Toronto Diary
5 min

The Drag Race RuCap: LA Zombie

Hello, and welcome to the first ever RuCap, as we delve into the premiere of Season 4 of RuPaul's Drag Race! This week, the queens are tasked with putting together some zombie apocalypse–inspired couture. Let's take a look at the shit that worked and the shit that was just . . . well, shit.

Like the seasons' premieres, we get to watch the queens enter one by one as they introduce themselves. Or more accurately, we get to watch Willam's five o'clock shadow introduce herself, and then we get to watch as Willam talks over every other queen's entrance. I won't go into too much detail here, because Willam kinda painted herself over it, save to say that Dida Ritz showed up with the most deflated-looking wig ever, and Sharon Needles barges into my heart by entering in some Elphaba chic.

Now that our girls are all assembled, let's get things started, shall we? RuPaul kicks things off with the first SheMail of the season, where she reveals the prizes: a year's supply of makeup, a vacation, a headlining spot on Absolut's tour and $100,000. This last one gets the girls excited to the point where Madame LaQueer damn near pees herself and rolls around in it. For those of you who found their way here thanks to a Google search for "drag queen watersports": thank you for the page views!

And now Ru's plaid-wearing male half enters as the show's mentor, who will guide the girls and keep them from coming out looking like complete fashion disasters. Ru also brings out the pit crew, who serve as the eye-candy/presenters. Thank God she kept the pair from last year. I have a thing for the hairy one . . . Rrow. But hold on a minute, something's missing! Ru has the pit crew bring out a box labelled "explosives," and anyone who saw last season knows what's coming next.

Yes, it's the return of Shangela! Again. Yeah, no one on the show wants her back, either, so Ru throws a honey badger at her, locks her back in the box and sets the bitch on fire. Now that she's taken care of, it's time for the starter photoshoot challenge. Recent fab magazine cover man Mike Ruiz enters and has the queens stand on a rotating platform as the pit crew sprays them down with toxic waste, all while strobe lights try to Pikachu them to death. Like always, the challenge is meant to break them down so that Ru can build them back up again, and this time it works a little too well: Latrice Royale falls ass-over-kettle, while Jiggly Caliente eats the floor.

As the drag queens untuck and Phi Phi O'Hara gets into it with Willam (catfight counter: one), Ru enters and announces that Jiggly won the photoshoot with the picture shown below. No offence to Jiggly or anything, but . . . seriously? The shot was really just okay, and I think a lot of the adulation comes from the fact that Jiggly got up and kept on serving it even after the bitch tried to high-five the ground with her face. Actually, I kind of adored Latrice's a little more, if only because her cheesecake floor shot toed the line between sultry and deceased.

But no time for that, because the queens are told to throw on their best day-wear and shuttle off to a run-down motel, where Ru gives them this week's challenge: Logo has assembled former Drag Race contestants (FUCK YES, PANDORA BOXX!) and they all show up in zombie-drag-queen realness. The current crop of girls must scrounge together whatever they can from the zombie queens to put together their own post-apocalyptic couture. Or as Lashauwn Beyond pronounces it: a-pop-and-lock-tick. Oh Lashauwn . . . at least you're pretty.

Oh, and before it's all said and done, Shangela returns one last time before being turned into zombie chow. Aw Shangela, I heart you, but you really are the Bidoof of drag queens.

All right, let's just get this one out of the way: this challenge is more or less tailor-made for Sharon's brand of horror-chic drag. We all know that. But she's my favourite anyway, so I'm willing to overlook the fact that this one isn't even a competition so much as it is the Sharon Needles show. On the flip-side of the coin, Sharon's bestie and potential love interest (please make this happen), The Princess, is forced to go back to the drawing board after she ends up with a frilly pink tutu, which leaves Ru gagging on the ele-WRONG-za.

We also get to see some emotional depth to the rest of the girls. We find out that Latrice spent 18 months in prison (for what, she doesn't say) and lost her mother while she was there. Jiggly is also dealing with her own lost mother, and Alisa Summers tells everyone that she got a DUI while in drag. 

Now, can we talk about Alisa Summers for a second here? Because I want you all to learn how to spot an elimination red flag. First red flag: her sob story is kind of lame, and when you compound it with the fact that she's barely legal to drink (she's 21), that's a red flag. Second red flag: she's a proud breast-plate queen. No offence to drag queens who prefer to rock the fake titties, but breast plates are suicide in RuPaul's Drag Race. Case in point: some might remember India Ferrah's ill-conceived reliance on the breast plate last season, but considering how often those things nearly flew off her chest, REDFLAGREDFLAGREDFLAG. And final red flag: much like Carmen Carrera and Rebecca Glasscock before her, Alisa is criticized for resting on pretty. This is Drag Race code for "You're hot, but you will not win ever because you're boring."

Which brings us to the mainstage. Ru walks out with her signature intro, "COVERGIRL! Put that base in your walk!" and we're introduced to the judges: Drag Race mainstays Michelle Visage and Santino Rice, along with Mike Ruiz (swoon) and Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. For the most part, the queens range from "meh" to "good," with that bitch Phi Phi wearing a dreamcatcher over her dreamsnatcher and Kenya Michaels making a valiant attempt at a Phoenix-inspired ensemble that's more kindling than fire.

Ultimately, Sharon wins it (natch) with an absolutely sickening, soiled, tattered dress topped off with a smear of fake blood that she dribbles out of her mouth. The effect is absolutely insane. Lashauwn takes silver in the a-pop-and-lock-tic challenge, thanks to a headpiece that I'm surprised doesn't crush the poor girl's neck. On the bottom are Alisa's firey-breasted kinkette outfit that really just desolves into a puffy red mess, and Jiggly Caliente who . . . Jesus, what is this? It looks like what would happen if a children's beauty pageant contestant were tasked with designing and making her own dress. The only way I can describe it is like this:

So Jiggly and Alisa are told to lipsync to Britney Spears' "Toxic," with Jiggly pulling out every single stop she can to keep herself from going home. As I said in my assessment of the girls yesterday, Jiggly is easily one of the most energetic dancers of the group, and her performance — complete with big girl splits, à la Mystique — absolutely blows away Alisa's tired little walk-and-talk routine. In the end, Alisa is given her sashay away orders, and Drag Race loses its first girl. So long, Alisa. Drive home safe.

(Gifs courtesy of Logo's Tumblr of magical unicorn dreams.) 

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