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A place for me to post things that aren't related to my art or shameless self-promotion.

RPDR Rant: All Stars 2, Episode 6

Aedan Roberts

So this season has been quite the roller-coaster. Highs, lows - all over the fucking place. This episode is no exception- it comes off as the Yang to Episode 4's Yin in nearly every way. Last week the challenge was not all that great but the drama, twists, LSFYL, and results made it orgasmic. This week the challenge and runways really stood out, but it all culminated in probably my least favorite episode of the season due to a lot of (IMO) terrible decisions- made by both Ru and Rolaskatox (the Queen formerly known as Alaska). I'm honestly so incensed by the results of this episode I'm having a hard time figuring out what to say. But don't worry- that's never stopped me from rambling on and on about something!

So yeah, the Maxi Challenge: the girls are tasked with coming up with their own products and creating infomercials for them. The products have to be clever/funny and the videos even moreso. As for the Runway? PANTS. PANTS ON THE RUNWAY. And BOY did nearly everyone deliver!

So yes, instead of griping about stuff here I'll get straight to the Rundown. In no particular order:

Rolaskatox (Alaska): I'll likely go back to referring to Rolaskatox by her real Drag Name next week, but for now I'm a little too annoyed to not be petty. Look, did she deserve to be Top 2? Sure. Her video was AMAZING, quintessential Rolaskatox: it was funny, irreverent, intelligent and the timings were impeccable. Her Runway was my least favorite of the night- but that was more due to the awful-ness of her fried poodle wig than anything else. Rolaskatox has been doing quite well the entire time (though I argue her track record has been kept artificially high due to her - at this point- painfully obvious Winner's Edit) and tonight was no exception.

But this is where it starts to break down for me. First of all I don't think she deserved to win that lipsynch. The editors may have been doing their wizardly best to make it SEEM like Alaska was out-performing Katya (by devoting nearly 2/3rds of that lipsynch to close-up shots of Alaska alone), but the parts we actually got to see of Katya would paint a different picture. Katya embodied the song FAR better, her moves were both funny and appropriately sensual, her outfit matched the song better, and she didn't rely on the nearly identical routine that has so far been Rolaskatox's MO:

Someone in the subreddit put the above image together and it frustrated me to look at it. While I love these moments does Rolaskatox really need to do the same thing EVERY GODDAMNED TIME? And be rewarded for it? I get it: every queen has their thing. Alyssa is going to do a split and a high kick if she's lipsynching. Katya is going to feel up her boobs in a sensuous way. But at least they attempt to mold it to the song instead of doing the nearly exact same thing every time. Regardless it was clear by the halfway mark, due to WoW's severe lack of subtle editing, that Alaska had taken the lipsynch (deserved or not). Which then opened up the competition for Mistake Number 2: Rolaskatox Edition. TATIANNA? Are you SERIOUS? That was the most lead-footed, ill-thought-out decision she has made so far.

Up until this point Rolaskatox has been deftly avoiding the drama. She's stayed out of the conflicts as best she can, concentrated on herself, and tried to be as diplomatic as possible. Couple this strategy with a Winner's Edit and she's been nearly flawless in her decision-making. Tonight ruins that track record in a somewhat spectacular way. There is literally no way you can see Rolaskatox's decision that isn't centered entirely around friend-loyalty. Some have argued that it was strategic- that somehow Tatianna posed a threat to her and Roxxxy (with her FOUR WEEKS IN THE BOTTOM) has pretty much disqualified herself from winning at this point. That only holds water if Tatianna was any more likely to win than Roxxxy at this point- but sadly she wasn't. Tatianna missed two episodes and has been in the bottom twice. Sure she won two challenges, but that's two bottom and two top. Compare that to Rolaskatox's FOUR WINS and ZERO BOTTOMS and it is painfully obvious that Tatianna was as unlikely to pose a threat to Rolaskatox than Roxxxy was. Some other people thought that she went based on this week's critiques- but that also doesn't hold water: Tatianna's video, while not perfect, was slightly better (and better received) than Roxxxy's (and even Detox's- more on that later) and her runway was possibly the best one of the night. I mean come on- that T-Boz Realness was BREATHTAKING. So even if we go on what the judges had to say Roxxxy was the obvious choice. What it came down to, when everything has been considered, is Rolaskatox went with friendship over sportsmanship. And it is NOT a good look on her.

With her flawless and seemingly unstoppable record Rolaskatox seems guaranteed the crown at this point. However my perception of this inevitability has changed from "she may not be who I personally want to win but GOOD FOR HER!" to "I am officially rooting against her." That may change again by the end- because so far this season has been an amazing example of how quickly public opinion can shift- but as of right now Rolaskatox has lost me.

