RuPaul’s Drag Race: Psych!

Posted on April 24, 2012

Ugh.

Y’know, we were fully prepared to start this recap off with the word “Ugh,” and then follow it with another 700 words on how disgusted we are by the win, but instead we’re ughing over something completely different.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

*tinkly flashback music and wavy screen effects*

It all started innocently enough. After weeks of shrieking and baring their considerable claws at each other, the girls all did the typical “last episode of a reality competition season” scene of forgiveness and hugging, complete with totally insincere “We’re a family now” bromides.

Then, the normally fabulous (but disappointingly low-key) Candis Cayne showed up…

… to make the gals learn some fairly clumsy choreography so that they could promote another one of Ru’s singles. Uh-oh! Sharon is having trouble learning the moves.

Also, if elevator doors opened and this guy was standing inside, we’d take the stairs, even if our destination is the rooftop observation deck.

Then the girls put on their drag lizard costumes and danced really poorly. Sharon was singled out for being the worst, but that’s not really saying much. Phi Phi was given the winner edit, although she seemed only marginally better than the other two.

Then, some fairly frightening figures appeared.

Jesus, ladies. What a mixed message. “Someday, you can be the next drag superstar and scare the shit out of everyone you meet!”

Raja, we love you, but this is not a good look for you. Tyra, we never loved you.

This is still one of our favorite RPDR bits, although it gets more and more Oprah-esque (and not in a parodic way) every season. Without casting TOO much shade, let’s just say we didn’t entirely believe one or two of the sob stories offered.

This was kind of fun. If we had to pick, we’d say Sharon nailed the comedy and performing bits with Chad a close second and Phi Phi a distant third. We didn’t really love any of their looks, though. Chad didn’t look very pretty (and pretty is her thing), Sharon looked a little bland, and Phi, as always looked way overdone.

But Ru outshone them all, as she always does. Watching this skit made us once again wish that Ru would skip the horrible Drag U and mount a drag sketch show for LOGO. But since the network is determined to strip itself entirely of its gay identity and gay content, that doesn’t seem very likely.

Fabulous. Like Vanessa Williams, she saved the best for last.

We didn’t like the wig, but the rest of this look was KILLA. Best on the runway.

Oh Miss Sharon. We don’t know what the outcome will be, but at the time, we both agreed this look was a terrible mistake. This is the finale and we expected you to bring it like no other. The tentacles are okay and we don’t mind the scary face, since that’s your thing, but that dress looks totally off the rack – and not a very nice rack.

Her look has definitely improved in her time on the show, along with her performing abilities. We can give her that. But in the end, we don’t know why she’s here. There were more glamorous, talented, and interesting queens let go so she could stand there and be utterly standard.

In the end, the judges spewed some seriously meaningless criticisms. Chad is wearing Versace and that means she’s old fashioned, but Phi Phi is about “what’s next” in drag? Seriously? Since when is an ’80s aerobics outfit more cutting edge than Versace? And how can they criticize Chad for being old-fashioned (which we don’t really agree with, otherwise you’d have to say the same thing about Ru herself) and then turn around to complain that Sharon is too out-there? Are we supposed to believe that Phi Phi is some sort of Golden Mean of Drag? Bitches, please.

The three-way lip synch was fun, but the camera never lingered long enough for us to get a really good idea of how each of them were doing. Our totally biased take was that Sharon was bringing some intensity, Chad was polished, but going through the motions, and Phi Phi was buzzing like a child pageant performer on a case of Red Bull, i.e., trying way too hard.

But none of that really matters, because in the end, Ru and her producers decided to look the audience straight in the eye and say “Fuck you.”

Look, we enjoy the self-referential and irreverent take on reality competitions that this show trades in, but this really goes beyond winking at the audience or satirizing the form. This was just a naked grab to extend the proceedings another week. We suppose the ratings on the reunion show aren’t as high as the (so-called) finale, but moving the announcement of the winner back another week was a shitty thing to do, especially since they waited until the very last minute of the show to let us all know. It was bad enough that they’re making us wait until the reunion to find out why a contestant was kicked off the show for violating the rules, but to make us wait another week to find out the winner shows a distinct and unpleasant lack of respect for the audience. This show isn’t exactly a ratings bonanza and it’s only on the air (and the only hit LOGO’s had in … well, ever) because of a devoted audience of core fans. It’s a really shitty way to treat that audience and to make matters worse, we don’t believe for one second that any of the fan voting will make any difference regarding who’s going to win. With as much disrespect as this show’s demonstrated this season toward its fans, that may be the worst part of all.

We’ll watch; of course we will. We might even go to the finale party next week. But we’re not going to pretend we’re not pissed and it makes us wonder for the first time if it’s worth it to continue watching.

Not cute, Ru. Not cute.

 

[Screencaps: tomandlorenzo.com]

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