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Thu. May 28th, 2020

TV Rucap: RuPaul’s Drag Race S12 E5 – Gay’s Anatomy

Coming back to the Werk Room after Rock M. Sakura’s shocking, scandalous farce of an elimination, apparently the rest of the girls all agree, because Aiden Zhane’s gag-worthy “Safe” placement immediately comes under fire. Brita is haunted by the sound of Rock M. Sakura’s tears, and is frustrated by the idea of Aiden Zhane “doing the bare minimum and skating by again.” She’s also still visibly shook that she was in the Bottom Two to begin with, because she’s Brita, bitch, and back in New York, she’s always in the Top because she works so hard. *Yawn* Then start bringing that to this competition, hmmm? Nicky Doll is not having it either: “I see them seeing something special in Aiden. They’re like, ‘You’re so special!’ How can they see something like that in her, and because I look polished, I just don’t have it?” Jaida tells Aiden, “I really honestly did think that you would probably be in the bottom, just solely based off of, like, the lewks…” which primes Aiden to stay in the role of the defensive queen who sees everyone as being against her. Lordt, for how many more episodes are we going to have to put up with this? Brita’s right that the girl was taking naps after literally just putting balls on a corset, when everyone else was working so hard, using every minute that they had. One can only hope that the dead weight is going to be filtered out soon!

Ru returns to the Werk Room the next day to announce that this week’s Maxi Challenge is to overact in the longest running scripted show on TV, a little medical drama they’re calling Gay’s Anatomy. The cast is filled with many roles, from beloved doctor “Meredith Gay” to chief of staff “Rhonda Shimes.” If only there were a pill to assign the roles! Oh, wait: there is! The Pit Crew swaggers in holding trays of medicine bottles: two of the bottle contain pink pills that will decide which two girls will assign the roles. The lucky two queens are Nicky Doll and Gigi Goode, who will have the daunting task of trying to satisfy all of the rest of the girls with the roles they’ve been assigned. But, that never works out!

As the queens read through the script before Gigi and Nicky must decide who gets what role, it’s not long before the girls already have opinions about what roles they would kill. Jackie Cox wants to play “Meredith Gay” (going straight for the lead role, okurr?!) and Jan wants to play “Meredith Gay #2,” a second iteration of Meredith Gay after she’s received a face transplant. Jackie’s not impressed, “Part of the comedy of the challenge is for the two Merediths to look very different, but, whatever: the sequels are never as good as the originals.” Both Sherry Pie and Widow Von’Du have their eyes set on playing Doctor Mother Gay: oh, this is going to be ugly! Two big personalities are after the same role, and it’s obvious that whoever is snubbed is not going to be happy. Gigi and Nicky step aside to deliberate: Gigi decides that she will be Dr. Tizzy Stevens, and Nicky feels like it would be good for her to get the role of the baby, because even if there are not many lines, there’s a chance that this is the role that could run away with the challenge. Aside from that, they agree that Sherry should be Dr. Mother Gay, even though neither is keen on being the one to give Widow a role that she didn’t want, and that Aiden’s personality is best cast in the role of a ghost. Shade! As expected, Widow is not happy about this. 

When RuPaul returns to check in on how the girls are preparing for this acting challenge, he presses Gigi and Nicky on whether or not there were any girls who got roles that they didn’t want, which means that Gigi has to address the elephant in the room: Widow didn’t want to play Mimi Dearest, “You wanted to play Blac Chyna, is that right?” Ru references the Nina-Shea conflict of Season 9. YAS! Keep those memories alive. “I wanted to play something a little more serious,” Widow explains, and is cut off by Ru, “You wanted to play something more serious? On RuPaul’s Drag Race?”

GAY’S ANATOMY

Jackie Cox: Wow, you would have expected Jackie to be better in an acting challenge. That affected upper register she assumes is not a vocal choice that’s paying off. It’s too whiny, it’s like nails on the chalkboard, and it sounds like Yvie Oddly in any acting challenge other than Good God, Gurl: Get Out!  

Jaida Essence Hall: She’s kind of stiff, not really funny, and she also sounds kind of whiny. Not her challenge.

Sherry Pie: We’ve heard that kind of husky, raspy voice before, and while it’s correct, it’s nothing really to gag over. Still, it’s a solid effort, and something that could land her in the top if no one else is giving a classic performance like Latrice’s prison guard or Alaska’s Baby JJ.

Gigi Goode: Surprisingly natural and funny, but it’s a shame that there isn’t more to the role.

Aiden Zhane: Her dialogue is doing the heavy lifting, while she’s not particularly funny, or even facially expressive. Maybe she should have waited to see how she’d do in an acting challenge before introducing herself as an “Actress” in Episode Two?

