We’re getting down to the nitty gritty, it’s not too long until the finale and we still have half a dozen queens to get through. The upcoming weeks are destined to be absolutely insane, the queens are now so good that hairs will be split and we have to deal with some strange eliminations that we didn’t expect to happen at any point… yeah, this week’s going to be interesting to talk about, but let’s talk about it.
Enter the Werkroom
This week is one of the hardest challenges that any queen on this show ever has to go through… the makeover challenge. It’s a challenge that has sent home some of the best queens in the series’ history. This episode has sent home queens like Ongina, Pandora Boxx, Alyssa Edwards and this season’s very own Monet X Change. It’s a tough episode because it asks the queens to take their style that they’ve worked on for decades (or in Trinity’s case, since the dawn of time) and put it on someone with a completely different skin tone, texture and shape. It’s a damn difficult challenge and on top of that we’re throwing in a tribute to Judy Garland? I mean, it’s a lot, we’re going to be dealing with a lot.
The theme of this week is the concept of Best Judy, one of those terms gay culture came up with to describe a best friend in honour of the one and only Judy Garland who was always something of a gay icon. This means that the queens get to make over their best Judy’s, which in some cases just mean their lifelong friends and sometimes it means their husbands. It’s always nice when we get to see these queens looking so happy to have contact with a friend from the outside, their cheers of joy are absolutely everything. We get to see all of them having a good time and being filled in on their history. We learn about how Tim helped Latrice while Latrice was in jail, we get to see Manilla and her husband being absolutely adorable, these little moments of the queens working together with their Judy’s is adorable and sweet and over with quickly. We even get to see RuPaul letting loose and being more open than we’ve seen her this entire season. She teases Monet lovingly, she cries in front of Latrice, she laughs along with Trinity, this is the kind of werkroom chat that shows why Ru is one of the best hosts on TV. The highlight is her explicitly telling Naomi to say the wrong thing and act like a fool, giving her permission to finally let loose and push through to do something truly surprising
I may be trying to speed through this part so that I can get to the ending that shocked everyone. Maybe. Possibly. Definitely, that’s exactly the thing that I’m doing.
Technically, there was a main challenge of doing a Judy themed dance number but that takes up a minute of the episode and it means nothing. We don’t even see them practice it because, apparently, VH1 thinks they have something else worth showing instead of just making this show 2 hours long and showing us how the queens worked on that number. The only thing I know is that this Judy song is on iTunes, though not sure if I’d buy it because it’s just… eh. If they won’t linger on it, neither will I. Let’s talk looks.
Latrice Royale comes out with her friend Alexis Knight and… did she wear this outfit before? I’ve definitely seen that hair and that necklace before. After last week when we saw her looking better than she’s ever looked, this was a real step down. There’s some sort of resemblance but it’s so thin that it’s almost not there. It sucks because Latrice is so good and I want to see her do the best, but this wasn’t it.
Monique and Shanida Heart come out in a great avant garde look that also shows off how many times they do this runway because the editor can’t keep the colour consistent and makes it look like the eyeshadow on the outfit is going from blue to purple and it’s horrendously distracting. I love the idea though, it’s weird but well put together and gives them a real resemblance that is undeniable.
Manila and Iyowife Luzon come out wearing the hotel bed sheets and some accessories and that’s it. It’s not that the outfit looks bad, Manila doesn’t know how to make outfits that look bad because she’s basically perfect and can do no wrong BUT she phoned this one in. Her previous weeks outfits have been glorious elaborate well designed outfits that were a great mix of high fashion and humour that transcended what anyone else had put on the runway… here she wore deformed Mickey Mouse ears on an outfit that looks like it came in a plastic bag marked “Card Gal”. She’s better than this, she is so much better than this and while I love some details like both girls lipsticks matching the suit of their outfits or the wigs that look like they’re coming right out of their heads, but sorry this wasn’t a good look.
Naomi and Extra Smalls give us Cher and Cher to begin with and it’s amazing. Both of them look great and just like Cher right from the start… and then Naomi rips off her wig, reveals Sonny hair and puts on a moustache and it’s even better. It’s always a risk to do male drag on the runway, but when it’s done right it’s truly something special to witness. Naomi’s really shown a knack for taking iconic men and turning them into iconic drag looks, with this and her previous Prince outfit. She’s once again ruling that runway like only Naomi Smalls can do.
