RuPaul’s Drag Race 8 – Shady Politics

Don’t blame me, I voted for Jiggly.

The Aftermath : Hey remember Derrick’s grand speech last week about how being in competition with so many other creative people was really making him question his own abilities and by extension making him doubt himself? The one that completely overshadowed Robbie Turner’s exit?

IT’S STILL GOING! Look at her. Bloodshot, broken down, alone, finding her best light…

Yes at the start of play, Derrick was still coming on like Scarlet O’Hara with a receding hairline over how AT LEAST three of the remaining queens hated her and wanted her gone, but as God is her witness, she will STILL STICK HER HAIR IN A BUMPIT FOR ANOTHER DAY. But not only that, we also got extra special bonus footage of her on the runway from last week, sniveling to Ru that she may not be a (damned) seamstress but she’s a seasoned professional who knows the entire Slave 4 U dance! THE ENTIRE DANCE!

I don’t know where she gets the idea that she’s not popular from. Last week’s other target for runway derision from her peers, Chi Chi was maudlin in a more subdued way, admitting to the other girls that it made her feel bad that they saw her as lazy when she’s always trying her hardest. I’m with Chi Chi. Lolling around on the floor talking about Clueless, eating buritos and glueing stuff to other stuff takes a lot of concentrated effort that might not be immediately appreciable to the naked eye. As I tell my line manager often. Thorgy on the other hand was not amused, saying that as far as she was concerned, Chi Chi was wasting all of their time, that the sin of hot glue’ing a dress together was unforgiveable, and that Chi Chi and Derrick would definitely be the next two to go home, in some order or other. This confirming that Thorgy’s Mean Girl edit wasn’t a one episode thing and…was just Thorgy at this point. Somebody feed this girl some wins, any wins, even a Mini Challenge! She’s going full All Stars Pandora!

The Mini Challenge : Have you missed the weekly Gratuitous Pit Crew shot?

WELL THEY’RE BACK! AND THEY’VE BROUGHT FRIENDS. For this week’s Mini Challenge, which revolved around the contestants being told a fact about each member, and then having to guess whether that crew member was a Top or a Bottom. WINK WINK. Now I’m a noted Pit Crew purist, so I’m just going to cover the core three.

The Golden Girls character Jason most identifies with is Blanche

Myles’ spirit animal is Nicole Richie

Bryce is straight and playing along with this challenge for all our fantasies’ sake and God bless him for it. Anyway the whole challenge was an incredibly flimsy excuse for a lame “WEST HOLLYWOOD IS FULL OF BOTTOMS!” joke, because it was all a lit, and we all know Myles is a top, yes we do, we’ve all seen the pictures madam. Somehow this randomness all resulted in Derrick Barry winning a $2000 mattress, when he’s in a trupple, so he probably doesn’t even BELIEVE in tops and bottoms man, because he’s ascended to a higher sexual plane where he orgasms through his tear ducts.

The Challenge : It can’t have escaped anyone’s attention, even on this side of the Atlantic, that once again America is in the middle of an election. Not that America isn’t always in the middle of an election, but at this point it’s all but bolted on that in a matter of months Hilary Clinton will face off with Donald Trump for the title of the most impersonated celebrity of 1996. And also leader of the free world. So there’s no better time to revisit a challenge first run four years ago, and won by Sharon Needles – the electioneering campaign. This time, rather than being a debate style floor show for how pissed off everyone can look over Phi Phi O Hara’s impersonation of Sarah Palin (God, remember that?), the remaining queens were paired off, and asked to produce individual campaign videos that also smeared their partner. For maximum drama, the queens were paired off thusly :

Bob and Derrick, who have been antaognising one another non-stop since the first episode of Untucked, with Bob calling Derrick boring, dumb, and forgettable, and Derrick calling Bob ratchet non-stop since he heard one of the older cooler girls saying it and thought it sounded cool

Thorgy and Chi Chi, who had a falling out last week over Chi Chi’s perceived lack of commitment and who represent polar opposites of drag, with Thorgy being all high-energy buffoonery and Chi Chi all laid back raunch.

