This week, the ten remaining queens were challenged to film an episode of a sitcom. It's the scripted acting challenge and no stunts were pulled. It appears the producers are pleased with the level of drama in the contest already so no crazy "now switch scripts an hour before shooting" tricks are necessary (yet). But first, the girls are teamed up for a photo challenge. They will be handcuffed together while they apply makeup to each other for their police mug shots. That's right. It's the "let's give Latrice Royale as much screentime as possible" episode. Every time anything related to prison is mentioned, Latrice gets camera time. You don't hear me complaining. I love Latrice.
It's also the "let's give Willam almost as much screentime" episode. That's right. Since it's the acting challenge, Willam gets to mention her resume again and again. The other queens talk about her talking about her work in TV and film. Even RuPaul talks about the queens talking about Willam talking about her work in TV and film. You know what? Good for her. If Shangela and Pandora Boxx can parlay their Drag Race appearances into acting jobs, why can't a trained actor do the same thing? It's no different than anyone else talking about their experience. Plus, Willam delivers.
Back to the challenge. The girls all seem to make this the "paint each other as busted as possible challenge." No DUIs in this bunch. We have prostitutes, fighters, drug dealers, and even some grand larceny. It's Willam's inspired of bright blue makeup to suggest dye packs going off at a high stakes bank robbery that puts her team on top. Who says crime doesn't pay?
Willam and Madame LaQueer are team leaders for the sitcom challenge. Teammates are randomly drawn from a hat before everyone is assigned a role. Willam gives the nation a lesson in comedy direction while Madame LaQueer miscasts everyone on her team except for Dida Ritz. These choices include Kenya Michaels playing a butch prison guard and Madame LaQueer having more than one sentence to say. As if that wasn't bad enough, Madame LaQueer becomes convinced a British accent will give her the edge to win the challenge.
On set, Willam's direction in the work room paid off as all the girls on her team do well. Latrice in particular channels her feelings over her stint in jail into a great sidekick performance. Madame LaQueer's team struggles. The only one who comes across well on set is Dida Ritz, who does her best Bea Arthur chastising friend act.
It's worth watching both completed episodes. They're ninety seconds each and give you a clear idea of who understood the challenge.
The big takeaway from the sitcom challenge is not how well Willam, Latrice, Phi Phi O'Hara, or Chad Michaels do, but how poorly Sharon Needles takes criticism. I can tell she has some big defense mechanisms built up from the way she acts on set. Nothing is her fault directly. There's a sense of separation between herself and her mistakes. It explains her blaming Phi Phi on the runway last week and her responses to everything that guest judge Max Mutchnick says to her throughout the episode. She needs to tone that down or she's in trouble. Just take a page out of Fantasia's book: shut up and smile no matter what they say to you.
Before we get to the runway, we hit our first big fight of the season. Sharon Needles decides she needs to let Phi Phi O'Hara know about her comments on the runway last week. Everything is fine until Phi Phi hears a single negative word said about her.
There's another take away from the episode: Sharon may deflect criticism, but Phi Phi thinks she's actually above it. There was no need for this to turn into a fight. All we got out of it was a fantastic insult not even delivered very well. Maybe Willam could coach Phi Phi on hitting the keywords in a good read.
On the runway, the girls are told to dress to impress. Willam, Latrice Royale, Sharon Needles, and Chad Michaels excel, while Madame Laqueer and Dida Ritz do not flatter themselves at all.
Willam's team wins the challenge with Latrice named as the MVP. Madame Laqueer's entire team has to stay on the runway for critiques. The line of the episode is a tie during this session.
Michele Visage, what's wrong with Dida Ritz' runway presentation?
If you're going bare leg, lotion up, girl. Lotion up.
And Max Mutchnick, why has Sharon Needles become America's sweetheart?
I don't like the name, I don't like the look, I don't want to see a sitcom starring the little girl from The Ring.
I would pay to see a sitcom inspired by The Ring starring Sharon Needles. I guess we'll have to settle for the video of her Human Centipede-inspired performance number. NSFW
Ultimately, Madame LaQueer is outperformed in the Lip Sync for Your Life by Milan who Swiffers her way to victory. I'll just pretend they sent Madame LaQueer home for her challenge performance because she did not do poorly on the lip sync at all.. Let's just say I think the decision could have gone the other way without the puce dress or British accent.
The Latrice/Willam show continues on UnTucked! this week, as they lead a reading contest against Jiggly Caliente backstage. Everything is all fun and games until Sharon and Phi Phi wind up in the same room again.
Thoughts? Love to hear them.