Photo: RuPauls Drag Race/YouTube
Precisely what is the idea of RuPauls Secret Celebrity Drag Race? After all, seriously: Could it be to convince the planet that anyone can perform drag, because thats not inherently true, considering folks are getting eliminated. It cant be merely to give money to charity, as you could do this with no a Television show. Its never to introduce the planet to any new drag superstars because, bless Poppy Loves heart, but I doubt shes likely to start doing the Werk the planet circuit any time in the future. The creators of the show might argue that it might just exist to entertain, but are we even that entertained, or are we watching because its Drag Race and we always watch Drag Race, and blah blah blah.
Its definitely not due to the conceit that no-one knows who the celebrities are, because its a lot more obvious in this weeks ep, where the queens are asked to dance their padded asses off. The episode opens with a cavalcade of gyrating shirtless menzes, and RuPaul emerges onto the stage, resplendent in red sequins. She introduces judges Michelle Visage and the hilarious Ross Mathews, and were off to the races with the introduction of the neon-green superqueens, some gags about Polaroids, and Jujubees insufficient dancing skills. The jokes are slightly much better than typical Drag Race fare, that is either because of better writing team (unlikely) or even to the three queens writing their very own bits about how exactly Brooke Lynn Hytes is wearing pants under her dress, that i prefer to think is really a wink-wink mention of the well-known proven fact that Ru typically wears sweatpants and flip-flops behind the Drag Race judging table.
In any event, were directly into production on Chic-Li-Fays number, Jennifer Lopezs On to the floor, which Chic says is pushing her to understand who she actually is. Its an excellent point, because thats one of the primary downfalls of Secret Celebrity: Drag queens arent nearly their looks. Thats not why we love them. Theyre about entire personas, characters, gags, turns of phrase. Its a complete new person, in ways, or an increased version of the individual in the makeup, and Im not entirely sure these celebs have really figured that out yet, save maybe Donna Bellissima, would you appear to have a company handle on her behalf whole sassy, big, Italian kook angle.
Chic-Li-Fay saunters onto the stage in a Jennifer Aydinesque look that I believe, frankly, makes her look just a little more than she happens to be. She makes funny faces and does a fairly good dance, and I’d have pegged her as a worthy winner if the episode had ended there. Nonetheless it doesnt, and Chic is told that, while she might think shes a comedy queen, shes actually a performance queen who just happens to truly have a great love of life. The judges also notice that this degree of sexy is not used to you, though Ross applauds her confidence.
Electra Owl can be no stranger to confidence. In her mystery confessional, she says shes fighting lip syncing however, not actually singing and performing, which appears like bullshit because she actually is performing. Also, couldnt she just actually sing, or is that not big enough? I’d argue that she just thinks what she does for a lifetime career (sing) is somehow much better than what drag queens typically do, also it drives me crazy. Lets just say Electra Owl is not any Trixie Mattel or Jinkx Monsoon. Shes not Lady Bunny. (Har-har.)
Electra Owls performance of Last Dance is okay, but really, shes not bringing it in the dance department. She just about just parks in the center of the stage, moves her arms, and lets the people slowly move her around, that is basically what she did the other day. Everything seems about one-tenth of another too slow, and I still dont look after her makeup gimmick, that is these kinds of feather-lash things glued around her eyes as maybe some type of owl reference? No offense to the specific celebrity in the Electra Owl getup, but I’d argue that the majority of the viewers wouldnt necessarily know who she actually is anyway simply by her face, therefore i dont think they have to go whole hog with regards to the disguise.
Many readers and DM all-stars hit me around i want to know whos inside Thirsty Von Traps getup, so thank you to everyone for that. Shes by using this weeks performance as a lesson in self-confidence that I understand will there be but I dont reach exercise out of drag, and her modern Saturday Night Fever version of Dua Lipas does get her partially there. I dont think it’s great, and not simply because Id rather watch Trinity K. Bonet or Laganja Estranja. I buy into the judges that she seems only a touch too timid for how hot she actually is and how good a dancer. I would like to see Thirsty own the stage, and shes not there yet.
Milli Von Sunshine, however, ate up Dancing by myself. Backstage, we see her pay tribute to Jujubee and Ravens iconic version of exactly the same track, and Milli decides shes likely to approach the song with an identical sort of narrative approach. She says she just got married, which checks out with this guesses about who Milli is, and eventually ends up submiting a performance thats equal parts comedic and emotional. Ru appears to think its more the former, given just how much she laughs, but which could you need to be because she loved the husband dancers performance so much she called him out by name. (Shout-out to Ru for knowing the dancers names however, not Jinkx Monsoons.)
