RuPaul's Drag Race: “Super Troopers”
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RuPaul's Drag Race: “Super Troopers”

B+

RuPaul's Drag Race

“Super Troopers”

Season 5, Episode 10

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Ding-dong! The witch is dead! The delusional fun vacuum that is Coco Montrese finally sashays away this week, and her elimination is the delicious cherry on top of the satisfying sundae that is this season’s makeover challenge. The makeovers tend to always be some of the strongest episodes of each season, testing the queens’ painting and fashion skills while putting them in a situation where they have to become drag mothers for drag newcomers. The queens are not just showing how good they are at transforming men into women, they’re showing how well they can play with others while hopefully learning some empathy along the way.

The girls can definitely use some empathy at this point in the competition, when the sisterhood devolves into a pack of ravenous she-wolves hungry for the crown. The top five is serious business, and there’s $100,000 at stake here, so the claws are coming out. Jinkx knows that the rest of the queens are gunning for her after her second win, and Alaska is aggressively coming after her biggest competition. The mini-challenge has the queens working out in huge fake breasts and high heels (led by the hunky, hilariously named Storm), and once again it comes down to Alaska and Jinkx, with Alaska pulling through during the crunches for the win. The mini-challenge is appropriately ridiculous, and while these drag queens aren’t going to be hitting the gym in tits and heels anytime soon, it’s a good lesson for these ladies to get some cardio in because drag is exhausting.

Alaska’s reward is that she gets to pair the queens off with their makeover subjects, who are military men this season. Alaska makes a diplomatic decision and just has the queens paired with whomever is across from them, which conveniently leaves the two men that are most difficult to transform with Roxxxy and Jinkx. Roxxxy immediately creates drama and thinks that Alaska is trying to sabotage her, but this is the type of thing Roxxxy excels at, so why not give her one of the biggest challenges? She’s partnered with the furry Izzy, who undergoes the episode’s most striking change when he turns into Roxxxy’s mini-me Isabella Andrews. Roxxxy does the best painting and padding of the group, and when she hits the stage with Isabella, they not only look like sisters, they look incredibly polished. Roxxxy has been floundering in the second half of the competition, but she shows why she’s here this week, scoring a win that could secure her a spot in this season’s final three.

The two queens that do best have the toughest partners, and Jinkx is wise to go for camp and shtick when she’s partnered with Dave, an AIDS survivor in his 60s who says he knew Judy Garland and allegedly told her about the sleeping pills that ultimately killed her. Jinkx is a professional, so she immediately tries to assess what Dave’s frame of reference is and what he’s capable of doing. Beyond the makeover, the queens also have to choreograph a color guard routine, and Jinkx makes sure to keep things simple for her older partner. Jinkx and Roxxxy both have really good attitudes about their partners, and they decide to make the most out of their difficult situations to really impress the judges. The judges think Jinkx and Fortuna Monsoon’s Gypsy and Mama Rose look is inspired, and once again Jinkx gets high marks by tapping into the rich history of queer culture.

Alaska thinks that she makes the best decision taking Mack for herself, and the tall, lean blonde would look great in drag if it weren’t for Alaska’s horrible padding. Mack’s intense manliness is a constant source of humor throughout the episode, especially when he’s walking in heels, but when he gets on the runway, he’s able to tap into some extra femininity. It helps that he has a great drag-queen face, and he almost looks better than Alaska when he hits the runway as Nebraska. That is, until you get to the waist, where Alaska has apparently been padding her partner with crumpled up newspaper. Their flag routine is more of a sloppy swordfight, and while the catsuits are nice, Alaska’s wigs are starting to get very repetitive. When put up against Jinkx in the fashion department, Alaska has shown less versatility, and that could be what costs her the crown.

Detox gets the cutest and most flamboyant of the military men with Aaron, who is just so frickin’ excited to be on this show. Unfortunately, Detox needs to stop lusting over her partner and spend more time on their actual routine, which is a complete train wreck on the runway. Detox drops her flag at the start, gets hit in the face with Beth Adone’s flag, and drops both during the overly ambitious flag toss across the stage. It’s a lackluster showing, but Detox excels in other areas. She has been gradually dropping bombs about her past as we get closer to the finale, and this week’s episode delves into the car accident that severely injured her face before exploring her family issues in Untucked. She knows how to play the game, and she’s been careful not to play her cards too early, ensuring that she’ll get more screen time as the season continues. And it totally works.

The judges read Detox for her sloppy color guard and dour attitude, but at least she didn’t do Aaron’s makeup with a Sharpie and what appears to be some sort of Velveeta-based foundation. There’s only one word to describe Horchata Montrese’s paint job: busted. The judges despise Horchata’s makeup and styling, as well as Coco’s passionless routine, so they put her up for elimination for the fourth time, all but guaranteeing that she’s going home. Coco is up against Detox, who has a simple strategy for performing Seduction’s “Two To Make It Right”: connect with Michelle Visage, whose song they’re performing. Detox works her jaw and just tries to follow whatever cues Michelle gives from the judges’ panel, giving her the extra boost that knocks out Coco. Even if Detox fucked it up, Coco should still go home, because there are only so many chances someone can mess up before they become a waste of space. Coco consistently wasn’t delivering, and she deserved to go home.  

Stray observations:

  • This week on Untucked: It’s the last time we have to deal with Coco’s completely clueless behavior as she talks about how she’s so good at taking critiques after just breaking down on the runway. Also, Detox gets a heartwarming video call from his family, but there seems to be a whole lot of stink eye going on in the Gold Room.
  • As if you needed anymore reason to love Jinkx Monsoon, check out this short documentary video of her discussing her drag philosophy while getting into character:

  • Spin profiled Ru last week, but it also did smaller profiles on nine standout Drag Race contestants like Willam, Jujubee, and Manila.
  • Izzy wants to give Santino a mustache ride. Shrug.
  • What Not To Wear’s Clinton Kelly is one of this episode’s guest judges. I once saw his former co-host Stacy London at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Chicago, hugging her knees while she held her shoes and looking quite intoxicated. That was a fun night.
  • “Spackle, darling! Spackle!”
  • “And remember the golden shower rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto Ru.”
  • “I get ugly when I work out.” Yes. Yes, you do.
  • “I think pairing myself with the tall, pretty one is probably a really good strategy.”
  • “You look like Jennifer Lopez as Jesus.”
  • “The armed services pushed it inside you.”
  • “I feel alive!” Mac is just the gayest.
  • “Guess what I’m not wearing? Make-up.”
  • Fortuna: “I thought you were going to say ‘the oldies.’” RuPaul: “No, that would be Michelle.”
  • “Poor Horchata. Poor poor Horchata.”
  • “Roxxxy Andrews, you set out to turn a salty seaman into your sexy sister. Mission accomplished.”
  • “I am cuckoo for Coco.”
  • #IKilledJudyGarland
Filed Under: TV, RuPaul's Drag Race

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