First of all, I’d like to welcome my darling Nicolette back to Socialite Life, after a week away due to an urgent need to get away from Santino for a bit! I wish she had been with me last week if for nothing else but to compare Yara’s Amy Winehouse accent to Pepe, the king prawn from the Muppets! (This is why I love her!) This week, the queens arrive at the workroom/drag lab for another day of challenges only to find it completely empty. Alexis realizes that with only 8 queens left, he needs to step up his game. Raja is getting progressively happier each time a queen leaves because, as he put it, he’s an “old granny” who can’t put up with the “yip yap” and “chitter chatter” (Dude! You’re just a few years younger than me and my dear departed grammy would never say “yip yap”!) Manila gives Stacy a manicure (with an obvious ulterior motive – he says he was trying to deduce if her victory last week was a fluke or if Stacy’s really an underdog with a chance of taking it all.)
Stacy got a much needed confidence boost from her victory and feels like she might actually have a chance to be America’s next drag superstar. Delta, Raja, Manila and Carmen have taken it upon themselves to call each other “Heather” (I love how they use the theme from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia in the background when they’re talking amongst themselves.) It is getting a little clique-y in the drag lab with the “pretty girls” pitted against the other girls (Shangela, Stacy, Yara and Alexis.) I asked Nicolette if it’s like high school behind the scenes at Lips and he said that, although some of the queens get along together better than others, this behavior is happening most likely because of the whole competition thing.
There’s lots more eleganza after the jump!
Oooh girl, you’ve got She Mail! Girl Ru shares a little secret with the queens – she loves cake. I strongly doubt RuPaul ever eats anything even remotely nutritionally questionable, but she does get an excuse to dabble in some intense innuendo – making us (thanks to bleeps) think she’s talking about cock…not cake. Carmen doesn’t want to eat anything crazy. Some of the queens just don’t want to eat! Delta went with the obvious joke and said that he thought Ru was talking about cock. Boy Ru enters in a fab gold jacket (this jacket is the source of a bit of debate between Nicolette and myself. It’s my favorite thing he’s had on all season and Nicolette doesn’t know what to think about it, “I like it one second and I don’t like it the next second!”) and tells the guys that sometimes they’ve got to serve up their confidence and attitude while stripped of all of the padding and pretense that comes with the art of illusion. Check out the mini challenge – and the queen’s reaction to it below:
Nicolette liked the concept of the mini challenge a lot and it brought up the question of whether or not we’d pose in the nude. I’m in the “Aw, hell no!” school, but Nicolette said she’d do it in a heartbeat. (Nicolette does a phenomenal performance of Michael Jackson‘s “Man in the Mirror” for his finale, where he gets completely out of drag on stage during the course of the song, so this factoid does not surprise me in the least.) Stacy is the first model and Deborah gives him a pretty much see-through sheet of fabric to use to “hide the candy”. Stacy enjoyed posing more than he thought he would – in fact, he claims he had a “spiritual awakening”. Raja is a natural – nude or not. Ru and Deborah coached all of the guys to very tasteful, artistic photos. I love men in makeup (like Eddie Izzard), so I think these photos are super sexy and Nicolette agrees and pointed out that, “Manila even with light makeup on still looks like Manila.” Alexis was really tentative and nervous but his photo ended up looking really awesome. Delta was the last to go and was really nervous - he used every inch of the fabric. His photo was also cool and he looked like he wanted to continue posing even after Deborah got her shot. Nicolette loved his attitude and the fact that he embraced the challenge. Delta said Carmen may not be the only queen running around in the buff after this experience. Our favorite photos? Nicolette liked Raja’s and I really liked Alexis’.
Ru declares Carmen as the winner of the challenge. The pit crew then bring out an array of cakes on a tray that is (thank you producers) right at booty/package height. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I had a craving for a little sugar, I must admit! Nicolette said, “That’s all the cake I want!” (Great minds think alike.) The gals have to design a couture gown inspired by one of these cakes. Since Carmen won, she gets to dole out the cakes. She gives the cheesecake to Alexis, pineapple upside down cake to Shangela (Nicolette astutely pointed out that this cake would have been perfect for Manila and her pineapple outfit from the QNN episode!), strawberry shortcake to Yara, Red Velvet cake to Stacy, angel food cake to Delta, carrot cake to Manila, chocolate lava cake to Raja and chooses the “princess cake” (with nasty lime green fondant icing) for herself.