Here’s where I’ll mention that I still hate, hate, hate, hate, hate Millis makeup, with her overdrawn lip mustache thing, however the team should be choosing something within her aesthetic that I simply don’t get. I’d love it should they allow secret celebs explain their looks someday, because at this time it just feels as though the team said this is exactly what I will wear, therefore i did, but thats hopefully not it. Right?
It can look like Jackie Would has already established some say in her look, which Jujubee calls slutty drunk aunt. She admittedly knows nothing about choreographed dancing, but she applies to it in a bubblegum workout number to Technotronics INCREASE the Jam. Its just a little Electra Owl in its stand in a single place and move your arms, but at the very least she brings a little bit of personality to it. She did the right prop work, though I wish shed incorporated those step-aerobics steps prior to the very end. Michelle says her whole thing was a headband from Jackie Stallone, and lauds her usage of the sprinkler, that you so rarely see on a drag stage.
Chakra 7 says that while last weeks Chaka Khan number was about being fierce, this weeks Whitney Houston bop is about having a great time. Its clear that she loves I Wanna Dance With Somebody, which she says was her first favorite song. (Again, syncing with this guesses about her identity, given her age.) I believe she missed some lyrics, but she appears to have done sufficiently to possess missed underneath. It could not be sufficient in several episodes, but also for this week, it really is. Ross also tells Ru he sees Liv Lux Miyake-Mugler in Chakras big smile and confidence, which seems apt.
Donna Bellissimas performance of Rosemary Clooneys Mambo Italiano is filled with comedy and kitten heels, which Donna seems a little concerned about. Because shes a more impressive queen, she cant wear the spike pumps another gals can, but shes attempting to sort out it. She incorporates a shoe removal and incredibly wide wine barrel into her routine, that i liked the thought of but was sort of underwhelmed by in execution. (I’d have loved to see some kind of raised actual barrel or something.) Still, her performance is fun, well acted, and charismatic, and she says she feels invincible, which rules.
Talking about invincible: Poppy Love. She pulls her second win in a row this week having an absolutely stunning performance of Show Me THE METHOD THAT YOU Burlesque by Christina Aguilera. While I’d still bet actual money the individual behind Poppy couldnt tell me succinctly who Poppy actually is as a character, it doesnt 100 percent matter, because see your face and Poppy by association is really a mothertuckin performer. While the other day it appeared like she was still just a little unsteady on her behalf heels, this week Poppy is bringing her decades of dancing to the level. Poppy says his performance is really a tribute to his daughters, who love the movie Burlesque, and Ru jokes that theyll probably involve some questions about Daddy and his pasties, but thats okay. (For the record, Poppys daughters appear to be about 10 and 5, that is not what I expected when it comes to watching Burlesque, but I wont challenge another parents choices.) The queens supreme give her a standing O, and honestly, Poppys performance was so excellent that I’d even watch it again, that i think says something, so excellent job, Poppy.
Ultimately, its Thirsty versus Electra in underneath two, and theyre charged with tackling Rihannas Shut Up and Drive. Theres part of me that wonders if the queens got lip-sync dance camp, because I really do think Thirsty has some moves that a lot of non-queens would, just like the whole boot scoot over the floor thing, but I dont actually know the solution to that. In any event, Thirsty can dance and Electra appears to just be in a position to walk around, so she’s to fly away. No money for the mystery charity, Electra. Now youll have to sing and perform for this instead.
Im not likely to run-down my set of who I believe many people are again, but I’ll say that Im a lot more convinced that Im right in my own initial guesses, that you can find in the premiere recaps notes, apart from Thirsty, who readers rightfully called out as Mark Indelicato from Ugly Betty and Hacks.
There have been some truly enormous wigs with this weeks ep, from Thirstys Gina Liano swoop to Chakras mega-Whitney. Like Ru, I’d love to understand how many wigs were in those stacks, because those were some statement pieces.
Why was Milli wearing an Elvis outfit? After all Vegas, weddings, etc., but does the bride usually do Elvis? I didnt mind it, nonetheless it was still odd rather than really embellished enough to learn full Elvis either.
Its funny how they shoot the trick celebrities from the trunk in the mirror but obscure their faces. If they actually suggest to them working, though, or speaking with the queen supremes, when you have any kind of guess about who they’re, its very, very obvious especially considering [SPOILER ALERT] Thom Filicia, AJ McLean, and Danny Franzese.
RuPauls Secret Celebrity Drag Race Recap: Dance Off