RuPaul's Drag Race
I am obsessed with Purse First. Every week, when the queens enter the workroom, carrying Bob’s ugly purse from episode one in front of them, it just makes me so happy. I’m starting to formulate a life philosophy based around Purse First. It has something to do with making the ugly or negative aspects of your personality the ones that are the most prominent, so people will immediately know what they are up against when they meet you. Like Bob, for instance. Everyone knows she is a grandstander who will enter Purse First and push everyone else aside. Her competitors need to know and accept that, and if they can, they will still be friends.
The problem is that no one accepts this, especially as Bob keeps winning challenges. Her success seems to be stuck in Thorgy’s dreads. (I would say her craw, but I am avoiding clichés. Also, just pointing out the obvious, which is that we have no clue how many false eyelashes, bobby pins, pieces of glitter, violas, and twinks from This ‘N’ That are stuck up in Thorgy’s dreads.) Bob says that everyone wants her to fail and she is not wrong. They all want her to fail. I get it. I kind of want Bob to fail, too. Bob seems to have this whole competition sewn up, doesn’t she? At this point, Thorgy and (maybe) Kim Chi are the only ones with a real chance, and Kim Chi can’t dance, perform, or even walk in heels, so … yeah.
As soon as RuPaul announces that the library is open, we know it is time for the annual reading challenge, which, next to the Snatch Game, is the most iconic challenge of the season. Even before my old friend and colleague Marc Snetiker from Entertainment Weekly showed up, I knew Bob was going to win. This challenge was made for Bob to roast some of these queens and read them for filth, as the kids say on Snapschatter. She does not disappoint.
Much like the Snatch Game, this year’s reading challenge isn’t especially good. Derrick Barry trying to read is like Britney Spears trying to find the corner of the Oval Office. Robbie Turner trying to read is like Rosalind Russell trying to light a cigarette by eating a jellybean. Naomi Smalls trying to read is like Linda Evangelista trying to buy her own Christmas tree, then decorating it with negatives from Herb Ritts photoshoots. I mean, these ladies were not up for the challenge. Bob did a great job making so much fun of Derrick (who deserves it) and Robbie Turner’s wig line. (I do not mean a line of wigs like Raquel Welch has, I mean the line of her wig on her forehead, which makes it look faker than Thorgy’s smile when Bob won the competition.)
Though Bob triumphed, I think Chi Chi DeVayne did the best job, so she gets the Read of the Week for telling Bob, “You may live in New York City, but those feet are still from Mississippi.”
The big challenge of the week is having the girls transform the cast of Lifetime’s show Little Women of L.A. I have never heard of it, but I avoid watching Lifetime like Derrick Barry avoids having a personality. (Hashtag sick burn.) Each queen has to come up with a Wizard of Oz–inspired lewk for both herself and her member of the Lollipop Guild.
Every year there’s a challenge about the girls remaking “normals,” but this year it really works well because they have reality-television veterans. These ladies are really bringing it. Derrick Barry’s protégé, Terra, is also a Britney impersonator known as Mini Britney. She is perfectly bitchy and you can tell all the other ladies kind of hate her. Tonya, the only black lady in the bunch, really fits in well with Chi Chi. When Chi Chi tries to give us her usual “I’m too poor to do drag” line, Tonya tells her she can’t even imagine that or give it any power. I wish Chi Chi would listen to Tonya. They also cut on everyone in the whole workroom. I could have watched an hour of just that.
The sob stories this week, of course, come from the Little Women of L.A. themselves. They talk about how hard it is to be little people, how much they hate the word “midget,” and how their struggles are like the struggles of gay people and drag queens. The other sob story is Bob’s: Her lewk falls apart and she doesn’t have enough time to make something else, causing her to scurry to get her face and outfit together at the last minute. The producers must have given her a little bit of extra time because she looked way more pulled together than anyone possibly could in 15 minutes — unless she was putting those rhinestones on while the other queens were walking, like when I used to finish my homework just as the teacher was walking around the room to pick it up.
Here’s how everyone looks.
Chi Chi and Ti Ti DeVayne: You know that part of the car wash that wipes suds all over the car? Like that, but if they also used the power dryer from the same car wash to style their hair.
Bob Thedragqueen and Rob Thefauxqueen: Bob looks like a lesbian bride at her Nightmare Before Christmas wedding. Rob looks like Tawny Kitaen on a bad video shoot.
Naomi Smalls and Jazzy Jems: Twiggy dresses up as a plastic-surgery patient for Halloween. Better work.
Derrick and Tara Barry: The crumpled tin foil that got knocked off the head of some crazy man after he was arrested for trespassing in Union Square Park. They do not look like Britney for a change. Britney wouldn’t be caught dead in this.
Robbie and Hedda Turner: Edith Bring Me Their Heads.
Thorgy Thor and Thorgeous: Two of the members from Deee-Lite doing a DJ set at the Emerald Party on Fire Island.
Kim Chi and Misa Chi: A sketch that Tim Burton didn’t think would work for Alice in Wonderland.
Then, everyone has to do an interpretive dance. Much like Tyra Bank’s music video that premiered after America’s Next Top Model, the first season of Project Runway on Lifetime, or Real Housewives of D.C., this should never be spoken of again. Thank you.
Naomi Smalls is the winner, and she is the only one who really kills this challenge. She and her partner were giving us scarecrow, but they were also serving up fashion like André Leon Talley serves up Oreos at his house in White Plains. The bottom two are obviously Derrick Barry and Robbie Turner, whose wig line is so obvious that even Marc Jacobs could see it even though the Botox has permanently affected his long-range vision.
The long national nightmare of Derrick Barry continues, thanks to his excellent skills in the lip sync. I was hoping that Robbie Turner could send her home, but he relied on the most tired of all moves: tearing off his wig. Did no one tell him not to do this in his (sexual) orientation materials? I must say, the first spark of life I ever saw from Derrick was in tonight’s lip sync. I can finally see what everyone loves about his Britney. It’s just a shame that everything else about him is so awful. I hope that next week he is sent packing. When he goes, he should leave as he came — purse first.