Drag Race All Stars 7, Episode 9: Lovely Moodboard, Beautiful Moodboard

Actual footage of me trying to survive this heatwave.

Welcome to the Social Media episode where we will be making videos for unspecified video sharing platform!

The Secret Circle

In lieu of any actual drama because everyone saw Jaida’s blocking coming from three miles away (I still think it’s pointless blocking a clear and obvious finalist) instead the queens focused on causing Raja as much psychic damage as they possibly could by keeping the mysterious Plunger Secret facade going

and while Raja spun out, Shea sat on the other side of the room being terrible at mental arithmetic and having a crisis as she seemed to have somehow not realised how far into the competition they were

and just because I want to mention it, Yvie looked like someone had angrily thrown a bowl of spaghetti at an ostrich

and Jinkx is, as ever, a big old mood.

Dance Like Nobody’s Watching!

This week’s challenge was for the queens to create a “social media dance challenge video” however the emphasis was very much on SOCIAL MEDIA and much less so on dance challenge – which certainly benefited certain queens more than others, but either way it swung Raja was a fish out of water considering her aversion to moving her body in anyway that isn’t a languid strut and her social media presence which is basically moths coming out of a wallet

and I’ll be honest, the only thing I really remember about Raja’s challenge this whole episode was everyone giving her suggestions of what she should do

and then she just didn’t take any of them and I really cannot even remember her video from one moment to the next – it’s like she became the Neuralyzer from Men in Black, I just remember the overwhelming feeling of discomfort and wishing it would end – which clearly the judges felt too because they offered a single line about the video before lavishing praise upon her Lisa Frank sticker of a Poison Ivy costume. All she really had to do, was give a really, really good runway walk – go the full J. Alexander, I mean they had given her Glamazon has her song for a reason… which did make the end of her video quite funny

I would be interested to know how the songs got chosen because some had ones that suited them very well and others were just kind of handed a randomly chosen song and told to deal with it.

Shea definitely got the most shafted by the fact this was actually a branding challenge because the Shea Coule√© brand is kind of just poised regality, which always translates very well to a runway but much less so a social media-style video that needs a little more personality and flare, and going the full Alvin Ailey dance instructor with it was a cute idea, I’m not sure she pushed it far enough and she kind of just gave us a full on dance tutorial while dressed like she was in the Ronald McDonald dance troupe

but I do think she had the best dance and it would genuinely play well to a TikTok audience and the synchronised walk off really reminded me of that gang of black-clad New Yorkers who like to march around like the yassified Amish

but she could have probably spent more time working on making the character behind the routine a little more fun rather than making a lovely moodboard, beautiful moodboard

it’s the “Approachable, upbeat, fun, butter” at the bottom for me.

Jaida was in a bit of the same predicament as Shea, but I think it’s more because Jaida hasn’t established herself as much in eyes of the Drag Race fandom because of the fact she won in the midst of a global pandemic, and I’m not entirely sure I got much Jaida from it so much as I did a revisiting of her pig character from the Fairytale Court (post-snout job obviously)

I mean she looks GREAT, if I ever get trapped in a featureless void I would like to be dressed thusly, and I did get a good laugh out of her pretending to be distressed by the paparazzi around her

and I was a little bit sad that her desperately trying to drink a martini without spilling it and ruining her makeup didn’t make the final cut of the routine

I do love that Jaida declared her brand is this sort of rich and glamorous woman who doesn’t do much and then only a few weeks ago had a whole verse in a song about explosive diarrhea – she’s an enigma to me and I find her fascinating.

