What is a “brand”? If you asked someone 15 years ago, they may have said Sears, Oreo, or Microsoft. But these days, it means a lot more. Brand is not just physical: it is before Bachelorette a contestant who sells a prequel to his Instagram story, an entrepreneur who once gave a TED talk on “growing mind cultivation,” or (specifically for the purposes of this iteration) a TV drag queen. In this week’s challenge the queens are tasked with creating a trade-off for soda that carries and sells their brand to an audience. This challenge style is nothing new: RuPaul has the queen deposits from season one. But the focus on cultivating and selling the queens ’personal badges is relatively new, and I’m not sure it’s for the better.
For the most part, the format change doesn’t have to be “fun”. Back in season three, for example, the similarity of this challenge created a video that boosted confidence “for the soldiers. ”In one of Drag racethe most memorable moments, Alexis Matteo created a completely deranged PSA dedicated to her ex-boyfriend Bobby. Joke-trom? No endless fun? Absolutely. I think part of the reason Alexis was able to succeed was because the focus was not on her marketing, but on her creativity and charisma. The result was one of the most successful and organic “brands” in the franchise’s history. So it’s interesting that the most successful queens in this week’s program aren’t the ones with the brightest cut-outs, but the ones with the most fun looks. After a fun little self-defense challenge (Are You Smarter Than the Pit Crew?), The queens get a job on making their soda ads pop.
Tina thinks her challenge is in the bag. Indeed, who has a more cohesive brand than Tina Burner? She understands the specification and knows where to put the essential Tina Burner sign signs (flames, housewife, camp beauty), so when Michelle calls her Drag race a “one-note” package she is rightly a little upset and hurt. As it feels, Tina ‘s problem is not often repeated, that is, well… what is repeated is not so good. Her housewife character is nothing out of the ordinary, the orange and yellow runways are not particularly pleasing in terms of beauty, so what we are left with is a brand that is very careful and very consistent and is not making him happy.
Rosé, on the other hand, understands “branding” in a more advanced way than Tina does. She uses her trade for “Rose-Aid” less as a time to repeat what we know about her, and more as an opportunity to do kiki and a bit of meta-sport by herself and Michelle. The biggest laugh comes from the sketch when Bryce, a Pit Crew member (who deserves an SAG award for the work he does in this program) comes in Rosé’s famous tulle dress and asks “Is this smooth? ”After that Rosé turns to camera and deadpans“ No, no. ”Yes, delivering a joke is not the most artistic thing, but there is the possibility of Rosé punching up at the judging panel, and, as they say, NOT ashamed! On the runway, Rosé is a reddish, reddish devil in the best view she could possibly have yet. I don’t think it was necessary to give her the co-win with Symone, but, hey! Runaway season is fast becoming stale, so I’m excited to see another real contender for the top four.
While the other queens struggle with motivation for this challenge, Symone wins by disrespecting him. When I think of the Symone brand, I think of “Ebony Enchantress,” amazing taste, attention to detail, and an extensive collection of cultural references. But Symone soda (Sweet Tooth) is a sugary drink that triggers a heart attack “that makes you go from uptight to just right.” I’m not specifically linking Symone to being upside down, but I am carry out connect it with being very good Drag race. And that way, she delivers. Symone is a commercial sport. Not to mention the fact that she is one of the queens who writes jokes, which earns her a lot of points in my book. For the beast runway, Symone serves up a pre-redesigned Lola Bunny reality show in the prettiest runway nearby. Drag race never saw. It’s a lot of fun and ends with Symone taking fourth prize. Damn, sis!
The rest of the soda ads stick to the comedy school “no jokes, just vibes” to varying degrees of success. On the “… huh?” the end of our spectrum is Utica. This trade has everything you never knew you didn’t want: Utica fattening say, Utica courting cow tea, and Utica dressed as Sasha Velor spent six months on the Manson Family field. Despite a beautiful runway, the performance doesn’t come together, and she finds herself in the base for the second time with Tina.
Although Gottmik and Oliva are not as tough, they do not succeed well in this challenge either. Between the challenge of the night and Snatch Game, I don’t think anyone will be accusing Oliva of being the queen of comedy anytime soon. Her commercial is not good, but, even worse, she cannot take a lead. Carson and Ross do their best to cheat out Olivia, but that doesn’t happen. She manages to escape from the bottom two this week, but with the field narrowing, shows like this just won’t cut her anymore. Similarly, Gottmik also struggles with taking out the big fat ads that Ross throws at her. Her concept is much stronger than Olivia ‘s, but she has no comedy experience for landing. With a few tweaks, this sketch might be one of the best of the week, but Gottmik is under too much pressure to be able to change her mangled storyboard on the fly. Another amazing runway saves it from the low two, but it’s close. At the other end of the spectrum, no one pulls out “just vibes” like Kandy. Another compelling concept is: “The K Special,” a soda that is secretly just ketamine. Perfection. Kandy isn’t as good at expanding on this base, but it’s endless to watch Kandy’s ketamine soda at an empty order at an empty bar in an empty club, then travel a ball with the two crew boy. The platonic kind of Kandy Muse comedy challenge. Her runway is non-stop, and not in the way it deserves a gag, so Kandy is just safe, but she continues the streak of strong mid-season challenge shows.
In the two below, our Tina Burner and Utica lip align with the innovative gay hymn “My Humps” with the Black Eyed Peas. This is the perfect lip synchronization song for two comedy queens, and twice as much for Utica, which delivers its spouty, monster-like spin on Fergie’s vocal track. And so Tina sashays away, joining the long list of city nightclub veterans whose effort has never been beaten Drag race. Love it, though! See you in Cherry Grove, queen!