In the wake of Tatianna’s dismissal, Alaska works very hard to let everyone know that friendship had nothing to do with the fact that her friend is still in the competition. Sure, Katya would have sent Roxxxy home. Sure, Roxxxy was ready to go home. And sure, we’re acting as though lending someone a shirt is both an exceedingly kind act and a criterion for success in this competition. (Side note: why does the patron saint of thick-and-juiciness have a tacky bedazzled crop top that fits Alaska’s gaunt frame? Did she think they’d be giving makeovers to middle schoolers?) This suspicious line of reasoning leads into a discussion of how many wins each contestant has had (and in Detox’s case, how viable those previous wins were, because obviously a talking trash can is the best idea in the world and any judging panel that can’t see that should be fed into a singing garbage disposal). After the tally, the real reason for last week’s elimination becomes clear: no one has more than two wins and Alaska has four, so she can do whatever the Thunderfuck 5000 she wants.
The following day, Alyssa looks positively shook at Ru’s entry into the workroom. I hope they lifted this shot out of context, because if not, then we have to give her a lot more credit as a competitor. She forgets the format of the show every night when she goes to sleep, or maybe doesn’t recognize patterns and lacks predictive abilities, and still kills it despite this handicap! Clap for that Memento-ass hooker. Anyway, our surprise-even-though-her-name-is-in-the-title-of-the-show host is here to let the girls know that each of them has a family member visiting, and the maxi challenge will be putting them into drag.
Katya and her mom are literally the only pair that do not share a tear-moistened moment during this episode, and let me tell you, it’s a downer. Alaska’s family escapes with only the barest minimum of sincerity; other than Mama Pam’s briefly misty thankfulness that Alaska is no longer involved with doing drugs or sharing needles, they’re mostly just mentally spending that $100,000. Even Roxxxy and the super-adorable grandmother who raised her bring the waterworks mainly in bus-related flashbacks. But, in a moment of deadly synchronicity that the editors must have thrown themselves a party over, both Detox and Alyssa are circling the anniversary of the death of a parent, and both of them have plenty of sibling-on-sibling sobbing to do. I’m not gonna lie: in addition to dampening the mood, it makes my job as a recapper really hard. There’s simply nothing humorous about this situation.
As a palate cleanser before the mainstage, Ru invites in Anastasia Soara, who I guess only agreed to provide this season’s make-up if she could be shown on screen applying her product to select members of the over-tweezed masses. The brow tutorial she offers is too brief to be useful to the viewers at home, too subtle to help the queens in the competition, and too bougie for the Texan and Bostonian on whom she demonstrates. I accept the inclusion of this sequence (no Roxxxy, the other sequence) only because for a few minutes no one is weeping.
Speaking of people who don’t make me weep: Aubrey Plaza’s decision to introduce herself with a really dark quip about her impending suicide instantly cements her as one of my favorite judges of all time. That one sentence secures her a ranking that Carson Kressley hasn’t earned over multiple full seasons. It’s a shame that she has to be subjected to the full performance of five “vogue” numbers that Ru made the girls choreograph at the last minute. They must have been really dull, because we only see about ten seconds of each, even though they were important enough at the time of filming to merit a god damned costume change (which is no small thing when you have to find or make a second coordinating outfit for a partner of dissimilar size).
The actual runway presentations vary greatly. Surprising no one (except perhaps herself, since she doesn’t understand how a repeating sequence works… different sequence, Roxxxy), Alyssa is both critiqued and applauded for piling garbage on top of garbage until her body is vaguely covered and then calling it an outfit. If Phi Phi had worn even one of the many pseudo-garments the Edwards family has trotted out, Ru would have gotten out from behind the sweatpants-hiding table to slap her silly. Alaska is given her first harsh critique of the competition for looking like a mother and daughter who thought it would be cute to go out as drag queens for Halloween. Detox receives a great deal of praise for a family resemblance that exists largely because of genetics and her bold decision to leave her nose as her one surgically unaltered feature, but the looks she serves are indeed on point. And Roxxxy’s grandma is the cutest person ever to stomp this runway, but there’s no stopping the derailed train of Katya and her peasant babushka: their combined comedic storytelling talents leave the rest of the crew out in the bitter Russian cold.
The choice of Detox and Katya as winners is a no-brainer, but Ru’s edict that all of the remaining three are possible losers makes the backstage deliberations a little more complicated. Alaska was empirically the worst, but has by far the best track record. Alyssa has been solid the entire time. WOXXXY IS MY FWEND. How can anyone be asked to pick who deserves to goes home? It’s obviously impossible, and not made any easier when Thunderfuck the Victorious “jokingly” offers to pay $10,000 for a spot in the finale. Note to future contestants: I will accept $10,000 to say only nice things about you for an entire season of recaps. Want me to spin your backstage temper tantrum as a genius move or call your thirsty wig avant garde? I’ll do it.
Having selected their lipsticks, the top two return to the stage for their lip sync battle to Ru’s new single. Huh, what a weird coincidence. Anyway, the showdown looks pretty close to me, and at this point I feel like Katya deserves the top spot just as a courtesy. The host and executive producer (whoever they are… probably the same boobs who pick the lip sync songs) give Detox the doulas and allow her to evict one she-clown from the premises. And wouldn’t you know it? She doesn’t pick Roxxxy or Alaska! Not even Alyssa, She of the Hindered Foresight, is surprised by this one. Ever the pageant queen, Ms. Edwards of Texas makes her exit with grace, dignity, and the hint of otherworldly mania that we love her for. Next week is the finale, and it will be worse without her for sure.
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