RuPaul’s Drag Race 9 – Makeovers : Crew Better Work

Is Eureka already booked for Season 10? Can we not get Wintergreen as the returnee instead?

1. The delicate balancing act between (SPOILERS for the end of season ranking but not really SPOILERS because come ON, I’m very obvious) my two favourite queens of the season tilted all over the place in this week’s opening post mortem, as Nina proceded to make Valentina’s elimination all about her by mithering around mopily about how it made her feel really bad to be the one to send her home because she felt Valentina deserved to stay and in fact would have stayed if she’d been on a team with anyone other than Nina because she dragged her down and made her suck and in fact forced her to turn up to set without anything planned and wearing a wig that looked like one of Angela Griffin’s cast-offs from the cheaper end of the Coronation Street wig department. Sadly, there was no Tigger there to cheer up the Eeyore of drag, just all the other queens trying to get their sympathy dicks up and only lasting about 5 seconds before giving up. Sasha in particular noisily huffed to everyone that this is a competition, not a therapy session which…you could have fooled me, madam who turns every session at the make-up mirror into a roup session about the interconnection between eating disorders and childhood family abandonment. All this being PEAK Nina goth misery was heightened by the fact that

Nina was literally ripping bits of putrifying papier mache flesh off her zombie corpse face the whole time. SO ALOAN.

2. Fortunately after this dank and dour start, Ru arrived to tell us that we were all about to receive a boost from the most uplifting challenge of the season (it changed a lotta lives), the makeover challenge, wherein ordinary people get made into dragged up versions of their inner selves. Ru ran us through some of the inspirational makeover subjects of seasons past – gay army vets, Stonewall protestors, short women, desperate mactors, creepy old men who claim to have murdered Judy Garland, and that one homophobic Lady Gremlin – before turning the cameras on this year’s recipients of a make-up gun set to whore to the face.

THE CREW OF RUPAULS DRAG RACE SEASON 9. More specifically, the six disparate crew members conveniently lined up together for this shocking reveal. Duncan the stern DILFY Set Manager, Brady the sensitive and shy PA (or as he was later called by Alexis on Untucked “Ryan”, what a close bond they had), Josh the even MORE sensitive and shy PA, Sarge the cameraman, Aaron the artistic tattooed designer, and Rizzo

and hello to Rizzo. Clearly the biggest reactions amongst the queens themselves came to the reveal that they would be donating cleavage to Duncan and Sarge, so clearly those were the two biggest presences on set. Josh in particular introduced himself by saying that the queens might have noticed him around the set…doing stuff, so I’m guessing he delivered the sandwiches(/ranch dressing and bread) and not much else.

3. As winners of an imaginary Mini Challenge I invented in my head that involved pinning something on or in Rizzo and you can all speculate amongst yourselves as to what it was, Sasha and Shea had the honours of sharing out the crewmembers amongst the remaining queens. Now previously queens have done this on the basis of trying to hamper their rivals or hoard the easiest jobs for themselves, but Sasha and Shea would NEVER do anything that wicked (/interesting) so they paired people up chiefly via skin tone (Shea and Josh), body shape (Alexis and Brady, Peppermint and Sarge), being moody loners who hate life (Nina and Aaron) and wanting to fuck them (Sasha and Duncan) leaving Trinity with Rizzo by default. Of course Shea came out with some guff about personalities, which I can buy on the angle that I think Duncan and Sarge would both have face-dunked Alexis into the core of the earth if they’d been stuck working with her, and no other grounds.

4. If you think the pre-game preamble was peak Nina then you were wrong, as her journey into Makeover Magic with Aaron was truly the Heart Of Bo’nina Brown. First, she decided, in the most half-hearted lackadaisical manner possible that despite not being a damned seamstress, and in fact defining herself really as a “face only” drag queen (<3), she was going to make two full evening gowns from scratch to go with her bunny face concept. Then she got Aaron to

sort of roll around on the fabric whilst pretending she knew what she was doing (<3), then she whined in a bass voice at every other single queen in the room to just maybe help her one minute with threading a needle until they caved in and did it. Then she binned the whole thing off, pulled out two tatty corsets and stuck some marhsmallow peeps to her face and called it a day. What a legend. Also the whole time Aaron was clearly high as fuck and chatting with her about the importance of expressing yourself via art. I regret saying last week that I would happily watch Nina and Valentina do extravagant amounts of nothing over half these other queens, because I forgot to factor in the possible presence of Aaron, who would take that threesome to the level of high art.

5. Even more delightful mind you was Sarge, probably the most grizzled of the crew members, on his eighth season on the show, who was selected for a makeover by Ru because of his deep connection with Ru himself. Apparently Ru will often glance at Sarge during filming and share a common thought, that common thought most likely most usually be "oh Christ Alexis, stop it". And after the next 40 minutes of television you could see why, as Sarge performed for the cameras perfectly (saying that drag is harder than the army, saying what an honour it is for him to get to document LGBT lives on camera, allowing this

S & M hell to happen to his body for the benefit of any men watching with particularly niche fetishes), and most brilliantly of all, engaging in a PROTRACTED face off with special guest judge Jennifer Coolidg

sorry, I mean Ke$ha, when she accidentally shaded her about her looks.

On and on and on and on it went forever, getting a little funnier with every passing second. So many different disdainful looks served these queens could learn so many lessons in terms of projecting a performance.

