Forgive me for I am about to talk about William-Adolphe Bouguereau again.
I can’t see.
The opening of this episode is a lesson in absurdist art, from the Pass around sausage crown
Jimbo needing a table to keep her tits afloat
and of course Kandy sending the fear of God into Alexis Michelle
and we haven’t even got to the point of Jimbo finally breaking out the bologna that’s probably been in her hotel room this entire time…?
thus allowing Alexis Michelle to add yet another fetish to her Gown of Many Kinks
you’ll never guess where she’s hiding the frankfurter.
Thinking Outside The Box
This week’s Maxi Challenge was another design challenge, in a similar vein to the Series 11 premier where the queens were each given a box with fabrics and General Gubbins™ associated with a previous RuGirl, except this time all the boxes were a previous All Star winner
fuck Alaska and Chad’s drag – it would have been the perfect set up to sabotage someone because Alaska’s trunk would be full of bin bags, the shredded remains of Lil’ Poundcake and a horse head. Also they strategically decided Jinkx isn’t technically an All Stars winner because a fashion girlie she was not…
and as a treat for winning the previous episode, it was up to Lala to decide who got which box – the whole thing going smoother than I’m sure production would have liked
Alexis got Trinity the Tuck.
Jessica got Kylie.
Jimbo got Trixie Mattel.
Lala took Shea Coulee.
Kandy got Monet Xchange
I think Trixie’s and Trinity’s boxes were the ones to go for because both have very theatrical, highly decorative drag and that often helps with a design challenge. Lala however took Shea’s for herself, her logic of them having similar skin tones so at least the fabrics would look good on her was sound but that is A LOT of faith to put in production. I must say though, I think the boxes were mostly filled with really great stuff – Lala did however fall prey to Magpie Logic and immediately latched onto the glitziest, least Shea Coulee looking piece of fabric she had
it’s very eye catching, but the second she picked it up and said she wanted to make a full gown out of it I knew that it was not a great idea – it’s a fabric made for making a statement skirt or jacket out of, it’s just too geometric and rigid to make a full gown out of, and sure enough as soon as Lala put on the gown she made she looked like that scene from The Simpsons where Homer eats the merciless pepper of Quetzlzacatenango
and so began Lala’s race to create another dress in half the time she originally had, a situation that once gave us The Biblically Accurate Party Favour
and Jimbo was doing nothing to help her recover from her hot gluing things to my body addiction
that all being said, the final dress Lala ended up with was actually a perfectly fine dress and if we’re honest maybe in the top 4 outfits she’s worn this season, even if it does look a bit like several Scooby Doo characters got trapped in a disintegrator-integrator together
I like the monochromatic orange approach – orange dress, orange hair, orange eyeshadow, orange wig lace…
it’s a miracle nobody mentioned it, but I think it’s because there was such a clear bottom 2 in terms of outfits that mentioning anything else would have felt like throwing a sack of kittens into a river. I do wish Lala would go bigger with her makeup though – raise the eyebrows and push out the shadow a bit which would both help make her eyes look bigger but also help with her tendency to put her hairline across the state border.
Lala wasn’t the only one with issues during the sewing process as Kandy got a little scissor happy and seemingly accidentally gave her entire dress a lobotomy
and the time taken to reassemble the bodice did sadly mean we didn’t get to see Kandy’s attempt to hot glue a pair of gloves together, but we’ll always have her artistic render of the noodly armed superhero
that one’s going straight on the fridge of RuGirl Fashion Sketches
I love them all, I simple could not choose a favourite. (it’s Electra Shock’s demented Kangaroo Hunter.)
But yeah, when it came to the Runway, Kandy’s outfit was kind of just a plain black dress that didn’t really offer anything particularly exciting
I do think the Monet box was a tricky one to get – it was a lot of leather which isn’t easy to sew with if you’re inexperienced and plenty of quite pedestrian streetwear fabrics that are hard to make look like something showstopping so I think Kandy probably did the best you could hope for with what she got, but her makeup might be the most beautiful we’ve ever seen her?
I’ll defend Kandy as one of the best makeup artists Drag Race has ever had to my dying day, and this was particularly stunning – soft, angelic, perfect for looking like an angel in a Romantic era painting
I have already seen so much fanart of this moment, it’s just so perfect.
While the Monet box was tricky, the one I would have least wanted was Kylie’s because as much as I love her, her outfits are 80% accoutrements
and I think I would have died a little bit inside if the first thing I saw when I opened the box as mostly lime green feathers because Kylie wore green feathers one time
especially because we’re still running the Michelle Hates Green™ thing into the ground, but aside from the ex-parrot in the box, Jessica mostly had incredibly sheer fabrics in various animal prints – I’ll eat my hat if there wasn’t a pack of corndogs in there somewhere because Kylie once pulled a corndog out of her pants
despite winning the last design challenge (which given how much the other queens mentioned it, everyone was still a bit surprised by that outcome) Jessica wasn’t overly confident this time, and her walkaround with Shannel and Raven didn’t fill her with confidence given they thought she was playing it safe with her “samba” outfit
I personally wouldn’t have said those were samba silhouettes at all but maybe I’m too Strictly pilled so I only recognise sambas if they’re shrouded in a bit of cultural insensitivity
and so Shannel, who was here again in an almost certain precursor to her appearance on All Stars 9, advised her to go with a more interesting combination and arrangement of fabrics which I think did end up working really well
and gave the dress a lot of nice movement
it was just a very clear third place because truly the race for the win was purely down to Jimbo and Alexis – the latter of which was so desperate for a win she’d Digivolved into her Mega form: Biblically Accurate Alexis Michelle
I’m fascinated by that shirt and just… why? At least Jan’s Robe of Infinite Existentialism was a meme, that’s just… Alexis’s face? I’m sure she had it made fully intending to wear it for her confessionals and then chickened out when she found out about the Fame Games because it may have looked too narcissistic to a voting audience, and I’ll just assume she accidentally ruined all her other out of drag clothes in a tragic room service carbonara incident the day before and was forced to wear it.
