RuPaul's Drag Race Season 4 Episode 3 Recap: Glamazons vs Champions
Feb 17 2012 09:13 am CET

This week on RuPaul's Drag Race, the queens film commercials for RuPaul's studio albums. The girls from Puerto Rico don't get along, Natalie Cole doesn't get a drug reference, and one queen delivers a fantastic Lip Sync for Ya Life performance.

Previously on RuPaul's Drag Race: Sharon Needles made a bad first impression on Phi Phi O'Hara. Since that was two episodes ago, expect that to be a recurring theme until one of them sashays away. Last time the queens took on a wrestling challenge, which was won by Madame LaQueer and Chad Michaels. The Princess and Lashauwn Beyond were the bottom two, with Lashauwn sent to the great beyond.

The 11 remaining queens enter the Werkroom. Latrice mourns for her baby as they read Lashauwn's lipstick message: "Stay true to you, xoxo." Latrice says in an interview, "if you're not on top of your P's and Q's, you'll be X'd." If Latrice doesn't get a spin-off talk show, this season will be a complete waste of time. Okay, not a complete waste, but come on, make it happen Logo. Anyway, fellow lip-syncer The Princess acknowledges that she needs to step it up. She tells the girls she should have tried to throw Jiggly under the bus when Ru Paul was asking questions on the runway. I don't think that would have worked and The Princess is not exactly winning friends with this argument.

"Listen up 'Glamazons'," you've got SheMail. "America's Next Drag Superstar is no one-hit wonder," RuPaul explains. "Even a 'Ladyboy' could be a 'Cover Girl.' And for the record, those are all available on iTunes." If you haven't caught on yet, those are all titles of RuPaul tracks from her two most recent studio albums. Oh good, the show is getting back to its roots: a nine-episode infomercial for "Cover Girl (Put the Bass in Your Walk)."

Ru enters wearing the ugliest suit imaginable. The print appears to be made from a sunset landscape painting found in a Motel 6. How is female RuPaul able to pull off the questionable looks while male Ru looks ridiculous? Anyway, Ru tells the girls he loves when fans make YouTube videos set to his music. One fan in particular has tugged at his heartstrings: Piyah Martell, a transgender person who has a medical condition that prevented her from growing legs. The Pit Crew brings in Piyah as Ru explains the mini-challenge. The queens will work in pairs to design a fashion-forward headpiece for Piyah's next video. Piyah has a rather large YouTube following and calls her fans "butterflies," so the headpiece should use butterflies as inspiration. The queens pair up, but Jiggly is the odd girl out. She gets to choose which pair she wants to work with and selects Phi Phi and Kenya.

The cast has 30 minutes to construct their piece. As time runs out, Milan and Latrice's headpiece falls apart. Milan owns up to the failure when Ru and Piyah critique the works. The other four headpieces are lovely combinations of purple and butterflies. Piyah's favorite is the one created by Phi Phi, Kenya and Jiggly. Ru puts the headpiece on Piyah's head – she made a good choice. The Pit Crew escorts Piyah from the Werkroom.

"Music makes the people come together," Ru states all sermon-like. For the main challenge the girls will split into two teams, each tasked with creating a commercial for one of RuPaul's albums. Each person will be assigned a track and will have to tie-in a personal story in the ad. Phi Phi will be the captain of Team Champion (Sharon Needles, Dida Ritz, Latrice Royale, Jiggly Caliente) while Kenya will be the captain of Team Glamazon (Chad Michaels, Willam, Milan, The Princess, Madame LaQueer). Madame is last-picked again, but the major insult to her was a snubbed high-five from fellow Puerto Rican Kenya Michaels. Uh oh. "My entire recording career is in your hands," Ru warns. Surprisingly, he doesn't add "don't f--- it up."

Phi Phi quickly becomes overwhelmed by all she has to do as team captain. There's costumes, choreography, storyline and cohesiveness that must be considered but only about an hour and a half to work. As Sharon offers some suggestions, Phi Phi tells Sharon all she needs is some white powder and the goth look will be done. Sharon refrains from rolling her eyes, though she interviews her annoyance that Phi Phi doesn't get her drag. Ru checks in with the team. Sharon says she will try to pitch "Cover Girl" to an audience that isn't into dance music. At first Ru is a little offended, but Sharon explains she is attempting to broaden the appeal. Dida Ritz has "The Main Event" (the song used in the Drag Mama challenge from season two)) and wants to be a Stepford wife caught up in the beat.

Kenya is having an easy time as captain of Team Glamazon, mainly because Milan has usurped all authority. Milan interviews she is helping Kenya because of the language barrier, but we never see Kenya asking for help. We learn during the WalkthRu the team will have an 80's theme in their ad. Ru asks Kenya how they landed on the theme, but Milan answers for her. Ru asks Kenya another direct question, but Milan answers that one too. Step off, honey.

Team Glamazon is first on the soundstage. The green screen does most of the work for the ad as Ru and Michelle Visage direct the filming. The intro features all the queens milling about with The Princess and Chad Michaels chatting. The Princess keeps flubbing her lines. Willam looks like a plank of wood clomping about. Milan does her pitch a la Whitney Houston (weird timing on that) while Kenya dances around in leopard-print everything. If they are trying to out-WTF the Disco Critter challenge, Team Glamazon is doing a great job.

