As if “RuPaul’s Drag Race” couldn’t appeal any further to the homosexual demographic, in this week’s episode the queens were challenged with putting on a musical, “Shade: The Rusical” to be exact. And the episode lived up to its title with more shade thrown around than wigs in the work room.
The mini-challenge was kind of a take on the “Fashion Police” segment where you see close-ups of photos and have to decide whether it’s a hooker or an E! fixture selling her body for a spot on a tabloid. Only with the “Drag Race” version it was, “Female or Shemale,” with photos of everybody from Tan Mom to Michelle Visage (Darienne Lake thought Michelle was a man. . .ouch).
The winners of the challenge were BenDeLaCreme and Adore Delano so they got to pick teams for the next challenge: putting on one of two parts in “Shade: the Rusical.”
Although BenDeLaCreme had six actual team members, it was almost like eight, since he was tasked with working with Gia Gunn’s grating voice and Trinity’s chip on her shoulder. On the other hand, he enlisted the secret weapon of Courtney Act to play the lead role of “Good Penny,” since Ms. Act was on Australia’s equivalent of “American Idol” (in fact, she was rejected as a man, and then showed up the next day as a woman, and got through to the next round!).
On the other team, Adore DeLano worked on the “Black Swan” section of “Shade: The Rusical,” casting herself as “Bad Penny.” After seeing both Courtney and Adore belt it out in the work room, the tension between the duo was quickly dubbed, “The Battle of the Idols,” since Adore, too, was on “American Idol” (but some people weren’t liking it!t). In fact, Adore threw some extra shade at “American Idol” producers, saying that they told her to tone down her gayness – this from a show that launched Clay Aiken’s career.
Similar to last week’s episode, Trinity was difficult to work with when it came to learning choreography from music producer and guest judge Lucian Piane and his sister Denise. Last week, acting wasn’t her thing. This week, it was singing. (Seriously, do NONE of these queens know what to expect from this show?)
Everyone knows that reality TV skews profiles of people, but it’s questionable whether Trinity is or isn’t a bumbling idiot. The same can be said for Gia Gunn, who had to have a fart joke explained to her. Despite Team Ben’s problems, they were still better than Adore Delano’s group, probably because of Courtney Act, who could probably play Elle Woods on Broadway.
For the runway presentation, the theme was Tony Awards glamour, with “Dreamgirls” Sheryl Lee Ralph serving as a guest judge along with Piane. Standout looks included Courtney Act, who looked like something straight out of Candy Land: The Musical and BenDeLaCreme who rocked a big bow like Nicole Kidman and Emma Stone. Adore Delano looked like a wayward teenager, with a dress that fell just around her ankles and that needed combat boots to complete the look of stubborn obliviousness.
The winner of the challenge and runway presentation was Courtney Act, and rightfully so, although the best supporting players included BenDeLaCreme and Adore Delano. Gia, Milk, Laganja, Joslyn Fox, Darienne Lake, and Bianca Del Rio were all deemed safe, leaving the lip sync for your life down to April Carrion and Trinity K. Bonet.
As it turned out, Trinity was right. She wasn’t good at acting or singing, but she was good at lip syncing, channeling the late Whitney Houston in her performance of Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman” versus April. Even the chilliest queen had to be warmed by the presentation, which sent April packing to “Keep Calm and Carrion.”
Shade of the Week: “Now she’s kinda grown on me. Like a rash.” – Bianca, on Gia Gunn,
“If Fran Drescher got steam-rolled by a dying duck.” – Darienne Lake, on Gia Gunn’s voice
Best Ru puns: “Breast Side Story” and “Book of Moron”