Drag Race, Season 14, Episode 4: Reality TV Ouroboros

And yet it’s still a more correct display of mask wearing than 50% of the people in Tesco on a Saturday morning.

What with not having 42 looks to talk about, I’ve actually managed to get this out on time!

The Great Un-Jasmineing

In the wake of Willow winning the ball, one queen was not in the celebratory mood, as, if you may remember, this was Jasmine’s reaction to be told she was safe

the hope in her eyes that she thought she was going to be in the top while she stood next to Lady Camden in a near identical outfit and then the crushing blow of mediocrity’s boot just obliterating her – this ball was to her, as the Rusical was to Jan and she was *very* upset about being told she was middle of the road

the thing that seemed to upset her most was the fact she “pushed herself so far out of her comfort zone with her resort look” which if you’ll remember was the bathing suit with the needless set of lobster claws – Kornbread’s assessment that Jasmine is “very oatmeal raisin cookie” does make a lot of sense if Jasmine considers dressing up as The Lobster Queen of Maine to be a real reach for herself.

Speaking of Kornbread, she was at her limit with Jasmine, not so much about the fact Jasmine was spiralling because her $600 of sewing lessons hadn’t paid off, but because Jasmine’s idea of a conversation is basically the same as when a parakeet thinks their reflection is another bird.
Kornbread wastes no time in telling Jasmine that the fact she constantly cuts people off when they’re answer her questions, really pisses her off. During which Jasmine obviously cuts Kornbread off, several times. It certainly wasn’t only Kornbread that this was annoying because there was a sharp intake of breath from just about every queen in the room every time Jasmine opened her mouth in the middle of someone else’s sentence. And Jasmine seemed, mostly, receptive to the advice Kornbread gave her, not that it really helped much as Jasmine immediately picked up even more annoying habits.

But you know, by the next day Jasmine was over the whole losing the ball thing…

that look on Willow’s face is both visceral pain and an internal calculation of how much of her winnings she could use to buy Jasmine’s silence.

You Big Tease

With this week’s Mini Challenge seemingly being Try To Have a Conversation With Jasmine Kennedie, we move straight on to the Maxi Challenge in which the queens had to put together their own fake Super Teasers for Season 14, a significant amount of which made it into the real Super Teaser for Season 14 – meaning that everyone who was excited for the talent show that was going to be done in pairs had their hopes thoroughly dashed.

The queens were going to be doing it in teams, with Willow and Maddy being their captains because Willow won and Maddy did slightly less worse in the Kylie Minogue lipsync. Naturally after that morning Jasmine was left until last, which I’m sure did nothing to help the rapid decline of her sanity. This did mean she got to pick her team though and because she suddenly feels like she has a blood debt to Kornbread, she picks Willow’s team which Kornbread so happened to be on, a move Kornbread very much did not appreciate

So the teams were:

Team Willow:
Willow, Kornbread, Camden, Bosco, Kerri, Jorgeous and Jasmine.

Team Maddy:
Maddy, Deja, Daya, Angeria, Alyssa & Orion.

Team Willow

Willow’s angle for the challenge was to draw inspiration from Drop Dead Gorgeous and have each of the queens play extremely exaggerated versions of themselves – which is great but does mean the queens all had to have a very strong sense of self, which is probably why Jorgeous struggled a lot with this challenge with her entire role reduced to a mere reaction shot

and then did absolutely nothing else except have Bosco, who was sublimely playing the role of Post-verbal Nymphomaniac, make a move on her only to ruin her wigline for the rest of the shoot, which might explain the lack of footage

nobody acknowledging Jorgeous’s wigs constantly creeping back like a frightened animal is going to be my villain origin story.

