So here’s the deal, folks. I had this whole plan in my head about how I was going to avoid all the shade in this recap and try to end the season with a celebration of the bounteous joys bestowed upon us by this season’s crop of glamazons. Go out on a high note, right?
Note to Logo: you guys need to start going out on a high note, because this broadcast was a dud. When Ru called the show “the Oscars of drag,” she meant that it’s a bloated, overhyped production that you have to watch live to avoid spoilers even though you only want to know who won and what everyone wore. Oh, and thanks for the montages, but the clip show was last week.
Things kick off with the dance number no one wanted, and you can really feel the long, hard minutes of rehearsal they put into it. Like, look at how everyone’s doing vaguely similar things with their hands at approximately the same time! But don’t be lulled into a false sense of security: it can and will get duller than this.
Next come the interview segments, which are essentially little clip shows themselves. Each contestant is brought up to deliver a pageant smile, a catch phrase, and a half-witted answer to a half-baked “personal” question. If you got a finger cut off every time something unexpected happened during these chats, you’d still be ready for work in the steno pool tomorrow.
First up is Kelly Mantle, who is called “The Carol Burnett of Drag” because half of your friends are like, "didn't she die?" If you were hoping to hear her yammer endlessly about bacon from beneath another syrupy red dollop of synthetic hair, then you are probably watching the show alone and/or are Kelly’s maiden aunt. But hey, wish granted. I personally had high hopes for Magnolia and was crossing my fingers that she could move the rudder on this sinking ship, but that “Mag-nose-lia” pun wasn’t just a nail down the chalkboard, or even a nail in the coffin: it was a nail straight through my frontal lobe.
We all love Ornacia, but making Vivacious talk about her seems like a punishment. Luckily, there’s a reprieve when Ru asks her to recreate her undeniably perfect runway stomp. That walk is fabulous enough to alleviate concerns about the slightly haphazard construction of her architectural outfit. Though April’s lack of defining features got her cut early from the competition, she gets the last laugh today, because her interview is the first not to cause a spike in activity at the nation’s suicide prevention hotlines. I’m ready to give her the next All-Stars crown for that alone.
Does Gia Gunn’s interview come straight from a can? Absolutelyyyyyyy. The worst part is that her response about broadening her outlook and accepting Milk’s type of drag is obviously preplanned, and yet it still makes no sense. All season I thought she was aiming for coherence and failing, but now I recognize that her actual definition of coherence is different than mine. Milk gets to play around a little because she’s a legit weirdo, though prompts about how sexy she is get a little awkward given that she picked tonight to embody precisely why she never tried glam on the runway.
It feels good typing the last sentence about Laganja that I’ll ever type. Her self-parody has gotten so deep that I’m beginning to worry she has an evil twin who has launched a dastardly plan to sabotage her career by assuming her identity and then being heinous in public. Trinity looks gorgeous as always, and gets to describe her arc of redemption and courage that was already rehashed in the introductory video shown literally directly before her interview.
And then everyone sings a song from Shade: The Rusical because we are in Hell.
You know who has a good sense of humor about herself? Joslyn Fox. The “wear more accessories” line was a good way to make the best of the fact that of course we’re going to talk about accessories. Plus, she’s honked her falsies so many times that I’ve been Stockholm Syndromed into loving it. Dela comes out and is positive, and says that fan reaction has been positive, and that support has made her more positive, and then she and Darienne have a moment and that’s positive. The moral of the story is that you should paint a lipstick smile on your face and hope it sinks in.
Then Darienne gets a loving video message from her parents, and there’s an uncomfortable moment when you can tell that she isn’t fully ready to forgive them but doesn’t want to look like a horrible person on TV for saying so. She’s grimacing, but her lipstick is smiling.
And then, at long last, the final three take the stage. There is the singing of songs and the swearing of swears, and then it’s straight for the Barbara Walters realness as response to a fan question forces us to watch Adore and Laganja watching a clip show of themselves because now we’re in an Inception-style Hell within a Hell. I’m surprised Adore’s suggestion that they have this conversation in private even aired. If word got out that conversations could be had in private, people would stop going on reality TV! The whole crowd-sourced inquiries idea is janky and yields little of interest, but it’s all just an excuse to surprise Joslyn with a quickie wedding, which makes it worth it. I always cry when a groom tit-honks his wife for the first time.
Next, we have to crown Miss Congeniality. (Are you shocked that this recap is still going? You probably felt the same way at this point in the actual show. Sense memory! A good writer has to put you in the moment.) Ivy Winters cleverly promenades out in titanic stilts (take that, Milk) and announces BenDeLaCreme as this season’s fan pick. She’s brought nearly to tears at the thought of having to spend $2,500 on shit from Overstock.com.
There are still three contestants left to interview? Jesus, this is like being at a bedazzled DMV. Adore does a killer Gia Gunn impersonation, Bianca does a dead-on Lady Bunny impersonation, and Courtney sounds exactly like someone who knows she’s not winning $100,000 tonight.
Are we there yet? Having proven that “too much of a good thing” is a real possibility by turning our favorite show into an implement of torture, Ru is ready to draw the curtain and set us free. In the moments before she relinquishes her crown, Jinkx Monsoon wows us with her emerald evening gown, entices us with her charm and wit, and then eviscerates us with another effing catchphrase. “Available on iTunes,” indeed. I’m gonna drown her damn duck.
Another reason this show felt so long: Bianca’s win seemed inevitable. That direct deposit should have cleared weeks ago.
So there we are. The light at the end of the tunnel is Bianca’s brilliant grin, and we can all look forward to a year of her scorching the earth with scalpel-precise reads bellowed across the hills in her trademark gravelly growl. Her reign of terror will only deepen our love for her. We are the bottoms to her top, the serfs to her lord, the Beakers to her Dr. Bunsen Honeydew. Flay us with your scornful tongue! Please, mistress, may we have another?