Brita: Bad overacting, not the fun kind. Reeks of desperation.

Widow Von’Du: For all of that belly-aching over not getting the role she wanted, she’s kind of killing it? She’s landing all the jokes, and is really funny, even if she may have been right to speculate that this would not be a role that stretches her in any way. Still, it’s the best of the bunch.

Jan: Really good physical comedy, and that she doesn’t use a voice as annoying as Jackie’s, she’s very clearly an improvement on the character. The sequel was better tbh.

Nicky Doll: It’s cute that she was listening to the notes that the judges have given her, but the French improv in the challenge isn’t really landing.

Heidi N. Closet: She is just one of those queens that everything she does is effortlessly funny and charming, regardless of whether or not she’s actually good. 

Crystal Methyd: Cute, but overshadowed by Heidi, whose personality leave no oxygen left in the room.

Ranking Gay’s Anatomy:

  • 1.     Widow Von’Du
  • 2.     Sherry Pie
  • 3.     Jan
  • 4.     Heidi N. Closet
  • 5.     Gigi Goode
  • 6.     Crystal Methyd
  • 7.     Jaida Essence Hall
  • 8.     Jackie Cox
  • 9.     Aiden Zhane
  • 10.   Brita
  • 11.   Nicky Doll

RUNWAY:

Jaida Essence Hall: We’ve been waiting for a mic drop, and here it is! Her hair and shoulders look amazing, and the cape is made of heavy fabric that looks amazing when tossed around. It’s great to see her finally looking the best on the runway, but it was only a matter of time. SLAY!

Brita: On the other hand, her cape is a sheer, thin piece of fabric, and is not heavy enough to make a dramatic impact. She doesn’t look bad, but she misinterpreted the challenge, and it’s a missed opportunity!

Jackie Cox: Ooh, she’s wearing Goddess wings, and her movement of them is stunning. The headpiece is pure opulence, and the entire look is on point. 

Jan: This isn’t particularly exciting, but Jan’s female superhero look is very successfully literal and polished.

Gigi Goode: You’d think that she is a little too young to know who Shelley Long is, but she’s giving it to you anyways! As always, the garment could not fit her more perfectly. 

Sherry Pie: It’s Elvis in a mermaid dress and a cape, and it’s just the right combination of looking good on her, but also eager to be tacky and fun. A solid capper to a strong week for her.

Heidi N. Closet: Kennedy Davenport has arrived! Her body looks snatched in her catsuit, and she’s also repping colourful Goddess wings. She looks good!

Crystal Methyd: She’s not exactly serving Fish, because that is never going to be her category, but she’s looking really pretty and feminine with a big, teased wig, and one of the best gowns and capes to hit the runway this evening. Michelle is going to be very, very happy.

Aiden Zhane: The death’s-head hawkmoth on her mouth is a pretty cool allusion to The Silence of the Lambs, but it’s a bit of a stretch for her to say that her cape is inspired by the scene in Buffalo Bill’s basement. Also, her insistence on wearing that wig over and over again is beyond tired now, and she needs to burn it ASAP.

Widow Von’Du: Wow, that wig colour looks surprisingly good on her! If fact, the entire colour scheme looks great on her, even if the execution of the look is a bit rough around the edges.

Nicky Doll: Just gorgeous! Another queen who knows how to dress for her body.

Ranking the Runway

  • 1.     Jaida Essence Hall
  • 2.     Jackie Cox
  • 3.     Gigi Goode
  • 4.     Nicky Doll
  • 5.     Crystal Methyd
  • 6.     Sherry Pie
  • 7.     Heidi N. Closet
  • 8.     Jan
  • 9.     Widow Von’Du
  • 10.   Aiden Zhane
  • 11.   Brita

After watching the acting challenge, Ru proclaims, “I think I see a Peabody!” (disagree, but come through, forgotten letter of PEGOT!) and asks Jan, Widow Von’Du, Jackie Cox, Sherry Pie, Gigi Goode and Aiden Zhane to step forward: they are all nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Drag Queen in a Medical Drama” … and Sherry Pie is the winner of the challenge. Well, it’s not an outrageous judgement, but she wasn’t the best (that would be Widow Von’Du), and in retrospect, it seems really tragic that there was such a thirst to over-reward Sherry so soon. But, unlike in Episode 3 where she also won the improv challenge, while Sherry’s confessionals are still not given screen time, and the depiction of her interactions with the other girls is kept to a minimum (she is only shown when it would disrupt the narrative flow of the episode), the show hasn’t bent over backwards to hide her screen time this episode, and her win actually makes some logical sense. It’s really going to be awkward to watch the attempts at damage control for the rest of the season, if Sherry Pie keeps doing well.

