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'And Don't F*ck It Up': Discussing the 'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 2' Finale with Mark Shrayber

By Courtney Enlow | TV | October 14, 2016 | Comments ()

By Courtney Enlow | TV | October 14, 2016 |


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You might know Mark Shrayber from his time at Jezebel or his current gig at UPROXX. And you should because he’s a majestic delight and human sunshine. There’s simply no one else appropriate to discuss the most important television event of the year.

The time has come to liveblog FOR YOUR LIFE.

Mark Shrayber: Before we start I need to let you know that the true winner of this season is Adore.

Courtney Enlow: I mean OBVIOUSLY. She even got multiple shouts last episode.

Mark Shrayber: Party!

Courtney Enlow: I will say if any queens are going to be the surprise villains this season, Alaska and Detox are the most teflon. They will both be fine. Detox is a bitchmonster (I mean that in the loving way) and Alaska is Alaska. Like if Phi Phi had pulled this stuff? She’d actually be dead. No one else could have pulled it off and kept their careers in tact.

Mark Shrayber: Phi Phi didn’t even send Alyssa home and she was dragged for it. Like, OK, but Alaska did it.

Courtney Enlow Phi Phi just said words. A lot of words, mind you, but words. No one was even mad at Alaska until shirtgate.

Mark Shrayber: Do you think that, as some have speculated, Alaska was talking about Roxxxy the entire time during shirtgate and they just edited it weird because she fucked up her wording? To give her a villain edit? Because I honestly believe she didn’t just base it on the shirt. I think she was talking about Roxxxy the entire time.

Courtney Enlow: I’m not sure. I lean towards no. And I still lean toward production interference. I mean it had nothing to do with the shirt. But I think she was owning up to the fact that one of them deserved to be there and she was also sending that one home. This show is fairly transparent about its fuckery, which I respect. The queens who can’t get onboard with the fuckery are the ones who flail. Hence, Phi Phi.

Mark Shrayber: This entire season has been a beautiful mess. I’m going to be controversial here: I don’t think it mattered who anyone sent home. It was always going to come down to Katya and Alaska.

Courtney Enlow: And kind of like with Willam, it doesn’t matter when the big queens get sent home. They’re FINE. Alyssa is SO FINE.

Mark Shrayber: Alyssa is better than fine. She got the “she was robbed” Raven edit. And she’s going to use it better because raven has really bought into being robbed and she’s been getting progressively bitter.

Mark Shrayber: I do think that Alaska is the only one who could own the villain edit, though. Remember when we were tweeting at Phi Phi begging her to stop?

Courtney Enlow: That was the greatest twist in television history. Phi Phi was the red herring.

Mark Shrayber: I think no one even remembers phi phi now. All because of PayPal. Once again, Peter Thiel ruins everything.

I think Katya, Tatiana, and Alyssa were the only ones who gained this season. And I think Alyssa especially. Because I don’t remember caring for her on season 5. And she came back and just fucking slayed with her skills and kindness. I wanted her to win but i never thought she would. I think Alyssa thinks she is a glamour queen but she’s actually a comedy queen, and the fact that she doesn’t know it makes it better. Because she’s just out there thinking she’s Marilyn Monroe. And the reality is she is Phyllis Diller or some shit.

Courtney Enlow: She just has this star power. I don’t think I realized how true that was until Laganja came on doing this Alyssa impression and everyone was like “WTF are you doing?” No one would ever ask Alyssa that.

Mark Shrayber: To be honest, before this show, [drag] scared me. I think as gay men we are always told that the worst thing we can be is unmasculine. So to see these men out here owning our greatest fears. It’s scary. And you want to fight it. And then you watch it and it’s so fun and they’re so cool and strong and not at all like your dad promised. And you can’t help but fall in love with them and embrace it.

Courtney Enlow Do you think that’s a big part of its success? This ownership of this ingrained fear?

Mark Shrayber: I think so. I don’t know if it’s conscious. But I think about that a lot. I spent a great part of my life loathing being gay. I think this show, at least, even with all its problems, inadvertently teaches some sort of acceptance. And I think even among [gay men] there are a lot of people who don’t want to be associated with femininity at any cost. But I really credit this show with forcing me to come to grips with accepting this part of the experience I was taught was wrong and grosser than just being gay.

