Drag Race, Season 14, Episode 3: Louboutin Caltrop

Sadly the unofficial 15th queen had a very short-lived run on the show.

It’s The Ball Episode which means this did have to take 3 days to write as I had to find enough different ways to describe various white, red or leopard print outfits.

A Full Haus

With both premiers over and done with, there was only one thing left to do and in order to bring the two groups of queens together, Alicia Keys was reprising her role as Mirror Ghost in order to introduce the queens from Premier Numero Uno, who do of course have to waste another whole look on not even 2 minutes of screentime, most of which is spent behind a table

quite why Alyssa Hunter is dressed as JoeyJay, the only verifiable homosexual, I can’t quite tell you

Meanwhile, Bosco and Willow really went all out with two very good looks

and poor Maddy had to meet everyone while she was in half drag and a baseball cap, the poor sweet melon

but of course these weren’t the only introductions being done because after getting everyone excited for the quick start to the competition by having eliminations in the premier episodes, both Daya Betty and Orion Story are back in the competition

I know I said I wished Daya had lasted longer in the competition because I thought she had a lot more to give, but in the immortal words of Jan on Instagram Live, “Not this.”. Although Daya wasted absolutely no time in justifying her return by going on a one queen mission to turn the show into I’m a Minor Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here by chowing down on a dragonfly after Kornbread said she’d give her £1000 if she did it and Kornbread had to watch in horror as that £1000 just disappeared before her very eyes

Sadly the Drag Race Wiki has decided this £1000 doesn’t count as a part of Daya’s series earnings.

And while most of the queens seemed fine with Orion and Daya returning, June was quaking in her Pucci boots because I think she was realising she was a little out of her depth in the competition and winning the lipsync against Orion had kind of bolstered her confidence, so she wasted no time in telling Orion that she was not best pleased to see her

but the returning queens were not the only twist revealed as Ru reveals she has more of those RuPaul Chocolate Bars hanging around – with each Queen picking a chocolate bar, one of which contains a golden chocolate bar and if a queen loses a Lipsync For Their Life, they will open the chocolate bar and if it’s gold they don’t have to go home, but if it’s chocolate they have to loudly declare “It’s chocolate.” while the sound editors play a comedic foghorn over their sad little face – it’s honestly high art.

Two Big Balls

It was of course the ball challenge this week and for some reason we’re keeping the queens divided with the first lot taking part in the infinitely better Hide and Chic Ball with the categories being Zebra Print Resort, Leopard Evening Wear and Animal Print Bridal Couture.
The second lot were all doing the Red, White and Blue Ball with the categories being Red Hot Resort, Evening Wear: All In White and Red, White & Blue Bridal Couture.

Quite why they decided to make the final categories bridal, when neither aesthetic particularly leans bridal, I don’t quite know – but the queens were going to have to make their bridal looks themselves.

The Hide and Chic Ball

Zebra Print Resort

These first categories were definitely the hardest for both of the groups because “resort wear” being a very relaxed and comfortable aesthetic doesn’t lend itself amazingly well to the expectations of Drag Race’s runway and I think only a couple of the queens really managed to fully give us resort wear, none more so than June Jambalaya who quite literally just had someone recreate a look from Dolce & Gabbana’s 2017 resort collection

as Ru later said (in the most unhinged fashion she possibly could) “just copy!” – I really love this look and think she looks effortlessly chic, Michelle had issues with the hair which I don’t, it’s not the most voluminous wig but I think it suits the sleekness of the look, which was kind of the same case with Kornbread

I love the shape of this – it’s not the most obviously zebra-print thing we saw on the runway and I would hazard a guess she quickly browsed “zebra print blouse” on google and bought the first thing she could get next day delivery on to throw over this jumpsuit – as much by the fact it looks distinctly high street, but also she was doing the whole “eye pop” thing A LOT which I assume was to make up for the insecurity that comes with wearing JCPenney on the runway. Honestly, I respect it. As I do Kerri Colby for merely throwing a hat on an outfit I fully believe she wears everyday and calling it resort wear

I can’t say I love the pink tights and matching shoe combination, but I am kind of obsessed with the fact she was just wearing the brim of a hat over her Dirrty Christina Aguilera hair

I just enjoy the image of Kerri sitting in her apartment mutilating the poor hat – what did she do with the rest of it? Is it a part of another look? I eagerly await her straw skullcap.

