RuPaul’s Drag Race – ‘RuPaul’s Hair Extravaganza’

Sadly, my favorite glamour gal, the lovely Nicolette won’t be joining me for this recap. She’s got a packed schedule and a photo shoot – the rigors of being such a fabulous queen! This week, the queens come into the workroom through the eternally squeaky door and, as Alexis so eloquently put it, we’re down to the “Top 5, bitches!” Manila’s feeling a void left by Carmen’s “giant ass” and appoints Raja (who’s looking super boy-sexy today) as HBIC in his fallen Heather’s absence. Raja seems to be all for it and says he’s not holding it back anymore, gloating about his previous win by prancing around saying “Suck it, bitches.” Yara and (especially) Alexis are not amused.

Shangela, in the bottom two last wek, knows he’s got to work harder to prove to his fellow competitors that he deserves to still be in the running. He feels Manila and Raja still see him as a threat because they are so bothered that he’s still around. And…oh…what’s that sound? Guuurl, you got She Mail! With all of the puns girl Ru tosses out – like “hair today, gone tomorrow” and “parting is such sweet sorrow”, you know this challenge has got to be follically related. Boy Ru, looking sharp, introduces the mini-challenge. This week, the queens have to create a headpiece made from “items swiped from the gay beach” – which gives Ru the chance to say “You’ve got crabs…beach balls, grass skirts and a whole bunch of fun stuff” that they can use for their creations. The queens make a mad dash for the inflatable pool toys, festive fruity cocktail straws and plastic leis and get to work.

Raja is crafting an “Alexander McQueen” headpiece made of plastic lobsters and glue. Manila’s having issues getting his inflatable palm tree to stand up (innuendos ahoy!) Shangela, who is still pretty much a hot mess when it comes to any kind of wardrobe construction, is trying to make an inflatable parrot, dolphin and spome grass skirt material into something. Time’s up and Ru checks out the queens’ handiwork. Raja’s headpiece is a little sloppy, but kind of creative, adding shells to the lobsters and glue. (And it really doesn’t matter what he wears, bitch can always seems to pull it off.) Yara used the greass skirt to make braids and decorated the top of his headpiece with drink umbrellas and small plastic beach toys. Manila went showgirl, dangling small balls on leis from his palm tree. Sadly, his tree fell limp during his presentation. Alexis went with a deflated pool toy/lei motif. Poor Shangela’s hat looked like “a parrot humping a dolphin”. Of course, Raja wins…again.

There’s more Drag Race after the jump!

This week’s main challenge gives the chance for the queens to “wig out”. The (criminally underused) pit crew wheel out an assortment of wigs and Ru tells the guys that they have to create three distinct hairstyles. The first is a “classic look from another era”, the second is a modern, red carpet-worthy look and the third is a “fantasy hair extravaganza”. Since Raja won the mini-cheallenge, he gets a 5-second headstart in wig selection. It’s a free-for-all as the wigs get grabbed up. Yara seems to be lacking a bit of inspiration and is walking around, brushing a wig, trying to get some ideas. Manila and Raja think Yara will excel at this challenge. Shangela asks them how they think he’ll do and Manila responds with “I think you’ll do fine” (which elicits a hearty guffaw from Yara) and then sarcastically shows him what a comb does. Me-ow! Shangela is determined to prove that he’s got creativity out the wazoo and can take this challenge.

Alexis thinks the fantasy look is going to be the most difficult, because he usually uses his own hair for a base. Shangela is going for “Donna Summer meets Diana Ross” for his classic look. Yara’s a little lost, using an afro wig for an 80s look(?). Ru checks in. Alexis tells Ru his classic look is going to be a 1940s look, which prompts Ru to crack “During the 40s there was a ration on latex titties” (I knew Ru didn’t like those things!) Alexis is doing an “evening modern mohawk” for his red carpet look. Sounds great, but he has absolutely nothing to show Ru. Oh, Alexis does have the beginnings of his fantasy, cotton candy-inspired look, which doesn’t really get much of a reaction. Shangela is also working on his fantasy look. Currently it’s a beehive wig with what looks like two horns on it. Shangela describes it as “an alien princess from the future”. I’m officially curious about this one. Ru thinks Shangie’s classic look is beautiful. Shangela tells Ru that he’s no longer asking for advice because he knows the other queens are over his constant requests for help. Yara’s classic look is still a mystery to me. It’s braids in the front and two huge afro wigs in the back. Ru asks Yara if he’s concerned that Shangela’s also doing a 70s-era style, Yara says he came up with it first. Raja says he’s channeling Janice from The Muppets for his red carpet look (=Donatella Versace, amirite?) His fantasy wouldn’t involve a wig, he says, because “the wig would be pulled off!” Cheeky! Ru wants to be wowed by Raja’s fantasy look and he’s feeling the pressure. Manila’s classic look combines a Marie Antoniette wig with a white afro. Ru thinks it’s better as a fantasy look and says he thinks the era should really be clear. After the initial assesments, Ru tells the queens that their hair creations will be judged by Wayne Brady and Fantasia Barrino. In addition, Ru wants the queens to make a runway outfit made entirely out of hair. The queens look overwhelmed. This oughta be good.

The pressure of creating a dress out of hair must have gotten to Yara, because he’s yelling and screaming like a crazy person. Enjoy Yara’s stress-relieving antics in this clip:

Yara says he wants to win the challenge and keeps coming around Alexis’ work area to get feedback on his look. Alexis has got his own problems. He’s worried about having to wear padding and hair while having a feminine silhouette. He wasn’t happy with the finished product and took a pair of scissors to it. Shangela’s experiencing a “creative high” – and I hope that involves covering those weird horns with hair. All of the queens are stressed out. The day of the runway show, the queens are really feeling the pressure. They’ve still got a lot of work to do. As the queens get ready for the runway, they chat about the art of drag. Listen in:

It’s runway time! Ru takes the stage in a purple sequined gown…girl Ru always looks jaw-droppingly spectacular. I’m so jealous! Michelle Visage is wearing a black dress with these weird, hairy red epaulets and Santino is wearing an oddly-sized cowboy hat. I don’t get the connection, but then again, I don’t get Santino. Wayne Brady could be the oddest selection for the judges’ panel all season (not that I don’t love the guy, he’s got nothing to do with hair.) Fantasia’s okay, but her Aunt Bunny would have made an infinitely more amusing judge. Here come the queens!

First up are the classic looks. Yara’s braid/afro combo looks much better on his head – and, judging by his silver disco bodysuit, he finally got the era right. Alexis was going for 1940s, Old Hollywood glam, but as much as I thought he looked nice, I wasn’t really seeing it. Raja went with a 1960s bouffant ‘do and Twiggy-esque fashion. He says he was going for a Mad Men look, but I saw more Laugh In (liked it, though!) Shangela went for a Spanish look (I don’t think “spanish” is an era. Girlfriend might be in trouble – and the back of the wig looks a little sloppy. Uh-oh. And what happened to the disco wig?) Manila stuck with the 80s-ish “Rock Me Amadeus” look. It’s also another one that looks way better on.

Next up are the red carpet looks. Yara’s is described as being very “Desperate Housewives”. He left his own spiky hair exposed on the side. Kinda edgy, not sure if I dig it though. Alexis’ “red carpet mohawk” was kind of col, but I didn’t like the contrasting blond braid he intertwined with it. Raja went with a razor cut blond wig, which looked really awesome. Was it just me, or did he make the roots dark? Shangela went for a sophisticated look he dubbed “Diahann Carroll at the Oprah’s Legends Ball”. I liked the look when he was facing front, but the side view killed it for me. Manila was “Jennifer Love Hewitt’s version of Audrey Hepburn“. He looked pretty, but it wasn’t knocking me out.

