RuPaul Recap 2

As /bent has featured a list of past contestants from Rupaul’s Drag Race, ranked from worst to best, this weekly feature will provide a cheat sheet as to how the recently eliminated queens from season six have fared, as well as how the rest of the queens from this cohort are looking in the long term of the competition.

This week the queens split into two teams to act in sketches inspired by horror movies. Interestingly, the two teams formed exactly as the groups that the queens were in for the two part season premiere. Naturally, the more talented group was that of Darienne Lake, Milk, Trinity K. Bonet, Bianca Del Rio, Courtney Act, and Joslyn Fox. Their group won the main challenge, and the overall winner of that group was Darienne Lake! Of the losing team, Vivacious and April Carrion placed in the bottom two and had to lip-sync for their lives. Vivacious went home.

We love Vivacious. The Godzilla realness she brought this week was a dream. Those cones on her front side were like post-apocalyptic Lysistrata or something. It’s sad that she didn’t turn it out in Drag Race Me to Hell 5, but at least we got to see Michelle Visage validate Vivacious’s craft when the veteran club kid claimed to not be experienced in theatre. I personally don’t know what was more heart-warming for me, to see Michelle utilize a softer, strength-based critical approach, or to see Vivacious be rescued from her state of self-doubt, and to see her affirmed that she is THEATRICAL. That will be the takeaway from Vivacious’s two episodes in season six, not that she didn’t perform well in the main challenges but that in and throughout her being this drag queen is high theatrics. She’s a night at the dollar store opera. ORNACIA OUT.

“Scream Queens” was a powerful episode. Now that the two gangs (gang names to be determined—please comment below) have comingled and competed with one another we’re starting to see the gossip pot stirring, and it’s delicious. Also, this week we saw a lot of raw talent come out of queens who did not fare well in their first episodes. Follow along...

11. Leganja Estranja (same rank):
Her performance in Drag Race Me to Hell 5 was... not awful. But let’s talk about her eleganza extravaganza! Her “best drag” was so well pulled off, from the gown to the butterfly fascinator to the paint job. Her green-haired greeting look at the beginning of the episode was impressive as well. One still worries that Leganja might just be pretty and nothing more, but this week was a strong indicator of how polished she is. House of Edwards be proud. 

10. April Carrion (-3):
April’s butch performance was wretched. If Vivacious and April had switched roles in Drag Race Me to Hell 5, we would have seen better performances from these two queens. That said, April doesn’t rank this low because of her acting in the main challenge but because of her outfit this week. That was fine—okay, it was FINE—but don’t wear that shit out as your “BEST DRAG”. That would be like if in last season Detox wore out her hot pink Tex Mex getup as her “BEST DRAG”. Not a thing! Lastly, April’s lip-sync showed an exciting new dimension that we’d like to see more of.

9. Gia Gunn (-3):
Not because she’s the bitch of season six does Gia rank so low at this point. The problem is she’s proving to be kind of boring. Her performances in Drag Race Me to Hell 5 should have been ditsier—that role was made for her and she was totally flat. To boot, her Deee-lite couture was a tad boring next to Vivacious. Both costumes fell out of the same B movie, only Vivacious’s was the lead character. We need Gia to step it up because no one does the three Cs like her, and without her I worry this cohort will become a repeat of the Lost Season where the funnier villain went out early and we had to settle with a couple of half-assed antagonists (ahem, Shannel and Rebecca Glasscock).

8. Trinity K. Bonet (-6):
Did we climax too early over Trinity K. Bonet? She was all the talk of last week, what with her mini challenge win and her Amidala realness, but this week she was a dud in the main challenge. Also, her best drag look felt like “Easy FM, Playing Yesterday’s Hits”. That orange dress was giving me notes of “Unbreak My Heart”, Phylicia Rashad at the Golden Globes, and prom. On another note, why is Bianca coming for Trinity? Is there something we’re not seeing in the episodes?   

7. Joslyn Fox (+5):
Her runway choices are not worth a second glance, and the fact that this week’s dorm room party look was Joslyn’s “best drag” is disconcerting. However, Joslyn is proving to be quite the comedienne: those utterances of “gasp” in Drag Race Me to Hell were pitch perfect, and not for lack of acting (for an example of a ditz playing herself onscreen return to Gia Gunn’s performance this week). Let’s be hopeful that Joslyn will pull out more surprises as this season carries on, and cross our fingers that the drag gods bless her with a sense of style. Watch out: this girl could kill the Snatch Game.

6. Adore Delano (-1):
We’re really gunning for Adore. She needs to step up her strategy and try a little more polish in her look, because at this point it seems like she’s not trying as hard as the other girls. There is still hope for this silly little millennial (as Lena Heady described her, “the daughter you want to smack”), as there are more singing and acting challenges ahead. Nonetheless, her runway ensembles need improvement.

5. Milk (+3):
Something changed with Milk this week. She was way less annoying, and oozing charm and sisterly camaraderie. I’m afraid to say it, but I enjoyed Milk this week! It’s true, her performance in Drag Race Me to Hell was “one note”, but all is forgiven after that Pinocchio realness presentation. Holy shit, that was fun, and not entirely leftfield either. It wasn’t weird for the sake of weird, but classic high concept drag. Manila would have approved. The nose hinted at the grotesque, but Milk held it all together with a high fashion silhouette and legs for days. And did you see her sissy that walk?

4. Ben de la Crème (-1):
Ben is holding strong. This week’s performance was consistent with her main challenge win in the season premiere, and her best drag look was admirably risky. The pattern and shape of that look could have come off as too cheap and darling, but the detailing kept it high camp. Tracy Turnblad realness. On a negative note, it would be nice to see Ben try a different demeanor. The “gee golly” smiles are starting to taste sour.

3. Darienne Lake (+7):
The most improved of the week, Darienne is really beginning to walk her talk. Her best drag is exactly what we expect of a queen when she is told to wear her BEST DRAG. It was shiny, it was flowing, and it had a cape. It was a vision. Also, between Joslyn, Ben, Darienne, Courtney and Bianca this could be the best year for Snatch Game. I desperately want Darienne to play Anna Nicole Smith.

2. Courtney Act (+2):
Last week she was safe, but this week Courtney was a powerhouse both in the main challenge and on the runway. Her heavy petting of Bianca in the horror movie sketch was hysterical. She didn’t even need a second take. And that Australian flag dress is what we call BEST DRAG. Basic bitches, witness.

1. Bianca Del Rio (same rank):
The Old Hollywood presentation was a hoot, and her performance in Drag Race Me to Hell was impeccably timed. My one hope for Bianca in upcoming episodes is that she will try a more... nuanced style of makeup. If Sharon Needles could take out the eye contacts, Bianca can attempt blending (for the sake of the competition). 

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