AEDAN'S NEEDLESS THOUGHTS ON RPDR (Episode 3!):
Yesssssssss. And ooooooooh my. This season is really exceeding my initial expectations/impressions. And unlike the last couple seasons what I'm finding really interesting is how each episode shifts around who my favorite queens are. Like I said before this is the first time in possibly the entire run of RPDR with no clear front-runners and it may in fact make this one of the best seasons yet. So without further ado- my take on the episode with each queen (in no particular order) plus a couple stray observations:
• Ginger Minj: speaking of hard to pin down- enter Miss Minj. This episode was like Doctor Ginger Jeckyll and Miss Hyde Minj. She was either winning me over with clever quips, polished looks and overall competency in the challenge or losing me completely with his (self-admitted) bitchiness, mean-girl attitude, and obvious preference/friendship with the Toxic Duo (Jasmine and Davenport). I think that's it ultimately- Miss Minj is two-faced- playing both the Villain and Hero. And that keeps me from seeing anything but an obvious front-runner I don't want to win. We'll see- maybe once the show is blessedly rid of BOTH Davenport and Masters Ginger Minj will finally shed the Hyde and just be someone I could root for (ALA Alaska). At the moment, though, she just seems far too calculating (all the nice moments, however genuine, feels like they are there to make up for being a bitch and realizing how bad that could make her look) for me to root for.
• Jaidynn Diore Fierce: I still love this bitch- but boy was that breakdown something "special." Girl wasn't in tears because she was scared about acting. She's been performing non-stop from the very second she walked on set (don't get me wrong- I love the act, but it's obviously at least in part a show). She broke down because her role was small and even if it had been done flawlessly would have been only slightly memorable. Breaking down gives her a mini-redemption arc (her evolution from "woe is me I can't act" to one of the better performances in the challenge felt a little too . . . striking for her fears to be genuine). Bitch knew she could act the shit out of that- and the tears were only there to make her look all the better when she hit it out of the park. Girl has a strategy- hopefully she'll be a little less obvious about it next time. PS: LOVED her runway look.
• Kandy Ho': Again- who? There really isn't much to say. She did competently (other than Katya she was the only one who got out of the challenge not looking like a train-wreck), and her runway was okay, but meh. It's strange to say- but now that she has apparently fixed her beard issue (which apparently took pasting an actual beard on her face to accomplish) I feel like her story is done. She's no longer the bearded lady! Well done! Now she can go.
• Katya: This bitch is awesome. She may have only done "Just okay" in the challenge- but when you are given a starting point of -10,000 reaching zero is actually a major accomplishment. And her runway was probably the most clever of the night (one of my three favorites). She's got wit, intelligence, flawless looks and a good attitude. I'm just waiting for her to knock a challenge out of the park like I know she can. Hopefully once the group challenges are over she can finally shine.
• Kennedy Davenport: Miss Davenport came off mean, childish and supremely incompetent as a group leader (and actress) in the full episode and a massively delusional, oblivious, spiteful bitch in the Untucked. To miss Davenport everyone is wrong and horrible but her- and when the complete opposite proved to be true she did what any asshole who is losing an argument does: she honed in on one single thing that could be even remotely inaccurate and shifts the argument to concentrate entirely on that one thing. Violet (and later everyone in the group but Jasmine) correctly pointed out that rehearsing lines together for a play is vital to its success and telling everyone to work alone was a disastrous failure of leadership. And faced with this inarguable truth Davenport proceeds to bitch about Violet mentioning a skirt or something in her long (and honestly accurate) list of Why Kennedy Is The Reason This Was A Mess. To sum up my feelings on Kennedy at this point: the bitch made me sympathize with Violet. Violet! When you are such a negative person that you send the viewers into the arms of the least self-aware brat of the group you've failed. Hard. Miss Davenport may have survived tonight- but I hope she leaves soon. Her caustic attitude isn't even fun or interesting- it's just cringe-worthy.
• Max: If Max doesn't make it to the Top 3 (which at this point I'm kind of rooting for him to do) he WILL win Miss Congeniality. HANDS DOWN or I demand a revote. As I suspected she hasn't really been featured in previous episodes because she's been nothing but amenable, sweet, and supremely competent since Day 1. There is no drama with Max- in fact he seems to have this aura of calm, soothing kindness that is only now beginning to get a spotlight. When a queen is looking stressed, sad or down who comes over and comforts them? Max. When Jaidynn had her (possibly contrived) breakdown on set Max's encouraging words in his odd-yet-ever-calm voice soothed her back to confidence. And what's more? Her polish and style easily match Violet, Pearl or Fame and she seems to be better at being more than just an aesthetic than other queens of her kind. She's like the couture Tammy Brown and she's won me over. So yes- I'm hoping it's either Top 3 for Miss Max or at the very least Miss Congeniality. Either way she wins in my eyes. (also I loved her facial hair and runway look)
• Miss Fame: there isn't much to say about her this episode. Her runway was worlds better than her effort last episode. Her performance also seemed much better than I was expecting (though I agree with others who think she maaaaaay have benefitted from the editing wizards of RPDR). At this point, though, she feels pretty middle of the pack. Someone who will likely stick around for a bit but once she's on her own and forced to do an acting or performing challenge will be gone. Still, she's great to look at while she's there. Also quick note: I was happy that she was able to stand up and defend herself in Untucked against the Toxic Duo's onslaught of vitriol- Miss Fame seems really full of herself but ultimately sweet and likable. She definitely doesn't deserve the hatred coming her way from the two most busted queens left on the show.