A couple of the queens decided to go with sort of athleisurewear, which isn’t too far removed from resort wear depending on where you’re resorting but truly nothing brought me more joy than Alyssa Hunter saying “My look is inspired by the movie Racing Stripes”

as a connoisseur of irrelevant media, it just spoke to my soul. As to why you’d look to the Frankie Muniz voiced zebra for inspiration for a chic resort look, I don’t know, but she looks cute – if a little more ski than zebra jockey, which is probably for the best given I can’t think of many competitive horseracing resorts.
Orion also went the pop culture route with a look she claimed was inspired by Heathers

I’m not really getting the Heathers vibe, mostly because it’s croquet they play and not golf. I think there’s also a general moroseness to all of Orion’s looks because of the eyelashes she uses, they always make her look like she’s on the verge of tears and it makes me *deeply* uncomfortable.

The only queen to opt to buck the black and white trend was Willow Pill

I do really like this, as the judges said, it is some very good luxury condo realtor cosplay, which I can never be mad at. She also just looks really pretty and that wig was stunning.

On completely the other end of the spectrum to Willow’s more pedestrian look, we have Bosco

is it zebra print? Most certainly. Is it resort? Absolutely not, where are you going that you’re able to dress like a sexy zebra print motorcycle and still have a good time? Because if you know, tell me. For science.

Leopard Print Evening Wear

With the prompt being “Evening Wear” I had expected a lot more gowns, but you know, of course Bosco had to be different and opt for pants

I think I like all of this as separate pieces, I just don’t think it comes together as a particularly cohesive whole – there’s just too much of a clash between the plasticky texture of the bralet and corset-cum-cumerbund against the slightly more neutral culottes, and then there’s the solid black opera gloves that she threw on in an attempt to sell this as evening wear…

Alyssa Hunter was disregarding the category criteria too by opting for cheetah instead of leopard, although I don’t think she was fully aware of that

do I kind of wish they’d kept her on stage for a critique exclusively to bring this up with her? I’m a petty bitch, of course I do. But also, this outfit deserved to land her in the top – it’s incredible, those formal pterodactyl wing sleeves bring all of the drama you could possibly want – it’s all very Gaultier meets Mugler and what more could you want from a runway look?

Everyone else at least managed to successfully differentiate their big cats, Willow once again opted for a different colour story and just recreated Lily-Rose’s Depp’s Chanel gown from the 2019 Met Gala but in black-on-black leopard print

And she looks pretty freaking phenomenal – I do wish there was a bit of a twist on the gown so as to elevate it beyond being a direct copy, more to protect her from Chanel’s lawyers than anything else. I did love that Willow said she opted for the black-on-black leopard print because nobody else would use it, and clearly the show’s editors are not shady enough because she should then have absolutely been directly followed by Kornbread who was also in black leopard print

I love this from the waist up, from the waist down, the fit didn’t seem quite right – I don’t think velvet lends itself particularly well to being a mermaid gown and it kind of dragged the perfect fit of the top down a little bit.

Kerri successfully managed to set herself apart from everyone else by wearing purple leopard print and continued her trend of rather baffling headwear with the lazy Susan of a beret that she furiously spun every couple of seconds

I want to like this, I think it’s a pretty fabulous outfit – I’m just not getting the accessories – that excessively large pirate belt does the opposite of what a belt should be doing and then there’s the shoes that look like she’s got a dog poop bag dispensary on her heels? The face though? Immaculate and those glasses were pretty freaking fabulous.

And now we return to our regularly scheduled leopard print content with Orion Story as a sort of Apocalyptic Peg Bundy

“evening wear” was maybe not the best time to go for the mandible hair accessory but I like that she was at least trying something. The outfit is just a little busy though, there way too many straps going on around her bust which is rather eye boggling and it all seemed to be for the sake of the saddest nip slip you’ve ever seen

again, it’s those damned eyelashes, it’s like she’s doing it at gunpoint, but none of this was quite as sad as June Jambalaya trying to walk down the runway while swamped in gold lamé and tripping every couple of feet and visibly hating every second of it

it’s at least dramatic? It just really needed a slit up the middle and she would have probably been fine. But it does beg the question as to whether she had actually ever tried the outfit on prior to this.

