“It’s me, BenDeLaCreme! I’m back!” said Michelle Visage at the beginning of the “Sissy That Walk” episode.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the real DeLa, much to the chagrin of many “Drag Race” fans, who took to Twitter last week to vent (we were on suicide watch). In terms of favorites, BenDeLaCreme was the great sickening hope of this season. Maybe it was because she had an uncanny resemblance to Michelle Visage. Maybe it was the way she shed campy fake tears as the mother of the bride at the drag weddings a few weeks ago. Whatever the reason, DeLa should be in the top four.
But the show must go on, and on it did this week, with the four queens tasked to appear in Ru’s “Sissy That Walk” music video. Involved in the challenge: two dramatic scenes with Ru, dancing, and one final runway presentation. And at this point in the game, it’s getting down to the nitty gritty.
“She was wearing a white tutu with some sparkles on it,” said Courtney on Adore, in a tone as high-pitched as Stewie Griffin asking about Brian’s novel on “Family Guy.” (Looks like Courtney, too, was wondering how Adore had gotten so far.)
Usually in the season finale of Drag Race, the queens are asked participate in one of RuPaul’s videos. This way RuPaul can work closely with the remaining queens and won’t have to pay actors in the process. For “Sissy That Walk” (“a timeless tale of an innocent girl who sells who soul to become Sissy, International Super Model of the World!”—didn’t Merchant-Ivory do that story?), the four remaining queens must work with world-renowned choreographer Jamal Simms on their sissy-ography.
Hold everything. First of all, doesn’t world-renowned mean famous all over this world? Secondly, making up words to satisfy the qualifications of a drag queen-themed challenge is one thing (a welcome, comforting thing for RDR), but this is getting out of hand (Joey was just mad, because Sissy-ography was the name of his memoir).
If there was ever a Ru-is-Oprah episode, this one was it. Every season at this point in the series, she invites each queen to dinner (which usually consists of one jelly bean) and pushes their buttons until they cry. (It’s wonderful.) And this year wasn’t any different. Adore revealed she was close to her mother, but not her father (tears). Darienne Lake was made fun of in school (more tears). Courtney Act was born without dimension (she didn’t realize she should probably cry here).
When it came to the dancing portion of the “Sissy That Walk” video, Adore draped herself in what Sigourney Weaver wore when she was taken over by Zuul and Gozer in the first Ghostbusters. (Sigourney Weaver isn’t dead, but when she does expire, this will retroactively cause her to spin in her grave). When it came time for the queens to consider outfits for their final runway presentation, it became a drag queen measuring contest. Bianca pulled out a hood (dear God, yes, wear it!), but then Courtney brought out her Priscilla Queen of the Desert hair, plastic and sparkly. It looked as if she ripped it right off of Hugo Weaving’s head—or Cindy Lou Who. Poor Adore didn’t have anything as extravagant—cut to Adore’s confessional where she explained that the next drag superstar should be able to wear a plastic bag and get noticed. She probably said this because the only outfit she had left was a Publix plastic bag.
As a part of this week’s main challenge, the ladies filmed two scenes with Ru. One, the quintessential slap-fest scene (a show staple) during a photog session. Two, a dramatic one, with Ru dressed as a 1970s swinger in a polyester suit.
RuPaul did her best Austin Powers in the photo session scene. Sporting an eyepatch, RuPaul played a bored photographer who tortures the queens’ ingénue version of Sissy. He barked ridiculous orders at them to the point where Sissy would break down and slap him repeatedly (or in Courtney’s case, about 30 times). This acting challenge is always hysterical year after year, but kudos to Ru for taking it over the edge, and then dragging these bitches back up for more! The directions he screamed at these girls were INSANE: “Pose! Be sexy! Super sexy! Back to basic sexy! Glamour! Gimme expensive mall glamour! Mall of America! Do the Cabbage Patch!” Repeated viewings are required.
“Are you a hungry baby?” he said to Bianca Del Rio, who was sucking her thumb. Ru then demanded Bianca to be “People Magazine’s Sexiest Baby Alive” while spanking herself.
Each session ended with the queens shouting, “You’ve pushed me too far!” and becoming overcome with emotion. Highlight: Courtney Act barking like a dog and then doing her impression of Snoop Dogg, all in the same breath. Then, a corndog…and just a regular hot dog.
Then came the 1970s scene with Ru. If you thought the unnecessary drama of the photog session was just too much, Ru turned up the illogical theatrics from Chace Crawford to Joan Crawford. Ru was dressed like a back-alley, skeezy pimp, complete with a polyester suit and stucco stubble. Each of the queens were dressed in a big, colorful caftan, and they had to portray a woman “on the verge” opposite Charles (you know…RuPaul), “a man Sissy once loved.” Adore was serving a bit of Sharon Stone in Casino realness while we kept our fingers crossed for Courtney Act to show us some Sharon Tate caftan couture. While Adore played it kind of straight (well…you know…), Darienne went big. When you’re an actor, you are told that you should go far and let the director pull you back. Darienne ran cross country on this part of the challenge. When Charles left Darienne, her Sissy thrashed all over the floor, and Charles actually came back into the scene (the reactions from Ru backstage were great).
For the queens’ final runway look, Adore donned a sparkly dress that made her literally look fishy—as in she had fish gills on her. Somehow, it worked. Bianca sported red hair and a cerulean (“That’s all…”) blue dress, as did Darienne Lake (bitch stole her look). Meanwhile, Courtney Act came out with legs for days in her little gold dress and a face fit for magazine covers (Santino even told her she could do a Playboy spread) She has to be the fishiest queen of all time.
Remember when Ru asked the queens on the runway last week who should be eliminated, and everyone said Darienne? This week, Ru wanted to hear from the queens again, but she wanted to know why they should be crowned America’s Next Drag Superstar. Adore answered in her true 23-year-old fashion: “These girls are all stars, but I’m America’s Next Drag Superstar. I’m already a winner but the crown would complete this outfit.” Bianca launched into a touching speech that this journey was magical and life-changing, and she explained the wall she built for herself has been taken down. Courtney, on the other hand, decided to remind us that she is already a huge drag sensation in Australia, but she wants to continue that in America. (Does anyone else think that sounds like a guaranteed plane ticket home?) Darienne rounded things out by pointing out how she’s better than her fellow contestants: “Courtney Act. What a dish…but this dish needs a little salt.”
“Final game of the World Series…of drag,” said Darienne, describing the final lip sync and simultaneously eliminating any possibility of wider demographics.
Just like WWE’s Royal Rumble pits wrestlers against each other in the ring, the final lip sync included four queens strutting their stuff on a stage meant for two. If you thought the lip syncs from season 4 and 5 were insane with three queens, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet, girl. It was madness. We’ve never seen Courtney or Bianca perform before, so they had a lot to compete against with champion lip sync-ers Adore and Darienne. They sashayed! They strutted! They crawled! They covered every inch of that stage to the point that it was unclear who Ru was going to eliminate.
Unfortunately, Darienne Lake was the casualty, probably for her casualness last week on the runway (what was she thinking with her Banji look?). She compared getting that close to making it to the Wizard of Oz but leaving empty-handed.
We have our final three! Bianca del Rio. Courtney Act. Adore Delano. Who do you want to see crowned America’s Next Drag Superstar?