Team Champion features more solo work from each of the queens. Phi Phi looks like a caricature of Jennifer Lopez from her Fly Girl days. She's wearing enough paint to cover a house and does some things to a piñata that should not be done. Jiggly taps into some awful Chinese stereotypes (think "Ancient Chinese Secret") while Sharon's goth chic tries a little too hard. Dida Ritz goes for a 60's housewife trying to get her freak on, but it's more awkward than sexy or provocative. This challenge is a hot mess and the queens know this – everyone in the Werkroom is nervous.

Mainstage. RuPaul enters wearing a silver sheath with a shroud. This may be my favorite look RuPaul has worn on the show – she could actually wear this outside of the context of a drag show. Santino is back on the panel this week with special guest judges Amber Riley (Glee) and Natalie Cole. "This will be unforgettable," RuPaul promises before introducing her Platinum and Gold girls.

Milan enters with a Solid Gold dancer look. She is rocking Diana Ross hair and she works her way down the catwalk. Chad Michaels wears a gold Versace-esque ensemble. Despite all the plastic surgery work she has had to make herself look like Cher, I'm impressed with how Chad is able to transform himself enough to create a look that does not immediately bring Cher to mind. Willam describes her own look as Clash of the Titans in a strip club. If Willam were actually a woman, so much would be blurred out right now. I don't get Willam's drag.

Sharon Needles enters in a silvery greaser look. The look reminds me of the Brady Bunch Variety Hour with Rachel Maddow as one of the background dancers. Moving on, Phi Phi comes out as Vanessa Williams playing one of the Fembots from Austin Powers. Again she has more paint than Sherwin Williams, which might be making Nyx nervous if Phi Phi wins the lifetime supply of cosmetics. Madame LaQueer has gone with an outer space look very similar to Stacy Layne Matthew's space-age look from last season. Madame has some cutouts in the bust area, but the look

The Princess wears a shrouded outfit surprisingly similar to RuPaul's look. The Princess went wigless, giving her an Alien Nation vibe. Jiggly Caliente brings the show back to its music theme with a punk-inspired afro/mohawk and over-the-shoulder silvery look. Dida Ritz serves Naomi Campbell realness with a gold tunic/armor combination. Dida has legs for days and pummels the runway. Michelle says Latrice Royale has 24-karat realness as she walks down the runway in a flattering gold dress with tassels and black leather boots. Kenya Michaels closes the show with a silver/gold robot-inspired dress.

The queens return to the runway so they can watch the video of their ads. Here's Team Glamazon:

And here's Team Champion:

So that happened. RuPaul tells the girls this challenge will be judged on an individual basis, not in teams. Milan, Willam, Latrice, Jiggly and Phi Phi are dismissed – they are safe.

Madame LaQueer gets read by the panel. Natalie Cole loves her essence, but hates the outfit. Michelle thinks the hints of green in Madame's outfit and hair give off a fungal vibe. Amber Riley likes that Madame used Spanish in the ad because she opened up more in her comfort zone. Santino loved Chad Michaels' acting in the video. Michelle praises Chad's flawlessness on the runway, but she is concerned that Chad may be a perfectionist.

The Princess gets a lukewarm response from the judges. Santino did not think she did a good job hosting while Michelle found her delivery flat. Michelle tells The Princess to get out of her comfort zone. Meanwhile, Michelle loves everything Kenya has to offer.

Santino loves Dida Ritz's runway look but was confused by the character she presented in the commercial. Amber agrees, adding Dida looked uncomfortable in the ad. Sharon explains her look, mentioning Phi Phi's lack of leadership and "put on some white powder" direction. Natalie says she didn't get Sharon's name at first. "All in the past, Ms. Cole," Sharon says playfully. Oh snap, that was awesome. Santino offers the only criticism, saying Sharon's legs look storebought.

The panel deliberates in a different manner than usual. Rather than going down the line, Ru asks for favorites. Natalie loves Sharon's sense of humor. Santino is split between Sharon and Kenya, but Michelle sort of breaks the tie by talking about how much fun Kenya is. Amber throws some support Chad's way, describing her as full-on glam. Natalie says her bottom two would be The Princess and Madame LaQueer. The rest of the panel seems to agree that The Princess did not deliver, though Amber says she doesn't really get Dida's aesthetic.

The queens return to the stage. RuPaul tells Sharon, "you went to the dark side again and delivered another sparkling performance." Sharon is the winner of the challenge! She gets a costume jewelry package and something to rub Phi Phi's face in later. Chad and Kenya are declared safe.

RuPaul next calls on Madame LaQueer. She is safe. That means The Princess and Dida Ritz are up for elimination. The time has come for them to Lip Sync.........for Ya Life. This week's song is "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)" by none other than Natalie Cole. The Princess gives a performance similar to last week – by the numbers and on-point lyrically. Dida, on the other hand, does not want to disappoint Natalie and turns the energy up to 110%. Girl has got some moves and her performance has the other queens hooting and hollering. Latrice interviews: "That is what a Lip Sync for Your Life is." Amen to that.

The song ends and everyone applauds. "That was amazing," RuPaul says. In a surprise to no one, Dida Ritz is told. "shante, you stay. That's the queen I want to see from now on." Sorry, The Princess. "Even though your time here has been brief," RuPaul says, "you will forever be Drag Race royalty." The Princess sashays away. Backstage, she says she is not the type to get angry, but she does not believe it was her time to go. Let the music play.

Next week on RuPaul's Drag Race:

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