'RuPaul's Drag Race' recap: Talent wins over charisma this week

My favorite moment of last night’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race revolves around this quote from RuPaul herself: “Tatianna, that’s an answer for the Miss America contest—not the RuPaul Drag Race contest.” Zing!

Sitting at the judges’ table, the drag superstar host had just asked Tatianna who from Team Pandora Boxx deserved to go home after losing the burlesque challenge. And, while everyone else on the team was saying that Tatianna herself should take her high heels back to the streets and leave the Drag Race womb, Tatianna decided to go allllll kinds of PC with her answer, picking the increasingly adorable Morgan McMichaels because “she has immunity.” No, no, no. Finger wag! Bad idea. Because then came the aforementioned head-thump from RuPaul. We don’t play that way here at Drag Race, RuPaul scolded, telling the (truly sweet) Tatianna how things work.

You know who else needed a big ol’ head-thump during last night’s episode? Tyra Sanchez, the mouthy little witch who decided to whine her way through the entire hour. I could not deal with her by the end, as she was unhappy with everything, bitching about pole dancing and wearing high heels during dance practice. (And how effing bitchy was it when she wiped away Shangela’s lipsticked goodbye note? A big ol’ finger wag to that.) And this quote from Tyra was just enough to send me over the edge: “I wanted to be in Pandora’s group,” the diva said, after being selected to Team Sahara Davenport. “She had all the tall, skinny, pretty bitches.” Well, boo hoo, I want a Gold Card and diamond earrings and a big plate of baked ziti. Right now. But you don’t always get what you want!

Sahara said it best when she lamented about Tyra: “Oh my God, I’m in a group with, like, Satan’s baby.” At one point, while the rest of her team was working up their costumes for the challenge, Tyra gingerly nestled herself under a blanket on the couch. “Don’t wake her up,” the darling Jujubee warned RuPaul, who was aghast at Tyra’s behavior during her check-in rounds. “She’ll scream!” RuPaul gave Tyra a little talking to, but ultimately let her go back to sleep and seemed more amused by her antics than anything. Which, like — what? How’s Tyra getting away with such crap? Where’s the RuPaul head-thump in this instance? I was more than shocked that Tyra’s awful actions during the run-up to the challenge didn’t come up on the main stage. But I suppose her dancing and selling on the streets were better than average. And I’m calmed, truly, by the fact that her bitchy attitude will likely come and bite her where the sun don’t shine…eventually.

With all the focus on Tyra’s heinous attitude and Tatianna being thrown under the bus by her teammates, I was shocked — shocked, I tell you! — when it came down to Raven and Nicole Paige Brooks lip syncing for their lives at the end of the episode. Granted, the two did make the least amount of money during the burlesque show, so that was a strike against them right there. And, as several of the contestants said, Nicole Paige Brooks (from Atlanta, Georg-ia), is not sexy. (Raven: “Nicole was picked last because this is a sexy contest, and she’s not sexy.) But, I know this competition is about four things: charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. Did charisma have nothing to do with the bottom-two selections this week? Because if it did, Tyra — and maybe even Tatianna — would have been slumming it on the main stage. Alas, maybe this week was more of a talent-focused week? Whatever.

The lip synching by Raven and Nicole Paige Brooks, overall, was truly heinous. But I sort of blame it on the song. While I love En Vogue’s “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It),” it just didn’t seem to have the oomph needed to really send the performances over the top. I’d never choose it for a big ol’ sing out. Ultimately, Raven turned it out at the end, and Nicole Paige Brooks went home, which was probably for the best. I mean, as much as I think it should have been Tyra’s week to “sashay away,” the producers are smart to keep her — purely for dramatic fire-stoking potential down the line. And Raven is, in the end, more fierce than Nicole Paige Brooks (no matter how fabulously and how many times you say “from Atlanta, Georg-ia”).