Courtney Enlow: For me, the show kind of, and this will sound very cheesy and very thin at best, makes me feel like I’m getting to enjoy a community that I at best felt sidelined from and at worst completely denied until it was too late. I always knew I wasn’t necessarily straight but I didn’t really *feel* part of queer culture. Bi people are already sidelined AND I married a cis straight man so not feeling queer enough etched its way into my brain so deeply trying to find community felt pointless. But I think this show has been a big part of finding identity and understanding in so many ways.

Mark Shrayber: And I wish people discussed that more. I feel this show really transcends reality competition. It is an education. And I think it’s a connector

Courtney Enlow: And because people so easily write off things enjoyed by the exact demographic of the show, it doesn’t get the respect it deserves, at least by people who don’t watch it and only know it peripherally.

Mark Shrayber: How do you see the show changing things for you?

Courtney Enlow: Like I said, i think it made me feel like I was getting to however loosely be some part of the community I felt like I missed out on when I had the chance, or whatever my mind means by that. But also it’s taught me about what drag means, as an art form, and how it impacts people. I think it’s just broadened my scope of understanding.

Mark Shrayber: Yes! It is art and I didnt get that before. And people can make fun of the fact that this is how I finally understood it. I think there’s a lot of self-hatred this show cuts through and says “mama, this is garbage.”

Courtney Enlow: It really is like watching therapy.

Mark Shrayber: ACTUALLY my therapist and i talk about it! Last week I went in and said “what did you think” and he said he felt sorry for Roxxxy and that Detox made the wrong choice and then we talked about how unfair it was that Alaska fucked up once and was suddenly a snake, because I think that is one of my biggest fears. I was talking to him about feeling like a terrible person and he said in this warm fatherly tone “you know, you and I are both familiar with Alaska, and she has a song called ‘Your Makeup Is Terrible,’ do you know it?” and I thought ‘I can barely listen to Alaska talk, let alone sing,’ and was all ‘no’ because I am a leader and a professional like Alyssa. And he said, ‘it goes: Your makeup is terrible. And I love you anyway.’”

AND IT WAS SO PROFOUND. I FUCKING DIED RIGHT THERE IN HIS OFFICE
THIS DUDE IS FUCKING SITTING HERE QUOTING ALASKA AT ME TO HELP ME UNDERSTAND MYSELF.

I have to say, I am here for Alaska. I think we all have tantrums. I had one today. It was such good TV last week.

Courtney Enlow: Here is the thing. I GET THAT TANTRUM. She won EVERY SINGLE TIME. I’d be mad at myself too.

Mark Shrayber: I am ready for Roxxxy to rap. Because she is already such a competent speaker.

Courtney Enlow: I’m a couple minutes ahead of you and I’m not here to spoil you but Roxxxy isn’t a stellar rapper.

Mark Shrayber: OMG MICHELLE VISAGE AWAKE DURING THE DAYTIME. OUT AND ABOUT OUT OF HER COFFIN. NOT EATING BABIES. NOT DRAINING THE VILLAGE ANIMALS.

Roxxxy saying “I’m really feeling this flow. You cant tell me I’m not Nicki Minaj.” BABY, you’re barely Iggy Azaelea.

Has AB Soto ever met a vest he didn’t like or think he could wear without a shirt?

Courtney Enlow AB Soto is dressed like my fifth grade tap dance and is not feeling any of this.

ABSoto.png

Mark Shrayber: I feel for Alaska: she tried so hard to not be in Rolaskatox again. I think it’s very clear Alaska saw herself and decided that Rolaskatox was what made her lose season 5. Which I don’t think is correct.

Courtney Enlow: Roxxxy is dressed like me on vacation and it’s FINE.

Roxxyjorts.png

Mark Shrayber: Roxxxy is dressed like an upper middle-class white woman just out having a good time. If that’s your aesthetic, I need you to teach me.

Courtney Enlow: I call it the “wear everything at once and distract people from noticing my hair is unwashed and it’s possible the baby spit on this giant sweater.” It’s my whole look. It’s my LIFE.