Naomi and Kim, who are also contestants on this show.

The Drama : This week was a cautionary tale from this point onwards. Of our feuding queens, Bob and Derrick really committed to working together despite their differences, bouncing ideas off one another, taking nothing personally, and offering one another little skits that panned across both videos, all in a way that really made it obvious from the second that Derrick hurled himself to the floor covered in baby blood that this was going to work out just fine.

I mean, that just screams “American politics in 2016” louder than any other image this week ever could right? Thorgy and Chi Chi meanwhile sat 6 feet apart from one another at all times, silent as the grave, with Thorgy spewing out copious notes into his own personal pocketbook whilst ignoring Chi Chi utterly, pausing only to yell “SHUT UP BOBBBBBB” whenever Bob got too rowdy (/spoke) on the other side of the room.

Look at that. For a 45 seconds video. And that’s just two pages of it. It goes on. I really want to know what the Shanghai Surprise is, and if it involved fucking up Madonna worse than these queens already did two weeks ago. In short, Bob and Derrick collaborated to bring one another up, and Thorgy spun her wheels as fast as she could to leave Chi Chi behind her. Even in a challenge where it hadn’t been specified explicitly that teams would be judged together, this was never an approach that was going to fly on reality tv as we know it. And sure enough Thorgy made it to set and

edited her notes haphazardly on the fly, and dried up, and even started out of hand refusing when both Michelle and Carson (both sitting in on directing, with Carson very keen to remind everyone that he can do a Nancy Grace impersonation, yes he can) gave her very clear pointers on what they wanted her to do. I guess when a queen whose entire act is positivity can’t summon it up any more, there’s very little left you’d want to be stood anywhere near. Meanwhile Kim Chi yet again had to be taken through her entire performance line by line with her every inflection micromanaged so it sounded halfway human, and Michelle told Chi Chi not to do a butch voice, because Michelle has to tell someone to stop doing a butch voice once every acting challenge, or she will literally die.

The Melodrama : You will be surprised to learn that Bob The Drag Queen is a political queen, and used to stage protests in favour of marriage equality in Times Square every Saturday until the US Supreme Court finally caved in and agreed to his terms, and also made the Naked Cowboy Mayor Of New York. But not before Bob was

ARRESTED AND THROWN INTO a police car for a few minutes FOR BLOCKING TRAFFIC. Have you ever seen a more “Bob The Drag Queen gets arrested” picture in your life? I feel like she’s about to whip that bloody purse out and tell me that oh my god guys you should see what Acid Betty was arrested for oh my god the BLOOD oh my god BETTY NO BETTY WE LOVE YOU BETTY, before she gets nightsticked just to get her to stop.

You will also be surprised to learn that Derrick Barry doesn’t really know the difference between North and South Korea, or which one Kim Chi is from after nigh on three weeks of constant interaction with her. Although turns out it’s neither, as Kim was born in America, then raised in South Korea, and then came back to America as an adult because there is hardly any gay culture and definitely no drag culture in South Korea at all. Apparently it’s Kim’s dream to go and perform there one day and be the first South Korean drag superstar. And hopefully afterwards President Trump will let her back in the country, otherwise she will cry.

The Runway : The theme this week was in tribute to Detox’s most memorable moment from Season 5. That’s right, they tied Serena Cha Cha to a chair at the end of the runway and all the queens took turns wailing on her with baseball bats. Oh alright not really

the theme was “black and white Hollywood glamour”, although Bob neatly side-stepped the “glamour” part by choosing to reference “Freaks”. Really this is a week where more or less everyone shone on the runway, although particular credit must go to Kim Chi’s absolutely perfect make-up job and Naomi’s pitch perfect fashionista ensemble. Special no credit goes to Thorgy Thor, normally a runway queen par excellence, who this week decided to channel Mae West

if Mae West hit on hard times and ended up running the Clown Squirt stall at a travelling funfair. The judges also chose to hate on Derrick’s outfit which is baffling to me for two reasons – firstly because they’re about to award her the win for the week, and secondly

THERE WAS A REVEAL. I don’t care how unflattering each individual look might be…THERE’S TWO OF THEM. I’m sold.

