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Eleven Thoughts About RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season Eight, Episode Two

Well, well, well: who saw this week coming? It’s only episode fucking two and shit is falling apart. Get it together, season! But is big drama better than no drama? Let’s discuss eleven things that made me go hmmmm for the eleven contestants who participated this episode.

And of course: spoilers ahead. Catch up on last week here, too.

11. Ru: what’s with the hats? Who are you shilling for?
We’re all wondering since the hats might teetering off his head and into the looney bin of fashion: who are you plugging, Ru? Are they going to get bigger? Are you hiding something? Is there a creature in there? A challenge? What’s with the hats, kitty girl? If there’s no payoff, then they’re dumb looking. Get new hats.

10. There was a nice Out Of The Closet shout out!
For those unfamiliar, Out Of The Closet is a great Los Angeles thrift store chain that donates proceeds to AIDS research. Moreover, they also do HIV testing at locations and have pharmacies and, generally, are an invaluable service. Glad they got a shout out!

9. Chi Chi can teach Naomi how to death drop any day of the week.
The mini-game was a great little metaphor for the entire episode, with Chi Chi excelling while everyone else was a sprinkle on her cupcake—especially with the death drop, which made Naomi’s sad, wobbly, one-legged fall the worst drop on the history of the show. The Kim Chi “bad dance” was an over-produced moment that clearly felt forced. Ab Soto was one of the more bizarre (and unnecessary) celebrity appearances, one that made you wonder who was fulfilling a Make A Wish dream. And wasn’t the challenge kind of racist? Yes, “cha cha heels”: I get it. But it was executed pretty poorly…buuuuut: not the most offensive thing they’ve ever done on the show. The entire dance challenge showed that Acid Betty has great teeth but is kind of a crazy person. Moreover, it was a bit silly that producers attempted to paint Chi Chi as “bad at her job” when they should have been producing harder that she is a class act diva bitch to be reckoned with. She has a great “I’m me. Fuck it.” mentality that rivals Tyra Sanchez’s: Chi Chi is going far—especially with her upside down lip sync.

8. Yeah, none of these queens are hot dudes.
Unlike Pearl and Max last season and Milk the season before, this is the first season in a while where there is no super hot out-of-drag queen. Give us some eye candy again! Acid Betty’s teeth, Bob’s beautiful lips, and Kim’s general cutesiness aren’t cutting it. I don’t want to touch myself thinking about good features. (But, of course, some people might.)

7. The firsts on the second: the first hashtag, the first gratuitous RuPaul song plug, and the first time Ru says, “Now, this isn’t the first time someone has said they were going to bring it to the competition but didn’t.”
I’m surprised Ru was able to wait an episode to feel her oats in this regard. Also: the last item—which Ru said to Laila, to jazz her up—was well done in that it was a, “You’ve seen this show: you know what I’m going to say.” type of thing. In that regard, good. Ru shouldn’t need to say this anymore. If you’re coming on this show, you should know. More on this later.

6. What the fuck is the “Shade Tree”?
This was the most useless device, a redundancy as the interviews serve as this since the cast does not live together nor was this device a part of the original season, therefore making it seem like a clunky after thought on the second episode after seven seasons before. The one time it was used, for Kim to talk about her dancing “insecurities,” it was clear that a producer or someone similar reminded her to do it, probably because no one was using it and they forgot to push it in episode one. This isn’t ANTM and Big Brother: this device is unnecessary.

5. Was Dax even on the show?
She barely did confessionals and was so forced into the episode, into stories. Was she even on the show? Did someone tell her she was being filmed? I loved Dax and thought she had an amazing tuck in the dance scene—but where was she? It was like we saw a reflection in a mirror instead of a real person. Bring her back for All Stars, season three.

4. Kim Chi is going to get soooooo asssss right now.
Kim Chi that walk into his bed, y’all: that virgin is being deflowered as we speak. And such great, cute storylines about formerly fat queens! That was a genuine moment of greatness, one that recalled previous fab seasons of the show.

3. Take a note, Michelle: your notes are on point this season. Keep it up!
The Kim Chi walk note was perfect. The Chi Chi dress note was perfect. The note for Acid to be more was perfect. And: she looks hot this season. Michelle is finally here!!!

2. There is a budget for music this season.
If you recall, last season’s music was terrible, the budget removed from music so that they could book bigger talent like Ariana Grande. But lipsynching to Gaga on episode one? The drag iconic “I Will Survive” to close episode two? This is great. This should fuel the performances which, clearly, it did not for Dax and Laila, which is why they went home. It wasn’t the worst lip sync of all time: it was the saddest. It was unenthusiastic and full of clichés, the type of thing that should get someone sent home. Even better than Ru’s “You bitches better do better.” to all the safe people, dismissing the deflating balloons that were Dax and Laila was a bite that articulated that they needed to step it up. Will Ru keep up this “The bar is here: jump that.” vibe? No. It’s cable TV with a low budget. Good try, though. Nice jolt to the audience.

1. Who is coming back? Should we care?
If I were making the show, I wouldn’t bring back Naysha because she was particularly flat. Soooooo: who will it be? Someone from previous seasons? If we’re going full Shangela, last season’s underwhelming proto-Laila—Sasha Belle—would be coming back. If they wanted to kick everyone’s ass, Katya would be unleashed. But who knows! We’ll have to tune in next week for the one acting challenge that actually seems worthy of drag queens: it’s Empire themed.

Now, with that drama from the double elimination out of the way, here’s an updated power ranking. Some shifts!!

12. Naysha Lopez
11. Laila McQueen
10. Dax Exclamationpoint
9. Robbie Turner (Up two, only because two people went home—and still in last place.)
8. Derrick Barry (Maintained.)
7. Cynthia Lee Fontaine (Up two, because cuckoo.)
6. Acid Betty (Down one because she’s becoming the villain.)
5. Naomi Smalls (Down one because boring.)
4. Thorgy Thor (Down one—because Chi Chi did so well.)
3. Chi Chi DeVayne (Up three—and likely to keep climbing.)
2. Bob The Drag Queen (Maintained—because she’s great.)
1. Kim Chi (Maintained—because she’s great.)

Thoughts about all this? Who do you think is coming back? Let me know on Twitter, y’all.

Photo via.

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