Once again, for reasons that elude us, we are positively COMPELLED to remind you that there is a whole chapter in our upcoming book (one of the longest, in fact) about Drag Race devoted entirely to the context and meaning behind the Pit Crew, entitled “For Every Tuck, There Must Come a Bulge.” And as we’ve been rehearsing for the recording of our audiobook this week, we must confess that the Pit Crew chapter is our very favorite of all the chapters in our book. What can we say? Spending a couple of hours talking about legendary bulges in history? Turns out it was the very task for which God put us on this earth.
And yes, there is context and meaning to be found in their flexes and bulges. We managed to work in very on-point (if we do say so ourselves) connections to Norman Rockwell, lesbian pulp fiction of the 1950s, The Village People, and – of all things – a quote from The Great Gatsby in order to explain why there are barely dressed musclemen in every episode of Drag Race.
Why are we compelled to mention this now, aside from taking the opportunity to relentlessly plug our book again? Oh…
No reason, really. It just suddenly popped up. In our heads.
Which isn’t to say there was much of a point to this week’s mini-challenge – outside of the entertainment value of watching beautiful half-naked men strip down to become beautiful mostly naked men. We can’t even say there was much point to us spending so much time and so many screencaps on it, really.
But here’s another one, just in case.
Anyway, this was, in every way, a very standard Drag Race challenge, with the queens being asked to produce commercials for their brand of bottled water. Again (and we apologize for sounding like a broken record but you never know who’s reading you for the first time), challenges like these, which don’t always come off like obvious extrapolations of your typical drag career, are based on Ru’s own career as a spokesmodel and somewhat relentless hawker of her own products. The point isn’t the water. The point is to creatively and clearly establish your own brand as a drag queen.
Divina’s wasn’t just funny and well-performed, it actually had levels to it. Part of the reason she keeps feeling underappreciated in the competition is because her work tends to be just a little more conceptual and complicated than the other queens.
Cheryl’s was cute and extremely energetic. Not exactly knee-slapping, but she was smart enough to use the Brit Crew members to full effect. As the judges said, it didn’t really go anywhere.
Time for a little blasphemy. We love Baga and thinks she’s hilarious, but as Graham noted, she was “a bit shambolic” in this sketch. For someone as funny and talented and experienced as she is, there’s often a sense that she’s winging it and hoping for the best. She gets by on pure force of personality but we’re starting to think she’s not necessarily the right girl for the crown.
The Vivienne also had a fully conceptualized ad with a little bit of darkness underlining it. Brit drag is a bit easier and looser about being politically incorrect and we couldn’t help thinking that if a U.S. queen wrote a sketch about women suffering from dried-out vaginas after giving birth, the main Drag Race audience might have been a bit salty about it. Not that we’re offended. We put this one alongside Sum Ting Wong’s name as an example of British drag forever taking the piss.
Blu? Well. Bless her heart, she did what she’s always done to get by in this competition: the very most. It was the weakest of the ads.
Category is: Rainy Day Eleganza ☔️
— RuPaul’s Drag Race (@RuPaulsDragRace) November 16, 2019
All things considered, we were a bit underwhelmed by the interpretations of the category this week. Four rain slickers and a water witch.
Divina’s was a fun take, at least. Bold, colorful and a bit witty, with a reveal. Can’t really complain about anything she offered, except we though the dress looked pretty badly fitted. Cheryl’s look felt like a cliche from top to bottom and we don’t understand why the judges – Michelle especially – simply waved away the fact that her skirt was way too short and we were seeing way too much of her decidedly unfabulous panties. Baga’s look just felt odd to us. The outfit is pure ladyclothes. That is, it looks like something a middle-aged lady would wear on a special occasion. Graham called it “Liza Minelli working as a psychiatric nurse” and that comes pretty close to nailing it. Drag asks for a bit more than that and we don’t think plunking an umbrella and a duck on your head does much to push the look in the right direction. We’re also surprised she hasn’t been called out for wearing pants so much on the main stage.
The Viv called her look “fashion forward, conceptual, and gorge.” He got two out of three right, at least. We appreciate the drama but we didn’t think it was very pretty. Just big and dark. Blu’s look is adorable, if not particularly original.
We sound a little crankier than we mean to this week. The Viv had a strong ad and a strong, well interpreted lewk, so we have no problems with her win.
As for the lip sync and elimination, well…
These things are unfolding in exactly the order we all predicted, right? Seeya, Blu. You came at this competition as hard as you could and you made a hell of an impression.
For more thoughts on this episode, you can check out the last half of last week’s podcast.
And if you’re interested in hearing our thoughts on the latest BBC episode of the series, you can listen to the last half of THIS week’s podcast.
There. Wasn’t that easy?
[Stills: World of Wonder via Tom and Lorenzo]
Friday Leftovers for the Week of November 10th, 2019 Next Post:
The Crown: “Olding” and “Margaretology”