Alyssa Edwards: After two solidly Phi2/Alyssa Drama Mama Extravaganzas it was actually nice to see Alyssa ease back into her place and get to work tackling the challenge. And she did so in the wonderful way that only Alyssa Edwards could. Her video was silly, funny, energetic and quintessential Alyssa- absurd and working to her strength as a Meme Machine. I look forward to the inevitable Ten Thousand Frantically Running Around Alyssa's GIFs. As for her Runway? It was fun. Not my favorite, but polished and lovely nevertheless. In the end I was happy with her performance and safety, even if I honestly believe she would have made a MUCH better decision if she had been Top 2 over Rolaskatox.

Detox: Detox did alright as well. Her video was funny and her runway was really excellent. One of the Top 3 looks, in my opinion. But ultimately I do not feel her placement was correct in this episode. Her critiques, as they were shown to us, were worse than Tati's and her look (while lovely) wasn't nearly as AMAZING as Tati's. Simply put: this should have been a Detox and Roxxxy Bottom 2. It actually makes so much more sense- both in terms of performance and story- that it boggles my mind why it didn't happen. TWO members of The Triad in the bottom? Can you imagine how much more juicy it would have been to force Rolaskatox to send home one of her best friends? It's called a Sophie's Choice and it is some of the BEST drama you can find. And yet they kept Detox safe. Am I happy Detox is still here? Absolutely. She's done great and has really grown on me. But even if she HAD ended up Bottom 2 there was NO WAY either Katya or Rolaskatox would have chosen her- it just would have been a rougher decision for Rolaskatox.

Katya: Katya ROCKED this episode. Rocked it HARD. So hard that it furthers my argument that this season isn't just "All Stars 2: Alaska's Inevitable Winner's Edit," it's also "All Stars 2: Doing Katya Dirty." All season Katya has been given the shaft about as often as Rolaskatox has been given every conceivable advantage. I mean look: her video was THE BEST. Hands down. It was the funniest, most well-written and acted essence of insanity. And her runway? Breathtaking. It was the only other one I thought held top marks with Tati's. It was odd, but beautifully tailored and she SOLD the FUCK out of it.

As for the lipsynch? Like I wrote in Rolaskatox's section: I honestly feel like Katya really won it. The dress/hair she changed into fit the song FAR better, and instead of relying on pulling a random American Flag out of her wig Katya went full-on rocker chick. She dropped into a split, crawled around like a sex panther, played air guitar on her vagina . . . . it was brilliant. And yet when the lights came back on and Ru made her choice? Katya: shafted yet again.

I will say this, however: Katya truly has grown so much since her first time on the show. Before, in Season 7, all this sabotage would have turned her into a nervous mess. When that little sad man ripped her idea to shreds in the work room Old Katya would have panicked and let her anxiety get the best of her, scrambling to create a new idea that ultimately ruined her. Instead we got New Katya: willing to trust in her own comedic sensibilities and intelligence and moving ahead with what turned out to be the funniest idea of the night. Thank GOD for New Katya. Along with Alyssa she is another of the True Winners of All Stars 2.

Roxxxy Andrews: Roxxxy gave the worst video of the night, and while her runway was polished/lovely it also wasn't all that interesting. In the end she should have gone home. No ifs, butts or glitter plugs. This was her FOURTH time (deservedly) in the bottom. That alone should have guaranteed her departure. The fact that she really WAS the worst? Doubly so. Don't get me wrong: Roxxxy herself has accomplished what she set out to do. I actually like her now. She's shown a far sweeter side this season and hasn't let the competition get to her in the same painful way she did in Season 5: in other words she's already redeemed herself. But it was her time to go. She even said as much during deliberation. There was a resigned sense of acceptance to her, with only the smallest hope glimmering in her eye as she talked to Rolaskatox. Compare that to the fire burning in Tati's eyes? Yeah. Ugh. Just ugh. Roxxxy is still there, Tati's gone and I'm mad a Rolaskatox. What a shitty way to end an otherwise great episode.

Tatianna: Tati did everything right in this episode and was the sad victim, yet again, of Rolaskatox's touch of death. Her video, while not the funniest, was still better (to me) than Roxxxy or Detox and her look blew theirs out of the water. And yet there she was, stuck in the Bottom 2 in the EXACT SAME SCENARIO from episode 2. However this time should have been different. This time she should have been saved. And yet? Nope. So now we once again bid adieu to Tatianna- one of the most beautiful queens to ever grace the stage of RPDR. Axed before her time because friendships outweigh talent and performance. I wish we could have seen more from this talented as fuck queen, but at least she gave us T-Boz Realness and one of the best LSFYL's ever in the herstory of RPDR.

Alrighty! See you all next week!