RuPaul’s Drag Race – ‘QNN’

My co-recapper Nicolette is in between drag performances as we work on our “Ru-cap” this week, and she’s extra sassy! You’ve been warned! Everyone’s still talking about last week’s lip sync debacle, when Mimi picked up India. The queens read Mimi’s farewell message, “Life is too short to live someone else’s” as “Life is too short to lift someone else” (Nicolette jumped on the bandwagon as well, adding, “She should have thought of that before she lifted up India got her ass kicked out of the competition!”) Nicolette also noted, “I’m glad that India took the high road. She could have made it worse. It’s good to take the high road sometimes – well, actually all of the time. I’m a non-violent person too, but the redneck might have come out of me!” (See? I told you Nicolette was bringing the sassy this week!)

India doesn’t want to be in the bottom two again and knows he’s got to fight harder. He’s forming an alliance with Shangela, who was ready to “come out of his ponytail” to come to India’s rescue on the runway. Shangela thinks he can share some “T” with India and not have to worry about it coming back to haunt him. Stacy still needs to step up his game and show his true personality, apparently the other queens have no idea what it is either. Nicolette says, “I so badly want her to break out of her shell! I’m a big Stacy fan but she needs to come out!” I personally think it’s quite telling that the other queens have to ask her what she thinks her personality is. “I know. They’re spending a lot more time with her than we are in a 45-minute episode.”

There’s more of lour “Ru-cap” (and videos) after the jump!

Oooh, you’ve got She Mail! Ru talls the queens that “an informed queen is a winning queen” and stresses the importance of social media and gossip for the “drag queen on the go”. Boy Ru, in a suit that can be best described as “Who shot the couch?”, tells the queens that this week’s mini-challenge is to put together a quick drag look (10 minutes…that is quick. Have you ever been able to pull a drag look together in 10 minutes, Nicolette? “That’s asking for a lot!”) and make a memorable appearance on the red carpet. The 2 queens with the most sensational paparazzi photos win. And they’re off. Carmen wants to do a crotch shot and tells us that creating a fake va-jay-jay is all about the tuck. Nicolette chimes in, “The way Carmen does her tuck…a sister friend of mine – whose name will go unmentioned – does the same thing and if you saw her, you’d think she had a vagina.” Shangela was also going for the fake crotch shot but was doing it with pantyhose and wig hair. The gals headed to the red carpet for their photos. Manila looked adorable as a panda. In spite of the pixelation, Carmen’s fake vag looked pretty darned convincing! India dragged out the breast plate again (Nicolette’s over this…”Of course she’s got her breastplate on. I think only 2 queens have them (India and Alexis), but they use them so much.”) and was doing the Janet Jackson “wardrobe malfunction” thing. I think. Delta looked great as a blond bombshell and Raja looked like Angela Bassett as Tina Turner from What’s Love Got to Do with It in the scene where she ran away from Ike for the last time. Apparently the key to 10 minute drag is sunglasses! Nicolette told me, “A lot of girls do that during gay pride celebrations, when they go out in the daytime. Just put on a pair of sunglasses and you don’t have to worry about eye makeup!” Yara and Mariah looked glam (ummm…pit crew! Nice package!) and Alexis also worked the fakers (Shannel…look what you’ve wrought!) and Stacy did her best Tara Reid red carpet boob exposition. They should have pixelated that, it looked so real! Nicolette said, “Stacy still looks like a girl, even with no makeup on.” Shangela upped the ante on her crotch shot with toilet paper on the shoe. And yes, girl, I’d double click on that! Sadly, the queens, with only 10 minutes of prep looked better than me on a good day. Bitches. Check out their photo shoot here:

Ru reviewed the photos and the queens who made the blogs were Carmen and Stacy. You go girl! Ru tells the girls about the main challenge, where they are to become the queens of morning television. Nicolette confessed, “This is the part of the show that I don’t like. These challenges aren’t what drag is about. And this is why a lot of my friends and I have issues with the show. They’re jumping through hoops just for the sake of television and not really representing what it means to be a drag queen/female impersonator.” Thoughts, anyone? They split into 2 teams to create a morning newscast. There are going to be 2 co-anchors, a weather girl, a gossip gal and a roving reporter who will interview former Hills star Kristen Cavallari. Since Carmen and Stacy won the mini-challenge, they’re the team captains. Stacy picks Alexis, Shangela, Yara and Mariah. Carmen gets Manila, Raja, Delta and India (not surprisingly, the last one picked).

