5 Awesome Things from RuPaul's Drag Race Season 1 Episode 3: Queens of All Media

Akashia / RuPaul's Drag Race
Akashia / RuPaul's Drag Race

You get a drag queen! And you get a drag queen! AND YOU GET A DRAG QUEEN! This week’s RuPaul’s Drag Race is a tribute to Oprah Winfrey, as the queens begin their quest to conquer all forms of media. WERK!

This week, the seven remaining contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race were asked to channel their inner-Oprah in the first multi-part challenge of the series. First, the girls had to emulate newscaster Oprah by reading some complicated copy off of a teleprompter. Then, the show got in some clever product placement by having each of the queens do a sales pitch a la Oprah’s Favorite Things. Finally, each contestant had to interview Tori Spelling and her husband Dean.

On the mainstage, the theme was dress to impress with your personal drag. It’s a little shocking that we do not get a true sense of each queen’s aesthetic until the third episode of the show. Of the seven contestants, Jade’s look was the only one that didn’t fully impress thanks to some inadequate tucking (s/he must have been very popular in high school). However, it was the challenge that carried the most weight this week, with Akashia and Shannel both bombing the tasks. With this being her third trip to the bottom in as many weeks, Akashia was sent home.

That recap was only smidgen of how awesome this episode was. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Interpretations of the challenge. The contestants were all over the place in terms of how they understood what was being asked of them. Jade thought she was supposed to impersonate Oprah rather than create a persona of a multimedia mogul. Meanwhile, Shannel—who lost 60 pounds thanks to Oprah’s tutelage—thinks Oprah would wear an asymmetrical collar during a news presentation? Oh, honey.
  • mah-MOOD ah-mah-DIH-nee-zhahd. The main piece of copy for the newscaster portion of the challenge involved Britney Spears and former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad canoodling while Angela Merkel tut-tuts from the sidelines. I would love to see the full script because the tongue twisting was phenomenal. Although everyone powered through it, I’m disappointed we didn’t get RuPaul’s version of “WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU!”
  • “Donna Martin draguates.” The interviews with Tori Spelling and Dean…whatever-his-last-name-is were this season’s equivalent to Snatch Game. We got to see which queens were personable and charming, and which queens needed a refresher course at RuPaul’s School for Girls. You can almost map out the elimination order based on this particular task.
  • Akashia’s disaster. Let’s see the replay:
    Akashia's Runway Disaster
    Akashia’s Runway Disaster

    Major props for the recovery spin at the end. However, RuPaul rightly tells her that divas need to take their frocks for a test drive.

  • “I believe that children are our future.” Shannel ended up in the bottom because she lacked vulnerability. Akashia ended up in the bottom because she is Akashia. The two had to battle it out over “The Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston (RIP). At the end of the bridge, Shannel does a little jump that causes her Medusa headdress to fall off. It was such an “oh shit!” moment back in 2009, but it now seems like the pulling off the wig nonsense queens try to do out of desperation. Either way, it worked for Shannel and she gets to stick around for next week’s episode.

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About Mike McComb 931 Articles
Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it "TV Camp." After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv