RuPauls Drag Race 8 – Wizards Of Drag

Pay no attention to the drag queen behind the curtain. By which I mean Derrick’s dress.

The Aftermath : The send-off for this season’s most acidic queen began as you might expect

with a disquieting image. Is that a Derrick Barry voodoo doll? I think it might be. Acid Betty left a general message of good wishes to all the queens, but specific ones for her fellow New York girls, Bob and Thorgy. Bob and Thorgy both repaid this kindness in their own personal way. Firstly Bob by dancing around the workroom screeeeeeching like Buffalo Bill up on uppers about how he’d now won TWO CHALLENGES, more than ANYONE ELSE IN THE CAST and wondering if anybody in the history of Drag Race before has won three ever is it even possible? (A : Yes – Tyra Sanchez, all three finalists of series 3 (although that series was 50 episodes long…), Sharon Needles, Bianca Del Rio, Adore Delano, Violet Chachki, Ginger Minj, Milan yes she did don’t check). And secondly Thorgy by saying that she loves Betty but she’s bitter, rude and hateful and she’ll never work again because nobody likes her. Yes, Thorgy got a Mean Girl edit this week I was shocked. Regardless, I hope Acid Betty saw their messages and was touched.

Also Naomi contemplated spending the next 5 episodes of the show in a turtleneck, having been told last week to cut it out with the panties. If she gets stuck, I’m sure Thorgy has stuff she can borrow, given that everything I’ve seen her in so far has been as form-fitting as Jasmine Masters’ cocoon.

The Mini Challenge : Hooray! We got one this week! In a broad hint at this week’s main challenge RuPaul asked the queens to summon the task up by repeating “there’s no place like Drag Race” and then giving a tongue pop. Robbie

demured, I’m guessing because his throat is still sore from that laryngitis. Chi Chi remains, as ever, my favourite in all circumstances, looking there like something you’d find stuck to a car window a la Garfield The Cat, although Naomi’s dugong act there is a close second. Also props to Derrick for pimping out his boyfriend (throyfriend?) there, but until he’s in a video from home on Untucked, crying about how it’s still not legal for them to get thraried, I’m unsated. Things got marginally more awkward when RuPaul arrived with a guest in tow.

Apparently trade liked the session and wanted to come to work with RuPaul afterwards. He claimed to be from some sort of gossip website, but we all know what the deal was here right? Dirty birdy.

The challenge itself? Well it’s that point in the season when we all get out our best reading glasses, because THE LIBRARY WAS IN SESSION. With severe budgets cuts by the looks of it, as we only saw 1 read in 3, and they were mostly dry. Remember in the earlier seasons, when we saw every single insult thrown whether they were any good or not? Even when it was like, Jessica Wild and they were all incoherent and/or/and racist? I miss those days. This year I liked that Drag Race Legend NPBFAG got namedropped, I liked Chi Chi’s dry Louisiana style, and I liked when Thorgy told Bob to shut up, but the best of this season’s insult comics for me, by a country mile was

Miss Naomi Smalls, who had the idiosyncratic delivery required for reading down pat, and neatly dismissed Robbie as smelling of mothballs and Derrick as having an amateurish mug beat. Bob still won though, because it’s a comedy challenge and it’s Bob.

She won £1500 worth of jewels (/”jewels”) from…idk QVC or something probably.

The Challenge : A return of an old favourite again this week, after a one season hiatus, as we were treated to the annual Makeover Challenge. But with a difference. Where before queens were tasked with transforming men (gay or straight) into drag queens, bringing out their feminine side and in a few series teaching them about tolerance and all that jazz, this year the clients were women, and CELEBRITY WOMEN at that.

Or so I’m told. They have a show on E! or something. And just in case you thought this challenge being done with women was a twist, and then that they were FAMOUS women was a twist, and then that they were famous women OF RESTRCTED HEIGHT was a twist, then guess what? The Makeovers had to be themed around characters from THE WIZARD OF OZ. Never had it been more obvious that this show is 8 series in and running out of ideas right? Sadly, rather than do what I would do and have Bob assign models and therefore make everyone hate his overconfident ass even more, the show apparently let each woman choose her own designer and Wizard Of Oz character. Which all shook out thusly :

Briana (The Shortest One) picked Kim Chi and The Wicked Witch Of The West
Brittney (The One Who’s Friends With Miley Cyrus) picked Thorgy Thor and “Citizen Of Oz” (lol sure she did)
Christy (The Silently Resentful One) picked Robbie Turner and The Cowardly Lion
Elena (The Kooky Foreign One) picked Bob The Drag Queen and The Good Witch Glinda
Terra (The Bitchy One) picked Derrick Barry and The Tin Man
Jasmine (The Spacey One) picked Naomi Smalls and The Scarecrow
Tonya (The Earthy One) picked Chi Chi DeVayne and Dorothy Gale

I can’t wait for the Return To Oz sequel to this challenge because I can tell you now all of these gay boys have been waiting their whole lives to be Mombi. Or at least I have.

