RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race: Drag Movie Shequels
September 15, 2016 5:24 PM - Season 2, Episode 4 - Subscribe

The queens’ acting chops are tested in parody movie sequels of RuPaul’s favorite movies. Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger guest judges. (synopsis from
posted by duffell (12 comments total)
First of all, LOVED the Ru-veal runway challenge. Alyssa's outfit was so strange it's almost impossible to critique it, but I think I loved it. And hey, RETURN OF LIL POUND CAKE! That was fun.

I thought there were some good and bad performances, but I didn't think any of the three *teams* knocked it out of the park. Phi Phi was surprisingly strong in the Showgirls parody. Her physical comedy was campy fun, and the character was well done. Roxxxy, though, did about as expected in an acting challenge, which is to say: blehhhhhhh. Detox and Katya's bit was very well-acted, but I don't think I laughed once. Alaska and Alyssa were funnier--their ridiculous facial expressions alone had me cracking up before they started talking--but there was a real lack of balance there. I thought it came off as zany for zany's sake.

THAT LIPSYNC WAS FANTASTIC!!! I could've seen either one of them winning, and would've been happy either way, BUT ALASKA (and Phi Phi), YOUR DECISION WAS SOME BULLSHIT. Roxxxy was the weakest performer tonight, and I think Alaska knew that... but Roxxxy is her friend, and Alyssa was more serious competition in the long run. Boooo.



P.S. Nicole Scherzinger? Don't cha wish your girlfriend was culturally irrelevant like me?
posted by duffell at 6:14 PM on September 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh. My. God. !^%#(!%!_%$!&$!($

I'm gonna have to work backwards, because that ending was the craziest of pants. It was sequined lounge wear. I love how all of their eyes behind the mirror looked kind of evil. I can't wait to see what happens there.

Okay, the actual episode: I had a feeling that Phi Phi was going to win, because of how much her discussion of the proper way to eliminate people went on... and on. I am relieved that she actually got to the top 2 on her own merit, and not just through producer shenanigans. It was a good time for her to have a good night.

This episode also made it clear that Roxxxy is done. She's reached the limits of her talent. Now I'm just looking forward. It's clear that this is almost Alaska's to win--I mean, that Lil Pound Cake was fantastic. But then, season 6 was Alaska's to win too. I'm still hoping Katya can find a way to turn it out. Can't wait til next week.
posted by CatastropheWaitress at 6:20 PM on September 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Why do they keep giving Katya such shit material in what are ostensibly comedy challenges?! There wasn't a laugh to be wrung out of that Thelma & Louise sketch.

I agree that Roxxxy is probably the least talented/charismatic of the remaining queens, but damn if she didn't look amazing in that red thing on the runway.
posted by Pizzarina Sbarro at 2:18 AM on September 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

So for anyone who doesn't know, there is some serious meta-drama going on right now in the wake of the last couple of episodes. I might be misremembering some of the details, but basically, Phi Phi has been very very vocal on social media lately, claiming that she's being portrayed negatively and that the producers promised her an opportunity to redeem herself and then sabotaged her with this edit. In one specific example, she said that her rant at the end of this episode was actually edited together from questions the producers asked her directly, and that comments from the other girls were edited out. Last week (link goes to Reddit), she also claimed at a live viewing party that the critiques that week were edited to make Alyssa look better... which is why Logo TV released this full unedited critique of Alyssa appearing to refute her claim (!). Phi Phi doubled down in response; at some point RuPaul possibly-shaded and then unfollowed Phi Phi on Twitter (!!).

It now looks like Phi Phi is fully burning her bridges with RPDR and is not going to the reunion because she doesn't trust the editors/producers of the show, and because she's gotten so much social media hate as a result.

Willam also took this opportunity to shade a few of the producers (esp. this one) on his Tumblr/Facebook.

The whole thing is super uncomfortable. Phi Phi and Willam definitely have a point about the exploitativeness of the producing and the need to manufacture a villain, and obviously it's beyond shitty that Phi Phi is getting so much social media hatred flung at her. But Phi Phi also hasn't been doing herself many favors with the stuff she's been saying on camera (even if prompted) and her super-defensive social media reaction to the edit (which even if somewhat shady, is still not even particularly mean/villainous), especially about stuff that could be easily disproven like Alyssa's critique.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:12 AM on September 18, 2016 [4 favorites]

Anyway, I loved Alyssa here despite her "doo-wah" nuttiness, and was sad to see her go. That said, Alaska fucking turned the party, and that Lil Poundcake reveal and lipsync was aaa mazing and a well-deserved win. Phi Phi also did admirably. And Roxxxy's malapropisms are never not adorable.

The "surprise there's a bottom 3 again" seemed pretty freaking convenient, considering that I thought Katya was well-within the boundaries of "safe." Her runway was funny, too, if not as flawless as Roxxxy's, Phi Phi's, or Detox's.

I do also kind of wish they showed more workroom banter; that's part of the fun with a cast like this. The extras are pretty good on the Logo website if you're not already watching them, but it's not the same as having it in the show itself.

So freaking stoked to figure out how the "revenge" twist plays out next week!
posted by en forme de poire at 12:28 AM on September 18, 2016

BTW, duffell, I think whether you believe Alaska's decision was fair or not depends a lot on how you weight the runway, and how specifically you weight the judges' takes on the runways. Having the runway weighted more equal to the challenge will tend to benefit Roxxxy and Detox (it would also benefit Phi Phi and Alaska some weeks). In this crowd, though, weighting the runway high tends to work against Katya and Alyssa.

