RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 8, Episode 2 Recap

 

Hello, clown hookers!

Welcome back to my RuPaul’s Drag Race recap! My apologies for missing week one- Naysha Lopez’s lip sync screwed up the traffic controller at the San Diego airport, so my flight was delayed leaving me stranded in California! Either way, I’m back and ready to tackle episode 2 of Season 8!

This episode started with the manufactured shade we’ve come to expect from RPDR. Naomi, who had absolutely no problem with Laila throwing her under the bus during Untucked, confronts her in the workroom for screen-time. Nothing comes of the watered down rehash of Pearl v. Sasha, but it does serve as a mildly entertaining intro sequence.

Our theme for the week was “RuPaul: Available on iTunes”, which was evident from the fact that both challenges had the queens performing songs by Mama Ru. The mini challenge was a dance off that our two favorite twirlers Cynthia and Chi Chi easily won (although props to Thorgy and her Frida Kahlo realness!) As the winners, the two were appointed the team captains of Bitch Perfect, an a capella movie  sing-off extravaganza. RuPaul also introduced to the queens the Shade Tree, a former janitor’s closet turned Big Brother style confessional room. The addition of the Shade Tree feels a bit unneeded given the queens already have talking heads, but at the very least we can hear their current thoughts on the challenges and not solely have to rely on Frankenbite commentary.

Drama quickly erupts between the members of team Chi Chi as Acid Betty vies for group control. It’s clear that Acid Betty will be the early season villain; even her long time friend Thorgy thinks she’s the Devil incarnate! My guess is that Betty will be more of a Willam style instigator and that Derek is waiting in the wings to take her rightful place as the bitch people will cyber bully mercilessly. Chi Chi tries to stay in control, but her lax leadership style and inability to collaborate leave her teammates Thorgy, Acid Betty, and Dax feeling directionless and bitter. Side note: in her .5 seconds of screen time Dax fails to pick up on the choreography.

Cynthia’s team is a little more put together, but Laila and Kim are both hot messes. Laila expresses her fear of blending into the background (which she does), and Kim struggles with her Sasquatch strut and two left feet. Kim’s low self-esteem works in her favor though and easily gains her the sympathy of both competitors and fans alike. Who doesn’t like an Anime High Fashion Underdog Virgin?

Overall, both teams deliver! The musical medley is fun and high energy! Thorgy, Kim, and Acid Betty serve comedy, and Chi Chi’s dancing slays all the hoes! Both Laila and Dax fade into the background, and everyone else is entertaining but relatively unmemorable. My only criticism of the routine is that it is yet another comedy challenge built upon ugly black stereotypes. Mama Ru, you can do better!

The runway theme is Hollywood Glamour…or something like that. Here is the breakdown of the runway fashion:

Laila: FUGLY neon dress

Dax: You know those old timey two-in-one reversible dolls? Imagine that but even more Amish.

Thorgy: Studio 54 camp queen realness.

Derek: Fun fact: her forehead doubles as a landing strip.

Chi Chi: Glamour on a budget.

Bob: Butch Blue Ivy

Cynthia: NEXT.

Naomi: #legz4dayz

Kim: Cherry blossom beauty

Acid Betty: Sci-fi Marie Antoinette

Robbie: Better dressed, but still less appealing Jinkx Monsoon #shepaid40Kforthatdressdarling

The win for this week obviously goes to Chi Chi for her incredible dancing abilities, much to Acid Betty’s dismay! Kim, Laila, and Dax end up in the bottom. Kim is criticized for her runway walk, but her fashion sense saves her from lip syncing. Laila and Dax, unfortunately, are forced to duke it off to “I Will Survive.” It’s clear from the beginning that neither of the girls possess the fire needed to perform the song properly, which results in a rather stiff lip sync. Rightfully so, RuPaul decides to eliminate both queens. Laila and Dax are both interesting queens, but in a season full of strong personalities and bold fashion vixens they failed to stand out. The episode ends on an even more shocking note when Ru calls what appears to be a past competitor and invites them to join the season 8 cast. Who could it be? Is it possible Raven will get the opportunity to come in second place a third time?  Maybe Trixie will get to be eliminated yet again. Or maybe the queen of all seasons Alisa Summers will come back and take what is rightfully hers. Only time will tell, hennies….

RANKINGS

Kim Chi: Sasquatch strut aside, Kim Chi is the most balanced of all the competitors. She’s stunning, goofy, and has the sweet nature and underdog approach needed to win both the judges and fans alike. If she can just figure out how to walk like a human she’ll be unstoppable.

Thorgy Thor: Thorgy is like the perfect blend of previous comedy queens. She’s kind, goofy, stylish, and captivating. If she doesn’t end up in the Top 3, she’s taking home Miss Congeniality for sure! The only downside may be her inability to offer the variety and vulnerability the judges demand from comedy queens.

Bob The Drag Queen: There’s no denying that Bob has star quality. She’s bold, beautiful, and hilarious as hell. For some reason, however, she’s yet to really stick out in the challenges. She’s a bit like the Detox of Season 8: fiercely talented, but somehow under-delivering. Only time will tell if her performances can match her unbridled confidence.

Acid Betty: Acid Betty is one of the most creative queens to hit the runway of Drag Race. She’s also a much better actor than one would expect. The main issue with her is that she’s rotten to the core. If she won, she’d be the first ever cunt with C.U.N.T. It’s possible that they may give her a Violet style edit, but my guess is that she’ll get her comeuppance.

Chi Chi Devayne: Chi Chi is a top amongst bottoms! She may not look the best, but she has unparalleled talent. Girl can really dance! She’s also a sweetheart with a sense of humor and that southern charm may do her well in the competition.

Naomi Smalls: Naomi is a stunning queen with an incredible body. She’s also not the worst actress of the bunch. The problem is that she seems to be relying on her beauty to get her through the competition. Both of the outfits she’s worn so far have been lackluster, and she simply does not have the charisma other queens possess. I have high hopes for this girl, but she’s got to start showing us that she’s more than just legs and an asshole.

Robbie Turner: Robbie got relatively no screen time in this episode, which made her disappear into the background. It seems that without the confessionals there isn’t much to her. She’s not a glamazon like Naomi, or as bold as Bob and Thorgy, and her style is hard to differentiate from Jinkx Monsoon. She’s good enough to Top 7 or 8, but it’s unclear whether or not she’s capable of snatching the crown.

Derrick Barry: To an extent, I feel bad that the fandom has decided Derrick is the queen to hate this season. With that being said, she has been kind of a condescending hooker to everyone. It’s admirable that she tried to serve us something other than Britney tonight, but unfortunately the look she served was tore up from the floor up. She needs to work bitch if she wants to get anywhere near the Top 5.

Cynthia Lee Fontaine: Cynthia is goofy and incredibly sweet, but she’s fading further into the background with each passing moment. Her fashion is tired, her performances are unmemorable, and given how little we saw of her in the super trailer, I’m guessing she’s about to say “adios!”

Dax Exclamation: Poor Dax is the Kandie Who of this season! She had absolutely no screen time. Her cosplay style was unique, but she was never given an opportunity to show it off. In the end, her introspective personality and reservations screwed her over.

Laila McQueen: Laila was an artistic queen who just wasn’t ready to be on drag race. She’s funny and relatable, but she lacked the stage presence and experience of her mighty competitors. The fandom really seems to like her though so let’s hope she is able to take advantage of the exposure and step her pussy up. Laila, for future reference NEVER take off your heels or dress during a lip sync.

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