Finally the catchphrase makes sense. It was product placement the whole time.
1. The week started with a brief mourning period for the zombie of Trixie Mattell, who returned to her grave last week moaning and groaning about storylines and editing, but then quickly switched into our most likely end-game : Violet vs Ginger. Because let’s face it, nobody really believes that either Kennedy or Pearl is winning right? We are in for a straight dog-fight of Comedy Queen vs Look Queen with the other two drawling on the sidelines with their eyes rolling back in their heads and their tongues lolling out of their mouths. I mean look at Kennedy here as Ginger and Violet go at it (Ginger smarming at Violet that she should be worried that she’s never had to lip-sync before she’ll probably brick it when she has to ; Violet pointing out to Ginger that she’s kind of mentally falling to bits in these last few weeks of the season)
She is dreaming of home. She’s no more geared up to try to snatch that crown than she is to learn the script for a group challenge that parodies the tv series Girls. NAIXT. This is of course to neglect Katya’s state of mind, which at this point was just to be glad to be but one finger on the sweaty palm that is this season’s Final 5
This would not last
2. Before the mini challenge we addressed one of the more pressing questions of the series : is Katya actually supposed to be a Russian character? The answer? Yes. In fact most of the people who come to her drag show think she IS Russian, so amazing is her grasp of the language and flawless accent (HUMBLEBRAG). It’s therefore quite sad to hear that after filming closed Katya went into a deep depression because she felt she’d wasted her one opportunity to get her drag character across, hence her Youtube web series being born to try to help her build her brand (/Miss Fame). And obviously the show itself isn’t responsible for Katya’s mental health problems, and obviously the show probably knows what the major problem of this season is now given the avalanche of criticism it’s got on it this year, but maybe contestants who reached the top 5 won’t go away in future feeling like they never got to be their character if the show didn’t make them read out other peoples words, sing other peoples songs, dance other peoples routines, and wear outfits made by other people for the challenges quite so often, there, rant over, let’s move on to what we’re all here for this week.
Gratuitous shots of the Pit Crew’s crotches.
AND PUPPPPPPETS! Unfortunately it was a fairly abbreviated puppet challenge this year, but frankly given what a complete hash these girls made of the Reading Challenge I’m amazed and relieved that we got through it without hearing so many shady cricket noises that a Thai resaurant spontaneously popped up. My favourite moment was obviously
Pearl paying homage to the most iconic runway outfit of the season so far with her Kennedy puppet. Kennedy’s Pearl mostly relied on already done jokes about her being sleepy and over it and not padding herself properly, but redeemed itself comedy-wise when Kennedy completely forgot that she was supposed to move the mouth of the puppet, so it looked like Pearl was projecting her thoughts on the necessity or otherwise of titty pads via astral projection, like some sort of Drag Carrie. Violet’s Katya referenced her history of addiction (BUT IN A COMEDY WAY, IT WASN’T SHADY, VIOLET’S TOTALLY CHANGED Y’ALL!), Katya’s Ginger revisited Gatorland (does anyone else kind of want to go to Gatorland now because I totally do, what a WORLD OF FUN) and Ginger’s winning homage to Violet revolved around her thinspirational goals, and how she’ll never achieve them with Ginger’s fat arm stuck up her arse. This image of course being marginally less disturbing than the actual porno featuring Violet that’s been doing the rounds this week. Don’t do it kids. It doesn’t pay well, and one day it might ruin your chances of winning RuPaul’s Drag Race. (Seriously though, it probably won’t, but I do like to imagine what Absolut’s straight-laced Head Of Boring Jeffrey Moran would have to say about having a spokesqueen who had taken it up the chuff in front of the world? Considering he didn’t even like Jessica pretending(/”pretending”) to be drunk in that one challenge, I can only think of his horrified face and cackle like Latrice Royale). Oh yeah, erm, for doing the best puppet Ginger won…nothing, really, oh well.
