Every week while the majesty that is Ru Paul’s Drag Race is streamed to our screens, we here at PinkNews have been asking – no, forcing – drag newbies to watch the show for the first time.
This week sees resident noob Florence Barré battle with the shade, shantays and Cher (naturally).
Vixen is less than bushy tailed at the beginning of this week’s episode. Last week her fellow queens turned on her.
One after the other, they spoke out and seemed to seal her fate. But no – she survived. As did her beef with Eureka.
Hey, if the two have beef, it’s more sizzling sadness than boiling rage. Words are exchanged, but nothing explodes. This isn’t to in any way diminish or throw shade on what is evidently genuine emotion.
Vixen has tears in her eyes as she explains her feelings later on. But ultimately I guess there are just bigger things to worry about. Like Cher (more on her in a minute).
This week, as we get ever nearer to climax, there really is a sense of ownership. The competition is fierce, but there’s also a happy unity – Vixen and Eureka aside.
RuPaul’s comical gags remain, so too does all the shimmering self-deprecation; overarching now is the fact these girls really care and soon one of them will be proclaimed the winning queen.
Asia O’Hara is the big star for me. She is gentle, funny; she also won the fabulous mini-challenge, in which the ladies have to insult RuPaul with a saucy comment, and in turn earn a noble slap.
Asia wins with: “You hit like a girl… too bad you don’t look like one”. A burn of the highest order.
This week, the stars’ maxi-challenge is Cher the Unauthorised Rusical. The singing actress/goddess and her contralto tones are the perfect setup for drag queens.
In rehearsals, Eureka struggles. Painfully so. She rightly catches flak – few of the queens have little if any experience singing live. It’s nervy for all of them.
Yet all give it a shot under the guidance of singer Todrick Hall. Apart from Eureka, who keeps asking to just do the dance routine and let the singing come later. My patience runs out.
She found plenty of oomph within herself when playing ‘Slap Out Of It’ – dropping to the floor and faux sobbing after an averagely punchy tirade.
Drag Race this week is cranked up a notch when Cher makes a video appearance. “Who books me on these chicken shit gigs? I’m Cher, bitch”.
RuPaul’s self-confessed idol arriving on screen gives girls a needed boost, propelling them to create what is a fun Unauthorised Ruscial, charting the decades of Cher’s pop prowess and her various personalities and sounds.
“Do you believe in life after love?” Cher asks the queens. “After all, Cher-ing is caring”. Beautiful.
We’ll find out whether these words mean anything to this week’s loser in a moment.
For all the girls’ expressions of concern, I don’t hear too many duff notes. Asia says she ‘doesn’t sing or act’ but puts up a decent display.
Kameron is charismatic and splendidly accurate. She’s deserving in victory, though I think all the girls do well.
Monét – a trained singer – is way too deep in tone for Cher but that doesn’t too heavily scuffer her performance. Eureka is fine. Aquaria too. Miz Cracker impresses, I think. She’s consistent. Vixen. We’ll get to her.
Also, a note here for Miz Cracker’s incredible lunch box story. It’s hard to find seriousness amidst the flurry of silliness on RuPaul – on what other show would you hear, “black thighs matter”? I mean.
But underneath it all is nuance. I’m not going to get into all that now (thanks, me), but it is quite shocking to learn Miz Cracker was so poor growing up sometimes she went to school with an empty lunch box.
All these girls are fighting for something. Some know all too well what it’s like to struggle.
Phew. Anyway, the show, nourishing as it is, goes on. RuPaul enjoys herself. But one girl has to go.
This week, it’s down to the Vixen and Asia to put on a mime-off. Deee-Lite’s Groove Is In The Heart is the track. RuPaul even sings along at one point. Her timing.
Anyway, Vixen walks. After the trials and tribulations this week, it’s sad to see.
“I really wanted to bring the crown home,” she says. “I don’t need a crown to be queen. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.”
We hope she believes in life after Drag Race.