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Filtering by Tag: rupaul

RPDR RANT: Season 8 Pre-Season Impressions!

Aedan Roberts

Hey everyone! That time of year is FAST approaching! Where my rants are long, superfluous, and WAY too passionate. Yes, of course I’m talking about Aedan Roberts' RuPaul’s DRAG RACE SEASON 8 Rants! And to kick things off early I’m going to do something stupid, but fun: first impressions of each Queen and links to some youtube videos I’ve selected for you to get to know the girls a bit better before they strut their shit. I’m also going to probably give my pre-show top four or five (or more, ugh). Because honestly? This season seems just as jam packed with talent and people I love as season 6 was so a top 3 will be impossible.

Without further ado:

ACID BETTY:
I’m incredibly excited to see this visually explosive Queen make her way to Drag Race. She seems, in my book, to have it all: a distinct, insane visual style, intelligence, wit and irreverence. Plus she’s a home girl (NYC BITCHES!). As of now- based on the Ruveal alongside what I already knew of her before - Acid is one of my top Queens going into Season 8. I’m not familiar enough to know if she will be the self-proclaimed bitch of the season (which was stated in her description) but I’m hoping that, if so, she will be the good kind of bitch (Bianca) and not the bad kind (Roxxxy, Phi Phi).

To get a small sampling of what Acid Betty is all about, go here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDhugx_scVg

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN:
If I had to pick a Queen, right now, that I would want to win Season 8 of RPDR it would be Bob the Mutherfuckin’ Drag Queen. This girl is hysterical, talented, and commanding. She’s possibly the smartest queen I’ve seen and her performance skills are right up there with Bianca-levels of polished. I was made aware of this girl after she was speculated to be in Season 8 on the RPDR subreddit (which was, not shockingly, amazingly accurate) and proceeded to binge-watch as much as I could of her youtube videos. My favorites are the performances where she splices music with clips from movies/stand-up routines. I know this is a common Drag Performance Practice, but hers are absolutely wonderful and especially clever. And if that weren’t enough she is also an NYC girl! Bob is definitely taking a spot in my top choices for this season.

Some choice samples of Bob:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaekaFzDACo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdZU-XQUOdw

CHI CHI DEVAYNE:
I don’t really have much to say about her. She seems polished, adorable, and has a sense of humor- but nothing really stood out for me. She’s kind of an unknown entity for me so if anyone has any more info on her I’d love to hear it. As of now I kind of see her as middle of the pack.

I couldn’t find any videos on youtube of her so that doesn’t help, lol.

CYNTHIA LEE FONTAINE:
She’s actually one of the only Meet the Queens I couldn’t finish the clip of. I kind of got this Kandy Ho vibe from her. Both in the way she talked and how good she was at making an impact on me. I hope to be surprised by her when the show finally airs, but as of now she’s towards the bottom of my list. From what I’ve been able to tell from her youtube videos she can at least perform well and her lip-synch always seems on point. But that’s about all I could tell you of this Puerto Rican Queen.

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIE8Evv8_FI

DERRICK BARRY:
Derrick seemed to get a lot of hate on the subreddit when her name was floated for Season 8. It’s something I don’t understand completely, but on some level I *kind* of get it. She’s Britney. That’s her job, that’s what she does best, and that’s what seems to be on her mind constantly (she says Britney a total of 7 times in her short Meet the Queen clip and referenced her multiple other times). Which kind of gives me the sense that her range is rather limited. However she’s a vegas girl- so the girl can DANCE, perform, and look polished to filth. Will she have the ability to break away from her one trick alla Chad Michaels? Or fall flat like Venus Delite? Who knows. As of now I like her, but not one of my favorites so far.

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9ZIPDaNKNo

DAX EXCLAMATIONPOINT:
I have to admit: I had not heard of Miss Exclamationpoint before her Ruveal. But I’m completely excited for her now! She has said many of the magic words to get me behind her: she’s a nerd, she’s a Cosplay Queen, she loves comics. In other words, the girl speaks my language. She also seems pretty damn smart, amicable, polished, and fun. She’s definitely in my Top Picks based on the RuVeal content and a couple other videos. Will she turn it out? Who knows! But regardless I'm an instant fan. PS: extra points for the Violet shade (out of love, seeing how she is Violet’s Drag Mom (!) )

Her IMPECCABLE Storm Drag:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ee_d6QG2o8

KIM CHI:
Much like Bob, Kim-Chi first appeared on my radar when the Subreddit pointed to her as one of Season 8’s predicted queens (also correct). And ever since I have been an ever-growing fan of hers. Falling in a similar vein to Trixie Mattel (in terms of makeup application) she distinguishes herself from the pack as one of the most visually avant-garde and on-POINT queens I’ve ever seen. She’s playful, silly, and I *LOVE* her adorable little lisp that she has in her Meet the Queen video. She’s a walking work of art, really. And she definitely has my support and a spot in my Top Picks.