4. Do you know who else saw Violet’s porno?
Hello Kitty! She was also here to serve as the inspiration behind this week’s challenge…the annual BALL CHALL…oh, no, wait, apparently Hello Kitty! isn’t too keen on sharing, so her look will be the ONLY look the contestants have to make this week, in the final design challenge of the season. Contestants were tasked with creating an entire outfit made out of Hello Kitty merchandise and nick-nacks in celebration of Japan’s most famous export apart from electronics and words for suicide. And I mean, I’m not one of those Season 3 zealots who think the contestants should be running up at least two new outfits every week, sat hot-glued to their sewing machines until their fingers bleed but…this was pretty cheap for a big creative blow-out. Or maybe it’s just that I’ve gone off Hello Kitty! ever since they claimed that Hello Kitty! herself
isn’t actually a cat, just some kind of otherkin cat-person who only dresses up as a feline on the weekends or whatever. So disappointing. Next they’ll be telling me that Baadtz-Maru is actually a duck in blackface (so offensive, call tumblr). In short, I miss the days of Executive Realness, Canine Couture Eleganza, and most of all the SWIMSUIT ROUND.
5. Still, despite the truncated dumbed-down nature of it, this was still a sewing challenge, and this still immediately put the wind up the Bitter Old Lady Brigade. Who would have thought that this year’s designated nanas (aged 29, 33, and 32) would be so put off by a knitting challenge and that it would be the young folk who were most looking forward to it? Obviously the Great British Sewing Bee is inspiring teenagers on both sides of the Atlantic to pick up the needle. Anyway, Kennedy just kept on muttering to herself about cat-suits, Ginger said “I’M NOT A SEWER! I CAN’T SEW!” over and over again (apparently people have looked into her online theatre resume and found out that she calls herself a costume designer, which apparently in their eyes makes her a lying liar who lies but I bet she, like, picked out the hats for a regional production of Newsies one time or something, let’s be honest), and Katya spent the whole task flitting and skitting around Violet, hoping that some of her “confident” attitude would rub off on her. This saw the birth of what Katya called her “confident face”
6. Here is a selection of pictures of the queens reacting in the workroom to the arrival of one of this week’s quest judges. See if you can guess who it is?
Nick Jonas? Chris Pratt? The cast of Magic Mike XXXXXXL? No silly, it was
International Sex Symbol Santino Rice. Now obviously I am a progressive, liberal, forward-thinking permissive person who accepts that all people are worthy of giving and receiving lust, but I don’t need to hear Ginger talking about how Santino makes her flood her basement, or long awkward segments revolving around how Santino is going to take Violet and fuck her roughly up against a dumpster as soon as the cameras stop rolling. There is “Trixie admits to a crush on the geeky guy backstage/Miss Fame/Pearl/that cardboard cut-out of Jessica Simpson that’s been lying around since Season 4/a wall fitting” and then there’s rough and vivid and noisy sexual fantasies about SANTINO RICE. Take that ish to Grindr, seriously. Still, I was glad to see Santino back for other reasons – Violet busting out a reference to “Red Lobster” (it’ll make sense if you’ve seen Project Runway), him getting to live out his Tim Gunn fantasies, it provoking an absolute torrent of the sort of pretentious “I’m going for a bubblegum 60s inspired mod harajuku pop Barbarella look” gabble I live for in the fashion episodes from all corners, and of course Carson Kressley being shown up as absolutely useless as he sits there gabbing vacantly about “I LIKE THE SHOES!” and “IT COULD BE MORE ADVENTURESOME!” as Santino reels off references to specific issues of Vogue Italia from 1927. I mean, I’m happy for Ross to stay, because he’s occasionally funny, but Carson definitely needs to not be back next year right?