Last, but certainly not least – the fantasy hair extravaganza! Yara’s look was really stunning, using blond afro wigs as a skirt, twisted braids as a top and an elaborate headpiece. Alexis toned down the cotton candy look (although there was still lots of pink to be seen) and was more “Phantom of the Opera”/circus. The dress was a little disorganized, but the wig was kinda cute. Raja was a vision in pastel. He went completely cotton candy – wearing a pink wog with a dress that looked good enough to eat. I liked Shangela’s Conan the Barbarian-esque dress (and hair sword), but the hair was still weird. Should have put hair on the cones! And damn, can Manila pull a theme together or what? His bumblebee look was perfect!

The judges have a lot of critiquing to do. Yara tells Ru that for him, extravaganza means animal. Ru asked if that meant looking like a scorpion and a poodle (Michelle chimed in with “A scoodle!”). Santino said he looked Dr. Seuss-ian, like “a very beautiful woman from Whoville”. Wayne added “More like the ho of Whoville!” Fantasia said Yara’s classic look reminded her of her aunties (I can see Aunt Bunny rocking that ‘do! Gurrrrl, please! ) Santino “got” that Alexis’ fantasy look was a circus girl, but called his runway look “budget RuPaul”. Michelle notes that Alexis is always “out of proportion” in his gowns (I think he’s over-padded!) Raja got a bunch of kudos for the pastel fantasy. Santino loved the rockin’ red carpet look but noted that Raja looks better with less makeup. Wayne loved the 60s look, but, like me, thought it was more Goldie Hawn/Laugh In. Shangela got called out for his Spanish look (Fantasia thought the dress was too big) and red carpet look (Santino didn’t think it was fancy enough). Michelle couldn’t believe he went for a daytime red carpet look. Fantasia loved the classic look. Santino thinks Manila over-accessorized on the red carpet look with a tiara and huge bejeweled necklace that made him look “mannish”. Michelle loves the whole bumblebee look too!

After the queens went to untuck, the judges gave kudos to Yara for his “scoodle” look and 70s ‘do. Wayne asked if it was wrong to admire Yara’s Puerto Rican booty and said this runway show “messes with your perception of things.” Michelle countered with “Now you see what happened to Eddie Murphy!” Bazinga, Michelle! Michelle had nothing nice to say about any of Alexis’ looks. Raja, as always, was a judge favorite, although Santino kind of wished he would have gone with a more elegant red carpet look. Fantasia says she can identify with Shangela because they’re both underdogs. Santino agrees that the underdog thing is why he’s still around, because he’s “clueless” about fashion. Sadly, he’s still not blending his makeup very well. Wayne thinks Shangie has a great spirit but may be pursuing the wrong avenue for his talents. Manila also scored high marks for his trio of looks. Ru has made his decision and the queens return to the runway.

There are really no surprises regarding who’s staying and who’s in the bottom two this week. Raja is safe. Yara scoodled his way to victory and finally won a challenge – and an Alaskan cruise! Alexis is up for elimination. Manila was a killer bee and is once again safe. And, of course, Shangela’s back in the bottom two. Two non-Heathers must now face off in the lip sync for their loves. This week, the song is “Even Angels” by Fantasia. It was looking pretty even at the beginnig, but Alexis really gave his all and interpreted the song beautifully. And yes, this means Shangela is going home. Halle-boo! (Although I really didn’t want to see either of them go home!) The show’s wrapping up when Ru says that it’s ultimately his decision as to who sashays away every week and he’s been criticized for sending queens packing before their time, so he asks Michelle to confer with Santino and Billy B. to decide which previously eliminated queen gets to return to the competition. Say what? What a twist! Who would you like to see come back? I’d love to see Delta Work come back – and what about Venus D’Lite, who only got to strut his stuff for one measly episode. Next week’s going to be good! Until then, can I get an “Amen”?

Check out full episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race and Untucked and get a sneak peek of next week’s episode on and don’t miss the next lap, Monday at 10pm EST!