Oh gurl. This is one of the best episodes of the season so far!
Making up for last week, this episode managed to be one of the most fun and drama-filled episodes of the season. With a fun acting and challenging acting challenge and a surprisingly stellar performance from one Kennedy Davenport - I am so glad to see we're finally getting some of the fun Drag Race is known for. Not to mention, we've got an all out feud that seemed to be cut short pretty quick and a surprisingly somber lip-synch.
It was AMAZING, y'all.
THE POST-CHALLENGE MEET UP
Right off the bat, we start with Kennedy being very upset on Shangela's behalf in regards to Thorgy's less-than-funny-definitely-more-insult-y lipstick message. And then Milk, who is shaping to be the bitch (or at least get the "bitch edit"), chimed in and said that it was supposed to be a joke - and Kennedy was not having it.
In case you're wondering what Thorgy drew. media.giphy.com
Shangela, who sent Thorgy home, didn't care. She reveals that she let Thorgy go, because Thorgy wasn't loyal - and that's not the kind of game Shangela can afford to play.
When they eventually migrate to the couch - BenDeLa reveals she also picked Thorgy. But when asked why, she can't think of an answer that isn't nice - so she deflects to Shangela. Milk says that Thorgy should have stayed and Shangela wanted to know why she had to defend her choice. And now they seem to have quite a feud going.
Shangela is PISSED! media.giphy.com
Hell, Milk seems to be having a feud with everybody at this point.
The next day, we are given the new challenge: The Bitchelor - a improvised parody of The Bachelor. The queens are paired together and will go on a double-date with hottie special guest judge, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman. The assignments are:
Aja, The Needy Girl + Kennedy, the Party Girl
Trixie, the Fake Bitch + Milk, the Psycho Stalker
BenDeLa, the Cougar (of course) + BeBe, the Virgin
Chi Chi and Shangela, the Polyamorous Duo
We know, Milk. media.giphy.com
As they get prepped, we see BenDeLa getting nervous about Bebe's lack of a comedic background. And, as much as love Bebe, I see where Ben is coming from. Bebe's idea to play a virginal African princess isn't the worst, but it's also not amazing. Ben's main worry is that Bebe won't let herself not be the regal queen she is - which is very valid.
Aja doesn't seem to know what a needy girl is and Kennedy seems kind of nervous about that - but she seems very confident in herself. Milk and Trixie are both pretty comfortable - Milk really wants this to be the challenge she wins, but so does Trixie.
And poor, unfortunate Chi Chi is TERRIBLE at improv, and Shangela is trying to help her - but it's not really working out. At least, according to what we're shown.
So, each of the girls get their own entrance, to showcase who they are. And the major high lights were BenDeLa, who managed to play this GROTESQUE cougar, who could barely even stand up and really wanted to jump Jeffrey's bones. Trixie also managed to embody her Fake Bitch character - and managed to keep her loud, Trixie-Mattel-esque vibrancy to it. And then, we've got Kennedy motherfucking Davenport - KILLING IT with her southern party girl. Both my little brother and I immediately knew who she was - hell, we grew up with women like her. It was BRILLIANT!
LOOK AT HER! media.giphy.com
Some lowlights included Aja, who was basically playing a psychotic Farah Moan. Milk completely overdoing it in all the wrong ways as her Psycho Stalker. Shangela and Chi Chi's dismal dual performance - which definitely wasn't Shangela's fault. Acting beside Chi Chi was basically like acting beside of a brick wall - which was unfortunate, because I know she can do better than what she gave.
And Bebe was okay - she wasn't hilarious, but she also wasn't bad. She definitely coasted this episode.
The dates were mostly okay! Again, one of the major high lights had to be Kennedy's slow decent into craziness. She was loud, lewd, and crazy - and it was one of the funniest performances I've seen on this show in a while. At one point, she even snatched her wig off - and drunkedly said into Jeffrey's ear, "I'm a man." I died. Absolutely died. Poor Aja got drowned out quickly - and definitely had no idea what Ru meant when she said, "Needy."
Look at this messy bitch. media.giphy.com
BenDeLa also killed it - bringing on the raunchy fun as she tried to seduce her way into Jeffrey's pants. She literally tried to feed him a chewed up banana, but the best line had to be: "Have you ever taken out a catheter?" All the while, Bebe was trying to maintain this weird purity - and it's not that it didn't work, but it definitely stopped being funny. In a rare twist, someone actually managed to steal the show from Bebe Zahara Benet.
Milk and Chi Chi were probably the worst of the night. Milk kept drowning out Trixie - who only barely managed to get a few good jokes in. And everybody was getting pissed off - you could feel the energy emanating off the screen. Poor Chi Chi tried her best, but she seemed to be negating everything Shangela tried to throw at her.
What we ALL wanted Milk to do. media.giphy.com
In the end, Jeffrey found all of them too horrendous and ended up giving the Eggplant (the Bitchelor version of the rose) to RuPaul. Personally, I would have gone with Bebe, but that's just me.
