HANDICAPPING THE DRAG RACE FANTASY LEAGUE
Greetings, Racers. Here we are, close to the middle of this season of All Stars, and we have to admit, we may have fallen behind in our recapping. The thing is that Ru decided to air this season starting right before the holidays, and while watching it expanded our Grinch-ish hearts by at least three sizes, the scheduling made writing about the show pretty impossible. We had Christmas Cookies to bake (now available on iTunes!) and we spent three days in a coma after Jasmine Masters wore a bag over her head on the Holi-slay spectacular. But we’re back, and I thought I’d kick things off with a look at the All Stars Drag Race fantasy league, who is still standing, and who has been eliminated (and fucked our drag (race fantasy league)).
Jasmine Masters went first, and if you had her on your fantasy team, go home and brush your teeth and your brain.
Second, we lost Farrah Moan. I’m on the record as being very pro-Farrah. I love her! She’s as cute as a sparkly pink button! BUT if you had her on your fantasy team, you dumb as hell. In the second episode, the girls were in teams and had to write verses for some mediocre songs, as well as choreograph a dance number around Stacy Layne Matthews, the original Henny. (I have to confess, I don’t know why SLM is the original Henny. I don’t remember her saying it on her season! And I like her a lot.) Anyway, Farrah was so terrible at dancing and ended up in the bottom with Monique, who was dragged over her inadequate Aaliyah impression. As Valentina said: those pants were an affront to the memory of Aaliyah! Meanwhile, Gia Gunn terrorized Farrah all episode long. It was so bad that the other queens tried to step in. Naomi said, “Don’t poke the Care Bear!” And that’s true--Farrah is obviously Cheer Bear, who was my favorite. Anyway, Valentina and Monet ended up in the top: Valentina for her nip-slipping Selena impression, and Monet for her great rap. The runway was Evening Eleguence, and I want to shout out the two tops. They both went in different directions than most of the queens, who took the prompt to mean mostly SPARKLES. Instead, Valentina wore a beautiful and delicate hydrangea ball gown, and Monet wore a red velvet number and was the most beautiful she’s ever been. Gia actually interrupted Farrah’s begging time to be just a total venomous bitch. Valentina twirled and whirled her way to victory, and sent home her “friend,” Farrah.
I’m sure none of you would put Gia Gunn in your fantasy league, which is good, because next eliminated was said venomous bitch. She’s a Taurus, and that means she can’t let things go, so her “feud” with Farrah amounted to being mad at Farrah for showing up at a bar drunk. Like, bars are filled with drunk people. That’s basically what they are there for. ANYWAY, Gia tried to pump the Farrah drama a little more, and then promptly tangled with Trinity over who was going to do Caitlyn Jenner for the revamped Snatch Game of Love. The girls (ie the producers) egged the drama a bit, and then Gia agreed to do someone else, who I don’t even know who is. A lady? Who does Cardi B’s nails? Listen--I’m an old woman and I barely know who Cardi B is. Don’t ask me to be aware of her support staff, okay? Trinity had already decided that Gia was going to be eliminated, as God was her witness, and so she kicked ass as Caitlyn Jenner and ended up in the top. Also in the top was Manila, who did an impression of Barbara Streisand complete with Butterface prosthetic nose. I mean, this nose was almost a hate crime.
The girls were separated into teams, and Manila had to put up with Gia Gunn’s bullshit. Not putting up with Gia Gunn’s bullshit was Latrice Motherfucking Royale, who had instant Snatch Game PTSD from the romper room fuckery that was her season’s Snatch. Latrice was Della Reese, which okay. I’m old but I’m not that old. Monet did Whitney Houston, with the added gag of her getting progressively sweaty and disheveled as the game went on. This was a terrible choice, and an interesting one. Last regular season, Asia O’Hara was planning on doing Whitney on her Snatch Game, but Ru told her that would be in bad taste. We had no such intervention here. Valentina did Eartha Kitt--which first off, Chi Chi Devayne did in her season, and secondly, what the fuck, and thirdly, the only thing she did was imitate Kitt circa The Emperor’s New Groove and recite her Wikipedia page. This is a real headscratcher of a choice! Naomi did Wendy Williams, who has been done before by Dida Ritz in her season, but she did a fine job. Everyone else was not memorable. Trinity and Manila were tops, and Valentina and Gia were bottoms, with Latrice sort of a secret bottom and Naomi as a secret top. The runway was Boots, which just took me five minutes to remember, because who cares! Backstage, Manila intimated that she that she might send Valentina, the stronger player, home in order to make her rise to the crown easier. But psych! She sent home Gia after winning the lipsync.
