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RECAP: RuPaul's Drag Race Episode 3


A shill a minute, and a lip sync to take your breath away

Something very special happened on last night's RuPaul's Drag Race. No, not the announcement that Puerto Rico is at war with itself because Kenya didn't choose Madame LaQueer to be on her infomercial team (although who could follow that train wreck of thought?). We now have an addition to the ranks of truly great, rewind-your-DVR-now-now-NOW lip syncs for your life.

First, however, we're treated to an hour of barbed comments, heavily rolled eyes and some pretty bland queens. "Bitch could sew," Sharon Needles offers as the girls gather first thing to commiserate over the loss of Lashauwn Beyond. It's to her credit that Sharon Needles manages to nail the tone that lets her say bitchy things without riling anyone up. She's making a joke while reminding everyone that this shit is gonna happen every week and they need to calm down.

Phi Phi O'Hara is not amused. Surprise!

For this week's main challenge, the girls split into two teams whose task is to sell RuPaul's albums Glamazon and Champion in an infomercial. Team leader Phi Phi brushes aside Sharon Needles' totally grounded fears about their team's lack of direction by telling her to just do her spooky schtick; Sharon is worried but gamely does as Phi Phi instructed.

For the challenge, each doll must sell an individual song, and some fare better than others. The whole challenge is basically a Logo-sponsored reminder that RuPaul has some albums (in case the songs aren't already stuck in your head after three seasons), and no one really excels at the material. Phi Phi's "girl from the 6 train," as Ru describes her, is fierce selling "Jealous of My Boogie," but Milan confuses RuPaul with Whitney Houston during her segment. Awkward! Ru is not the greatest love of all, gurl.

The runway challenge's theme is platinum and gold, and as the girls get ready, Sharon Needles confesses that she's concerned: RuPaul and Michelle Visage weren't gung-ho about her spooky take on the infomercial. Phi Phi sniffs that she's just worried because she didn't steal the show.

The runway looks are... interesting. Sharon sells a butch lesbian, wax museum version of Elvis; Willam doesn't even pretend to get dressed and flashes her nips under some gold chains; The Princess and Ru are dressed in similar silver outfits; Jiggly looks like a glittery ball bearing; and there is a lot of ass on display. Judges Natalie Cole and Glee's Amber Riley are suitably thrilled to be on the judges panel, though no doubt they, like we, would have preferred Billy B over Santino. Oh well.

Ultimately, what this week comes down to is personality. Sharon Needles, who impressed the hell out of Natalie Cole, is named the winner of this week's challenge. Again! Phi Phi is nonplussed, but Sharon Needles is thrilled. She's seen as kind of a loser back home, she says, so this means a lot. How can you not like her? Also, can you believe that even among drag queens, the oddballs are still judged so nastily? Can't we all get along?
Some judges have issues with Madame LaQueer, some have issues with DiDa Ritz, whose Stepford Wife infomercial fell flat for them. They all agree on The Princess's lackluster performance, though. So it falls to The Princess and DiDa to lip sync for their lives.

And this is when things get good, because DiDa Ritz gives. It. To. Us. Taking Miss Natalie Cole's "Everlasting Love" above and beyond mere lip sync, DiDa gives you face and choreography as if she fully believes that Ru will take her out back and shoot her if she doesn't win. Easily one of the top three lip syncs for your life of all time (number one being Manila Luzon's "MacArthur Park" and number two being Jujubee's "Black Velvet"), DiDa nails it. Ru can't even feign enthusiasm for The Princess. "That was amazing!" she exclaims. And without pausing for breath or effect, adds, "I've made my decision." DiDa Ritz, shantay you stay! And The Princess, who has had nothing but excuses for the entire episode, is gone. "I'm not the kind of person who gets angry or upset," she monotones backstage, and then I fell asleep so I don't know how that thought ended. All I know is, not getting angry or upset means there is no room for you on reality TV, and certainly not on a program showcasing the best of the drag world.

Photo by Aaron Young for Logo

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