Shangela notes that the sewing challenges continue to be his downfall. Yara helps him out, but the help may not be enough for him. I feel bad for Shangela and so does Nicolette (“I can’t sew either, so I know how she feels!”) While Shangela’s having problems with his dress, Manila (Heather) employs Delta (Heather) to help with his dress, which already looks pretty fully realized. Ru comes in to check on the queens’ progress. Stacy has enjoyed “a few slices” (which is about 1/3) of his cake for inspiration. Ru asks Stacy if he knows what couture is and he replied “pretty much”. Uh-oh. Then he says he’s not a “high fashion queen”. Uh-oh. Nicolette says, “I think that’s the problem with Stacy. Her taste level might be god for small town North Carolina, but she’d better kick it up a notch.” Manila describes his outfit as “Givenchy meets Jessica Rabbit meets Playboy bunny”. Alexis is using this weird padded material for the skirt (we hate it) and makes sure Ru knows he’s deliberately avoiding the “Cinderella look”. Ru doesn’t seem too confident in the direction he’s going. Yara seems to be taking the strawberry shortcake theme quite literally with his gown – employing red sequins on the front with hand painted vines on the sides. Raja took a bite of his cake and – gasp – swallowed. Like it would ever show on his slender frame. Bitch. He loves historical costuming and silhouettes and is using some French paniers (like side bustles – sorry, I took a class in theater costume) to fill out his chocolate-hued mini dress. I love that Raja’s always thinking out of the box and Nicolette loves Raja because “from one week to the next, I never know what to expect.” Delta is putting together a youthful, fresh look – he wants to look his age and give off a contemporary vibe. Carmen opted for pink sequins instead of the lime green shade of his cake. Ru equated it to the “Barbie interpretation of princess” which threw up a big red flag for Carmen. Shangela is not happy with his dress. When asked, he says that no one has volunteered to help him. Kinda shady, Shangie!
Ru then adds another layer (like a cake – get it?) to the challenge – the queens have to decorate a cake and make it an edible accessory spotlighting their own charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent. Ru shows them a sample using her own likeness and I so want a RuPaul cake for my birthday! Nicolette said “there’s NO way RuPaul made that cake!” Nicolette loved the pit crew guy holding the cake (the one with the facial hair. I like the other one so there will not be any pit crew-related cat fights between my drag sister and I!) I was told to let you all know that she now has “dibs” on facial hair pit crew guy! By the way, World of Wonder, we both would like to see more from the pit crew in future episodes! The queens channel Betty Crocker and tackle their cakes. As you can see in the video below, some meet with more success than others:
Stacy’s native American? Did I miss something? Stacy asks Manila if she felt any pressure after winning. Stacy can’t figure out how to make her outfit couture and says her confidence level is back to a 3. Her outfit really is a hot mess. Manila offers a little advice and then takes off because he says he’s winning this challenge! Nicolette shares with me that she can’t sew a lick. “I don’t want to know how to sew. I’m not an artsy-craftsy, sewy kind of person. I hate doing stuff like that!” I asked if she at least could do basic repair work and she replied, “No! I can’t even sew on a button or a hook and eye. I’ve got so many outfits in my closet that are missing a hook and eye! I want to give it to someone else, give them a few bucks and have it done!”
The next day, the queens are back in the workroom to finish their costumes and cakes. Carmen takes a second look at her dress, remembered Ru’s words and decided to whip up another dress. Yara is now helping Shangela braid her wig – which results in much eye rolling from the Heathers. Yara’s cake rocks – it even has an “Echa Pa’ ‘Lante” flag! Raja’s putting safety pins on his graffiti-inspired cake and offers Shangela some advice (but was it helpful or not?) Stacy’s opted for what Manila dubs “comfy couture” pairing his red velvet top with some matching Capri pants. It’s still a hot mess. Why in the hell didn’t you go with a gown, girl?