Monet started out on a rocky road with her initial pitch being an Oscar baiting personal drama about wanting to seduce your ex at the club by not being too interested in him thus making you want him more (Lenny Abrahamson to direct), but sadly before she could sell the rights to Warner Bros. RuPaul (correctly) nipped the idea in the bud and instead pointed out her name sounds like Money and that’s what branding is (we’ll get to Trinity and The Vivienne in a moment) and so Monet’s idea evolved into being a song about getting paid

which given her song was Freaky Money begs the question as to why this wasn’t her first option? Unless you’re tell me they edit this show to make RuPaul seem like much more of a sage advisor than he actually probably is?

but it does behoove you to take any advice or hint from RuPaul that she gives you – even if she can’t eliminate you for ignoring it, which The Vivienne certainly did too as RuPaul complimented her on the clever wordplay *checks notes* “The Viveo” and boy did she really run with it

and as much as she made sure we all knew she was The Vivienne, I was getting a lot more Baga Chipz energy from the whole thing

she should’ve tossed a rotisserie chicken roll in there just to seal the deal

I am still trying to emotionally process the ending of the UK Vs The World Snatch Game – truly one of the wildest 10 minutes of Drag Race ever committed to film.

Trinity also very much went for the “My name is my brand” approach and themed her whole dance around tucking, which I get but I think that would’ve probably suited a branding challenge that involved selling a physical product much better, I’m not quite sure it entirely translated to a social media-esque “dance” challenge

which for some reason she was conducting in her best Caitlyn Jenner voice. But I did like that she was at least very self-aware and META with the whole thing, because after all duct tape is not a personality trait, so she needed to inject some personality in from somewhere

I think a fair few of the other queens could have done with drawing more from that well.
But I think my favourite part of the whole thing was how confused one of her backing dancers was by his duct tape

I’m willing to bet ¬£20 he calls it Duck Tape.

While Trinity really leaned hard into the farce of it all, Yvie conducted her video with a level of sincerity that genuinely reminded me of a church youth group leader, which did make her whole “WEIRD ANGSTY TEENS DANCE WITH ME” video come across a bit “Hello, fellow kids”

but given that she began the challenge by sitting in the corner looking like a traumatised child

nailed the branding, I guess?

Sadly her dance wasn’t quite as daring as she could have been – I would’ve loved her to go the whole centipede contortionist act and then just cut to her backing dancers all writhing about in chiropractic pain, because after all, much like KFC her brand is bonelessness

but she was also having to use Lick It Lollipop as her song which really doesn’t have a very inspiring beat at all, so I can see why she settled for something a little safer.

And lastly we have Jinkx who spent absolutely no time working on choreography and instead dedicated her Werk Room time to developing the Monsoon Method of competitive eating

she’s certainly no Takeru Kobayashi, that’s for sure but I do admire her dedication to making sure she could make and shove a peanut butter sandwich into her gob in only 4 bars of a song. Which did mean the Dance Challenge had an astonishing lack of dance, but it was definitely very Jinkx with her channeling a mix of Amy Poehler in Mean Girls and Jennifer Coolidge in Legally Blonde

I wish there had been a little more rhythm to it, kind of (and forgive for I am about to sin) maybe channel a little bit of Anna Kendrick doing Cups with it, just to meet the vaguer end of the challenge a little more.
I am surprised that Ru could bring herself to compliment Jinkx’s video given it is a well known fact that RuPaul does not enjoy the sight of someone eating but All Winners rules are All Winners rules and Thou Shalt Not Negatively Critique a Queen (Unless Her Wig Is HORRIBLE) – not that I think Jinkx deserved negative critiques, except for the fact she didn’t put any jelly on her sandwiches – I guess it was either the jar of jam or the chestload of milk

that really gave me the heaves – I never want to see someone doused in milk ever again.

Reveal Yourself!

This week’s runway theme was all about reveals as the queens found themselves the victim of the increasingly absurd amount of reveals expected from a single outfit – you would think after how the All Stars 5 reveal runway went, they would have maybe just called this category off and allowed queens to work in reveals into other runways if they feel like it.

And the category didn’t get off to a brilliant start as Shea walked out in a big old coat

and very quickly you knew where this was going as she shrugged it off to reveal… another coat

I do wish the second chiffon one had maybe disguised the gown beanth it a little more, it’s not much of a reveal if you know exactly what’s coming

it’s a beautiful colour, but the top of it doesn’t even remotely fit her but she did at least have the fun ass reveal as an element of surprise

and in the grand tradition of All Stars 7 Hyperbole, Michelle was completely blown away by it

I mean there’s the small issue of the fact Detox has worn 2 assless gowns

and Trinity’s red pleather look wasn’t exactly unassless

God bless the judges and their selective memories.

