RuPaul's Drag Race Recap: Totally Leotarded!
Feb 12 2011 11:55 am ET
This week the queens are told to work it out when they make exercise videos. Susan Powter is on hand to make sure they don't stop the insanity. Two contestants feel the burn when they have to Lip Sync for Ya Life -- with one adding weightlifting to the mix.
Last week: The queens split into two groups to film camp-tastic trailers for Drag Queens from Outer Space. Mimi thought she was going to win the challenge, but Shangela and Alexis Twinbots combo scored the victory. Phoenix and Delta Work had to Lip Sync for Ya Life, but Ms. Work was asked to stay.
The next day in the workroom, Delta wipes Phoenix's message off the mirror. Delta says she feels reenergized and jokes "Raja, get ready to write your name later." Later, we see Mimi confiding in Delta that she thought she was going to win the challenge. Delta has that blank expression you get on your face when one of your co-workers goes on and on about what happened at their kid's dentist appointment yesterday. We don't see much more of the conversation, but you can guess how Delta's side goes: "Uh huh...yeah...right, right...mm-hmm..."
SheMail time. "If you wanna feel this race, you've got to feel the burn," RuPaul says. "Let me hear your body talk." Please say Olivia Newton-John is the guest judge. Ru enters and tells the queens "It's time to get leotarded." He presents "a girl's best friend and worst-kept secret: duct tape." In groups of two (and one group of three) the contestants will have to glamorize their black leotards using duct tape of all different colors. Mimi immediately volunteers Delta and Stacy as group partners -- without consulting either of them. Delta isn't happy about this.
The challenge gets started and we have our first frenzied supply grab of the season. We see the teams struggling with applying the tape and coming up with a design plan. Mimi is covering Delta with hot pink tape in a way that makes her look like swirling cotton candy. It is not a good look, so they start over. Delta's good mood is starting to fade.
Time is called and we get to see the looks in action. Alexis and Mariah have created purple bustiers with blue ruffles. We don't get a good look at Raja/Yara's look. Carmen and Manila look like Trapper Keepers, but they add the extra touch of duct tape iPods. Shangela and India used mostly camouflage tape. The plus-sized queens have huge blond wigs and pink straps all over the place. Delta interviews that the whole look made her feel self-concious. Manila and Carmen are declared the winners of the contest.
Ru tells the contestants it's "time to get TOTALLY LEOTARDED!" A good queen will keep her Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent in shape, so these queens will produce their own inspirational workout videos. Delta looks really sad. The challenge winners pick their teams. Carmen wants variety on her team, so she selects Delta, Mariah, Yara and India. Manila chose Raja, Shangela, Mimi, and Alexis. Manila gets Stacy after Carmen passes her because she already had a beautiful big girl on the team.
The captains will assign the exercises to each queen and create an overall look for the team. The teams break up to brainstorm ideas. On Team Manila, Mimi dominates the conversation with way too many ideas (most of them bad), driving Raja up the wall. Stacy has been assigned the shake weight, but she doesn't feel like any of her suggestions are being heard by the team. Over at Team Carmen, the captain thinks she is doing a great job of being a leader, which is immediately followed by a montage of "[Suggestion]......no." Hehe. Meanwhile, Delta interviews that she is terrified of an exercise challenge, when she is 350 pounds. She thanks Carmen for picking her, a moment that is both sweet and heart-wrenching. Carmen interviews that she thinks Delta is beautiful but she needs to work on her confidence. Aww, Carmen just rocketed up my list of preferred contestants.
The queens start to get ready for the challenge. As Team Manila puts on make-up, Raja explains the concept of "garage doors" – that's Dragese for wearing only one shade of eyeshadow. Raja says she picked up the term from a friend, to which Shangela responds that the way Raja said it made it sound like an industry term. After this episode, I think it is now.
The teams are ready for the WalkthRu. Team Carmen is first, with India explaining that she was assigned her exercise. She interviews that she has no workout experience and doesn't go to the gym. Delta does a demo of her shake weight exercise, which includes lots of reaching, squating, and excited grunting. Hehe. She calls it the shake and bake.