Mark Shrayber: Because the other day i left the house in what I like to call “soft sculpture” but was really a shirt that said “I Came Here to Win” someone got for free at a casino.

Mark Shrayber: I think Katya is getting the Hillary Clinton edit. “Too prepared.” “Too self-assured.”

Courtney Enlow: They are now discussing what a fuckmess it would be if Roxxxy somehow won. Like THANK YOU FOR THIS SELF-AWARENESS AT LAST

Mark Shrayber: I think it is really kind of them to pretend like Roxxxy belongs here in any way/shape/form.

Courtney Enlow: Katya just being like “I would be…confused.” That’s probably my favorite moment thus far.

Mark Shrayber: WHAT IF Roxxxy ANDREWS WINS? This would be the first time someone from reality TV would actually be murdered by a mob. These girls ruined Roxxxy’s career.

Courtney Enlow: I’m so happy this serious convo is happening and Katya’s wig is tied around her head like a babushka.

Mark Shrayber She is the lion from Narnia. Katya is getting an unfavorable edit. I think it’s to give the fans that “she knows she’s top two so she has kinda of given up being gracious” edit. And Katya has worked so hard.

Courtney Enlow: Yeah the edit is making it seem like everyone else is underdogs. It’s like Alaska’s hero journey.

Mark Shrayber: THESE ARE NOT UNDERDOGS. The only underdog here is Roxxxy and she’s an “under the bus” dog.

Courtney Enlow: And I’ll now be surprised if Alaska loses THOUGH MY HEART NEEDS KATYA.

Mark Shrayber: I don’t think she needs the win. I think no matter what Katya and Alyssa will become the fan favorites.

Who is your favorite pit crew guy? Mine is Bryce. I love when they get actual professional dancers because the pit crew doesnt know how to do anything except look good in underwear. Whoever wore the purple ones last week, though. California wasn’t in a drought then because my basement was flooding.

Courtney Enlow: I honestly don’t know that I’ve ever looked at the Pit Crew’s faces.

Mark Shrayber: This song is terrible. But Katya’s accent is so good. She even does the patronymic. I am russian and I approve.

Are we critiquing looks? Alaska is underwhelming. LOVE DETOX. Katya came to win.

Courtney Enlow: Alaska is fine. Roxxxy is typical + wannabe Raven. LOVE DETOX. LOVE KATYA.

Mark Shrayber: Oh hi, Roxxxy, you still here?

Courtney Enlow: Whenever Roxxxy busts out the contacts it’s just like…you tried I guess.

Mark Shrayber: THANK YOU FOR BRINGING YOUR A GAME WITH THOSE EBAY.COM CONTACTS.

Courtney Enlow: Oh this is the part where they need to pretend it’s actually a four-way tie with four strong possibilities.

Mark Shrayber: “I can see Detox being a creative director.” Translation: I don’t see her winning.

They are trying really hard with Roxxxy. “She has such stage presence.” BECAUSE SHE IS ALWAYS STANDING IN THE BOTTOM.

Courtney Enlow: “She’s so much more polished than she was in season five.”

Mark Shrayber: “She tries so hard!” Give her a participation trophy and send her back to the workroom. OMG Roxxxy is going HOME. BYE GIRL. Like it’s a choice between Katya and Roxxxy. If it was between Detox and Roxxxy it would have been a second of suspense. Bye Roxxxy! You were dragged to the top, but the bus has stopped.

Courtney Enlow: Take your thick and juicy to Hardees; you’ve earned it.

Mark Shrayber: Do you see this doing anything for Roxxxy? I don’t. I don’t think Roxxxy is going to get more opportunities.

Courtney Enlow: Not at all. She didn’t improve upon anything, we saw nothing new; she just didn’t make a gentle angel cry this time.

Mark Shrayber: Detox has finally given up. I feel so bad for her because she knows she’s not getting it.

Courtney Enlow: Alaska’s got the makeup smear going—this could be the deciding factor.

Mark Shrayber: OMG
HOLD ME
HOLD ME
HOLD ME
HOLD ME
HOLD ME

Courtney Enlow: MY BODY IS NOT READY.

