Now that it's the second episode and we're beginning to meander into the gooey pink insides of the meat of RuPaul's Drag Race, the queens are starting to show their true colors—and almost always, that color is the snippy, grabby hue of cattiness. Yes, I know I just mixed a metaphor. My brain is just so rattled by all the sniping!
On the premiere, Ru started the drama early by asking the final queens, one by one, which contestant they thought should be sent home—a tactic she usually reserves for the later episodes, but I guess by season seven you gotta do a little something to spice up the relationship, no?
Sasha Belle's answer to the question was that Pearl should go home—an answer she admitted was strategic, as she saw Pearl as her major competition—but Pearl obviously didn't take too kindly to the ordeal. Her response was not to talk it out like a normal person not filming a reality show might do, but to lob barbs when Sasha's back was turned, with the camera squarely in her face: "I'm pretty," sniffed Pearl, "and she looks like John Goodman in a wig." Ladies, the gloves are off, weirdly dated man-references and all!
Other than a mini-challenge featuring guest judge Moby (?) and a leaf-blower, the episode was somewhat uneventful until the end—a challenge in which the queens had to learn an elaborate dance sequence and song that cast them as randy flight attendants instructing their naughty passengers (a host of babely, masculine boy-toys, shirtless of course). In rehearsals, they did the usual song-and-dance, both literally and figuratively—you know, a couple queens can't dance, somebody blames their lack of steadiness on a "prior injury," et cetera.
But for the actual sequence, oooh child: it was one of the top five most surreal moments in Drag Race history, which, as you know, is saying a lot. In what seemed to be an homage to Virgin Airlines' elaborate in-flight safety video, they presented a multi-act musical about how to maintain safety on an airplane straight to Jetset Eleganza (which was the runway category), but with more sexual entendres than you can shake a bag of peanuts at. Pre-recorded and matched with sometimes very dicey lip-syncs, it was as though Ru had thought it up in a NyQuil haze after watching the movie Airplane and cannily said, "Put them to WORK!" (Please, do yourself a favor and watch it here.)
But oh, lo, miss, did they ever work. Remember when people used to dress up to just get on an airplane? The best looks had queens dressing in their flossiest in-flight finery and carry-ons (so much BAGGAGE!), as judged by special guests Olivia Newton-John—not her first time at RuPaul's rodeo—and "Drag Race superfan" Jordin Sparks.
I'm like, in love with Jasmine Masters' charisma, and in the "Glamazonian Airways" challenge she proved herself a consummate showgirl and expert lip-syncer. Her outfits aren't blowing me away, but there's something special about the way she's giving bedazzled Dynasty with those ginormous earrings and the wig that screams, "welcome to the friendly skies."
Violet Chachki's stunning looks continue to be overshadowed by her sour personality, but I gotta give her props for this 1960s Barbie ensemble: the French fry pattern is an unexpected dose of trashy surrealism that makes me think there's more to her than meets the eye, something judge Michelle Visage noted as well. Come on, Violet! Be funny, or you'll never make it past Snatch Game.
Jaidynn Diore Fierce
JAIDYNN. JAI. DYNN. I'm gonna call it early and bet that Jaidynn stays on for a good half of the season, at least, if she's not in the top four: she keeps BRINGING the looks, and projects a self-assuredness that is practically serene. Here, she adds her own twist to Ru's hostess-with-the-mostess looks, but also struts like she's a majorette leading the parade onto a plane that is the party equivalent of Air Force One. AIR FORCE FUN, more like.
PEARL. PE. ARL. I kinda don't want Pearl to win so she comes back to Brooklyn, I can stalk/befriend her and we can commence clothes-swapping like BFFs are meant to—but with looks like this Madonna-via-Lana Turner, bustier/trouser combo, pretty sure my imagined utopian future in her closet is far-fetched at best. Definitely a top contender. The look is flawless.
Where do you think Max's plane is taking her, with her tiny hatbag and trunk case? I'm gonna bet somewhere like glamorous, like Cleveland. This photo reminds me of one of her quotes this episode, leveled with ineffable Wisconsonian charm and splendor: "It's a drag competition, if you're not optimistic and having fun then you're not doing it right!" Darn RIGHT! Never mind Cleveland, we're going to Disneyland!
Finally, Trixie Mattel's look is very World's Fair 1964, with a headpiece that screams, "The dream of the future is alive... in this headpiece!" The go-go boots are a nice touch, and most impressive is how closely she hews to her own art direction of being, basically, a slightly drunk (?) drag Barbie.
Fuck the haters, Trixie Mattel!!
What a gas this show is, no? Until next week, I leave you with this important message:
Images via Logo/screenshot.