Drag Race Down Under, Series 1, Episode 4: My Fallen Plush Brethren

This is Sailor Jupiter now, feel old yet?

If Drag Race Down Under is committed to anything, it’s creating discourse because my God are they doing absolutely everything in their power to generate think pieces at a rate we haven’t seen since the Game of Thrones finale.

All Systems Coco

The queens barely have the chance to commiserate over the fact Coco was just eliminated because Scarlet and Etcetera are gunning for Elektra like two sharks tasting blood in the water and it pretty much set the tone for the rest of the episode to be quite uncomfortable viewing. I’m not of the opinion that the Queens have to play nice with each other but the way Scarlet and Etcetera went about their own personal critiques of Elektra was utterly tactless and wreaked of schoolyard nonsense. Etcetera (who I quite like) basically sat Elektra done and told her that she was tacky and she hated her, meanwhile Scarlet is in the confessionals calling her a turd coated in glitter – which would probably have been a funny shady thing if said by anyone other than Scarlet with her dearth of comedic flair and rich history of being spiteful and problematic. She’s Bad Vibes Central and I think we’re stuck with her for the long haul I’m afraid.
Elektra does try to give as good as she gets and is about as successful at putting across an argument as you would think a cinnamon roll would be – her main point of defence being the fact the judges compared her to Beyoncé and that she was “technically” in the bottom for being too good which doesn’t really do much other than make you sound incredibly delusional, as much as I don’t think Elektra should have been anywhere near the bottom 2 when Karen and Maxi delivered thoroughly lacklustre verses in the same performance.

Where For Art Thou?

Obviously the biggest talking point of the episode is the fact Art Simone makes her almost entirely too obvious return. And if you were wondering why she was brought back, I’m afraid you’re going to go to your grave waiting for the official reason because Ru utters not a single word of it, she just chucks Art right back in. It is however rather obvious that it’s mostly because Art has the biggest fanbase and would ultimately draw in the biggest audience. It’s just a bit shit that neither Coco or JoJo were given the chance to redeem themselves, if they had all been brought back and told one of them could rejoin the competition, the judging is bizarre enough that they could have just wangled the win for Art anyway. As it is, it’s really only adding to the bad optics of the show at large.

Sew, Sew, Sew Your Boat

The main challenge this week is for the Queens to turn this pile of miscellaneous garbage into some sort of runway ready outfit

which does mean the queens’ sewing skills were put to the test and FINALLY after twelve years we’ve reached the point where the queens have learnt to go and take a sewing lesson the second they learn that they’ve been cast. Or at least Maxi has as she grabbed any and every heavy duty bag she could find – which some queens thought was a mistake because they have no stretch and so require more exact sewing but Maxi pulled it off remarkably well to create her sort of Burberry meets Vivienne Westwood outfit

the fit is phenomenal but it’s the styling that really sells it – the crimped slightly Jane Lane cut hair brings it all together and sells the punk vibe that she was going for, which I didn’t know that Maxi would be able to successfully realise. My favourite part of the whole outfit though was the back, with the spray painted Xs

it just shows an attention to detail that I always vibe with.

Karen however had not learnt from the sins of the past and put all of her faith in the Glue Gun Gods and her ability to sell a character as she decided that because Art was back to redeem her abysmal Snatch Game, that Karen should be paying her penance for making Dolly Parton sound like Jenny Nicholson doing the voice of Tor Valum. And she is correct on this, however I’m not sure using a sewing challenge to create iconic and recognisable pop culture figure *checks notes* Schapelle Corby was the right way to go… Ru’s suspicious stare really should have told her that this was a no go

All of the flags are red, ABORT! ABORT! Alas Karen persisted and her outfit was possibly one of the biggest cringe moments I remember seeing on the runway

or at least the humour didn’t land with me and it’s so horrifically basic, I can’t even work out where the glue gun came into the equation!

Anita claimed she loved to sew, but with her apparent history of breaking sewing machine, sewing doesn’t really love her back and nor did her first attempt at an outfit that looked like something pre-makeover Cinderella would wear in a pantomime

it’s very much still in the trash stages of an outfit made out of trash.
She did thankfully veto it within moments in order to make a gown out of video tapes and books that was designed to look like, and I quote directly, “A book burning princess”

It’s unclear if she is a princess that burns books or is the princess of burnt books. Either way, it’s a pretty inoffensive outfit, which is ironic given the subject matter, it’s not wonderfully flattering but it has a distinct point of view and is aesthetically cohesive – I particularly love the flash of colour in her makeup

The judges weren’t big on the idea and said that it had been done on the show before, which given that there’s been 179 queens on the US version of Drag Race alone, I think dinging queens for having an outfit that is somewhat similar to a previous garment is ridiculous, and even more so because Art Simone walked out in the 5th of 6th Marie Antoinette inspired outfit we’ve been treated to

it’s a very well made outfit but it’s also your basic Antoinette, my issue is the fact the skirt just goes nowhere and was riding up something fierce which the judges don’t even mention. Also the makeup is a horror show

I think the eye look is just all wrong for this particular look, and I’d have liked her to have maybe been a touch more historically accurate with the blush placement – if you’re going to do the flat powdered base and the thin brow you might as well go the full Antoinette hog.