Time to hit the runway! Ru has a rare fashion misfire – although I know what she’s going for (sparkly over-sized sequins on the dress and wig, recalling sprinkles you’d find on a cake. Or maybe I’m over-thinking this…we both love the wig – style-wise though.) And, hey, Billy B‘s back (along with Michelle Visage, who’s got me saying “Merle Who?”)! Guest judge Sara Rue is so cute! And Eliza Dushku confesses to Ru that she’s in full “Suzie stalker fan” mode. Ru jokingly calls for security. You haven’t lived until you see my husband – completely slack-jawed – watching the queens prance on the runway! Nicolette mused, “I can only imagine the reaction of a heterosexual man looking at this for the first time!” Yara without her electric blue contact lenses still looks stunning. I love the strawberry dress! Manila went blond in her sequined dress, carrot belt and “bunny ear” bow on her head (which Manila says was inspired by a Louis Vuitton headpiece once worn by Madonna). As much as I love Alexis, I really don’t love the dress. It really looks like she wrapped herself in a bedspread. Nicolette knows where she was going but didn’t like how she got there. “I like the accessories and I like the concept.” I love Carmen’s blond look (as opposed to Manila’s), but I hate the lime green dress – it’s so not couture. Stacy (a/k/a “Stacy Lane Bryant Lattisaw Q”) definitely is modeling “comfy couture”. I am so not feeling good about this. A red velvet gown would have been awesome. Delta was serving “teen angel food cake” in a cute blond wig with pink highlights. He definitely did look younger. Raja did look delicious in his Indian-spiced mini dress, despite the fact that his undergarments were peeking out from below his skirt.
During the judges’ critique, Yara gets high marks for his Puerto Rican cake and Billy said someone “beat the hell” out of her face (I had to ask Nicolette and yes, that’s a compliment. It’s called “beating your mug”) but Sara said Yara’s visible dark undergarments pulled her out of the fantasy. Billy said Stacy’s outfit was “too simple” and Michelle added that it was definitely not couture. Manila’s cake was lots of fun and included a Chinese fan and a panda. His runway look was not as much fun. Billy said her makeup looked like some sort of accident involving flour. Nicolette thinks it could have been blended better. No one liked Alexis’ skirt. Billy noted that it was not flattering at all. Billy said Raja’s makeup was too spooky and Michelle pointed out the obvious fact that his bloomers were showing. Sara loved Raja’s punky cake and Nicolette thinks it really represented her. Carmen’s look didn’t win over the judges either – Billy said her gown was only worthy for the princess of New Jersey. Delta got high marks as well (even though Sara said Delta reminded her of the “Beauty School Dropout” number from Grease. Is that a compliment?) Billy hated Shangela’s makeup (this gets an “Amen! Amen! Amen!” from Nicolette) and Michelle jumped on her asking, “Is being a drag queen what you really want to do?” Shangela assured her (and the rest of the judges), “I’m here because I want to be here.” Ru asked Shangela who should go home and she replied Carmen. Nicolette said “Ooh, I hate these questions on reality shows. If they asked me, I wouldn’t be able to answer.” Stacy agreed that Carmen wasn’t couture. Delta thought Stacy should go, Manila thought Shangela should leave. Raja wants to see both Stacy and Shangela hit the road and adds that Shangela would probably best be suited for season 5 or 6 of Drag Race. Shangela notes that Raja’s been in the biz a lot longer, but they’re in the same competition. Ouch! Nicolette and I discussed the fate of the queens during the break. Since I got to interview the cast and found them all delightful (without exception), it’s hard for me to say goodbye to any of them Nicolette said she had a hard time critiquing the queens because they are in the same profession and she’s just basing her opinions on what she sees on the show. Bottom line, don’t ask Nicolette or myself to be guest judges if you actually need a queen to go home!
Ru has made her decision. Yara and Delta are safe. Stacy’s up for elimination. As much as I love Stacy, I’m the opposite of surprised. Manila’s safe and Raja, who possesses a “masters degree in fierce”, is the week’s big winner. Shangela is also safe despite the fact that, as Ru says, Shangela and a sewing machine is “a recipe for disaster”. Meant to be there. Carmen safe. It’s Alexis vs Stacy in this week’s “lip sync for your life”. They perform Amii Stewart‘s “Knock on Wood” (a song older than most of these queens!) Alexis approaches the song with high energy – hopping around like a cheerleader. Nicolette can’t believe that Alexis had to kick off her shoes to perform. “You can’t be America’s next drag superstar and perform with no shoes on!” Stacy keeps it much lower key and spends most of the song removing the tracks from her head (Shangela said it looked like “a poodle just shed all over the runway”.) It seems like she’s treating this as her swan song and it is as she must sashay away. We’ll miss you, Back Swamp! Next week, the queens take to the stage to perform stand up! Until then, can I get an “amen”?
Check out the next, all-new episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race next Monday at 10pm EST on Logo!