‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Recap: Shooting Fishes In A Barrel

We have a new recapper y’all.

Hello. Hi. Did you watch last night’s RuPaul’s Drag Race?

I know I sure did. That is because I will be recapping it for you, here. Before we get started, a few things.

First, I am wildly underqualified. I mean, anybody can recap, it isn’t dental hygenistry, but my last cultural interaction with RuPaul was a brief teenage love affair with the Supermodel of the World CD, which featured such hits as “A Shade Shady” and “Stinky Dinky.”

So you might say I came to season five with fresh eyes. You also might say I’m wildly underqualified. This scares me, as I was once fired from a Panera. As this is my first time watching this show and my preparation involved a lot of Wikipedia-ing, please go easy on me.

Think of me as the well-meaning cabbie charged with delivering your baby in the back of my taxi. We can’t stop now — it is too far from the nearest hospital.

Please be gentle, I just want to love you. Let’s dig in, OK?

The first thing people kept saying when I said I’d be covering this show was, “Let me know if you need any help or have any questions.” Once again, I did not think that watching a television show would need much assisting, unlike learning to make a complicated deli sandwich on artisan bread, which is harder than you would think.

What had I signed on for? Would this be like when that Pokemon show was giving seizures so epileptic children? I should point out that I’m not great with confrontation, and that I spend a lot of time lying awake at night worrying about the emotional welfare of contestants on unscripted television shows.

Happily, the whole thing was painless. I think RuPaul said “bitch” once and somebody got called “kind of annoying,” but on the whole, everybody was very nice to one another.

It was a little overwhelming meeting all fourteen contestants, I suppose. First, there was Detox, which is also the names of one of my favorite kinds of herbal tea. I drink a lot of it, it helps me relax.

Detox IS qualified to be here because she has worked with Ke$ha (?) and does “everything,” including rap. Here’s a phrase I don’t use often, but: I would like to see this tiny young man in the leather vest do a rap. “Eat it up!” he says, throwing his hands in the air. You know what Detox? I think I already am.

He’s joined by his old friend Roxxxy, a pageant girl, who is clearly also going to provide us with some of our best commentary. Roxxxy has recently lost a bunch of weight and is eager to show some skin, which I hope is something that she’s had time to examine in talk therapy. She’s beautiful just as she is.

Then the wafer-thin Jade Jolie appears to announce that she’s “servin’ up fish, tuna on a platter.” Oh okay. Is this where I call somebody? Anyhow, she’s very pretty, in an Amber from Clueless kind of way. And now I know what a fishy queen is, so thanks, Yahoo answers.

Next is Serena ChaCha. I guess Serena’s “fine art drag” schtick is that she’s a fifteen-year-old. I don’t know how to feel about this, but Serena says she’s studied art and I haven’t, so I think the polite thing here is to defer to her judgement.

Then Alyssa Edwards shows up, and she’s known as “the Vanessa Williams of drag,” having mysteriously been stripped of her Miss Gay America crown. We don’t find out why just yet, but I doubt it has anything to do with a soft-lesbian photoshoot. But this is great! I love mysteries. I read a lot of Agatha Christie novels, when I’m having herbal tea and trying to distract myself from fretting about people on television.

Now, we meet Jinkx Monsoon, and early candidate for Best Name, who calls herself “Seattle’s youngest MILF.” That’s a unique vibe you’re going for. You seem nice, I would love to get together with you and discuss the poems of your fellow Emerald City resident, Sherman Alexie.

Next up isPenny Tration, a curvy gal from Ohio who was chosen in an online contest, and Vivienne Panae, who looks exactly like a girl I went to high school with who moved to Portland and started selling rockabilly clothes on Etsy. I wonder how her shop is doing? It’s sure not an easy time to be an independent merchant. I should call here.

There’s also Honey Mahogany, who looks like she hopped off a subway poster for the show. They’re joined by Ivy Winters, who is a crafter i guess.

Lineysha Sparx has the body of a Vegas showgirl and lilting Rita Moreno accent that I find just charming. Monica Beverly Hillz calls herself “ghetto,” even though I’ve read on my favorite hip-hop feminism site that many people find that term pejorative.

Less controversial is Alaska, who showed up in a horse mask and is previous Drag Race winner Sharon Needles’ boyfriend. I like him because he seems very free with his emotions, which I get the feeling he will do often.

Most dramatic entrance goes to Coco Montrese, who we gather is Alyssa’s rival. They haven’t spoken in two years, after a falling out at a pageant. Oh dear. I wish they would say why these two can’t get along, because that’s a shame. Let’s get it out in the open and talk about it.

Then RuPaul shows up! Hello, Ru, I love you. Ru shows up to tell them what they’ll win. There’s a table full of vodka, I think she’s about to say “a lifetime supply of vodka,” but no, it’s makeup and a plane ticket and the spot headlining LOGO’s “outrageous drag race tour.” But what of the vodka? I want to know about that.

