'RuPaul's Drag Race' recap: Is Pandora Boxx 'the Susan Lucci of this competition'?
Image Credit: Rolling Blackouts/LOGOYou can always count on RuPaul to speak the truth. And, natch, for being funny as hell while doing it. It’s one of the queen’s best attributes. On last night’s episode of Drag Race, the host couldn’t have been more spot on with her searing bon mot to eternally funny queen Pandora Boxx, as she awaited her fate after the rocker chick-inspired challenge: “Pandora Box,” RuPaul said, in her hilarious, deeply dramatic fashion, “you are the Susan Lucci of this competition.”
And RuPaul is right — the poor, poor Pandora Boxx, a favorite contestant of mine who pulled off a truly wacky but inspired rocker gal with a cape and all, once again did not win the challenge. She was robbed, I tell you! But, I suppose we can’t feel too badly for Pandora, can we? Just because she didn’t win — the problem that infamously plagued All My Children diva Lucci for years at the Daytime Emmys — doesn’t mean she lost. No, the dubious distinction of last night’s loser went to none other than Sahara Davenport, who has spent her fair share of time in the bottom this season on Drag Race. Now, throughout these first six episodes, I’ve liked the uber-sweet and feminine Sahara Davenport just fine, especially after the rocky first week where it also seemed like she was going to be sent packing, but her efforts at lipsynching last night were abysmal at best.
Sahara faced off in the bottom two with Jujubee, and the pair was challenged to do their best rocker vamping to “Black Velvet.” And the weirdest thing happened: Sahara went into dainty dancer mode while lipsynching, serving up spins and turns and generally flouncy behavior. Turns and kicks, really? No, no, no, Sahara — you see, the “rocker” part was the most important part of the “lady rocker” you were meant to portray. None of it really mattered, though, because next to Jujubee, Sahara couldn’t hold a candle. Pandora said it best when she commented that Juju best embodied the song as she writhed around the floor, all sultry like. And the fact of the matter was that Juju probably shouldn’t have been in the bottom two in the first place, but she’d choked during the main stage challenge of rocking out to RuPaul’s “Lady Boy.” But couldn’t you all probably have seen that whole narrative coming from a mile away? The first 40 minutes of the show all but crowned Juju as the winner — which is the perfect set-up for her to fall flat on her face. Right? Right.
The winner of the challenge was one of my other Drag Race faves, Jessica Wild. The judges liked her look, and so did I, but they dinged her out-of-control, bottle-blonde wig. Which, truly, was a mess and, as judge Santino Rice said, looked “wiggy.” (Maybe Pandora should have won instead then?! Just sayin’.) I guess, though, what makes Jessica Wild the ideal contestant and winner, though, is her unabashed, balls-to-the-wall attitude — I mean, she just looked like she’s having fun out there! Judge Henry Rollins (who’s pictured above with RuPaul), complimented Jessica for using her hair “as a weapon.” She did! And Jessica’s eyes couldn’t get any wilder. Perfect for someone with the last name of Wild.
The competition this week, as per usual, was a delightful trip to crazytown. I loved that the ladies performed in front of a “live audience.” I wonder how much those five college students were paid to stand at the edge of the runway and act excited as they watched seven different drag queens sing “Lady Boy” over and over? Ha! Overall, I have to give props to all the ladies for their attempts at singing. Because — let’s don’t kid ourselves, girls — these queens could not really carry a tune. Not even the ones who claimed they could, like Juju! Regardless of who you’re in front of, it takes a lot of balls to get up and perform like that, especially if you’re not lipsynching.
Other delights of the evening: Watching Terri Nunn obsess over Raven (“I wish you were straight,” she told him, “you’re really cute!”); Juju obsessing over finding the appropriate comb for the wig-styling challenge: “Where’s my teasing comb? Where’s my teasing comb?!”; Juju subsequently telling RuPaul that she imagined her wig-wearer as “getting ready to go shopping for deli meats” (literally!); judge Henry Rollins saying that Pandora Boxx was a “complete turn on”; and Tyra getting dinged yet again for doing a “weak Beyoncé impression.” (Seriously, though, can Tyra let the Beyoncé obsessh go? She even admitted last night that she’d only ever seen Tina Turner perform when she duet-ed with Beyoncé at the Grammys! WTF?!)
The end of the episode again saw RuPaul speaking the truth, as she said goodbye to Sahara: “It’s come to a point where I must say goodbye to my best girls.” She ain’t lying — I’m sad to see Sahara go. When the good girls start going, it only means one thing: The competition is truly heating up. There are just six episodes of Drag Race left and just six queens left. And only four of those episodes are competition-based, as there’s a clip show in the mix and, of course, the post-finale reunion. What’s on deck for next week? The episode is titled “Once Upon a Queen” and finds the ladies selling their tales as they pose for a book cover shoot and hit the press circuit. E!’s Marc Malkin and authors Jackie Collins and Gigi Levangie Granger are on board as guest judges.
BUT! The following week’s episode is what I’m really looking forward to: It’s called “Golden Gals,” and the queens are charged with—and this is straight from the logline—transforming “a group of silver daddies into their drag mothers.” I mean! Cloris Leachman and Debbie Reynolds will be there to judge. Where’s Betty White—a true Golden Girl—when you need her? Oh right, she’s busy prepping for hosting SNL and doing other fabulous guest spots.
Fans, what’d you think of last night’s episode of Drag Race? Would you call Pandora Boxx the show’s “Susan Lucci”? Should she have won? Are you torn between her and Jessica Wild, like me? Are you dying for the upcoming “Golden Gals” episode of the show? Sound off in the comments below!
Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky
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