Drag Race season 10 episode 2 recap: ‘What time-space continuum are the contestants on?’ A newbie’s hot take
After all the introductions of last week’s Drag Race premiere, this week’s offering followed a more rigid format, yet was somehow more frenetic and confusing than before. For a first-timer (or is it now second-timer?) however, it was no less entertaining.
If episode one was a loud trumpet that introduced the contestants with all the pomp, circumstance and house music they deserved, episode two was a magnifying glass highlighting some of their biggest insecurities and flaws. It offered up some brilliant drama and hilarious moments, as well as a lovely redemptive arc for one contestant.
The show started by The Vixen bringing out the beef between Miz Cracker and Aquaria, after she made them confront the fact they had the same look. This led to one of the episode’s stand-out lines from Cracker (or was it Aquaria?): “I just did a look that I know for a fact she’s never done. It’s called being on top.” (It was Cracker.)
This shady kerfuffle was followed by a quick country-themed mini challenge set by the talk show host Andy Cohen. It was over in a flash, and was never mentioned again. But it was fun to watch, so…. why not?
Next came a hilarious series of spoof pharmaceutical ads for the maxi challenge. Featuring made-up drugs such a Conflama (a mix between conflict and drama), the contestants sold them with various quips (“I don’t drink wine anymore, because I throw it in people’s faces”) and musical parodies.
Without all the introductory demands, this week’s Drag Race followed a much clearer format than it did last week. Although to my still uninitiated eyes, it wasn’t that clear at all. This was mostly down to the structure and pacing, which remain two of the most eccentric aspects of the show.
Despite running an hour and a half with ads, the way Drag Race is cut makes you think the producers have sat in the editing suite panicking about how everything is going to fit in one show.
If you’re a newbie, certain sections seem to appear out of nowhere. The contestants have just done the maxi-challenge, and the trail before the ad break teases the elimination stage. Then bam! The show’s back and suddenly they’re on the catwalk, dressed in stunning outfits and walking up and down. Ok!
Although none of this detracts from your enjoyment the show. Instead, it gives it an eccentric charm, and accommodates to the regular viewer who knows the format and just wants the good stuff.
Another confusing part of Drag Race is the passing of time. Does it exist on the same time-space continuum as the rest of us? Or does time just seem compressed due to the supernatural talents of the contestants? Within roughly 24 hours almost all of them have found outfits, memorised a bunch of skits and dance moves, and… written, recorded and learnt several songs?
Questions of time aside, episode two was slightly predictable in who the final two would be: Kalorie K Williams and Eureka. But it was made up for by how it handled their declines and, in Eureka’s case, her consequent revival.
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After the displays of total confidence in episode one that made me wonder how any of the queens could lose anything, a big theme this time around was insecurity. Eureka first suffered a knock to her ego after getting picked last for Team Vixen. Then she was struck with PTSD when she first got up on stage, due to the knee injury she suffered in episode two of the last season.
She struggled throughout the episode, forgot her lines, and found herself lip syncing for her life. Suddenly however, she was back on top form. Next to the empty Kalorie, who just walked around with her arms out doing the bare minimum, Eureka had a self-titled moment, and shimmied, gurned and dazzled her way to survival.
While it was sad to see Kalorie go, and how devastated she was, it was unsurprising. As she left the stage RuPaul offered her some comfort, saying “a Kalorie-free Drag Race won’t be the same”.
It’s hard to see how that will be the case given how lifeless her performance was, but I look forward to being proven right or wrong. In fact, I’m just looking forward to the next episode.
Am I hooked already?