Video of Miss Chi:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTkuR7j3Ir0
Instagram of Miss Chi:
https://www.instagram.com/kimchi_chic/?hl=en

LAILA MCQUEEN:
I was initially bored and thought she was forgettable (a bit of a Poor Man's Adore Delano). Then I watched her Meet the Queen and was like “huh, she seems more fun than her picture and RuVeal clips implied.” Then I looked her up on youtube and watched a compilation video (or maybe it was her audition tape) and now I kind of love her. Not enough to make my Top Girls list, but I’m excited to see if she can weasel her way on there once the show starts (which, I’m sure, is the only thing she’s ever wanted.)

Video that made me excited to see her on RPDR:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGKO9-LrErU

NAOMI SMALLS:
I don't know if it is the 5th Element Stewardess Meets 1960s Go Go outfit she wore in the Ruveal, the way every movement she made had a sinewy grace about it, or the alien beauty someone with limbs that long and thin possesses, but I was immediately captured by this queen during her Meet The Queens segment. I don't know much about her, but her look was one of my favorites in the trailer, her makeup was wonderful, and subsequent youtube perusing has shown me she moves with a confidence I've only ever seen in Raja before. She may be the youngest person in the competition (or one of the youngest) but I can't help but have high hopes for her.

Some fun videos showing off the fierce:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LB7SuLysN8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HbzoDjoyDA

NAYSHA LOPEZ:
Another middle of the pack, in my eyes. We get it, she's pretty, fishy, polished. But there just wasn't anything in that interview that made her stand out. No quirks, no oddity of character (which helps a lot on a TV Reality Show). Honestly? She just seems like a confident, pretty, talented and utterly milquetoast individual. And while that's probably who I'd prefer to be stuck in a broken elevator with it's not really what I'd be into watching on RPDR- especially with the caliber of talent and personality Ru has for us this upcoming season.

A rather boring but competent video of Miss Naysha:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yo9gLxgVCI

ROBBIE TURNER:
Robbie Turner. This woman is WONDERFUL. Robbie's flawless, often-vintage looks, wonderful mug, and (far more importantly) HYSTERICAL performances quickly makes her one of my favorites. She has that Golden Age of Hollywood sensibility about her, a bit of Lucy mixed with Katherine Hepburn and then funneled into the body of a Drag Queen. I was made aware of her, yet again, through Reddit's Season 8 predictions, and boy was I happy about it. As someone whose favorite queens include Jinkx Monsoon and Ben DeLaCreme this girl was right up my alley (it helps that she hails from Seattle and is good friends with both the aforementioned queens). But even if those two weren't your all-time favorites Robbie should still be on your list of Top Girls for season 8- because this woman is flawless, smart, and turns it OUT every goddamn time.

Some videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFgIUkR3acA

THORGY THOR:
I should know more than I do about Thorgy Thor. She's a homegirl (BK!) after all. But shamefully I was somewhat ignorant of her until now. Some very basic searching on the inter webs, however, has led me to think this girl may be severe competition in the upcoming season, and I'm definitely giving her a place in my Top Girls. Her Meet the Queens interview was delightful- and she said something I think more queens need to take to heart "Drag is supposed to be fun." She looks like she lives for every second of it, and that enthusiasm is extremely infectious.

Thorgy vids:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqFauEC9T5I
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9TKyORuwJ0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hs_g091GW7g

So here are my top picks (which are obviously probably going to change significantly once the season starts):

Bob The Drag Queen
Robbie Turner
Kim Chi
Acid Betty
Thorgy Thor
Dax Exclamation Point
Naomi Smalls

Yeah . . . . that's a lot (SEVEN). And that makes me so freaking excited that this many queens make this list- two more than I anticipated!

RPDR RANT: Season 7 FINALE!

