RuPaul’s Drag Race 9 – Reality Stars : The Musical

A breakout episode for my favourite random which ends with everyone hating her? YES PLEASE!

1. If Jaymes and Kimora’s on-show funerals were a snooze and a slow internment into the soil, with only Farrah really turning up to cry (and of course Farrah cries at everything. Or at least snivels) then Charlie’s send-off was a full on cremation, with Trinity on hand to pour gasoline on the coffin. Want to read the message Charlie left for everyone? Tough shit, Trinity was wiping it off as soon as she got in the room, scrubbing that lipstick on like her husband’s mistress left it on her nightstand. Want to talk about how Charlie did really well for a septuagenarian? NO MA’AM, Trinity will tell you she felt personally disrespected by how Charlie didn’t even put up a fight against her. Want to reminis…WELL YOU CAN’T. Sasha’s going to break in, in basso profundo, as usual, to back Trinity up and say it’s awful that Charlie didn’t even bother learning the words when everyone else has been word perfect every week (lol if you say so). Charlie’s is one of those eliminations where I already can’t wait for the reunion and I’m taking bets who’s going to call bullshit on her first. Although maybe the queens should have tempered their rage at Charlie for not making the blood on their knuckles meaningful because little were they to know an even worse and even more disrespectful drag crime was ahead of them.

THE HORRORS! (Also in pre-challenge news : Nina was crafting a voodoo doll of Shea and Sasha wishing for them to fail, Trinity and Eureka continued to hate one another, and Alexis? Well Alexis told us all she was ready to TURN UP THE VOLUME. I CAN’T WAIT!)

2. And now, the recap moment you’ve all been waiting for…



re we graced this week by our first sighting of the Pit Crew, they were also involved in the season’s first mini-challenge. Remember the perennial seasonal first mini challenge of years past? The one where queens had a photoshoot with Mathu or Mike Ruiz? Well there’s no budget for that anymore, so the queens were to take selfies in quickdrag with their faces buried in the Pit Crews crotches. The best photo (as judged by shutting your eyes and pointing) would receive a gift card for shoes and also an advantage in the main challenge. Judging was made a little biit easier by the fact that not many of the queens were photographers. So how

Cynthia didn’t even manage to get a picture in focus, and Peppermint managed to turn what on tape looked like a non-stop fuck train into…

this. Shea went 80’s pop video, Sasha

turned into Pandora Boxx, Eureka was giving me pure

Lisa Riley does the samba at Blackpool, but the clear winner was Valentina, looking impossibly glam and rough at the same time.

So of course Ru gave the win to Alexis.

I dunno. The hat’s fun?

4. So how was Alexis’ advantage useful for the main challenge? Well, it meant she got to assign all the parts in KARDASHIAN : THE MUSICAL! This season’s big Musical Theatre extravaganza, except we’re not in London, so the queens didn’t have to sing live. Instead the queens were lip-sync’ing to a backing track, parodying Hamilton, composed by semi-regular guest judge Todrick Hall and

some guy he’d brought in who definitely wasn’t just a grindr hook-up who wanted to be on the show. HE WAS ASSISTANT CHOREOGRAPHER, OK? Alexis took her part seriously, by which I mean she gave herself Kris Jenner, made Cynthia play Kim because she’s got a…well we know what Cynthia’s got because she mentions it in literally every sentence that comes out of her mouth, and then spread the other parts around randomly. Nina and Aja got to be the other two Kardashians (don’t ask me which was which), Valentina and Farrah got to be Kylie & Kendall Jenner (ditto), Eureka got to be Narrator North West (for…reasons that will become apparent) (bitch couldn’t move), and Peppermint, Sasha, and Trinity got to play 00s icons (and the only people I got any of the references to, because I’m old) Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, and Paris Hilton respectively. Oh and Shea was given Blac China, a fact which

Nina in no way sulked about horribly for the rest of the episode, up to and including using it as an excuse to cuss out Todrick for looking at her funny. I’m so happy two of my three favourites stood out this week as being awful, rude and moody, it only makes me root for them even more. Some people have said that Alexis’ distribution of roles was shady, as a lot of queens ended up not getting the characters they wanted (as well as Nina’s pining for Blac, Farrah wanted to be Britney or Paris, and Peppermint wanted the lead role of Kim) but I can see the logic behind pretty much all her choices and don’t think she was being mean-spirited. It speaks to Alexis’ calibre as a newly minted seasonal villain that nothing she does comes across as being on purpose. She’s just a bossy pushy grating New York theatre kid. She’s Lea Michelle as a boy (as a girl).

5. Drama this week mostly came from two sources : firstly…Nina.

Which we’ve covered. Secondly, from Eureka, and the fact that that popped knee she picked up back in the cheerleading challenge wasn’t just a temporary one episode cliffhanger. Now she was shuffling around on crutches and, on Untucked, in a wheelchair. This proved to be something of the beginning of a Redemption Arc for Eureka as, whilst she was no doubt still squawking away with her shit one-liners and claims that Lady Gaga saved her life, she was now immobile, and therefore the crew members holding the boom mic could easily move out of range without her chasing them down yelling “PAY ATTENTION TO MEEEEE!”. Oh also, of all the queens Farrah was the one who most knew the ins and outs of the Kardashian Family and also was unable to carry out a basic clapping game with Valentina. This would count as character development for Farrah, if either of those facts were in any way surprising.

