BWW Breakdown: All-Star Branding on RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE ALL STARS 2
The challenge is for contestants to create a product unique to their brand, and shoot a commercial to sell it. The top two will have their product available for purchase at Drag-Con 2017 (the weekend-long Drag Convention; a.k.a. the most fun you'll ever have at the LA convention center).
Marcus Lemonis, of "The Profit" fame (?) plays business guru as the queens pitch their products. DRAG RACE has always been straightforward about the importance of product placement, with RuPaul giving constant, hilariously overt plugs to her many sponsors and items of merchandise. Many past challenges have featured the importance of creative marketing and branding, an imperative skill in the entertainment business.
Success in entertainment can be aided by an iconic persona that's easily representable and marketable. RuPaul knows this, and is training her protégés to be memorable presences in the media. As entertainers, the queens are the product; they all have strong brands in place. Roxxxy Andrews is thick and juicy gla-moooor, the master of the "wig reveal"; Detox is the wild, plastic, Los Angeles foulmouth; and Alyssa Edwards is hyperactive Texas prom-queen eleganza. Katya is the cracked-out Russian hooker with an insecurity complex; Tatianna is a sleek, sassy intellect beneath a flawless face-face-face; and Alaska is all about weird, self-aware fakery that leaves no stone on the gender spectrum unglued to a frizzy wig.
The runway category is "Pants--pants, I said!"
Pants on the runway! Pants are unusual on DRAG RACE because of their potential to undermine the female illusion (nothing says "that's not a woman" like a penis bulge). But, when executed well, drag in pants offers a glorious playground of gender gymnastics.
Roxxxy goes disco, but is a bit basic with a high-waisted denim bell-bottoms and a massive perm. Katya's Russian lesbian tracksuit with neon yellow accents is severe and sensational: think eugenically engineered communist supermodel. Alyssa Edwards wears everything, and calls it: "Rich white women. Dynasty. Dallas. Joan Collins"--which is absolutely the Alyssa Edwards brand. It's Texas, y'all! Her bra is spangled, her belt is cinched, her furs are numerous, and her fascinator would weigh down a water buffalo. That's how a lady goes to lunch at the club, honey. Yes Gawd.
Detox dons stylish vacation-wear for the socialite abroad, and Alaska comes out in a blonde perm and high-waisted American flag pants with fringe and red suspenders. But the most gag-worthy pants of the night were Tatianna's T-boz re-creation from the "Waterfalls" video.
Roxxxy's product idea was to sell wig glue, but she wisely took Lemonis's advice and sold the wig glue as a bonus gift with purchase of the real product, an instructional dvd explaining how to properly secure a wig for hair whippin'. Katya created "Krisis Kontrol," which is essentially an absorbable Xanax body spray. On the other end of the spectrum, Alyssa Edwards dances and spazzes in her commercial for DDG: Drop Dead Gorgeous, an energy drink that makes you do high kicks and impromptu tap numbers. It's all inexplicably shot in front of an American flag. Maybe that's a Texas thing?
Detox sells a trash-talking trashcan that talks sh*t when you throw things away, but, it looks like a kindergarten art project, and she gets read for its appearance even though her commercial is funny. Alaska, dressed like a gothy, androgynous playboy bunny, markets fashion tape in a commercial that pays homage to vintage ostentatious perfume commercials. Tatianna sells a designer tea set: "Spilling the Tea with Tati," a tea set specifically for when you want to talk smack.
The best moment, though, is from RuPaul, who speaks the ultimate T: "I marketed subversive drag to a hundred million motherf*ckers in the world. I'm a marketing mother*ckin' genius over here!" #Truth
Alaska and Katya are the top all stars, and Roxxxy and Tatianna's underwhelming commercials put them in the bottom. Alaska's antics during the lip sync to "Cherry Bomb" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, including pulling an American flag from her wig, win her the victory. Alaska explains her elimination decision thus: "One of these queens, week after week, has brought a level of prestige and beauty and excellence to this runway and to the art form of drag; and one of these queens is the person who lent me this very shirt that I'm wearing tonight." (Referring to Roxxxy).
Alaska sends home Tatianna, who makes a classy exit. She got to introduce herself to fan-base that wasn't tuned in to the show during her season, and she got to present a more polished and sophisticated version of her drag than she could in season 2.
Farewell, Tatianna--it was lovely to meet you again.
Eliminated Queen: Tatianna
Remaining Queens: Roxxxy Andrews, Alaska, Katya, Alyssa Edwards, Detox
Projected Winner: Alaska