This means that Brita, Heidi N. Closet, Nicky Doll, Jaida Essence Hall and Crystal Methyd are the queens in the bottom half of this challenge. What on earth? Seriously, how is Aiden Zhane not in the Bottom, when Heidi is? Nope. That’s just objectively wrong! “Ladies, you all gave memorable performances, but you were slightly overshadowed by the queens that just exited the stage,” RuPaul placates them. Jaida is critiqued for sounding too rehearsed and killing the jokes, but praised for really delivering with her caped look. Michelle is a big fan of Brita’s shape, but hates the chaps, and Normani was disappointed by the cape not being more of a statement piece. Carson thought that Brita was very consistent in the acting challenge, but that she lacked highs and lows. Michelle wanted more, more, more from Heidi in the Gay’s Anatomy challenge, and that there were moments that she really should have gone for it, but didn’t. Michelle also thinks that there are more than one era and look going on in Heidi’s look, and that it ultimately does not make much sense. Carson loved Crystal’s physical comedy, Normani loved Heidi and Crystal together, and Michelle clocks Crystal’s makeup as a huge, huge improvement, and thinks she looks beautiful. Michelle tells Nicky Doll that she would have wanted her role because it’s so ridiculous, and gives her credit for trying to work the French in, but she could have taken it so much further than she did. Carson agrees that Nicky had the right attitude and was on the right track, and Michelle comments that Nicky’s Mugler-esque garment looks great on her, but that the “Cape” was underwhelming.

Ru says that the judges did very little to help him determine who should be in the Bottom, so in one of the first gags of the season, he forces the girls to tell him who should go home. Jaida suggests Heidi, citing her runway concoction; Brita, Heidi and Crystal think that Nicky has been struggling the most. Nicky tries to evade the question, saying that she should go home, but Ru rolls her eyes, and pries, “So if it wasn’t you that you’d choose, which of these other girls would you choose?” Nicky agrees on Heidi, and the girls are excused to untuck backstage.

After deliberation, Jaida and Crystal are called as the first safe names, which means that Brita (who is once again dumbfounded that she’s been identified as one of the weaker girls), Heidi and Nicky are the Bottom Three. Brita is next to be excused, which means that Nicky and Heidi are the Bottom Two queens, and their lip sync song is Kim Petras’s “Heart to Break” (the best bop to be used as a lip sync song since Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Cut to the Feeling”). Like in her first lip sync to Ariana Grande’s “Problem” in Episode 3, Nicky Doll once again is giving fairly sexy, pretty, fluid movement, and while it’s sufficiently correct, it’s neither really inspiring no memorable. Heidi, on the other hand, is serving EVERYTHING, Miss Thing: there’s just a whiff of camp, since she is unabashedly bringing the melodrama with bold, deliberate arm movements. She’s also is not afraid to drop into splits, or shimmy across the floor, but her lip sync choices are not too desperate or messy, either: it’s a thing of perfectly calibrated balance, and we love to see it. And most importantly, there’s so much heart and passion in this performance! But, close to the end of the lip sync, as Heidi lands into a second set of splits, gurl… her wig comes off. Monique Heart better show Heidi how to glue her wigs down the way Latrice Royale showed her, because RuPaul has warned the queens in the past that if your wig comes off, there had better be another one underneath. After the conclusion of the lip sync, Heidi looks annoyed, frustrated and worried. So, who stays? The girl who gives a clean, but kind of dull lip sync, or the one who has been serving emotion and passion, but loses her damn wig?

In the end, sanity prevails, and Ru saves Heidi over Nicky. YAS! Come through, Heidi: don’t let no wig slip get in the way of your well-deserved victory! Nicky’s been the most gracious eliminated queen thus far: you get the sense that she was emotionally prepared for it. Well, another week down, another queen down, and another Sherry Pie win. I can’t wait to see how this turns out! 

WEEKLY RANKINGS

  • 1.     Jaida Essence Hall – 4.0
  • 2.     Gigi Goode – 4.0
  • 3.     Sherry Pie – 4.0
  • 4.     Jackie Cox – 5.0
  • 5.     Widow Von’Du – 5.0
  • 6.     Heidi N. Closet – 5.5
  • 7.     Jan – 5.5
  • 8.     Crystal Methyd – 5.5
  • 9.     Nicky Doll – 7.5
  • 10.   Aiden Zhane – 9.5
  • 11.   Brita – 10.5
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