Aedan Roberts

Hey everyone! A week late and a dollar short, but here it is: my RDPR Season 7 FINALE RANT! Last of it's kind, first of it's stature, forever drowning in a sea of sequins, glitter, and forehead black-spray-paint (courtesy of Ginger Minj). So join me now, won't you, for the most unnecessary rant yet (which is really saying something considering the superfluous nature of this beast). ON WITH THE BREAKDOWN:

For this Very Special RPDR Rant I will first breakdown the Eliminated Queens based on their Runway Power Rankings (mostly because they were given such little screen time during this recap that their looks were all we could judge them on):

1. Coming in at Number 1 is the bitch who should have come in at Number 1 (in the competition): KATYA. Sure, there may be a little bit of bitter bias here, but there is also truth: her look was AMAZING. It was striking, editorial, flashy in all the right ways, and just felt original and flawless. The black and white zig-zag pattern inlaid under the red sequins created such a powerful image that she kind of blew away her fellow contestants (and that's saying something- most of these queens looked FANTASTIC). I'm also going to take this time to say: DAMN YOU RU! You played with my heart this finale and if you had just slightly more gall you could have redeemed this entire season if you had only gone through with crowning Miss Katya. That little water stunt was PERFECTION and had the entire bar I was watching with screaming so loudly the walls shook, and then booing/laughing so loudly they shook even more. Katya is, probably, the queen who will come out of this season the True Winner. And she deserves nothing less because she is PERFECTION. And she really needs to pee on Mother Ru.

2. Coming in Number 2: Miss TEMPEST DUJOUR. Now, hear me out: out of all the queens that night no one showed so much marked improvement in her craft than Tempest did with this surprisingly wonderful look. It was campy, well thought-out/executed and played to the Dear-God-That's-Severe nature of her face. She looked like a Medieval Painting of the Virgin Mother burst forth in a shower of butt plugs to grace the stage, and I was living for it. On the show she was such a disaster, but here she actually managed to showcase at least a modicum of her supposed seamstress credentials that were completely absent from her time in the competition. So she gets kudos for a great outfit and further boosts for such a massive improvement.

3. Please welcome Miss JAIDYNN DIORE FIERCE to her rightful place as Number 3! I loved the rich deep green of her sequin dress (that highlighted every curve and swerve of her body). Her presentation with the claw mark was sexy, and her hair/makeup were FLAWLESS. Bitch worked it that night and made it even more frustrating that she didn't wait two more seasons to compete. With the added experience and confidence she could have taken this competition by storm and won the crown.

4. Number 4: Another surprise: Miss KANDY HO. Yes yes yes. BOY was this girl a Forgettable Snooze-Bore Coma Generator 3000 on the show. And her looks were always a little off. And her makeup was always surprisingly sloppy and beardsy. But here? With what I have to believe was the team of makeup artists she spoke of during her ten seconds of interview later in the show? She looked downright amazing. Her hair was hysterical (like a fabulous dark chocolate poop swirl) and her dress was flowing, elegant and classic. When she twirled and nestled into a seated position at the end of the stage I looked at Jon and went "Seriously, give her credit- that Ho really sold that outfit." So congrats Miss Ho, you managed to capture my attention for the first time all season.

5. Number Five Clucking Alive: It's MISS FAME. I actually loved this look. Her makeup and hair were as flawless as we've ever seen, the dress outlandish, sci-fi fun and it fit like a glove. It wasn't my favorite look of the night but it was attention grabbing and did her claim-to-Fame proud (I'm sorry, I'll stop).

6. Next up it's MAX! I wish I could say I was in love with this look, but overall I was merely happy with it. I was hoping for something far more flashy and over-the-top from her. Instead we got a wonderfully editorial look that felt like The Riddler had sex with Tilda Swinton in a Circus Tent and gave birth to La Roux as a Ringmaster. Obviously awesome, but a little overshadowed by her fellow (in my opinion less original or talented) queens.

7. Coming in at Number 7: KENNEDY DAVENPORT. I can't get the image some redditor created with this look out of my head: it shows the toy cars taken from Pandora's Season 2 reunion outfit and sent them careening onto Kennedy's hair, loop-di-loop around the swirl and launch out. It gave me a snort and I enjoyed it very much. Thank you Nameless Reditor. As for the rest of the look? I guess I just have to say I don't see what everyone else does in this queen. I didn't like a single look from her all season. And I wasn't all that amazed by this either. She looked GREAT. She really did. They all did. But there were just too many things going on in too many different styles and eras that it ultimately came off looking messy.

8. Next up it's Miss JASMINE MASTERS! She looked wonderful. Better than she ever did on the show. This is mostly because she was covering up her abs and finally had great padding. One of my biggest problems with her on the show is how she looked like a hollywood actor in the 80's who dresses up as a woman to go undercover but its so hysterically bad and unconvincing that half of the humor derives from the fact that everyone still seems to be hoodwinked regardless. She suffered hardcore from Man In A Dress ALA Milan Syndrome. But here? Good makeup, good earrings, pretty dress, good padding. A little boring, but at least she looked good!

