RuPaul’s Drag Race: L.A.D.P.!

Posted on April 26, 2019

And now, a community service from your ol’ pals T Lo:

 

We figured it best to start off with something pretty before we get to all the shitness to come.

 

We genuinely like this crop of queens, but we have the same thing to say that we did in response to the Snatch Game: you pull a bunch of rough queens together and they’re simply not going to collectively show the kind of talent needed to do things like a reading challenge or an improv challenge. It’s not that we think these queens are untalented, but it’s pretty clear most of them just don’t possess the kind of polish and quick-thinking skills Drag Race tends to reward. That Library challenge was one of the roughest ones we’ve ever seen. NO ONE landed a decent line.

As for the improv…

 

Bitches, that was the longest goddamn twenty minutes of our lives. Utterly painful to sit through. Most of these queens seem to think that when they’re faced with a performing challenge, the best thing to do is just scream and mug and roll around on the ground – literally. Don’t get us wrong, we weren’t expecting Shakespeare in the Park from any of them, but the setups here were so rich that any queen with halfway decent comedy chops should’ve been able to figure out a funny line or two.

At least these queens can turn out a decent runway lewk:

 

All the love in the world to Nina for being the one to say Leigh Bowery’s name. Maybe we’re biased because we gave Leigh a big write-up in our book, but we were kind of appalled that Ru didn’t mention him. He literally invented this kind of drag. Anyway, the runway was impossible to screencap once again, so here are impressions with accompanying promo shots:

 

We kind of loved this. It’s ugly-fabulous, which is Yvie’s entire schtick. It wasn’t going to win it for her, nor was her improv all that impressive, but it wasn’t a disastrous week for her.

 

Nina really does tend to get in her head too much, which is why she found it so hard to get into the improv action. Brook Lynne isn’t exactly some sort of scene-stealing comic genius, so it shouldn’t have been that hard for Nina to land some lines, but she tripper herself up. On the other hand, she slayed the runway. This might have been our favorite look.

 

We suppose it was a given that Silky was going to do well in the improv challenge, but we tend to think that’s because she was just the loudest and most obnoxious. We’d rather see a queen nail an improv by actually being funny rather than simply being overbearing. She might have won the challenge if she hadn’t stepped out in her usual half-assed drag. She might have gotten away with covering up so much of her face if the dress had been impressive, but it’s another “lady outfit” in a runway theme that asked for high drag.

 

 

Shuga went the opposite route: she was underwhelming in the improv piece, but she absolutely stunned on the runway. As the judges noted, the juxtaposition of the fetish mask and a period gown made for an unforgettable look.

 

We shouldn’t discount Brook Lynne’s runway look, which was pretty stunning and deserves praise. It felt like she was too obscured for us to consider this drag. It’s a great costume; not a great drag look. We realize this distinction is personal and arbitrary, but that’s how it felt to us. The best looks centered the face but didn’t cover it completely. She did pretty okay on the improv challenge, but it was all about spreading her legs and that joke got old pretty fast.

 

This was a clever idea, but the execution wasn’t all that great. If that’s supposed to represent her naked body, it’s awfully wrinkly. We guess she was as good a choice as any for the win. We don’t have a problem with it. There really wasn’t any clear winner, but she didn’t embarrass herself during the improv and her runway look was a bit witty. Fair enough.

 

 

Vanjie’s all about the face and really doesn’t do the body work. It showed with this look. Had she done as Michelle suggested – taper the legs and pad the bust – this would have been a really great look. But those balloony pants paired with the flat chest didn’t look all that great on the runway. She was another one who tried to get through the improv challenge by being REALLY LOUD.

 

 

Once again, she’s very pretty and she seems nice. That plus a stunning collection of high-end costumes have kept her in the game until now. This was a great look but it does feel like she exposed too much of her face and relied too much on her clearly high costume budget. We honestly can’t remember anything about her improv except that she lapsed into the Vietnamese accent again as a crutch.

 

 

Not the most epic lip sync in the world but then again, last week’s would have been impossible to top. We think Vanjie edged out Plastique just by bringing more fire and movement to her lip sync. Plastique werked it, but she did as she always does: relied on her pretty looks to try and get through.

 

It didn’t work. We hope we don’t sound too dismissive of her. She did okay in this competition, all things considered. She’s very pretty and she can serve high drag, but she just doesn’t have the performing skills or the kind of extreme personality that Drag Race tends to reward.

 

 

 

[Stills: Tom and Lorenzo via VH1]

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