'RuPaul's Drag Race': All hail Shangela Laquifa Wadley, queen of comedy!

Shangela-Drag-raceWhen RuPaul brought last season’s first cast-off, Shangela Laquifa Wadley, back into the Drag Race fold in this season’s premiere episode, no one, least of all me, had too high of hopes for the queen. There was a collective “why” from the Drag Race-watching community. We’d seen the woefully under-prepared Shangela peter out and generally be annoying last season — and as I just mentioned, she managed to squash any goodwill she had in just one measly episode.

But somewhere during the current season, surprisingly, Shangela turned into a drag force to be reckoned with. That infectiousness was no more on display than in last night’s latest episode of Drag Race, which challenged our gals on the go to put together a stand-up act in front of a live studio audience, as well as the regular judges, longtime funnylady Rita Rudner, and Chelsea Lately comedian Arden Myrin.

Halle-lou: Shangela is funny! The photo above shows Shangela at her best during the hour — playing her character of Laquifa, the Post-Modern Pimp Ho. “Yes, I’m still a pimp,” Shangela said, introducing herself to the live crowd. “But I’m also my own ho.” The character was so well developed, especially when compared to some of the characters from the other gals. “Cause of the recession I done had to scale back,” Shangela continued during her stand-up routine. “Sometimes I don’t even pay myself my own money. If I did, maybe I could get some shoes where my toes weren’t hanging five inches over the edge!” It’s silly, but just ridiculous enough to be gut-bustingly hilarious.

Indeed, this little joke bit was my favorite: “You know I had a dumb-ass girlfriend who went and joined PETA,” Shangela said. “She came screaming at me, talking like, ‘Laquifa!’ I said, ‘What?!’ She said, ‘Laquifa! Don’t you know how many innocent animals had to die for you to have that fur coat?’ I said, ‘Bitch! Do you know how many rich animals I had to f— to get this coat?! Stupid b—-!'” More than anything, it was just the vigor with with Shangela attacked the whole situation. There was almost a guttural growl from the gal on stage. Halle-lou, again!

No one deserved the win more than Shangela, and Ru said as much. “As a post-modern pimp, you b—- slapped the competition,” the high-priestess of drag said after crowning Shangela the winner. A special shout-out has to go to Yara Sofia, whose insane little-person comedy show was so inspired and yet so freaky (and maybe offensive?) at the same time.

And what of the bottom two? Delta Work — our last big girl — and Manila Luzon were made to sing Donna Summer’s “MacArthur Park,” which turned out to be one of the most cohesive lipsynch-for-your-life sessions every in Drag Race history. It was sweet seeing Delta and the makeup-streaked Manila embracing at the end of the singing session. Ultimately, though, the performance signaled not only the end for Delta — but also the end of the line for the much-heralded big girls of this season. Sad! I really hated seeing Delta go — besides being an entertaining queen on the runway, she brought a lot of comedy and lightness to the non-runway moments. She will be missed. “I’m just glad to have lost to a Heather,” Delta said in her final moments, “and not one of the boogers.” That’s the spirit!

What’d you all think of the episode? Am I — and Ru and the rest of the judges — making too much of Shangela’s comedy performance? Would you, like me, like to see the uncut version of the gals comedy bits? Who are you rooting for as things get down to the wire? Sound off below!

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

More from EW.com:
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‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’: How ‘Precious’ was Stacy Layne Matthews last night?
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’: Does Raja have this season locked up already?
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’: It’s all about the big girls this season
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’: Is any show on TV more cracked out than this?
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ season premiere: Can you believe RuPaul brought [spoiler] back?!?
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’: Q&A with America’s Next Drag Superstar Tyra Sanchez
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ sashays into third season
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ on PopWatch

Comments (129 total) Add your comment
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  • Chichi

    Ugh! So glad to see Delta Work go. One of the biggest betches ever to be on the show and not in a good way, just pure snark.

    • BrandonK

      Since when did being a “Heather” become a good thing?

      • John Berggren

        Exactly. Those girls may presume to be familiar with the film, but if they really are – they relish their nastiness.

      • John Berggren

        AND. You didn’t lose to a “Heather”. You lost to Shangela, b!+¢h!

