RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race: The Bitchelor
February 10, 2018 6:05 AM - Season 3, Episode 3 - Subscribe

The queens are challenged to improvise in an unscripted dating show inspired by The Bachelor, with a runway theme of "Wigs on Wigs on Wigs".

A second queen who's griped about unfairness is swiftly dispatched, as Milk is sent home. Bebe's continuing to be safe fans the flames of conspiracy theorists, and Ben Delacreme continues to dominate.

Reviews and recaps:
- Recap from The Vulture
- Review from Billboard
- AV Club review/recap
posted by ITheCosmos (21 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
(This is my first Fanfare post, and I was eager to talk about the show but didn't want to step on anyone's toes by posting, but after reading this Metatalk thread, I figured it was okay)
posted by ITheCosmos at 6:06 AM on February 10, 2018 [8 favorites]


This episode was amazing, both because the improv was mostly really funny, and also because GOODBYE MILK. It is amazing how somebody can be so self-absorbed and also so utterly un-self aware at the same time.

I do really feel bad about ChiChi. I really loved her in her season, and she is clearly struggling so much here. Her outfit on the runway was gorgeous, though, so maybe next week she can snap out of her self-defeat.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 8:09 AM on February 10, 2018 [5 favorites]

Milk is going to be in for a real shock when he discovers you can't coast on good looks forever.
posted by roger ackroyd at 8:12 AM on February 10, 2018 [3 favorites]

Oh man, I was also really rooting for Chi Chi going into this season. She comes across as such a sweetie, and knowing that she was someone who'd struggled financially and worked a bunch of shitty jobs, and her getting critiqued on season 8 for looking cheap because "money doesn't matter in drag", which is obviously not true. (and, looking that up just now, I see that that critique was taken out of context, but still).

I know to take the narrative the show presents with a grain of salt, but she seems so sincere and hardworking, and it's hard to see her struggling.
posted by ITheCosmos at 8:40 AM on February 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

God bless. Milk may be a lovely, lovely person outside of the Werqroom hothouse, but oof, honey! It’s not enough to aim for being have to be GOOD at it. Not just think you are. Aja, on the other hand, while stumbling on occasion, IS doing something a bit different from the others, IS open to learning, and isn’t resting on any laurels when she does well.

During the B🍆tchelor challenge, god, I’m sorry to say this: Milk came across to me as nothing so much as a goose honking for attention. Sigh.

There’s a deleted scene floating around that I’ve seen where Milk tries to discuss herself and Thorgy and how different they are and how they bring new things to drag - but, quite kindly yet matter of factly, Ben points out that not one of the queens on RPDR are reinventing the wheel. I don’t think it sunk in.

I don’t want to join the conspiracy theory train, I really don’t, and I think Bebe is splendid, but I didn’t think she did all that great in the challenge (thank heavens DeLa did brilliantly without a terribly helpful scene partner to bounce off of), and it has begun to feel like she really is guiding discussions and asking leading questions. It seemed odd for her to simply be safe again. And I certainly would have ranked Trixie higher - I suppose they clocked her for being so obviously pissed off at Milk and for not finding an effective way to deal with her (although what might have constituted an effective way? god only knows, I don’t think ripping off Milk’s wig and gagging her with it would have adhered to show rules, but it was undoubtedly something Trixie would have liked to do).

DeLa was fantastic in the challenge, very Kristin Chenoweth and I loved it. Lovely runway look. Good for her for acknowledging she can’t camp up every lip sync if she wants to display range, but good lord, that song. Love that song, what a weird choice for a legacy lip sync. Kennedy owned it, as she did every other part of the evening - she’s really energetic and didn’t come just to play. I’m glad she sent Milk home. Milk has some growing to do.

I do wonder if DeLa picked Milk too, or if she would have taken Chi Chi up on the implicit plea to put her out of her misery. Chi Chi seemed upset to have been saved, poor darling.

Shangela was fine. I wish I had more to say, but she didn’t stand out much...although she was a hilarious semi-domme-y lesbian oh my god.
posted by angeline at 10:44 AM on February 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

I was LIVING for Kennedy's lip sync. To just stand there looking unbelievable and deliver a perfect, heartfelt performance (especially when we know he can do a lot of flashy stuff, dance-wise) was such a power move. Ben was outmatched from the jump, but I'm glad he stuck to his game plan. He said himself, and I agree, that he would have been clocked for going back to the parody well. But it would have been so easy to throw it all out the window and reach for that lazy choice once it became clear that playing it serious wasn't going to get him the win. A goddamn professional and a smart player, that one.
posted by merriment at 10:48 AM on February 10, 2018 [3 favorites]

Here’s an interesting article (maybe spoilery?) that is musing on the possibility of this season’s twist having its roots in...Burlesque?

The movie, not the craft.

I did wonder why Ru warbled out that creditable impression of Cher calling for the Wagon Wheel Watusi.

Now if someone can explain Chad and Alaska’s HILARIOUS Handmaid Macarena...
posted by angeline at 11:53 AM on February 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

Oh hey, and here’s that deleted scene with Ben and Shangie gently but firmly schooling Milk.
posted by angeline at 1:50 PM on February 10, 2018 [5 favorites]

This was the Kennedy I fell for in season 7!

