READ MORE | Our weekly recaps of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Seasons 2 and 3

imageWhen it comes to money, there’s a line between “enough” and “too much for your own good.” And so it goes on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” where the Top Four gold-dig toward the Final Three at RuPaul’s Make Dat Money Ball.

To get things rolling in the “all things that pay the rent” episode, the queens sleepwalk through a mini-challenge to hawk their choice of item on RuVC, a fake shopping network. From Yara’s Pop-It-On ponytail to Raja’s personal gaffe, from Alexis’ hip and butt pads to Manila’s cure-all hairspray, the mini-challenge segments went by in a whir. For reasons unclear, Yara is declared the winner. She’s pretty happy about it (top photo).

For her trouble, Yara gets a million dollars. Whaaa? Oh, a million Ru Dollars, which is basically Monopoly money with which to make a dress for the main challenge. Each of the queens gets 2.5 million Ru Dollars. Yara gets 3.5 million—and uses every last scrap on a monstrosity of a runway look. Alexis, Manila and Raja do better (second photo, l-r), but only Raja is able to make fake bills and candy coins look the least bit couture.

imageBut that’s not all that’s required in the main challenge. The final four must also create a swimsuit look and choreograph a routine. Add to that a bunch of thrown-together cocktail dresses in a third look that says “monied.”

They all go for gold, naturally, and let’s just say that gold swimsuits and cocktail attire don’t make for the best runway night that the competition has ever seen. The extra work creates big stress in the You Betta Workroom, and like last week’s teasers suggests, Alexis walks out. Leaving the competition? Nope, she comes right back in yet another “gotcha” go-nowhere piece of manufactured drama. But just when it seems we’re snoring our way to the finals, a true breakdown comes at the end to save the episode. Keep reading, but not if you don’t want to know what happens.

imageOn the main stage, “A-List” photog Mike Ruiz and LaToya “the other white meat” Jackson (bottom photo, l-r) return to the judges’ panel for the second time this season. Lip-syncing one of LaToya’s “hits” in the swimsuits, the contestants all look like $2 hookers rather than gold-digging badasses. The cocktail looks are hit and miss as well.

Down to business. As has seemed obvious throughout the season, Raja and Manila are safe and therefore in the Final. The two Puerto Rican “drag sisters” Alexis and Yara must Lip Sync For Your Life to see who comes in a distant third. Alexis plays it pretty straight-forward, simply doing glamour and serving pageant as she mouths the words. Yara wants it so bad, she melts down—hard.

First, off comes the wig. Next, she tries but can’t easily shimmy out of the giant trash pile of paper that is her dress. When she rips into it, her slip comes off in the process. Now this poor man is wearing nothing but earrings, pantyhose, a face full of makeup and a raggedy halter. It’s a good time to come unglued. Bars and bars of music go by with not even an attempt to lip sync before Yara crumbles to the stage and audibly cries over the music.

LaToya cries. Mike Ruiz cries. Alexis cries. We gawk. Some rich-bitch author filling space in a judge’s seat gawks. Ru looks constipated. Yara’s out.

We’ll have to wait an extra week for the finale. Next week’s “Drag Race” is a “very special” season recap with interviews, never-before-seen clips and other fun sundries. Tune in with us on April 25 to see which of the Top 3 – Raja, Manila or Alexis – becomes American’s Next Drag Superstar.