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RPDR RANT: Season 7, Episode 7

Aedan Roberts

Another great Snatch Game, another baffling elimination. Welcome to AEDAN’S USELESSLY LONG RPDR SEASON 7 RANT!

This week was both a lot of fun and extremely frustrating. Some queens performed far better than I was hoping they would while others crashed and burned in a turnabout so drastic it was painful to watch. All this and the judges seemed to be watching a different Snatch Game than I was (which I’ll get into more detail soon). SO! Without further ado- the breakdown (in no particular order):

• Ginger Minj: This is the first time I can honestly say this: Ginger did extremely well here. Her Adele wasn’t perfect (I think her reliance on food jokes was far more generic “look at me, I’m fat!” than representing anything about Adele in particular) but the fake cockney accent was funny and her jokes hit all the right points. More importantly her runway, for the first time this season, wasn’t just more of the same. It was a reasonably good look. The different hair style and color worked well with the outfit (though it was, once again, a bouffant up-do of sorts). And instead of yet another nearly identical dress she wore leggings. Did she deserve the win? I would argue out of the girls chosen by Ru as the Top 3 this week she was by far the most deserving so good for her. That all being said? Still can’t really stand her. She’s positioned herself as one of the Villains this season and I’m sad to say I’m pretty sure she’s going to be Top 3. I was hoping this would be a season with a genuine top 3 where I could finally root for all three to win and be happy, but if Ginger continues with this seemingly inevitable climb there will be one slot taken by someone I really, REALLY don’t want winning. Either way congrats to her for this week’s challenge.

• Jaidynn Diore Fierce: Poor Jaidynn. Jon has been saying this for a couple weeks now and I finally have to agree with him: if Jaidynn had been on RPDR two or three seasons from now she would have swept the competition. Jaidynn is a rockstar. She’s lovable, fun, polished and a blast to watch on screen. She also seems like one of the nicer contestants next to Max. However there is something very green about her and it’s starting to show. She doubts herself too often, and takes the criticisms she's received far too personally (ALA the Pearl from three episodes ago). This has culminated in a fairly weak showing multiple weeks in a row and it all just kind of caught up to her in Snatch Game. Her Raven was terrible. Just terrible. Her little “I have a vision” look was ADORABLE, but one-note and didn’t actually lead to more than one mediocre punchline. And while I was LIVING for her wig on the runway her look was admittedly several levels beneath most of the other contestants (with the exception of Kennedy). Honestly it was her time to go last night. Did I want EITHER of the bottom two eliminated? Gods no. Frankly Max shouldn’t have been there at all (his atrocious Sharon Needles aside). It SHOULD have been Jaidynn versus Fame with Fame sashaying away. But no. We had two lovable queens duking it out in a song that seemed tailor-made for Jaidynn to rock and so she stayed. Do I hope she takes advantage of this final chance? Absolutely. However the wrong girl went home last night and it sucks to have to say that considering the alternative was this lovely lady.

• Katya: Katya continues on her journey to the center of my heart. Was her Suze Orman the best? I don’t think so. Frankly I thought it was just alright. I laughed out loud a few times but where was the New York accent? Where was the bombast? Bitch you have it in you- PUSH IT! Regardless her runway was once again stunning and I’m happy she continues on her rise to eventually take one of the spots in the top 3. Out of the contestants that are left she is one of the few I can root for on all levels and hope she can keep growing. Also her mild breakdown was an extremely tender moment and felt genuine- hopefully it also acted as catharsis so she can move on and really ROCK it.

