'RuPaul's Drag Race' recap: The queens drag out smashing versions of Carol Channing and Britney Spears

With just nine queens left vying for the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar, the competition finally got hotter than a two piece and a biscuit on RuPaul’s Drag Race last night. Even though it was sad to see Mystique sashay away last week, I felt like last night was truly the first episode this season where it was somewhat difficult to choose which queen would have to go. Holy drag queen! We’re finally boiling down to the cream of this season’s crop. Werq!

Before we delve into who did, indeed, sashay away this week, let’s talk about what happened early in the episode. The mini challenge at the beginning of the hour was Ru’s version of The Price is Right — a price-guessing game she dubbed The Queen is Right. The big prize? No, no — not immunity. But a chance to phone home! You betta believe all the queens wanted the chance to call their mom or boyfriend. I guess it goes without saying, but it’s gonna be hard to go without talking to anyone in the outside world while shooting this show.

During The Queen is Right, the queens had to guess the prices of such drag paraphernalia as tube socks (for stuffing those busts, of course!), hemorrhoid cream (the endearingly clueless Jessica Wild said of it: “It’s a cream for I don’t know what it is”), and duct tape. And when it came down to RuPaul’s Showcase Throwdown (a play on The Price is Right‘s Showcase Showdown, duh), the queens had to guess on a collection of drag items including genuine brass knuckles, a designer wig, and pepper spray. (“What lady-boy night on the town would be complete without a can of pepper spray?” Ru asked. “With its own cute little carrying case. Perfect for the drag queen on the go.”) Ultimately, Raven squeaked out the win and made a call to her mom. “My biggest inspiration for drag is my mom.” Um, does she know that? Because, well, oh my then if she doesn’t.

This week’s main challenge was, unquestionably, one of the best in the history of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Impersonation time! The ladies brought to life their favorite celebrities on a Match Game rip-off cleverly titled Snatch Game. All the gals got to pick who to impersonate, even though some of them, like Tatianna, revealed that they really didn’t usually do impersonations besides themselves. Tyra stunk it up as Sasha Fierce/Beyoncé. Jujubee was marginally good (but with killer neck makeup) as Kimora Lee. Raven flopped as Paris Hilton. Sahara was rather forgettable as Whitney Houston. Morgan McMichaels put little effort into P!nk. And Sonique was detestable as Lady Gaga.

But let’s not dwell on such sad things as the boring or bad from the impersonations. Let’s talk good! The three most interesting impersonations were Pandora Boxx as the completely nutty, raspberry-era Carol Channing; Jessica Wild, who took the huge risk of doing an over-the-top RuPaul in front of RuPaul; and Tatianna as a country-fried and spaced-out Britney Spears.

Despite her early reluctance to do characters (“Tatianna is the character,” she assured viewers) and having to secure a wig from the momentarily-nice rival Morgan McMichaels, Tatianna ultimately did a breathtaking performance as Britney Spears. Favorite line: When she answered that she got “lost” after riding a disco stick. I mean! Again, Jessica Wild, despite the producers desire to paint her as being somewhat unable to speak English, was cunning, smartly choosing to send up RuPaul in front of RuPaul. That wig alone was win-worthy! Granted, it was a tad over the top, as the other contestants mentioned, but hold the phone a sec — isn’t this drag? Yah, it’s always over the top. So kudos to her for taking a risk and succeeding. My favorite, however, was Pandora Boxx as Carol Channing. (Just because, you should spy Carol in the first Diet Coke commercial ever. This always makes me smile.) No one else created such a character and held on to it until end like she did. From answering that she got “scurvy” from the disco stick (and saying she was the national spokesperson for the Broadway Actors Against Scurvy!) to answering one question with the complete randomness of simply “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts,” I couldn’t stop laughing.

