Spoilers ahead, etc… you know the drill by now, I’d hope!
We see the queens return to the workroom, to see Jade Jolie’s farewell note on the mirror – something about the Season of the Fish. Yawn… Queens congratulate Ivy on her victory, and Jinkx compliments Ivy’s gorgeous look (and she looked good!) but the other queens read some sort of shade into Jinkx commentary – can’t a queen just be sincere about anything? Is that SO impossible?
But, first we see the breakup of RoLaskaTox… Alaska, via Michelle’s stern warning the episode prior, realizes that remaining in this drag confederation means potential drama in her future. She’s gotta set herself apart from the pack, and create her own existence. If Detox and Roxxxy are smart, they’ll get on board too… but Alyssa’s loving the demise of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Shade just a little too much.
Seven remain, and the mini-challenge is the much feared and much loved Reading Lesson, a challenge that forces a queen’s humor and improv skills — you know, skills that most drag queens use every day… well, I guess pageant girls don’t really have to do a lot of talking and such.
The reads begin, and Jinkx and Alaska emerge as the strongest. Detox isn’t too bad, but her jokes are a little too easy. Roxxxy seems to be laughing at her own awkwardly poetic reads (i’m sure she’s been practicing), Coco’s are too simple, Alyssa just seems mean-spirited, although her “Hill’s Have Eyes” reference is pretty funny. Alaska emerges as the winner, and deservedly so.
The main challenge? A roast of RuPaul – this seems to be an evolution of the Stand Up Comedy challenge, but the queens aren’t on their own, they get the help of Nadya Ginsburg, Deven Green (Betty Bowers, Welcome to my home…) and Hollywood’s longtime go-to jokesmith Bruce Villanch.
Alaska, as winner of the mini-challenge, works out the order that the girls are going to be performing. Then she does the unthinkable and takes the opening spot… being the opener sets the tone for the whole show, and that can be either an amazing way to go out there, blow the doors off the place, and spike the mic as if to say “Follow that bitches!” Or, it’s the way to die on stage a thousand times.
In the work room, Alyssa can’t even handle her own funny, which apparently is non-existent, while the other girls struggle to put words on paper. Fortunately, the gorgeous Michelle Visage comes into the room to help the queens get their shit together. She’s rough on them, but that’s a good thing – these girls are gonna have to bring it hard, if they wanna survive this. Alyssa really doesn’t seem to be able to discern between a joke and a read. This is gonna be a problem for a bunch of them, I think.
On to coaching with Nadya, Deven and Bruce (Bruce! The wig, honey, seriously…) Jinkx seems to be off her game a bit (creative editing much?), Ivy and Alaska are hurting a bit, but Coco might have something going (which could be her vindication after a colossal fail at Snatch Game), and Alyssa is still laughing at her own terrible terrible jokes. At this point in the season, we can almost guess who’s gonna flop and who’s gonna fly.
Back in the workroom, the girls are coming for Jinkx because she’s having a sincere moment of self-doubt. Jinkx’s only crime was to share her insecurity. NEVER SHARE THAT GIRL! The worst part of that conversation just made Roxxxy look dumber that she already looked.
Judges are introduced – first Lesley Jordan (whom I ADORE!) and that guy from Absolut… no idea why. Maybe it’s part of the sponsorship deal that he gets to judge an episode… whatever, he isn’t funny or interesting.
The Roast of RuPaul begins! Alaska opens pretty strong. I gotta give it to her. Roxxxy’s timing is painfully off… ouch. Everyone at our viewing was cringing, and going fetal out of discomfort. Coco, who declared herself to not be a comedian, turns it out with a Shangela-grade comedy act. Jinkx destroys, natch. Ivy is awkward, but it’s Alyssa that can clear a room… we’re all in pain.The editors clearly spent a lot of time making a point here… damn. Detox flails, and drops a lot of F bombs, but certainly wasn’t the worst thing up there.
Judging commences… this is gonna be rough.
They like Alaska, but say she could have gone bigger – agreed, she was on the road to slamming that mic, but she played like a nice host, and let the others own it. Lesley LOVES Jinkx,and Michelle LOVES Jinkx’s look!!! Jesus, about time!
Detox gets called out for her timing and F-Bombs. Alyssa gets destroyed in judgement, and Coco is lauded with praise… nice. She really deserved it, and did a really brilliant job. Roxxxy, of course, is clearly on the bottom.
The winner? Coco. Jinkx is second, naturally. She really could have won, but Coco appeared to be just that tiny bit better.
On the bottom? Alyssa and Roxxxy. Shit’s gettin’ real now! It’s at that point in the show where there is clearly no dead weight remaining, and people can get cut for any little mis-step. But after a damned good lip-sync to Willow Smith’s hideous earworm “Whip My Hair”, then Roxxxy breaks the fuck down. Later we learn in the UNTUCKED through a conversation about fucked up families that started with Jinkx sharing her own dramatic upbringing, Roxxxy shares that as a child he was left with his sister at a bus stop by his mother, and as a result spends her life perpetually holding a sense of abandonment.
Seemingly moved by this story, Ru decides that both Alyssa and Roxxxy get to live to see another week – that lip sync was pretty damned intense, and neither one really seemed to fail. Whether Roxxxy used that story for crocodile tears is unknown, but it sure makes damned good TV.