6. This week’s Serious Business drama came in the form of a callback to last week’s show, as Eureka finally formally apologised to Sasha and Valentina for making an insensitive joke about eating disorders last week. This made this the first “Very Special Episode” segment to span two whole weeks, don’t you feel lucky? Can’t wait for Peppermint to have a tearful reunion with that high school basketball ‘phobe who beat her up, in episode 8. Anyway, Eureka took a break from putting together her North West get-up around her plaster casts, Eureka took Sasha and Valentina to one side and to her credit gave them a sincere apology. Apparently she hadn’t found the time, say, off camera. Not at all a show notorious for hours of downtime where the queens do nothing other than eat craft services (ie mayonnaise out the jar) this. This humility thenserved as a prompt for Sasha to talk about her history of anorexia, Valentina to talk about the pattern of problem eating that had her mother feeling concerned about even allowing her to come on the show and…Shea also had something but we ran out of time oops. Well edited guys, well edited.

7. Time came for the challenge and Alexis?

Nailed it. Her Kris Jenner was a force of nature from when the coins got fed into her halfway through the piece and she burst to life, chacha’ing around the stage like a demon, always taking promo shots, always reacting, always randomly doing the cabbage patch or motioning to cut the mics on her rivals, always on, always Alexis. Elsewhere the back-up Kardashians were…fine, but Cynthia was a hot boo boo mess as Kim. It’s a shame but this really cemented for me that bringing her back was a bit of a waste of time. As soon as she was given the lead role in a challenge she crumbled, “watermelon bubblegum”ing her way around, not knowing the words or portraying any sense of character. It made me long for the “STRONG! GAY! WOOOOOOOMAN!” that got her eliminated the last time. Both the Backing Kardashians were much of a muchness, as were Kylie and Kendal, although of the two Valentina was clearly the better dancer and had much more stage presence. As Blac Chyna, Shea finally got to show off the dancing chops that have been merely hinted at thus far, but let’s face it

it’s these three, and only these three I can really judge fairly. To which end, Peppermint’s Britney was great, Trinity’s Paris was…not, and Sasha did fine although was hampered by a script that had Lindsay Lohan as a butch with emphysema. Todrick, you were born in the same month in the same year as me, don’t try to pretend this is your memory of Lindsay it’s NOT. Finally Eureka as North West

had a bunch of stuff stuck to her face. All in all, not a bad challenge, as long as you look on it as a showcase for Alexis, Shea and Peppermint (who ended up being the Top 3) and…ignore what everyone else did, but I’m hoping at this point that Snatch Game really kicks this season into gear.

8. The runway theme this week? Faux Fur.

Shea Coulee : This is basically a do-over of her entrance look from Episode 1, but it really is very Shea. Just on the edge of being garish and outsider whilst still being cohesive. She’s not one of my favourite runway queens this season but she’s always on brand.

Aja : Just very expected and a bit tired. I had thought Aja might pull out of her death spiral of the LINDA EVANGELISTA rant but it really feels like she’s circling the drain now. Five episodes in and she’s not delivered on one runway or in one challenge.

Sasha Velour : First time Sasha’s really brought it on the runway for me. It feels like Katya’s Russian schtick but more authentic. Because, y’know, Sasha’s read a book.

Farrah Moan I told her not to wear green. I hate it.

Eureka: I don’t think it’s good per se, but for all the effort this episode went to to get us to like Eureka, after four previous episodes of…Eurekaisms, it was this moment, when she gamely charged down the runway on crutches dressed as something out of Starlight Express that actually landed for me.

Cynthia Lee Fontaine : I think we’ve all given up on Cynthia’s runways at this point right? It looks like it weighs about two stone and it has a car mat as a centrepiece.

Nina Bo’Nina Brown : I’m loving the variety that Nina gives off every week. Sometimes it’s a nightmarish human/peach hybrid, sometimes it’s an alien princess, sometimes it’s Mary J Blige, sometimes it’s zombie hooker. And yet she never feels like she’s rocking the Party City. Good job.

Alexis Michelle : Truly the most misguided reveal in Drag Race history. Alexis – the thing you’re revealing has to be MORE impressive than the top garment. That’s the POINT.

9. So the obvious top three singled out obviously, and then Shea granted the win based on the fact that Alexis wore…that, it was time to pick the bottom three. Cynthia was an obvious pick given how hard she tanked, but really the other two could have been any two of about six. In the end, Ru plumped for Farrah on the grounds of lack of personality, and Nina on the grounds of having too MUCH personality and it all being sour. I wouldn’t necessarily have placed Nina in the bottom (Nina’s runway outfit alone means I think there’s more of a case for Aja or Trinity) but it did result in this

the most perfect tear yet seen on Drag Race. Sinead O Connor herself couldn’t have wept it better. In this moment, a legend was born. And also she didn’t have to lip sync so no harm done. The actual eventual face-off, between Cynthia and Farrah was to some Meghan Trainor song I’ve never heard of and neither have you. Farrah clearly won but wait! Here’s a runner with a message for Ru.

And also a blowjob by the looks of it. Said message? That Eureka’s injuries had become too great, and she needed to be taken round the back of the barn and shot…up with painkillers! And all those complaining that Meghan Trainor done fucked up drag by turning up in a unicorn onesie should reflect on

just how much it enhanced this moment in particular. Is it not camp? Are you not entertained? Anyway, the upshot is that Eureka has a free pass to Season 10, if she wants it, especially if she agrees not to sue the show for her medical bills, and Cynthia and Farrah get to limp on for another round, even if nobody really cares about them any more. Yes, we’ve officially hit that part of the midseason where the filler needs culling.

10. This Week’s Greatest Untucked Moment : OBVIOUSY Alexis forcing everyone to stop what they’re doing (in Farrah’s case, PRACTICING FOR THE LIP SYNC) so she could hold a meeting telling them all off for costing her the challenge by not telling her her outfit was shit. SHE’S TOLD THEM SO MANY TIMES THAT *THEIR* OUTFITS WERE SHIT! AND YET WHEN IT’S TIME TO RETURN THE FAVOUR? NOTHING! What a legend.


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