In case you missed it — or just want to watch it again — fast-forward to 18:30 in the episode here:

It was no surprise, but ultimately the elimination came down to: Sonique for her horrible butchering of Lady Gaga or Morgan McMichaels for not making P!nk as butch as she should have been. RuPaul said the choice was extremely difficult from the judges’ table, which this week included Lisa Rinna (in the above photo, hilariously small compared to the fabulously bedrag-ed Ru) and Niecy Nash (who I’m currently obsessed with, as she’s doing such things as exposing Lindsay Lohan as a hoarder with her gig on The Insider). Granted, I don’t think that either Sonique or Morgan McMichaels played the game that well this week, but I have genuinely enjoyed both of them as characters on the show so far, so it was hard to see them lip sync for their lives against one another.

Again, the lip syncing, as it has been nearly every episode this season, was sort of not thrilling. I don’t know really what I’m expecting, but I haven’t seen anything that lights a fire under me so far. Maybe it’s still the song choice? I don’t so much see Stacey Q’s “Two of Hearts” as particularly inspiring. Although Sonique did come the closest to fire-lighting inspiration by ripping off her clothes and doing flips all over the stage. And as much as she thought that was going to save her next to Morgan McMichaels and her hapless puppet prancing, I knew that Sonique was probably going to have to sashay away. And she did. Sad, sure, but overall, Morgan McMichaels does have more long-term potential than Sonique, who never really developed that much of a personality on the show.

You know who else could use more personality on the show? The guest judges! I got super excited this week when I heard that my beloved Lisa Rinna would be guesting. Then she literally had about four lines — none of which were too crazy! (I was expecting her to serve up some real crazy!) And Niecy Nash, for all her hilariousness on The Insider lately, didn’t deliver either. Note to RuPaul’s Drag Race: Please use the guest judges more! Hell, Snatch Game “celebrity” Ugly Betty‘s Alex Mapa got more screen time than either Rinna or Nash. I mean, right?!

What’d you think, PopWatchers? Are you thinking the show’s guest judges need to be used better? Do you also agree that it was a hard week, with the judges choosing between Morgan McMichaels and Sonique? Who’s the front-runner right now, if you had to choose?

More on RuPaul and ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ on EW.com:
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ recap: See who did her last splits
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ recap: Talent wins over charisma this week
‘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 (35 total) Add your comment
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  • floridajeff

    Loved the idea of a challenge where they had to pull off an impersonation. Maybe next season they’ll have to film a scene from “Love Boat” filled with extra special guest stars… (Cher? Charo? Bette Davis? Madonna?) Tatianna was great as Brittany, but she should have thrown on her glasses and an ascot and impersonated Charles Nelson Riley instead!

  • Britney

    Your little TV between the words is broken. It says the video is no longer believable. I thought it was great, but was confused about when I did a game show. I think I won, y’all.

  • Madox

    I loveo this show! Sonique did everything short of pulling a monkey out of her ass to stay on – glad they let her go. She was mean.

    • Sophie

      ROTFLMAO! So true. RuPaul said lip synch not striptease gymnastics.

  • soulwax

    great episode. Sonique is a professional, but is mean and bitter. The same holds for Raven and Morgan. Mysitque is gone, but they still manage to critize her. They lack positive attitude and personality! it’s a real pity…

    • Mia

      I agree with you Soulmax! They are extremely mean spirited. Mystique is gone but yet they had to say something about her weight. Yeah, we get it she was plus size move on. Geech! Raven, Morgan & Sonique MEAN GIRLS the sequel. So long Sonique. You lack charm, uniqueness, nerve and talent. Okay so you can do back flips & a split but you ain’t all that and a bag of potato chips girlfriend.

  • Ms Hellfire

    I was so HAPPY Morgan had to lip synch for her life. She is such a mean spirited person and yes, someone needs to push her off her high horse (go Tatianna). I was shocked when she offered her blond wig to Tatianna. As for Tatianna, YEAH! She won a challenge. Take that Raven, Morgan and buh-bye Sonique. I will say this though, it was nice to see Raven not the sour puss she is normally. I actually saw teeth as in she was smiling when she won the Price is Right challenge and got to call her mom. Looks like she was able to get that stick out of her wazoo and loosen up a bit. I like Jujubee but I haven’t been “wowed” by any of her outfits yet besides the country one. She needs to turn it out & fast! Pandora’s Carol Channing was funny.

