I do NOT like Miss Shangela. At all. She’s not stupid, she truly has great comic timing, and she obviously can learn, but those pluses are outweighed by her rudeness, her sense of entitlement, her ego and her total lack of self-awareness.
So I’m not happy that she did deserve the win last night. I also like Delta a lot, but it really was her time to go.
The theme was comedy. Not all drag queens do comedy, of course, but they do need to have senses of humor because, well, they’re men in dresses, and even the ones with the most “realness” have to have to be aware of the potential. So, it’s a natural fit for this competition, and a number stepped up beautifully.
The minichallenge was to “read” or “throw shade” on the other contestants. In other words, toss out some funny observations – the most insulting, the better. Yeah, not something I’m going to enjoy anyway. Not surprisingly, some were more creative than others. Did you know Delta was fat? Even Raja went there, although she said, “Fat! That’s enough!” and moved on.
And, of course, the girls all had to act like the “reader” (in funny glasses) said the funniest thing EVAH – even when they hadn’t or it was clear they meant to hurt. Shangela seemed, to me, to be the nastiest/least creative (I’m sorry – calling Delta “Mimi Imfurst” did not work for me) and yet she won. I think Ru likes her.
The main challenge was to do a stand-up routine and create a funny outfit for it. They were to get a one on one session with Rita Rudner to help. Shangela got an extra ten minutes PLUS she got to determine the line-up. Major plus for her, and she used it, figuring out a line up that would allow her to shine – and secondarily, to help Yara and Alexis, but also putting the “Heathers” in the worst possible light. Example – Raja, her main competition for the funny, went first. Meanwhile, Delta, who uses comedy in her act but was fading, went last after the wildly funny Yara. Quite brilliant, actually. Machiavellian. Of course, Delta gave up her own prize of a phone call home to Shangela, but Shangela doesn’t care about that. She just wanted Delta (who was ready to go) to leave.
The sessions with Rita and the final acts were uneven, of course. Raja wanted to do Carrie – she came out with a bucket of “blood” on her head and a blood-soaked prom dress – which Rita didn’t think would work because of the age of the movie. However, it is a classic so that really wasn’t a problem. And Raja has great timing and wrote good material, so she went over well. Judges thought she looked and acted fabulous. They also thought that she stayed away from herself for her comedy, so they didn’t get a sense of Raja. Fair enough.
Carmen has NO idea what she was going to do when she talked to Rita, except she was not going to do the Jersey thing (and the Jersey thing is Italian, not Latin.) She built her act around wanting to be fat, even wearing a fat suit under her coat. It was surprisingly funny – maybe because to this fat girl the jokes didn’t seem as mean-spirited as some. I don’t know. I’m not particularly a fan of Carmen and her nakedness, but I liked this. She’s not the brightest of the girls, but she’s also not MEAN.
Alexis is a funny person, but not on the stage. She relied on her accent and her props of ginormous boobs. She also couldn’t explain to Rita that Puerto Ricans, being US citizens, do not have to use rafts to go to Miami. And, yeah, “honey” did get overused, too.
Shangela was funny, with her postmodern pimp-ho character. Turns out it wasn’t terribly original, and yeah, she can’t really yell at Manila if she’s doing African-American stereotypes, but there is this thing – if you can’t deliver, it doesn’t matter how funny your lines are. If you don’t have the timing and the comic sensibility, you can steal from the best and still fall flat. Shangela can deliver, and she has the timing and the sensibility. This is her wheelhouse, this is what she does and she did it well. Doesn’t make me like her more. Also, her make-up was MUCH better. This is because Alexis and Yara gave her a full tutorial on how to do drag make-up properly. (One wonders if she paid any attention when Raja styled her last year.) Again, this shows she CAN learn. She should have learned it before stepping onto that stage, but whatever.
Manila is adorable and pretty and probably the sweetest person on the show. Her boy-outfit for her conference with Rita could not have been cuter. And she CAN bring the funny, but this time she didn’t. Her Sesame Street jokes were old, even if they weren’t to her, and NOBODY trashes Mister Rogers. NOBODY. It wasn’t that she said he was gay – it was that he was a liar and fooled around with Mr. McFeeley (who was MARRIED) and…sorry, my dear. I love you. I love Mr. Rogers MORE. But the Big Bird dress was perfect.
Yara is naturally funny. She doesn’t just rely on her accent, either. She has real skill with costuming and make-up, and she also knows how to portray a character. Since she used an actual little person as her model – WITH HIS APPROVAL – it’s all good. The fact that she said the words “little person” with such ease also speaks to her friendship. I didn’t understand much of what she said, but she also seemed to avoid height jokes. And she looked hilarious. She was up there with Shangela and Raja.
And then we come to Delta. Delta is also funny – she can come in with the perfect zinger at any time. She’s very intelligent and when she wants has good timing. And this IS in her wheelhouse, too. But she was not there last night. She’s been living with several queens – nice and not nice – whose deal is being pretty. And Delta is gorgeous when she does it right, but not in the conventional sense. And she’s been on the bottom twice now, and I think her confidence was just gone. Ru told her to come from that dark place of being a fat girl in a body conscious world, and it was too close to home for her. Where Raja stayed too far, she didn’t give herself enough distance. And it showed in a sad, desperate, NOT funny act. Even her costume was sad – the bikini-clad torso on the t-shirt just emphasized the whole thing.
Shangela won, and deserved it. Can she go home soon, though? She’s poisoning the lot of them. Delta and Manila lip synced for their lives, and while Delta did her normal excellent job (even if she wasn’t feeling it), Manila worked it out. And it was just lovely seeing them together at the end, instead of at odds. And – the other “Heathers”, especially Raja, were shedding real tears at saying goodbye to Delta. Manila had streaks of mascara down her face. RuPaul’s last words were especially sweet, telling Delta she was going to go far, and that she adored her. While I’m not happy that her lipstick words were just for the “Heathers”, Delta otherwise left like a lady.
Untucked was interesting, because it really showed Shangela as awful. She asked Raja a question, Raja started to answer it and Shangela cut. her. off. I’m surprised that Raja didn’t call her on it. When Raja led Delta out of the room, Shangela just started on other people. Nasty, nasty, nasty. She can’t even style herself.
It also showed that Delta was at the end – she was ready to just walk off and not require another queen to perform for her life. Raja talked her into going on – everyone knew where this show would end. My notes predicted this very thing – both winner and loser. Not bragging because it was painfully obvious.
And then Shangela was so PROUD of herself for bringing Delta down like that. Yeah. Be proud of taking someone on his last ounce of self-respect, someone who was kind to you for no reason but kindness, out of a show where YOU got a second chance.
I do not like Miss Shangela.