Overall, the challenge was really fun and really allowed some queens to shine. It was nice seeing Kennedy recover from last week - and recover in stride. I hope that we start to see more challenges like this in the future.
GETTING READY FOR THE RUNWAY
This runway was Wigs on Wigs on Wigs, inspired by Roxxxy Andrews' iconic wig reveal from Season 5.
Not much happened as the girl's were getting ready. Chi Chi lamented about her feelings of insecurity and worry, because she's obviously not as polished as she thought she was. Then there's Trixie, who is worried about floating through the competition - because that's what happened in her previous season. And then we have Milk - who thinks that she did amazingly on the Bitchelor - to the surprise of literally everyone.
Listen, I'm not saying Milk is delusional, but she's totally delusional. Shangela, and all of the other girls are definitely in the mindset of, "Can you believe this bitch?" Especially Kennedy, who thinks that Milk is fake, because of what Milk said - which is true. Kennedy says that they have worked together loads of times and Milk's never had a problem with her - but she's over it. She's seen Milk's true colors.
Here's a quick run through:
Kennedy, looking fine as hell. media.giphy.com
BenDeLa: Very Michelle Visage, and revealed into a beautiful, long ponytail. AND THEN INTO A HAIR DRESS! 10/10
BeBe: She had a beautiful dress, but her reveal was definitely basic. 6/10
Trixie: Lady Bunny realness, revealed into a 70s, Dennis the Menace fantasy. 8/10
Milk: Horrible wig, because you could see the other wig underneath. The reveal was meh. 4/10
Aja: Amazing, a beautiful inflated Sailor Moon fantasy, which revealed into a lovely blonde wig, which revealed into a purple pony-tail wig. Very pink and very pretty. 10/10.
She looks amazing. I'm so proud of her. media.giphy.com
Kennedy: Yet another triple reveal, matched with a beautiful dress. 8/10
Chi Chi: I don't remember Chi Chi's that well. I know she revealed into a beautiful long, black wig. 5/10
Shangela: FULL ON CORN FANTASY, WITH YELLOW CORN HAIR, WHICH REVEALED IN GREEN GRASS HAIR. 10/10
It was a pretty decent runway! The reveals were good, and most of the costumes were either beautiful and lovably wacky.
TOPS: KENNEDY, BEN, TRIXIE
SAFE: SHANGELA, BEBE
BOTTOMS: MILK, AJA, and CHI CHI
WINNERS: KENNEDY AND BENDELA
Their relationship in a gif. media.giphy.com
We started off with a bang, as Trixie read Milk for crying. Milk was genuinely shocked that she was on the bottom, while literally everyone else rolled their eyes at her. Kennedy decides not to do one and ones - and to be honest, I am convinced she decided not to do it, because she knew that she was going to send Milk home - but that's just me.
Cause you want to send Milk home. media.giphy.com
During Ben's one on ones, we find out that Aja is pretty confident that she isn't going home. After all, BenDeLa did say that she would take the judge's critiques into account when deciding - and honestly, I think BenDeLa knows she would get murdered if she sent home Aja now.
Chi Chi, though, definitely has a lot to say about her third time on the bottom. She basically tells Ben that she doesn't think she's ready to even be in competition. After all, she has been performing poorly pretty consistently - and she's struggling really hard with her own feelings of insecurity and intimidation when it comes to the other girls.
I'm sorry girl. media.giphy.com
Milk - oh Milk. Milk. Milk. Milk. Milk is still as obnoxiously delusional as she has been throughout the whole challenge. She even tells BenDeLa that judges WANT HER TO STAY - despite putting her on the bottom. As she talks to Ben, Trixie and the other girls dish about how terrible Milk's performance was - and how she bulldozed Trixie.
This deliberation was INTENSE - and honestly, I loved every second of it.
THE LIP SYNCH
LOOK AT HEEEEEEER. media.giphy.com
The lip synch to Lorde's Greenlight was surprisingly somber - BenDeLa decided not to camp it up in order to show the judges her versatility. But she was no match for Kennedy, who took a page from Latrice Royale's playbook, and decided to do a less is more. Not only did she reveal into another wig, but she also revealed into a beautiful dress and delivered a powerful lip synch. Ben, while staying serious and performing well, didn't enrapture the audience like Kennedy.
In the end, Kennedy won, and she sent home Milk. THANK GOD.
Come on, Trixie, were you that surprised? media.giphy.com
And Milk was salty about it during her exit interview - that is, until RuPaul showed up again, accompanied by Chad and Alaska who were doing... the Macarena?
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Breaking down the bias of comfort films.
With the constant onslaught of complicated news that 2020 has brought, sometimes you just want to be able to shut off your brain, relax, and feel happy.
Enter comfort films. These are the feel-good movies that feel like a warm hug when you finish them, the ones that allow you to escape for a short while. We often turn to these types of films in times of trouble or extreme stress, and when we're not sure what films of this nature we should watch, we turn to the Internet for options.
Rivera's "Glee" character was not just important, she was groundbreaking.
