We need to talk about Phi Phi O’Hara.
I don’t like to sit in one place and call someone crazy but, um, Phi Phi is a fucking lunatic, terrible person who drew the biggest sword and then sat on it, slicing herself from asshole to mouth hole. Yes, she is a villain. Yes, she is a victim. Don’t believe her hype: she made her own bed full of fecal matter.
With such a vocal presence on and off screen, this week’s recap is dedicated to this beast of a bitch. May she rest in peace.
And of course: spoilers ahead. Get last week’s recap here.
??. The Phi Phi Wears No Clothes.
Ending last week with haughty O’Hara soaking in her bad words to literally be exposed to those she was talking shit on (Alyssa and eliminated queens), something insane and wonderful happened: she was exposed. Her fraudulent friendships and generally toxic way of interacting with people was shown off as it is. There was nothing to hide and the player got played, a rare moment where someone on a television show, someone who has a certain amount of awareness of self, was stripped of agency. You can apply whatever metaphor or idiom you want to Phi Phi at the top of the show—She had a taste of her own medicine, she got what was coming to her, she had her just deserts, etc.—but it happened and it set the tone for a very clear recoiling of plans as she kamikaze spiraled toward eventual destruction.
??. Phi Phi, like we, have no idea how the game works now.
The biggest note of this episode: when Ru explained what was going on with the returning queens and the remaining queens, the idea that some would stay and some would go on both sides, there was a great element of confusion because the explanation was a puzzle. Nothing in television, particularly reality television, should be that hard to explain. Shows get tripped up when too many caveats are at play and you as a viewer have to manage them without reminders of how the game works. It’s like when you play a game like Monopoly and you keep forgetting the logistics of play: it makes for a difficult gaming experience. That happened here. It was confusing for many of us viewers and queens like Phi Phi, Ginger, and Coco who were disposed of as a result of “new rules.” They were shocked because they had no idea what was going on logistically until it happened.
??. Phi Phi’s Ghosts
A lot of things came to haunt Phi Phi this episode. Not only was the ghost of her shady, bitchy, Party City antics back but she also exhumed the beef between Alyssa and Coco, her scene partner, by constructing an arena for them to bitch as they worked. Poor Coco, who just wanted to return and redeem herself, had to sit by the trash fire without anywhere else to go. There was even a point where Phi Phi conjured the ghost of Sharon Needles and Alaska’s relationship to make a point! Phi Phi is basically a one woman The Conjuring. Some people—and some things—just don’t change.
??. Producing Phi Phi
The reason why Phi Phi might have failed so disastrously this season and her originating season is because she’s too smart and aware to get out of her own damn way. Phi Phi claims to be in on being reality talent and being produced but unfortunately falls into her own traps, presenting a toxic personality (As opposed to a character.), opening up for herself to be taken advantage of in the editing room. She isn’t sophisticated enough for self-preservation.
??. Phi Phi Could Learn From Alaska
This challenge should have caused everyone to fail—and most did—but it was a wonderful, wonderful show especially for teams like Tatianna and Detox as well as Alyssa and Alaska. They were truly funny! And they knew their audience wanted more than Hedda Lettuce (Roxxxy), stale routines (Ginger and Katya), and underwhelming scene studies (Coco and Phi Phi). What can be learned from the show, especially someone like Phi Phi, is that Alaska is a delight. She framed Alyssa as she needed to be framed yet still stole the show in her own regard. This was a learning moment in a lot of ways, mostly because Alaska is still serving up champion realness without doing that much. It’s becoming less predictable as it is impressive.
??. Did Phi Phi See Porkchop?
Porkchop’s damn blank stare throughout the comedy show deserves an Emmy.
??. Phi Phi Is The New Adore
Adore Delano’s exit on episode two was a huge blow to her career with Ru. It seemed unrivaled and inalienable in terms of its being so singularly misguided. Somehow, that low was toppled by Phi Phi. That limbo bar was placed millimeters from the ground yet Phi Phi still cleared it, stooping lower than Adore. Here’s how it’s different: Adore left on-screen, saying the show wasn’t for her while on the show. There is an element of dignity and awareness going on. But for Phi Phi? No. She took her elimination as a means to grovel to reporters after already volleying a sad sack to them, only to call into question her livelihood. Again: Adore did all this on the show, with tact, while Phi Phi is attempting a smear campaign against the show in the hopes of redeeming her character. This is a losing battle. Do you really think RuPaul is going to find a glimmer of respect for someone who has retroactively conjured the spirt of “game pieces” in relationship to a reality show? Honey. It is a game show. Get over it. Phi Phi’s presence and ensuing exit theatrics was a self-burial into bitchy obscurity. She exposed herself as a drag Veruca Salt. She is very publicly committing (career) suicide and pointing fingers at everyone else…just like she did on the show. When you call out producers for “producing” you and then play the same shitty antics in real life, the reality is you are that shitty. Phi Phi’s 365 Days Of Drag Instagram campaign ended last Thursday. Because Phi Phi died.
Phew. Glad that’s over with. Now the show can roll on strong!
10. Adore Delano
9. Coco Montrese(Barely returned.)
8. Ginger Minj(Same but add on some fat jokes.)
7. Phi Phi O’Hara(Down two—and out. It must really, really sting that she got double eliminated, too. Her non-hugs at the end aren’t as shady as they are indicative of her whole being. She is Veruca Salt.)
6. Roxxxy Andrews (Down two. Poor Roxxxy. What is her talent? Being pretty? Why is she here? Poor, poor Roxxxy.)
5. Alyssa Edwards (BACK. Well deserved but potentially short lived but, hey, better than Phi Phi.)
4. Detox (Down one. Flailing less than the others, Detox does well but she’s not as good as…the top three. Filthy looks queens are cool but they only go so far. Detox is that.)
3. Tatianna (BACK. Redeemed. Redeemed. This was a big win for her and her future. She really does deserve to be here and she’s so fucking smart. The tie lip synch really was what it was and gives you hope for the girl. Who knows how this will continue but I can see her easily taking runner up…)
2. Katya (Maintained. …from Katya, who is great but seems to dawdle around with the same thing all the time. Listen: Katya is fab and fierce and what not but she only can do so much. Individually, on separate episodes, she is great. But when you step back and look at it all in one place? Not so much. Still: I want her to be her best self which is why I leave her here.) (For now.)
1. Alaska Thunderfuck (Maintained. There is nothing to say. She is a fine alien wine.)
Thoughts? Am I too hard on Phi Phi? She is destroying the show and I cannot stand idle as that happens.
Rest in peace, Phi’Ph.