Animal Print Bridal Couture

Given that it’s season fricken 14, you would think that the queens would have learned to take a cursory sewing lesson, you know at least learn how to thread a sewing machine and whatever a bobbin is. June Jambalaya apparently disagrees, proudly announcing “I’m a stylist, not a seamstress” – and in the immortal words of Violet Chachki “If you can’t sew, you’re not a stylist, you’re just a clothing secretary.” and so June spent a lot of her time mostly just badly draping various lurid tiger print fabrics over a mannequin and pretending to tie this necklace on as a shoulderpiece

and so when it came to the runway she attempted to use a bridal cheatcode and just covered the entire bodice with a bouquet that she had absolutely put more thought into than her outfit

it’s a miracle that she didn’t get the infamous “It’s a piece of fabric” critique from Michelle. But June wasn’t the only one that couldn’t sew, no, Kerri is too pretty to sew and so basically just started draping fabric on herself before pulling the old “I AM SASHA COLBY’S DRAG DAUGHTER!” card and using the clout to make Jasmine into her own personal seamstress

Honestly? I fully respect the move – the only thing that would’ve made it even more delicious would’ve been if Kerri landed in the top while Jasmine simmered in safe but Kerrie’s final look was kind of just ok

the tufts of feathers around her arms, the statement necklace and the headscarf that doesn’t really fit the colour story just muddied up what could’ve been a very clean and simple statement outfit.

Orion meanwhile was very happy to be back for the ball considering she sews a lot of her outfits herself, it does however turn out that Orion might only be able to sew one dress because her Viva Rock Vegas Chapel Wedding Dress was very similar to her Sad Bedrock Stripper dress

it is however probably the best constructed dress on the runway – there’s a lot of work in the panelling on the bodice and the fit is phenomenal, but muich like Kerri it’s a little crapped up with the bow on the ass and the limp straps hanging from the shoulders.

The only queen to get a hold of anything white was Bosco, which did unfortunately mean that this funfair snow leopard did meet a grizzly fate

it’s plushy death however was probably mostly worth it given that Bosco’s outfit was kind of great, if not at all even remotely bridal looking

it’s a little more Christmas at the Nasty Boys Saloon than it is My Special Day but I think she did the best with the weird prompt and lack of decent materials they were all given. Alyssa Hunter also went with the more vintage aesthetic

I really love the shape of it and it’s clear she took a lot of time putting it all together, with the really interesting details on the back of the gown

I don’t know if it particularly reads as being made of animal print but the colour palette is very pretty and very reminiscent of her Week 1 runway look.

While most of the queens snapped up the leopard and tiger prints, Kornbread went with the weird purple and blue python skin fabric they’d brought in – you know, perfect for a bridal look! I did at least like her angle of vaguely theming it around the Garden of Eden, mostly by just shoving an apple into the bouquet like it was the Twilight book cover

You see, it’s symbolism, Edward.

Again, it’s as bridal as you can possibly manage when you’ve been given a table of whichever animal print fabrics were in the sale bin at Mood and I think she at least managed to style her look in a really fun and interesting way – it was one of the more cohesive looks of the night.

And lastly we have Willow who was going with the Drag Race favourite of Bitchy Lesbian, because you see, she was wearing pants and looks slightly like Sarah Michelle Geller in Cruel Intentions

given that Willow entered the competition wearing A misspelled tank top and sensible wedged flip flops, I do love the sudden flex that she can look impeccably well styled and just hot as fuck.

Red, White & Blue Ball

Red Hot Resort

Much like the other lot, this group had the biggest struggle with “resort” with a few of them just defaulting to bringing in whichever red dress they owned prior to getting cast on this show – this being most obviously the case with Deja who rocked up in a lovely gown and some more questionable nude illusion netting

but you know, at least her shoulders match her shoes? I think it’s a perfectly lovely gown and I can’t blame her for wanting to wear it but it’s certainly not resortwear in any way, shape or form. I do also imagine that Michelle will bring up the issue with her makeup in a couple of episodes

it’s just a case of a queen not being familiar with painting for TV and she’s getting major flashback from the studio lighting and the pale blue contacts she tends to wear only exacerbates the washed out look.

The most obvious routine for a resort look is always going to be swimwear and I’m surprised we didn’t see more of it with Jasmine being the only person to opt for a bathing suit

but you know, because she is a queen that seems to have been created by the Drag race algorithm, she of course decided to go for a reveal and whipped out a pair of lobster claws for absolutely no reason other than she’s a pageant girl that wants to prove she has some semblance of a personality

I get wanting to make a look interesting and give it a twist but it also needs to make sense, for me this had the same baffling energy as Orion revealing her unnecessary three tits in the first premier episode. It’s a bit of a mess of a look all round to be honest with the fit of the bathing suit looking really frumpy and then of course the great big opera necklace and shawl she had to wear to hide the breast plate seams just cluttering her up. And sometimes simplicity is the best route as Angeria showed with her cute little 60s style baby doll dress

it’s comfortable, it’s chic, it’s resort and she looks divine in it – it’s a little bulky around the neck but I think she’s petite enough to get away with it – I’d have maybe liked to see a more 60s style wig but it could have pushed it into having Michelle calling it “costume-y” territory.