Jaida did then come after Shea and pretty much prove me totally wrong about the category being a little tired, although my heart did sink even further when she waddled out in her Disney’s Frozen branded Body Bag

but she executed this category absolutely perfectly with each outfit representing a different season – Winter was probably was the weakest of the lot, but Spring was a close second worst – the fabrics are really quite ugly and it looks a bit like she’s in a community theatre production of Don Bluth’s Thumbelina

and then she started transitioning into summer and I got VERY excited because she whipped out this headpiece from somewhere and I honestly thought she was about to give us some Korok Mask Link cosplay

sadly it was just a fascinator, but I think her summer outfit was my personal favourite of the lot

I love the fabric and because she’s shed a couple of layers, it’s much less frumpy looking, but she still had one more look to go, ending on her fall look, and almost on her ass given how much spinning she had to do

how many motion sickness tablets do we think she had to take before hitting the runway, and was it more than the average Strictly contestant gearing up for a Viennese Waltz?

And taking us right back to the process of taking off coats was The Vivienne in an Into The Woods inspired look that does look a bit like she knocked it up backstage the moment she learned Ben Platt was the guest judge and she might as well pander to “The King of the Theatre Nerds” – a title I think he and Lin Manuel Miranda might have to fight to the death over

there’s not much to say about the Autumnal Executioner Look, so on to the off-Broadway production of Wicked costume (her theatre references were all over the place)

it is very costumey, but given she was referencing broadway she gets away with it, and her final reveal was…

sure? I would have been more interested if the corset came off too to reveal something new but I do enjoy that the boots were so heavily encrusted with stones she could barely bend her legs – it was very the yassification of the 12 Steps scene from Men of Honor. Now there’s a DALL-E prompt.

Raja was next and didn’t have many reveals but I did enjoy that she looked like Paperchase’s unsold tropical themed notebooks were having a civil war

it’s a lot of an outfit but I think Raja has the presence and sense of authority to really pull it off – not many people could cope with that much gubbins around their neck. Then she revealed in to the aforementioned Lisa Frank sticker of a Poison Ivy costume that they never really gave us a decent full body shot of but it looked really pretty

I think it’s pretty rad and really appeals to me as someone who is still holding out for Poison Ivy in a live action Harley Quinn movie – either of the Bailey sisters will do. But they have to promise me they’ll get Ingrid Ferrin to return from wherever she is to do the costumes.

Yvie’s take was very similar to Shea’s moth reveal look in All Stars 5 (an outfit that was infamously called “crafty” by Ross Mathews) as she came out as a caddisfly larva

and once she discarded her stick fort hobble skirt, she revealed a skirt that was meant to look like slime, except the one side of it had come unhooked from her sleeve and I LOVED the “oh fuck!” look she gave it as she realised

and then she got rid of that and revealed a bodysuit, which was much more interesting from the back than it was the front

it’s fine – I wish she had been able to better show off the fact her mask moved independently, it didn’t entirely read very well on camera – mostly because the editing of it was a little erratic

it’s a really cool headpiece, and I think it deserved more of showcasing. And her makeup was absolutely stellar.

Jinkx also had a really great approach to this runway, starting out in a Picasso inspired power suit that looked like it could have been ripped off of the back of power suit aficionado Choriza May

I really like this – the colours are an unusual choice but they work well – there’s something slightly Invader Zim about the palette. And then she shed her cubist suit to reveal a very pretty gown referencing the lily pad paintings by Monet (French Impressionist Painter)

and from an impressionist gown we move to a pop art skater dress

this was my least favourite purely because the Joker era Jinkx portrait on the skirt is my nightmare fuel, and I think Pop Art done like this is a little overdone at this point – especially after everyone did the exact same thing for the All Stars 6 pop art runway because as we know, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein were the only pop artists. But Jinkx finished on an absolute cracker with her art deco gown inspired by Klimt’s “The Kiss” – which is one of my favourite paintings

she looks amazing – I do maybe wish she had gone with a more defined brow, just to make the whole thing read a little more 1930s – with the brows being so washed out, there’s just something a little Poot Lovato about her face.
But I did love how much of a roadkill runway she left in her wake

there’s more clothing lying on that runway than Bosco wore in all of Season 14.

