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RPDR RANT: Season 7, Episode 2

Aedan Roberts

AEDAN'S UNNECESSARY RPDR RANT!

Episode 2:

Ahhhhhhh. Much better. First of all I'm just going to say it: this is one of the first times they've done a performance/musical challenge that I didn't want to be over halfway through. It was a blast to watch and everyone did a decent job (some more than others, obviously). I'm also starting to form my own top 5 with the personalities that were finally given a chance to shine through. My assessment of the queens is as follows (in no particular order):

• Ginger Minj: She did very well. I'm still not feeling her and doubt I will- but she rocked this episode. I feel like she's definitely got a game plan and is very intelligently playing it out- I'm just not sure her look or humor is really exceptional enough. She's got some great one-liners but most of the time she just comes off as someone who is trying to be shady and witty but ends up mean. She also seems to lash out when she feels insecure- but these are all initial assessments. Perhaps she'll win me over. It's doubtful, but regardless I'm fairly certain she'll be around for a while.

• Jaidynn Diore Fierce: Jon and I are totally feeling this wonderful lady. She seems extremely nice, has a brilliant face that lights up the room, and her looks have been polished and fun since day 1. She didn't feature as prominently in this episode as I'd hoped but when she was on screen she was delightful. She also seems to capture that shady/fun/bitchy balance that Ms. Minj seems to be striving for but I feel is missing the mark. She's also one of the most convincing big girls this show has ever had- so hopefully she'll be around for a while as well. I'm living for her confessionals.

• Jasmine Masters: Go home. I repeat: GO HOME. I will openly admit she did fantastic in the performance portion of this episode, but everything else about her is rubbing me the wrong way. First of all she's busted to filth- her makeup is always messy and unrefined and her style is either unflattering, outdated or just plain ugly (the one exception I'll give her is her runway wig was on point). She seems to be going after other queens in mean-spirited hypocritical ways (her attack on Trixie in Untucked felt childish, spiteful, and ignorant) and I can't get over the fact that she is Milan levels of Man In A Dress. Her one redeeming quality from the first episode was she was more positive than the other obvious bottom-rung queens- but her attitude in the workroom (when she and Kennedy ganged up on Miss Fame) and her "performance" in Untucked proves she's as rude and delusional as Serena ChaCha- and at least ChaCha had the excuse of youth. Jasmine looks like a hard 39/40- there is no excuse for that kind of behavior.

• Kando Ho': Who? I honestly don't see her on here much longer because she made zero impact in the episode. I seem to recall thinking she did okay in the performance portion but honestly can't tell you for sure. She was that memorable.

• Katya: This was not Katya's episode in terms of how well she did in the challenge. However this was totally her episode when it comes to winning me over. I was already feeling her somewhat in Episode 1 but this cemented my love for her. She's got flawless makeup, great fashion sense, a fantastic sense of humor and BOY can she rock a lip-synch. She's the first person I've seen since Alyssa Edwards to make splits interesting again (that slow slide split was everything). And most importantly: she doesn't take herself too seriously. She seems to be having a blast and I'm totally along for the ride with her.

• Kennedy Davenport: my opinion on this contestant hasn't changed from Episode 1- she just seems to have her tongue so far up her own ass that the only thing she can offer anyone else is disdain, snarky one-liners and mean asides. She and Jasmine make a particularly toxic combo and it just felt sad in Untucked the way she snickered behind Masters as she went off on Trixie. The lady seems to think she's this season's Bianca Del Rio but all I'm seeing is Coco 2.0- but with less ability to leave an impression and a more boring sense of style. I hope she doesn't last much longer.

• Max: Max was mostly background dressing this episode with the exception of some great confessionals and a really sweet interaction with Sasha before the LSFYL. I have this hunch that once she's given the spotlight she will shine- but she hasn't really been given that opportunity yet. Regardless her performance was fun, quirky and competent (which already sets her apart from previous concept queens like Milk who were fantastic to look at but stiff and unable to act) and her runway look was FLAWLESS. It just remains to be seen if she has staying power.

• Miss Fame: I was definitely intrigued by her in the first episode but she sadly didn't leave a positive impression here. If she doesn't open up, loosen up and start getting beyond her own ego and desire to be the prettiest one in the room at all times (which will never happen as long as Pearl is there anyways) then she won't last much longer.

• Mrs. Kasha Davis: Her performance was fantastic (one of the best of the night) and I would definitely pay to see her perform live. However I'm not sure she's top-three material. I'd have to see more but currently she seems to be just okay to me- which will make her last for a while but won't get her to the top. I think it may be her style that's setting her back. She needs to freshen that shit up (she wasn't the worst look of the night but her runway wasn't amazing either. I was with Michelle on that one- a bit boring).

• Pearl: okay. I know some may not agree with me here but Pearl may be my favorite so far. Her looks have been consistently flawless (her runway was my favorite for Episode 2) and she did surprisingly great in the performance (with what she was given. It wasn't a big roll, but she nailed it). She also seems to have a great attitude about the whole thing, doesn't seem to get rattled or give two shits what the other queens are squabbling about. When the insecure queens have come for her for "seeming uninterested in the whole affair" her reaction isn't to attack or snootily toss it aside- it was to state simply and matter-of-factly that she is absolutely in this to win and I'm totally convinced by it. At any rate I'm consistently thrilled with what she has offered so far and she's quickly proving she's much more than a pretty face- which is putting her ahead of the other "resting on pretty" girls of this season.

• Trixie Mattel: I kind of have a crush on his boy self. He gives me Charlie from It's Always Sunny vibes- only very smart and gay. Her drag is also growing on me- she's going for an even more extreme, cartoonish aesthetic than Bianca del Rio but seems to be able to execute it well. Her runway look was fantastic (if not perfectly fitted) and screw Jasmine and Kennedy for their idiocy in not understanding what Trixie was OBVIOUSLY going for (there was absolutely nothing confusing about what she was doing). She was somewhat of a nonentity in the first episode but I'm now very interested in seeing what else she has to offer and can see her having what it takes to make it to the top. She just also needs to be willing to tone down the cartoon here and there when it's appropriate. Oh yeah- and she did just as good a job as Minj in the performance challenge and I have no idea why she wasn't in the top in this episode.

• Violet Chachki: this is a queen that I'm fairly certain could make it far in the competition- but only if she gives the pompous, bitch diva attitude a rest. This is RuPaul's Drag Race and, as previous seasons have pointed out with ever-growing clarity, you can't just win on flawless looks and perfectly executed challenges. If you rock everything but have an attitude like a pile of rotting corpses and an ego that could fill Yankee Stadium while acting juvenile and constantly complaining then you will lose the audience and thus the crown to someone perhaps less polished but far more likeable. Ru listens to her audience. Ever since the disaster of Season 2 Ru has learned her lesson and takes what her audience says into consideration. It's no longer only Ru whose heart you need to win- it's the viewer. And so far she's lost me based on her annoying attitude.

• Sasha Belle: Seems really nice. Has a great booty. But boy was she not ready for prime time. Messy looks, rats-nest wigs (seriously, what was with those wigs?) and stiff, awkward performances. I'm sure she will rock in a year or two but this was just not the time for her.

That's all of 'em. Now for my current picks for Top 5:

1. Pearl: obviously.

2. Katya: bitch is awesome.

3. Jaidynn Diore Fierce: love her.

4. Max: this one is tentative, but I really do think he has potential.

5. Trixie: because she's quirky, fun, and proved this episode that what she's doing comes from an intelligent place.