‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ 7×4 Recap: Song Sung Bleh


RuPaul’s Drag Race. (photo: LOGO)

We start this week’s episode with Miss Fame letting us know that Jasmine was, in fact, a horror show to be around. If you’re up for a bit of jawdropping, check out her post-boot interview with Michelle where she admits to wanting to curse out RuPaul and refuses to show her other outfits for completely BS reasons. Looks like the editors had made the filler queen even less bitchy than she actually was. Despite claiming in her intro that Jasmine is “class and elegance” she clearly does not what those two words mean—as well as such terms as “memorable,” “polished” or “admirable.”

In lieu of a mini-challenge this week, Ru tells the girls to divide themselves up into three teams. Katya, Miss Fame, Pearl and Trixie group up instantly. Ginger, Kennedy, Kandy and Kasha (in dad pants!) latch onto one another as well. This leaves the motley crew of Jaidynn, Max and Violet—who are each quite strong competitors in their own right.

The teams are then tasked to write parody versions of three of RuPaul’s songs, then recording vocals and finally filming a music video. Despite seeming fun and silly, this is easily one of the most difficult challenges that we’ve seen on the show yet. Writing lyrics that are actually funny but still conform to a previous song is quite difficult. That’s not to mention singing the song, which is either simple or practically impossible depending on one’s skill level. Finally, choreographing a video is no mean feat on short notice.

Immediately Violet takes Max to task for Max’s disinterest in doing anything raunchy or gross. Yes, how absurd that a man in a dress can sometimes take a turn for the prissy. For lack of a better concept, Trixie’s team quickly settles on changing “Dance With U” to “Tan With U”—a bit broad perhaps, but not everything has to be a BBC comedy.

Then it comes time for the recording sessions. Neither Pearl nor Trixie are really capable of holding a note, and it’s always difficult to watch people who know they can’t sing try anyway. When Violet’s team comes in, we see a glimpse of why she is so reviled by the cast. Lucian the producer tries to help Violet land her vocals. “Your timing wasn’t great,” he tells her.

“I just went off your cue,” Violet blurts. Yes honey, it’s his fault you’re messing up the timing even though you can’t sing a note. I’m a bit surprised Lucian didn’t blow his stack at that bit of obnoxiousness, to be honest.

Finally it comes time to do the videos. Violet, Max and Jaidynn make themselves up to be last season’s finalists, Adore Delano, Courtney Act and Bianca del Rio. Jaidynn especially does a great job serving Bozo realness, and very much gets into the character. The three have a strong, coherent concept and execute quite well.

There’s a little bit of never-resolved tension when Ginger’s group comes in. Their song teases RuPaul’s many, many products (available on iTunes and elsewhere) but takes a little dig at Drag U. Ru stops the music and challenges the team to explain themselves. It’s really not clear if Ru thinks the joke hits a little too close to home but given his superb sense of humor it’s not very likely. And needless to say, Trixie’s team is a complete mess when they come in. They can’t even figure out how to roll around on the ground in unison.

Finally we have a full runway this episode again. The theme is green, a little joke at Michelle’s expense given her dislike of the color. It’s starts off with Pearl’s cobra look that we were all gagging over from the preview. Max—who I grow convinced is the love-child of Milk and Raja—comes out with a topless Marie Antoinette number that is a masterpiece. In truth there are no losing looks in the bunch. Kandy and Kennedy’s looks might be tame, but they still come off great.

Then come the videos. The Trixie team is quite cringey, if only due to the absolutely horrid vocals. Jaidynn’s team really knocks it out of the park, as they parody not just the lyrics but the video of the song—a smart decision that comes off well. Finally, Ginger’s team in the style of an infomercial is very well done given the time constraints. Kennedy, Jaidynn and Katya are each singled out as the best from their team. Kennedy gets the win, though why I’m not sure why since Jaidynn really outperformed her.

When all is said and done, Trixie Mattel and Pearl are up for elimination, lip syncing to Blondie’s “Dreaming.” Here we take a turn for the tragic. I was rooting for Trixie very hard, who brought one of the most innovative looks we’ve seen in seven years. But honey, oh honey. Trixie says she knows the song like the back of her man-hand, but she clearly doesn’t get the song. She dances bubbly and smiley to Blondie. Look at the cover of the single! Look at the video! There hasn’t been a musical interpretation as inappropriate since Kenya’s demented ballet performance against Latrice with “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman.”

In fact Pearl’s entire character is pretty much Debbie Harry to a T-bird, the unattainable icemaiden. (Ironically, “Dreaming”’s b-side was the lullaby “Sound-A-Sleep”.) Pearl is no great dancer but neither was Debbie, that wasn’t the point. Pearl serves the punk sneer and that’s what seals it. Rightfully, Ru sends Trixie home, joining other gone-too-soon queens like Tammie Brown, April Carrion and Milk.

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ 7×4 Recap: Song Sung Bleh