Daya Betty also opted for a baby doll dress but of course made it as weirdly disturbing as she possibly could with this sort of nightmarish Angelica Pickles cosplay

I can’t say it’s my favourite look but I did think her makeup was really fun and interesting

the fact the wig is literally just a clip on fringe and a pair of pigtails really tickled me, the mechanics of it elude me. In other wig related elusions, I was a little surprised that Jorgeous wound up in the top 3 given that during her first look she was actively having to pull her wig back down

but I suppose, at least she managed to keep it on, and the dress was pretty cute

I do think some sleeker hair would’ve been better, this wig feels a little bit like it’s eating her alive.

Lady Camden went for a look that everyone else kept describing as looking like a fortune teller, which isn’t *untrue* once she took off the incredibly large sunglasses

but for whatever reason, once she took those glasses off, the outfit was giving me major Link from The Legend of Zelda vibes

I can’t even really explain why, I keep searching “Link red outfit” and getting NOTHING.

And lastly we have Maddy Morphosis in her homemade jumpsuit that she is very proud of, which at least shows she can sew

I actually thought this was really cute and something about her styling and makeup was very early 2000s rom-com Drew Barrymore to me. Tt’s not the most wildly exciting garment we’ve ever seen and does fall very much into the same pedestrian approach that Willow was going for, it’s just Maddy wasn’t exactly selling it with her tepid bum shaking

she’s obviously still very nervous and finding her feet, as well as being all too aware that she has a massive target on her back so hopefully she’ll manage to find her feet soon because she does have some really, really good drag up her sleeves if her Insta is anything to go by. I mean, a queen that does Sexy Colonel Sanders is a queen after my own heart.

Evening Wear: All In White

I think this category felt a lot more bespoke, mostly because if there’s one thing a drag queen doesn’t have a lot of, it’s white outfits considering they spend so much time in a nightclub next to very drunk people who can barely keep a drink in a glass. The pageant queens however, this category was practically made for them as Angeria showed

God bless her for treating the reveal that it wasn’t a dress but a caped catsuit as some sort of magnificent reveal – but what a magnificent jumpsuit it was. And I do of course love it when the pageant queens wear their earcuffs that either land in the realms of futuristic bluetooth device or tiny little fish fins

I’m afraid it’s the latter for Angeria.

Jasmine went similarly glitzy but rather than the high regal glamour of a full on gown, she came ready to perform her short program to Swan Lake

it’s very pretty but it doesn’t particularly excite me – it’s that particularly personalityless brand of elegance – like the sort of dress some middlingly famous Disney actress wears to the premier of the second series of My Cat’s a Psychic!?

Angeria wasn’t the only one in pants though, with Deja wearing a very lovely white pant suit and wearing a pendant so large it genuinely looked a bit like Iron Man’s power source

at least the flashback matches her suit now.

Jorgeous had a much stronger showing in this category with her Ariana Grande cosplay

she looks pretty phenomenal and I love that she was immediately followed by Lady Camden who looked like she was wearing the same outfit but being worn by that cat on Instagram whose owners dress them up in outfits from the Drag Race runway made out of paper

I think it gets a little busy and messy around her waist, the positioning of the bow just needs a little tweaking, and for that swathe of fabric to maybe fall behind her rather than in the front – but I really love the swirling structure and her accessories.

Having opened the ball with something quite tame and every-day, Maddy went quite theatrical for this category

I really, really love this and I didn’t mind the way she presented it, I thought the poised, stiffness added to the imposing drama of the look – she she could have maybe done with a sceptre to allow her to camp it all up a bit, but I think they read this look a little harshly.

And lastly we have Daya who was basically just dressed as Lady Gaga in American Horror Story, which to be fair is always a fun reference

but if you’re going to do the reference you might as well go the full Vampire Countess and wear the stupid clawed glove and chug a goblet of fake blood – you’ve already eaten a dragonfly, don’t be shy! And I just wish the bottom of the breastplate had been a little better disguised.

Red, White & Blue Bridal Couture

I fully believe this was meant to just be a Blue Bridal runway, but then they realised All Stars 7 had done a Blue runway and they couldn’t afford another 500 plastic cups or off-cut denims, so they just threw in some red and white and called it a day.

