Fri. Aug 7th, 2020

TV Rucap: RuPaul’s Drag Race S12 E10 – “Send in the Clones”

Jackie Cox is the latest queen to have survived a Lip Sync (her first), and when the queens return to the Werk Room to Widow Von’Du’s lipstick message, they all pause to reflect on how Widow’s attitude set her up for failure. Heidi points out that she could see Widow being in her head, and Jaida Essence Hall concludes, “This was a message to us: when you have doubts or get in a negative mind space, we need to clear away from that because ultimately being in that place is what got Widow in that position.” “And with that, I think that we bid Miss Widow Von’Du ado…” Heidi muses, and in one of the most Heidi (now) Aphrodite moments ever, she asks, “Is that French? Yeah, I speak French!” even though the word she’s think of is “adieu.” Jackie shares with the others that lip syncing in a hijab of stars and stripes was the most alive she felt in the entire competition. “Coming off of this lip sync, I have a fire lit under my ass, and I have to show the judges that I need to be here all the way through to the end.” Now that they’re all part of the Top Six, the girls compare challenge win history to gauge their success in the competition: Gigi Goode has three Maxi Challenge wins; Jaida and Sherry have two; Heidi has one. Jackie Cox and Crystal Methyd share a high five over having not won any challenges yet, and Crystal shares, “I can’t complain: it’s my third week in the Top!” Jackie notes that Heidi and Crystal have been on an upwards trajectory, but she’s on a downwards trajectory. She needs a win, Mama! And Miss Gigi Goode states the obvious: all she has to do to make it to the Top Four is “make it through two more girls. There’s no way in hell I’m not claiming a spot.” No shit? It would literally be unprecedented for a girl not to make it to the finale after three challenge wins, especially when you represent the show’s favourite brand of White Mediocrity.

As the queens return to the Werq Room in their next day in the Werq Room, this week, there’s no kiki around the table, as Ru comes right in and tells the girls that “This week, you’re going to be making over some beautiful women that just happen to be Drag Race Superfans.” These six women think that they are on RuPaul’s Drag Race to be part of an audience for a performance, and have no idea that they’re going to be gagged by the Drag Race fantasies of their lives! Bethany, Nicole, Janet The Planet (now her legal name!), Shea (like Couleé), Tiffany (like the jewelry) and Grace are shook! Because Jaida won the Maxi Challenge last week, she gets to assign the roles: picking Bethany for herself, she pairs Grace with Crystal Methyd, Janet with Sherry Pie, Nicole with Heidi Aphrodite, and Shea with Gigi Goode, which leaves Tiffany with Jackie Cox.

It really must be a dream come true for these girls to get to show face on their favourite television show, and get to know the queens that they’re paired up with, and they have some really nice moments. Janet the Planet tells her partner Sherry Pie how she would regularly get mistaken for a man starting from the time she was fifteen, and felt uncomfortable with it until she discovered the world of Drag, and identified these girls as her sisters. Nicole, who has always been a jeans and T-shirt kind of girl, has always felt insecure about her legs, and they haven’t seen the light of day since she was in the eighth grade, so it’s really touching to see her personal victory when Heidi puts her into a dress for the makeover.

Ranking the Superfan Makeovers           

1.       Jaida Essence Hall and Jazz Essence Hall

Kudos to Jaida for giving herself the extra challenge of an interracial makeover, because quite often the worst makeovers happen when a queen is required to makeover a skin tone that she isn’t used to painting, and still getting their family resemblance to be some of the most undeniable on the stage (although maybe Jaida immediately clocked the girl who would look best in the outfit she brought). The boa, giraffe print, stones, drop earrings and wig styling are more than enough to suggest a family resemblance, so it’s nice to see Jaida in a long gown and Jazz showing body and a different wig colours. Enough has been tweaked so that they both pop, and neither is really looking any better than the other: they both look fabulous, and that’s the whole point of one of these makeovers. Amazing job, and one of the better efforts in one of these challenges!

2.       Crystal Methyd and Opal Methyd

What a fun explosion of colours and accessories! And what’s so great about their two looks is how they manage to both communicate the same spirit and convince of their resemblance, without having any parts that are alike or identical. The makeup is a little much and unpolished, but it’s also very effective, and summons whimsical feelings of juvenile nostalgia.

