Drag Race, Season 14, Episode 14: Reptilian Cybergoth

Category is: Deckchair Realness.

Welcome to the Fauxnaly of RuPaul’s Decision Avoidancy Race.

Doing the Math

Most of the Pre-challenge amble is consulting BenDeLaCreme’s All Star Abacus to see who has the most wins with Bosco leading the pack at 3 wins but haunted by an elimination while Angeria and Lady Camden tie in at second with a pair of wins each (but really Angeria could have won all of the challenges in the first half of the season) but most surprising is Willow lagging at the back with only the one win, joint with Daya who also has one and like Bosco is haunted by an elimination that weirdly nobody ever brings up? But it doesn’t completely count Willow out, because after all Yvie Oddly won with only a single win.

Catwalk, Dogfight

We don’t get a Mini Challenge this week because as it’s the final the queens instead have to try their best to survive the RuPaul and Michelle Visage Trauma Mining Special and I’m afraid I tuned out of it the moment they started comparing Bosco being saved by the chocolate bar to Born-again Christianity without a trace of humour. Also Angeria is absolutely not winning and you know it from the moment she said “My family is very supportive.” but I shall preemptively congratulate her on being Miss Congeniality. and thus £10,000 richer. Unless all the queens decide to vote for Alyssa Hunter for doing them all a favour and getting eliminated so she didn’t thoroughly upstage them on the runway – we love a charitable queen.

The final Maxi Challenge is, as ever, the RuPaul music video performance although this one does come with the extra challenge of having to design their music video dance outfit – which a designer would sew for them, which was the most merciful move the franchise has made since giving Jan the win for the All Stars 6 SuperBowl challenge over Trinity. It did mean we got my favourite part of any Sewing Challenge though: the concept drawings, although disappointingly they were rather competent

none of them quite reached the lofty highs of Elektra Shock’s Kangaroo Assassin or Cheryl Hole’s handless self-portrait

and then most of them turned out fine but Daya really kind of snapped on this one, she looked SO DAMN GOOD in her Betty Page inspired look

I don’t entirely understand the black latex around her neck which muddled the silhouette of the hair a little bit, but I can forgive it.
I also really liked Camden’s sort of reptilian Cybergoth look which if I could change anything, I would just make her wear a really obnoxiously big bellybutton piercing

I’m not sure it really suited the vibe of the music video or the song, it was just a little harsh but she looked good and she was certainly doing it for Daya again

but not all of the outfits could be winners because Bosco ended up dressed like a bootleg Power Ranger

I don’t quite get the “intergalactic space mom” that Willow Pill kept saying she looked like. I just have to wonder if they were given any sort of brief other than the fact “You have to be able to dance in it and the contestants on RuPaul’s Sweatshop Race can make it in 10 hours.” because all of them were kind of just dance outfits, none more so than Angeria

I’m not sure it needed the glittery shoulders and they didn’t look great while she was dancing and I have a theory that that was why she didn’t crawl along the runway as Michelle hinted with all the directness of a cryptic crossword but I’m kind of glad she didn’t because Betty’s whole pin-up vibe suited the move A LOT more

and then for some reason they didn’t use very much of it during the actual music video.

Out of all of the queens, I think Willow had the most fashionable looking outfit and I really liked the layering of it

But I did love the fact they had to have Michelle very loudly and pointedly ask if it was Willow’s silhouette on the top and not a very badly rendered lightning bolt because if they hadn’t, I’m not sure if anybody would have realised. Also, where is the scene of Willow having to have Angeria trace her face onto a piece of paper for the designer?
But while Willow’s outfit was cute enough, her performance in the music video was a little lacking and very Dua Lipa at the 2018 BRIT Awards

I can’t really blame her for looking a little lost though because for some unknown reason they started the choreography session as a rehearsal and then Michelle, like a Barnacle Goose leading its goslings off a cliff to teach them to fly just announced that it wasn’t a rehearsal and they’ll be doing it for real GOOD LUCK! So with that fuckery in mind, I think everyone did pretty damn well to at least not fall off the runway and keep their lipsyncs to their verses relatively on time.

Speaking of their verses – they were for the most part pretty standard Drag Race – although not a single one of them used the word “crown” which is one for the record books but Lady Camden did teach us to spell

tell me you ran out of ideas for lyrics without telling me you ran out of ideas for lyrics. But props for her for getting “pas de Bourree” in there.