The teams get together and plan their strategies. Stacy’s not really sure what direction her team should take for the challenge. Alexis just thinks he’s “clueless.” Carmen jumps into assigning his team members their roles, after claiming the gossip job for himself. He makes Raja and Delta the co-anchors (Nicolette said, “good casting”) and, after no one volunteered, chose India as the weather girl (Nicolette thought she looked “detached”), leaving Manila as the interviewer. Carmen’s worried for India. Raja and Delta are close – Nicolette noted, “I see those two as being good together. They’re well-spoken.” (They’re both members of the Dreamgirls Revue.) Raja’s not worried about their on-set banter. India’s more concerned about what he’s going to wear than his character and, more importantly, his lines. Yara’s not-so-firm grasp of the English language has Stacy a little worried. Ru stops by to check on the teams’ progress. He doesn’t seem surprised that Carmen appointed himself the gossip reporter and is amused when Manila tells him that for his character he’s channeling the great queens of interviewing – Mario Lopez and Ryan Seacrest. (Nicolette loved that joke!) Delta wants to work in the motto “From the desert to the sea, to wherever there’s T”. We love it! India says his weather girl is going to be a little “ghetto”, which pretty much entails him saying “guuurl” a lot. Uh-oh. Nicolette said, “That’s white girl ghetto!” Ru is concerned that Stacy keeps using the words “we all are” instead of “I’m” in how the team is getting organized – calling his leadership skills into question. Ru’s also hoping Stacy can really let his personality shine through. Stacy keeps making promises, but doesn’t seem to deliver. Nicolette agrees, adding, “We’ve been hearing that…and I’m a big Stacy fan. I’m like Ru, show us! You can’t be from Back Swamp, North Carolina and do drag and not have a set of cojones!” Nicolette loves one inspired bit of casting on Team Stacy, “I think putting Shangela as the gossip girl is just perfect! What else could she do?” Ru gives Yara a green screen drill and he’s having a little trouble locating any states besides Florida and New York. (Yara also has a Marilyn Monroe tattoo that is way cooler than Megan Fox’s!) Mariah has an outline and thinks he’s going to give great interview. Ru informs the gals that they’ll be getting a crash course in media training from former View panelist Debbie Matenopoulos (or as Stacy calls her, “Miss Debbie”). Nicolette says, “I liked her on The View. I know a lot of people didn’t….that was so long ago…ugh!”

Team Stacy arrives in the QNN newsroom first. They’ll get some coaching from Debbie before going live. Stacy is having a little trouble keeping up with the teleprompter – okay, a lot of trouble. I think they were running the teleprompter way too fast. Nicolette mused, “I wonder if they did that on purpose to try and trip them up.” Yara is hilarious as a weather girl. I don’t care that he can’t speak English that well – he provided this week’s laugh out loud, had to rewind and see it again moment. Between last week’s Charo-inspired workout and this performance, I am falling in love with Miss Yara. Debbie advised Yara to slow down or just not speak English at all. Shangela nailed his segment. Mariah looked gorgeous but had a little problem with his research and fact-checking skills. And…action! I loved the open (and I love the pit crew as floor directors. So did Nicolette, “Ooh yes! I like him!” I’ve worked in TV news and I probably still would if my co-workers looked like that!) Stacy did better with the prompter, Yara was still hilarious, Shangela nailed it again. Mariah asked Kristen if she was a biological woman and everybody gasped. I was wondering what he was up to, but he pulled it off nicely – when she said she was, he replied with “Darn! We can’t claim her for our team!” Well played! Get a peek at their newsroom performance here:

Team Carmen is up next. Delta (quoting 9 to 5 with “pour yourself a cup of ambition” – love it) and Raja came off a little stiff at first. Nicolette added that “I don’t like that hair on Raja.” (It was an awful red wig.) Carmen was a little flat and poor India was visibly struggling. Manila went completely, stereotypically Asian, as in replacing ls with rs (“Herro, Klisten!” I was so hoping he was going to pull a “Lady One Question” on Kristen! Sadly, he didn’t. Ru’s not sold on the whole over-the-top Asian thing. It’s time for them to go live and their open was even better than Stacy’s…someone has seen Anchorman a few times…I’m just saying. I was worried for Raja and Delta at first, but once they went off script and got their banter on, they were great – as was Carmen. India was still struggling – standing still and not showing what was on the map behind him (I checked and they did have monitors on the sides so he could see what he was doing.) Manila didn’t give up the Asian thing, but he kept Klisten entertained. All in all, they were great – I’d totally watch a drag newscast! Nicolette gave her two cents, “They all did good. Delta didn’t have the showy spot but I thought she was perfect.”

