Despite what Vivienne Pinay (who?) would have you believe, this is not the season of the fish. If anything, this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race seems to be about expanding what drag can be. After Sharon Needles won last season with a style of drag that the show had previously never seen, the bar’s been set higher and you can tell RuPaul is trying to bring in a more diverse group of girls. So far we’ve had the first transgender contestant, art students, circus performers, San Fran hippies, vaudeville, aliens, Hollywood hipsters and pageant girls. If “fish” is the only thing you’re serving … well, there’s a reason you were sent home in the double elimination. This week saw the girls acting in a Telanovela challenge and closing the book on old rivalries. Who came out on top? Well …
Alaska – Top 3
We all knew that Alaska was going to excel in this one, didn’t we? She’s a fabulous actress, and uber-heightened drama and camp are firmly within her wheelhouse, and the telanovela format lends itself rather nicely to the kind of silhouette she prefers. Despite some slightly sloppy slapping, she killed it in her set, and while the dress she wore on the runway wasn’t all that, she totally sold it thanks to her personality.
Alyssa Edwards – Sashay Away
When the only thing you have going for you in the competition is that the emotionally fragile teens on tumblr are obsessed with your facial expressions, it’s probably a good sign that you’re on your way out. Alyssa has barely made it through each week by the skin of her overbite, but this acting challenge was where her luck ran out. As the judges noticed, Alyssa has a lot of talent but no understanding of how to really use them, which makes a lot of sense when you realize all her best moments have been unintentionally hilarious. When she intentionally tried to be funny, it came off as awkward and uncomfortable (see: her fake orgasm) and her runway was equally as confused. It didn’t help matters that she basically resigned herself to lip synching her way to the top instead of actually succeeding at the challenges, and it’s that kind of thinking that’s going to get you buried in the competition.
Coco Montrese – Bottom 2
The only reason Coco wasn’t sent home this week was because Alyssa has been doing worse than she has. She overacted when she was with Alyssa and Jinkx, and she underacted with Wilmer Valderrama. Despite a decent runway look (she finally matched her outfit to her make-up!) her acting was just subpar, and usually having to lip synch for a third time is the kiss of death. At least it would have been if Alyssa wasn’t also on her third lip synch, and Alyssa has been just a little more consistent in her loss than Coco has. On the plus side, at least that stupid feud is finally over and we can finally move on with the show.
Detox – Bottom 3
Personally, I don’t think Detox was necessarily bad this week, but it did go to show that at this point, if you’re not in the top, you’re in the bottom. I thought Detox was pretty funny, but she was just outshone by the other contestants, and her runway outfit read less as matador/mariachi realness and more as Avon saleslady in a funny hat. She had a good outing, but all in all, the thing that took her down was that sense of hipster irony. As I said before, if she wants to win this thing, she’s going to have to drop the ironic detachment and really commit, otherwise she’s going to end up an also-ran.
Jinkx Monsoon – Winner
There’s a good reason why Alaska, Roxxxy, Alyssa and Coco all named Jinkx as the biggest threat this week: Jinkx is currently murdering her competition. Her performance in the soap opera was tighter than saran wrap, and her comedic timing and ability to fake an orgasm were incredible. But it was her runway look that amazed me was her Dia De Muertos runway look, which showed off much her make-up skills have improved and how savvy Jinkx is about taking chances. She earned that win, and she put even more distance between herself and the other contestants for the win.
Roxxxy Andrews – Top 3
After a shakey couple of weeks, Roxxxy made a slight comeback this week thanks to a solid showing in the soap opera and an absolutely gorgeous runway showing. The dress was a touch simplistic, but simplicity actually works a lot better on Roxxxy than all those strappy, skin-baring looks she’s been serving in the past few weeks. A toned down Roxxxy might be in her best interest, as it’s put her back over Detox to make her way to the final three.