The second episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race aired on Thursday, March 7. I’m still trying to figure out when the heck this season will REALLY begin, as I’m left feeling immensely underwhelmed by the latest group of queens so far.
This could be a combination of a couple of things that revolves around yet another repeated challenge or that one queen who steals a ton of camera time. Bottom line: this won’t be a season that will be memorable in the least when we look back at the show’s legacy in the years to come. I might be judging this on a premature basis, but its been a struggle to get through both episodes and I’m wondering if it will get any better in the future.
The girls discuss Soju’s elimination and joke about her talking about having a cyst on the main stage. The cyst humor could be this season’s “Vanjie”, although what she discussed really wasn’t funny. It was just weird to bring up… period.
This then segues into the mini-challenge, where the girls had to get in quick drag and photobomb themselves in pics featuring different A-list stars. They just did this last season, so maybe it’s turning into a Snatch Game type of deal where we will see this every year?
Silky Nutmeg Ganache, who is currently the name on everyone’s lips, and Brooke Lynn Hites, the winner of the first maxi-challenge, won and were declared team captains for the maxi-challenge. Silky’s choice seemed to be something that wasn’t Ru’s pick but more of an overall show decision to drum up some drama given how extra the Chicago queen was in the first episode.
The maxi-challenge this week was for the queens to parody well-known movies and make them funny. Wait… didn’t they do this in All Stars 2? And then again in All Stars 3? Hasn’t the parody thing been done for TV shows too like RuCo’s Empire in season 8?
Here’s where I must vent my frustrations about this show. Drag is an art form that knows no end. The inspirations for it can go so deep, and it’s annoying that the producers keep doing the same repeated format each season that shows zero signs of them being creative with each flock of girls. There has got to be other challenges they can do that don’t rely on something mainstream or ones that have been done before. Its tiring and part of the reason why RPDR has kind of jumped the shark in recent years. OK, back to the episode recap.
The movies the queens are parodying are based off Black Panther and Get Out. RuPaul first visits with Brooke’s team, who decide to talk all about Silky and how she annoys them to no end with her personality. Ariel Versace seems to be at the center of this, and whereas I was on her side last week, I’m sort of over her complaining about Silky as its hard for me to find any character traits about the New Jersey native thus far in the show. Don’t let others steal your joy, especially on a show like this.
Ru of course then tells Silky what the other queens were saying about her, which didn’t really do much to shift her personality. I think that’s a good thing, as the insecurities can run wild on this show and she clearly doesn’t care what people think about her. Instead, she discusses getting her PhD in something revolving around organization. Cool? Cool.
Kahanna Montrese is freaking out because she only has two lines, but there are ways that you can do well with them that doesn’t result in another bottom two placement. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: Kahanna is fine a f. Slide into my DM’s please, thanks.
The teams then perform their movie parodies with Michelle Visage and Ross Mathews as directors. The only thing I can remember from both groups is Mercedes Iman Diamond’s pronunciation of the word “opulence.” Her meek personality wasn’t right for the role that was given to her, as it would’ve been better suited for someone like A’Keria Chanel Davenport or Silky to really deliver that iconic line from Paris is Burning.
Mercedes’ back story becomes a major part of this episode, where she talked about suffering from a stroke a couple of years ago to her being on the no-fly list due to her cultural background. It was the only true touching moment thus far on the show and made me like her so much more. Will she last? TBD, but what she was talking about struck a nerve with me and many others.
The runway theme this week is “What’s Your Sign?” which revolved around the queens dressing up as in outfits that reflect their astrological sign. Most of them turned out some sickening looks, especially Vanessa “Vanjie” Matteo. Her style, which we didn’t see at all in s10, has been fun to watch so far as she knows how to really work her aesthetic.
They play the movie parodies, which I didn’t find funny at all. It’s just bizarre writing mixed with weird editing into films that just don’t make sense. Shrug. Yvie Oddly and Scarlet Envy, who honestly did the best out of everyone, were announced as the winners. Mercedes and Kahanna, who were a duo in their parody, were the bottom two.
Mercedes and Kahanna were given an amazing song to lip sync to: “Work B**ch” by Britney Spears. That’s a dream for any queen to do on a show like this. Both werked it out, however Mercedes really came out of her shell and worked the runway to the best of her advantage. She was able to stay while Kahanna was sent home.
Observations this week:
Scarlet was picked last for the main challenge. Jealousy from the other girls? Confusion as to who she is so far? Not sure, but I’m fascinated by her so far. And yes, she looks like Tammie Brown and Pearl’s love child.
Derrick Barry showed up briefly in the Get Out parody. Her couple of seconds of screen time were better than everything she did on season 8.
I’ve had a major crush on Bobby Moynihan for years now, and it was fun to see him as a guest judge. I hope he dresses up as his drag alter ego, Fattie LuPone, at some point in his life.
Black Panther star Sydelle Noel was great too. You could tell she was a big fan of the show and her criticisms were spot on for the most part.
This is the opinion of one contributing writer and not that of Instinct Magazine or other Contributing Writers.