Surrounded by Virgen de Guadalupe candles*, I come to you again this week to interpret the divine patterns of the remaining eight queens. In what's now become a tradition, the girls participate in a RuPaul roast. But this season, it's Michelle Visage's turn to get on the spit. Yes, it's mama's time to take the insults. (You could say Michelle's the dad since Ru's the mom, but that would be heteronormative, so I think they're both moms.) Other highlights this week: the library is open, Ross Matthews visits the workroom for his very first time, and Sasha Velour
releases a book titled Gender Trouble: Russia and the Subversion of Identity continues to think Judith Butler is funny. Cute!
Before we get into anything, we have to discuss Alexis Michelle. Alexis is certain she knows her Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent. And on the off chance Alexis ever fumbles, fails, or wears a fugly outfit, it's never her fault. (Like, for instance, this scene in Untucked.) She starts off this week like she does every week, proclaiming she's a contender, despite having only one win under her ill-fitting belt. Then, during the reading mini-challenge, she mopes after the girls lob mediocre reads about her backrolls. Refreshingly, RuPaul isn't having Alexis' tantrum, and Ru and Ross Matthews are out for blood with Alexis during her workroom check-in. For being such a fan of the show, Alexis seems to forget that RuPaul's M.O. is to take personal flaws, brand them, and sell them back to the haters at a steep price. (Alyssa Edwards built an empire off her backrolls.)
Ru brings Ross into the workroom for the first time, giving most of the queens a good reading before they go onstage with their best roasts. The workroom is relatively drama-free, minus the Alexis Michelle tantrum. During the roast, the girls prove RuPaul's long-held belief that Michelle Visage's name is difficult to pronounce, as nearly all of the queens fuck up with some drunk pronunciation ("Michelle Vichage," "Miselle Visage," "Michelle VishEYge"). Tops: Shea, Sasha, and Peppermint. Weird-os: Valentina, Trinity, and Nina. Bottoms: Alexis and Farrah with some historically terrible performances.
Early Spoiler. (But, like, duh, recaps are spoilers. Why are you here if you don't want the tea?)
WINNER WINNER: Peppermint!
Peppermint wins the roast and once again Sasha Velour is robbed. While Peppermint's win feels somewhat forced, it's lovely to see her wear something other than a lumpy pink skirt. Truly, she looks marvelous this week. In an episode without a runway challenge (BOO), Peppermint stands out in a gown more regal than the revival of Hello, Dolly. But I have a different, pettier gripe. I know Peppermint is a classy lady, so she'll accept her prize with dignity and grace, but y'all... a 5-year subscription to Squarespace? Let's review some of the other prize packages:
—$5,000 gift card for Casper Sleep (Trinity)
—$2,000 package from Sparkles Rhinestones (Alexis)
—A 5-year subscription to Squarespace, value estimated at... $720.
Anyone who listens to What's the Tee knows RuPaul and Michelle Visage love themselves some Squarespace (because a podcast apparently can't happen without a Squarespace advertisement), but a website prize for a drag queen? Um, the kids find the girls on social media, and that's already free.
But, then again, here's the landing page of Peppermint's current website...
Squarespace might want to give Peppermint a little more cash so she can put something inside that empty pink box.
Finally, let's return to our frontrunner, Alexis Michelle. Alexis, who was so certain of her comedy prowess that she asked to be placed at either the open or close of the roast, tossed these gems:
I think she's saying Michelle has remained Jewish? That's... funny?
"As thin as you've become, one area has remained the same. It's a Hanukkah miracle. Baruch Hashem."
This one makes sense. Michelle used to be a whore during her days in S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M. and Seduction. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha? Oy gevalt.
"We have the theater running through our veins, Michelle. You also have several venereal diseases running through yours, but that's besides the point. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!"
Alexis helps us out with this one, ending her set by explaining her own joke. "She loves water sports. She loves the U.K. And we love you, mom. Ma."
"Now, Michelle, I have to congratulate you on really being able to take the piss. Just ask the U.K. men's water polo team!"
For these (and other) transgressions, Alexis Michelle ends up in the bottom with fellow bottom, Farrah Moan. Of course, Alexis Michelle has to lash out at Tamar Braxton before the lip sync, because, like, it's not Alexis' fault no one got her jokes. But hey, it's not easy being green... with envy.
BYE BYE: As much as I would have loved to watch Alexis Michelle leave in those hideous shades of She-Hulk, Farrah Moan takes her overdue exit. Farrah, with zero wins, delivers a great lip sync, but Alexis, with one win, pulls out some gimmicks and slides. (Does Alexis always have a tiny witch hat hiding in her panties?) The ogre will return for another week, but Farrah's highlighted mug boot scoots back to Sin City.
This week, local queen and actual mother Cookie Couture got domestic with me, chatting about chicken, spit roasting, and how to underachieve while still feeling fab:
"In conjunction with this week's main challenge assignment ("roasting"), I present my mother's famous recipe for Roast Chicken:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Place chicken in roasting pan, have every intention of seasoning generously with salt & pepper. Discover that you are actually out of both salt & pepper. Dig around in the messy pantry for other spices. All you can come up with is chili powder & dill weed, but maybe no one will notice. Season generously, tell yourself that you are just like Sandra Lee.
3. Open double bottle of chardonnay. Fill coffee mug with ice & chardonnay ("We don't own wine glasses, this isn't a restaurant!").
4. Sit down to watch old episodes of Melrose Place on Hulu while chicken roasts for 1 hour & 15 minutes. Drink up!
5. Realize after 1 hour & 15 minutes that you never put the goddamn chicken in the oven & it's still on the counter raw, smelling like pickles. Put entire chicken in jumbo-size Ziploc bag, throw in freezer & maybe we'll try again tomorrow.
6. Order in Chinese food, but arrange it on nice plates and put some pots & pans on the counter so everyone thinks you actually cooked (everyone knows you didn't).
7. Enjoy General Tso's chicken & additional episodes of Melrose Place (Billy is so dreamy). And drink up!"
You can check out Cookie all over the city (she's a working woman), but also at Arthaus 3.0 Finale ft. Tatianna! [Drag Race + All Stars Season 2]. (GO GO GO TO THAT!)