Once the first elimination happens, the lovey-dovey kaikai of the queens shatters and they realize that, hunny, this is a competition. So when the ladies filter back into the Werk Room after the elimination of Jaymes Mansfield, the tone has drastically shifted. Thank god.
This week is sans a mini-challenge because the maxi-challenge is to create a fairytale princess and a sassy sidekick character. Now, remember the Season 7 Hello Kitty challenge? The queens had to make a Hello Kitty-inspired couture look and a Hello Kitty companion. I assumed that this challenge would be the same, with the queens walking the runway twice in each look. Nope.
Instead, the queens walked the runway once in their princess looks, while a CGI version of their sassy sidekick (fake body and the queens themselves dragged up in character) floating next to them. It was, without a doubt, one of the most emotionally scarring moments for me to see Farrah’s disembodied head—painted stark-yellow as a fish—floating next to Farrah as a mermaid on the main stage. I won’t recover and I’m sending RuPaul my psychiatry bill for the session that I’ll need to deal.
With the first sewing challenge comes my favorite part of Drag Race—a queen complaining that she didn’t know she had to prepare for this. This is season 9, and we still have queens whining that they didn’t understand the challenge. I could set my watch by it. This season, it’s Kimora—she of “Only Ugly Girls Wear Sparkles” fame—and Farrah—whose highlight could be used to laser through solid steel if you paired it with a handheld mirror. The Vegas girls didn’t realize they would have to know how to sew, as Farrah whines while she hot-glues green sequined fabric onto a bra. Eureka, because she is godlike, helps out Farrah but honestly there’s only so much she could do. Lead a horse to water, and all that shit.
On the opposite side of the Werk Room, Aja has this challenge in the bag. I think it was episode one, but Aja said she was begging for a sewing challenge (or was that Jaymes?) because she would slay. Now she has it, and her fairytale princess character (a volcanic woman named Diastah) is going to slay the runway. She cackles out a laugh as she paints on her eyebrows. Now, I’m going to say this, and I know that I’m speaking as someone who has never done drag. Aja’s make-up was bad. It was, like, really bad. This has nothing to do with her skin—which other queens have apparently been shady and rude about. I don’t care about her skin. Her application of her makeup was bad. Her eyes were like Thorgy Thor did them in a k-hole, and her drawing of her lips made them look like a puckered, overwrought sneer. Her outfit, in my opinion, wasn’t even that bad—but I don’t even know because I couldn’t tear my eyes away from her makeup.
While they’re getting ready, the girls talk about the Orlando massacre at Pulse nightclub. Several of the queens are from the South—Cynthia was supposed to be performing there that night, and Trinity had performed there last week—so the shooting hit them especially hard. Topics like the Pulse massacre are difficult to talk about in reality television. There isn’t enough time, really, to give the topic its proper due, but I was glad to see that Drag Race addressed it. Other shows, like Vanderpump Rules, were filming during the event, so they obviously addressed it. but because it was Vanderpump, they made it all about how they—straight, white, cisgender people of privilege in West Hollywood—were upset by it. Which is disgusting. As Trinity said, queer people are still not accepted, despite marriage equality. And it’s something that we as a community need to keep in the back of our heads. It’s sad, but it’s true.
The queens hit the runway with guest judges Cheyenne Jackson (so hot) and Todrick Hall (so hot and talented). The top three are Valentina, Trinity and Peppermint, and the bottom three are Farrah, Kimora and Aja. Truly, when Farrah came out in her mermaid outfit, I blacked out and saw a vision of Derrick Barry in his mermaid look from last year, and I remembered how Derrick (in his “Mother” look) wore a dress that was a vague recreation of the dress that, in his words, made his father want to fuck his mother and impregnate her with Derrick. Darkdarkdark.
Honorable mentions include Shea (red hair, blue mermaid-style dress with a fabulously voluminous tulle puff on the bottom), Sasha for storytelling, Charlie for her headpiece, and Eureka for her sewer queen look. As someone said on Untucked, the “safe” queens had the most conceptual and intricate looks.
Trinity won the challenge for “going ugly”. That sounds like shade, but for a pageant queen, trying to go ugly is often what gets them eliminated. I’ll admit, I saw Trinity as a quick-elimination, but she’s really growing on me. I like her, and her silicone body a lot. Valentina is praised again for being Valentina and looking like Linda Evangelista, but as Aja said in Untucked in a jealous moment, Valentina’s look wasn’t that impressive. And it wasn’t—but it was modeled well and her sassy sidekick was fleshed out.
Farrah is safe and Aja and Kimora go head-to-head in the lip-sync. I heard from various people that Aja slays at performances, and so I was astonished when I saw it firsthand. She did massive twirls and jumped into a full-on split, spun into a death-drop, etc., etc. Aja is declared safe, and Kimora is sent home. There’s something about Kimora that’s magnetic—it might just be her sex-eyes—so I’m sad to see her go, but I don’t think she had the fire for competition. Which is fine, not everyone is cut out to go balls-to-the-wall against twelve other drag queens.
I didn’t see the promo for next week, because I missed the live screening and I had to watch on a shitty server. But I’m guessing it was mostly just Wendy Williams being…Wendy. Actually, that’s probably the silver lining of me watching it on a grainy server. I managed to avoid having to watch Ross Mathews and Wendy Williams. Thank god.
FINAL THOTS/STRAY OBSERGAYTIONS:
- I still love Eureka, am loving Trinity a little more, and am enjoying (but cooling) on Valentina.
- Charlie Hides—the world’s oldest living twink—makes a great elf.
- I can’t believe Ru didn’t make a “fairy” joke when introducing the week’s challenge.
- Nina’s outfit vaguely creeped me out and I can’t figure out why.