Lordy, what a legendary episode! Seriously, this should be considered one of the all-time classics of Drag Race herstory. It started off slow, with Ru's weird trivia introduction to the week's challenge. And then... Oprah? A bunch of activities based around Oprah?
But man, the funny/strange/sweet/insane moments started piling up, one after another, culminating in one of the most memorable lip syncs ever on the show.
First, Shannel's over-the-top excitement and certainty that, at any moment, she is absolutely definitely going to meet Oprah. Every time Ru shows up, surely it must be to drag Oprah from behind a curtain and meet her biggest fan. Seeing Shannel so giddy and joyful revealed a sunnier side to the shadiest queen of the season. And girl, I wish you had gotten to meet Oprah.
And then Jade, sweet and sultry Jade, begging Bebe for some dark foundation to serve up some blackface realness. Oooooh my. What a trainwreck that could have been. Kudos to the other queens for stepping in and offering some sanity. Wowza.
Despite Nina's worries about the challenge, she overcame her language problems through sheer pluck and personality by laughing at herself and rolling with the punches. Seriously, signing off from her newscast with "This is your name, good night," was just the absolute best.
I loved the interview sections, too. Seeing the queens shoot the shit with a couple random celebrities made for some great TV. And my favorite part was Ru bringing Tori and Dean to the workroom afterward and hanging out with the girls. So fun and light-hearted, a great way to break the tension after the queens ran themselves ragged throughout the challenge.
It's strange that it took three episodes to offer the contestants a chance to wear their own clothes on the runway. Nina's wig and make-up were divine, and I loved the color palette of her look. Her styling lends itself well to a more angular, geometric illustration approach, which I love love love playing with.
Ongina's look was gorgeous--so sleek and sexy, accented with her whimsical doll headpiece. Even though she didn't get a ton of screen time during the main challenge, it was great to see her shine on the runway.
Shannel had a lot of missteps this episode, with the crazy red dress she wore during the challenge, and her overeager interview, but her Medusa look was certainly a stunner. I drew this super cartoony take on it last year in preparation for All-Stars. (A sidenote: It's interesting to see how much Shannel changed between the first season and All-Stars. In the later season, she seemed much goofier, light-hearted, and humbled, as opposed to the I've-already-won attitude she wields throughout the first.)
In any case, Shannel brought it for her lip sync. Did those snakes fly off by accident, or not? If it was intentional, it was a superbly calculated move on her part. I tend to think it was just a serendipitous slip, but who knows?
Speaking of missteps, we can't forget Akashia. Man! Tripping on the runway! A disaster, but one she handled admirably.
This week's runway also offered up Bebe's most memorable and magnificent outfit. And that wig! Everything about Bebe's walk down the runway just screamed sex, elegance, and power. That combined with her strong, centered performance in the main challenge finally showed her as a real competitor for this season.