This Week’s Most Insightful Judging Interjection : The word “gravitas” means “heft”.

The Performance : Not a ranking this week, everyone’s bored of rankings, let’s do it chronologically.

Bob The Drag Queen : Apparently she was going for “Michelle Obama meets Hilary Clinton” here, and I think she nailed it. That wig alone looks like it’s been through several international conflicts and barely negotiated its way out intact. There were blowjob jokes, there were lesbian jokes, there was Derrick Barry eating a baby, there was

Bryce in a Jan Brady wig just realising that earlier he’d announced on national tv that he takes it up the chuff…it had everything you could want from a political campaign, although I still feel a bit like Bob could have pushed things further.

Derrick Barry : I honestly would have given this the solo win, just because the Michelle Bachman vibes I get radiating off Derrick here are so strong it’s almost turning me straight out of homophobic shame. Not just the look, but the

rampant racial stereotyping (NB : watch and learn Phi Phi). In fact Derrick barely outlined her own platform at all, opting instead for relentless ad hominem’s against not only Bob, but his “associates” Betty and Thorgy. Couple in constant nudge nudges about how Bob is from “out of town” and Derrick practically could have been running for Mayor of London the dog whistles were so audible. The only thing holding it back is that I really feel like Bob got more screentime than Derrick did.

Naomi Smalls : Naomi’s production was about what you’d expect from Naomi – 6/10 script but 9/10 looks and posing. Oddly enough, despite her and Kim Chi’s bond, she was also really the only queen whose smears were actual real life smears, slating Kim for being unable to walk in heels and for having a strong lisp that makes her borderline unintelligble. Of course I’m sure it was all done with love… It’s interesting to see Naomi slowly start to emerge as a fully realised personality as the number of queens really starts whittling down after a fairly anonymous start, especially as other queens seem to be retreating into themselves.

Kim Chi : That’s the Pit Crew trying to look “femme” by the way, as part of Kim Chi’s crusade against the common gay dating app edict of “no fats, no femmes, no Asians”. Her campaign video also revolved around Naomi being too skinny, Naomi not being skinny enough, food being great, Kim Chi loving yellow, and also her video being paid for out of her own pocket because nobody cares about her. So…scattershot then. To say the least. I think it’s probably a safe route for Kim to continue to walk to rely on LOLRANDOM to paper over her own inability to produce a complete performance, but it surely isn’t going to get her any wins.

Thorgy Thor : I think this might have gone across better if it had had a joke in it. If there were any in there to begin with, they all got tossed out in the editing process, along with any actual smears against Chi Chi. It’s hard to really tap into the fun goofy vibe of Thorgy’s performance here when you can see nothing but “SMASH CHI CHI SMASH FINALLY IMMA GONNA WIN A CHALLENGE!” behind her eyes. It just feels forced, which Thorgy hasn’t really felt up until now. Also, that jacket girl, you’re not running for President of Jane Fonda Jazzercise Videos.

Chi Chi DeVayne : I feel for Chi Chi here, because Michelle basically told her to reel off a bunch of country stereotypes because she’s from Louisiana and has an accent, and she does it fairly well, but she never quite looks comfortable doing it. The joy in Chi Chi is in how rootsy she is, and this all feels like she’s just ticking off a bunch of stereotypes because she thinks it will win her a ribbon. It is, still, leagues ahead of what her partner put out, and I feel sorry that she was dragged down by Thorgy’s increasing desperation and lack of focus.