While I thought that the biggest hurdle that this group would have to overcome would be that Jasmine had been to college for Advertising and Marketing, she and Kornbread actually managed to work pretty well together – this was of course after they had worked their way through Jasmine deciding she was going to spend the entire brainstorm session writing down her questions, and then asking them all at the end of the session so that she didn’t interrupt anyone. Unfortunately, not even 5 minutes in and she had written down 10 questions which was the opposite of what everyone wanted

20 Questions with Jasmine Kennedie was the least of Kerri’s problems though as Willow was only all too keen to paint herself like a garden gnome that had been dropped in sulfuric acid

and Kerri Colby, unsurprisingly, does not do ugly – I can almost believe she has it written in her contract that she will not be filmed in half drag considering she was filming a scene with Jasmine and Kornbread at the makeup mirror, who looked like this

and Kerri looked like this

and not to mention when the teaser proudly proclaimed “And more ugly crying than ever before!” during which Kerri looked mildly repulsed while everyone else really went for it

I can fully understand it though, not that I’m a particularly beautiful transwoman but I *try* my best, I can certainly identify with her obvious fear of not being seen as pretty or glamorous because that’s a point of attack that’s constantly used against transwomen, and I imagine the last thing Kerri wants is a screenshot or a meme of her looking anything less than absolutely stunning to haunt her for the next year. And all of this certainly impacted her performance as you could see the cogs turning during her big fight scene when she just couldn’t deliver the line “A queen only a mother could love!” with any impact at all – mostly because she was trying to give her very expensive 42 inch wig its appropriate amount of screen time

but I did think her scenes at the mirror were really good – her delivery of “My ears are bleeding!” was delightfully campy and her whole bit about apologising to Jorgeous because she wasn’t as pretty as Kerri was… well, not acting, but I do think her playing that character and doing it so well, did show a lot of self-awareness which I, personally, felt was a big component of this challenge.

Much like Jorgeous, Lady Camden also suffered in the edit with most of her scenes getting left on the cutting room floor – not that I blame them, her undercover Brit as country bumpkin American didn’t seem to have much more of an angle than that. And they had to make as much room for Willow to completely mop the floor with everyone else as she played a character that thought she was going on The Bitchelor and then proceeded to search for Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman while looking like someone had dressed their pet iguana up as Villanelle

and her wailing “I NEED LOVE!” is easily one of the season’s highlights

and with Willow going high, Kornbread knew she had to go higher – and obviously the only way to do this was to draw from Silky’s iconic out of the blue meltdown in Untucked when she ripped off her very obvious reveal because SHE WAS READY TO LIPSYNC, SHE WAS READY TO DO SO! Unfortunately for Kornbread, she didn’t really find a more creative angle for it than just to have her whip out food from every pocket imaginable. I am glad that Loni Love brought up that she doesn’t have to immediately go for the food and the fat jokes – because there quite a few throughout their teaser. But that isn’t to say I didn’t find her taking some clingfilm wrapped porkchops out from under her wig

which was almost as funny as Michelle watching Kornbread somehow managing to film the entire chaotic scene in a single take

she was a completely unstoppable freight train of scrounged Craft Service food.

Team Maddy

While the other team had used the Silky Moment as a reference, Maddy’s team was leaning much more heavily into the Drag Race references, because as we know Drag Race is a reality TV ouroboros that will one day consumes itself entirely. Their big set piece being a recreation of Shangela’s infamous Sugar Daddy Monologue with “sugar daddy” swapped out for “meaty tuck”. The task of delivering it however was given to possibly the least effective people, with Orion Story playing the role of Shangela and seemingly stuffing her tights with rocks

which meant Alyssa had the dishonour of playing Mimi, but sadly wasn’t choosing to recreate Mimi-s nightmarish mouth-eyes

and was instead dressed as a sort of Candyland Yara Sofia Nightmare

because you see, Alyssa was *very* hung up on wanting to play into the trope of “the crazy Latina” (her words) and everyone else, probably rightfully so, wanted no part in giving that the greenlight. I think the biggest shame is that Alyssa brought up her coming out story, in which her father found her gay porn internet history which prompted him to come out to her and I think they could really have mined some comedy gold out of bonding with your father over a google image search for “big dicks”. But the team did already have a coming out joke in the form of Maddy, who for some reason was dressed like Snow White and Popeye’s lovechild

came out as straight to her liberal dads who then disowned her – unfortunately none of that made the final edit and so we had this random cut to Daya screaming “I’M STRAIGHT TOO!” with absolutely no set-up or pay off and it then being the only contribution Daya made to the whole thing. I assume it’s because I’m pretty sure that it was a joke from Glee and they don’t want a repeat of Brooklyn Heights taking credit for the Level 5 vegan joke she stole from The Simpsons. Drag Race is in no hurry to burn bridges with Ryan Murphy until they’ve managed to convince Sarah Paulson to guest judge.

