Time to Remember
Like many fans of RuPaul's Drag Race, I waited with bated breath for the season premiere. Three months before the actual airing, speculation abounded surrounding the premiere date which seemed to change several times, stirring rumors of a troubled production or problems with LOGO (the network that airs it). I chalked it up to the ravenous fan base starving for Eleganza and bided my time patiently until it rolled out. Four episodes in, I am rethinking my position.
Now before you go "Oh no she betta don't!" let me explain.
When I reviewed the first episode and gave my first impressions, I left out the part of the episode (which I truly believe to be one of the weakest in her-story) that upset me the most- the elimination of Tempest DuJour. This seasoned comedy Queen with a heartwarming backstory sashayed away mostly due to a saggy nude body suit and a rather subdued LSFYL (I.E. No death drops or twerking). But this uber talented Queen with charm to spare had recently lost a great deal of weight (hence sagginess?) and had been in a car accident where her leg was torn off and re-attached two years earlier!!! AND she lip synced against a seemingly bearded Kandy Ho who (in my humble opinion) doesn't have an iota of the Charisma Uniqueness Nerve and Talent of DuJour. I realize the Judges only see the girls on the runway and critique solely on that impression, but that doesn't excuse the dismissal. I think it is amazing the outcry that popped up on all the fan-sites for this travesty- unprecedented for a first elimination. But that was not my only problem with the episode. A "nude" challenge?? In a drag competition???? Truly WTF!!!!! Violet Chatchkey won the challenge despite giving too much boy in her nude runway but her fashion runway was stellar. Too bad she comes off as totally unlikeable.
The second episode rolled around and we were faced with the "Glamazonian Airways " lip-sync production number. Highly entertaining with some nice turns by the Queens save for the tragic mangling of the lip-sync by Katya (who is generally strong and hysterically funny. What happened, Katya? VERY embarrassing.) and the mostly invisible (charisma-wise) Sasha Belle (whose runway look was channeling Lady Bunny for some unknown reason). Katya redeemed herself with a fantastic LSFYL (thankfully!) and Ginger Minj won with a performance that made me want to see her do Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray. All in all, I started feeling a little more optimistic for this season. But there were a few niggling doubts in my mind about the overall talent of this group and they were not leaving me with any warm fuzzies.
Now comes the 3rd episode debacle . Shakesqueer! This episode had potential-starting with the golden girled mini-challenge and Ru in a motorized wheelchair (hilarious! Ru has perfect comic timing!) but things went severely downhill from there. From tragic lack of direction or rehearsal for Kennedy Davenport's group to the horrible-it bears repeating- Horrible performance by Pearl . Fortunately for Pearl , Jasmine Masters was just a little bit more horrible and lip-synced against her friend Kennedy, sashaying away with her tail tucked ...well, behind her "tuck". The mess of the episode was highlighted by the verbal beatdown provided by Mama Ru who was obviously regretting her casting choices for this lackluster group. Despite a glaring lack of talent, Pearl skirts by with amazing runway looks but I am not sure how much longer this is going to fly.(My first impression of him, I wrote "Somnambulistic." Hmm. If I saw it then and Mama Ru called her out on it in this episode, then why wont she WAKE THE FUCK UP????) Max won the challenge with a ...good performance and a fantastic Salvador Dali-esque mustache and beard (I actually like the bearded runway challenge- I am all about pushing the boundaries of gender and drag for the art of it. Love you, Milk!)
4th episode in brings us the "Punny or Die" song parody videos of Ru's song catalogue. Despite the in-fighting (another group challenge!) they were all...cute. Not fantastic, but cute. It is a singing challenge and sadly it is the least aurally pleasing of any season despite the coaching of super talented Lucianne Piane. Ginger Minj who is probably a front runner once again does a good job and is safe, as is Katya (whose tan mom was a highlight!) Jaidynn Diore Fierce does a spot on winning impersonation of Bianca Del Rio-AND DOESN"T WIN!!!! Huh? Somehow, Kennedy "ru-deemed" herself from her previous weeks massive failure and wins the challenge. I mean, she was good and all, but Jaidynn NAILED it. Even Violet rocked with here Adore impersonation (well, minus the spectacular vocals of the idol alum). Bottom two were Pearl and Trixie mattel, who despite her self proclaimed comedic and musical theatre chops, was just kind of "meh". BUT-and this is a big but-she was much better than Kandy Ho who added NOTHING spectacular or interesting to her performance , resorting to an uninspired tried and true old school lip sync in the video with no actual interpretation of the material. Miraculously, Pearl is safe and Trixie is sent home before her time (I.E. Snatch Game. Really worried about this groups outing with celebrity impersonations.)
Unfortunately for the season 7 cast, they were preceded by the season 6 girls who were loaded with Charisma Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent, down to the least likeable of the bunch. I can actually go back and point out why each and every on of the six-ers were there. And they had the only true tri-fecta of amazing talent that made it to the top three. Hell, top six where incredible. But it is hard to outshine the sheer wattage of Adore DeLano, Courtney Act, and the Queen B Bianca Del Rio. Sure, there is much talent in the season 7 cast, but they are all more like best supporting actresses rather than Drag Superstars. Mama Ru has her hands full with this current batch of lemons.
I am still waiting patiently for her to make lemonaide.
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