I also really liked Bebe's take on the virgin - despite Ben's suggestion, not everything needs to be US-centric and a southern virgin would have been boring.

And Aja! I wish she had done Valentina not Farrah Moan!!! But I was so impressed with her response during the judges critiques - it's very rare we see anything other than defensive whining, while instead, Aja seemed to genuinely learn something!
posted by A hidden well at 3:58 PM on February 10, 2018 [3 favorites]

Hooooo my godddddd. This ep was one of the best of the best, I thought.

The thing I really appreciated about Kennedy's performance was that she brought a kind of pathos to her drunk mess of a character, even while she disintegrated at the end. She took what could have been a totally one-note performance and gave it layers, and those layers made it even funnier. And when she took her wig off I fucking died. Milk wishes he were that meta.

I really felt for Trixie getting shut out of the top here. This is maybe the best performance she's ever given on Drag Race and it was a great role for her. I can't stop laughing when I think about her facial expressions during "no, you're so funny, stop" and "Gilbert Godfrey, but you know, sensual." She got sabotaged in a week where there were two other really strong performances. Even then I wish she had gotten some extra credit for being professional and handling the situation without ripping Milk a new one.

The extent to which Milk was in total Dunning-Kruger mode here, and really throughout the competition, was amazing to me, by the way. It was like that part of 30 Rock where Jon Hamm's character thinks he can speak French and the subtitles just go "dxkg xdkfjg bvmkdfgj." Her characterization here was such a rookie "crazy = funny", "louder = funny" mistake (same with Aja to some degree, though Aja at least played well with others and her "oops my bad" on the stage gave me Season 6 Adore in a good way). The thing is, I quite liked Milk on Season 6 and it's bewildering and sad to see this side of her personality. And while there was a glow-up in terms of her beat, her runway looks have also been weirdly safe! I was really hoping for an ascended version of her club kid drag.

Anyway, Kennedy was assured a spot in the top 2 but without the romper room fuckery Trixie might have squeaked by Bendela. Not that Ben wasn't good, because obviously she was (the catheter line, homg).

I'm still rooting for Cheech to get it together. But honestly she shouldn't have been in the bottom last week at all (the producers in retrospect were probably fucking with Milk by keeping her out of the bottom, I almost feel bad for her). And apparently Chi Chi's first week's performance was not up to what she'd been doing in rehearsals because she cut her hand on a light :(
posted by en forme de poire at 11:48 PM on February 10, 2018 [8 favorites]

And lmao from angeline's link:
It’s no secret that Milk is still very disappointed that her good sis Thorgy Thor was sent home after last week’s challenge. She implies that the two of them had an “IT” factor that the other queens don’t.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:52 PM on February 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

You guys somebody posted this perfect image on Reddit, it's a still from the episode that I somehow missed. #teamshangela
posted by en forme de poire at 12:47 AM on February 11, 2018 [5 favorites]

Shangie gives 0 fucks about your 4th wall
posted by kwaller at 6:57 AM on February 11, 2018 [8 favorites]

that's the gag of the season
posted by roger ackroyd at 9:04 AM on February 11, 2018 [3 favorites]

ITheCosmos: (This is my first Fanfare post, and I was eager to talk about the show but didn't want to step on anyone's toes by posting, but after reading this Metatalk thread, I figured it was okay)

Yep, totally okay - there is no "ownership" of a show. While individuals may have their own style of posts, there's no "dibs" on making a post if you're the first person to see (or read) something and you want to make a new post. For example, I made the first two posts of this season just because I was the first person to get around to it, but others posted the prior season's episodes and the other Drag Race episodes.

Back to this episode: solid acting for most, but ChiChi and Milk were clearly in the bottom, while Aja was just a bit meh. I hope ChiChi can shake her losing streak, because she's not the weakest queen. Even though I don't think she's likely to win this, I REALLY hope Trixie kills it in the snatch game, but she will have fierce competition. Luckily, the shoutiest queen is gone, so I don't think there will be much grabbing for the spotlight, or as angeline put it, honking for attention ;)
posted by filthy light thief at 10:57 AM on February 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

ChiChi and Milk were clearly in the bottom

a ranking which will henceforth be known as "Turd City"
posted by roger ackroyd at 7:37 PM on February 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Also apparently the T is Trixie was simultaneously filming T&K, UNHhhh, and AS3. Yikes.
posted by en forme de poire at 8:40 AM on February 13, 2018

JEEEEEEzus. Well, who needs sleep, I guess?
posted by angeline at 8:44 AM on February 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman was so dang funny with the queens; I really have to get around to watching Unreal.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:11 AM on February 15, 2018

UnReal season one is a great binge.
posted by roger ackroyd at 8:07 PM on February 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

Shangie gives no fucks because she's already realized that winning the game is utterly irrelevant. BE GOOD TV is what matters. Have as many cameras as possible pointed at you, at all times. Become culturally relevant. Be OK for mainstream America to embrace as "that funny drag queen." It's RuPaul's own playbook FFS, and she has that shit memorized, internalized and actualized.

Yes, the show's prize money is nice but it's kind of better to know that because of how great you were on TV, paying customers from all walks of life will flock to see you and therefore you can up your performance fees accordingly forever after. Everyone will want to book Shangela because tons of people, not just niche drag show aficionados, will pay to see her. That's the true win.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:57 AM on February 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

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