9. MRS. KASHA DAVIS! While more cohesive and classier than Kennedy Davenport, Mrs. Davis was merely good. She looked stunning and it suited her, but I just wasn't all that blown away by it. Just because it has sequins, girls, doesn't mean it's over the top enough for a RPDR Reunion. And BOY was it similar to Kennedy's, right down to the fringe on the bottom. The only reason it's lower than Davenport, though, is because Kennedy's hair made her look far more memorable.

10. Sadly I must place Miss TRIXIE MATTEL at Number 10. I love me some Trixie. Sure, she didn't get much further after her return. Sure, all that potential and supposed sense of humor was lost in translation (or on the editing room floor) for this competition. But I saw enough of what she does outside the show to realize how amazing this queen truly is- which is why it pains me that I was so uninspired by this look. I get it, Miss Mattel, you wanted to go FULL TRIXIE for the reunion. But in the end it was so much happening at such a concentrated, unedited level it was just relatively unpleasant to look at. I am the last person who thinks Trixie should fundamentally change her aesthetic- but I'm the first to suggest that she needs to learn the vital tool of EDITING before she can really be the superstar she has every right to be.

11. In last place comes Ms. SASHA BELL (whose name I had to look up as I typed this just to be reminded since she's about as memorable as The Silence from Doctor Who). She looked FAR better here than she ever did on her short run this season- but that's not saying much. The wig was boring, the dress was cheap and the overall application looked like a bargain-bin Roxxxy Andrews.

NOW- on to the TOP 3!

• Ginger Minj: After watching an overall amazing runway with the eliminated queens out pops the Glamour Toad herself . . . with the overall effect of a fizzled-out fire cracker. It was standard Minj. Boring, predictable, yet polished and well presented. ALL her looks of the night came off this way. And that's ultimately, to me, what sealed her fate. Out of all the queens this season Minj showed the least amount of growth. You could argue this is because she was strong to begin with but that's only half-true. She didn't need a single ounce of growth in her performance abilities. She could out-act and perform in circles around nearly all the other queens (more on that "nearly" in a moment). But that's it. She had PLENTY of room to grow in her visual versatility and makeup application. And yet she didn't. Not one ounce. Couple this with the fact that all her lipsynch tricks were old-hat at this point (due to two factors: she doesn't have that many tricks and the audience had already seen them due to her three previous LSFYL) and there just wasn't enough there to counter-balance the sheer level of Bitch that she presented in the final episode before the reunion. Her lipsynch was fun. It was high energy. It was funny. It just wasn't enough.

The girl is a Rock Star. I'd pay to see her live and shower her with dollars. But she just wasn't the Next Drag Superstar. A friend of mine took the words right out of my mouth recently: Minj lost this season because Bianca Del Rio won last season. And Minj was too similar to Bianca (while being a mere shadow of Bianca in nearly every way). However she has a bright future ahead of her. She's young (29 is too young for The Bitter Old Lady Brigade, bitch) and the sky's the limit. So carry on, Ms. Toad! CARRY ON! PS: anyone else living for her tiny metal feet during her interview? That's got to be the most hilariously unintentional addition to an outfit in RPDR Herstory. BIONIC MINJ! Now you can wash it in the sink! (Archer reference).

• Pearl: Pearl was never going to win this. While I love her to death she just wasn't versatile enough and her "wake up Pearl" storyline felt forced and false. She never needed to "wake up." She needed a kick in the ass to get her into the competitive spirit, but sleepiness was never her problem. And while her looks were nearly always my personal favorite- they definitely all were of a very specific aesthetic. There was no versatility there and it was the most apparent in her (gorgeous, flawless, yet predictable) reunion looks and performance. It was all just . . . . so . . . Flazéda. I *did* end up loving her Sleepwalker Lipsynch but it was also the shortest and most boring of the three. Honestly there just isn't much to say about Pearl in this reunion. I love the bitch. She's talented and funny as fuck and I can't wait to see her live. Needless to say she has a fan in me- but it was ultimately so obvious that she wasn't winning this season that she came off as nothing more than lovely eye-candy to look at while Violet took the crown.

