At the end of last week’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Ru announced that she was giving the judges a chance to bring back queens that they felt had been axed too soon, so I ran a poll in my post about the episode, asking: “Which queen should return to RuPaul’s Drag Race next week?”
When I last checked the results, Shangela (33 percent), Delta Work (26 percent), and Mariah (12 percent) were leading the way. And somehow, Carmen wasn’t a option in the poll (sorry, maybe that was a subliminal mistake that adds up to who I didn’t want to see back?), but surprise: Carmen was indeed who judges Michelle Visage, Santino Rice, and Billy B. decided should return. “I’m back, bitches!” she shouted after coming through a door to the work room. But in so many ways it was like, really, you’re bringing Carmen back? Ugh, what a disaster.
And, truly, that’s what bringing Carmen back was — a disaster. Why? Well, first of all — and SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t seen it yet — she did get sent home at the end of the episode, just like two weeks ago. And as fun as the hour was — the dunk tank! the safe-sex cheers! the straight jocks doing drag! the sweet love story between Alexis and her straight jock! (see pic) — the “bringing a queen back” thing really felt like just a gimmick to extend the season by an episode and pimp out Carmen Carrera more.
Like, after a season that was so defined by the three big girls, who truly had their own panache and style and attitudes, the judges decided to bring back the icky, never sweet Carmen? Like, no. I was hoping it’d be Delta Work. As much as you all wanted (as evidenced by the totally inaccurate poll results) and I wanted, we pretty much knew Shangela wouldn’t return. But that’s OK: She’s got other things going on anyway.
“Is your head back in the game?” Ru asked Carmen when she returned. And honestly, no it wasn’t. Alexis assigned her a straight jock that had a sick, muscly body because she knew it’d be hard for Carmen to resist putting it on display. The jock looked ridic, wearing barely anything. But even more ridiculous? When Carmen got on stage to lip sync for her life (opposite, Raja, shock of all shockers…sorta?) and stripped her panties off. Granted, production thankfully blurred her bits, but I don’t think we needed that. I was 99 percent sure there was no way that the judges were going to send Raja home (she’s been the front-runner this whole season!), but when Carmen’s bottom went, I knew it was all over for her. Good riddance. That whole lip sync situation made me even more uncomfortable than when Mimi Imfurst went insane during her pre-exit lip sync.
Really, with the whole Carmen thing, I think I wanted some justification from Michelle, Santino, and Billy: Why did you bring her back? What did she do that was so great? Why did you feel like she wasn’t quite done with Drag Race yet? I get the body thing, but personality is important in drag, too. I’m happy to listen to reasons about why she’s wonderful — I just haven’t really seen any yet.
The funniest part of the night? When the gals were teaching the straight jocks how to deal with their twig and berries while dragging. “Are we gonna have to teach these boys how to tuck?” asked Manila. The looks on those boys’ faces were priceless. There was a funny moment with Carmen, too: I know it’s the oldest one in the book, but I loved when she asked her straight jock: “Does your family know you’re straight?” Tee hee hee.
A couple other genius quotes from the evening. Margaret Cho, upon introduction: “I was raised by drag queens, like some are raised by wolves, so I know drag.” And then, when she talked about Alexis: “You are giving me Kardashian — I am keeping up with you.” And then, Ru, later, when talking about the safe-sex cheers: “Actually, I’m wearing a condom right now.” Honestly, is that even that funny? It struck me at the moment and still makes me sort of giggle right now as I typed it, but it’s really such a silly little thing to say.
Even though I don’t love her either — slash, I don’t love-love any of the queens in the final four — Manila did deserve to win. But why does no one talk about how she overdoes the Asian thing? I guess that is her signature, but like, do something else for once. We get it! You can do Asian! Wow!
Drag Racers: What’d you think of last night’s episode? Were you as disappointed as I was that they brought Carmen? Which queen would you have rather seen? Who are you rooting for in the final four?
Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky
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