6. Alexis, Shea and Sasha all had less interesting guys to make over, so I’m going to cover their experiences in one tweet. In fairness, I’m sure Duncan is a very articulate, intelligent, thoughtful, and lovable guy, but it was clear that once he got his hands on the dressing up wigs box

that was him done for the entire episode. Just romping around the workroom pretending to be a serial killer and who can blame him, what larks. Still, Sasha lightened up a little, which is the main thing, and said that the whole challenge was the most relaxed and engaged she’s felt in ages. Her partner in crime Shea though was stuck with a more dificult prospect as, whilst Josh seemed like a sweetheart, he wasn’t exactly overburdened with an ebulliant personality. First he comitted the heinous crime of finding queen of uptight middle class New Yorkery Natalie Portman the peak of sex over Naomi Campbell. And then Shea saw his runway walk.

To be fair, Shea was over-reacting slightly there, as whilst Josh clearly didn’t know what to do, bless him, every time anybody criticises anybody’s walk on this show I think back to what Morgan McMichael got away with doing for a clean month on Season 2. Finally, in Alexis’ corner

more expulsion of internal tensions via agressive corsetry. It’s more productive and quicker than sneaking off for a workwank I guess.

7. The main event of the episode though, came via the joys of TUCKING. Now we’re well past the point now where the actual mechanics of drag are ever properly discussed on the show. Forget how orange someone fucking looks, or how to dress to hide a hog-body, all workroom time is now to be devoted to talking about Serious Issues, so it’s easy to forget that the very act of making a boy look like a queen takes EFFORT. Fortunately, as Rizzo showed us all via his runway walk, Trinity was about to face issues with her partner.

Those issues being BALLS. Great big popping out of your panties BALLS. Refusing to stay put. This all resulted in my favourite image of the episode by far.

Trinity stood in her iconic leopardprint dressing gown, waiting patiently (/not at all patiently) for Rizzo to get things in order, periodically barking at him and brandishing duct tape. This was made all the more hilarious by Rizzo very earnestly using the down time to talk earnestly to Trinity in a very Nice Guy way about how he thinks it’s wrong how society devalues feminine strength, as Trinity very clearly spending the entirity of these discussions itching to grab his foreskin and shove it up his ass crack. Also

teaching him how to sissy that wrist which, again, adorable.

8. So let’s rank the end products.

Trinity Taylor & Glitafa Dayze : Really giving me Sharon as Elvis with that face it’s uncanny. Anyway, I’ve seen a lot of people say Trinity shouldn’t have won, but really I think she deserves it just for the sheer chutzpah of sticking someone into a sheer swimsuit for their first time in drag especially someone as…generously aportioned with testicles as Rizzo is. Also kudos to Trinity for teaching Rizzo a full routine (which he did horrendously <3) rather than doing what most of the other queens did, having them stand still and mug.

Sasha Velour & Dunatella Velour : I loved this as well – it’s a very cute theme and very different from the usual attempts to sexy people up – I’m just not sure of the point of Sasha strapping Duncan into a corset if the actual clothes she ends up in swallow her up so much. Still, flawless make-up job and general concept.

Peppermint & Wintergreen : This was ALL Sarge to be honest in terms of personality and presence. Peppermint has done a decent job with his face, but the wigs were really wispy and the two outfits just seem to have been hauled out of Peppermint’s remainders pile at random. Still…SARGE.

Alexis Michelle & Rye Anne Stardust JUDY. JETSON. HOOKERS.

Shea Coulee & Bae Coulee : I actually quite liked the work Shea did with Bae’s face – it made her look very Michaela Coel – but the gowns are really uninspired and there really wasn’t any recovering from the wig malfunction. Josh was a decent dancer, but otherwise his lack of chutzpah also held them back here.

Nina Bo’Nina Brown & Ariana Bo’Nina Brown Honestly truly I think Ariana Bo’Nina Brown is something that spends the entirity of the third level of Manhunt trying to kill you with a chainsaw. It’s just…a man in a corset and cardboard bunny ears and an Angela Eagle cosplay wig. As notes to leave on, it was a bass one.

9. With a bottom 3 of Alexis, Nina, and Shea, Alexis had Michelle Visage to thank for stumping for her “basic but polished” outer space look, as Nina and Shea faced off in a bottom 2 to “Cool For The Summer” by Demi Lovato. Obviously Nina was going home here, as clearly Shea is a higher priority for the show generally, and also she wasn’t going to give much more than the minimal effort she’s been giving lately from here on out, but something almost magical happened in the lip sync. Whilst Shea flounced and strutted and vamped, Nina gave up in the most refined way possible. In a season full of surrenders in the lip sync, forced or otherwise, Nina transformed her collapse into a sad strip number, sensually writhing and stroking her bunny face, channelling “Summertime Sadness” and Twin Peaks all at once, completely inappropriately. By the end time she stomped out the studio, good-naturedly snapping “SUE ME!” to everyone, and retreated backstage to Aaron, quite possibly with a joint already rolled, she had cemented her place in Drag Race history. NOW GIVE HER MISS CONGENIALITY.

10. This Week’s Untucked Highlight : Alexis making sure she very definitely gave very sincere praise to a very deserving top 2 of Trinity and Sasha.


One thought on “RuPaul’s Drag Race 9 – Makeovers : Crew Better Work

  1. Matthew

    Alexis called him “Rye Anne” not “Ryan”, which was the drag name she concocted, I only know this as it’s ome of the most WTF names they’ve used in these challenges. (Personally, I would go for Mibitza Squished)


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