• Violet: Violet earned her crown and then some this reunion. Everything she did and said was confident, polished and FLAWLESS. Each look was wildly different from the next and yet absolutely STUNNING. And her performance? Ginger Minj should takes notes from Violet on how to move and properly build momentum in a lipsynch. Ginger was HIGH OCTANE from start to finish, which is interesting, but every good tale benefits from a build-up and a climax, and if you are running 100mph the entire time there is no chance for this kind of story to unfold. Violet's dance/striptease, on the other hand, did just that. She oozed grace and confidence and sensuality in every single move she made and with every layer she discarded added a new level of energy and movement. Ultimately it all came to an exciting crescendo that had the whole bar out of their seats. Violet proved in this reunion that she is far, far more than just a walking vogue magazine. She's a genuinely talented performer as well- something we just didn't have the opportunity to see on the show and I'm glad they altered the format of the reunion to convey. By the time Violet's name was called out it was already a forgone conclusion in my mind. Every moment after her Lipsynch was simply another second of waiting to hear her called forth. So CONGRATS to the newest champion VIOLET CHACHKI! Long may she sparkle!

Final notes:

• CAN'T WAIT FOR SEASON 8!

• Katya will WIN the All-Stars or I will slap a ho. Probably a Kandy Ho.

• Thank you all so much for putting up with these rants. They were so much fun to write and let me get all this off my chest. Love you all!

RPDR RANT: Season 7, Episode 12

Aedan Roberts

Hey there Twirl Friends! I know this is an entire week delayed, but it's been a bit hectic here. Regardless: welcome to Aedan's second-to-last RPDR Season 7 RANT! Let us continue . . . .

I'm just going to start out (before getting into the queen-by-queen breakdown) to comment on the immense void of joy this episode seemed to have. And the reason? Katya's absence. Her elimination was the wrong choice on so many levels but the most visceral was how much it affected the tone of the final four. I love me some Pearl, but the most she brings in terms of emotional resonance is calm confidence, and while Violet has evolved drastically to become a genuinely thoughtful, nice queen (though still wonderfully blunt)- she also doesn't bring enough sunshine to counter the caustic, hypocritical mass of hate that seems to radiate from Kennedy and Minj. Katya was the chirpy, odd-ball, frantic kindness and humor that acted as a salve for all the scorching douche-nozzle rapid-fire that Minj and Kennedy have been increasingly displaying as they grow ever more wary of Violet's obvious potential to take the crown. Without Katya there to release tension with a silly quip or a spot-on impression of the cowardly lion all we got was a cascade of dickery that Pearl and Violet seemed unable or unwilling to properly deal with.

With that said: on with the breakdown! (in no particular order):

• Ginger Minj: I really do hope that Minj has officially Roxxied(tm) herself into 3rd place with her "performance" in this episode (and just as much in the untucked). Needless to say she did not come off well in her and Kennedy's near-constant attacks on the "younger" queens (also bitch: 29 is barely older than either of the other girls- 7 years at most to be exact- so stop with all the sad "bitter old lady brigade" bullshit and just go with what you actually are: just bitter). There were so many times in the episode where this squat little pot was shading some kettles that I had a hard time not yelling "look whose talking!" every couple seconds. Calling Violet "unprofessional" and "temperamental" was laugh-out-loud levels of hypocritical in the face of Minj's own actions any time she's been insecure all season (which is sadly quite often). She also kept stressing how she and Kennedy deserved the crown more than the other two because of their "professionalism" but all I saw were some shady, immature bitches attacking two fairly calm and collected queens. It was just painful at times. For people as "experienced" as Kennedy and Minj claimed to be they sure were showing their asses all episode, and that "experience" even managed to backfire rather harshly in the final speech portion of the challenge.

Ultimately the point they kept stressing repeatedly here- that these two had far more experience with competitions due to their extensive pageant backgrounds- turned out to be their biggest downfall. In a normal pageant a girl can be as shady, backstabbing, insecure and rude as she wants backstage as long as she is calm, collected, witty and "kind" anytime a judge is looking. But that isn't how Drag Race works. Much to the contrary, while a girl can go far in RPDR using pageant tactics, it generally makes you look so two-faced and terrible to the viewers (who see both the on-stage persona and what goes on backstage) that you are almost guaranteed to lose the majority of viewer support- which is ultimately as important as what the judges think of you. Ru is smart and savvy. The whole reason she does finales the way she does these days is because she doesn't want another Tyra situation (or a season 3 leak situation). She films all three finalists "winning" so that she can then, over the course of the next couple of weeks, take social media into account. And ever since she's done that no queen has won without the most votes. Sharon, Jinkx and Bianca ALL had the most votes on social media and guess what? Winners. The problem with girls who have a long history of pageants is they are so used to how to play that particular game they have a hard time adjusting to this far more intrusive format. And I hope that is ultimately Ginger's downfall. After her attitude this episode she's the last person I want taking the crown.

