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RECAP: RuPaul's Drag Race Episode 9

Ru9ro

Politics can be such a drag...

The girls returned to the dressing room this week on RuPaul's Drag Racefor the first time since Willam was kicked off for breaking unspecified rules--and find that, in addition to the usual mirror message, she smeared her ass with lipstick and left an imprint on the glass. Everyone seems thrilled that she's gone, and Sharon Needles and Phi Phi O'Hara reenact her ouster to hilarious effect, with Sharon taking on Ru and Phi Phi vomiting out piles of glitter as Willam. They're interrupted by this week's She-Mail, and then Ru enters with Abolut's Vodka's Jeffrey Moran. That's right: It's the annual Absolut Infomercial!

This week, the girls must accessorize their Absolut cocktails with matching shoe designs (Phi Phi wins) before creating a drag queen presidential candidate character. As the queens work, Phi Phi loudly sings, belches, and generally annoys the hell out of the rest of the room--not that she cares. Things take a turn for the worse when this week's guest judge Dan Savage enters and promptly starts grilling the dolls on their platform. "How will you pay for it?" he asks Latrice after she says she's for more AIDS funding. Everyone gets the same thousand-yard stare in their eyes when he talks to them, and really, he seems permanently dour here. (They gave him funky lighting, I swear. -- Ed.)

The dourness is all the more odd when the "Frock the Vote" debate takes place. "Frock the Vote" is exactly what the girls (and I) expected the challenge to be, not an actual debate! Plus, there's Michelle Visage, whose sole concession to being on the panel was accessorizing her cleavage and leopard-print dress with glasses! And the Pit Crew are standing in as Secret Service men in briefs and sunglasses!

Everyone but DiDa Ritz seems to have stuck to her comedy guns, and it's a good thing--Savage is not afraid to laugh. Chad Michaels is the most outlandish, all teased hair and trailer park pimp speak. Phi Phi's Texas take on Sarah Palin falls flat; she's not landing the jokes, and one quip about "the help" running for office does not go over well with DiDa or Latrice. Sharon, however, owns her Michelle Bachmann-coiffed lady, and her slogan, "Sharon Needles, and sharing responsibility," is pretty good. Latrice relies heavily on her notes and doesn't inject much personality into her responses.

Back in the dressing room, Sharon wonders aloud why they didn't use their platform to actually talk about issues, prompting a debate about mixing politics with drag. Gurls, don't you see that by admitting that you never ran for student office in high school because you didn't want to draw attention to yourselves, you are mixing drag and politics in an entertaining way?

This week's runway challenge is to dress for an inaugural ball, and only Chad Michaels understands what "inaugural" means, serving pure Mamie Eisnehower '50s glam and Republican helmet hair. Phi Phi is in a trashy wedding dress with a diamante vagina; DiDa looks like she's going clubbing along with Latrice (who gets read for leaving her bra strap on in her off-the-shoulder dress), and Sharon's dress is all black latex and nude beige body stocking. The combo works for the judges, however (as does Sharon's explanation, that a drag queen won't be president for a hundred years and thus the futuristic look), and she wins! Though the judges weren't thrilled with Phi Phi (Michelle was offended by her jokey racism; Santino liked it), it's ultimately DiDa and Latrice who must lip sync for their lives to Gladys Knight's "I've Got to Use My Imagination." DiDa does the same fierce choreography she displayed earlier, but it's Latrice's emotional, powerhouse performance that convinces RuPaul that she should stay. (Also, DiDa lost her dress early on.) So DiDa must sashay away, leaving the final four.

But wait! Just as in last year's competition, RuPaul is giving Michelle and Santino the choice to bring back a fallen doll! Who will it be? As clips of those who have sashayed away flicker across our screens, one can't suppress a shudder. Interestingly, Willam is listed as an option. Who should come back? Who will come back? Kenya Michaels? Jiggly? Milan? Tune in next week to find out, same drag time, same drag channel.

Photo by Aaron Young for Logo

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