I would have been interested in hearing them record their verses because I was *quite* alarmed when it went out from RuPaul’s first verse into Bosco’s and somehow Bosco sounded EXACTLY like RuPaul? But it might have just been the fact she was simply talking… God bless RuPaul, he was putting NO effort in and was going to be damned before bothering to get into drag for it and instead opted for Pitbull realness

and for no reason at all was dressed suspiciously similar to the hot guy the queens had to all have a little dance with

You can’t fool us RuPaul.

I think my favourite of the verses was Willow’s, although I hate that she really leant into the whole “it’s not a big pill, it’s a wiwwow pill” thing. But what I appreciated was that her outfit kind of suited her lyrics the best with her nods to the Matrix

which I think was my biggest problem with Lady Camden who was dressed like someone had edited a velociraptor into this gif

and was then referencing ballet and doing very balletic moves.

Angeria’s was probably the most generic verse and sounded like it could have been dropped into any RuPaul song and it would have matched perfectly and then Daya’s was just kind of nonsense? Or at least I keep thinking about the lyric “I shove a safety pin through it and I stand real tall” but at least she looked good saying it?

Best Drag

The final runway was as it always is: a call to wear your best and biggest gown and a final opportunity to really hammer home your brand ahead of Live Lipsync-a-thon Final where you’re going to crowned in a dance outfit because they never seem to think ahead of that.

Bosco was first down the runway in a sort of Art Deco, Golden Age of Hollywood gown that did bear a certain similarity to the rose dress she wore for her talent show performance in the first episode 3 years ago

but it might be because she’s just wearing the same hair and doing the same makeup – which I don’t mind and I do, for the most part, like her gown. The sort of nude, sheer fabric she used for the dress didn’t lend itself well to being corseted and something a little stiffer up top would’ve worked better. But I really loved the drape around her waist, I just maybe wish that it was a little more aesthetic at the back

but she tried her damnedest to cheat it away from the camera and she seemed to at least hide it from the judges.

Angeria was next and… forgive me but I really didn’t like this, not that I actively hated it, I just don’t get it as your final, big fuck-off gown

I think my biggest issue is the proportions of it all – the ruffles on top are far too overwhelming and kind of textureless – I think if one of the band of ruffles had been bedazzled at the edges it might have broken it up a bit – or lean in to the kind of Cruella vibe and have one of them be a white ruffle. But it’s the skirt that bothers me the most, the tulle at the bottom starts about 2 inches too high which makes it look a little bulky and limp, had it started lower the tulle would’ve flared out more and given her that divine sort of Morticia Addams silhouette and she could have slithered down that runway in all her glam-goth glory. But I really like the hair and the fascinator and for once I don’t feel like Angeria’s shoulders and her earrings are having a gladiatorial battle, but I do have a question: is she wearing two different sets of eyelashes because her eyes are WILD to me

and it’s giving me….

I always have quite high expectations for the pageant queens when it comes to this final runway and I just don’t think this was Angeria at her best – if anything she should have kept the red gown she wore in the first episode for this runway

that’s easily in my Top 10 looks of the season.

Daya was next and easily had my favourite look of the episode – she was on top form

although I did have to roll my eyes at her acting like she had invented the side bustle – but the look is damn cool and very much reminded me of Katya’s finale gown from All Stars 2

Aristocrats that burn together, stay together.

I did think the gown could’ve been a little more charred because it did read a little more Swiss Cheese than burnt at times which was quite funny considering Willow was dressed as a mouse. I did also like that she toned down her makeup for this runway because she could have easily really overdone it, but the simplicity and almost starkness of it really helps the sort of 18th Century French aristocrat aesthetic

I did also for a while think the fascinator was made out of cigarettes and I was very relieved to learn that it wasn’t – that might’ve been a gimmick too far.

I was very interested to see how Lady Camden would do this runway given that her aesthetic is a little hard to pin down – she came in proudly declaring that she loved that London punk scene, having named herself after Camden, and then most of her runways have leaned more towards being very campy or glam, which continued into her finale gown

I do really love this though – the detail and texture on it is stunning and I’m not sure the runway lighting did it enough justice. I did also love the fact she said her inspiration was the Disney princesses but she had to really mumble the word “Disney”, or someone in the editing department really garbled it in the mix because VH1 is not risking an Elsa-based lawsuit.
I do have to admire her earlobe strength, because these might rival the Stargate portals that Kahmora Hall hung from her earlobes last season

and I appreciate that she didn’t add a necklace and had her hair scraped back to show them off. Also, the makeup was stunning – that statement red lip always works with a pastel colour palette and the perfectly matched powder blue eyeshadow was *chef’s kiss – I truly have no notes.