As for her performance? She did fine. Her dancing was typical Minj (passable and saved by her comedic timing), her acting was one of the better ones, and her final look was meh-but-not-terrible. She deserved her place in the Top 3, but only because the true winner of this season- Katya- was wrongfully eliminated.

• Pearl: Pearl did fine all episode. Her final look wasn't my favorite of hers this season (I do agree with others that she needed some padding for that top), but it was fun and she looked great. Her dancing was painfully one-note (the same note she's had in any performance this season) but also just fine. Her best parts were her acting and speech portions. She also didn't rely on completely spilling and exploiting whatever massively traumatic experience she apparently endured as a child (which is extremely refreshing for this show) and she concentrated on her strengths when giving her reasons for deserving the crown (instead of concentrating solely on the "weaknesses" of her competitors *cough-ginger/kennedy-cough*. And finally her performance in the final lipsynch blessedly only saw Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing for the beginning. Halfway through the song she started giving us moves we haven't seen before and it was refreshing to see it. She also looked like she was having a blast on stage and that alone gave her a big leg up over the Bitter Ball of Sour that Kennedy seemed to be offering. Her place in the Top 3 is deserved, in my opinion, and while I don't see her snatching the crown, I'm happy she made it.

• Violet Chachki: Violet went from one of the more annoying contestants this show has ever seen to one of it's strongest competitors, and it culminated into the most over-all polished result in this episode. Her dance choreography was fine (nothing special but well done), her acting was fine, her speech was also strong (once again due to the fact that she spent most of her time listing her own strengths and didn't bother shading the other queens) and her look was great (I feel like she was purposefully channeling Raja's final look and the pants allowed for a wider range of motion for the final LSFYL). And can I be honest here? Sure I can: she had, by far, the best LSFYL out of the four. I was actually a little shocked at how good it was. She moved with the music, delivered every note, and brought a fierceness I had only heretofore seen in her runway looks to her performance. It may be that we hadn't had a chance to see any of her lipsynch tricks yet- but her LSFYL was the freshest and captured my attention far more than any of the others. At this point I'm completely‪#‎teamviolet‬.

OH! And she didn't take the bait. She met all the vitriol and shade thrown her way by Davenport and Minj with a cool calm and didn't snap back once. She came out of this episode and the untucked looking far more poised, professional and confident than Minj and Davenport combined (though she did say a couple silly things about not wanting to compete against her fellow queens ON A COMPETITION SHOW). This alone made me feel like she deserves the crown.

• Kennedy Davenport: all she did this episode was act as a constant reminder that the wrong bitch went home last episode. Can you imagine how much more interesting or suspenseful this episode would have been with Minj/Pearl/Violet/KATYA? Everything, with the exception of the dancing portion, was a mess for Kennedy this episode. Her acting was by far the worst of the three, her speech was most likely the death-blow for her chances (enough has been said about her use of "condone" instead of "conduct" that I don't want to bother going too far into it here), and her final look was just all kinds of wrong. I saw where she was going with it, but it was messy. The black bands were poorly sewn, floppy, and wrinkled and the overall effect came off like a cheap pride costume. It also ended up taking away the only thing that she had for the final LSFYL: her ability to dance. She mostly just stood there since it was all the dress allowed for- and that ended up making her the most boring performance of the four.

Also lets go back to that speech for a 'mo. In response to their "defense" of their speeches in Untucked? Ru asked "Why do you, and not your fellow competitors, deserve to win." Even if you DID see that as a request to talk about your competitors- which it didn't have to be- it had FAR more emphasis on why YOU should be there, not why the others didn't. You could mention the other's in passing (think of Alaska's final speech in Season 5)- but it should have concentrated mainly on your strengths. And no, Kennedy, being in the industry for over a decade isn't a "strength" if you can't point out what, exactly, all that time has given you other than a really bitter attitude. All Kennedy, and to a somewhat lesser extent Minj, did was come off looking like they couldn't actually think of any of their own strengths and felt they deserved the crown because they were less terrible than the others- which is not a good look. "Vote for me because these other bitches are terrible" is far less convincing than "Vote for me because I'm the best."

In the end her elimination was deserved and a long time coming. Honestly? It should have happened last episode, or better yet when she wore that tragic mess of a burnt chicken outfit on the runway after a blah performance. And thus ends Kennedy's run on the show. The most baffling run in all of RPDR Herstory (imo).

So next week is the FINALE! It will be the last rant for this season, obviously. Thank you guys for putting up with this ridiculously long series of diatribes. And finally: BRING ON SEASON 8 and (hopefully) ALL-STARS!!!!!