Alexis had Trinity the Trunk which was a great score because it was all very ornate, luxe looking fabrics and she was out to prove herself after she got eliminated in a Top 5 design challenge once before when she was absolutely kneecapped by being given the Native American member of the Village People – everyone else got a career and she got a very marginalised race
every day I hope she thanks her lucky stars that that episode aired in 2017 because any later and we’d have never heard the end of her having put a bow in her hair while being covered in a blinding amount of turquoise jewellery. I don’t know why, but the way Joan Smalls said “I can get that outfit at Ricky’s” has lived in my head rent free for the last 6 years
needless to say, Alexis was not going to let herself be eliminated for going too small again and she was going DRAG DRAG with a really quite gorgeous gown
it’s really pretty – I could maybe have done without the rictus Rumplestiltskin grin but I would expect nothing less from someone who sabotaged Lala with that wig…
Lastly we have Jimbo who spent a great deal of the first day doing an honorary RuPaul Walkabout and assessing everyone else’s ideas and fabric swatches
but we do also know Jimbo is a professional costume designer so I have no doubt this was all a little bit put on for the sake of ~suspense~ knowing full well she could whip up a more sinister looking version of the Smiley Killer within a couple of hours
that film is such a perfect time capsule of 2012 internet culture: “if a person on a Chatroulette-style website types the phrase “I did it for the lulz” three times, their chat partner will be murdered by a killer called Smiley” – unsurprisingly barely anyone involved with it has a wikipedia entry and two of the people that do are noted sex pests, that’s 2012 YouTube for yah!
Jimbo did have a marginal advantage in that while everyone had their Weekly Emotional Breakdown In Half Drag™ she didn’t have to do her makeup at all, which Kandy positted might put Jimbo in the bottom, during which the editors played stock footage of Monet Xchange in a facekini and I don’t know why it felt shady towards Kandy but it did
but even beyond the facekini, the outfit was phenomenally well made and fitted to absolutely perfection and very much looked like the Hot Wife™ to Mr. Blobby’s Schlubby Husband in an American Animated Sitcom
He’s! A! Blobbly! Guuuuuuy!
It was pretty obvious how this episode would turn out from quite early on – Kandy and Lala were undoubtedly the weakest looks whereas Jimbo and Alexis were a clear top 2 – I personally preferred Jimbo’s but there was no way Jimbo with a completely masked and unpainted face was going to be given the win, We know the incredibly boring and redundant Judges Deliberations bit takes a long time to film but I don’t think it would have been enough time for Jimbo to do Untucked and completely paint her face, so Alexis wins which is perfectly fair, the outfit was impeccably made and looked grand enough to justify the win even if you did think Jimbo’s was better, had they tossed another design challenge to Jessica I would have side eyed it.
There are many ways to define a lipsync assassin – someone who survived many a lipsync, someone who has one really iconic lipsync, someone who can just dance well, whoever’s in the Drag Race Las Vegas Revue at the time… I am not sure where Nicky Doll fits into ANY of that – she won a lipsync, but she did win it against Dahlia Sin who was making unblinking dead-eyed eye-contact with 1 single camera the entire time and it’s Top 5 Weirdest Lipsync Choices of All Time material
obviously, she was here to cross promote Drag Race France which is extremely WOWPresents+ of them but… why would you set up a host like this? At least take a bit of mercy on her and make her lipsync against Jimbo’s complete reliance on echolocation
but, I guess at least she had suitably fabulous boots on?
because the lipsync song was These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ by Nancy Sinatra – which can be a really fun number if you’ve had the time to choreograph something for a club, I don’t think it makes for a great spur of the moment performance that’s meant to have a lot of tension behind it because it is very slow and not very emotional, so most of the performance was walking and then a little bit of distinctly 60s style dancing in one spot
which was cute, but there wasn’t much more beyond that. I’m not sure the Incubus lipsync I was expecting would have been much better – although they could have done something with Wish You Were Here.
Alexis did win and sadly did choose to eliminate the main queen keeping the levity of the season going
I suspect this would have gone differently had she known who she was going to compete against because I do think Lala was the easier choice, but truly nobody in a million years suspects the Lipsync Assassin is ever going to be Nicky Doll. She herself has said she regrets this, which is incredibly funny
but don’t worry, Lala has a lifetime of free roast chicken dinners to look forward to, all she has to do is commute to New York to have them
God bless Alexis Michelle, an overly produced production right to the very end, only she could shoehorn catchphrases that aren’t even hers into her elimination speech
big fan of her using a Coco Montrese quote while looking alarmingly like Alyssa Edwards – fantastic Dragception.
Lala’s nuclear side-eye suggests she knew how this was going to go
I’ll miss her, I enjoyed her in the challenges and the Werk Room, I do think she might have benefitted from doing a “Vs the World” before an All Stars, but I’m glad she made it this far.
And so we have a final 4, and 4 episodes left and no hint of some sort of returning twist so God knows how this is all panning out? I’m still very confused about when the finale is, how they’re doing the Fame Games, if there’s a reunion episode or how long the Fame Game queens were kept locked in their hotel rooms for… were they surviving on a crash diet of Jimbo’s bologna this whole time?
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