Scarlet was also going for a period look, channelling the 1940s to create a sort of bloomered capris playsuit in a red gingham fabric

it’s impeccably sewn and constructed, you can’t really deny her that – and it should be because she does make a lot of costumes for other queens and performers. It’s annoyingly good, I that’s my biggest problem with it.

Elektra, Scarlet’s Enemy Numero Uno, had a rough journey through her conceptualisation, starting off with the idea to hang a bunch of dead kangaroo toys off of her body which required her to lay waste to a number of perfectly innocent cuddly toys

RIP my fallen plush brethren,
She was also going to call this character of hers The Kangaroo Hunter because she sent home 2 Aussie queens. Which might be the most unhinged concept we’ve ever come across, made only more insane by the chilling concept art she drew up

as an adult who draws with the skill of a traumatised child in therapy, I feel very seen and represented by Elektra’s artistic effort.
She does, regrettably, nix the idea after a lukewarm reaction from Ru and set forth trying her best to make a mermaid gown out of the rest of her garbage that she was steadfastly refusing to loan out to anyone else

I really like the dress for the most part, I’m not a huge fan of the beige right boob but as a dress made out of ties, it works very well. The hair is also a miss for me, it’s certainly got the necessary volume but I find it a little distracting and incongruous with the dress, which is so busy that it needed something a little more pared back.

With a Drag Race sewing challenge you can expect a few things: Someone will be unable to sew, someone will glue things to a corset and someone will use balls in some way shape or form. And to that last one, I give you Kita Mean

I think it’s a cute outfit, I like the colours, I like the proportions and I always enjoy it when a queen embraces the challenge to the lengths of creating some sort of wig or headpiece. Etcetera wasn’t such a big fan of the headpiece

it’s stupid silly fun, which I find endearing, less endearing are the terrifying glitter brows

They are not sisters, they are not friends, they are sworn, constantly surprised enemies.

As a “fashion queen”, Etcetera did have a certain amount of pressure on her and it was looking good as she basically had a full outfit whipped up to show to Ru

it’s certainly more than Anita bringing up a scrapbook of possible ideas and Elektra Shock drawing a picture of her recurring nightmare for Dr. Stratford.
The plan was to make a sort of 1920s inspired festival Goddess and she certainly got the 1920s side of it down

I really like this and think she looks like a character from a George Méliès film, which is always going to tickle my fancy. The judges were definitely being a little obtuse about the fact she was carrying the staff, it’s such a weird thing to get really hung up on when you could point out that she’s wearing a very simple looking dress that didn’t really change much between her talking to Ru and hitting the runway.

A Trash to Treasure Runway Ranking

  1. Maxi Shield the Punky Bruiser
  2. Scarlet’s Picnic For One
  3. Elektra Shock, sponsored by The Tie Rack
  4. Anita, You’re Bonfired
  5. Etcetera’s Simply Vintage
  6. Marie Art-oinette
  7. Kita Gets 1 Free Hour in the Dashcon Ball Pit
  8. Karen From The Mall

And now we must return to our regularly scheduled Batshit Judging in which Maxi, Scarlet and Art are the top three with Scarlet taking the win – I’m of the opinion Maxi should have won because her outfit showed more of a point of view and was significantly more interesting to look at than Scarlet’s.
The bottom three are Karen, Anita and Etcetera – the latter two I would have declared safe but apparently Etcetera in a sheer dress and holding what is obviously a dreamcatcher on a stick looked too much like *checks notes* The Pope? Etcetera does escape the bottom two meaning it’s a duel between Karen and Anita. How’re feeling Karen?

Seems about right really.

I’m Certainly Beginning to Wonder…

As the previous episode established, Karen and Anita are certainly not rhythmically inclined and after 3 weeks of pretty good lipsyncs we were due a proper duffer – we can’t ride the high forever. Their song is I Begin To Wonder by Dannii Minogue, quite why it’s on this episode when both Minogue sisters were featured 2 weeks ago will remain a mystery forever, because this might have also been a safer song to lob to Art Simone to keep her around. I’m sorry, I’ll put my tinfoil hat on in a minute.

Anita claimed she was going to pull out all of the tricks in her bag, these tricks turned out to be mercilessly mugging to camera whenever the lyrics mentioned the word “crazy”

as well as some generic disco arms and Anita’s personal brand of thrusting like a broody chicken

it’s certainly unique.

Meanwhile Karen has her little hot shoe shuffle across the stage

and… pretending to type like your gran on a laptop?

I think Elz Carrad pretty much summed up the whole affair in a single look

It wasn’t great and seeing as though we had literally just brought back a queen, this could have conceivably been a double elimination which is delicious because there’s only been 4 episodes and Anita and Karen have won half of them between themselves. No such thing happens though but Anita finds herself eliminated

I would have been raging but Anita is incapable of any emotion beyond peppy positivity so she was only seeing sunshine and rainbows, meanwhile Kita is taking it INCREDIBLY hard

This either means she’ll be out for blood in the next two episodes or completely flatline next week in which they have to create and market their very own version of Vegemite.

And so, through contrivances and shenanigans, still 7 queens remain

If you enjoyed the recap and want to support the blog you can drop a small tip HERE.

Leave a Reply