3.       Sherry Pie and Tara Misu

The best family resemblance of the night: they don’t just only look like sisters, they look like twins! A great example of matching silhouettes and accessories but changing the colours. And, the makeup alone tells us that they’re sisters, although why does Tara Misu have a Jinkx Monsoon contour compared to Sherry’s? Tara Misu is also one of the best drag names EVAH, even if you know that it had already been picked and stitched into the dress by Sherry, and there was no effort of collaboration or letting Sherry’s drag daughter’s personality influence her name. 

4.       Gigi Goode and Bebe Bad

It’s a cute touch that back is “Goode” and white is “Bad,” but it’s also not ground-breaking territory either. Both of them look very fashionable, and it’s really pretty, but it’s so lazy to use over-sized coats like that as the look, if there isn’t going to be a RuVeal to take it to another level. It’s far from bad, in fact it is rather “Goode,” but it’s not the kind of look that will leave you shook in any way. The drag name packs a punch, though, considering that the last names are “Goode” vs. Bad, and both first names are actually real girls’ names, and are also the first letter of their last names repeated. Very consistent. 

5.       Jackie Cox and Lil’ Snackie Cox

This outfit is on the right track: the best makeovers tend to use similar fabrics or colours and different silhouettes or garment types or vice versa. Here, while its great the Jackie has put herself in a jumpsuit and gives Lil’ Snackie a chance to show off body, it’s a shame that they don’t use the same colours or textures in the materials. It’s okay, but these disco outfits have been done before, and it just pales in comparison to the other girls this week.

6.       Heidi Aphrodite and Honey Almighty

Too often in these makeover challenges, we see a queen outing more effort into painting her own face, so while it’s nice that Heidi put such care into Honey’s face, why is Honey’s makeup better than hers? This is how Heidi should be painting: trying to look as contoured and blended with natural tones as possible, without looking like she fell face first into powder. And, as such, their makeup does not bear much family resemblance, nor do those outfits. Heidi’s sleeves really are a mood, though!

Judging

This week, the judges (featuring guest Judge Daisy Ridley) are finally spot on with their verdicts of who were on top and who was in the bottom: everyone is exactly where they should be. Ross tells Jazz that she should press charges against Jaida, because she BEAT her face. Jaida is praised for carrying the family resemblance through their outfits and styling, and it’s extremely deserving when she’s singled out as the winner (even though you get the sense that the girls were expecting Crystal Methyd to be the winner). While Daisy Ridley thinks that Heidi and Honey looked awesome, and Michelle praises Honey for facing her fears and serving some leg, but appropriately points out that the family resemblance is missing, and that it should have been tied together with some sequins. And Ross points out that Jackie and Lil’ Snackie Cox look cute, but that they’re up against looks that are great, and that in the Top 6, being great is how you make it to the end. On this stage, they’re a fairly obvious bottom two, and it’s no surprise that that’s where they end up.

The Lip Sync

Heidi and Jackie must lip sync to Alex Newell’s “Kill the Lights,” and at the drop of the beat, Jackie’s made it clear that’s she going for comedy. Again. But the problem is that her comedy feels even more self-aware and forced than it normally does, and her crossed-eyed facial derangement peaks way too early, and doesn’t really build to anything. Meanwhile, Heidi is serving all the hallmarks of a great diva lip sync: she’s both serving poised disco realness, but also showing heart and having fun with her twirling sleeves and adlibbing drumming. This should be Heidi’s to win.

Ru opens her mouth, and announce, “Heidi, Shantay you stay.” But after addressing Jackie, “You’ve taken us on a Magic Merkin Ride,” she adds, “And it’s not over yet. Jackie, Shantay you stay.” And that’s fine, because I’m happy to see Jackie Cox stay, but she was so outclassed by Heidi in the lip sync, and it’s really a strange week to use the Double Shantay they no doubt worked into the production schedule, but it feels wasted, and like they were running out of opportunities to use it. This season, there really hasn’t been any lip sync that’s deserved this (maybe the Jan vs. Widow “This Is My Night”), but it’s not really a classic lip sync in the vein of Alyssa Edwards and Tatianna’s “Shut Up and Drive” or Brooke Lynn Hytes and Yvie Oddly’s “Sorry Not Sorry” performances. Still, it’s clear that these are two queens that the show loves, and it makes sense that they would want to get at least one more episode out of each of them. This is a third week in a row that Gigi Goode could have arguably been thrown into the bottom, but given that they threw the two girls dressed the part for a disco dance-pop staple and that this ended up being the week where two show faves were saved in an underwhelming Double Shantay, it all feels pre-ordained.

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