The Drama : As usual with this challenge, it was interesting to see the queens get to interact with new people, after a couple of weeks of nobody to talk to other than each other and the random 7/10 ageing twinks who run around Untucked putting out the drinks and clapping the colour on. One guess as to what my favourite pairing of the episode was?

Well done. I don’t think they moved from those positions for the entire episode. Chi Chi and Tonya forgot there was a challenge on and just decided to sit there talking about Clueless and Tonya’s daughter and how they were craving Chipotle and mildly reading all the other contestants. And maybe occasionally listlessly lolling over and hot glueing something to something. I would seriously watch these two on Amazing Race, I would watch them on Pointless Celebrities, I would watch them on Bargain Hunt, I would watch them on literally any format you could name and then some. Unfortunately their flazeda attitude drove another queen up the wall.

Yes, Thorgy’s sudden negative turn continued, as she seethed that Chi Chi wasn’t giving this challenge the respect and dedication and effort it deserved. Which…calm down Thorg, you’re making Hallowe’en costumes out of carpet fabric and community theatre props, it aint that serious. Otherwise most of the early running was taken up by fashion queens Naomi and Kim Chi pissing themselves with glee that they’d finally got a challenge in their wheelhouse, and Robbie muttering and smacking his sewing machine as his last attempt at costume design

floated through everyone’s heads. Fortunately Ru was on hand to shake things up and upset the established order with an additional element to the challenge.

INTERPRETIVE DANCE! No, me either. As you’d expect, it didn’t really result in anything other than a bunch of queens wandering around the workroom wafting like Kate Bush wondering what the fuck interpretive dance is, but it filled the time I guess. Now that So You Think You Can Dance is apparently going to be populated entirely by 12 year olds I’ll take what I can get.

Oh and this was the week when the backstage resentment of Bob The Drag Queen’s winning ways started to bubble over, as everyone spent a lot of time praying for her to screw up so she could stop being so obnoxious about how well she’s doing…and then the voodoo came through, and Bob’s dress fell to bits minutes before she had to walk the runway! Derrick was

frankly orgasmic. BUT WOULD BOB PULL IT OUT OF THE BAG AND STAY ANYWAY! Well…yes and no.

The Melodrama : For a change this week, the weepy backstories came from our special guest stars rather than our regulars. Mostly in trying to prove some sort of tenuous link between what it’s like to be a “little person” and what it’s like to be gay. These attempts were mostly not succesful. I hate to return to the Chitonya well too often (lol no I don’t), but I was far more compelled by her telling him in gossipy fashion about how she’s a hardass mother because her daughter is of “regular” height and was taller than her mother by the age of 8, so Tonya had to whip her into shape lest she end up on Maury Povich with an out of control teen (who even does those shows in America any more? I’m so behind).

This Week’s Gratuitous Shot Of The Pit Crew

On Gay For Play, because once again they were not allowed on the set this week apparently. Remember last year when they got to act in skits and everything? Poor The Pit Crew. Anyway, this is as good a place as any to talk about Gay For Play because holy cow what a trainwreck. The idea is that straight celebrities come on and take part in a quiz about gay culture, with the help of LGBT icons like Carson Kresley, TS Madison and [*insert name of whatever former Drag Race contestant is available here*] with the mentors guiding the hettys through the world of celebrity gossip and Meryl Streep movies with a delicate hand. In reality, in the one episode I saw the entire thing was entirely decided by Michelle Visage being able to obnoxiously reel off Madonna facts for 69 seconds whilst Rebecca Romijn stood there giggling, with literally every other portion of the 20 minute episode being irrelevant.

Although she didn’t know from Body Of Evidence, so I still would have won, know that. The prize? The chance to appear in a viral video with Todrick Hall. The glamour. All of this with hysterically piped in fake audience noise, constant go go dancing and

Jerry O Connell cackling to show that he’s down with the gays. He’s a POWER BOTTOM YOU GUYS, WHATEVER THAT MEANS. OUTRAGEOUS! Still it gave me the story about Shirley McClaine farting in Debra Winger’s face, so it wasn’t a complete waste.

