Though my cynical prediction for the bottom two from last week was totally wrong, I was right about the quality of contestants in the second season premiere of RuPaul's Drag Race. These girls really brought it. Even the bottom 2 would have been safe on any other season of the show so far.
In a twisted fit of brilliance, the producers decided to throw a little party for the six surviving queens from last week after the runway. Then Ru showed up in full mud mask and curlers to kick the queens out of the studio. The brilliance? They left the mess all night long for the next group of queens to find when they walked into the workroom for the first time.
The photo challenge was the easiest one ever. The queens posed with the Pit Crew on a comfy bed while being caught in a pillow fight. Only Joslyn Fox, bless her heart (that's her full name now) struggled, managing to catch every feather on her face rather than pose for the camera. Trinity K. Bonet won the photo challenge (shenanigans! Courtney Act deserved it for her chicken walk photo).
Like last week, the photo challenge winner got to assign party-themed boxes to each of the other contestants. The writers had a field day with this theme: Republican Party, Toga Party, Luau, Hoe Down, Quinceañara, Princess Party, and St. Patrick's Day. Couture party dresses from party store kitsch and fabric, you know the drill.
1. Bianca Del Rio
Give me a good comedy queen. Great, I'm already a broken record. I said the same thing about BenDeLaCreme last week and it holds true this week. Bianca Del Rio has the it factor. She's also an incredibly funny insult comedian with "a Rolodex of hate" constantly running through her head. And, more importantly for the challenge, she's a professional costume designer on Broadway. The luau dress was easily the best-constructed garment of the two premieres, and the coconut drink and kooky runway walk sold it.
TIE: 1. Milk
Milk is everything. I have never heard the judges unable to razz a queen walking down the runway; Milk left them speechless. Sure, it was because she glued a long goatee to her face (can she be on Face Off? The hair laying was better than any hair work ever to appear on that show) that confused them, but she shut them up. Milk knows who she is and is not afraid to turn off the other queens in the workroom to complete her vision. Bonus points awarded for the glued on toilet paper on the matador entrance outfit.
3. Darienne Lake
Call it bias again. I've been a fan of Darienne Lake since she appeared on the greatest episode of The Ricki Lake Show: "Get a Grip Doll...You're Too Fat to Be a Drag Queen." Ricki Lake was my go-to sick day viewing and I really did see that episode back then. Darienne's only gotten funnier and more skilled at her craft since the 90s. Sure, the judges hated her runway look, but at least she knew how to sew more than a straight seam. The other contestants are scared because she pulls focus with her personality and painting. The lip sync was perfect. Could we finally have a plus size finalist on the show?
4. Courtney Act
Y'all thought Vicki Vox was going to be the next Willam-adjacent contestant on the show? Think again. Courtney Act lands on the show with a whole lot of style and wit. I honestly didn't know she was that funny. I knew she was smart and talented. But that chicken walk when the feathers came out? That's a good sign. She's coming in like Chad Michaels did on All Stars: polished, but not above the insanity of the challenges. Another strong contender for the crown.
5. Trinity K. Bonet
Trinity surprised me a lot. Her runway look was actually my favorite and showed a lot of versatility. Last week, she'd have been near the top of The List. This week, she's at number five solely because I can't get a read on her personality yet. She sure couldn't take Milk or Bianca's jokes in the workroom and on UnTucked!.
6. Joslyn Fox, bless her heart
Joslyn Fox, bless her heart, is really sweet and excited to be on Drag Race. That's great. Show us something. Her commitment to the mystery party box challenge kept her out of the bottom two. Here's hoping she's a slow-starter like Kelly Mantle, only not eliminated already.
7. Magnolia Crawford
I'm just disappointed. I think Magnolia can bring so much more than she brought this episode. She let the standard week one unconventional challenge throw her off and never recovered. Every word out of her mouth dug her deeper into the hole. Frankly, I think if she kept her mouth shut on the runway, Joslyn would have been bottom two, instead.
Ultimately, Darienne Lake and Magnolia Crawford had to lip sync for their lives and Darienne won hands down. Magnolia sashayed away and wouldn't even play along when Michelle Visage asked "Whatcha Packin'?"
Just for kicks, here's how I'd rank the two sets of remaining contestants right now:
- Bianca Del Rio
- Darienne Lake
- Courtney Act
- Trinity K. Bonet
- April Carrion
- Laganja Estranja
- Adore Delano
- Joslyn Fox, bless her heart
- The fabric brick walls this season (did you see it shake when Ru slammed the door?)
- Gia Gunn
What did you think of the episode? Share your thoughts below.