behind the scenes, made comments on how delusional Milk was acting. Milk claimed that Chi Chi and Aja were lesser than her, that they did not give 100%, and that the judges wanted her to stay. Even when she heard that Kennedy had made up her mind, Milk was certain that she was safe. She thought that since Chi Chi had been in the bottom all three weeks, that she would be the one to go. Alas! Milk’s attitude since day one finally bit her in the butt. Trixie fans are probably cheering because she stole Trixie’s spotlight this past episode. According to Shangela, this may have cost Trixie her first win. But you cannot say that Milk is not entertaining. It is a sad loss because she was so original and, boy oh boy, did she bring the drama! It is only a matter of time before “that’s dumb” GIFs are flooding the Internet instead of “I’m feeling very attacked!”

Note: Chi Chi’s honesty this week was very endearing. Admitting that she may not be ready and telling Ben to make the right decision was very sad. I do think that she wants to be there, and sometimes I think she is not polished enough, but I appreciate how real she gets.

I thought that Ben’s lipsync was better, but Kennedy deserved to win this week because she was the most surprising and transformative in the challenge.

Michelle’s hair reminded me of Thorgy.. *sniffle*

When are the eliminated queens coming back?!!

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