Say what you will, this acting was still better than the half-assed affair that was Sex in the City 2.
What ultimately keeps Trinity from being entertaining is her habit of over-explaining things. She has to tell you exactly how she feels and her entire thought process, and do so in the most meandering, naval-gazing way possible. The fun, no bullshitting Trinity of Season 9 is no longer here, replaced by this vacuous blow-up doll who gives emotionless, 10 minute confessionals about the pros and cons of eliminating Naomi Smalls.
While the deliberation scenes have been uncharacteristically good and melodramatic this season, this episode brought them back to their gormless default, and Trinity is the reason why. In contrast to the much neater Monique, Trinity spent forever telling us why people should and should not leave. There’s no charisma here. No humanity. No soul. Trinity has been a sanctimonious time sink this entire season, but this episode suffers the most from that.
Monet’s edit this season has been lackey, and it rings super true here. It’s hard to say how much of this is on Monet’s shoulders and how much is due to the show’s editing, but despite this being the final five, Monet left no mark. I mean, I can list things Monet did: got into a minor fight with Trinity, was unfairly given the hardest role in the challenge, and then came out on the runway looking like a god damn Backyardigan. But none of these things are by themselves compelling enough. When Monet shines, she shines bright, but like many other times she felt self-censored and hidden this time. Definitely not bad, but could have been so much better.
Naomi had one really, really strong moment this episode: “I eliminated Manila because… I wanted to.” A succinct, brazen moment of gusto that almost caused Tuckbot to suffer a cascade failure. I also appreciate that she unintentionally mocked SJP with her performance in the acting challenge, a move that probably would have given her an accidental top 2 if the show wasn’t blatantly kissing Parker’s ass.
An okay episode for Naomi, but considering how boring this episode was, probably the best we could expect.
If it wasn’t abundantly clear yet, this episode sucked ass, but god Monique did her best to make it watchable. As oppose to Monet, Monique had less specific instances this episode (though I did like her in the acting challenge) and more just a general aura of positivity. Her deliberation moments were short and sweet, and felt like an actual human agonizing over a decision. Her werkroom moments, as brief as they were, were fun. While everyone else this season has been either arrogantly stank, hopelessly chaotic, or barely existed at all, Monique’s genuineness has completely won me over. I know it’s foolish to believe, but considering how much they make Trinity look like an ass and how heroic Monique looks in comparison, a small, ignorant part of me chooses to be optimistic and hope that Monique can pull out a win she definitely deserves.
See Ya Latrice… Again
While I was hesitant to see Latrice come back after the sour note she left originally, I was surprised by how entertained I was of her with her reemergence. The first four episodes were Latrice at her worst: a dour, unfun killjoy who blamed everyone else for her faults. This second arc, while not necessarily her at her best, was at least her at her most human. Most All Stars seasons feature contestants not necessarily competing as themselves, but as caricatures of themselves, opting instead to act like the edited, easier to digest personality millions of people fell in love with. Inversely, Latrice’s second four episode arc is probably the closest we will ever get to capturing Timothy Wilcots, undiluted. This doesn’t completely redeem her actions at the start of the season (seriously, the Gia boot is her absolute worst single episode ever), but it’s at least a new wrinkle to the legacy of Latrice Royale, which is not nothing.
Plus, I still can’t get over that she planned her wedding to be the same weekend of Dragcon NY. That’s a Bad Bitch move, and I love it.
NEXT TIME ON RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE
The previous winners stop by to officially crown the next inductee in the Drag Race Hall of Fame.