• Kennedy Davenport: Davenport baffles me. Sorry, not Davenport herself- she’s far too basic and boring to be an enigma- but moreso what the judges keep seeing in her. Was her Little Richard terrible? Not at all (though if they were going to clock Fierce for being one-note with that vision thing they should have clocked Davenport for relying almost exclusively on that stupid “OoOoOoO” trill she would use to end every statement. Sure, that’s what Little Richard is known for- but that’s not ALL he does that could be used for caricature). More importantly, was the performance amazing? Abso-fucking-lutely NOT. Seriously. It actually started pissing me off how Ru and the celebrity judges seemed to howl at every single word that came out of Kennedy’s mouth. Some of her shit was genuinely amusing- but NONE of it seemed to warrant that level of laughter. The bitch was frustratingly safe- but there is no way THAT performance deserved a co-win- the very first in Snatch Game herstory (not when there were so many other far more deserving co-wins in previous seasons). I have to get real here for a second: Is it just me or is Davenport receiving the Tyra Sanchez treatment this season? I’m looking at the RPDR wiki and she’s won TWO challenges now, been high THREE times on top of that and has only been Bottom 2 once- these stats genuinely leave me both shocked and VERY angry. Especially since one of the “High” markings was a week she DESERVED to be Bottom 2 but was literally given a free pass because her team-mates carried the challenge. Frankly NONE of the higher stats feel deserved for this queen and I’m sick of it. Sick. Of. It. And don’t even get me started on her runway this week. I will concede to Jon that her padding was fine- but that dress was hideous, tacky and a mess and her hair was once again a disaster. Girl- your hairline shouldn’t start halfway up your scalp- it just reads like your wig is slowly slipping off your head. Ugh. I’m just over this. If she somehow makes it to the Top 3 with Minj this will likely be the only season in RPDR history that I will skip. Because at that point it will feel like the whole thing was planned from the get-go and nothing any of these contestants did could have changed the outcome. Kennedy, more than even Minj, feels like she’s being carried on Ru’s desire for her success alone- regardless of her ACTUAL performances.

• Miss Fame: While Miss Fame NAILED Donatella Versace’s look- her performance was predictably abysmal. It was just painful any time she opened her mouth and a terrible Russian accent spilled out saying unfunny lines that didn’t make any sense or have any comedic value. Her runway look was just okay to me as well. It was worlds better than either Davenport or Fierce’s but it felt like the various pieces didn’t quite fit together (with the exception of her hair and makeup- which were perfection). Fame is the other contestant I feel is also getting (to a smaller extent) the Tyra Sanchez treatment (to better explain what this phenomena is: the Tyra Sanchez treatment is to manipulate things so that the contestant is either “immune” on challenges that would otherwise send them home or simply given a pass and narrowly escape bottom three so as to keep them around). For a couple weeks now Miss Fame felt like she should totally have been in the bottom 2 but EVERYONE, including Ru I suspect, knows that the second Fame is forced to LSFYL against ANY of these queens she will be immediately sent packing. She’s not a performer. She’s not a lip-synch queen. She’s not even a pageant queen. She’s exclusively, entirely, 100% visual. And while that’s amazing for runways and so forth it also means that any dip into the bottom 2 is the last time we see her- and it feels like Ru isn’t ready to let that happen (regardless of whether it SHOULD have by now). Is she growing on me as a person again? I’d say so. Helping Katya with her breakdown and being a reasonably sweet person while not having any long-winded monologues this week has gone a long way to ingratiate herself to me again, but I also feel like it was her time to go. And it is getting really, really frustrating how it all just feels so arbitrary at this point.

Pearl: Pearl rocked this entire thing. Again. Her Big Ang was, next to Adele, the only one to make Jon and me laugh out loud every time she was on screen. Her answers were witty and hilarious and her look, after doing a bit of research into who EXACTLY IS Big Ang, was flawless. She was FAR quicker and on the ball than even I was expecting. She managed to banter and had great comebacks/back-and-forth with the other contestants and just looked like she was having a blast. Pearl is really showing herself to be as good as I was hoping her to be and it makes me happy. What doesn’t make me happy is that her performance was overlooked in the judging. In my opinion she and Kennedy Davenport were swapped in the places they SHOULD have landed in. Pearl’s runway was, other than Minj’s, the only one that felt distinct (since she went for pink and white instead of black) and was gorgeous. It was bohemian sex and I loved it. So not only was her Snatch Game better than Davenport’s (at least given what we were shown) her runway was also worlds better. And yet she was merely safe while Davenport took a baffling co-win. I honestly think Ross gave away the reason, though: on top of the TS Effect I feel like they were rating Davenport on a sliding scale because she was expected to bomb it- so by comparison to their estimation her mediocre performance read as astounding. And it is infuriating me. Anywho, back to Pearl: now with Max tragically gone Pearl has cemented her place in my Top 3 with this fun performance. She’s got the visual polish and flair of Violet Chachki but seems far more intelligent and has a much better sense of humor. I just hope she keeps this up.

Violet Chachki: Speaking of Chachki- I think I can finally say she’s grown on me. Do I think she’s awesome? Not completely yet. But her Alyssa Edwards had Jon and I seeing double and YES GAWD-ing. And while she may have over-used that pop tongue-click noise her mannerisms and responses were ON POINT. She nailed Edwards and did the beloved queen of Seasons Past proud. Also her runway was one of the best of the night. And you know what was COMPLETELY out of left field? Her and Pearl’s ki-ki in the untucked lounge. See, Minj and Davenport? Look at that. THAT’S how you dish without coming out looking like delusional assholes. While they clocked other queens they also heaped plenty of praise on everyone and seemed genuinely fair in the critiques. Violet seemed- GASP- reasonable, thoughtful and nice. It was a VERY appealing side to her we’ve never seen on the show before and I hope it continues- because if anyone can knock Minj and Davenport out of the competition it would be a likable, thoughtful version of Violet Chachki.

Max: Oh Max. Dear, sweet, wonderful Max. It was NOT your time to go. For the second time this season I will whole-heartedly say that Ru put the wrong queen in the bottom two and thus was forced to send someone home long before their time. To get this out of the way immediately: Max’s Sharon was a DISASTER. Her look was amazingly accurate as a caricature of Sharon (though I would have gone with a blonde wig instead of that Party City orange number) but her characterization of Sharon was an absolute fucking travesty. I can’t over-ephasize just how cringe-inducing she was in Snatch Game. HOWEVER her runway was great. Not her best, but it was far better than a couple other queens *cough* Davenport/Fierce- *cough*. All-in-all when you take that into account and the fact that every queen has a bad day Max should have been the one to squeeze by as the bottom three without lip-synching, not Fame. I get it- Fame did horribly but wasn’t expected to fair any better while Max is a theater queen so should have done FAR better. But that’s no excuse to eliminate a girl for one bad week. If we were doing that then Davenport would be gone by now, as would Fame and half the other girls. And the editing? Don’t even get me started. After reading Max’s explanation of her “breakdown” during the judging I want to slap Ru for being so shady with the editing. That’s the first time I can think of where drama wasn’t based, at least in some small part, on truth and turned out to be COMPLETELY fabricated using manipulation and crazy amounts of editing. Apparently Max got light-headed and needed to take the corset off during someone else’s critique- not during his own like it was edited. And the singing? Apparently Ru ASKED him to sing. IT WAS REQUESTED. It wasn’t Max having a crazy mental breakdown on set- it was a request by Ru that he sing “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” and instead he chose a song from A Star Is Born. I don’t know. I feel like they have been half-heartedly trying to give Max a strange bitch edit- but so far the only person who seemed to think that is Minj- a spiteful person who seems to lash out due to insecurity and jealousy more than reality. And tonight’s episode they seemed to construct this ridiculous farce of a moment with Max to try and justify her elimination. It just felt wrong. Did she deserve to be bottom 3? Absolutely. But what she needed was for that to be a WAKEUP CALL not an instant elimination.

Final thoughts:

• Ru finished the episode with some extremely enticing news: she’s bringing a girl back. My only thought on this is: it’s either going to be Trixie or Max. Out of the eliminated queens those are the ONLY two that seemed to leave before it was their time. My money is on Max. I don’t know- there was something poignant and extremely telling in the untucked about how they overlaid Max’s walk from the runway to the work room with Ru LITERALLY saying she think’s she’s made a mistake. I don’t know. It’s probably wishful thinking at this point but we’ll see. If it’s ANY of the others I will be SO FUCKING PISSED OFF. But if it’s either Trixie or Max I will do a little jig of happiness. Especially if it’s Max. His send-off was shady to the extreme, so here’s hoping they make it up to him.

• My current Top 3 Revised With The Most Recent Elimination: Katya, Pearl, Violet (I know, it’s crazy. But out of those still left Violet is the only one I think who has the strengths to oust Minj and the inexplicable staying power of Davenport and overall she’s growing on me. I still love me some Jaidynn and want her to succeed but I think her time on this show is not long).