Oops, that's what Stacy was told her exercise would be called. She's told to come up with a new name. Raja interviews that she is worried that Stacy will cause her to be at risk for elimination if their group fails. After Manila defers offering a demo of her exercise (which does not impress Ru), Stacy gives a demo of the "sit and shake" – an exercise that lets you eat while you work. Mimi's jumprope idea has Ru warning her about "safety first." Shangela will be working the "Halleloola Hoop." She says if you have trouble keeping the hoop up, you just have to talk dirty to it. HA! Alexis interviews that she is not a comedian in her act, so she isn't sure if she can compete with the other personalities on her team.
Ru tells both teams that the videos are supposed to be inspirational. To help with that part, Susan Powter will stop by the video shoot to offer advice. Ru reminds the ladies "Don't f--- it up."
Team Manila is first on the set. Ru and Susan are sitting in the directors' chairs. Manila's exercise is called the "Step and Strap", but it is more like the "Bend and Snap" from Legally Blonde. Susan wants it to be more over the top. Alexis introduces herself, but Susan stops her and asks her to be more over the top as well. Alexis tries her intro again, giving herself the full name treatment (Alexis Rodriguez Martinez.........Mateo). Her exercise uses the stretching thingamajig to apply lip gloss. "Stretch and lip...streeeeeetch and lip." Raja decides to go the masculine woman bodybuilder route, putting full bass into her voice before slamming an exercise ball into her body (10 reps). At this point, Susan explains the "soft camera moment." This is that moment in the video when the trainer has a heart-to-heart with the viewer. Shangela milks this moment for all it is worth, leading everyone in a gospel of halleloola-hooping. Stacy's "sit and shake" demo goes well, though Susan would like more shaking all over. Stacy obliges, leading Shangela to interview that Stacy has impressed her so far throughout the competition. Mimi is last with a skit about a jumprope that you use to capture a man. Ru has to stop filming because he is concerned about safety -- and that it looks disorganized. Here's how their video turned out:
Team Carmen is ready to exercise...almost. Carmen wants to enter from off-stage, work in "work it out" as much as possible, and then do an even more slowed-down version of the "bend and snap." India has the stretching device she calls a rubber tug. Then she does a legitimate exercise with no pun name, no naughtiness, and no energy. Yara brings the personality to the group – she has turned her accent up to 11, saying midway through "If you don't understand me, I will put a translation at the end of the video." It's hysterical. Delta describes it best: "I feel like I'm making a workout video with uber-Charo." Mariah does an exercise with a ball, but the description involves so much bleeping that it kinda grosses everyone out. Delta is last, working the shakeweight as phallically as possible. You can tell her demo is a hit because you can hear the production crew laughing. Delta interviews that she thought she was going to suffer this week, but this may be her best challenge so far. Let's watch the finished product:
Ru tells all the queens to show up on the mainstage dressed in an outfit showcasing their best features. Joining Susan as a guest judge will be LaToya Jackson. As everyone gets ready in the workroom, Stacy interviews that she is more extroverted back home but is getting overwhelmed by the big personalities here. Shangela, who has worked with Stacy twice so far, tells her she has not been disappointed by her work so far. I know it's the petty drama that makes or breaks most reality shows, but these little moments of positivity are what I love about this show.
Out on the mainstage, RuPaul is rocking the Fonda Jazzercise-era hair. Only bigger. This week, Michelle is dressed like a drag version of Marissa Jaret Winokur. Also joining the judges on the panel, subbing for Santino, is Billy B, Lady Gaga's makeup artist. Gentlemen, start your engines, and let the best woman win!
Raja decided to highlight her legs with an outfit she describes as a MILF/cougar waiting for the pool boy. She nailed the look. Manila is wearing a black/white horizontal stripe strapless tube dress. She emphasizes her face by wearing her hair up. Stacy is next with a lovely flower print dress outlined in pink. She is showcasing her chest and this is her first runway that has left any sort of impression. And it's a positive one!
India is wearing a see-thru catsuit, a top hat, waist-length hair extensions, and bedazzled X's on the vitals. It looks like the Party City costume version of Britney's outfit in the "Circus" video. Alexis highlights her body wearing a sheer beige gown with sequins. Very tasteful, especially compared to India's look. Mimi is wearing a leopard print gown with ruffles along the bias, reminiscent of something Bette Midler would wear. It's a nice looking dress, but she doesn't appear to be highlighting anything. Shangela enters the stage wearing a smock, which she promptly removes to reveal an asymmetrical mini dress that accentuates her shoulders.