And lastly we have Willow serving us some Mary Mouse from Cinderella realness

I LOVE THIS and I adore the sheer audacity to walk the final runway dressed as a mouse for absolutely no reason other than the fact she wanted to. But as much as I do love this, I do wish there was a little more to the actual dress – even if it had just been a pink-ish bow at the back to vaguely allude to a tail and maybe to distract a little bit from the canyon of disinterest between the corseted top and the skirt. I just found it a little odd that the one pop of colour were the red gloves, as cute as they are

but as far as character makeup goes, I think this is extremely successful and well done – I was slightly disappointed that nobody made the VERY OBVIOUS Mean Girls reference though

and yet RuPaul will eliminate someone on the grounds they didn’t know how to pronounce Frances Jolie’s name.

A Final Gown Runway Ranking

  1. Daya’s Grilled Cheese Realness
  2. She’s a Mouse, Duh.
  3. Lady Camden’s Non-descript Ice Princess
  4. Bosco’s Gonna Bosco
  5. Angeria’s Funereal Ruffles

It was an interesting turn of events and coming into this episode I feel like the only queen they could really have eliminated was Daya Betty. Because they kind of had to keep Bosco to not render Hershey’s Christ a completely moot stunt and then Camden did really well in the challenge and Daya kind of knocked it out of the park and in, my extremely humble opinion, probably should have been the winner over Camden? Which did mean that Willow and Angeria were the only possible bottom 2, and the moment that happened I knew how this would pan out because in no way were they going to get rid of either of the fan-favourites.

Broken Telephones

I can’t quite believe we’ve made it through 12 season of Drag Race since its release before getting a lipsync to Telephone by Lady Gaga because it is SUCH a good lipsync song – I’m just not sure this was the best episode for it considering both Willow and Angeria were in quite cumbersome gowns and so Angeria had to resort to a lot of… literally being on the telephone

but I did love that she mimed closing a flip phone

the Motorola Razr nostalgia really jumped out.

Willow’s gown was a little more forgiving and if anything made her hip gyration look that much better

this is a gateway drug to furrydom.

But she was still having to pick up and carry her skirt around for a large portion of the lipsync and then ultimately deciding to really go for it and honour us with a Tia Kofi brand Knee Slam

at least the skirt must have provided at least a modicum of protection?

I’m not quite sure this lipsync reached the lofty high that the show wanted us to believe that it did and I found Angeria and Willow “sharing the spotlight” to be… not good. I think the last 20 seconds of the lipsync were actually a bit of a mess but for the most part I do think Willow pretty firmly won it, or at least gave the more interesting performance. But ultimately Ru decides that it was a double save but for some reason calls Angeria first? Which really sucked the suspense out of the decision

I’m fine with it – I really like both Willow and Angeria, I just wish the decision to keep both of them had come after a lipsync that felt like it deserved it rather than the avoidance of fan backlash because the editing of the end was some All Stars 4 double win awkwardness – whoever stitched it all together deserves no awards.

Going in to the final, I think the only two possible winners are Willow and Bosco – I only discount Camden and Angeria because I feel like their edits haven’t felt like a winner’s edit – they’ve not really had any obstacles to overcome (other than Camden being cursed with The Non-existent British Lip). And Daya is far too valuable to them as an All Stars asset – she’s basically Drama in a can.
But as for who I think will win between Bosco and Willow, I think Willow will take it – I think she’ll pull out some good surprises in her lipsyncs (assuming they’re doing the full lipsync shebang) and I think it would be narratively fulfilling to see her wearing that crown given everything she’s talked about during the season.

So next week is the Reunion and I’m on holiday, so there probably wont be a full recap, but if the queens get to show off their looks beyond just sitting down, I will whip up a fashion recap – anything more in depth depends on how dramatic the Reunion gets which judging by the relationships between the queens, will not be anything explosive.

So, we have our Top 5!

One thought on “Drag Race, Season 14, Episode 14: Reptilian Cybergoth

  1. Jo

    I think Camden and Willow are the final two and deserve it more than Bosco who’s been a bit uneven and not that versatile with her looks or makeup. Shame Angeria has petered out in the second half as I thought she was a shoe-in at the beginning.

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