RuPaul's Drag Race: RuPaul Roast
May 13, 2017 3:05 PM - Season 9, Episode 8 - Subscribe

The queens roast each other in the traditional reading mini-challenge, then must go after a much bigger fish when Ru informs them that the maxi-challenge is to roast Michelle Visage.

Tamar Braxton and Fortune Feimster are this week's guest judges.

posted by merriment (13 comments total)
I'm pretty much ride or die for Valentina, but Sasha's intro of her at the roast: “A queen who combines all the excitement of smiling with the thrill of just standing there,” had me whooping.

Otherwise, that was a pretty brutal episode. It hasn't been a strong season for comedy, that's for sure, and the episode ended in another pretty lackluster lip sync. Definitely was Farrah's time to go.
posted by merriment at 3:15 PM on May 13, 2017 [4 favorites]

Valentina's reads were clever enough, but I think the punch came from the contrast with her usually sweet personality. Shea's routine had some good lines. Sasha and Peppermint were charming and real and seemed comfortable on stage. This is a season where the strongest queens don't bring the high drama, but I'd be pretty happy to watch a version of the show where Valentina, Sasha, Shea, and Peppermint are four best friends who live together a la the golden girls. Maybe with Nina and Trinity as their kooky neighbors.
posted by mai at 5:31 PM on May 13, 2017 [3 favorites]

Oh, and that lip sync was maybe one of the show's all-time most boring. Country songs don't give as much to work with, and I could tell Alexis was trying to ham it up, but neither of them really sold anything - feeling, energy, or at least a compelling character. Charisma - that quality that makes you want to just look at someone no matter what they're doing - is absent for both.
posted by mai at 5:35 PM on May 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

I realized that there are no "true" comedy queens at this point, but the roast was pretty good, on the whole.

But the best thing was Michelle's reaction to Ru saying that Ru's Roast wasn't of Ru (source: Chron recap -- just a JPG, Y NO GIF?)

No surprises on the top and bottom 3, no surprise that Farrah went home, and very happy that Peppermint won this maxi challenge. Super happy that Alexis Michelle was in the bottom, because it should keep her ego in check - she was a mess this episode.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:02 PM on May 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

I wanted either Sasha or Peppermint to win. Peppermint won and Sasha came in second so I got my wish! Valentina and Shea were both really good as well. I liked Nina's character, but I felt a bit like she adopted it because Shea played an old lady on 9021-HO and got points. Whatever, it worked.

Mai, I would totally watch that show with you.

Alexis and Farrah both looked desperate at the beginning. Then Farrah got it locked down...until Alexis pulled out that showy sliding split. (I was impressed.) I feel like with that theater stuff at the end we were really seeing Farrah.

Does anyone else think that Alexis was trying to do a bit of a Bianca Del Rio at the end, with the accent?
posted by rednikki at 10:34 PM on May 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Man, the way Untucked starts shows so much! Shea can't understand why she wasn't in the top 3 and Valentina feels like she needs to stop being just "good enough" and take it to the next level. They're both in the same place and looking at it entirely differently. Will be interesting to see how that plays out for the rest of the season and if it's a sign Valentina will have a breakthrough.
posted by rednikki at 10:37 PM on May 13, 2017

"Michelle is so New Jersey, she named her first kid White Flight" had me shriek-cackling. I can't believe nobody in the audience laughed!

Sasha's roast performance was much like her Snatch Game in that it kind of seemed like it was juuuust on the edge of going horribly wrong the entire time, but ended up being a total success. You almost like it more because of that. Girl gives me sympathy stress palpitations, but she has acquitted herself very nicely in the comedy challenges where she comes up with her own material, which is very impressive to me. She's kind of a surprising queen -- see for example her queer-nerdcore verse on C.L.A.T. (also feat. Peppermint, Aja, and Alexis). And I loved the polite savagery of her read on Valentina.

Anyway, I would have been happy with any of Sasha, Peppermint, and Shea winning. It was interesting that so many of the queens decided to do characters (Nina, Valentina, Trinity, Alexis), maybe because it worked for Coco in the last roast -- but basically none of them worked out this time. Valentina at least delivered humor, and the incongruity of her character was funny.

Alexis continues to be totally unreasonable here. I can certainly understand wanting people to be sensitive about your body issues -- we just had chunks of two separate episodes about that! But expecting people to do the reading challenge without hitting a weird sore spot that you haven't warned anyone about seems pretty extra to me. It reminded me of the "how dare you not read my mind and the judges' minds" freak-out she had about her outfit. Like, fine if she realized afterwards that it made her feel shitty and that she didn't want people to joke about it -- but being self-righteous about it, like of course everyone else should have known better, just reads like she is just incapable of not taking herself stone-dead seriously, and that she can dish it out but not take it.

Nina's fight with Shea in Untucked was also a super bad sign, though I have to say that part of me totally called it during Shea's last pep talk -- unfortunately I don't think you can have such deep-seated trust issues and not inevitably turn on the very people who are trying to help you, at least momentarily. I just hope she gets lucid again and patches things up.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:02 AM on May 14, 2017 [6 favorites]

en forme, thanks for the link to CLAT! I dropped into this season a couple of episodes late. I think if I'd seen this I would have been slightly more favorable toward Aja. Peppermint and Sasha killed it with this one.

They've got to put a clip of Nina's fight with Shea from Untucked in next week's episode. It's a pretty big deal.
posted by rednikki at 10:55 AM on May 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yeah, go ahead and ask Tamar Braxton if she's ever seen the show before, and let me know if you need a bigger shovel to keep digging.

I liked the LSFYL - I'm a country fan, mind you, but I liked both queen's efforts.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 12:59 PM on May 14, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'm glad Sasha's getting a chance to shine. Her humor isn't for everyone (but I, too, found the "white flight" joke hilarious) but I've always enjoyed how much she is herself while also understanding -- and challenging -- her audience. I still have my doubt she'll win, but I'm glad people are getting to see the Sasha I knew about before Drag Race.

I'm glad Peppermint won. It was well-deserved.

I'm also glad Farrah went home because she was someone who, every week, I'd think "who is that again?"

I should probably start watching Untucked since that seems to be where some of the good stuff is.
posted by darksong at 5:29 PM on May 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

Nina's breakdown in Unzipped makes me slightly less bad about all the times I haven't been nice to a person who was being too hard on themselves because I was afraid of it getting read wrong. Not cool.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:20 PM on May 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

I out loud screamed (but also silently proposed marriage) when Sasha made the white flight joke. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:24 PM on May 15, 2017 [4 favorites]

Yes! The more I think about this episode the more I'm becoming a Sasha stan, especially when glancing back and seeing how she's served up her aesthetic in a delightful, polished way every week on the runway.

Farrah seems sweet, but bye girl bye. I giggled watching Bob the Drag Queen and Raja on The Pit Stop today—"Well, it's not a season chock-full of comedy queens..."

I do think about what some people wondered out loud about Eureka—that is, that this season seems tailor-made for her, and will she shine or succeed as much in S10.

I'm still rooting Shea, Trinity, and Sasha for top three. Peppermint did great this week but boy did it take her a long time to get there. And when she's not "on," boy, it's painful. I do wonder if this is the start of Peppermint's ru-demption arc, since she is a seasoned pro and some would say even a legend.

Interested to see what comes next!
posted by Zephyrial at 8:40 PM on May 15, 2017

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