Mariah is wearing a dress with a scarf of brown tones that complement her skin tones. This one is also tricky in pinpointing what she is highlighting, but it looks good. Delta Work enters wearing a form-fitting dress that makes her look a lot like Delta Burke at the Emmy awards. Yara is highlighting her legs with a short purple dress that looks shredded. She also put on ice blue contacts, making her eyes look other-worldly. Carmen is last on the runway, wearing a form-fitting gown that tastefully shows off her body. She looks great in clothes she doesn't make.
All the queens take the stage. RuPaul explains that even though the videos were shot in teams, this week the contestants will be judged individually. Stacy, Mimi, Yara Sofia, India Ferrah, Alexis Mateo, and Mariah are asked to step forward. The other queens are sent to safety.
Alexis is the first to be read. LaToya loved the sparkles of the gown. Billy says she looks like a retro Barbra Streisand with Hollywood glam. Michelle describes her video performance as "Puerto Rican Chrissy Snow." YES! That's it exactly! Mimi's video does not receive much praise. Billy warns her she doesn't need to use every drag trick all the time. Susan Powter called the performance "hokey."
LaToya compliments(?) Stacy, saying she looks like one of her relatives. RuPaul loved that the way Stacy ate during the "sit and shake" allowed the audience to laugh with her and not at her. India's workout was not as inspiring and Billy HATES the outfit. There's so much going on "we don't know what you're covering up."
RuPaul loved that Yara turned her accent into an asset instead of a liability. However, Michelle thinks the dress is a mess. LaToya loved the colors of Mariah's dress. RuPaul thought that Mariah lacked sincerity in the video, causing her segment to go flat. With that, RuPaul sends the queens away so the judges can chat.
Alexis nailed the workout with the funniest segment. Mimi wasn't funny and Michelle called her performance "stupid." Stacy's personality is starting to emerge, but she needs to step it up. India had a boring workout and a look that Billy hated. Michelle hated Yara's outfit, but the video was hilarious and Yara is sexy. Mariah is pretty, but she did not deliver on the challenge.
The contestants return to the stage. Yara is safe. Alexis effectively combined lip gloss and a thingamajiggy to win this challenge. She gets immunity and won a $2,500 gift certificate for Gilt.com, which looks like your go-to source for your CZ needs. India, on the other hand, had too much look on the runway and not enough oomph in the challenge: she is up for elimination.
Stacy "ate the scenery, literally" but the judges are concerned she is still holding back. She can work on that next time because she is safe. Mariah is told she is a bronze beauty, but her workout was "pale." Mimi looked glamorous on the runway, but her video was sloppy. Mariah is safe; Mimi is up for elimination.
Mimi and India: "The time has come for you to Lip Sync.........for Ya Life." Mimi voices over that anything goes at this point. This week's song is "Don't Leave Me This Way" by Thelma Houston. I didn't recognize this song at first, since it starts off as a rather slow ballad. Mimi keeps stepping in between India and the judges. The song picks up at the chorus and you can't help but dance -- now I recognize this song! India steps down from the stage to get closer to the judges.
At the point where Thelma belts out the first "Baby!", Mimi PICKS UP India and carries her back to the stage. Okay, as an adult, I have only been picked up and carried once. It was by consent but I immediately asked to be put down almost instantly because it was way too disorienting. I don't want to imagine what it would feel like if someone snuck up behind me and tried to do that. It would probably be like India's reaction: "GET HER OFFA ME!" India finally gets free but works it out in the end, adding somersaults and losing the wig.
RuPaul announces she has made a decision. "Mimi Imfurst." No way, seriously?! "Drag is not a contact sport." RuPaul turns to India, telling her "shantay, you stay." Someone shrieks their support in the background. Mimi sashays away. She's crying as she says she doesn't agree with the decision. She's always going to be Mimi Imfurst.
Mike McComb – TVLatest.com
Follow Mike on Twitter @Rube Goldberg
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