Other observations from the episode: (1) Mystique Summers Madison has figured out what she’s gotta do to stay in this competition—do that crazy, slam-down splits thing. But let’s just see how long that floats her through the competition. And how long her legs and crotch can handle that. (2) Jessica Wild seems to be a quiet frontrunner so far, in my opinion. Did you see that fabulous dress she wore on the main stage? Ye-owww! (3) Dita von Teese, love you lots. But you didn’t add much to the show. Neither did you Kim Coles. (4) Tyra, while heinous, has shades of season 1’s winner Bebe Zahara Benet, especially after showing up on the main stage with that natty ‘do. (5) Sahara Davenport won the challenge and won a $1,500 gift certificate to seqinqueen.com, which was my favorite web site even before I checked it out and discovered that its uber-genius tagline is “Sparkle, Anytime.” (6) I need more Merle Ginsberg and Santino Rice, please.

As for other highlights from the episode, the menagerie of inspired vernacular and quotable quotes continue to kill me. Such as:

“It’s RuPaul here with your Drag-U Weather forecast! This we can expect a high-pressure system, followed by storms of ‘Hell no!’ ‘Oh no she didn’t!’ and ‘What you call me bitch?!'” —RuPaul, in the She Mail delivery explaining the upcoming challenge

“You’ll be turning a lady into a tramp. The lady in question is… me. Or as I like to say: Mini Ru.” —RuPaul, while explaining that the episode-opening mini-challenge would be trampy makeovers to Barbie doll-sized versions of herself

“Nicole cannot bring sexy back.” —Raven, about Nicole Paige Brooks’ lack of sexiness

“I feel that pole-dancing — that it’s kinda a little hoe-ish.” —Tyra, complaining yet again about pole-dancing (?!?!)

“That girl will eat Beyoncé in one swallow!” —RuPaul, about Mystique Summers Madison while on the main stage

“I felt like Eartha Kitt. I’m serving fish, honey, and this ain’t trout.” —Jujubee, during her walk on the main stage

“I do sassy — I don’t do bitchy!” —RuPaul, after Sonique says that her bitchiness while on the street selling cherry pie gift certificates was inspired by Ru

“No one wants a cherry pie that bites back.” —RuPaul, schooling Sonique on her cherry pie-selling bitchiness

“Lady ATM!” —RuPaul, after Raven says that, looking back, she wishes she wouldn’t have moved that much on the stage so she could make more money

What did you think, Drag Race watchers? Did you love the episode? Do you agree with my growing hatred of Tyra Sanchez? What was your favorite quip from the episode?

More on RuPaul and ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ on EW.com:
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race': Werq it out with the Dragulator!
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ premiere recap: Should Mystique Summers Madison have sashayed away instead?

‘Workin’ It’ with RuPaul: Eight essential bon mots from the drag legend’s new book
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Exclusive: Meet the season 2 cast and watch them werq!
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race': LOGO greenlights season 2
RuPaul on ‘Drag Race': Five rules for a killer comeback
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ on the Must List
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race': Winner Bebe Zahara Benet gets the documentary treatment!
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Exclusive: Meet season 2’s first queen, Jessica Wild
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race': Nine suggestions for staying fresh in season 2
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ casting begins: What’s your audition song?

Comments (33 total) Add your comment
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  • Chichi

    Mystique has the worst walk I have ever seen, like a Weeble in a blender.

  • Jae.

    I miss the fun on last season. ALmost everyone on this show is bitchy and annoying. I dont like them and I dont want this show to be like other reality tv shows. I MISS THE FUN and joy of bebe, nina, onjina and even rebecca. this season is like all akoshas. HOW DREDFUL!

  • madeleine

    This show is so much fun. Tyra is beautiful but waaay too whiny.

  • strickens_girl

    I so adore this show! RuPaul is a goddess.

  • Em

    I still feel like this season’s contestants don’t have the charisma of last season’s. Where’s the Nina? The Shantal?

    Still a great show, but feeling like the contestants are a little one-note this season (so far).