Maddy didn’t suffer at the hands of the Editing Gods quite as much as Jorgeous and Lady Camden did with her at least getting to badly cartwheel into the Werk Room

and then getting to take part in lassoing Deja who was dressed as a cow that looks like its been gazing into the Nietzschean Abyss for a little too long and was somehow a better and more fully realised character than the cheer instructor she played in the talent show

and now every time I close my eyes all I see is Deja, as the Abyssal Bovine, floating across the background of this scene

I’m glad the editors at least had fun.

Deja got a lot of airtime in this teaser, appearing in both the scene in which she and Angeria recreated the “I AM FROM CHICAGO!” fight, the star turn as The Cow that Listens to Evanescence on repeat at 4 in the morning and of course the Trauma Mirror chat in which she opens up about her emotional struggles

that line KILLED ME – I can’t say I was particularly fond of the Untucked fight she did, but Deja talking very seriously about having been born at a very young age was pretty great, as was her walking into the Werk Room and asking if this was the audition for AJ and The Queen, mere months after it was cancelled by Netflix

It does indeed take nerve.

And while Deja chewed up the scenery, her scene partner, Angeria, managed to match her energy surprisingly well for someone that’s never done anything like this before, I’m not sure it was quite the star turn that the judges made out in the critique and I’m not sure I would have put her in the top, but I did get a real kick out of her screaming “THIS IS NOT RUPAUL’S SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY RACE!” and I do wish they hadn’t made her say “I am from Florida!” because I enjoyed the absurdity of “I AM FROM BETHLEHEM!”.

How J-Lo Can You Go?

The runway theme this week was Night of 1000 J-Los – I’m not normally a fan of these Diva themed runways, I’d much rather see the queens getting to be more creative but I think J-lo has such a diverse range of looks in so many different aesthetics, that this worked significantly better than some have in the past. I can also only assume that the queens have to clear their chosen looks prior to the show because somehow we didn’t end up with 13 queens all wearing the infamous Versace dress – although none of them would have stood a chance against Kerri was wearing the actual dress itself

and looking pretty damn phenomenal, as she naturally would – truly there are no complaints about this, she did what had to be done and we thank her for her service.

I was a little disappointed that so many of the looks were from within the last 5 years, with the only queen to throw it back to the 90s being Willow Pill, because of course Willow would want to wear the dress that looks like one of those popcorn shirts had a baby with a Jenny Packham gown

but I get that when you read “Night of 1000 J-los” your immediate reaction is probably “OH MY GOD! Jennifer Lopez is going to be a guest judge!?” and you probably don’t really want to remind her of the napkin top era or the brief spell in ’98 that she kept wearing stetsons for. I do wonder if Willow would have said she chose this looks “because it’s kinda ugly” if Jennifer had been there though, because I’d have just crowned her there and then if she had.

With Jennifer being a pretty staple guest at the Met Gala, we were treated to two of her looks by Kornbread & Angeria – who both rightfully opted for 2 of the better themes. Kornbread reviving her Heavenly Bodies look from 2018

It’s a very good reconstruction of the look – I do think she could have afforded to give her wig a little more height, with the dark roots and the slicked backness of it, it’s squashing her slightly.

Angeria went for the ever divisive Camp Met Gala where everyone, by default, kind of failed the assignment on the basis that camp should be unintentional to feel truly authentic (sorry to revive the awful 2019 discourse) – but you know, Jennifer Lopez’s jewel encrusted outfit was an excellent choice for the Drag Race runway

I can’t even begin to imagine how heavy the whole thing was – between the metric tonne of stones she’s covered in and the great big honking breastplate.