As a young queer girl growing up in the south, I was lucky that my parents weren't homophobes.
My parents believed that people were sometimes born gay, and while they wouldn't "wish that harder life" on their children, they certainly made me and my sister believe that gay people were just as worthy of love as anyone else. I was lucky.
Still, in my relatively sheltered world of Northern Virginia (a rich suburb near Washington D.C.), homophobia wasn't as blatant as hate crimes or shouted slurs, but it was generally accepted that being straight was, simply, better.
In high school, it wasn't uncommon to use "gay" as an insult or for girls to tease each other about being "lez." While many of us, if asked, would have said we were in support of gay marriage and loved The Ellen Show, being gay remained an undesirable affliction.
Even more insidious, I was instilled with the belief—by my church and my peers—that if gay and lesbian people could be straight, they would. But since they were simply incapable of attraction to the opposite sex or fitting into traditional gender roles, we should accept them as they are as an act of mercy. At the time, this kind of pity seemed progressive and noble. Those in my close circle of family and friends weren't openly dismissive or condemning of gay people, but we saw homosexuality as a clear predisposition with no gray areas.
Specifically: Gay men talked with a lilt, giggled femininely, and were interested in things that weren't traditionally "masculine." Meanwhile, gay women dressed like men, had no interest in makeup or other traditionally female interests, and probably had masculine bodies and features. In my mind, before someone came out as gay, they did everything in their power to "try to be straight" but were eventually forced to confront the difficult reality that they felt no attraction at all to the opposite sex. I viewed homosexuality not as a spectrum, but as a black and white biological predisposition that meant you were thoroughly, completely, and pitiably gay.
As a child, when I began to experience stirrings of attraction for other girls, I would reassure myself that not only had I definitely felt attraction for men in the past, but I also liked being pretty. I was a tomboy as a child, sure, but as I got older I recognized that my value was increased in the eyes of society if I tried to be a pretty girl. As it turned out, I even liked putting on clothes that made me feel good, I liked applying makeup, and I liked some traditionally "feminine" things. In my mind, this meant that I couldn't be gay, because gay women didn't like "girl" stuff.
As a teenager, I began to learn more about the difference between gender and sexuality, and the fluidity of both. I began to let myself feel some of the long-suppressed feelings of queer desire I still harbored.
Still, in the back of my mind, the instilled certainty of sexuality as an extremely rigid thing sometimes kept me up at night. What if I was gay? Would I have to change the way I looked? Would I have to give up some of the things I liked? In my mind, being gay meant your sexuality was your whole identity, and everything else about you disappeared beneath the weight of it.
But then, Santana came out as gay on Glee.
GLEE - The Santana 'Coming Out Scene' www.youtube.com
If you didn't watch Glee, than you might not know the importance of Naya Rivera's character to so many queer young women like myself. Santana was beautiful, she was popular, she had dated boys, she was feminine, she was sexy, and she was gay. There's even evidence that Santana had previously enjoyed relationships with men.
But the character came out anyways, not because she had to or because it was obvious to everyone around her that she was gay, but because her attraction to women was an aspect of her identity she was proud of. It wasn't an unfortunate reality she simply had to make the best of; it was an exciting, beautiful, aspect of her identity worth celebrating.
Before Santana, it had never really come home for me that being gay wasn't an entire identity—that it wasn't an affliction or disorder, but just another part of a person. She also didn't suddenly start wearing flannels or cutting her hair after coming out. She was the same feminine person she had always been. I had never realized that being a gay woman didn't have to look a certain way. Santana and Brittany's gay storyline showed two femme-presenting women in love, and for me, that was a revolution.
If it wasn't for Naya Rivera, we may never have had that important story line.
"It's up to writers, but I would love to represent [the LGBTQ community] because we know that there are tons of people who experience something like that and it's not comical for them in their lives," Rivera told E! News in 2011. "So I hope that maybe we can shed some light on that."
While Rivera herself wasn't gay (the importance of casting gay actors in gay roles is a separate conversation), she understood how important her character was to the queer community. "There are very few ethnic LGBT characters on television, so I am honored to represent them," Rivera told Latina magazine in 2013. "I love supporting this cause, but it's a big responsibility, and sometimes it's a lot of pressure on me."
Rivera wasn't just a supporter of the LGBTQ+ community on screen. In 2017, she wrote a "Love Letter to the LGBTQ Community" for Billboard's Pride Month. In it, she wrote, "We are all put on this earth to be a service to others and I am grateful that for some, my Cheerios ponytail and sassy sashays may have given a little light to someone somewhere, who may have needed it. To everyone whose heartfelt stories I have heard, or read I thank you for truly enriching my life."
Now, as we mourn the loss of Naya Rivera, at least we can take comfort in knowing that her legacy will live on—that the light her Cheerios ponytail and sassy sashays gave us won't go out any time soon.
Excuse me, I have to go weep-sing-along to Rivera's cover of landslide now.
Glee - Landslide (Full Performance + Scene) 2x15 youtu.be
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