‘Drag Race’ recap: Feeding the finale frenzy

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imageThree and a half hours of shows draw “RuPaul’s Drag Race 2” to a close next week. So to heighten the anticipation by making us wait a week, Ru torched up the backlighting and blurred the lens for Monday’s season highlight episode.

Sure, we’ve seen almost all of it before, but it was fun to revisit the best and worst moments of the season. To make sure it felt new and interesting, the statuesque hostess with the mostest started with a lip sync to her own song, “The Main Event” before taking her place in a director’s chair to walk us through Season 2.

Stunning in blue sequins, she revisted the booted contestants via their audition tapes. Oh yeah, we forgot about Shangela. Oh no, we can’t forget Mystique. Aw, we’ll never forget Pandora. And of course, we will always remember Nicole Paige Brooks and Sonique, the two Atlanta divas who made the cast this year.

And the rest, here on RuPaul’s Isle! Fast forward.

Next we had the Top 10 Fits & Fashions from the season. Ru invited Season 1 standouts Ongina, Bebe and Shanell to the party, and they all gabbed like schoolgirls over the list as Ru ran it down.

imageMystique’s splits on repeat deserved a place on the list, but the most glaring misstep on the haphazard list was Tyra’s “Country Queens” three-looks-in-one runway outfit. Reveals and transformations work best when the versatile piece is made of something besides granny’s curtains, and when the only “look” of the three that works involves taking that piece off, it’s not a winner.

We were irritated by this reminder of an early show of favoritism from Ru for Tyra. Yes, Ru found a way to mention and show the outfit again before show’s end.

Other mentions on the list included all the girls in the Rocker Chick episode, Pandora and Tatiana in the “Snatch Game” celebrity impersonations, Raven’s “Star Is Born” Barbara Streisand fro and a Juju Bee dress that we didn’t even recall. The best was a series of clips of the queens impersonating each other. Santino did for the show with his Tyra impersonation what he did for “Project Runway” with his Tim Gunn impersonation. Spot. On.

Like last year’s clip show before the finale, Ru’s own series of runway looks (photos) was named number one. Like last year, he feigned surprise and plugged his makeup artist and fashion designer. We kid, but let’s face it: those looks deserve the top slot. Mama is Supermodel of the World for a reason.

imageNext we looked at the guest list, arguably the best set of celebrity judges on any reality show this season and among the best ever. We relished in the montage that included Debbie Reynolds, Kathy Najimy, Niecy Nash, Henry Rollins, Dita Von Teese, Terri Nunn, Jackie Collins, Martha Wash, Cloris Leachman, Tanya Tucker and Tatum O’Neal, to name just a few.

Catch phrases were also on the agenda. Rapid edits of Ru saying “May the best woman win!,” “Lip Sync for Your Life,” and “Don’t Fuck It Up,” were followed by Mystique’s “2 Piece and a Biscuit,” Tati’s “Think you” and a few other … well, let’s just say it: totally not catch phrases at all.

With a promise to learn new things about the Top 3 in next week’s finale, we returned from commercial to not learn anything new about the Top 3. Woot! We were reminded that Tyra’s a brat and a dad from the projects, Raven’s a bitch that knows what she wants, and Juju rose phoenix-like to overcome the death of her father and the desertion of her mother.

No one will be surprised to hear that the show ended with a reminder, like so many episodes this season, that RuPaul’s album “Champion” is available on iTunes, and her latest book is also in stores now. Thanks. (She pitched her book during an Atlanta stop in February, too.)

On to next week. The finale for the title is a two-and-a-half-hour eleganza extravaganza that we simply can’t wait to see. That’s followed by the companion series “Untucked” with backstage clips from the finale. And as if we can’t take any more, all 12 girls return for the reunion show right after that. Set your DVRs, bitches!

”RuPaul’s Drag Race” airs on LOGO (Comcast 288) on Mondays at 9 p.m., re-airs Tuesdays on VH1 (Comcast 51, 851) and repeats throughout the week on both channels.

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