The Lip Sync : After Bob and Derrick were declared joint winners (IMAGINE the drama if they’d declared Derrick the sole winner, IMAGINE) due to their powerful synergy, the bottom 3 were marked down as Chi Chi, Kim Chi, and Thorgy. Thorgy being the weakest of the week was obvious, but between the two Chis, Kim’s impeccable make-up (and crying jag about her fear of public speaking) beat out Chi Chi’s slightly overdone mug (and complaints to the judges that she didn’t want to play a ghetto stereotype which…YOU’LL DANCE FOR MICHELLE VISAGE HOWEVER SHE TELLS YOU CHI CHI, DANCE, DANCE!) and it was New York vs Louisiana in the lip sync. To “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls. If you’re not familiar with the song then don’t worry, Bob’s going to spend half an hour explaining it to you very slowly on Untucked. What it won’t take half an hour to explain is that

Thorgy ain’t no Dreamgirl compared to Chi Chi Kat DeVayne. Say what you will about this lip sync being nailed on for Chi Chi to win but…it’s not as though Cynthia knew how to rollerskate is it? This isn’t new. And what a show we got both times. The crowning moment came when, as she stood up, all of the beads on Chi Chis dress detached and scattered to the floor in a moment of supreme high drama dishevlement. Nobody was more aware of this TKO than Thorgy, who ceded the floor by waving goodbye, doing a sad cartwheel, and then

raising Chi Chi’s hand in victory. After the last two episodes of an increasingly grumpy Thorgy, it was a nice moment to go out on. If only Untucked hadn’t aired immediately after the episode…

The Untuckening : Other than Bob’s protracted musical theatre history lesson, delivered to an utterly blank Derrick, who clearly knew the entire story of Effie White already but couldn’t summon up the dynamite to stop Bob’s runaway condescension train (<3), this week's Untucked was one long Thorgy meltdown in the following stages :

Stage 1 : declare that you definitely weren't the weakest ok maybe you were maybe not actually no definitely you weren't the worst
Stage 2 : come for Bob by telling him that he needed to edit his look far more than he did, and yet wasn't called on it
Stage 3

Stage 4 : Bring up a story about how your grandmother insulted you shortly before her death
Stage 5

Stage 6 : Repeatedly and relentlessly tell Derrick that you're about to send him home even though he's clearly nowhere near the Bottom 2
Stage 7 : Do a weird ass monologue direct to camera about fog and shadows
Stage 8 : Lip Sync
Stage 9 : Lose
Stage 10 : Whine that Bob didn't leave you a Thank You Note
Stage 11 : Hope that Kim Chi doesn't get eliminated before the final so there's still a slim chance you might win Miss Congeniality

Oh and Kim Chi

spent most of the episode hiding behind a cushion. Public speaking really isn't for all of us.


11 thoughts on “RuPaul’s Drag Race 8 – Shady Politics

  1. Fiz

    I knew within the first nanosecond of the lip synch that Chichi was going to wipe the floor with the acerbic Thorgy Thor. She was far too cerebral for Drag race.

  2. Jonny Cameron

    I never really thought Thorgy would make Top 3. As her edit suggested, she was born to be the bridesmaid. I thought that she may have been able to do a Pandora/DeLa/Katya and be Miss C but after this episode…….maybe not? A shame because up until this week I thought she was great.

    1. Sue Howarth

      The interviews she has done this week are very bitter, the Thorgy we have seen this last 2 weeks seems closer to the real thing than the ray of sunshine she portrayed earlier.

      1. Jonny Cameron

        I don’t necessarily think Thorgy is a bitter person. I do think she is that positive person, however I think her passion and enthusiasm for the show (she’s auditioned 8 times) began to overshadow that to the point where the frustration clearly took over. She would have done much better if she maintained focus rather than projecting her frustration on to Bob, Chi Chi ect.

        Maybe she can come back for All Stars and show us more?

    2. monkseal Post author

      I think if Kim Chi is cut in 4th she’d beat her. I don’t think Kim Chi is getting cut in 4th.

  3. Plinkiplonk

    I knew Thorgy was toast the second she said that either Chi Chi or Derrick would DEFINITELY be going home. The pseudo ironic foreshadowing edit on this show is nothing if not predictable…

    1. monkseal Post author

      OTOH this week began with a montage of everyone saying that Derrick sucked and was about to go home…and she did and she did.


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