‘Drag Race’ recap: All hail Red, White and Ru

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

imageWe feel so patriotic after the Yankee Doodle drag queens devote their Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent to America’s troops abroad on this week’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Not.

Figuring that our brave men and women in the military need the pick-me-up, Ru–inexplicably dressed in a cowboy getup—asks the remaining contestants to record Public Service Announcements (top photo) that will be sent directly to the front lines. Whether the military will screen them goes unmentioned, as does the potential if they do for priceless looks on the still-closeted faces of embedded gay troops under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

But before the contestants can don their red, white and blue best, they must don bedazzled bras for this week’s mini challenge. Because, you know, not to spotlight glittery women’s underwear on a bunch of un-done-up queens would simply be un-American. None of the hastily decorated bras are cute, but Manila’s torpedo shooters win an extra five minutes on her PSA.

imageFrom what we see, the videos don’t go well at all. All of them miss the “heartfelt” requirement, though the horrid Stars & Stripes costumes do nail the “entertaining” mandate.

More interesting is the back-story of Alexis, whose former boyfriend is off at war in the Marines. Less interesting are Shangela’s master plan to beat the “Mean Girls” and any airtime producers allot to Carmen talking.

For the patriotic runway, the most original goes to the ever-daring Raja, who thoroughly dazzles in Native American-Cher-“Half-Breed” couture. Alexis gets props too: She converts her man’s dress blues into an evening gown (second photo). Manila reinvents flapper with money as fringe, Carmen pulls off pinup, Yara reveals a flag-inspired swimsuit from under a weird Puerto Rican Snuggie, and Shangela still can’t sew.

imageOn the judges’ panel, Michelle and Ru welcome the return of Santino, who’s rocking a George Washington wig for the occasion. All-American girls Cheryl Tiegs and Johnny Weir (bottom photo, with RuPaul) join them as this week’s guest judges. Stop reading if you don’t want to know what happens.

Maybe we’re dazed by all the baseball, hotdogs and apple pie, but this is just one weird episode of “Drag Race.” The results reinforce that notion. Alexis wins, mostly due to the aforementioned backstory, but also for creating the best of the bad PSAs. Yara, whose schtick is getting old and whose look was raggedy this week, is up for elimination.

Manila, who landed in the bottom two last week, is in trouble again over a poor job in the main challenge, but Carmen’s horrible video and worse outfit outweigh it. She faces Yara in the Lip Sync For Your Life final standoff. A Spanish-language version of Toni Basil’s “Mickey” doesn’t do either of them any favors, but Carmen is deemed safe… and then so is Yara! “America is the land of opportunity,” Ru reminds us.

With no elimination, we’re giddy with anticipation. There’s no word if two will go home next week as the queens tackle rock and roll in “Lalapa-Ru-za.”


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