    • Mia

      I know what you mean. Even though this year has better production value, it lost something a little bit. These girls are “trying” to do anything to stand out but season 1 the girls just stood out by their charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. Nobody is standing out. These girls sort of all look alike. Tall & pretty. Where is the punk rock Nina? Where is the bald wearing an aligator on my head with a splash of Minnie Pearl Ongina? Even Ongina’s name was unique in itself. Raven, Morgan Michaels, Sonique. Not exactly “unique names” Boring actually. What’s with Ru’s cheesy mustache & large black glasses on the after show Untucked? Still like the show though and thank EW for having a recap.

    • OMG

      I agree – I kept falling asleep last week and I just don’t care about any of them yet (last season I L-O-V-E LOVED Nina and Tammy Brown right from the start). I’ll have to keep watching to see if I fall for any of this years. Oh, and you could tell in last weeks ep about Tyra – she is a

      • Mia

        LOL! That is SO HORR-I-BLE (evil laugh). I would have never ever ever thought those letters in that order would spell that.

      • OMG

        I know – but a drag queen friend of mine insists that is the inside joke behind the “charisma, uniqueness….” slogan – and who am I to argue with a fabulous drag queen?

    • debi

      I think that the girls this season are lacking the charm and charisma that the classy and entertaining girls had on the first season. I hate Tyra her horrible attitude takes away from her beauty making her look anything but attractive. Where are the smiles and fun? The laughter that we heard from Nina, and Bebe. What smiles were on all the queen’s faces as well as our as Ongina was running around wearing the girls wigs making all the queens laugh full belly laughs. Most of the queens in season 2 walk around looking dower and sullen. No smiles no fun back stage. I miss Nina, BeBE, Shannell and Ongin, they would yuk it up back stage and you knew that there was true love and concern for each other, minus Rebecca of course. I think that they should have done a better job filling the spots with queens on season 2. After all the shoes of the first seasons are all but impossible to fill. They should have made sure that the new contestants were classy and proud to represent and carry on the crown from the amazing Be Be with class and dignity. I hope they throw off that witch Tyra she adds absolutely nothing to the show .

      • Sophie

        One of the highlights is knowing during the commercials I am going to see either Nina, Shannel or Bebe for Absoult Vodka. Debi is right, these girls are not having fun. Perhaps Jujubee but I don’t see anyone else. Remember last season during the Absoult Vodka challenge when Bebe didn’t know where to begin when making an outfit and Nina helped her? Even though Nina wanted to win she also wanted to help her competitors. I so can not imagine these queens lending a hand in someone in need. Raven shot down Tatianna because she does not have the experience like some of the others and Raven said the next DQueen should. I think the next DragRace winner should be approachable and sorry besides Jessica Wild, Pandora Boxx, Jujubee and Tatianna none of these beyotches are. I would be afraid to say hello to Raven, Sonique & Morgan because I think they would bite my head off.

  • Belle

    I agree about Tyra. Tyra is indeed beautiful but I swear a snowflake is smarter than she is. How in the heck is this person a parent is beyond me. Love Love this show. Yet again, I learned a new saying in the interior lounge. When the winning team were talking about their boyfriends and coming out, Sahara mentioned she is dating someone who also does drag. Jujubee said “oh you are ki kiing”. HUH? Last week, I learned “fishing” is sleeping with a girl just once. My favorites are Jujubee, Tatianna because anyone who dares to go to school dressed as a girl at 14 I give them props, Raven. Did not like her before but loved her long black wig and her lip synching at the end had a screw you attitude. And, even though it hurts to say this Pandora Box. I like her yes, but it pains me because she reminds me of Kathy Griffin who I can not stand. I still think Morgan Michaels looks like Matt Damon out of drag. Not liking the makeup this year. They need M.A.C back!

    • FondaCox

      I know what you mean – I loved Morgan’s look in Ep 1, but for the “high class” drag in Ep 2, I was like girl – your make-up is reminding me of my Elementary School lunch lady at Halloween. … and not in a good way.

  • Nick

    I could not STAND Tyra this week. What a beotch!
    I get to meet Mystique on Friday. Seems like a nice gal.