RPDR RANT: Season 7, Episode 11

Aedan Roberts

Sigh. I think I may be done defending this season. While I would still argue that the talent is JUST as strong as any other season, the judging has been so completely baffling that I'm not sure this isn't just an extended April Fool's joke. Kennedy's ability to outlast queens that outperformed, out-lipsynched (Yes, girls, I mean that) and out classed her is at this point well beyond the Tyra Edit and has moved into a place all it's own. I'll go into more detail about that later but for now- the breakdown:

• Ginger Minj: She did fine- which is exactly the issue here. The real story about Ginger Minj this week isn't what took place in the episode or Untucked- but more how what she's selling is a load of Bedazzled Glitter Manure. I completely get the strategy of low expectations. Telling Ru you can actually sew and have experience with costuming sets you up with expectations to achieve. Trixie calling herself a Comedy Queen set her bar high and when she didn't deliver she was understandably (though frustratingly) sent home. So it makes sense to downplay your abilities to a certain extent in a competition like this one. Bendela did it with her British accent, Sharon with her ability to not be "spooky," and so on. But ALL of these other queens did it with a lot more subtlety and without the major Achilles Heel Minj's attempt has. You see, while it may work during production, and while it may help save her from elimination here and there- to claim you "can't sew" or "can't dance" when a simple search on the web would argue otherwise (http://www.stageclick.com/person/10774.aspx) is downright sloppy. We get it- this show is ALL artifice. But most viewers like a little finesse to the fakery (like someone in the comments section of a review said: there is "real fake" and "fake fake"- "real fake" being artifice based on truth while "fake fake" being total, transparent malarky). And the real problem is that this kind of transparent bullshit can affect how the viewers perceive you (are you shady? Or are you just playing the game?) and can ultimately cost you a crown you could have otherwise won. Because it isn't just about Ru's opinion of you anymore. Who wins the crown is heavily influenced by the viewers- and while in the end it's up to Ru to make the final decision she tends to listen to her audience when picking the ultimate winner. Ginger is a funny, talented queen. Her looks are boring and basic, but she's a funny bitch. However what she's presented in the work room and in the untucked makes her someone I actively root against and it's a shame. Would I see her live? Yup! I'd love to. Would I cheer and give her cash monies during that live performance? You bet. Do I want her to win? Nope- not after such a sloppy ruse. She can't excuse her poor taste in costumes with lack of experience.

As for her performance in the episode: Her BFF was brilliant and her look was boring, standard Minj with some Hello Kitty heads glued on. But it was polished and well made so I agree with the final verdict of her safety.

• Kennedy Davenport: This is going to be controversial to some- but I wasn't impressed with her lipsynch. I just wasn't. It was frantic, messy and nothing but head-banging (where she didn't even bother to lipsynch) and performing every trick in her wheelhouse without timing any of it to the music. Her leap off the stage was impressive- but the EXACT SAME MOVE was used by her sister (Rest In Peace, Sahara) who did it with a lot more grace during her season. Kennedy definitely gave it her all- but for a queen whose entire shtick is "I'm a pageant dancing queen" it sure was messy and unrefined. Alyssa Edwards would have mopped the floor with her without breaking a sweat. And as for her performance in the challenge? Worst of the night all around. By far. In fact it was so much worse than any of the other girls she should have gone home REGARDLESS of her LSFYL. Her BFF was boring, stereotypical and unfunny while her look was EXACTLY as uncreative and basic as Kennedy expressed herself to be. Even KENNEDY knows that she's not as good at this as her fellow competitors- which makes her baffling continued presence on the show all the more galling. This week was Kennedy's week to go. In any, non-bizzaro version of this season she would have been sent home. But for some reason this season has been the WORST when it comes to judging and it is going to color it as the worst of the seven at this point. She's moved well beyond Tyra Sanchez in the amount of undeserved passes she's received and will go down in herstery as the clearest example of mismatched praise this show has had (that is to say, in my overly-passionate-about-RPDR opinion).

