Straight out the gate with another Aussie slang lesson (last week we learned not here to f*ck spiders), this time the disgusting shoey. I was gagged literally watching them drink from old heels. Hard pass.
This week, earlier than usual (though the same time as All Stars 2), the queens of Rupaul’s Drag Race Down Under are playing Snatch Game! While it may have worked on an All Stars season, I don’t think having this so early in a normal season is as beneficial for the queens. We barely know their names at this point, let alone their performance quirks, so having them pivot to celebrity impersonations and in-character improv at this stage is a lot to take in.
First, they prepare with various conversations and secrets being kept (for some reason, looking at you Maxi Shield) in the workroom. We even get a Bindi Irwin stand-off when Art Simone – who receives a delusional villain edit this episode, something I may never recover from the audacity of – clashes with Scarlett
Bobo O’Hara who also wants to do the same. Art wins, but it’s a Pyrrhic victory for the ages.
After a message from Australia’s Pop Princess, Kylie Minogue with enough song title puns to fill a whole She Done Already Done Had Herses Rupaul intro video, we’re on to the main event.
I wrote notes during the episode, one of which was ‘Maxi didn’t even say ‘I said love, I said pet’’ even as that very specific Magda Szubanski character (incidentally, Lynne Postlethwaite is one of my favourites of all time), but after cooling my head, I realise perhaps this was simply edited out.
On the runway, Ru announced Anita Wigl’it as the winner without any fanfare and to say I was surprised is putting it lightly. Not that I don’t think she was good as Queen Elizabeth II, because she was, although we have seen the ‘lovely older woman tells dirty jokes’ act done quite a bit before, but because for me, Etcetera Etcetera and her deeply offensive and hilarious caricature of Lindy Chamberlain was the funniest and most irreverent performance. Though I imagine crowning her might set off a litany of lawsuits Ru’s simply not willing to endure.
Rupaul also announced six of the queens to be in the bottom. So let’s review them quickly. Karen From Finance gave us Dollar Store Dolly (this is a read, I don’t believe it’s what she was aiming for) which was dangerous because presumably Ru and Dolly are acquaintances if not friends.
Coco Jumbo was truly out of her league here, her place in the bottom was cemented in the first few seconds. Also I had to google the Sailor Moon connection and even now feel confused about this angle.
Scarlett and Elektra both did comedic women who are very well-known for particular characters, and both did an ok job emulating but not embellishing on these.
And then we have Art Simone. Oh my heart, Art. There were, in hindsight, so many red flags. Ru laughing uproariously at everything she said in the walkthrough, Art’s cocky confidence, Art being bitter about not winning the first episode. I didn’t hate her impression, who doesn’t love a slutty Bindi Irwin talking about blowies, but the editing did her no favours (as perhaps it also did for Maxi Shield) and she landed in the bottom.
Somewhere I believe would have been better suited for Kita Mean. Her Dr Seuss somehow managed to come up with rhymes each time, but were they funny? No. And I just feel if you’re going to impersonate women as a profession, you should know how to spell VULVA.
Long before this season began, I said to anyone that would listen that if Coco Jumbo ever ended up in the bottom, she would send whoever it was she was up against home. My heart sank before this had even begun because I had never seen Art Simone lip sync before I my own prophecy was looming ahead. Did I want to be correct and send a favourite home? Or did I want to be wrong and send my other favourite home? A real Sophie’s choice that I had no control over.
I slept on it, and awoke deeply saddened by the elimination. Art’s guttural tears, the shock on the queens’ faces, her final baffling line about still having her hymen, sitting backstage with a producer and telling them ‘That means nothing’. Art Simone was an icon going in, and is even more so now.
Next week, some challenge I couldn’t see through the tears, but I’m sure it’ll be good.
- Maxi Shield’s runway commentary is wonderful. I also forgot to mention her amazing off the cuff ‘they’re big aren’t they’ in reference to her earrings when Ru was talking about her breastplate in episode one.
- Coco Jumbo winning the lip sync and saying ‘soz bitch’ to Art Simone is pretty effing epic.
- These queens love talking about each other behind their backs, and to their faces, and I love it. More, please.
- I guess it’s Karen From Finance’s game to lose now?