      • Tlynn

        Exactly. And didn’t they all DIE?

      • JuaniseSlim GoodySmith

        I agree. Idk who they think they are i wana see them fall flat on their faces.

    • ali

      Hetero people really need to stay off Logo and LGBT shows. They are 4 grown MEN in dresses talking about being Heathers. Thats a joke in itself. eyeroll.

    • JuaniseSlim GoodySmith

      I agree ive been so ready for Delta AIRLINE to GOOOOOOO!

    • Everest2008

      Sad to see Shangela go. I was rooting for her to be crowned the next queen.

      Best wishes

  • zoe

    Shangela’s LaQuifa should definitely be a character in some comedy series and it was definitely funny. I am disappointed in this season’s “reading” challenge – that wasn’t nearly as funny as last season’s.

    • Chichi

      That read was horrible, wasn’t coming close to Juju’s, “legs and dairy.”

      • Melly

        Juju Bee had the best read EVER!! Love her!

      • Amy

        Juju was so brilliant last year, but I did chuckle when Shangela called Delta, Mimi Imfurst. Can’t wait until those other Heather b*tches leave!!!

    • TimTiminy

      Oh I KNOW….the best read this season didn’t even come close to the worst read from last season (well…Tatiana was pretty tragic all around). JuJuBee was made for that, though.

      • Jack

        Completely agree, the throwing shade challenge paled compared to last year (love you Jujubee!) But you knew Shangela had it wrapped up the minute she looked at Delta Work: “Mimi Imfurst!” LOL!

      • ChaCha

        Halle-Lou the witch is dead! She should have been gone after the horrendous Angel Food Cake dress last week or the terrible Cher performance. Really, who did she think she was, she has consistently been terrible with her attitude toward the non-Heathers! And Raja – can she do anything other than look like a clown, all she does is wear clown costumes and make-up. She reminds me too much of Raven and I hated her. I know it’s a competition but why can’t they be decent people. Talent and ability would be nicer to see than beeyotching and back stabbing.

    • dub

      “Shangela’s LaQuifa should definitely be a character in some comedy series”???

      Shangela’s LaQuifa IS a character in a comedy series.

      Anyone hear of Katt Williams (who originally did almost all of the jokes that Shangela did?)!

      • JuaniseSlim GoodySmith

        I think Shangelas Laquifa act was original ive never heard any one else do that. i think she served those d*mn heathers i hate them all they sit there judge everyone else but theyre not as fierce as they think…

  • TimTiminy

    Umm…can we just take a moment to discuss Manila’s UNBELIEVABLE lip-sync performance?! The dramatics, the dedication..the mascara! I had crazy goosebumps, as she collapsed into Delta’s ample bosom. It was, in my opinion, the best drag performance I have ever seen, on this show or in person. If Manila doesn’t win this season, there is definitely something wrong (First Nina Flowers was robbed, and then JuJuBee) with the RDR tribunal. I’d certainly be ok with Raja taking the crown…but come on….sista girl is pretty seasoned (to put it mildly).

    • Chichi

      Yes-yes-yes! Manila and Raja need to be the F2, they are the only ones left with the talent and nerve to step outside their comfort zones.

    • JuaniseSlim GoodySmith

      I disagree i think Manlias lip sync was scary as all get out. Im rootin for Ms Shangela or Yara Spohia

  • Mickey

    I’m thinking at this point, it’s going to be Manila, Raja, and Shangela. One has the visual detailing (Raja), one takes the risks and really performs (Manila), and one has the humor and personality (Shangela). The others are lovely, but can’t quite compare.

  • Jina

    Wasn’t that line of the fur coat from the Blake Edwards film, “Switch”?

    • Beeyotch Please

      Seriously! That joke is so eighties. I don’t know why Shangela didn’t get called out on that (like Manila did) for using material that’s been heard before.

      • Greg

        EXACTLY…I know a woman who actually tries to tell people that this happened to her. Problem is that so few folks saw the movie!

      • JuaniseSlimGoodySmith

        Well because Shangela act was much more orignal nd it was funnier than ever. Manilas act was a complete nd utter dud i mean be real how many times have you heard tha whole burt nd ernie nd tha count jokes….. blah

    • Jen40

      THANK YOU! That was my favorite line from that movie and I can’t believe that nobody called her out on that!