Expectations were running particularly high for Jorgeous who apparently once won a Jennifer Lopez look-a-like competition, but sadly hasn’t yet been invited to Jennifer Lopez’s birthday to personally wish Jennifer happy birthday while, she, someone half Jennifer’s age, is dressed as Jennifer Lopez… That fake story of Carmen Carrera’s is one of my favourite anecdotes of all times. They did however choose to illustrate Jorgeous’s success with a picture that made her look as unlike Jennifer as they possibly could

but her runway effort this week was much better

It’s a cute performance number and she nailed the hair and makeup, but if you’re going to go this simple you kind of do have to make sure that you’ve got the nude illusion absolutely nailed. But I loved that she proudly declared “And I’m doing some of Jennifer’s actual choreography!” and then most of it just being jumping up and down and waving her arms – but I was impressed with how deftly she skipped down the runway in her heels though

oh to be even *half* that nimble in a 4 inch stiletto.

Daya also went for one of her 2020 Super Bowl looks, mostly because it’s probably Jennifer’s only even vaguely punk-isk looking outfit

given that THIS is how Jennifer dressed for the Punk themed Met Gala, you can see why Daya was a little limited on this assignment

the polite smokey eye and the nude lip paired with a glam mohawk being as punk as Jennifer Lopez will ever go <3

I’m assuming there must have been a stipulation that they weren’t allowed to do a fictional character played by Jennifer Lopez because not a single queen came dressed as J-Lo in Hustlers, which would have been an absolute SERVE of a look

damn you Drag race clearance lawyers!

Bosco also struggled a little bit to make jennifer Lopez fit with her personal aesthetic – she hasn’t ever really had a Vintage Pin-up Phase, so Bosco made do with seemingly just gluing a pair of balloons to her chest, calling them tits and doing the Marchesa dress from the 2009 Golden Globes

Look, I’m just happy there was a semblance of tit and I think she looks pretty great – the makeup was still VERY Bosco with just a little more bronzer than usual, which did weirdly make her face kind of lion-like, and a little bit like the makeup for the Beast in the 1987 TV series Beauty and The Beast in which Beast lives in the sewers of New York

the judges were actually quite lenient with interpretation for once – I still think about Brita getting roasted by Michelle because she was wearing button earrings when Michelle had worn drop earrings as though it was an unforgivable sin. I guess it helped that Jennifer wasn’t there. I was surprised that they let Deja get away with such a big change to the outfit she was doing

choosing to ditch the tights that made Jennifer look like she was suffering from a really bad case of measles was probably for the best, but when most of the look was about the statement Versace print cape, having it changed for a plain blue drape with some shoulder details feels a little like we’re being shortchanged. But her makeup certainly worked better this time and was a lot less glaringly reflective.

The most up-to-date outfit came from Maddy who continues her run of wearing pants on the runway as she recreated the Biden inauguration outfit, which I really liked

and is a very faithful recreation of the original look.

Alyssa also went with a stark white outfit, taking the gangster inspired look she wore to the 2018 Billboard Awards for her inspiration

I always think this look came from the mid-2000s and not a mere 4 years ago, there’s a certain energy about it – and much like the original look did come with the corset reveal

I’m a big fan of the diamante tie that she added – it gives me hope we’ll one day have A Night of 1000 Avril Lavignes.

Jasmine wasn’t apparently going to be pushing herself too far out of her comfort zone this week, sadly Jennifer Lopez doesn’t tend to dress up as a crustacean, so she showed up in the very pretty Michael Cinco dress from the 2018 AMAs

I have coveted this dress ever since she wore it and I think Jasmine did it justice – I’m not sure on the makeup though, she clearly tried to do the bronzing technique that Jennifer Lopez’s makeup artist is riding all the way to the bank, but I’m not sure it worked on Jasmine’s very pale skin – it’s somehow made her look simultaneously very angular and very soft – a bit like an Aardman character and, in all fairness, she is giving Mrs. Tweedy from Chicken Run realness

and while I thought Jasmine would easily have the most glamorous look on the runway, Orion kind of mopped the floor with everyone (who wasn’t literally wearing Jennifer Lopez’s Versace dress) with her recreation of the Zuhair Murad dress she wore in 2013

I LOVE this – the colour is phenomenal and the fact Orion handmade this, including hand-stoning the vine-like effect deserves a lot of recognition that I’m not sure she’s getting.