7. This week we got a little more insight into the genesis of Pearl. Aparently Pearl was a character that Matt James (can I just say what a weak year it’s been for the queens having amazing and/or hilariously inappropriate “boy” names? Obviously Reuben is the perfect name for Kennedy and Violet’s a total Jason Dardo but we’re really missing a Victor Bowling or a Timothy Wilcots or a Reynolds Englehart or a Xaxier Hairston or an “Airline”. Although my favourite will always be Vivienne Pinay’s surname being “Donehoo”. Dunno who? SHE’LL ALWAYS BE THE FISHIEST QUEEN, THAT’S WHO) drew when he was an adolescent
like so, as a distraction from his difficult upbringing until he slowly came to the realisation that this was HIS INNER SELF and drew it on his own face instead of on the paper. That is some Monkeybone level of backstory going on there. Also this week the show tried to really push “flase da” as a catchphrase, which it would be doing better at if they could offer me a definitive spelling for it. Anybody?
8. OK so I lied, a little. There was a second look required for this challenge. Sort of. Contestants were asked to pop on a Hello Kitty head, scribble make-up all over it, throw on a dress, and create a new “friend” for Hello Kitty. And I can do no better than rank them :
5th. Lavender Trinket – I do feel bad for Violet having her Big Challenge sullied with having to do performance/comedy but this one was really dull and I couldn’t make out two words of what she was saying. The outfit is washed out by the lighting on set as well, and although that’s not her fault, I’m not sure it’d stand up well elsewhere either.
4th – Sweetness – something something fried chicken something. Obviously Kennedy really does need an almighty amount of pushing not to just default to Sweet Brown references
3rd – Hello Katya – She had the funniest line of the challenge (“my communism will help balance out Hello Kitty!s decadent capitalism”) and I am in awe of the sheer number of hideous dresses Katya brought with her, but the yellow teeth and the cigarette push it a little bit too far into “trying too hard to nasty up a kids character in a really obvious way” territory for me.
2nd – Banjee Beatdown – I really do think that Hello Kitty! should actually be best friends with Aisleyne, yes.
1st – Country Cow – Yes it looks more like one of Hello Kitty’s mum’s friends than one of Hello Kitty’s friends, but this was non-stop cow puns from beginning to end and I loved it. Ginger sold the Bejesus out of the delivery, and it was just fun – the perfect balance of keeping things right for a children’s character whilst also being somewhat subversive (“my dream is to be a designer handbag or maybe even filet mignon!”)
9. The runway, presided over by a “trying far too hard but not necessarily in a bad way” Rebecca Romijn as guest judge? I have to admit, after weeks of anticipation
I wasn’t blown away by Violet. Obviously it was the strongest, most coherent look on offer (I love, love, love the texturing on her boobage) but I guess I’m just not fashion-forward enough for the whole “pink furry loo-seat on the head” thing. I can see why she won (although I think her Hello Kitty companion should probably have automatically disqualified her from the role) but from a couture point of view (like what I view every day of my life froo) I also liked Pearl’s
“mysterious lady of the desert with a cat stuck on her head” vibe. Also her read of the other girls as just having hot-glued a bunch of trinkets to them was on point and perfectly drily delivered. That said, nobody really disgraced themselves this week, on the level of say, Darienne last year. Ginger’s bundle of kittens look was
campily cute if a little sloppily put together, Katya’s look was very…
Katya (/”Housewife Stunt Woman In Space, Coerced Into Prostitution, Maybe An Aerobics Teacher”) and even Kennedy would have passed muster as a ComicCon Catwoman if it hadn’t have been for the ugly handbag.
And also the lipstick that made it look like she just got punched in the mouth.
