In “The Final Three, Hunty,” we are left with The Final Three: Alaska, Roxxxy and Jinkx.
Following her elimination, Detox gets the last laugh by leaving notes for each Alaska and Roxxxy–not Jinkx. Sweet Roxxxy volunteers to draft a fake letter from the now-gone Detox to Jinkx: “Jinkx, you sent me home, you [redacted] hot [redacted] mess.” No, says Jinkx’s face. Roxxxy giggles.
This episode’s challenge is to film RuPaul’s music video, “The Beginning.” Candis Cayne, who has come up before in our class discussion, steps in as the choreographer to teach the contestants #chiffonography and #hairography. Of the three, Alaska struggles in this segment as she fails to nail the choreography. The girls then film a courtroom scene in which each girl has to portray three completely different characters. Jinkx stands out with her acting chops and her characters’ elaborate and extensive personal backgrounds.
Roxxxy falls short in her performance and backstage she states that she, again, has issues with comedy. She considers herself to be serious about drag and sees comedy while in drag to be poking fun at drag: “Drag continues to get insulted in this competition.” She also attacks her fellow contestants with vicious pageant-like mind games by belittling Jinkx’s work–being a drag queen isn’t merely an occupation, it is an identity. Roxxxy’s action then not only call into question the legitimacy of Jinkx’s work but also her identity as a human being.
Camp is present throughout the episode: most notably, in the beginning when RuPaul explains the challenges for the week and emphasizes the “hung jury,” the meal between RuPaul and the contestants where RuPaul states, I hope you brought your appetite.” It would be interesting to examine how the campiness of the show affects the audience’s perception of drag culture.
The love-to-hate Roxxxy brings the drama again this week. Most of the episode was all. about. Roxxxy. In pointing out the flaws of her competitors during a one-on-one with Gloria Allred, she reminds us of the “boy drag” incident: “Alaska came out as a boy,” and continues, “This is a drag competition.”
During Roxxxy’s meal with RuPaul, Roxxxy talks about representing the big girls, “being a gay man and being thicker, it’s harder…” This concept is discussed in “Fat. Hairy. Sexy,” where Pyle and Klein explain that “Men whom the gay community considers beautiful (young, skinny, hairless) have an easier time navigating their social world.” Those who do not fall under those adjective are shunned from the “conventional gay spaces” (78). She states that she wants to be crowned superstar to set an example for the bigger girls out there–an excellent point considering that “media is the site where knowledge is produced” according to Joyrich. Roxxxy’s own acceptance on television would mean positive visibility.
However, in Roxxxy’s case, she’s not exactly a positive representation. In an intimate reveal Jinkx tells the panel about her history of being an outcast and the discovery of drag, “[I was] hurting at home; I was living on stage.” Roxxxy–not to be left out–jumps in by saying, “I love you.” Classic Roxxxy. This seems like a manipulation tactic appearing to be sympathetic in front of the judges and in the process distracting from Jinkx’s moment. I cannot deal with you Roxxxy.
The moment of truth: Roxxxy owned the choreography, Jinkx dominated the acting segment and Alaska (I almost forgot about you) defended herself the best. The three queens compete in the final lip-sync and the viewers are left to vote for America’s next drag superstar.