RuPaul’s Drag Race S3Ep13 + Untucked

This was a very emotional episode, as it turned out. I don’t dislike any of the remaining queens and seriously, any of them can win. I AM biased for Raja, with Manila in second, but I like them all.

Raja is a bit off because she had to lipsync and now has to clean off the mirror. She didn’t want to leave because of a guy she’d met two days earlier.

She-mail is about earning money (usually tips) but needing to pay the rent. The queens think it’s about prostitution (well, Raja thinks that.) But Ru clarifies it – they need to be able to “sell it to the masses” now. They have to do a spot for “Ru-TV”, selling a piece of their own drag.

Raja is cute. She’s wearing a yellow dress, a fowered shrug, glasses and a blonde wig, and she’s selling her own gaffe (she ducks behind the couch to remove it) as a facial mask. She’s very funny. She also asks for clams for payment.

Manila is GREAT. She’s in this adorable flowered strapless sundress and she’s selling Man-Ila, which is a multipurpose spray – hairspray, make-up setter, furniture polish, run stopper. It’s very funny.

Yara is selling a “pop-it-on” – a sort of sausage of hair. It’s also multipurpose. She’s wearing a big blonde wig and a black outfit. It’s very cute.

Alexis is…sad. I think. She’s selling her handmade hip pads, which have smiles drawn on them. They’re slabs of foam rubber. She does throw in her booty pads for free, which is very cute. She’s wearing a stripped top and black pants.

I think Manila is the best, but Yara wins – Ru takes the pop-it-on out of her Ru-TV delivery box. She wins a million dollars. Ru-dollars. Yara is very disappointed and a little confused.

Drag crew guys, in security hats, come in with suitcases filled with play money. Every one gets 2.5 million except Yara who gets an extra million. They’re making three looks for a “Make that Money Ball” – a swimsuit body beautiful, an “after-five cocktail dress” and “evening gown eleganza” made of the play money. They have to show richness and money.

Raja feels like a glamorous sweatshop worker. (“That’s because you’re Asian,” says Manila, who is looking adorable as usual.) Alexis is upset that the judges don’t like her body, but Yara reminds her that she won twice and Manila says the judges love her.

While Yara hot glues a dress, Raja tries on some gold lame and decides it’s wrong and she has to start over. She doesn’t want to start over. Everyone is tired and stressed – long competition, and three outfits to make. Again.

RuPaul comes to talk with the queens. Alexis has no clue where she’s going, and thinksYara is her biggest competition. Also would prefer that another Puerto Rican won if she doesn’t.

Ru asks Yara if she’s frugal or a free-spender. Yara is a free-spender even though she’s broke. She’ll take the money if she wins and move to the States so she can get a job – she’s a dressmaker – and be the next Bob Mackee.

Next Ru goes to Manila, who is hotglueing plastic coins. Manila is not surprised she stayed this long, as she came there to compete and to win, but she also wanted to make friends along the way, not that she wouldn’t stab them in the back if she had to.

Raja tells Ru she’s building an armature for a top hat made of coins and cash, and will wear a bikini for the swimsuit challenge. She maintains her skinny figure with pilates and yoga, and will finally get her gastric bypass with the money. Ru laughs.

Then Ru tosses out the twist – Yara, as mini-challenge winner, has to choreograph a routine to LaToya Jackson’s “Just Wanna Dance.” LaToya will be returning as a judge, along with socialite Gigi Givanchy Grazer. No one seems happy about the twist.

And then we have our Alexis drama – she’s lost, she’s tired and she doesn’t want to compete anymore. Yara tells her she has to make her mannequin fit her measurements, but Alexis is too far gone to care. She doesn’t want to do this anymore and wants to go home.

She starts to pack. Worried, Yara goes to talk to her in Spanish, trying to convince to stay and offering whatever help she can give. Yara is very, very sweet. A fierce, strong competitor, but sweet, but Alexis doesn’t accept her help, and leaves, which makes Yara angry.

Everyone is standing around shocked and upset, until Manila, as angry and freaked out as anyone, goes back to work and the other two follow her example. And then Alexis walks back in, ready to compete again. No explanation as to what changed in her, but she decided she was back in the game. It’s all very dramatic.

Yara insists that they start rehearsal, putting Alexis in charge because she’s a dancer. Raja hasn’t done choreography in years and is totally lost and confused, which is not something we’re used to seeing with her.

When we return to the workroom, we see Yara’s evening gown, and it’s just covered in money. It’s ridiculous. And they managed to use up all the hot glue sticks.

