In this weeks episode of RuPaul’s DragRace, the ladies had to put their comedic skills to the test, by roasting the head mother of them all… RuPaul! The show began with a mini challenge in which they “visit the library” (#ReadingIsFundamental). In this exercise, the contestants are told to wear a pair of special glasses, read their competitors, then display their feelings about them. This is done in a sort of comedic way, so no one took anything personal. In the end, Alaska won the challenge, leaving her in charge of choosing the order for the RuPaul Roast, which is the main challenge of this episode.
In the midst of getting ready for the main challenge, Michelle Visage comes through in the clutch to help the ladies prepare their jokes for the roast. At first it’s seen that Alaska and Roxxxy are reading the same book, when their material is extremely similar in the sense that they both want to roast RuPaul based off of her auto-tuned music. Then, Ivy Winter’s insecurities peek through when Michelle checks on her material, only to find an empty page, and Alyssa Edwards shows struggle in determining a joke from an insult. Lastly, Coco was the only one who had her whole routine in control, and although she doesn’t look at herself as a true comedian, she was absolutely confident she was going to steal the show!
After reading “In Defense of Gaydar” and speaking about the stereotypes people have conceived about queer identities in our class discussion, aren’t all gays supposed to be funny?? So this shouldn’t be such a hard challenge right?… WRONG! At this point, the fact that stereotypes can be far from the knowledgable truth, shines bright.
At last it was time for the main challenge! After constant judgement, revision of their material, and personal pep-talks it was time for the ladies to hit the runway and rock the roast. First up was Alaska! I thought she did pretty well on her roast, but judging off of her mini challenge win that was kind of expected. All the judges had their fair share of jokes, along with RuPaul. As for those who did okay in my book were, Coco and Jinkx. Coco ROCKED her goal of being RuPaul’s cousin from the hood, while wearing lots of chunky gold jewels, followed by Jinkx who didn’t do such a shabby job herself. As for those who didn’t do as well? Definitely Roxxxy, Alyssa Winters and Detox. Roxxxy unfortunately choked as she delivered her “jokes” about RuPaul and Michelle, Alyssa Edwards was plain horrible and Detox was the F-Bomb queen. As for Ivy Winters, she was someplace in the middle for me. She came a long way from her blank piece of paper in the beginning, but not 100% there yet. However, I had some sympathy for her.
In the end the winner of the challenge without question was Coco, and the bottom two spots were taken by Roxxxy and Alyssa Edwards. The battled out by giving the best lip-synced performance they could, even if that meant throwing their pieces of hair tracks to the side just to make sure they could “whip their hair back and forth” to the best of their ability! Once they were finished dancing, Roxxxy immediately broke down crying, which made me personally roll my eyes. As a person who watches genres of shows like RuPaul all to often, I’m never too moved once people begin the waterworks seconds away from getting the boot. Once RuPaul asked Roxxxy to explain why she was crying I thought she was going to give a sob story about how she didn’t want to go home…blah blah blah, but instead she came out of left field with a sob story about her childhood, and how she was never wanted or good enough. Although I felt it kind of had absolutely nothing to do with the moment (as far as no one wanting her), it seemed to have touched everyone else in the room, since they all began to tear up. In my opinion, I thought Roxxxy did an awesome job in the lip-syncing challenge and it was so long for Alyssa, but RuPaul felt otherwise, because he decided to keep both, which I thought was fair :).
As said in the defense of Gaydar reading “Unlike sitcoms, reality television (features) “real” people with the problems that commonly arise when confronting sexual difference. Such shows [give] audience members the chance to participate in cultural shifts that [are] otherwise ubiquitous in everyday life.” (415). This is something that crossed my mind when Roxxxy was telling her story, because it came across as a total switch as far as television expectations and everyday experiences.
Fortunately this episode had a happy ending! Ladies betta work!