Friday, March 25, 2022

REVIEW: 'RuPaul's Drag Race' - The Queens Fight to Get What They Want Even Though It Doesn't Work in 'Moulin Ru: The Rusical'

VH1's RuPaul's Drag Race - Episode 14.12 "Moulin Ru: The Rusical"

The queens go to Gay Paree, in the romantic musical, Moulin Ru. Singer Andra Day guest judges. Actor Leslie Jordan guest stars.

The queens turn against Bosco but production saves her. It was always going to be annoying whenever the Golden Chocolate Bar was revealed. The final lip sync has no clear winner or loser. So, it's understandable why to get the twist out of the way instead of waiting even longer in the season to produce yet another non-elimination episode. It's fair to critique Bosco for wearing the same outfit over and over again on the runway. However, it should still be noted that these queens have been at Drag Race for a long time. Sure, they packed and made some significant preparations. They had to be strategic with their choices. Even they couldn't have predicted just how elongated this season would turn out to be. That has really dampened the success of the format. It's weaken the propulsive energy of the competition. Instead, the audience has to look to the few minutes of the queens being mean to each other in order to satisfy that urge. Even then, the editing has to find a new villain now that Daya has no one to complain about. Jasmine is gone. The target of Daya's ire is no longer around. Sure, she still stirs the pot to create drama. She can at least be perceived as being playful with it. That's a strategic choice too. However, the determination everyone has to get the roles they want in Moulin Ru: The Rusical shows how stubborn everyone can be. That fight set up expectations. Failing to deliver is then the ultimately reason to be placed in the bottom. That works for the storytelling even though the judges couldn't possibly have known all that took place behind-the-scenes.

Bosco and Lady Camden fight over the lead role. The fellow queens can see them both playing it perfectly too. It's not the only role the queens fight over. However, it's strange how no one sees the potential greatness that is written into the roles Willow and Camden ultimately get. It still requires them to provide characterizations to further enhance what's on the page. The comedy is already present. That work is there for them to build off of instead of trusting the queens to completely create it themselves. Willow was the only one who wanted to be the fairy. That worked out. Meanwhile, no one wanted to be the owner of the club. It certainly continues Lady Camden's exploration of masculinity within her drag. She did that purposefully to great success with her Freddie Mercury-inspired chaps runway. She then flopped with her William Shakespeare in Snatch Game. And now, she gets to prevail once more as the bearded queen who steals the show. She is the obvious winner. No debate can be justified regarding that decision. Willow was dynamic for her entire scene-stealing number. She did get ahead of the choreography at some points. Meanwhile, Lady Camden was consistently great in a role that required her to be onstage the entire time. Not even a subpar runway could knock the win away from her. Fortunately, she is fine in that regarded - even though Ross is right in saying the top half of the look is drastically better than the bottom. Lady Camden knew exactly who she was embodying. That is the skill being judged in this challenge. She had to force herself into liking the role too. Angeria provided her with that comfort. She needed it. She found the greatness. That was present in all of these roles. No one is outwardly bad. Some parts simply came across as missed opportunities by queens who didn't take full advantage of what was presented.

That concern is most glaringly obvious with Bosco and Jorgeous. Bosco fought for this role. She thought she could nail it because it so closely aligns with her drag persona. The role calls for a sensual burlesque performer. That talent is right in Bosco's wheelhouse. It's understandable why the other queens thought she could thrive in this situation. She wasn't going to loss it. She demanded the other queens validate her actions. Willow certainly doesn't want to be in that position. She has long been the most strategic queen this season. She carefully considers every choice she makes. She couldn't have planned for this moment. That makes her nervous. She knows she will be blamed even though the other queens voiced their opinions as well. The queens themselves are the only ones who can be accountable for what happens in the challenge. The Rusical requires more than memorizing lines and learning the choreography. It's all about creating a character. Bosco was herself. Jorgeous was as well. And yet, she stood out for being dead in the face. That's such a strange reaction. The editing created the irony of her failing after she told Daya she doesn't understand musicals. She doesn't view them as the kind of performance she seeks to exude. And so, she doesn't know what's required of her in this challenge. She is on equal footing with Angeria, Daya and Deja. They all fade into the background despite their frequent presences onstage. They had to find moments to offer personality. Deja did that in her showcase moment of rapping. That was delightful. Angeria and Daya did what was required to ultimately be safe. Jorgeous simply didn't offer what everyone knows she's capable of delivering. That was startling. Her bottom placement once more seemed to be yet another chance for her to recapture her groove.

These queens understand what they are suppose to be giving. They have watched this show and know the various dynamics that produce success. And yet, the runway is yet another category where so many just miss the mark. Mirror Mirror is the theme. It has the potential to go in so many colorful and creative ways. Everyone basically just grabbed a reflective or sparkly fabric and hoped that offered enough to wow the judges. It's the fourth week in a row with Bosco out in a bra, a belt and panties. Michelle is right to come down hard on her. Jorgeous said she was delivering something completely different. It was dark and mysterious. She modeled it the exact same way. That too contributed to the overall letdown for her. Daya can similarly play the same schtick over and over again on the runway. This isn't the first time she's been flicking her tongue. It belongs with this look more than her previous ones because it's directly inspired by KISS. Of course, the more apt comparison may be to Gottmik. As soon as she turned the corner, it was clear Daya stopped being Crystal Methyd in favor of the white-face queen from last season. Angeria's broken glass look showcased something different for her. It was refreshing because it revealed her abilities beyond playing with the same type of fabric with each presentation. The audience wants variety. It can be hard for the queens to be so creative with each and every look. They can't all be winners. Willow's was fun but missed the category entirely. Deja's was misplaced too while also being ill-fitting. It continues the overall sense of this season not being as strong with the looks as the last couple years have been. That's a shame. That's in addition to the numerous episodes where no one goes home. And so, the competition is still stuck at seven queens. One day we may crown a new winner. Lady Camden probably replaces Bosco as a frontrunner to win alongside Willow and Angeria. The show certainly isn't in a rush to get there. Leslie Jordan was at least fun though.