When asked who will be top three, Yara and Alexis say them and Raja, which means they think they’re better than Manila, which is really not true.

Along with Gigi and LaToya, Mike Ruiz is back and not looking wonderful. His hair just isn’t working. LaToya looks scary to me.

They do the dance in the swimsuits, so I don’t really get a good look at them. Lots of gold and shiny with a couple of bikinis and a couple of tanks. The dance is fine – even Raja.

Yara’s cocktail dress is very gold and sequined, and she’s wearing a little black hat with a veil and black gloves. Her evening gown is layers of money and coins and credit cards, with more in her wig, and there are rosettes and I can barely see Yara in all of that. The judges do not like her clothes at all.

Alexis has a gold lame swimsuit and a tight, tight gold cocktail dress with her hair back and tight. Her evening gown looks like a mermaid with coins and is very unflattering. The judges are, again, not happy.

Manila wore a black tank suit with chains of coins on the waist – elegant. Her cocktail dress was a shiny mini-dress with batwing sleeves and an off-the-shoulder neck. She looked very flashdance. Her evening gown gave her big hair and made her look like the wife of a Texas tycoon – a big, one shouldered number covered in knots of the play money. The judges approve.

Raja wore a bikini with gold coins, a plain gold lame cocktail dress with a party hat on top – I didn’t like it. Sorry, Sutan. Her evening gown was very thirties, covered with a feathery fringe made of torn play money. It’s spectacular. And she is, indeed, wearing a top hat. The judges think the cocktail dress looks like the Tin Man, but love the evening gown.

The dance seems to have played no part in the judging.

They’re also asked a very pageant question – “Why do you deserve to win this contest?” Yara wants the money, plain and simple. She’s broke, she’s in debt and she wants to move to the States. Alexis, who is given patriotic background music, gives a speech about being American and not perfect and how this will show how it is to be American and a drag queen. She tears up. Manila talks about how she was blessed to come from a loving and supportive family and wants to show what love and support can do to help others. Raja, also fighting tears, says she “Wants to leave a legacy for the all the little boys who are teased, or afraid or don’t know how to express themselves creatively.” She wants to show it’s okay to be different and to be an example of strength and accomplishment.

Mike Ruiz is also in tears, and during the deliberation says that he was one of those little boys and he doesn’t even care what Raja was wearing. But RuPaul makes the ultimate decision and she does.

Raja is safe, Manila wins. I think Manila deserves this – all of her outfits were perfect. Yara and Alexis have to lip sync for their lives. And Yara, who has quickly lost her wig and her dress and has come untucked in her panties, just collapses in tears. She knew she was doing a bad job and that was that. Alexis finishes, but she’s in tears, too. Everyone is, from the other queens (Manila comforts Alexis) to RuPaul herself. It’s horrible and sad.

And RuPaul has no choice but to tell Yara, with a sweet speech about how she is a star and the glitter will not wash away, that she has to go.

Untucked was raw and uncomfortable this time. While Raja and Manila are comfortable in the judges’ praise and their own sense of who they are (and yet they still practiced the song just in case), Alexis and Yara both react badly to their harsher critiques – Yara is silent and ready to go and upset that while she covered her dress in whole bills and coins, both Raja and Manila altered their money, and looked like pinatas and garbage. And yet they garnered praise – Alexis believes it’s because they could talk their way out of trouble (like Manila saying her dress was after 5 AM. This was clearly a joke, but Alexis is too angry to see it.) She’s aware that her style and the way she shapes her body is not the way Raja and Manila do it, or even Yara.

Raja and Manila actually spend much of their time alone talking about how great the other two are and how horrible their Ru-TV segments were for them, and how badly they did dancing. Alexis makes that point, too, but believes THEY believe they did well. (Raja,in fact, believes it’s time for a dance class. Well, Sutan is traveling with four dancers, one of whom gives classes, and they all love him. I’ll bet he could get help. :))

Alexis is convinced that Raja is going to win because the judges simply prefer her and not the others, and for no other reason – even when Manila reminds her that she’s actually won and sent other queens home. Raja hasn’t been running away with the competition – I think she’s won twice – although it’s pretty obvious that her main competition is herself, and her main nemesis, too, as she overthinks everything. And Yara? Has given up. Just given up. It was hard to watch.

None of these queens are stupid and all are creative – including Alexis, despite what she said. Alexis just needs to discover balance. If she does, she’d be unstoppable.

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About mamadeb

I'm a devoted fan of Adam Lambert, but also of cooking, knitting, science fiction and pretty anything pop culture. I'm @_mamadeb on Twitter.
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