Trinity the Tuck and Indigo the Tuck look expensive in their Versace and… and that’s about it, not sure what else I can say other than this being a really well put together pair of looks. They resemble each other without being carbon copies of each other and it’s just a generally good look by a queen who always manages to look really good on the runway.
Monet X Change and Patty Cash look amazing together in pure gold. It reminds me so much of what Monet did in her season with the looks that sent her home, but it’s elevated to a level that makes her stand out. Patty Cash looked really good too, the two of them had a great resemblance that was impossible to deny. Also Monet’s makeup never looked better. I’m just so happy to see her looking this good for this challenge, one she desperately wanted to do well in.
Top two is Naomi and Monet, which feels appropriate. Bottom two was Latrice and Manila… and now we’re almost to the big shock of the episode right after the lip sync, which was one of the best in the shows history.
They lip sync to Come Rain or Come Shine by Judy Garland, a perfect lip sync for this episode. We already know that Monet is an incredible lip syncer and she gives a great emotional performance with a really fun moment involving the umbrella full of glitter. The catch is that she’s still wearing the golden outfit so the glitter doesn’t stand out as much. She’s mostly doing a very subdued performance that looks like she’s channelling Judy and its really good… meanwhile, Naomi is owning the stage and making you forget that there’s anyone else there.
Naomi camps up the performance and turns everything up to 11. She’s dancing, she’s bending in half, her mouth opens so wide that you could see what she ate in 1995. It’s the kind of lip sync that legends are made of, she pulls the focus easily and it fits the song perfectly. It’s mesmerising, she shows you how a lip sync is done and how to completely destroy your competition. She wins easily, it’s not even a question. I’m stunned they even bothered pretending for a second that there was a choice to be made. With Naomi winning, she’s the one with the power to send someone home and in the most shocking elimination of the season, so shocking that Michelle Visage can’t help but sit there with her mouth hanging open, Naomi eliminates Manila. NOW, let’s talk about that.
Let’s all just agree that it’s a shocking elimination, Manila had the best track record out of anyone on the show. She had three wins and no bottoms up until this episode, putting her ahead of everyone. She made it to the top 2 of her original season, there’s no reason for her to go home… except that she was doing the best and this is a competition. I know we like to say that the one who does the worst should go home but that’s not why they gave the queens the power to send each other home. If they wanted to send the weakest queen home every week then the judges would be the ones making the call. The reason the queens are given this power is so they can have shocking moments like this, keep everyone on their toes. Plus, let’s be honest, if the front runner is in the bottom two and you don’t send them home, do you even want to win? I’m still stunned that no one tried to send Alaska home when she was bottom two in her season, because I know I would’ve happily done it because there is no greater compliment than saying “I cannot win as long as you’re here”.
I also need to note that, as usual, when a queen sends home someone that the fans love then they are bombarded with hate. Cut that out, if you see it report it. This is how the game is played and Naomi played it smart. She’s been pushed into the background for the entire run of the show so far and now she got the chance to take down the biggest competition she had and she took it. This elimination is a shocker if you believe that the girls were forced to send home the worst queen, instead of the queen that stands between them and the crown. I’ve been waiting for a queen to try this ever since this element of the competition was introduced and finally someone took their shot so lay off Naomi, she’s playing a game and she’s playing it well. Instead of going after her, just go support Manila. Manila not only has a lot of tour dates coming up and she has some incredible merch, including a goddamn doll that has her iconic spaghetti dress so she’ll be fine. The only thing better than a righteous victory is a shocking loss, it’s worked well for BenDeLaCreme and Shangela so it’ll work just fine for Manila.
Next week, mockumentary time and everyone’ll be confronting Naomi about how evil she is for playing the game the way it’s clearly meant to be played. See ya.
Trinity: You look like gay Jesus
RuPaul: Come back when you’re pregnant
Ellen Pompeo: Diagnosis: Sickening, darling
Carson: Thanks for Cher-ing