RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 1 Episode 2 opens with Ru telling us in his pop-up that this episode marks the first group challenge in Drag Race herstory.
“Long ago, when the lighting was hard, and the focus was always soft…” – RuPaul
I love it when RuPaul throws shade at herself. Is there a term for that? Self shade? Boomerang shade? Shady boomerang? Someone get on that & make it snappy.
One thing I didn’t notice in last week’s episode is the TV Ru uses to tease the episode’s challenge. It’s like the AV club cart from high school. Only in high school, no one like the pit crew boys would wheel one of those into the classroom.
That group challenge is the girl-group challenge and the guest judge is Michelle Williams from Destiny’s Child. According to pop-up Ru, Michelle Williams is her stage name. Who picks that as a stage name? It’d be like a guy picking John Smith.(Ok, so according to the interwebs Michelle is her middle name. So it’s not like she was getting creative.)
The mini-challenge has the girls taking selfies but since it’s 2009 we didn’t call them that then. As a result of the selfie challenge, Akashia and Ongina will be team captains of 2 rival girl groups. It’s clear from the beginning that Ongina’s group of Shannel, Rebecca and Nina will all work relatively well together. Each person knows their strengths & is willing to work together.
But bitchy side-note: Rebecca on costumes? Rly? Did you see that hot mess she was wearing last week?
Akashia’s group of Bebe, Jade and Tammie are not so harmoniously matched. Akashia assigns everyone their role based on what she can’t do, which is a lot. Tammie feels like she’s being left out & discounted. We’re introduced to the hash tag #AkashiaIsTheNewBitch.
But this being a group challenge, it doesn’t matter how harmonious things start out. Eventually the bitchiness takes over & drag queens start reading each other. Yes, reading is fundamental but girls got to keep it cute.
Akashia is not keeping it cute by not paying attention to Jade’s choreography. Shannel thinks she’s being helpful by critiquing Nina’s wigs. Not. Helpful.
Ooh, the judge’s table got bigger for episode 2. Joining Merle & Santino are Michelle Williams and choreographer Frank Gaston. First up is Ongina’s group performing “Say My Name.” While most girls just hope they don’t screw up, Shannel relates how amazed she is by her performance. In her mind she’s already won. In RuPaul’s mind, she’s Lena Horne.
Akashia’s group looks like a hot mess. Their discord shows on stage. Michelle Williams thinks Akashia looked like a messy man. Of course, Ongina’s group wins. Jade & Bebe gets sent to safety, leaving Tammie Brown and Akashia in the bottom two. In the lip synch, Tammie doesn’t even try – her lips don’t move at all. So you’ve got one contestant not trying and one girl killing it. And as Ru told Akashia, she done broke the dawn.
And so ends the run of Tammie Brown. She’s a talented queen, but she’s had a hard time adapting to the first two challenges.
Wanna see what happened behind the scenes? Check out the precursor to Untucked, Under the Hood.
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 1 Episode 2 photo: screengrab from Logotv.com and Logo’s Tumblr page