As a contestant on a reality competition show, there quite possibly might come a point where you survey your competitors, look at how far you still have to go, and just say: “Screw it. I’m not trying anymore.” As evidenced by last night’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, that very much seemed to be what happened with one-time favorite Carmen Carrera, who found it difficult to muster much of an effort with any of the challenges that were laid on in front of her. Let’s look at the tale of the tape that led to Carmen’s eventual dismissal.
Tag: RuPaul's Drag Race (41-50 of 72)
Last year on RuPaul’s Drag Race, one of the best episodes of the season was when Ru introduced The Snatch Game, a riff on the ’70s and ’80s staple The Match Game. You fans likely remember, but the episode very memorably saw queens like EW fave Pandora Boxx imitate Carol Channing and Tatianna take on Britney Spears. Last night was this year’s edition, and we saw Shangela take on Tina Turner, Delta Work do Cher (kinda poorly), Manila Luzon put on her best Imelda Marcos, Raja channel her inner Tyra Banks, and so on.
But, if you can imagine, this season’s queens topped last year’s, and mostly because of — get ready to be shocked to the core — none other than Stacy Layne Matthews. Yes, I’m going there! Last night’s episode was insane and beautiful and offensive because one of the most questionable contestants in Drag Race history — yes, I’m talking about SLM! — made it so by perfectly doing a drag impersonation of Mo’Nique circa Mary, the actresses’ character from 2009′s Oscar-winning movie Precious. See the screen grab above for all the evidence you need.
So, Raja might not have won last night’s newscasting challenge on RuPaul’s Drag Race — that honor went to the pineapple-perfect and politically incorrect Manila Luzon — but the episode, which saw the statuesque queen don three amazing looks, certainly raised this question: Does Raja already have the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar on lock for this season? The realness of this quandary lingered in my mind as I watched last night’s episode — I literally couldn’t stop thinking that thought, which is why I’m blogging about it in the wee hours of the morning and bringing the question to you, my dear EW.com readers. The evidence as to why I think Raja is the most fierce competition this season is clear as day when you look at the three-peat of insane looks above. Don’t you agree? In these three instances, Raja is serving all kind of different things — a bloody nasty red-carpet heathen; a dorky-cool newscaster; and Marie Antoinette. What can’t she do?
Things are getting real heavy on RuPaul’s Drag Race this season. And that’s mostly because, so far, the show has mostly focused on its three delightful big-girl contestants: Mimi Imfurst, Delta Work, and Stacy Layne Matthews. Not that I’m complaining—at all. That’s certainly been a very good thing. And while the headline to this mini recap of last night’s episode might lead you to believe that a big girl won the competition, those of you who watched know that’s certainly not the case. In fact, not only did a big girl not win the competition, but a big girl got sent home. (Collective gasp!) It was a not-very-sad bye-bye for — SPOILER ALERT — Mimi Imfurst, who turned into a freakish Dragzilla and lifted India Ferrah up over her head during the lip-sync-for-your-liiiiife portion of the hour. “GET HER OFF ME!” India hilariously growled, in one of the most entertaining few seconds of RuPaul’s Drag Race so far in its three-season run. The above photo illustrates The Evening’s No. 1 Most Ridiculous Moment. I sort of stared at the screen after that and wondered: Did that really just happen?
“Mimi Imfurst,” RuPaul said, just before telling the beastly queen to sashay away, “drag is not a contact sport.” (But honestly, wouldn’t it be more fun if it were?) Mimi Imfurst will be missed on that Main Stage, but you pretty much knew she was toast last night as soon as the episode turned to everyone hating on her just a few minutes into the hour. “Mimi’s always been teetering throughout the competition,” Ru said after her Main Stage walk, “and I think she may have gone to the other side.” Ain’t that the truth. As you might imagine, the two runner-up moments of the evening also featured one or all of the trio of big girls. Like I said, it’s all about the big girls this season! The Evening’s No. 2 Most Ridiculous Moment: When the three big girls teamed up and posed together, Charlie’s Angels style. I mean, just look at this gloriousness:
Last night’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race launched with the queens doing a mini-challenge centered around ESP, or Extra Sensory Perception, where the ladies paired up and one half of them tried to guess what their partner was sporting, wig-, pussycat- or boa-wise. (As you might guess, none of them were too good in this situation.) But the most hilarious thing about that is that the ESP challenge was the least weird thing about the episode: Before long, during the show’s hour, the ladies were donning wacky, futuristic costumes (see: above!) and, while split into two teams with leaders Mariah and Phoenix, made (ridiculously laughable) “movie trailers” for two fictional films, Drag Queens in Outer Space: From Earth to Uranus and its sequel Drag Queens in Outer Space 2: Return to Uranus.
As Ru told the queens when she was checking in during their prep sessions: “I don’t want to see drag queens—I want to see movie stars!” Just look at that picture above: Is there any show on TV that’s more cracked out than RuPaul’s Drag Race? That’s the question I’m posing to you, the show’s loyal viewers, after the second episode of this third season.
It was a foregone conclusion that RuPaul would eventually bring back a sashayed, old queen from a past season to be a contestant again on RuPaul’s Drag Race. In the reality competition world, that move is nearly older than RuPaul herself. But the gal that was chosen for this extremely illustrious distinction was completely out of left field: It was none other than last season’s polarizing first-episode cast-off, the delightfully named Shangela! “And it’s Shangela!” said fellow contestant Mariah, in reaction. “Halle-lou!” she added, referencing Shangela’s “famous” sound bite. Halle-lou, indeed!
Truthfully, I was hoping for the glorious return of EW fave Pandora Boxx! But, then I reconsidered: Everyone would have loved that—well, at least I would have—and such a move probably wouldn’t have gotten any tongues wagging. Instead, pick one of the most loved/hated contestants from last season, bring her back, shake it up, and stir! Instant drama. Those sluts producing Drag Race are smart. It was genius, too, when right after Shangela emerged from that huge gift box (see: the ridiculousness above), footage from last season popped on the screen showing the young queen getting booted in last year’s premiere, after she lip-synced atrociously against Sahara Davenport. “I have a feeling,” RuPaul intoned at the time, “we haven’t seen the last of you, yet.” What ominous foreshadowing that none of us could have seen! Did RuPaul know something then that she wasn’t sharing a year ago—or was it just coincidence that she said such a thing? I can’t wait to ask next time I chat with Ru. I’ll keep you all posted, of course.
The rest of the episode was your typical episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race—but super-sized into 90 full minutes of ridculata instead of the usual 60! Here are my quick, recappy thoughts about last night’s premiere: