SOUP TO NUTS (RPDR RECAP)
So we learned a few things: Trixie has arrived at last, Shangela’s mortal enemy is a sewing machine, and #molegate is probably not a thing. OR IS IT? No, it’s not a thing. Probably.
We’re sad Chi Chi is gone. Trixie thanks Shangela for saving her and Shangie reminds her of this bond, forged by gratitude. Trixie makes a good Alaska Paypal joke. In the cutaway, Shangie says she sees Trixie as an ally. Ben talks about her distress about the lack of criteria, and wishes they could come to a consensus about how to judge, but Shangela disagrees and says they will have to figure it out. Kennedy gets very defensive because now she is the queen that’s been in the bottom the most, and she doesn’t want to be sent home. Of course she’s going to fight the straight track record vote. Making the girls eliminate each other turns this whole show into a living version of the prisoner’s dilemma. Who do you trust? Do you commit yourself to the greater good or do you only look out for number one? These girls have been more wiley than season 2 All Stars, who agreed on criteria from the beginning and then watched it fall apart. No one here is necessarily pretending that they are playing a game that is based on fairness, so there’s less room to explode (a la PhiPhi) when things go sideways.
The theme this week is Warhol Ball, and Ru enters the workroom in Andy Warhol drag. It’s pretty freaking cute. There is a mini challenge, too! Yay for a mini challenge. The queens will be posing for their polaroid pop photos in quick drag. Kennedy enters as Manila Luzon as seen in The Seventh Seal. Aja is as beautiful as Linda Evangelista in her blue wig. Ben does Little Edie meets Liza! With a Z. Bebe is FACE FACE FACE. Shangela bewilders me in her 90s get up. She looks like Bianca del Rio in the hip hop challenge. Trixie does Katya’s rich woman hands-on-face posing. Aja wins the mini challenge and Hamburger Mary’s for a year!
For the ball, they will be making two looks: soup can realness and disco queen eleganza extravaganza. So they have to design a soup can. This is as clever as it is stupid. Ru loves branding, so I can see why this challenge exists. At the same time, it’s dumb. Soup cans? Lol okay. This part of the challenge only shows who understands their brand and who doesn’t. Aja doesn’t understand her brand, so she’s doing a candy soup? (Again, what and also I don’t care.) Bebe is making a spicy soup called Achoo. It’s peanut soup with many ingredients. The name is funny and Bebe’s commitment to soup deliciousness is admirable. But also okay lol don’t care.
On Elimination Day, construction of the disco queen outfits begins. Guess what: Shangela still doesn’t know how to sew. Ben also doesn’t know how to sew, but reminds us that she won a construction challenge with a glue gun. This is a little bit of the cocky Ben from her season that so enraged Darienne Lake. Bebe also doesn’t really know how to sew, but Aja steps up to help her. FORESHADOWING. We get a lovely flashback to Shangela’s seamstress herstory and also get to remember how annoying she was back in the old days. Trixie tries to help her, in part to show her gratitude for the save, but the garment is impossible. It looks like some very elaborate fabric to sew. Shangela allegedly took two months of sewing classes. Allegedly. But the fabric she’s chose has no stretch, and she can’t put it on.
Meanwhile, Aja is feeling very confident and Kennedy is cranky. During makeup time, the queens return to the discussion about elimination protocol. Shangela knows she’s going to be in bottom, so she wants to explore what the others are thinking. Ben wants to craft an artisanal spreadsheet to rank the other queens and track their progress, but Kennedy doesn’t want to hear it. In her cutaway, she says Ben can’t handle the pressure and she shouldn’t base it on track record (which, really? Come on. Track record is the most objective way to do it.) Kennedy jumps down Ben’s throat. Everyone else is upset because Mommy and Grandmommy are having words.
Runway time! Tituss Burgess and somebody else are guest judges.
The first category is Soup Can Realness:
Aja’s soup is called Sugar Tits and is made of candy. Two things strike me about this. One is more important. 1) AJA DOESN’T WEAR TITS ON THE FUCKING RUNWAY. All season, no tits. Check the tape. This is like unbranding. 2) Sweet? Soup? Aja? No.
Shangela serves caffienated Halleloops. Pretty fun. It’s fish soup. There are several soups that feature fish. I accept the premise. Also: on brand.
Trixie recognizes that creating a flavor profile for your metaphorical soup is unnecessary, and brings us Pep/Abysmal. It’s very Katya’s Krisis Kontrol, in that it acknowledges the darkness that roils beneath the pink surface. I like it! 100% on brand.
Grandma Kennedy’s Pot Licka’ Juice. Phat booty soup. She gets read for doing a grandma thing, but we know that she is very grandmotherly. Not on brand.
Bebe gives us Zaza spicy soup Cameroooooon. On brand!
Ben has a great soup. Cream de la Creme/terminally delightful and winner of literally everything. Again, she’s not hung up on what her soup tastes like, just what it represents. V. on brand.
Disco Queens Eleganza Extravaganza:
Aja is a bouffant blonde in a see through gold outfit. I think it’s pretty! I like it! Hair is not disco but she looks pretty. Oh, also, the queens have a voiceover while they walk. Aja’s is not good.
Shangela comes out in a gold record tinsel disaster with a gold diaper underneath. She makes another fucking Mariah joke in her vo, beating that dead horse to a pulp. When she came out, I actually screamed: I wish Santino was here! Santino would have eaten her for lunch and picked his teeth with her bones for this bullshit. (It’s not often that I’m nostalgic for Santino.)
Trixie dons a pink fantasy jumpsuit and serves all the boooody in the world! I love it. Her vo is actually funny, too, and references Karen from Finance.
Kennedy wears green sequined bodysuit. And that’s all I have to say about that. *Forrest Gump*
Bebe has a blue and black dress.I thought this was ugly but maybe it’s good? I’m confused. This show is gaslighting me re: Bebe. Ross makes a homosexual carwash joke that I enjoy.
Ben wears an orange bodysuit and puff hair. Her vo was maybe the funniest, as it referenced Baby Jessica and her well, my favorite.
Aja: her can was not great, not about her. Aja has a lot of words tonight. She looks good but isn’t disco. She pronounces France Jolie as Francis Jolie, and shrugs it off as a learning experience. She’s rightly read that the wig is from the wrong decade. Ru has words for her, too. This stands out because Ru hasn’t been talking during judging. Ru gives Aja a real talking to, and only gets more words from Aja. Aja should stop it with the words.
Shangela: Ross liked the branding on the Shangie fish soup, but everyone knows that runway is a fucking disaster, plus her face was covered, she’s wearing giant records, it looks crazy, and homemade. Shangela takes the critique with humor, which I respect and stands out after Aja’s parade of excuses.
Trixie: slayed the challenge. Her can worked and she was serving Disco Barbie as well as a narrative about a country girl at Studio 54. Visage is impressed by the construction. Our Trixie is back! Hooray!
Kennedy: grandma soup is dumb and didn’t work. This other person judging likes her look and says she’s regal.
Bebe: Ross liked the peanut soup, to which I say, okay, whatever. Culturally sensitive. Michelle loves this look. Aja is mildly gagged because she helped with the construction.
Ben: great can/on brand. People did not like it, but its just simple, basic and Ross wants 200% all the time or he’s disappointed. Ross is the cutest but he’s also quite mean when he wants to be.
Top: Trixie and Bebe
Safe: Ben and Kennedy
Bottom: Shangie and Aja
This is pretty standard stuff. To be honest, the begging each other for their lives is getting a little old and boring. Shangela is sad and Aja feels like she was murdered. Trixie liked Aja’s runway, but the judges didn’t and Trixie definitely found the can terrible. Ben is struggling with Ross’s critique. Kennedy tells her she wasn’t her usual self. Ben says she is working hard and winning everything, and that she’s tired of deciding things. Kennedy is skeptical. I do think Ben is not comfortable with the elimination powers, and I understand. It seems above one’s pay grade--to sell out your sister for $10,000?
Trixie and Shangela have their sit down, and now Shangela understands how it feels to be in Trixie’s shoes. Trixie reminds us that it is not Rupaul’s Best Friend Race, but that she will be considering the best track record. Trixie also points out that Shangela has perhaps the worst outfit in herstory, and she’s right. Shangela pleads her case and returns to Westeros, and states that she’s built her alliances on mutual respect.
Bebe likes Aja’s look and her potential. Bebe won’t let Aja talk and she can’t plead her case.
Seeing the writing on the wall, Aja feels fear and breaks down.
Lipsync: Diana Ross “The Boss”
Trixie reminds us that she lost a lipsync to Pearl, which is pretty bad. Bebe gives a Diana Ross encore, and it feels like the fix is in. Both girls are pretty good, but Bebe wins. She sends Aja home after talking and talking and crying so much and I’m quite annoyed. Aja is gracious as she leaves, and in the workroom, she’s interrupted by Ru in her Handmaid’s wall. Ru tells her that the day of reckoning is at hand, and Alaska and Chad sneak up on her for murderous purposes, it would seem. Our All Star Queens come to the main stage, and it appears that they captured three eliminated girls. Three come out in handmaid drag with their faces covered, but I’m pretty sure it’s Aja and Chi Chi, with a third queen yet to be determined. What twists await us? Who knows!