Mark Shrayber: ALASKA. Good for you, girl. You won. But AT WHAT COST?

I’d like to talk about how I agree with this decision but am also disappointed by it. I think Katya really deserved it.

Courtney Enlow: This really is a wonderful moment—Alaska worked SO hard for so long. NOW GRANTED SHE FUCKED IT UP. And Katya DESERVED IT. So much.

Mark Shrayber: I feel like Alaska winning is like when Susan Lucci finally won, where its just like “good for you.”

Courtney Enlow: Alaska winning feels like Chad winning—like they couldn’t win their seasons because of one superior competitor and this is the consolation. Whereas Katya ACTUALLY SHOULD HAVE won her season.

Mark Shrayber: And this one. I am so underwhelmed. If the fan vote is to be believed, I feel like this will actually hurt Alaska

Courtney Enlow: It’s almost like they needed to create drama to make it interesting because it was so obviously going to be Alaska, but the drama that was created was the wrongest kind.

Mark Shrayber: How would you have liked to see it play out, re: drama?

Courtney Enlow: No idea whatsoever. But it would have felt more like a proper competition if Alyssa was in the top four. But serious reaches always beat out the actual bests.

Mark Shrayber: I need a moment because I am actually very underwhelmed. I don’t want to hate on Alaska’s win. She obviously wanted it.

Courtney Enlow: I honestly forgave Alaska two days ago because of this:

But I’m let down. I really wanted it to be Katya.

Mark Shrayber: I did, too. I don’t know why. Maybe because she felt like an Alyssa surrogate. I know that she is going to do great and better than Alaska, but I feel like she really belonged in the hall of fame.

I wonder if they crowned all three, and the winner just found out tonight. You and I both know they didn’t even bother crowning Roxxxy. They were all “can you go get us some smokes and a Starbucks? We’re just going to chill for a second. nothing important. No, Roxxxy, we promise. we won’t crown anyone.”

Courtney Enlow: Alaska just released this minutes after the show aired so I’m thinking it was real. Also it’s fucking delightful.

Mark Shrayber: GIRL. LOOK AT WHAT SHE IS WEARING. IT’S THE OUTFIT WITHOUT THE TOP ROXXXY LOANED HER.

Courtney Enlow: Every bit of this video is life.

Mark Shrayber: OMG SHE IS REFERENCING THE NDA. She just read her ex and the fans. I wish it made me feel better about her win. It’s telling that Rolaskatox isn’t in this. They really did break up. It’s sad that Alaska thought they were holding her down and not her own ego.

Courtney Enlow: OK SPRINGER FINAL THOUGHTS. There was truly always going to be one outcome. It truly pains me to say it but it was always going to be Alaska. And that’s…that’s OK. KATYA IS QUEEN OF MY HEART.

Mark Shrayber: I’m really happy and I’m gonna let you finish but KATYA HAD THE BIGGEST RUDEMPTION OF ALL TIME. OF ALL TIME OKAY? I think, in the end, you are correct. There was only one outcome but I am left feeling a little cold because the season had so much drama and I don’t think the finale warranted it. I thought they were really going to rock this finale and then it kind of went where you thought it would. It would have been fine on any other season, but this time? It was Katya’s. Although I don’t know how much I wanted her to win just to cause a revolution.

Courtney Enlow: Yeah, but Ru would NEVER just let a season progress naturally and fine and have it be so obvious. There had to be drama. It was just…weird counter-productive drama. BUT I think Katya wins anyway—fan faves are basically the winners. And by winning, Alaska gets to remain excellent and not be tarnished by that Roxxxy stink.

Mark Shrayber: I hope Roxxxy is OK. I really do. I came out of this season really feeling for Roxxxy because none of this is her fault and I think her friends ruined her career. If she had gone home the first time, her rudemption would have been complete.

Thank you for doing this with me. Can we shoutout to my friend Jezzerat? he really wanted us to be together.

Courtney Enlow: SHOUT OUT TO OUR FAVORITE MONSTER WITH THE HEART OF GOLD, JEZZER. Thank you for being with me for this auspicious occasion and I hope the reunion is every bit the tremendous mess this season deserves.

You can watch the RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 2 finale at LogoTV.


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