Dragnique: Week 4 Recap (Celebrity Impersonations)

Another week of Dragnique has come and gone, and with it another contestant in this year’s competition. Next week marks the season finale of Dragnique. But let’s not dwell on that…not yet. For now, you get another one of my patented bitchy recaps of this fabulous drag competition.

This week, the five remaining contestants performed celebrity impersonations, complete with relevant song choices. Padding the show’s runtime, along with their bodies, were season-long emcee Bubba D. Licious, who was joined this week by Atlanta drag legend Charlie Brown. Also joining the judging panel this week were Dragnique: Season 1 contestants Gunza Blazin and Alissah Brooks, along with Kat Graham of The Vampire Diaries.

Now before I get into the recap, I want to say a few things about this week’s emcee/judging panel. One, as much as I love having Phoenix present every week, I really enjoyed the chemistry between Bubba and Charlie Brown this week. Charlie Brown, if you want to come back next week for the finale, you’ll have no complaints from me. On the other hand…Gunza Blazin gave a rather messy performance before the competitive portion of the show began. Not good. It reminded me of Paula Abdul judging singers on American Idol, only if Paula was actually remotely critical before giving a mess of a performance.

Anyway…back to the contestants. There were some surprises this week. Let’s get into it:

Evah Destruction
“Funny Girl” (Barbra Streisand) / “Don’t Rain on My Parade” (Barbra Streisand)

I’ll admit that I’ve not been Evah’s biggest fan in previous weeks. This week, though, she came out with a fucking bang. There’s really no other way to put it. Her take on Barbra Streisand, which was interspersed with dialogue from Barbra, was spot-on. Lip-syncing is one of the areas where I judge drag queens heavily, and if there was a flaw in Evah’s performance, I didn’t see it. She won me over, plain and simple. Oh, and Evah’s final ripping of a picture of a cheeseburger? That’s the kind of catty competition I want to see more of in this show.

Miami Royale
“Get Right” (Jennifer Lopez)

Oh…Miami. I’ve been a big supporter of Miami this season, but she did not bring it this week. Jennifer Lopez may have been too safe of a choice to start with, but I think the song choice killed Miami this week. Something with higher energy, like “On the Floor” or “Papi,” would’ve been one step in the right direction. The backup dancers didn’t help things either. It’s too bad. With Miami’s dancing ability, this had the potential to be a kick-ass performance.

Violet Chachki
“My Heart Belongs to Daddy” (Marilyn Monroe) / “Government Hooker” (Lady Gaga)

Hm. First, the bad: Violet choosing Marilyn was a little predictable. And while Violet’s body normally works for her, her skinniness was, I felt, painfully obvious when compared to Marilyn’s natural curviness. Additionally, Violet needs to work on her makeup more. Now, the good: while the song choice for Marilyn was obscure, I think taking a Marilyn song and turning it into a dance song was a stroke of genius. I’m a little more mixed on the inclusion of “Government Hooker.” It worked with the references to JFK, who was included on stage with Violet. But I think sticking with Marilyn-performed songs would’ve been a smarter move.

Aroara Thunder
“Dog Days Are Over” (Florence + The Machine)

Oh my. Aroara shaved her beard. Between that and the ridiculously detailed performance going on behind her, Aroara definitely stood out this week. I do have one critique, though: once Aroara’s background dancers started, I was more interested in watching them than her. It’s good to put on a show, but it’s important to keep in mind who should be the center of attention.

Edie Cheezburger
“It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” (Whitney Houston)

Leave it to the contestant who performed as Helen Keller to go for the potentially tasteless choice. And by starting off in a bathtub, Edie made it very clear who she was impersonating this week. The song choice was appropriately titled, though. It wasn’t right, but it was okay. (Okay, I’m sorry for going for the easy laugh.) Edie pulled off Whitney’s various tics, but I think once the initial shock wore off (shock which included Edie as Whitney being pulled out of the bathtub spitting water out), it was…good, but not great.

As has been the case every week, there was a winner and a loser for the week. In past weeks, Edie Cheezburger has won both the audience vote and the funds raised in-performance. Edie kept her claim for most funds raised, but lost the audience vote by four votes to Aroara Thunder. Leaving the competition this week, meanwhile, was Miami Royale.

With one week left, the performers will be doubling up on performances next week. Round 1 will consist of duets. As winner, Aroara got to choose her partner, and selected Edie as her duet partner. This leaves Evah and Violet as the other pair of duet partners next week. In Round 2, contestants will be able to choose their own songs without restrictions.

So who will win Dragnique: Season 3? A week ago, I would have confidently told you Edie Cheezburger would win. I’m still thinking Edie has the best chance of winning, but Aroara’s upset win this week makes Edie vulnerable. Also posing a challenge is Evah, who may just be peaking performance-wise at the right time.

Come back next week for my final recap of the season, or join David at Dragnique next Wednesday night at the Jungle. Either way, it’s going to be a hell of a show.

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