The gals head back to the drag lab to put together their fierecest runway look. Shangela said Stacy was the weakest link on their team and Stacy couldn’t help but agree. He thinks he’s going to be in the bottom two. Says Nicolette, “You have to give it to Stacy for at least acknowledging the fact that she wasn’t great – rather than all of these other girls who screw things up and say ‘I can’t believe I’m in the bottom two.”I can’t believe I was eliminated.’ At least I give her credit for realizing she wasn’t the best.” Side note – I loved Manila’s anti-product placement – a label that said “Pink Cow” covering the real label of his energy drink. Cute! Shangela and Raja got into a little argument about pageants, but it didn’t get very heated. It’s just filler to the runway show. Ru looked awesome, as always and introduced us to our panel of judges. Again we’re blessed with a Santino-less panel. So, along with Michelle Visage, Debbie and Billy B., the guest judge for the week is fashion icon Chloë Sevigny who looks like she just got off of the Big Love set. Chloë’s presence gives you this humorous exchange: Nicolette: “I would not put Chloë Sevigny and fashion icon in the same sentence! I love her but I wouldn’t call her a fashion icon.” Me: “I guess she makes different choices….” Nicolette: “I still wouldn’t call her a fashion icon (laughs)!” The gals took the runway and did look pretty fierce. Delta did Daryl Hannah proud in a mermaid dress, Shangela rocked a colorful, barely there flowy dress. Nicolette disagreed, “I like the concept of the dress, but I think it was cheaply executed.” Carmen went for nearly nude in an outfit made from newspaper. Nicolette says, “I love her and I think she’s absolutely beautiful and she’s got a great body…the outfit’s creative, but we’ve seen it.” Mariah looked uber glam in blue velvet. Nicolette again disagrees. Alexis rocked a silver cha-cha dress (“She’s giving me disco ball!”) India went old Hollywood glam, sans breast plate. We both couldn’t figure out exactly what we didn’t like about Stacy’s outfit, Nicolette said, “I’m ambivalent. On one hand, I like this look…maybe if she didn’t have that headband…” Nicolette couldn’t get over Manila, dressed like a pineapple (complete with pineapple ring earrings, where does she get those?) “Love it, love it, love it! And the matching purse – love it!” Yara gave us a confusing, yet slightly wicked ensemble and Raja went as Princess Poppycock! Nicolette’s take, “I like this! I like that she’s giving us something different. I like it, like it, like it!”

Alexis, Raja, Yara, Carmen and Delta are safe. Chloë thought Manila was over-the-top but funny as Lady Many Questions. Manila was Nicolette’s favorite this week, “I liked Manila – it was showy without being gimmicky. There’s a fine line between being showy and a gimmick and I think she put her toes right up to that line. I love that dress – I want it for myself!” Billy and Debbie loved his “groundbreaking” work. Chloë thought Shangela over-accessorized (in the words of Nicolette, “You’ve got plastic with rhinestones. That’s not cute.”) and Billy thought he could have toned down the eye makeup, but Michelle and Debbie loved his gossip reporting. Ru is very proud of how far Shangela’s come. India admits he was lost as a weather girl. Chloë loved his grace but not his dress and Ru was concerned that India hasn’t busted out yet. Chloë described Mariah as “stunning” and  Michelle was glad she was able to turn it around in the interview. Stacy was accused of having “a Yorkie on her head”. Michelle loved Stacy’s smile. Debbie said she forgot to be her more concerned with script. Stacy said she’d show her personality next week. Ru reminded him that he said the same thing last week. After more deliberation, Ru declares Manila the winner of the week. Miss Shangela was robbed (and was visibly upset. “Oooh, Shangela’s bitter!”) Mariah is safe and Stacy and India have to lip sync for their lives. Nicolette adds, “I wish this show was more about performing. You only see the worst two performing and that’s my main issue with this show.” The gals perform the classic dance track “Meeting in the Ladies Room” by Klymaxx. Stacy brought out a powder puff to act out the lyrics…guess he knew he was going up. Stacy gave the performance of his life. India has to sashay away. I’ll miss that cute boy! Nicolette added, “He’s already a national title holder. He’s got a great career ahead.” Next week, the long-awaited return of the Snatch Game!

Don’t miss the next episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Monday night at 10pm EST on Logo! And if you’re a Shangela fan, catch her as a guest star on Detroit 1-8-7 , tonight at 10pm on ABC!