Recap: RuPaul’s Drag Race, Episode 5.4, “The Nutcracker”

Welcome back, Persephoneers! The week’s best hour of dirty puns is back. No, I’m not talking about a John Boehner C-Span appearance – I mean RuPaul’s Drag Race!

One note for these recaps: pronouns. When a contestant (or judge) is presenting as male, I will use the “he” pronoun; when presenting female, the “she.” The exception being, if the person states otherwise. For example, Monica Beverly Hillz is a Transgender Woman, so I will always refer to her as she, naturally. I will strive to be responsible and respectful at all times. If you see me mess up, call me out in the comments!

At the start of this week’s exciting episode, Vivienne was dogging on Roxxxy, saying the latter had “overpowered” her in their scene last week. That word “overpowered” – I do not think it means… what you think it means. Unless “overpowered” means “she creamed my ass in the challenge because I sucked.”*

* Not a euphemism.

This week’s mini-challenge featured many luxurious Afros – on Ru, and on the Pit Crew. (Have I mentioned the Pit Crew as one of the most stellar parts about this show? Mainstream TV needs to get on this trend immediately. I have a limited attention span, being a lady (tee hee), so I need something pretty to look at when I’m going about my mindless yack-box watching.) Dancing! was the challenge – the hair was to go with the Soul Train dance-off!

It is difficult to blog about the divine dance moves of a dozen drag queens, so let me just encourage you to go to the Official Page and hope the video is there. I haven’t seen a queen shakin’ this hard since Anne Boleyn boogied herself up to the chopping block. Alaska’s dance, “The Flailing Chicken,” was a big favorite of mine. I look like that when I try to put on tight jeans after a buffet tour of Vegas. The two who brought the greatest percentage of funk were Jinkx Monsoon and Coco Montrese, who would be team captains for…

…the main challenge of the week. I need you to brace yourself, gentle reader. Ru charged the group with creating an “original, American drag ballet.” And if you don’t like all of those words, then you must not have a heart or a soul. Or you might be Canadian. So, at least, you should enjoy 3/4 of those things.

The ballet would be called “NoRuPaulogies.” I’m quoting Ru here: “Think of it as the Black Swan Lake… why it gotta be Black?”

Coco shocked the nation, or at least the room, when she picked Alyssa Edwards as her first teammate! G to the ASP! If you did your homework last week, you’ll know that Coco and Alyssa had a tragic FEUD going on about pageants and Facebooks or some such. It was very dramatic, yet kind of a letdown. Anyhoo, Coco is smart, see, and chose Alyssa because she’s the best dancer at Saint Bernadette’s, and not because she has the worst reputation. The rest of the crew was comprised of Detox, Honey Mahogany, Roxxxy Andrews, and Vivienne Pinay.

Team Jinkx was Ivy Winters, Lineysha, Alaska, and Jade Jolie. Jade was put out that Coco did not choose her, as they are bosom buddies.* But you know the old saying: If you’re a drag queen bad at dancing, then your best friend will betray you on national TV.

* Not a euphemism.

The ballets would tell the story of Ru’s life. Team Jinkx’s Lineysha was to portray Diana Ross. Only one problem: Lineysha has NEVER HEARD OF DIANA ROSS. Do you know where you’re going to, Lineysha? Apparently not. Alaska was to portray Ernestine, Ru’s mother. This woman sounds amazing, but it’s not too surprising, as she gave the world Ru. Her favorite phrase?

gif of RuPaul giving her mother's favorite phrase "You pussy mouth motherfucker."
Gif courtesy of LOGO

The queens met with professional choreographers Travis Wall and Nick Lazzarini. They were adorable and handsome and sexy at their dancing, and I cannot believe that influenced their casting at all. Jinkx described her team as being “cats in heat” around them. But not even nine dancing lives could save Alaska from his total lack of ability to tell right from left. Not a euphemism.