10. So let’s take this one in three stages :
a) Kennedy was a lock for the bottom 2 but I could really see an argument for anyone else being there. Violet’s Hello Kitty character sucked, Ginger’s main challenge look was sloppy, Katya’s was incoherent, and whilst I loved both of Pearls outfits (because my Pearl love still burns on even after you all gave up somewhere around that second lip sync ya bunch of SLACKERS) I can totally see the “it was just a blanket” and the “Banjee was too rude for Hello Kitty!” complaints. So I wasn’t mad to see Katya there, even though she was definitely a favourite of mine heading towards the end-game
b) I thought Kennedy won the lip-sync hands down. I thought Katya did a good job, but too much of it was a straight repeat of what she did for “Twist Of Fate” and Pearl only got away with that sort of thing because her opponent in her second lip sync was so weak. Kennedy on the other hand went INSANE as a picture of both laser-beam emotional intensity
(LOOK AT THOSE EYES) and ultimately
Brian Blessed levels of bugshit insanity. I have seen people legitimately claim that she should have been disqualified for leaving the stage (based on something Ru said four years ago off the show about “rules”) and to those people I say this : if after a season of boring dry uninspiring forgettable lip-syncs you think someone should be disqualified for taking a flying leap off the stage and landing in the splits roaring their head off to a Katy Perry song, because of segment 72b in some imaginary rulebook that you’ve cobbled together from podcast interviews that none of the queens even know about, then you are officially too boring to watch this show and should go and watch the dying embers of Project Runway instead because that seems more your level to be honest. And given Violet’s reaction – going “YAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHS” for half an hour until her uvula gave out, she clearly agrees.
(Please note my opinion on this may be informed by me being the universe’s only Milan stan, and a proud supporter of desperation in drag at every opportunity)
c) I find it odd that people, for all the scrutinising they do of how this show is manipulated, edited, and scripted, haven’t caught on en masse at this point to the fact that a fan favourite always finishes 5th/6th. Every season it’s the same shocking saddening elimination just before the final stretch. Ongina, Pandora, Shangela, Willam, Bender, and now Katya have all fallen at more or less exactly the same point, and various degrees of Internet Inferno have happened each time. People get led up by the edit to believe a particular queen cast-iron deserves a finals spot, then they don’t quite get it, then people meltdown, then the show heavily promotes them in the gay media in the run-up to the final, then they become a star in their own right (as much as anyone from this show does). Every year. And whilst I love all those queens (except Ben, who I think is talented but annoying, and Pandora who always was and will always remain fundementally useless) and would have had most of them make the final…this is the better path for them. It’s not worked out quite as well for the show this year, because all of the top 4 are pretty bitchy and flawed in terms of their personality, but I think it’s genuinely one of the smartest thing they do, in terms of ensuring their queens have a career after the show, and I wish that people who maybe think they’re pretty smart in terms of how this show is put together would notice it.
Next Week : the music video challenge, and Kennedy or Pearl go home in fourth I’m guessing
Meanwhile On Untucked :
- Pearl thinks she is now two challenges away from making the final 3, which just goes to show she can’t count, because Lord knows nobody includes the Mini Challenges in anything
- Ginger quoted Mrs Kasha Davis, meaning it’s not too late to start my MRS KASHA DAVIS FOR MISS CONGELIALITY campaign. SOMEBODY STILL REMEMBERS HER, LET’S ROLL.
- Katya shared with everyone that she’d recently had a panic attack. Ginger then yelled at her for not having come to her for support because she’s her BEST FRIEND HOW DARE SHE NOT?
- Ginger really is “that friend” isn’t she?
- Violet had a meltdown at the beginning of the series because everyone thought she was a rotted cunt. Katya told her that that was just because of the smell.
- I missed Santino
- What I missed most about Santino was how one of the queens always HATES him. Apparently this season that would have been Kennedy.
- On the other hand Santino Rice is one of Ginger Minj’s “favourite people in the entire world” good grief
- Violet and Kennedy really do not want to be left alone together
- Reddit got namedropped, which means they’re going to be unbearable
- Pearl called out Jinkx Monsoon for being whiny, which makes her even more my favourite
- Violet’s head-piece got compared to both a dog-cone and a juicer.
- Ginger and Pearl shared their experiences of being home-schooled. Ginger was home-schooled because she was always doing national theatre tours. Pearl was home-schooled because she told her school to fuck off
- Someone left Katya a lovely note that made her cry and when you found out at the end that it was Kennedy I gasped and I’m not sure why