The Performance Can I do a ranking for this two weeks in a row? Yes I can.

1. Kim Chi : Realistically this should be second given that Naomi’s look was straight up fashion but I’m a sucker for a gimmicky runway presentation and this is the first week I think she actually did well in a challenge rather than being amusing for how badly she was doing. So she can have first place. I like that she converted the witch’s hat into a fascinator, I like the broomwork, I like the slight Tim Burton Humbuggy Witch vibe, and I like that the fashion name she dropped as inspiration made sense this week.

2. Naomi Smalls : I mean this looks professional. On both counts. Like, if she can knock this up in a day, why has she just been walking out in bra & panties most weeks? The little details, the shaping, the strut…fabulous. Congratulations to her on her first win, meaning also that Thorgy gets to share the distinction of being the only remaining queen without a victory with Derrick. Ouch.

3. Thorgy Thor Oooh look, Max is back. Simple, effective, doing the most she could with the limited brief that she had, if you look slightly off camera you can see Michelle melting because of all the green. My only issue is the midriff. Massive chasm from here to the next place down for sure.

4. Bob The Drag Queen This ranking is all about Elena because good lawd did Bob look janky. I’ve seen him read online for his make-up every week but this is the first time I think I agree – it looks like one of those mini-challenges where they get ready in 5 minutes with a bag over their head. It looks like Woody Allen in Annie Hall sneezed blow and snot into his face. It looks like she went to Willam’s barber and asked for him to only shave from the cheekbones upwards. Anyway, kudos to Bob for laying off the “showboating” here and letting his partner shine oh no wait Ross told him off for it lol he can’t win poor Bob.

5. Robbie Turner : Well, it’s better than his last effort. Really Robbie was doomed from the moment that he got the assignment, given that Kim Chi pretty much already did a Cowardly Lion outfit in Week 1 and won the challenge for it, and Robbie is not a costumier to say the least so was always going to come up short. The real crime was in the giant poop emoji both of them had stuck to their butt but otherwise the outfits are just too busy and too poorly constructed to really be put any higher.

6. Chi Chi DeVayne : I love her so so much but it was really obvious that she just hot-glued some gingham into a dress-form, picked up a Toto each and stomped down the runway. The lack of effort is kind of inspirational, especially in terms of Chi Chi’s own complete lack of interest in trying to make her own shape look in any way feminine. I know a queen can’t help having broad shoulders but you could at least pretend to have tits. Also, no ruby slippers? CRIMINAL. AND THOSE WIGS!

7. Derrick Barry : welp. The big idea here was to make the Tin Man “sexy” (because Derrick), so there was a lot of pretend squirting of engine oil onto tits and sexy scowling and…really nobody was looking at anything other than the big ol’ pair of wobbly dildos the pair of them had randomly wedged onto their shoulders. Probably the most ill advised costume choice in seven seasons of makeover challenges on this show. They were hypnotic. It’s probably for the best, because if you look for too long at where that “skirt” meets the swimsuit she’s in, you will go blind.

I’m not talking about the dancing portion because…yeah.

This Week’s Most Trenchant Guest Judging Insight There is a lot of hot glue gun work going on in the real world of fashion, even at the Met Ball. Also Todrick Hall does not hate grinch pubes

The Lip Sync : Before our Bottom 2 was decided, the remaining 7 queens were asked who should leave the competition. And as if this show couldn’t help but find new ways to parody America’s Next Top Model, the contestants split down racial lines, with Bob, Chi Chi and Naomi picking Derrick, and Thorgy, Derrick, and Robbie (and Kim) picking Chi Chi. This of course influenced Ru’s decision in no way whatsoever, as it was Derrick and Robbie selected to face off to “I Don’t Care (Jon Lovitz)” by Icona Pop. And if you’re thinking “hmm, that selection seems to favour the queen whose job it is to cosplay a 00s pop star more than the queen who does vintage” then you are right. Derrick got the demon look in his eyes

and splattered Robbie all over the walls. Still, Robbie lost on her own merits, as the wig which was

already levitating halfway off her head as she walked down the runway dislodged itself and she was left looking shorn and butch before God and Ross Matthews. Derrick then made sure to compound his win over Robbie

by having a massive meltdown on the runway after being kept safe over whether he should be more or less like Britney Spears whilst Robbie just sort of stood awkwardly at the side and waited to be dismissed. To be honest, I’m with Derrick on this – I’m not sure either at this point. Let’s just settle for “less like Derrick Barry”.

