The most hilarious things transpire on fashion-centric reality shows when the word “couture” enters the competitive mix. The main challenge on night’s edition of RuPaul’s Drag Race is the perfect example of the craziness the word inspires: The queens were solicited to create a couture, one-of-a-kind runway look based on one of eight different cakes, including pineapple upside down cake, chocolate lava cake, princess cake, and so on. Truly, it’s a genius test, seeing as how ridiculously over-the-top pastries should provide the ample inspiration for just as over-the-top — and thus couture — fashions on the runway.
Alas, the queens confused the concept of couture with building a dress (or in the case of Stacy Layne Matthews, an ill-fitting pantsuit concoction?) that featured oversize shoulder flair. Just look at the screen grabs above for the evidence, with Stacy Layne Matthews, Carmen Carrera, and Shangela all adorning their shoulders with something big and ridiculous. Have you ever seen such divine couture in your life? Not.
The shoulder move contributed to Stacy Layne Matthew’s eventual ouster from the competition — leaving us with Delta Work as the lone big girl (out of an original three) this season. “F— these other bitches,” Stacy said at the top of the episode, after winning last week’s challenge with her inspired Precious impersonation. “I feel like I’m gonna win this s—.” Sadly, that statement couldn’t have been less prophetic on her part. The thing that kills me about the whole situation is that Stacey went home instead of the Bed, Bath, & Beyond-happy Alexis Mateo. Yes, Alexis served it more with her lip-syncing rendition of “Knock on Wood,” but I don’t think anyone would disagree that Stacy — despite her issues with being bad at nearly all aspects of the competition — should have been kept around for sheer fascination factor. Where does the humor of the season lie now? At least we can all look forward to her coming back for the reunion.
The big winner of the evening? Shocker: Raja, yet again. But she deserved it! Despite her knickers showing intermittently, the gangly gal looked flawless, something like a tall, delicious, bubbling-hot glass of chocolate milk — which was smart, considering her cake was chocolate lava. A couple weeks back, I posed the question: Does Raja have this season locked up already? With this being her second main-challenge win of the season, that seems likely. But then again, I think this may all actually be pointing to her imminent, and likely controversial, demise down the road. Reality competition producers often like to lead we viewers down one road, only to switch things back at the very end for a surprise. So Manila or Carmen seem likely to eventually prevail, in my opinion. The thought of Shangela actually winning has crossed my mind, but that scenario would seem rather canned, considering Ru brought her back from season two, right? And Raja probably wouldn’t have it: “You should be on season five or six,” Raja told Shangela on the main stage, punctuating the queen’s lack of drag experience.
Of course, on Drag Race all roads end at Ru. Paul, that is. In the judging at the end of the episode, our delightful host described couture very smartly in one of her always-entertaining sound bites: “Loving something and then hating something is very couture.” I thought about the quote a bit more and decided it probably very much applies to the things that Ru decides to wear on the runway, including last night’s ferocious look, which I just died over repeatedly. The bedazzling of the hair alone makes this look werq for me. Actually, it’s when Ru looks like this that I question whether there can really be another Drag Superstar. I mean, who can top her? She’s a vision and a total inspiration.