All T, All Shade: SHADE: The Rusical

RuPaul's Drag Race

RuPaul's Drag Race

In a lot of ways, Shade: The Rusical was a lot like last season’s Black Swan: Why’s It Gotta Be Black. Both were challenges that focused heavily on an objective talent. Both were tailor-made for a contestant with a background in that area. And both ended up eating so much of the running time that they had to cut down on the runway portion of the show. Unlike Black Swan though, last night’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race was a little more balanced to at least give the other queens a fighting chance, even if they were all fighting for third place. So which queens hit the high note and which ones were pitchy dawg? Well …

Adore Delano [Top 3]

For a moment, it seemed like Adore was going to win this one. The editors were really fleshing out her backstory, putting her up against Courtney, and playing up the American Idol thing was a great get. And to her credit, Adore’s a fantastic singer. But the main difference between Adore and Courtney isn’t polish, it’s commitment. Gawd help her, but Adore can’t ever commit to something and see it through the way Courtney can. She has a lot of raw talent, but she just can’t ever do the job in front of her without that sort of flippant air to her. If she’s not careful, it’s going to cost Adore her place in the competition.

April Carrion [Sashay Away]

And so we say goodbye to April, which … actually isn’t that surprising. April is gorgeous, and she has great drag, but she’s pretty much strictly a “put on this gown and dance” kind of queen. She’s more or less the opposite of Adore: She has creativity and imagination and determination, but she lacks the raw talent with which to build on all of that. Her dress was nice, if nothing special (if I never see another nude dress with beading and lace, it’ll be too soon) but her performance just couldn’t compare to the others.

BenDeLaCreme [Top 3]

The spiritual winner of this round, let’s just put it that way. We all knew Adore and Courtney were going to be in the top, so whoever landed up their with them was going to be the best of the rest. Dela absolutely nailed the theatricality required for a musical as the shady queen, and her dress was absolutely gorgeous. I know the Dreamgirls lady told her to take off the shoulder-piece, but I loved it! And I mean, she is a drag queen. They’re supposed to have big accessories.

Bianca Del Rio [Safe]

A good, solid job. An immaculate professional, really … it’s becoming clear that she’s really trying to be patient with the younger queens, and I have to give her credit, she’s holding on as best she can with them. Her dress was, once again, lovely and elegant, although I’m having the same problem with her as I had with Alaska: As much as I love her look, the silhouette from week to week is very similar. Here’s hoping that next week she shows some leg or introduces something flowy into the mix.

Courtney Act [Winner]

So Condragulations to Courtney for winning the challenge we all knew she was going to win. It’s debatable whether Adore or Courtney is the better singer, but what isn’t debatable is which one has more experience in taking those skills and translating them for the project at hand. Courtney knew how to play up the good girl character and how to pull focus without hindering her team. She’s a generous scene partner, and an amazing singer, and her win was well earned.

Darienne Lake [Bottom 3]

Bottom 3? Really? Honestly, I thought she was perfectly fine in her performance. Maybe I’m bitter because I just like her and hate Gia Gunn, but … I don’t see why she was in the bottom. Sorry, don’t get it one bit. Speaking of …

Gia Gunn [Safe]

What an asshole. Gia is clearly being set up as the bitch of the season, something that she’s only too eager to play up, but what makes her dangerous is that she’s deeply, DEEPLY stupid. What’s dangerous about a stupid bitch is that they don’t know how profoundly dumb they are, which means they can’t be debated. You would have to explain to her your position, and the process would take so long that she’d be able to use that time to latch on to your frustration and drive you insane. As for her performance, bleh. Also, if Gia’s going to talk down about other people’s looks, the least she could do is tape down her gawddamn tits and blend her gawddamn make-up. I swear, the lines on her face are so harsh, she looks does her make-up with a paint-by-numbers kit.

Joslyn Fox [Safe]

Man, was I ever wrong about Joslyn at the start. I thought she was going to be a dumb-dumb, but she’s proving to be funny, quick-witted, and downright pleasant. She also has one helluva backbone, and has no problem trading jokes or reading a bitch for being ignorant. Hell, her singing and theatricality in the challenge were even pretty good! She was giving Dela a run for her money, I’ll say that much. For all I know, Joslyn could very well be the black horse. Or dark horse. Whatever. Love you Joslyn!

Laganja Estranja [Safe]

I have no idea what’s going through Laganja’s head half the time. It seems like she’s kinda all over the place more often than not, and one again, her inability to realize who she is as both a performer and as a person is tripping her up. She’s young, and she has plenty of time to figure out who she is, but in this competition, a lack of a sense of self is only going to serve as a detriment. As for her performance … it was okay. I actually thought her hair, dress and make-up were the best they’ve looked so far.

Milk [Safe]

I love Milk, I really do. But I’m worrying about her. It’s not that Milk isn’t doing well, because she is! Her Grizabella-esque performance was actually pretty killer, and I liked her pregnancy dress. The thing that worries me is the idea that her looks might be overshadowing her talent. I’m still rooting for Milk to go all the way, because I think she’s a hoot and I want to see what else she has up her sleeve, but oh, how I worry. Is this what it’s like to be my mother?

Trinity K. Bonet [Bottom 2]

I’m going to go as easy on Trinity as I can, because I know she’s in a super sensitive place right now. In the competition, she’s in over her head and I’m sure she’s feeling overwhelmed. Outside of the competition, I know Trinity is having to deal with a lot of criticism she’s never had to deal with before. She’s young, and she’s having a lot of trouble adapting to all this newfound craziness around her. I think she did the best job she could this week, and I’m happy she’s sticking around. I just hope she learns to deal with all the insanity around her.

About JEREMY FEIST 5006 Articles
Jeremy Feist is an (ahem) entertainer from Toronto, Canada. He writes, acts, and performs on stage, and has been a writer for Popbytes for almost three years now. He lives in Toronto with his boyfriend, his incredibly dumb but cute puppy, and his immortal cat.