Monet (American Drag Queen) was also giving us a bit of a history lesson as she used the reveal prompt to showcase the history of Black Empowerment, starting as a very living museum worthy Harriet Tubman

and then moving on to a Black Panther inspired outfit

this is really good – I love the flare of the skirt and her styling is just always do damn solid. And then she finished on a dress reading “AND WE STILL FIGHT”

which is a very pertinent message given everything that’s happened with the last several years. I’m still not entirely sure what the red thing on her neckline was – at first I thought it was meant to be a a silhouette of Africa, but given that she removed it and chucked it away, I very much doubt it. It might have been a heart, but I’m not really sure.

And lastly we have Trinity who came out looking very much like Jessica Rabbit trapped in a pavlova

and I really do like the dress, Trinity does these absurdly big, gaudy gowns very well but the reveals were kind of just shedding different parts of it and eventually ending up in lingerie

which is a perfectly cute burlesque act, but I always think a reveal runway should be a little more than that – it just felt a little similar to the striptease that Bosco did for her Season 14 talent show.

A Reveal Runway Look Ranking

  1. Jaida Essence All Seasons
  2. Art History with Jinkx Monsoon
  3. Monet’s Own Personal Black History Month
  4. Lisa Frank’s Poison Ivy
  5. The Yassification of an Insect’s Life Cycle
  6. Trinity’s Pavlova Burlesque
  7. The Vivienne’s Bid for Panto Season
  8. Shea Coulee’s Two Coats

Coming into this episode I was 100% sure they were going to give Monet and Shea the win just to bring everyone up to 2 stars and make the race a little more interesting and I think had Shea’s reveals been a little more conceptual and elaborate she would have been in the top alongside Monet, but she definitely had the weakest runway – and Jinkx definitely better understood the challenge (it helped that she had an easier to recognise ~brand~) AND had an incredible runway, so I think Monet and Jinkx were the correct top 2 – and I imagine the lipsync being a spoken word lipsync somewhat influenced the decision RE Jinkx.

WORDS

This week the lipsync was a little different as Jinkx and Monet were instead facing off in a spoken word lipsync – having to memorise Dixie Carter’s monologue about her sister in Designing Women – which I thought was a really neat idea and given how successful this was, I hope we get to see more like this – they’ll have to do the Cerulean monologue from The Devil Wears Prada, SURELY?

I really thought that this was made for Jinkx to win – it just strikes me as something she would be good at but Monet absolutely DEVOURED this performance – and it probably helped that she was wearing an outfit that suited the vibe whereas Jinkx did look a bit like she was ready to do a turn as Edna Turnblad

and at a certain point it began to feel like they just forgot about Jinkx and it focused entirely on Monet as she really hit every beat and managed to find a lot of draggy humour in it

I am curious as to where the fan that was lying on the stage came from though

someone must have done something with it – my headcanon is that one of them tried to twirl it like the alleged baton but failed to catch it, so they edited it out under the All Stars 7 rules of NO QUEEN DOES BAD.
Monet was very deservedly called the winner

and then kind of wasted her block on Raja seemingly just so that everyone would have had a blocking and to alleviate some of Raja’s anxiety over the supposed Plunger Twist

personally, I think she should have gone with either Trinity or The Vivienne because we are long overdue another straight up comedy challenge – but to be fair, Raja was in the top for that last time, so we’ll see. But I’m convinced it’ll be a Jinkx vs Shea top 2 – they’re really going to have to hand her a second star just to not seem cruel SOMETIME SOON.

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