NOW! Having said all that: the sheer vileness of the hatred spewing out of Twitter and other Social Media toward Kennedy HAS TO STOP. Regardless of how poorly she's done and how far she's gotten in spite of that- the bitch is a talented performer and a FANTASTIC queen. I've done some research and watched some youtubes of her outside the show. Bitch is GREAT. And she looks like, outside the stress of the show, she's probably a really big sweetheart. And most importantly: it isn't Kennedy you should be mad at here. If her continued presence on the show is galling to you (as it is to me) then the person to gear that criticism towards is Ru herself (though that should also be respectful and polite). The fact that Kennedy is apparently receiving DEATH THREATS is beyond the pale of ridiculous even to me- a crazy guy whose waaaaay too passionate about this silly show for competing Drag Queens. I may not want Kennedy there, and may think the judging has been shady, but outside these little rants and fun conversations with friends and fellow fans I would NEVER disparage ANY of these queens. They are ALL fantastic and I would be honored to see any of them perform (some more than others, but you know . . . ) So come on internet. You can do better than that. Just remind yourselves that the real success for ANY of these queens has absolutely no bearing on whether they take the crown or not. While queens like Bianca and Jinkx have been among the most beloved and successful since winning, so have non-winners like Willam, Manilla, Pandora, Raven, Alaska, Nina Flowers, Adore and Courtney. In fact it can be argued that a couple of those who lost are MORE successful than the winners of ANY season (cough-Willam-cough). So while Katya may be off the show now- it's ultimately up to us whether she will be successful after the show- and I can't see her being anything else with the fans she's accrued during her time on the show. So lay off Kennedy.

• Pearl: Pearl rocked this episode. If the winner had come down to who made me laugh the hardest Pearl would have been the clear winner (with Katya a close second). Her BFF was so funny we had to rewind the video multiple times to hear everything we were laughing so loudly. And her runway look was honestly probably my favorite (though I completely understand and agree with Violet's win). It was glorious and made for some amazing GIFs and stood out from the crowd. With Katya now gone she's my personal #1- maybe not to take the crown (I'd personally want her to win but she just doesn't have the track record for it) but I'm really, REALLY hoping she can escape the Baffling Judging Curse of Season 7 and make it to Top 3. We'll see.

• Violet: Bitch brought it and brought it HARD. She probably has the best style and looks since Raja (though I'm not as enamored with her personality as I was with Raja). She's been nothing but flawless this whole season (outside some really poor acting/performance challenges) and as the only one left who hasn't lipsynched (and is tied in first for wins) Violet officially has my support for the crown. She has time to refine her sense of humor. She has time to learn to act better. Those things can be taught- but what can't be taught is her impeccable sense of style and the polish and pinache she brings to every presentation. She's possibly the most refined "young" contestant this show has ever seen. To top it off she's been getting sweeter and nicer and more fun to watch as the season has progressed and she's allowed herself to open up. My friend Ian called her the moment he saw her in episode 1- much like how I called Pearl. I didn't believe him at first- but he was right. Violet is winner material and the only one at this point who can snatch the crown from Ginger. So it's official: Team Violet/Pearl (with violet taking the win). And to Ian- fuck you, you smart whore.

• Katya: Oh Katya. You were my pick for the crown. You should still be there. I understand you are happy with how far you got and you have an incredible career ahead of you- but your fans (myself included, obviously) were not ready to see you go. Jon and I both agreed that Katya became the heart and soul of this season halfway through. It was very clear in the Untucked that all the queens would agree with that statement as well: every single one of them were fighting over who was closer to her. And I can see why. She had been nothing but sweet, hysterical, weird and wonderful all season long. Even when she messed up her self-deprecating nature and ability to laugh at anything endeared her so much. She seemed to find a way to relate and grow a strong bond with each of the top 6- something rare in this kind of competition. As for her performance: her Katya BFF was hysterical and well put together. It gave us life- right down to the yellow teeth and mention of Hello Kitty's "decadent capitalism." And her runway look? While not as good as Pearl or Violet I don't think it was any worse than Minj's- and her hair and makeup were FLAWLESS, not to mention her runway presentation totally sold it for us. And her LSFYL? It was the better of the two. Less frantic, sure. Less desperate. But unlike Kennedy, Katya gave PHENOMENAL face- lipsynching every line like the notes were belting from her own throat. She also made it into a PERFORMANCE instead of a series of tricks. She started slow, made every minor crescendo hit every note perfectly, and when she cartwheeled into that split? Unlike Kennedy's jump split it was timed PERFECTLY. She gave me chills. If it had been Kennedy against another sloppy performer I would understand Kennedy's win, but that just wasn't the case here. Katya gave us a performance that matched the song wonderfully with grace. She should have won and should have stayed. It's a decision that is the cherry on top of the shit sundae that is Season 7's judging and I'm just so over it. Farewell my Russian Prostitute. I can't WAIT to see you again at the reunion!

Final note:

• this Untucked was better than last week's. Pearl's face as she closed the studio door is officially my favorite thing ever.