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All T, All Shade: The departed queens of ‘Drag Race’ S5

All T, All Shade: The departed queens of ‘Drag Race’ S5
April 30, 2013 JEREMY FEIST
RuPaul's Drag Race Season Five

RuPaul's Drag Race Season Five

The finale/reunion of RuPaul’s Drag Race is only a week away, so last night’s episode was just a recap of the season as a whole. Since there wasn’t really a show to go over, we’re sticking with the theme of last night’s recap by looking back on the season. We already did Jinkx Monsoon, Alaska Thunderfuck and Roxxxy Andrews last week, so this week we’re just going to look at the departed queens …

Penny Tration

Penny Tration

Penny had a lot of promise coming into the competition, especially since (as she repeated constantly) she was voted in by the fans. As some of you might remember, Penny got screwed by the little details: Her dress made her lovely lady lumps look bumpy and irregular, and styling choices in her hair and make-up that did nothing for her facial features. She could have survived, had it not been for the fact that she didn’t know the lyrics to Miley Cyrus’ Party in the USA.

Did she leave too soon or too late? Too soon. Penny’s dress may not have had the best silhouette, but at least it looked like something borderline wearable. Jade Jolie and her shapeless caftan should have been in the bottom 2, and she should have sent Serena ChaCha  packing.

Serena ChaCha

Serena ChaCha

If Serena had been given a little more time to cook, she probably would have been a force to be reckoned with. But she wasn’t. Serena is a cautionary tale for every nouveau graduate who thinks they have it all figured out because they have a diploma: Techniques and theory can be learned, but execution and poise are forged in the real world. Serena’s drag was always half-baked and ragged, her chemistry with the other girls was toxic, and her methods of execution revealed a lack of maturity.

Did she leave too soon or too late? Too late. As I said, with a little more time to mature, she’d be a real threat, but despite all her big words and technical terms, Serena didn’t really have any idea what she was doing.

Monica Beverly Hillz

Monica Beverly Hillz

As the first openly transgender queen on the show, Monica had a lot of heart. Unfortunately, she didn’t have the most diverse skill set. She was beautiful and sweet, but acting wasn’t really her forte. I’m happy she got on the show and made her mark, but girl needed to diversify her drag portfolio.

Did she leave too soon or too late? Actually, right on time. Her acting chops were a little on the thin side, and considering how much this season focused on being an all-around performer, a fierce lip-synch just wouldn’t have been enough.

Vivienne Pinay

Vivienne Pinay

Vivienne Pinay was a queen who was there.

Did she leave too soon or too late? Ehhhhhhhh…

Honey Mahogany

Honey Mahogany

The first queen to ever come out of San Francisco, Honey was a lot better on paper than she was on screen: She’s a community leader, she has a beautiful voice, and she can act. But to be on Drag Race, you need to pop, and simply put, Honey didn’t really pop. A lot of the time, she ended up getting drowned out by her competitors, and it sure as hell didn’t help that she seemed to favour the caftans just a little too much.

Did she leave too soon or too late? Despite her faults, Honey left too soon. She had more to show, but if you don’t have the nerve to go big, you’re gonna go home.

Lineysha Sparx

Lineysha Sparx

GOOD GAWD, Lineysha Sparx was a hot boy. Sorry, it had to be said. Where was I? Ah, yes, Lineysha’s actual performance: Lineysha was a complete wild card in the competition, going from high to win to safe to low to out. Lineysha is perhaps one of the show’s best seamstresses, and her looks were always on point and immaculately conceived from head to toe. But Lineysha didn’t really have the understanding of pop culture to keep up with the more savvy girls.

Did she leave too soon or too late? Too soon. I get that her performance in The Snatch Game was extra crunchy, but I think she had more to show. At least with Lineysha, you felt like she was actually making an effort even if she wasn’t always aware of what everyone was saying to her.

Jade Jolie

Jade Jolie

For a queen so colorful, it’s weird to think about how often Jade just sort of skated through to safety. I loved her rainbow aesthetic and her laugh, but like Honey, Jade never really swung for the fences so much as she was content to bunt and run to first base.

Did she leave too soon or too late? Right on time, actually. When $100,000 and the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar are on the line, safe isn’t going to cut it. Safe will get you to the mid-season, but you can’t go further on the show if you can’t go further with your performances.

Ivy Winters

Ivy Winters

If there was ever a queen who could be over-qualified for the crown, Ivy was certainly it. Not only was she a seamstress for Lady Bunny, but she was also a trained circus performer, an opera singer, a dancer, and a complete sweetheart. But like Honey, Ivy didn’t really pop as compared to the other queens. Ivy didn’t always have the nerve to really swing for the fences, and some of her styling choices (especially when it came to hair) were questionable.

Did she leave too soon or too late? Way too soon. Her perfume commercial may not have been the best, but it sure as hell wasn’t the worst. Hell, Ivy could have even sent Alyssa Edwards home if it weren’t for the fact that she stood in one place. REALLY not a good idea. Ivy should have at least been top four, but one bad choice was enough to send her packing.

Alyssa Edwards

Alyssa Edwards

Alyssa is probably one of the funniest queens on the show. She just doesn’t know it. Alyssa was a great dancer, but her biggest setback was that many of her best moments were completely unintentional. The disconnect between how perfect and polished she thought she was versus how dorky she really was totally inured her to viewers, even when she was falling flat on her face.

Did she leave too soon or too late? Too late. I get that she’s hysterically funny and entertaining to watch, but her performances were lacking hard. Alyssa had a lot of nerve, but she didn’t really have the smarts to back it up.

Coco Montrese

Coco Montrese

Alyssa and Coco spent a lot of the competition shackled to each other. Their storyline over the season depended so heavily on each other that when Alyssa was finally given the heave-ho, it really wasn’t much of a surprise that Coco was quick to follow her out the door.

Did she leave too soon or too late? Too late. Coco had the same problem as Alyssa, in that she had TONS of nerve, but she just didn’t have the savoire faire to back up a lot of her decisions. It also didn’t help that Coco had a habit of shutting down when things didn’t go her way. If you’re going to be America’s Next Drag Superstar, you need to be able to roll with the punches, not just dole them out.

Detox

Detox Icunt

Oh boy … If there’s one part that’s going to earn us some hate-comments, it’s this one. But hindsight is 20/20, so I’m just going to say it: Detox was kinda overrated. I KNOW, I KNOW, just calm down and let me explain: Is Detox talented? Yes. Is Detox smart? Yes. Was Detox as good as she thought she was? Nope. I get that Detox was an early fan favourite, but statistically, Detox sort of skated by, never really reaching the high-highs or low-lows that come with taking big chances in the competition. Detox was hysterically funny as Clucky during the kids’ show challenge, and her perfume ad was funny in its simplicity, but looking back, I get what Kristen Johnston was getting at: Detox was kinda too cool for school, and her inability to move past her smarmy ironic-detachment and commit was her downfall.

Did she leave too soon or too late? Right on time. Detox’s mouth tried to cash some checks her ass couldn’t cash, and there was no better representation of this than when she went up against Jinkx. Detox spent a lot of time bad-mouthing Jinkx, but when she finally went up against her, Jinkx pretty much tore Detox’s head off her shoulders and spiked it like a football.