The Untuckening : So with the predictable drama bait tossed into the water by Ru, guess who lept up to gnaw on it. Yup, Derrick Barry, in her reliable role of Untucked instigator went in on Chi Chi pretty much from the moment everyone stomped into the workroom, demanding her to defend her outfit. And defend it again. And again. And again. To the extent that if Chi Chi had got up and womped her I would have declared her the winner of both this series and All Stars 2 on the spot. Derrick’s defensiveness has got past old at this point, and if she wants the role of delusional villain for the endgame then she’s going to have to step it up beyond going “oh, what, should I do what YOU did, I bet they’d LOVE ME then” because this is like the third time now. On the other hand I was loving every moment of her sitting there saying in all earnest that she’d worked so hard and hemmed

EVERYTHING SHE WAS WEARING. EVERYTHING. EVERYWHERE YOU LOOK, THERE’S A HEM! Including right down the middle of her shoulder dildos. Fortunately for us all, Chi Chi wasn’t playing, so we were allowed some bonus time for discussion of shoes, for a feud between two of the clients (Terra and Tonya which surprises me…not a jot), and also for the amusing revelation that Robbie has been presuming for ages that she’d be lip sync’ing against Derrick because there such good friends that the producers would definitely milk them having to turn on one another for all its worth.

Not under this edit love.

Oh and finally welcome back to special guest judge Bob Mackie…Marc Jacobs…Calvin Klein…whoever. At least that’s what Chi Chi thought. (Naomi’s face at this fashion faux pas

is as good a note to end this week’s recap on as any)


12 thoughts on “RuPauls Drag Race 8 – Wizards Of Drag

  1. Connor O'Donoghue

    In theory there was a makeover challenge last year – the Conjoined Queens episode. In theory.

    And they had women to make over before as well. In season one, they had female fighters to make over, but maybe we don’t speak of that because 1. it was season 1 and 2. it was basically a dry run for Drag U.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I did genuinely get that S1 challenge mixed up with Drag U oh well. (Although Conjoined Queens was not a makeover challenge I refuse)

  2. Sue Howarth

    Monkseal, you do not like this Untucked, we do, move on. If it helps you could make a spreadsheet of Ginge TV floor managers, there is a rash of them and its spreading
    I am now stressing about top three. You can give me all the “fan favourite is booted to ensure their fame” bunkum, it will not do. I need Chi Chi in the top three.
    We have potentially a top three who will have never properly lipsyncked, which I cannot see Ru going for, so that brings hope
    Mind you when Brittney Berry is splatted over the runway next week, who is more satisfying hatchet queen Bob or Chi Chi?

    1. monkseal Post author

      I will never stop complaining about this Untucked with the stupid plinky plonky piano music and the 6th form project cinematography.

  3. Chris

    Thorgy’s bridesmaid edit is hilarious. I wonder if she’s this year’s designated popular queen who gets fridged around 5th/6th place (BenDeLa/Katya/Pandora) so as to bait the fans.

    I finally have Bob, Chi Chi and Naomi as my ideal top three now. It’s been a good crop of queens personality-wise this year (perhaps not on a talent level though), which means we actually got rid of all the filler before Snatch Game, unlike last year where they delayed Snatch Game two whole weeks and I was STILL looking at queens and going ‘wait, you’re still here?’

  4. Plinkiplonk

    Insightful as always, just have to correct you on one little detail: I agree that Chi Chi’s effort was lame and would have benefitted from ruby slippers, but in the original book, the slippers were actually silver, MGM changed that for the film. And both of the girls wore silver shoes with their outfits, so I would say there was some sort of thought in there…

    1. monkseal Post author

      But really, who cares about the book, it’s garbage? What even is that bit at the end about the hammer-headed hill monsters I ask you.

  5. Jonny Cameron

    Oh Chi Chi! That Dorothy was terrible! So many missed opportunities. In other news, I’m ready for Derrick to be swapped out with an eliminated queen, because I’m fairly sure that twist hasn’t quite exhausted itself this season yet.

  6. Jrue

    Was waiting for the moment in Untucked where the Judy Garland Hooker fight would kick off, but it never came 😦 I miss bare-knuckle Untucked

    1. monkseal Post author

      If we were under old Untucked rules, I guarantee Derrick would make Phi Phi O Hara look like Joslyn Fox.


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