One more queen gone and we’re down to the hateful eight. Trinity’s our Kurt Russell. Nina’s our Samuel L. Jackson. The rest of them are whoever else is in that movie. This week gets kicking quick, because…
1. Reading Is Fundamental!
We begin with our reading challenge, in which the queens must “read” one another. And what *is* reading exactly? Well, you know how when you read a book , you only notice the things you can mock about it, usually concerning its weight/race/lack of wealth? Thaaaaat’s reading!!! Fun!!! Drag queens are nothing if they aren’t not nice.
2. Alexis Reads The Queens
For her reads, Alexis tells Farrah she’s a whore and makes fun of Shea’s teeth, all in the cadence of a joke, if not filled with actual ‘joke’ content. Here, we see her returning her glasses back to Ru, filled with glee. ‘That felt fun!’ she proclaims! What joy she got from highlighting her friends flaws! And now, as a study in contrast:
3. Alexis Gets Read
And here she is, having been told by Farrah that Pillsbury called and they want their rolls back, which is technically a joke, but barely. Later, she confronts the queens. Alexis would have preferred they not make fun of body image, seemingly forgetting that she mocked Shea’s grill and teeth are also part of the body. There’s been a lot of cognitive dissonance in Alexis all season, so her dish-it-but-can’t-take-it attitude is not at all surprising. But considering that this week’s maxi-challenge, a fucking roast, is going to be much of the same…shit does not bode well for Ms. Michelle.
4. The Queens Prepare
Every season, there’s a comedy challenge, which means the workroom prep segment becomes *very* compelling theater wherein we just watch the queens sit there and look at pads of paper. It’s like an Annie Baker play, though honestly maybe more things happen. Ru checks in with a few of the queens and thankfully confronts Alexis over her thin skin while giving a few pointers to Farrah on how to roast someone and not just be mean. “I’m so bad at this” Farrah replies. FORESHADOWING!!!!!!11!!
5. The Roast of Michelle Visage
Ru’s flipped the script by making Michelle Visage the roast subject without telling her which is one of those moments where you’re like ‘okay, I guess y'all really ARE friends because that feels like something you should warn a gal about.’ Can I just say, though, that Michelle looks gorg in this ep. I love her beat, I love her collar, I love her earrings. Okay, now let’s get to making fun of her intelligence/talents/sexual activities!
6. Shea Coulee
First off, that decal is so busted. But then again, of COURSE the Roast of Michelle Visage would have a dais covered in some Kinkos cardstock looking nonsense. Shea opens up and does just fine, with a ‘to us, you’re a shero, to gonorrhea clinics, you’re patient zero’ line that’s got both humor and a lovely musicality. I give her a B+.
7. Sasha Velour
Sasha’s up next and she exceeds expectations big time. Like in Snatch Game, her wind ups can be a bit long, but she closes with a run of Jersey jokes that truly made me lulz. And this look! It’s fabulous! Like an art deco Grace Jones. I give Sasha an A!
Valentina’s set goes…alright. She’s certainly got an affect, and a couple of her lines are looney in a ‘I don’t know if you know what’s funny here but still…’ kind of way. But gosh, it’s hard to see someone roast Michelle for how busted she looks while looking like this. I know she’s going for a ‘Jersey’ look, but hooo boy, she ended up looking like John Bonham. I give her a B-minus.
9. Trinity Taylor
And here’s where it gets messy! Trinity’s got the character down and is serving full-on Daisy Duke Gone Wrong, but she doesn’t really have the jokes to back it up. Often times, these challenges end up feeling like your 4-year-old niece who just learned the rhythm of a joke, and so makes her voice fall in all the right places, but she mostly just wants to say “butt.” Trinity certainly falls in this category, literally ending with a poop joke, and this set gets away from her, much like a greased watermelon or a mud-slick pig or a handful of sopping wet barbecue. She gets a C.
10. Farrah Moan
Hoo Lord, and the hits keep coming! After being concerned in the workroom that she didn’t want to be mean, Farrah comes out swinging with a bunch of straight up slams of Michelle Visage’s career. It’s ugly. At one point, Farrah looks down at her cards and sighs and ya just wish she’d have leaned into that moment, ripped up the cards and said ‘you know what, nevermind’ then climbed off the stage and sat in a darkened corner criss-cross-apple-sauce. Because that would have been a better look for her than all the shade she slung in this set. I give her a D-minus.
Peppermint immediately gets a huge pop by just thanking Farrah Moan for her ‘performance’ then is off to the g-damn races. She’s got actual jokes and delivers them effervescently, all while looking fucking snatched! This is one of my favorite Peppermint looks. That side-cocked wig, those jewels, those tits smashed for the gods! I give Peppermint a big fat A-plus!
12. Nina Bonina Brown
Nina also goes the character route, but this one has some charm. Drawing her glasses on is already two times funnier than Farrah Moan’s whole set, so Miss Bonina Brown gets a B.
13. Alexis Michelle
Oh no. Oh no oh no oh no what is this oh NO. Why why why the green and the hoops and the frock and the PADS I CAN’T TAKE MY EYES OFF THE PADS WHY DIDN’T SHE BLEND OR TRIM OR JUST THROW AWAY THE PADS. If the episode opened with the hypothesis of ‘Alexis Michelle doesn’t really have a sense of humor,’ this set provides all the evidence. It’s cringe-worthy, it’s crickets, she bombs, etc. And she seems to know it, full of long pauses and self-effacing chuckles. It’s very hard to watch and as the spoiled icing on this shit cake, she does a terrible Jersey accent. I give her an F just because of how big of a swing-and-a-miss it is. She obviously winds up in the Bottom Two with Miss Farrah Moan. In my mind, either could go home here…
14. But Then Alexis Does This
Not pictured: the runway-length running start that lead into this sliding split.
15. Which Makes Ru Do This
And thus, it’s settled. Farrah Moan goes home. Farrah’s not without her charm, but I think she’s shown us all she can do in this competition. Alexis lives on, though she’s on real fucking thin ice, in my book, which is a big fat ugly poor book. Remember? Remember my earlier joke about reading? Okay, that’s all the fun for now. ‘Til next week!