  • LunaDragonPrincess

    I DO not like any of this season’s “girls” they still look man-ish in drag. They are no where as talented, classy or drag like as the first season!

  • LunaDragonPrincess

    can I get an AMEN up in here!

    • Sophie

      AMEN! These girls have no sass. I would love Logo to have a show with Ongina, Nina, Bebe & Shanel. It can be called the Drag Queens of Vegas or something like that. Something along the lines of Housewives. Of course, Rebecca Glasscock can pop up here & there to irriate Shanel. You know there can be only one beautiful diva in the group and Shanel thinks & knows she is it. That is why I loved her. She was totally Vegas. Ongina was the funny one. Bebe, the regal elegant one. And of course everyone’s favorite Nina Flowers. Looocaaaa!!

      • Peg

        I so hated that Bebe won last season – it should have been Nina(loca) all the way!!! I miss her this season.

      • Nina Flowers Forever

        Amen to that! Nina could teach all these trashy bitches a lesson on how to be BEAUTIFUL, CLASSY and LOCA!!

  • LunaDragonPrincess

    none of these girls rocks the runway the way the first season. There was so much fierceness going on with Nina, Schantel (Sp), Bebe Benet, Ongina, etc. I think two are DRAG QUEEN worthy – Sonique & Shangela PUT ON SOME MAKE-up, boobs and rock that runway

  • amapofhome

    Mystique is hot. I am so sick of the fatphobic BS out there. She gets very little air time and it’s b/c of her size. It’s a shame because she actually has a booty and titties to shake. She’s way hotter than Ugly-ass Sahara, who reminds me of a starving orphan.

  • hobokendave

    I used to ‘run with the queens’ year ago as a ‘drag hag’ (carry my bags boy and here’s a drink ticket). Some of these girls are so typical, bitchy catty and stupid…which are the hallmarks of being an “amateur.” Bar and club owners have zero tolerance for bitchy nasty performers. The classy queens are the ones who get the regular bookings.

  • Jesse

    Tatianna is just drop dead gorgeous. Especially with the long hair and the way she looked out on the street. She looks like Prince’s ex Vanity. Clearly, the other girls are jealous of her. The attacks by Morgan and Raven appeared to be preplanned between the two of them.

    Sonique really reminds me of Madonna. And as much as I adore Madonna, it makes me think of how she looks somewhat masculine herself, especially these days.

    Raven was the best at the “lipsynch for your life” but she has an inflated ego that doesn’t match her talent or looks.

    Tyra is beautiful but that voice reminds me of Mush Mouth from the Fat Albert cartoon.

    Jessica seems like a nice girl but I DO NOT get all the flattering comments about her. Unlike Nina, she’s a Puerto Rican with zero personality and and a face and nose that screams “MAN” every time I see her.

    Morgan is entertaining but she needs to work on those eyebrows. Girl can’t seem to make up her mind about whether she wants to look modern or old school. If she’s gonna be slutty, she should ditch the Lana Turner brows. By the way, as a boy – she reminds me of Butch Patrick, who played Eddie Munster in the ’60s.

    I’m loving Juju. She’s sassy fun without being too b-tchy.

    Mystique might not last long (those splits will only take her so far) but she’s got a good face and her “B-tch, I’m from Chicago!” line is classic.

    Great show!

  • Tina

    I agree with the others here that season two contestants are a bit lacking. I would also add that the last set of challenges kind of sucked: create a slutty outfit for the RuPaul doll; learn to poll dance and sell “cherry pies” on the street corner. (Actually, it sounds better here in the description than it actually worked in the episode.) As for Tyra: yes, her behavior will certainly come back to bite her in the a–. Having said that, there is a reason she didn’t have to lip-synch for her life this week: she was in the top group. (Not sure though why this was simply determined by how much money they made though. What is the point of judges then?)

  • Bryan

    Loved last season. This season is like a bad episode of Jerry Springer. Trashy and so disappointing. As for Santino — why? Please.

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