  • dominic

    These people are disgusting.

    • Bobby’s Robot

      In what way?

    • Daniel

      But you can’t stop looking at them, can you??

  • Ivy

    Yes, please clarify…

  • Jurry

    the BEST episode of the series ever! was HOWLING with laughter at Tatianna, Jessica and Pandora druing the game show! Pandora’s Miss Channing was priceless!

  • Ivy

    I thought Tatianna was hilarious, but i really would have rather seen Pandora win the challenge. I nearly feel out of my seat when she held up the card that said “I have a lovely bunch of coconuts”. Brilliance! I was really disappointed in the other impersonations. They all seemed like good choices, but some of them (especially Pink, Lady Gaga, and Beyonce) just didn’t work. I guess the girls just thought it was enough to look like the celebrities. In the end i would have rather seen Morgan go home though. Her smugness is really annoying me.

    • Rose

      I agree with you. I don’t think Pandora is getting the love she deserves…she’s fabulous and her Carol Channing was perfect! But Tatianna is the most beautiful of the bunch, and she’s funny too. They are my top two for the win.

    • Pat

      Thank you!! Pandora totally deserved to win because she could have easily impersonated Britney and been just as good as Tatiana. But there’s no way Tatiana’s could match Pandora’s Carol Channing impersonation. Unfortunately the judges at the game show that loved Pandora weren’t included on the panel so Pandora got the shaft thanks to Lisa Rina. She pushed hard for the Britney impersonator to win and she got it.

  • brett

    It’s so true about the guest judges. Why not have Lisa Rinna and Niecy Nash around as the Snatch Game contestants? Was it really worth squeezing in those absolute nobodies? Besides, the guest judges mention the challenge as though they’ve watched footage anyway. Why not just put them in the action?

  • katy

    My god, is Lisa Rinna really that small?

  • mjsmoke

    I’m glad that Tatianna won the challenge. And each week I’m liking Pandora and Jessica more and more. Morgan needs to go then Raven (who talks wayyy too damn much) then the rest of them in any order. I’m hoping for a Tatianna and Tyra lip-sync showdown at some point.

  • mangagirl

    What’s up with Tyra and giving Beyonce such a butch voice. It seems he’s not heeding much needed advice to speak on a higher register. I loved Tatianna’s Britney it was so spot on, also Pandora Box’s Channing response of “scurvy” was so ridiculousy over the top I was blowing Absolut out of my nose.

    • Sophie

      Speaking of Absolut. They need to stop using Santino & Merle in the commercials and start using Ongina, Shannel, Miss Nina & Bebe. I really do not want to see neither Santino nor Merle. I’m also wondering is Tyra really that daft? I mean heavens forbid you makes Beyonce (B) a little more crazy. She got so defensive. I mean Hello, female impersonators have made a bundle exaggerating queen icon Cher.

  • jetcityhawk

    Britney: “A baby in your lap?” I was laughing so hard I don’t even remember what the question was. Somehow last years contestants Nina Flowers and BeBe Zahara Benet just seem, well…classier than this group. Are they really the BEST America’s drag community has to offer? And after a nationwide search…this group are the cream of the crop? Really?? No talent like Shanel or real originality in their drag like Ongina and Nina. And there wasn’t nearly as much bitchiness in the first season…just a few personality clashes.

    • amy

      I agree with you. Last seasons Queens were a classier group of ladies. Is it me or do they all seam to blend together. Expect for Pandora and Raven, no real standouts.

      • Mare

        But we also didn’t have Untucked last season, so who knows what was said behind closed doors.

  • Yeni

    I really dislike Tyra. She has no personality, in and out of drag (just like Beyonce). She just seems slow-witted and dull (like Beyonce).

    • Dee

      I LOVE Raven – I think she was a little upset with being in the bottom two like she was but she has proved can lip sync and her make-up and fashion are tops..I would love to see her win – and I agree, stick with the Queens for the commercials!

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