• Mrs. Kasha Davis: my opinion of this woman is improving with each passing episode. I still think her looks are too pedestrian and she seems to just kind of float to the middle of the pack currently- but she's got a great attitude, a reasonably sweet disposition and she's funny as fuck when in the right situation (her delivery of "Teenage suicide: don't do it" while re-applying makeup was probably the best delivered line of the night. Jon and I were in stitches). It will be fun to see what she does while she's still here.
• Pearl: Pearl lost quite a few points this episode in my book (though she made a couple back in the Untucked). While her runway look was one of my favorite of the night her performance was not a good sign when it comes to her ability to be more than just a very particular attitude wrapped in some of the best makeup and drag I've ever seen on this show. I'm still rooting for her and if she can actually rise to the occasion and start putting effort into the challenges she can still be a shoe-in for Top 3 in my opinion. But that's also a big "if". We're rooting for you Pearl- but in the words of Ru: Wake UP! Wake up. WAKE up. WAKE UP!
• Trixie Mattel: Another one that is also growing on me with every passing episode. Her runway look was EPIC (she really did look like a baroque painting) and her performance was fine in the challenge. And even more importantly she's captured the bitchy-funny that others on the show *cough*-Davenport/Violet-*cough* are trying for and she is able to be blunt and honest without feeling mean about it. Every time she rolls her eyes in a confessional or defends a fellow contestant or calls someone out I am right there with her going "YES! Yes! I'm so happy you said that!" She's also showing breadth with her makeup, and while it is still consistently cartoonish it varies in application and degree and shows a wide range. Bitch is capable and could easily overtake some of my other favorites in the fight to the top.
• Violet Chachki: her runway look was pure January Jones on Mad Men Season 1 realness (which is to say:flawless) and weirdly enough the beard actually kind of made her more approachable, vulnerable, and affable (sadly it won't stick around for future runways). Her attitude, however, is still pure crap. Her ego is still WAAAAAAY overinflated. She's also continuing her apparent quest to alienate all the other contestants (and viewership) by just being an overall obnoxious brat. Her performance was a travesty (though she was actually correct in blaming that mainly on Davenport's horrendous leadership). Which is all fairly sad. If she improved her attitude she would be guaranteed one of the Top 3- but once again I find myself over it. Jon made a great observation: Violet Chachki is the Anti-Adore Delano. Adore was oozing charisma out of every pore. She was the living embodiment of likeability- but she was messy, inexperienced and lacked style/polish (when she first got there). Violet has polish, style, and refinement in spades with a flawless eye for fashion and makeup way beyond her years- but she is a Charisma black hole. Let's just hope that her evolution mirrors Adore's- Adore, under the tutelage of Miss Rio, managed to become a badass with makeup and fashion over the course of the show. Maybe Violet will be able to be taken under the wing of Max or something and become a likeable person over the course of the season (ala Trinity K Bonet). Who knows. Currently, though, I just can't root for her. At all.
• Jasmine Masters: BYE GIRL BYE! Jasmine continued her campaign to lose any and all good-will her initially sunny entrance had garnered with one of the nastiest attitudes and mouths since PhiPhi graced us with her Scraggle Eye. As one of the most busted queens to ever be on the show, Jasmine Masters didn't have much of a leg to stand on- and yet she paraded about like she was the best there was. Girl- being one of the oldest does not make you one of the wisest. And BOY did you overstay your welcome. So ta-ta Miss Masters. The show is that much brighter without your unclever shade.
COUPLE FINAL NOTES:
• Runway challenge should have been called the Milk Beard Memorial Runway Show.
• I am HEAD OVER HEELS for the new Untucked format. While I still wish they'd release it on Logo directly after the main episode airs I never want them to go back to the old format again. This week's episode felt more genuine than the last several seasons of Untucked combined and was some of the best Television I've ever had the pleasure to watch. Seeing these girls so unedited (relatively speaking) and just allowing the drama to unfold organically makes it worlds more gripping. THANK YOU RU!