Also: $100,000. Wow. That is a lot of money. I guess I could buy a lot of vodka with that.

“I want to when that money,” whispers Lineysha, with a gentle flip of the cornrows. I could listen to her talk all day.

The first challenge involves a giant tank of water. Jade is like, “What tank of water?” I don’t know, it’s a pretty big tank! Is she having a stroke? I’m sure they have a doctor on set, so I try not to worry too much.

They’re introduced to photographer Mike Ruiz, who is here to shoot them being glamorous under water. Oh man. Ru assures them that there’s no pee in the water, but all I can think of is wet wigs and how difficult it is to get out of wet vinyl. I mean, maybe I’m not TOTALLY under qualified to do this.

Some of them fared better than others. Everybody is remarkably unfazed by having to get into the water with their nice clothes and feather hats on. I would be so miffed! What a bunch of good-natured ladies.

Poor Serena did not tuck and flashed everybody her “paella.” Ru compared Penny to Shelly Winters. Alaska flipped out and whined, which was good for me. Several of them were not swimmers, which made me very nervous.

But the most exciting reveal was that Jinkx is narcoleptic. Are you guys with me? Let me repeat: Jinkx is narcoleptic. Okay, let’s continue.


Anyhow, Detox won the first challenge, everybody has a little time to unwind before the next day, when they’ve been promised a Beverly Hills shopping spree.

But first, they take a bus ride and do a little dance number while Juliette Lewis waves from a green screen. Okie doke.

They get dropped off at a boutique where Camille Grammar is waiting for them. Oh no! Get back on the bus! Find an adult!

It turns out that they will be dumpster diving for today’s looks. Even worse, they only have a minute to pull a garment out of the “trash.”

“Where’s my dammmmmmn shopping spree?” says Roxxxy, whom I already love. So much joie de vivre.

There’s a lot of shoving and for the first time, there’s bit of tension, so I start doing some creating exercises. Back in the makeup room, Penny makes fun of Roxxxy’s dress, which she uses exclusively to put on makeup and somehow strikes me as unhygienic. Alaska is naked and wearing a sombrero, like you do.

“The reason she walked in with a horse face,” says Coco, pointing south, “is because she is a HORSE.” Thank you Coco, I count on you to be our poet laureate this season.

While everybody is preparing their garments, Coco and Alyssa continue to tease their feud, Jade starts picking fights, and people start getting a little mean. I take an antacid because I don’t like conflict.

Now it’s time to judge! Ru and Mike are joined on the main stage by Michelle Visage, Santino Rice, and Camille. That’s all very exciting but I’m distracted by the fact that Ru is flawless even when forced to trade canned banter with Camille. She’s perfect, the end, give her all the vodka.

Wait, how did they make these elaborate outfits in such a short period of time? How did Camille Grammer come up with such a stunning array of puns? I’m briefly disoriented by the time lapse. Next time could you give me huge novelty clock where the hands spin really fast to signify the passage of time? What an impressive group of human beings. I am floored.

The ladies lovely looks.

Coco, Alyssa, Vivian, Detox, Jinx, and Monica Bevery Hillz, who must never be called anything but, are safe. Then it’s time for the judge’s critique.

They love Roxxxy, who shows us lots of side-tush. Santino thinks Jade Jolie has way too much going on and Ivy Winters doesn’t have enough. Nobody is wild about Penny’s unflattering get-up and goth sideburn makeup, but Serena ChaCha gets it the worst, for her weird boy in leiderhosen thing. Serena made a big fuss about how she’s an artist, but she takes their criticism in stride.

Everybody goes back stage to get liquored up while the judges deliberate. I mean, I guess that’s a good idea.

Michelle calls everybody “eloguent” and nobody remarks on how Jade looks like Zosia Mamet, so I begin to think that maybe it’s just me.

Roxxxy wins the challenge, condragultions Roxxxy. She’s got immunity for next week.

“I thought that I was gonna when,” says Lineysha, in her adorable fashion. “But whateverrrr.” She’s safe, thank goodness. Please stay a long time, you were great and I like the way you say words.

Penny and Serena are up for elimination, and must lip-sync for their lives. Penny has never done Miley before and doesn’t know the words, so she’s nervous, but Serena is scaring me a little bit. She’s giving me a little bit of child star stuff here and even does a split. Both of them are sweating a little bit, and sadly, fan favorite Penny is taking his curves back to Ohio.

Before she goes, she writes, “You are all stars!” on the mirror, which is so nice. Everybody on this show is nice! I bet they will all continue to be.

This was a lot of fun, and I look forward to spending my Monday nights with RuPaul and his pleasant crew of pretty friends.

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