This week's episode was all about music and I couldn't be more excited. First, RuPaul challenged the girls to a game of Rusical Chairs. It was musical chairs (played in heels) with RuPaul's most recent singles. The girl who didn't get a seat had to recite the next few lines of the song. If they got them right, they booted someone else from the game; if they got them wrong, they were out. Let's just say if I ever work a summer camp again my kids will be playing a more child-friendly version of Rusical Chairs.
Then, the girls were challenged to record a new version of RuPaul's latest single "Superstar." Each girl received a genre of music, studio time, and time slot at the main stage of RuPaulapalooza.
Let's go from best to worst. Raja killed it with punk rock. The look screamed early 80's club kid and the vocal was aggressive, energetic, and abrasive. Raja is unstoppable when she gets over her own intellect and this was one of those times. A well-deserved win for my favorite eliminated queen's best friend.
Next comes Manila, who delivered disco live even if her vocal could have used a little more panache. Disco divas killed the vocal on every track and Manila was just too tentative.
Third best is Alexis Mateo, even if the judges hated her hip-hop look. She delivered her promise of Lil' Kim and there is no shame in that. Her rap verse in her track is sick, but the vocal is nowhere near appropriate for the genre.
Yara, for not being able to sing a note, wound up with a sellable (but bland) pop ballad. Her performance on the runway was sultry, but the look was a bit one-note and tired for the genre. Pop stars aren't all about maximum skin exposure anymore; they're supposed to show some leg and cleavage, but otherwise be covered up in interesting layers and stage fabrics.
Shangela misfired on country. Her vocal was too clean and straightforward. All she needed to do was put a little of her natural southern twang on the track and do a vocal slide or two and she would have easily been one of the best. Since her vocal was too clean, she needed to deliver vintage country fashion to sell the genre. Instead, she took inspiration from Taylor Swift. A better vocal with a modern look would have worked, but not a bland vocal and a modern look. She was a pop star in a busted cowboy hat and ratty looking metallic shift.
In dead last and worthy of instant elimination and public humiliation is Carmen. Carmen did Reggae. If she really was a fan of the genre (like she claimed she was), she would know she needed to bring tons of energy and personality into a mid-tempo jam and she didn't. Even at a slower speed, a reggae starlet would have been dancing on the stage and playing to the audience. All Carmen did was barely walk around the stage in a big old afro.
She was sent home against Shangela and rightly so: Shangela may look busted half the time, but at least you know who she is as a performer. Carmen is a blank slate no one even tried to fill in. And I say it's a pretty safe prediction to say the show is being edited for an Alexis/Raja final 2. The rest of the order is up for grabs, though I'd bet on Yara in third because RuPaul loves her so much.