Last week, we said goodbye to Miss Nina Bonina Eeyore Daria Oscar The Grouch Brown, a down right fierce yet fiercely down queen if ever there was one. And the Top Five episode means our maxi-challenge is the Ball, one of the finer Drag Race traditions. But first…
1. It’s Time For A Puppet Show
The queens drag up puppets to look like the other competitors then do puppet shows where they freely talk shit about one another by proxy. Alexis is seen above with a spot on Sasha puppet doing a routine that continued her habit of having zero-to-no jokes. She comes into this episode feeling like she really needs to prove her worth, which is a hard sell when you’re 10/13 through the competition. But the Ball is always a great chance to strut your shit, as it’s the biggest runway of the season. And this year’s theme is one of the finest…
2. Gayest Ball Ever
There’d been some chatter online that the move from Logo to VH1 was going to straight-wash Drag Race, but this year’s ball is a nice reminder that this show wherein men compete to see who is the best at pretending to be a woman is still real, real, realllll gay. There’s three runway themes: Rainbow-She-Bettah-Do, Sexy Unicorn, and Village People Eleganza Extravaganza because like duh. But it gets better-slash-gayer…
3. The Queens Do A Rhythmic Gymnastics Routine
As winner of the puppet show, Sasha gets to choreograph the performance, which is one of those ‘is this prize really a prize?’ moments that this show really excels at. Sasha, in particular, has had a bad run of it, thus far also wining a year’s supply of hamburgers (though she’s vegan) and haircare products (though she’s bald). The rehearsal is messy, but I’m glad the gals are getting to shake those ribbons around because it is the Gayest Ball Ever, after all. But the story of this episode is really the runway, so let’s get to it, starting with…
4. RuPaul Mawmaw!
One of my favorite Ru looks of the season. And wadda wig! She’s got big hair and it’s certainly everywhere. BigHairEverywhere. Now for the highlights of the looks, starting with Rainbow-She-Bettah-Do…
5. Shea’s ‘Rainbow’ Gown
Listen, the gown is a gag to be sure, but the assignment was rainbow and Shea just went with ‘colorful’ and rainbows do have colors, but only seven of them and none of those colors are pink or grey or a dull leaden blue. In my mind, Shea shoulda been dressed down a little more by the judges for not following the prompt, but I won’t deny it’s a G-A-G.
6. Sasha Put A House On Her Bald Head
I mean, this is everything. The initial look is a bit basic, though cool + stylized, but then this bitch pulls that hat off and there’s a house on top of her dumb bald head and I am LIVING. Full gag!
7. Trinity Fetishizes The Rainbow
Trinity serves us a leather look with rainbow straps that’s fun, but lacks some punch. It’s very Trinity, though, and the wig is dumb-in-a-good-way. She gets read for looking too much like she’s just ‘at the club’ which is bonkers considering the unicorn round featured four bathing suits, but what do I know about drag? After all, I’m not drag expert Andie MacDowell*.
*-no shade, though, as I fucking love Andie MacDowell
8. Alexis’ Party City Rainbow Look
If Alexis wanted to really push it this week, this is a tough way to start. This look feels grab-n-go look, it’s baby’s first pride parade. I’m not impressed. No gag.
9. Peppermint’s Rainbow Toga
This is more like Mama’s sixth pride parade, so it’s a scootch better than Alexis, but still not a WOW. Sasha wins this round for me, having been the only queen to both gag me and do the task at hand. Next up, Sexy Unicorn…
10. Shea’s Leather Daddy Unicorn
It’s sexy and it’s a unicorn. It’s a sexy unicorn. Shea nails the theme this time, though it’s good but not a full gag for me.
11. Sasha’s Unicorn Tapestry
Now this is a hundo gag. Sasha tends to overthink things, but in this bathing suit heavy challenge, seeing her do a medieval tapestry with a bleeding unicorn horn was just what I needed to get my liiiife.
12. Alexis Is A Unicorn
She’s Alexis and she’s a unicorn. There’s really not much more to say! Not sure when she’s going to start pushing the limits, but it’s safe to say this isn’t it. The make up is good. And again, it’s a unicorn. But it’s the Top Five and this My Pretty Pony With A Horn look doesn’t rev my engines. No gag.
13. Peppermint Is An Insane Space Unicorn
Sasha is the only one who really DOES something for me in this round, but Peppermint’s look is, at the least, marginally insane in a way I want my drag to be. She’s a space unicorn in a somewhat ill-fitting outfit that she covers for by always being in motion so you can’t tell it’s bunching in the front. The headpiece is fun and I’m glad she has a POV here, though it’s another look that doesn’t get me fully gagging. And finally…
14. Is This An Amy Sedaris Character?
We still, after eleven weeks, have no conclusive proof. Gag*! We’re on to the 3rd Round, our Village People Eleganza Extravaganza…
*-but not really for the outfit
15. Shea As The Construction Worker
Two wife beaters doesn’t quite scream couture to me, but let’s face it: that cape is fierce. This is bordering on gag.
16. Sasha As The Cowboy
Sasha’s look is a little more basic to me, but also feels more cotoure and I like the cut out, so this is also a look that’s bordering on gag.
17. Alexis As The Native American
And this one is a gag, buttttttt in the bad way. It’s not terrible, I guess, and at the very least, Alexis didn’t go the route of ‘White Girl At Coachella Wearing A Headress’ but it’s not really a cohesive look is it? Alexis seems to think that effort = value and so went on a lot about how much work it took to stone the top, but the end result is a bit messy. Also the head piece doesn’t make sense and is she holding a journal? Unfortunately, no gag.
18. Trinity As The Cop
Now THIS is what I’m talking about. This is some sexy-ass dominatrix meets Robocop nonsense and I’m gagging. Trinity tastefully shows skin for once and the wig + visor combo slays. Trinity wins the round for my money.
19. Peppermint As The Leather Man
Fun but basic. Peppermint does the role but doesn’t elevate it. The judges give this to Shea though I call shade. Shea was great, no doubt, but I think Sasha should have won this week*. More than that, though, I’m a bit miffed that our judges used the hypothetical ball audience to downgrade Sasha, saying that her performance wouldn’t have necessarily made all the queers gag, but if having a little house on your head doesn’t make the children lose it, what else would? Idk, I was gagged.
*-annnnnd last week ;)
20. Our Bottom Two
Peppermint and Alexis end up in our Bottom Two and it’s deserved (mostly and undoubtedly, respectively). It’s a fun LS4YL, but Alexis ultimately loses steam as it goes along, in a way that mirrors her season. Alexis is very good at what she does, but what she does was never going to push the boundaries of drag in the way that this show oft requires. And so it’s curtains for our Broadway queen. But this Top Four is one of my favorite in recent memory and is bound to make for a very strange Ru Paul music video next week. Tune in for that and adios for now, chickies!