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Monday, 16 April 2012


Final 4! AGAIN! But this time for realsies. As we all knew it would, the season came down to Chad Michaels, Latrice Royale, Sharon Needles, and Phi Phi O'Hara. The only queen who ever really had a shot of taking one of those spots was Willam, and who knows what the hell happened there. In the workroom, after the girls lovingly mocked Li'l Kenya's second goodbye message, Latrice pointed out that Chad Michaels was the only remaining contestant not to have lipsynched. Chad argued that it's not his fault that he's perfect. True! Sharon joked that the producers just didn't want Chad breaking her hip. Bitch!
Speaking of bitches, they were the theme of this week. As Alexis Carrington and Amanda Woodward can attest, you can never go wrong with a good bitch. For the mini-challenge the dolls had to randomly pick a puppet version of one of their competitors, drag them up, and then put on a bitch fest. The puppets were ADORABLE. Someone get on Etsy right now and start cranking out drag-queen puppets. That is a cottage industry right there. Sharon got Chad and gave her really ghastly plastic-surgery lips, but did a fine job with the comedy bits, and brought up Chad's critique, that she needs to show some rough edges. Latrice kind of bombed with her Sharon puppet. Chad lampooned the hell out of Phi Phi, bringing up her snaggletooth, her alleged racism, her wigs, etc. And Phi Phi did better than I thought she would with Latrice, but mostly because she referenced the infamous bracelet breaking on the runway weeks ago. That was smart and cute.
The main challenge featured bitches of a different kind. The queens were tasked with putting together three separate looks for the Bitch Ball, an old-school ballroom drag competition. (We all lust for a ballroom floor, hunties.) The categories were Daytime Dog Park Realness, Pooch Party Girl, and finally Canine Couture. The last look had to be inspired by the actual dogs brought in by the show, which were assigned to the queens by mini-challenge winner Chad. It ended up like this:
Sharon got the standard poodle
Chad took the Chinese Crested
Latrice got a Pomeranian
Phi Phi was given a bloodhound
Phi Phi's dog kept trying to hump him, and had a slobber problem. And Phi Phi, in her usual charming way, was defensive and shitty about the whole thing. Just dripping with stank attitude, that one. Chad repeatedly tried to apologize if Phi Phi interpreted her assignment as a dig - which was stupid and unnecessary on Chad's part, I think - but Phi Phi would have none of it. In her defense, I will say that a bloodhound is an odd choice for this challenge. It's so cumbersome and oafish, while the rest of the selected dogs were all pretty or had some kind of whimsical element.
In addition to all of the outfits they had to put together for the runway, the Final 4 also had to perform a Broadway-style opening number in the spirit of "Cats." Chad and Sharon were discussing conflicting ideas, but Phi Phi came packing diva. I understand that the stress must have been extraordinary, and the time constraints anxiety inducing, but Phi Phi's attitude could not have been helping that situation one bit.
Mainstage. Ru was giving us rain-tarp realness with a shiny black vinyl-looking gown embellished with black roses across the bust. Did not care for it. The guest judges were Rose McGowan and Wynonna Judd. Wynonna is...severe. I would not want to cross her.
The Broadway number was completely ridiculous, but the lip synching looked on point. It was amusing. I'm not sure what else you say about that. As for the 12 (!) looks, Latrice did the worst pretty much across the board. It wasn't a disaster or anything, it was just plain and uninspiring. Phi Phi snatched Kenya's wig for her ridiculous daytime look but really nailed the couture assignment, which was especially impressive given that she had the toughest dog to incorporate. Chad was all over the map in her looks, from soft "Little House on the Prairie" housewife to matronly Cruella deVille cape-wearing baddy. (I was not a fan of the couture look.) Sharon did well across the board, giving us totally normal fashion plate for daytime, a hilarious rocker complete with SCRAM bracelet for party girl, and a high-fashion fur-booted weirdo for couture. All of her looks were good.
Critiques: McGowan liked the Mahogany thing Latrice had going with her couture, but overall Ms. Royale received a tepid response. Wynonna loved Phi Phi, but Michelle had an issue with the daytime look being too cartoonish. The judges told Chad that her couture look read too old, and her lipsynch was off. The judges gagged over pretty much everything Sharon served up.
The inevitable Who Should Go Home? question yielded some fiery results. Sharon said that Phi Phi should get eliminated, specifically referencing her cutthroat attitude. Phi Phi objected to this and called Sharon a liar. Oh, so you didn't deliberately try to lead Jiggly down a path of certain self-destruction in the magazine challenge? You didn't try to actually bribe Latrice to throw the "frenemy" challenge in order to get rid of Willam? I have no problem when contestants play the game and play to win, but OWN IT. You have been practically frothing at the mouth for weeks now, just spewing negativity, and you're going to call Sharon a liar for saying you have no sense of sisterhood?
For her part, Phi Phi said that Sharon should go home. Chad also said Phi Phi because she has a lot of maturing to do. And how! Latrice said it should be Sharon, because she's been imperfect throughout the competition, mentioning unfinished seams, etc. Hmmm. I've barely noticed that. But I did notice that, when she said that, Latrice herself was standing there with...an unfinished hemline. And the judges noticed that too. Poor timing on that one, Latrice.
Based on the judges' comments it was obvious that it was between Sharon and Phi Phi for the win, and Chad and Latrice for the B2. That made me sad. Sharon won! Which gives her the most wins of the season, I believe, with four. She got some crazy-ass crystal flower body jewelry. I don't even know what that means!
And Chad and Latrice had to lipsynch to "No One Else on Earth" by Wynonna. Have they not lipsynched to that song before on this show? No complaints - it's a damned good song. Unfortunately it did not make for an even playing ground here. We learned that Chad is a great lipsyncher. No surprise. She was fierce, a total pro, a real entertainer. Great energy. Latrice, who had never lipsynched to a country song before, was out of her element, but tried her best (although the synch was slightly off).
Chad was saved, and Latrice went home, but not before a very tearful and wonderful goodbye speech to RuPaul about what an inspiration she has been to Latrice, and how she has changed the drag world forever. That is a pro, and a wonderful soul, right there. Class! Class class class! Every subsequent big girl on this show has a new benchmark, that's for sure. I am gutted that she will not be in the finale. Instead we're stuck with goddamned Phi Phi, and two of the strongest contestants this series has ever seen.
Next week: unseen footage! Drag-queen farts! And Willam IS...Smurfette!

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