If you discounted the runway -- and later seasons of RPDR have tended to do so -- I think Alyssa's screen performance was perhaps a little superior to Roxxxy's, in that it was more watchable. (I think Bette Davis famously stole the show in the real version as well, tbh, much to Joan Crawford's chagrin.) But while Alyssa's reveal definitely had some thought put into it (I actually loved it), Roxxxy's reveal was flawless.
posted by en forme de poire at 2:00 AM on September 18, 2016

OH MY GOD also can we talk about how amazing Detox's mug looked tonight?
posted by en forme de poire at 2:08 AM on September 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

I really have to say I side with PhiPhi more and more. The number of cutaways to where it's really obvious that the other queens aren't standing there saying nothing, with the OMINOUS MUSIC and such, just absolutely oooooozes of producer bullshit. PhiPhi may be a little salty about her competitors, but so is everybody else. And Alaska is the one who eliminated Alyssa! Why is PhiPhi getting any sort of hatred for something she didn't do? Because she critiques another queen? For a culture built somewhat on reading your competition, the audience sure as hell is touchy about anyone saying anything negative about looks and talent (and not the people behind that).

Anyway, I thought all the skits were fine, but Alaska keeps being given the sweet spots (I mean really, that was just custom-made for her) and Katya keeps getting the shaft, but I think they'll still be in the Top 3, because we know who the fans love.
posted by xingcat at 8:16 AM on September 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

No love lost for PhiPhi here. She was needlessly cruel during her own season, regardless of producer edits. Remember Jiggly Caliente's mournful "You came to my house. We hung out, I thought we were friends" at the finale? PhiPhi plays people's insecurities hard, under the guise of advice-from-someone-who-cares, and it's gross. I mean seriously, "GO BACK TO PARTY CITY BITCH" was not an edit, was not this-is-how-we-do shade, and was just plain mean. And if she's not getting the redemption arc she was promised this time, maybe it's because she's feeding the producers too much non-redemptive material to pass up. Cf Roxxxie, who was a painted a villain in her season but seems to be getting a kinder cut this time around.

Re:Katya - I agree she's getting the shaft, but I'll be damned if I can figure out why. From the beginning, it seemed clear the top 3 would be Alaska - Katya - filler, so even if TPTB want Alaska to win, they don't really have to interfere to make it happen. Any theories, anybody?
posted by donnagirl at 12:10 PM on September 19, 2016 [4 favorites]

The more I think about Alaska's runway the more I think that she might have made it on the fly instead of having it planned beforehand. Revealing Lil Poundcake on the runway is damn near a thesis statement of why she should be crowned, communicated in drag:
-It reminds us of just how funny she was in her last season and how consistent her humor has been throughout. No face/heel turns, really. She's been funny and self-aware from the start.
-it references her acting bit in this episode. In context Poundcake is a variant on Baby Jane, yet she's made each of them totally distinct characters.
-it *also* references Roxxy and PhiPhi's skit, especially when she borrows Roxxy's skirt for the lip sync; we know how she could have done Roxxy's part and better than PhiPhi, immediately after the judges were saying that it would be hard to shine against PhiPhi's performance.

This could just be luck and what she'd planned from the start, which makes it fun and enjoyable. But the fact that the before and transition were a little sloppy makes me wonder. If she did plan it last minute, that is an amazingly virtuosic performance and would show just how smart she is about this whole competition.
posted by tchemgrrl at 1:08 PM on September 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


okay, with that out of the way. I do also wonder what is going on with the show re. Katya... is she getting the shaft for some reason? I mean I think this season has been tailored made for Alaska to snatch the crown (like the previous All Stars was for Chad), but that doesn't mean Katya needs to be given the worst of it. Last week she was switched to Princess Diana and then this week they re-institute the bottom three when she should have been safe. What is the deal with that?!

Phi Phi - she is giving the producers plenty to work with, so crying about the editing after the fact is not going to garner any sympathy from me. Should people be threatening her on social media? of course not. Plenty of Drag Race alums are renowned for being jerks, but still have plenty of fans (Raven, Raja, Detox, heck even Chad regularly threw shade) but they are not bitter or manipulative which Phi Phi is and that doesn't going over well with the RPDR audience. She should have never come back on the show and continued using her 365 days of drag series to rebuild her reputation.
posted by Julnyes at 8:49 AM on September 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

I mean being in the social-media shame crosshairs sucks and I certainly don't know that I would react to it any better... but the thing that gets me about Phi Phi is that it's not even like they showed her saying or doing anything particularly horrible! To me at least, her edit is totally in "own it, then laugh it off" territory even if there were bits that were a little misleading; as Julnyes said, plenty of beloved RPDR contestants have been (portrayed as) way saltier... hi, Raven. I think that's why all the stuff about, e.g., how they're treating Alyssa with kid gloves because she has a profitable series on WoW strikes me as so extra -- even if there's some truth to that, was it really necessary to go there when you could have just been like "lol, yup, after being sequestered with Alyssa for so long she was getting on my last gay nerve! she's crazy talented tho, love you girl" and let it drop?
posted by en forme de poire at 9:44 AM on September 21, 2016

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