Last night’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race wasn’t totally devoid of the dearly, dearly departed Pandora Boxx, who unfortunately bit the dust two weeks ago. The hour opened with the ladies seeing the lipsticked message my favorite queen left for them on the workroom’s mirror: “Lick this boxx, bitch.” Even post-elimination, Pandora is still bringing the funny to Drag Race! Thank goodness!
The episode featured the “fantastic final four” — Tatianna, Jujubee, Raven, and Tyra Sanchez — fighting it out for RuPaul’s trio of fake Diva Awards. They each had to create a look for three different awards shows: the Teen Diva Awards, a Teen Choice-ish type ceremony; the Diva D.C. Press Awards, a more professional-type show; and the Diva Hollywood Extravaganza Awards, the pinnacle of the awards season that focused on “glamour and eleganza,” according to RuPaul. It goes without saying that queens live for awards shows! I couldn’t help but think about how well the producers had managed to zero in on the things — Gone With the Wind, celebrity impersonations, brides — this season that so tickle the LGBT community. Awards shows, with all their ridiculous drama and glamour, certainly fall into that category, too! The challenges — the main ones, mind you, not the usually pointless mini challenges — have been simply delightful so far this season.
From the get-go, as we watched the ladies put their looks together, I feel like there was no question who was going home. Right? I mean, it seemed like the whole episode revolved around the sad state of things for Tatianna, who’s been the girls’ punching bag for the past few episodes. While making her rounds to check in with the contestants, RuPaul felt compelled to tell Tatianna about the messy state of her looks: “If you ever were going to pull something out of your a–, now would be the time to do it.” Ominous words from the world’s drag mother! “I think as a drag queen you should culture yourself,” Jujubee said about Tatianna. Meanwhile, Raven pointblank told Tatianna that she didn’t think she deserved to make it to the final three. Tyra Sanchez agreed, and Juju wouldn’t say more than the fact that she herself wanted to be in the top three. But you sort of knew she agreed with Raven and Tyra. And you knew it was basically all over for Tatianna. “And then there were three…” RuPaul dramatically intoned.
I suppose I feel bad for Tatianna, who was eventually told to “sashay away” after lipsyncing against Jujubee to “Something He Can Feel” by Aretha Franklin. But let’s face it: She deserved to go. The other three queens are better suited for this show — Raven with her bitchy, hard edge (“Not winning is not an option!” she said last night); Jujubee with her heart and intellect (that Diva Awards speech!); and Tyra with her fabulous fashions and style (her hair!). I had this awful feeling, though, that the producers and judges were going to try to keep Tatianna in just to be controversial. Thank goodness they didn’t!
Despite Tatianna’s offing, she still looked pretty damn good on the runway, as did all the other ladies. Tyra, who was eventually and rightfully crowned the winner, especially killed with her Solange Knowles look for the Teen Diva Awards. “Is this the BET Teen Awards?” RuPaul said, with her ever pop culture-laced tongue. “She must be from Baldwin Hills.” And Tatianna’s Sarah Palin-esque look for the Diva D.C. Press Awards actually hit me strongly, too. Or maybe it was just RuPaul’s continued, hilarious commentary: “She’s got a call,” the host said as Tatianna came down the main stage. “Rush Limbaugh? Why, you fat f—.” Hehehe. And despite what Marissa Jaret Winokur (who was one of the guest judges alongside Tatum O’Neal, who took the moment to remind us that she’s an OSCAR WINNER!) said, I think Jujubee’s Bollywood-inspired number was delicious, too.
There were so many other good things about the episode. Too many to go into here, in fact! But a few of the things I noticed that I loved:
• The opening “D-I-V-A” number the ladies had to put together. Um, just plain fun! Loved the outfits, loved the sparkly D-I-V-A letters, loved everything. Even despite Juju kicking in the wrong direction. Whoever choreographed and wrote the lyrics for that deserves some special props.
• The guest judges! For once, they actually got to talk a bit. I just wish it hadn’t taken nine episodes to get to this point — I wanted to hear more from Kathy Griffin, Lisa Rinna, and Niecy Nash when they were all on! But kudos to Tatum and Marissa for bringing mostly solid advice.
• The acceptance speeches. How moving was Juju’s, for instance? And Tyra showed a very funny side with her opening line: “I didn’t even know I was nominated!” Haha. Speaking of good lines, I loved it when they showed the red carpet footage and Raven said: “There are no small people — just big bitches.” Tee hee hee! Someone’s got a new catchphrase! (I do!)
Also, Drag Race watchers, know that next week is not the finale. OMG! Instead, Logo is airing what they’re calling “The Main Event Clip Show” episode, an hour dedicated to “the highlights, low-lights, and previously unseen footage from the first nine episodes as we race toward the climactic grand finale!” The “Grand Finale” — as well as an hour-long reunion — is set for April 26.
So now, over to you: What did you love about last night’s episode? What’d you hate? Who are you rooting for now that it’s down to just Raven, Tyra, and Jujubee?
Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky
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