And lastly we have Lady Camden who was wearing the Ralph Lauren outfit Jennifer Lopez wore when she received her Fashion Icon award at the CFDAs in 2019 and yet somehow looked a lot more like Barbara Eden as Jeannie than Jennifer Lopez (and still somehow looking like a video game character I still cannot place)

she at least looks good though, It’s not my personal favourite J-lo outfit but as far as recreating it, Lady Camden did a pretty stellar job at it.

A J-Lo Runway Ranking

  1. Kerri Colby’s Versace Cheat Code
  2. Orion’s Craftsmanship
  3. Angeria is a Camp Queen
  4. Willow Pill Braving The 90s
  5. Alyssa Throwing Money At the Wall
  6. Maddy’s Cinematic Pants Universe
  7. Jasmine’s Pretty Dress
  8. Lady Camden Dreams of Jenny From The Block
  9. Kornbread’s Catholic Jennifer
  10. Daya’s Only Option
  11. Bosco’s Lionine Balloon Boobs
  12. Deja’s Slightly Less Dramatic Cape
  13. Jorgeous’s Perfectly Fine Performance Outfit

I didn’t really agree with a fair bit of the judging this episode. The tops being Angeria, Deja and Willow and the bottom three being Alyssa, Kerri and Kornbread. As much as I enjoyed Angeria’s performance in the Teaser, I’m not sure it was anything particularly special and I honestly would have put Maddy in the top over her – or even Bosco who had really great characterisation and delivered some very funny lines with pitch perfect comic timing. I was surprised that Willow wasn’t given the win again but, even despite by misgivings, Angeria wins – mostly because of her runway outfit, I think.

As for the bottom 3, I don’t think I’d have put either Kerri or Kornbread in the bottom, I think what they delivered in the end was actually quite good, whereas Daya and Jorgeous contributed absolutely nothing whatsoever and neither of them had particularly great runway outfits. As for Alyssa, I do think she was probably the weakest overall, I had expected them to drag Orion into the bottom 2 purely because she was Alyssa’s scene partner, but you know, at least Orion had somewhat of a redemption by rather grossly making out with her own reflection

whereas Alyssa just… did not a lot and was in prime position to have the Drag Race Narrative Bus run her down so that they could send a warning to Kerri to stop relying on being pretty and for Kornbread to maybe find some new angles. As for the eventual bottom 2, it comes down to a face off between Kerri and Alyssa.

Hit Play

I think we all knew this was going to end in an inevitable Alyssa Hunter elimination the moment she was in the bottom 3 with Kerri and Kornbread – you’re not going to send Sasha Colby’s drag daughter home second and Kornbread is a walking meme machine. And I think most of the reasoning behind Kerri being in the bottom was so that the show could say they’ve had the infamous Jennifer Lopez dress worn during a lipsync on the show – that’s some pretty good clout.

However, The Infamous Versace Dress being on the stage did somewhat inhibit Kerri’s performance – she does have a deposit to get back – and what she gave was cute but quite lacklustre

whereas Alyssa was giving it her all, she didn’t care about getting dirt all over those white pants

and I do think Alyssa absolutely won this lipsync, as much as the edit focused on Kerri, Alyssa really performed the hell out of the song and I don’t think the flaccid money gun was reason enough to say that she lost , as much as the comedic record scratch they played over it tried to insist it was.

In the end though, they, do decide that it was Alyssa’s time to sashay away

and by “they” – I do mean the bar of chocolate and the comedic saxophone fart.

I’m happy that we still have Kerri in the competition but I do think Alyssa got done dirty – there is no way in Hell that she’s the filler queen they’ve made her out to be.

And so, 12 queens remain…

Leave a Reply