Team Coco had multiple Rus. Coco cast herself as the good Ru; she cast Alyssa as the bad Ru. That Coco, she’s known for her subtlety. Alyssa and Ru were choreographed in an elegant fight scene which involved a lift or two. Their lack of trust in one another did not do them any favors.

Everyone was worried about performing in the ballet. Or, to put it another way:

gif of Detox saying "Fuck my life" FML on RuPaul's Drag Race
Gif courtesy of LOGO

Back in the work room, the group had a discussion about the emotional and physical hardships of being gay, and of being drag queens. Honey Mahogany shared that his parents sent him to Africa when they accidentally discovered he was a drag queen. Alyssa said that his father didn’t support his love of dancing. They all agreed that the challenges they’ve faced from family and society made them the stronger people they were today.

At the judging, Ru wore a dress that looked like it was made by a Project Runway contestant for the “coffee filter” challenge. And I mean that in a GOOD way.

gif of Ru blinking back and forth while her earring sparkles
Gif courtesy of Logo

The guest judges were Travis Wall and Chaz Bono. As Alaska put it, “Chaz Bono came out of Cher’s vagina.” That is the rarest of bona-fides, my friends.

We got to watch the debut of No RuPaulogies, a.k.a., “The greatest story ever told.” I highly urge you to away to thine Internets and find this eloquently educational ballet. The runway show that followed went very, very quickly, friends, and I have no idea what the theme was. My guess is “tacky.”

Jinkx ended up in the top/bottom six. Her outfit appeared to be “Evil Nurse Pirate With No Pants On.” Michelle told her she needed more glamour and less character. Her performance as a young, wild Ru in the ballet earned her kudos, however. Ivy Winters dressed as Julie Andrews in Victor Victoria (“Le Jazz Hot,” bitches) – an outfit she made herself. Ah-maz-ing. Her performance of Lady Bunny was lauded. Roxxy Andrews wore a space rainbow dress that got poor marks; her ballet-ing and Ru-ing skillz got even poorer ones.

Called out as “boring” again was Vivienne Pinay, dressed in what appeared to be lace leggings and a sparkly black blazer. Lady, when they sell it at Chicos, it’s not up to drag snuff. They called her dancing “forgettable.” Ouch. Honey Mahogany’s “caftan collection” struck again in the form of a red sequin bedsheet dress at panel. About the show, Honey said, “I’ve never done Diana before,” and Michelle replied, “Clearly.” +1 Michelle. Alyssa Edwards came to panel as the undead spawn of the Spider Woman and the Mad Hatter. In other words, she was

gif of Michelle Visage saying "fierce"
Gif courtesy of LOGO

…and so was her jeté-ing across the ballet stage.

Ru then screwed them all slowly* by making them all dish on who they thought would lose. Jinkx threw Vivienne under the drag bus. So did Roxxxy. So did Honey. Ivy tossed Honey. So did Vivienne. Alyssa stomped on Jade’s dreams, even when she wasn’t on the stage to choose from.

* Euphemism

In a not-at-all-shocking turn of events, Alyssa was declared the winner, and rightly so. I think she has the personality of a wet mop, but she can daaaaahhhhhnnnnnccceee! Honey Mahogany and Vivienne Pinay fell into the elimination pit. They lip-synched for their LIVES to “Oops!… I Did It Again” by Britney, bitch. The energy level was that of an iguana’s fart. I had an entire fantasy about Matthew MacFadyen in the time they took to poot out that number. The performances were so terrible, Ru sent them BOTH packing! OOOOOOH I NEED A SALVE FROM THAT CONTACT BURN.

Hope you had a better day than Honey and Vivienne, darlings! Let’s kvetch in the comments.

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Lucy Woodhull

Lucy Woodhull is a novelist, humorist, parodist, and all-around geek. Her new venture is THE SHITTIEST PRINCESS, a series of un-fair-y tales right here on Persephone. You can check out her sexy, fun romantic comedies at www.lucywoodhull.com.

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