With the filler queens gone, we enter into the part of the season where our Fantasy teams choices really start to matter. Trinity, Manila, Monet, Valentina, Monique, and Latrice are on my fantasy team. (Sorry, Naomi!) From here on, every loss has the potential to hurt not just our teams, but our hearts. And last episode was a heartbreaker. The girls were tasked with breaking into two and three person teams, and preparing an improv sketch in Michelle Visage’s Jersey Justice courtroom. If passed performance was an indicator of future success, Valentina would be in bad shape, as an improv challenge and a face mask sent her home the first time. Instead, Valentina does fine as a perennially late stripper named Snookie. Trinity, her scene partner, does not do so well. Naomi and Manila do a makeover gone wrong case, in which both do well. (Although I was uncomfortable of all this “old bitch” talk about someone attending their 20th class reunion. Like, I didn’t go to mine, but also fuck you, show.) Latrice, Monet, and Monique are a baker, baker’s daughter, and disgruntled customer respectively, and Monique is funny. Monet is sort of funny, although she’s hampered by having to come into the scene late. Latrice, however, is not funny. She feels like everyone should respectfully wait their turn to speak and not interrupt. This is a good rule of thumb in actual court, but in fake drag queen court, it is the worst idea. Especially when one is partnered with the loudest of mouths. The comedy comes from being outrageous, not dignified. The scene ends with a cake beatdown, for chrissakes!
Latrice always comports herself with dignity, and that is why we love her. It’s also why she’s done poorly at two Snatch Games now. I challenge you to do the impossible: go back and watch season four’s Snatch. (It’s impossible because season four has been mysteriously plucked from the internet.) Anyway, in season four there was a ton of romper room fuckery from Phi Phi and Jiggly and Lil’ Kenya Michaels, and Latrice basically stopped playing halfway through, in disgust. But check the tapes: Chad Michaels and Dida Ritz are just as affected by the fuckery, and they both still managed to perform. Chad was right next to Kenya’s spasmodic Beyonce, and she won the fucking challenge. Latrice threw up her hands, and she was on the top row, physically separated from the idiots on the bottom row. Similarly, in this season’s Snatch, Manila deals with Gia Gunn, at one point telling her to shut the fuck up, like a pro, whereas Latrice can’t be bothered to stay in character or punch back. In the courtroom scene, neither Monique or Monet are doing Gia Gunn shenanigans, and frankly in a fake court scene, shenanigans are the point. One might say that some fuckery is required.
Alas, Latrice and Monet end up in the bottom after the Curves and Swerves: Padded for the Gods runway. Manila and Monique end up in the top. During begging time, Manila weeps and swears that she will win the lip sync to save Latrice. Monique is less certain--overall, Monet has performed better than Latrice, no matter how beloved Latrice is. Speaking of Latrice the Beloved, Valentina and Trinity have a little talk about why it would be horrible to have to send Latrice home. Trinity asks Valentina if she had to choose between Latrice and Trinity, what would she do, and Valentina looks her dead in the eye and says: “I’d send you home, bitch.” Trinity is shookth.
Monique, though, has the courage of her convictions. She’s not afraid of the fan backlash or the damage she’ll be doing to Fantasy teams and prognosticators alike. Manila and Monique are given Tina Turner’s cover of Elton John’s “The Bitch is Back,” and both look like Tina Turner impersonators on the stage, although Manila is like, bush league Tina. Swirls and twirls and wild hair flicking ensue, and through a miracle of faith and science, Monique keeps her fucking wig on her head for the first time during a lip sync in her life! I have to say, Monique killed it. She was charged up and ready! She wins and Manila bursts into desperate tears as she pulls Latrice from her bosom.
Fantasy teams are shattered in an instant. Latrice Royale, the queen, is sent packing. There will be many negative points delivered by VH1’s computers. But I think that Monique was correct here. Monet didn’t even do that poorly in the challenge (Trinity could have as easily gone in the bottom) and her report card was better overall. While I love Latrice, she’s seemed a bit disconnected this season, and she’s already won Drag Race in a real way. Like Katya and Detox, she’s got a crown that is far more meaningful, one might argue. That doesn’t mean that my fantasy team didn’t get fucked up by this, though!
So who do I have left? I’ve got Trinity, Monique, Monet, Valentina, and Manila. This week is a roast of Lady Bunny, and I feel like Monet is a sureshot. Trinity bombed the roast in her season, and Manila fucked up the stand up routine in hers. I’d argue that both are funny, but does that translate to being funny on cue? Valentina is a mystery: she could be great or beautiful garbage. Monique could be funny, or she could draw glasses on her face like Nina Bonina Brown did during her roast and make me want to die. I keep forgetting that Naomi is on the show, even though she’s doing well. What do you think? How are you going to stack your team? Let me know in the comments, bitch.
We’re definitely in the all killer, no filler part of the season, and every elimination is going to have consequences. ALSO RU SAYS ALL STAR RULES ARE SUSPENDED IN THE PREVIEW AND THAT FUCKS MY GAME UP TOO. Yikes!