Given that Jasmine was busy sewing Kerri into her gown, I did think this was going to go the usual way of the helpful queen getting screwed over in the sewing challenge but she ended up with a very well made dress

As good as the construction is though, those fabrics are truly hideous and make the whole look seem a bit washed out and dated, but not even in a fun referencial way, just a kind of sad way.

Deja on the other hand hit the jackpot with her red brocade fabric that she whipped up into an impressively dramatic and structural gown

and while most of the queens really leaned into the Americana theming, this has a very revolutionary France feel to it with the sashes and the more sombre way she presented it on the runway.

Maddy was leaning the hardest into the whole American wedding thing with the Kentucky bride character that she developed

again, I thought this was cute, the thing is a character-centric look never does particularly well during a Ball Challenge but I really enjoyed this look and thought it was very well made, if perhaps a touch simple – but I am so glad she decided to veto the plans for the hoop skirt because she would have looked like a hot air balloon

I think we’re yet to ever see a hoop skirt used in a sewing challenge ever end particularly well for the queen that uses it.

The hardest task in this challenge was obviously trying to create something even remotely elegant out of the incredibly kitsch fabrics they were given and to be honest, I was pretty floored by what Angeria came up with

both because it’s just immaculately made but also because I thought she had bedazzled a confederate flag onto her torso, like something you’d see on Etsy in 2008… And I’m sure Ru would’ve loved it if it had been a reference to her character Rachel Tensions in To Wong Foo.

Daya Betty’s outfit was also very impressively well made but significantly less beautiful and very much in the Methyd Family of fashion

My favourite thing about this was the fact she said it was inspired by hideous 80s bridesmaid dresses and then also said she was embodying Michelle Visage, which is an absolute clotheslining of a read. However, according to guest judge, Christine Chiu, it was Jorgeous who was giving New Jersey, which is to say she was wearing the most revealing outfit

I really don’t like this, and I don’t think it’s a particularly successful nod to Selena’s outfits, as she was intending. If you’re going to do Selena, you’re gonna need some tits, even to just contour some on. And then there’s the fact this was meant to be bridal, but I’m sure you could get married in the Spearmint Rhino if you really wanted?

Lastly there’s Lady Camden’s whose gown I really like, although I can’t tell if she painted on those stars or if she just managed to get a piece of fabric with a halfway decent print on it

I don’t think it necessarily needed the wire piece circling around her, especially given that she had the exact same element in her white look, but I do much prefer this over Jasmine’s take on a similar silhouette.

And with another mammoth ball over and done with, it was time to find out who was top and bottom, with the judges deciding that Angeria, Willow and Jorgeous were the top three – which visibly gutted Jasmine

Welcome to the Janpocalypse 2: Drag Queen Boogaloo.

While Maddy, June and Orion were all bottoms. I must say, I would have put Daya in the top 3 of Jorgeous – I feel like Jorgeous’s only successful look was her white runway while Daya was kind of strong in all three. As for the bottom 3, I don’t think Orion deserved to be there, especially if they weren’t even going to do it for the gag of having her and June face off against one another again – but it’s difficult because June was kind of the only one that really messed up the challenge.

Despite a strong effort from Angeria, the winner of the ball was Willow, which I’m sure will go down incredibly well with the other queens. As for the bottom 2, it eventually came down to Maddy and June.

I… Don’t Love It

They were lipsyncing to I Love It from Kylie Minogue’s Disco albumn, and let’s just hope it isn’t the only track from that album they’ll bring out this year because truly neither of these two won this lipsync – least of all June who could barely take a step without her dress sliding down to reveal her bra

and of course she learned nothing from her talent show and just kept stopping to yank it up a couple of inches only for it to slide back down with the next inch of movement she did – should’ve kept the bouquet.

Knowing she was in the most peril having been in the bottom 2 previously, June had come prepared with stunts, kind of… she whipped her wig off to reveal a worse wig

Where does one even buy a KJ Apa in Riverdale wig? And then things only got a little sadder as she decided to leave a roadkill runway behind her, just so she could skip around like she was doing I AM Weasel’s victory dance

and her discarded stiletto very nearly took Maddy out like a Louboutin caltrop

it wasn’t a great showing for June after she absolutely bodied the Lizzo song in her premier – she just had no angle with this Kylie song, whereas Maddy in her country fair dress kind of managed to vibe with it a little better and ultimately it’s June who has to sashay away as her bar of chocolate couldn’t even save her

I maintain that she’s one of the prettiest queens we’ve had on the show, but she did seem very unprepared for the competition.

And so, an unlucky 13 queens remain

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