'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season 5, Episode 2 Recap: "Lip Synch Extravaganza Eleganza"


After a great season premiere that introduced possibly the best group of queens the show has seen yet, in last night’s episode RuPaul’s Drag Race decided to celebrate its past. One of the strangest challenges in the history of the show found Ru assigning the current contestants to lip sync famous catfights from Untucked, the Drag Race sister program that finds the queens letting their hair down and their feelings (not to mention claws) out.

With the 13 contenders split into three big groups, emotions were bound to run high. Guest judges this week included Juliette Lewis and Kristen Johnston, and each queen earned herself a special title:

Unwatched Back: Serena ChaCha

After earning her keep in last week’s “Lip Sync for Your Life,” Serena thought she had picked herself back up by winning this week’s lip syncing mini-challenge and becoming team captain. But when her Raja impression proved painful to watch, even the slight improvement in her runway look and go-to splits couldn’t save her from elimination.

Already Jaded: Jade Jolie

This week, Jade reminded us all what it’s like to be the last one picked for the dodgeball team (or, in this case, the exercise in drag theater.) Jade ended up nailing her role as Delta Work, but felt left out by her teammates. Hopefully her talent has convinced the other queens to give her a shot next time.

No Joker: Detox

She may have donned Joker-esque lips for the mini-challenge, but Detox ended up winning and becoming one fierce team captain/Sharon Needles impersonator. Walking down the runway in a floor-length black gown complete with floaty gauze pieces, this lady is serious, so much so that even the judges told her she needs to loosen up. Can this calculating queen let go enough to win this competition?

Silently Fierce: Lineysha Sparx

While the lip sync challenge obviously required no real speaking, Lineysha’s lively movements and flair for the dramatic helped to crown her champion of the challenge. Better yet — her teammates initially thought her language barrier would cost her her place in the race, but she sure proved them wrong.

Not Playing Favorites: Alaska

For the main lip sync challenge, Alaska had to recreate a scene starring her significant other, crown-winner Sharon Needles. But, instead of picking the easy route and playing someone she knows so well, she chose the next best thing: Phi Phi O’Hara, Sharon’s main rival in that season. She surprised us last week by making her trash bag dress work beautifully as a runway gown, and then she surprised us again last night by picking the harder route. This could be crown-worthy courage.

Miss Mouthy: Alyssa Edwards

While she wasn’t team captain, Alyssa had no problem barking orders at her teammates, so much so that poor Jinkx Monsoon was all worn out before the rehearsal was done. But Alyssa’s desire for attention may not be a bad thing in the race; when it was time for judging, her animated mouth was deemed “hypnotizing.”

A Little Spacey: Jinkx Monsoon

Rocking an interesting Old Hollywood-meets-outer-space look on the runway, Jinkx has established herself as one of the quirkiest of the bunch, and her acting in the lip sync challenge was highly praised. But the actual rehearsal process seemed difficult for her, and she got some harsh makeup pointers (someone mentioned that her nose looked prosthetic.) Will her oddball sensibilities help or hurt her in getting that gold?

Classy and Cool: Vivienne Pinay

Rocking the runway in a mini Grecian dress and a covet-worthy gold headband, Vivienne certainly put the “chic” in “chick,” and she handled all the minor issues during her group’s rehearsal with the utmost grace. But she has yet to really be noticed by the judges, and her cool center may be keeping her from heating up the competition.

Mind-Talker: Coco Montrese

In this episode, Coco established herself as someone who says what she thinks — especially when she called Monica “Jiggly Caliente… after the weight loss.” However, her energy served her well in the challenge, and she was the one to approach Monica about her aloofness in the competition, so there’s clearly a positive side to her forwardness.

Shrouded in Secrets: Monica Beverly Hillz

Monica looked detached throughout the episode’s challenges, then burst into tears during the judging. When it finally came time to tell the judges what was going on, she confessed to being a transitioning transgender woman, and admitted she felt like she didn’t belong. Luckily, Ru gave a wonderful little pep talk, and Monica became a bit less mysterious and a whole lot more lovable. Later, during Untucked, it was touching to see Monica’s fellow contestants embrace her, too.

Social Butterfly: Ivy Winters

For everyone who obsessively watched the trailer for this season and wondered who the hell was walking down the runway as a butterfly on stilts, here’s your answer. And the costume fit Ivy well; she stood tall and seemed like the only one in her group who was happy about (rather than jealous of) Lineysha’s win.

The Right to Bare Arms (and Boobs): Roxxxy Andrews

Roxxxy Andrews’ biggest moment this week was when she stepped out on the runway in a flesh-toned gown with brown tassel beads glued all over the fabric. It was a lot of look, and it was provocative, but Roxxxy seems to be all about statement-making, so we’re curious to learn what she’ll come up with next.

Caped Contender: Honey Mahogany

Donning a stunning fuchsia cape on the runway, Honey Mahogany was (as always) a lovely sight to behold this week, so much so that she gave Lineysha a run for her money. Honey may not have gotten the recognition she deserves just yet, but we’re sure that if she keeps this up, it’s only a matter of time before the judges take notice.