  • Tommy

    what does the finalist even win?

    recognition as “latest, sorta popular fairy”?

  • Lesley

    Tommy…There’s also the $75,000 that one of these “sorta popular fairies” will be taking home that you won’t have.

    Trolls are SO lame.

  • James

    I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be “WATLEY” as in Jody Watley

  • Lesley

    Delta definitely did not “Work” in this competition. Three strikes and you’re out! Besides, Manila absolutely KILLED in that lip-synch! Phenomenal performance that gave me new respect for her as a drag queen even if she IS part of the dreaded “Heathers”.

  • John

    Too bad Raja is going to win… a snotty queen does NOT deserve to win. DQ’s should be confident with a touch of arrogance, not arrogant with a lack of confidence.

    • Mia

      Well said John!

    • Molly

      Agreed!

    • dani

      and Raja doesn’t always look like a girl – he looks like a girl with too much white powder on…not a Queen…and he’s corny.

      • JuaniseSlim GoodySmith

        I agree i dnt wana see Raja wit shes actually scary when she hitts tha runway i dnt see glamor i see weird fashion nd creepy face paint she dosent beat her face her face gets beat up. sooooo over Raja

  • dede

    I think it appears to me as if the show was planned for Shangela for one reason or the other to give a upper hand.. in some way in backfired… Because Raja was very good… so was yara..Delta allowed fear to get a hold of her.. she’s naturally funny….I must wonder… Who Carmen is dong… If you know what I mean to stay.. It’s not based on talent that’s for sure…… I think the last standing should be Raja and Yara…. Manilla…and Carmen should of been the one’s lip singing for there lives…. I mean really.. Carmen.. A fat suit. And then Ru asked you to show your body… I mean when did you take off the fat suit…. I’m just pointing out the facts.. And further more Shangela the only reason she’s getting by. Is because she has the other queens.. showing her how to sew. How to dress. how yo put on her make up..She’s not a threat… She’ really very funny….. WOW…. Ru.. must really see something in you…..

    • dani

      how did you get on the show and you can’t sue?!

    • ali

      Don’t you watch Untucked? She took the fat suit off and tucked right in the Illusions lounge while they were waiting to go back out. Looks like YOU are the one missing the “facts” and half the show. And don’t you know that Ru’s comments are all set-ups prearranged? Of COURSE he asked her to show her body. And did you really think she’d LSFYL in the fat suit. That was the point, also in case she had to.

  • Belle

    Halleloo Delta the Booger is gone. Girl is delusional thinking she is all that and a bag of potato chips (A Heather). Manila lipsynch was very dramatic. Reminded me of Jujubee’s performance last year. I knew Shangela was going to win this round. Her soundbites alone are pretty humorous. I actually would not mind seeing a spin off with Alexis, Yara & Shangela.

    • Tricia

      Yeah if I had to hear Delta refer to herself as “one of the pretty girls” again I was going to gag, she’s just busted up trailer trash

  • Joey

    Best. Lip synch. Ever.

  • ceebee

    the Queens this season are NOT as good as past seasons..in looks or talent…I’m sorry but the “Heathers” are obnoxious…and Raja still looks like a man in make-up …I’m rooting for the underdogs…Alexis, Yara and Shangela……

    • Lynn

      I agree Raja is not a drag superstar

      • ali

        LOL That’s because you know nothing about real life drag. She most certainly IS, and works all over the place. Headlining. The funny thing is all you hetero people saying you wouldn’t go out of your way to see them. AS IF you go to gay bars anyway. You DO know that their entire venues are mostly all male and Trans LGBT bars, right? LMAO.

    • dani

      Co-sign…

    • Buffy Freak

      100% correct…I wouldn’t go out of my way to see any of these queens perform…but there were several from the first two seasons I would love to see.

    • abe

      I disagree. The runway looks are much better this year. Tyra, the winner of season2, wouldn’t make to the final four this time around.

  • Derek

    Shangela should go on a comedy tour as Laquifa. I would see that in a HEARTBEAT!!!!

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