RuPaul’s Drag Race: Curtain Up!

Posted on March 18, 2014

But first, attention must be paid:



Serving envelope-opening and-the-award-goes-to realness.




Twenty-five years earlier:

Does anyone see a difference other than the hairstyle?


Now let’s see how these song and dance queens did.

Everyone assumed it was going to come down to Adore and Courtney – and with good reason – but part of us hoped Ben would walk away with the win this week, just for surprising us with a fully realized, totally committed performance that almost stole the spotlight away from Courtney. Maybe she should ditch the super-bubbly schtick and get more in touch with her shady side.



Trinity was as difficult as expected, but she turned out better than we thought she would, judging by the rehearsal footage. Bianca was polished and held the duo together on stage, for the most part.



Cute. More fun than we expected.


Didn’t get this one at all. Milk, bless her heart, has a strong idea in her head of what she’s trying to do, but the execution tends to be lacking somehow. It never quite seems to come across, leaving everyone scratching their heads. And she doesn’t seem capable of defending. If a gum-chewing moron like Gia can get you flustered to the point where you can’t explain your vision, then maybe you should examine what you’re doing.


April threw them all off their game, but frankly, as a trio, there didn’t seem to really be all that much of a game in the first place. Not memorable, is what we’re trying to say.



Adore is a rock star. No, really. When it came down to her and Courtney, she gave the more charismatic performance. But she’s right to compare herself to Courtney Love, because she’s all voice and attitude onstage, but she’s completely lacking in polish. She relies too much on her persona during this competition when you can see she’s got real performing skills.  This is why Auntie Ru is going to coddle her so much. She loves those To Wong Foo-style endings where she lifts an unpolished queen up to divahood.


But this girl’s a straight-up SUPERSTAR. Adore had the stronger voice and probably the more dramatic performance, but Courtney was polished like an Old Broadway hoofer, which is exactly what the challenge was asking for . Watch her performance again, she acted right down to her toes and fingertips. She was every inch that character in that moment, selling it like she was center stage on Broadway. There was no question that she deserved to be the winner, no matter how talented Adore is.

Do your little turn on the catwalk, ladies.


Still probably the one to beat overall. There doesn’t seem to be a situation Ru can come up with that’ll throw her off her game. She’s a pro. And she’s clearly the smartest in the room.

But for such a cute boy, she has yet to make herself into a pretty queen on the runway. And we don’t buy that she’s not shooting for pretty in her looks. She may be a comedy queen, but she’s a comedy queen who trades in straight up glamour. But her face always looks freaky.

And while LaGanja was a complete mess in the Untucked Lounge, Bianca was a bitch for choosing that moment to make a joke. More on that in a bit.


Tyra Sanchez 2.0. The same moodiness and defensiveness every time she’s asked to do anything more than stand, pose, and look pretty.



She is – by far – the most talented makeup queen in this lot. It’s kind of refreshingly wonderful that the most glamorous of the queens is also a big girl comedy queen. She’s also got one hell of a rack, although we wince in pain at whatever she had to do to accomplish the effect. She’s got the performing chops and the serving chops, but she needs a rethink on the style chops. She has yet to wear anything memorable.


She was one MAJOR CharismaUniquenessNerveTalent in the Untucked Lounge last night. When someone flips out that much at being called ignorant, then you know deep down she thinks it’s true.

Gia’s the biggest bitch in the group at the moment but we wind up complaining more about Bianca. That’s mainly because Bianca’s arguably one of the best and definitely the sharpest and smartest of the queens. Every time Bianca goes after someone, she’s punching down. Every time Gia does it, she looks like a total fool.

She does have some seriously impressive reading skills, though. We’ll give her that. And that’s an epic bitchface that could cause a mountain to crumble.


We realized something last night. Ben is INFINITELY more appealing when he’s not in drag. Partly because he’s cute, but almost entirely because he has this relaxed, droll side of himself that he hides completely when he puts on a dress. Ben in drag comes off so high strung and artificial, but Ben out of drag is really likable. We’d rather he take a page from Ru herself, who doesn’t really differentiate between her drag and out-of-drag selves, relying instead on her intensely likable personality and smoothness as a performer (which Ben also has in spades).



Despite the fact that she’s pretty and calls herself fishy (we would quibble on that one), Courtney revealed last night that her true threat to the other gals is in her performing ability. This look is okay, but not even close to being the best on the catwalk.


This was a surprisingly dramatic and “grown up” (if there is such a thing in drag) look coming from her. She didn’t do much to distinguish herself during the musical but she sure ran away with the Drama Queen award for the night in the Lounge. Like we said, Bianca should’ve realized this wasn’t the moment for one of her competitive “I’m totally gonna beat you just kidding no I’m not” jokes. As manipulative as those home videos are, you’ve gotta be a pretty cold queen to yank the spotlight on yourself like that when another queen is Having A Moment.

But of course, LaGanja had to go and dissolve any sort of support we were feeling for her when she had an utterly ridiculous, camera-hogging meltdown, complete with sort-of tears and a dubious new mantra: “I’M GOING TO SPREAD MY WINGS AND BE THE BIRD I KNOW I CAN BE! OR SOMETHING!”




Not only was she terrible in the musical, but this catwalk look should’ve taken points away from her score too. There’s nothing “Tony Night” about this look. “Country Music Awards crossed with Latin Grammys,” yes. Tonys, no. Actually, it looks more like a tacky wedding gown. And it really held her back during the lip synch when she came across as barely able to maneuver in the thing.


Still rather generic. She seems to have more personality out of drag, where she comes across cute-bitchy. Granted, she tried to go up against Gia in the Lounge, but Gia hit below the belt immediately and that seemed to send her reeling.


We get genderfuck and club kid drag. We get where she’s coming from. It’s just not working. The runway look was supposed to say “Tony Night.” What do those shoes and socks have to do with anything? What’s that weird black line around the lip? Alaska and Sharon could do looks like this and find something witty to say, but we’re not getting wit here. Just weirdness.



What a surprisingly bland look. We wonder if she thought she had it locked down because of her singing.


To our surprise, April and Trinity served up a highly energetic and competitive lip synch. Under different circumstances, we would have declared it impossible to call.


But her performance in the musical was legendarily bad (whereas Trinity’s was merely awful) and her catwalk look worked against her. We could see the argument that Trinity should’ve gone home just for being so sour and hard to work with, but we suspect her time to sashay away we’ll be coming soon. We don’t think Ru will make another Tyra mistake.





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