It’s time for another exciting episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race! I didn’t really enjoy last week. It might have been because I was sick. It might have been because my girl Thorgy Thor was eliminated. Or it might have been because it was a bad episode (I’ve found this season a bit inconsistent). But hope springs eternal in my little black heart, and tonight brings guest judges Amy and David Sedaris, so how bad can it be? Let’s find out…
As always, we start where we left off last week. The girls shuffle back into the workroom after saying goodbye to Thorgy. They laugh at her farewell message: “Clowns! All of you!! Come to NY – but please take down Bob! … She’s terrible! – anyway – <3 you guys! top 3?……. Naomi, Bob, Deryk (sic)… Let’s see…. (that was shady!) <3 thorgy.” Bob the Drag Queens keeps it classy by not getting insulted. The queens express surprise that Derrick Barry wasn’t in the bottom two. Bob takes pity on Derrick and suggests that the other queens are basing their opinions on her ensemble. Derrick stares dumbly at Bob until he explains, “Your outfit.” Naomi Smalls adds that the judges want her to drag up her makeup. Derrick decides the key to her salvation is raising her eyebrows. It’s a start, I guess.
Yay! It’s the puppet challenge! Why? Because everybody loves puppets! In case you forgot, the plan is for each girl to randomly choose a puppet representing one of their competitors, drag it up and perform a puppet show. It’s one of my all-time favorite challenges. Kim Chi gets Chi Chi DaVayne. Her puppet has frosted blonde curls. Hysterical! Chi Chi gets Bob the Drag Queen. “They gave me hair,” Bob deadpans. “That was nice.” Derrick Barry gets Naomi Smalls and Naomi gets Derrick. Ooh! Face-off! Which leaves Bob with Kim Chi. Derrick and Naomi snipe at each other the entire 20 minutes they’re allotted to dragify their puppets. The shade quickly turns personal. There is no love lost between these two!
First up is Bob with puppet Kim Chi. The puppet is a mess. Bob isn’t going for authenticity, just pure humor. Puppet Kim: “I used to be 350 pounds.” Bob: “And what did you get down to?” Puppet Kim: “349.” When he asks Puppet Kim if she has a speech impediment, Bob sprays himself in the face. Nice use of props. RuPaul is busting a gut.
Kim Chi brings puppet Chi Chi to the stage. She’s wearing her Dorothy outfit (which looks better on the puppet than it did on Chi Chi). Puppet Chi Chi has a deep voice and talks about being a cheap queen. Kim Chi: “Let’s talk about your two inch heels.” Puppet Chi Chi: “They covered in stones. I paid $100.” Kim Chi: “When I saw the bag, it said $14.99.” RuPaul loses it.
Next is Derrick with puppet Naomi. She’s wearing a little red bikini and has the flat affect of Kim Kardashian. Derrick: “So Naomi, I’m wondering… Is this your roller girl look, your neon look or Madonna kimono look?” Puppet Naomi: “They’re all the same.” Naomi isn’t pleased. And Derrick just keeps going deeper. RuPaul is literally watching with mouth agape. Even Bob thinks it’s too far. “Damn, Derrick. You are cutting deep, bitch. It’s a puppet show! Kids are here!” I have to admit, it’s pretty funny.
Then it’s Naomi’s turn. Puppet Derrick is wearing Derrick’s tin woodsman outfit (a bathing suit/piece of cloth posing as a coverup) and a beard. Derrick is pissed. Bob narrates the situation. “Derrick and Naomi, they’re like Tom and Jerry. Like NeNe Leakes and Kim Zolciak.”
Chi Chi wraps things up with puppet Bob. She has a big blonde wig and a loud voice. She’s almost as funny as the real Bob. “Jokes, jokes, jokes, jokes, jokes, jokes, jokes.” It’s one of those you have to see it performances. Chi Chi: “So, what are you going to do when you run out of jokes?” Puppet Bob: “I know what I’ll do!” She grabs her ugly purse. Puppet Bob: “Walk into the club purse first! Bam! Walk into the club purse first! Bam!” Bob is laughing just as hard as RuPaul, which is saying something.
Chi Chi DeVayne wins! Puppet Bob responds, “I never lose a challenge.” It’s well deserved.
In honor of guest judge David Sedaris, they’re having a Book Ball. No one knows what that means but they know any Ball challenge is a lot of work. This season they have to complete three looks that tell the story of their life: Baby Drag Realness (“when you were five years old and slipped on those first pair of heels”), That’s My Mama Realness (a look that pays tribute to their mother, not their drag mother) and Autobiographical Eleganza Extravaganza (made entirely out of books). The pit crew wheels in a small library with RuPaul’s book front and center (she is the queen of self-promotion, afterall).
As soon as RuPaul leaves the room, Derrick and Naomi start back in on each other. Now all I’m picturing is Tom and Jerry fighting so hard they turn into that ball of cat on mouse hostility (thanks, Bob). Naomi claims that Derrick’s puppet parody didn’t bother her. “Bitch, I have tough skin.” “It looks like it,” Derrick shoots back. Meow! Bob actually gasps. But Naomi isn’t letting Derrick have the last word. “And Derrick has thin… hair.” Kim Chi mimes eating popcorn while she watches the show. Derrick starts making fun of Naomi for being stupid. “I have one thing to say: I’m. Not. Smart.” Hysterical. Pot, meet kettle. Finally it’s too much for Kim. She asks why they hate each other. “I do not hate Derrick,” Naomi clarifies. “I do not like his drag.”
Things calm down a little when RuPaul does his workroom evaluation. Derrick Barry claims he is mixing RuPaul’s book (suck up) with famous paintings because he thinks female impersonation is an art form. Notice he didn’t say drag. The war continues,it’s just underground for the moment. In reality, Derrick’s just taking photos of RuPaul and gluing them to an existing corset. If this was an unconventional challenge on Project Runway, he would be chastised for letting too much corset show through (unless he was Sam… Oh my god, he’s the Sam of Drag Race). RuPaul reminds him that the judges asked him to make his makeup more draggy. Naomi’s been saying that all episode, just a little meaner. RuPaul asks if he knows how to paint an illusion and Derrick assures him he’ll be giving them a brow. The rest of the queens look unconvinced.
Moving on, RuPaul reminds Chi Chi that the judges want to see Chi Chi, just more elevated. “When we say country, that’s not a bad word. It’s flavor, Savor in it. Bask in it. Never be ashamed of it.” Oh, RuPaul. It’s times like this that remind me why we call you Mama.
Bob the Drag Queen is also using a corset as the base of his Eleganza look but I’ll bet you anything it will be covered. RuPaul asks Bob if he can pull off the Glamazon look Michelle Visage asked for. He’s not worried. The reason Bob often wears so called “ratchet” drag is because he usually performs for an hour and half straight. “And if I’m gonna be in a gown with huge earrings and a big ole sculpted updo, by the time my show is done, my eyebrows become my mustache, I’m sweating. You see what I mean? So I’m going to show up in a leotard.”
RuPaul asks Naomi about how she turned things around in the competition. “Well, I’m actually kind of thankful that I was in the bottom two,” Naomi explains. “Because it literally lit a fire underneath my ass. This is what I want to do and I should just (bleeping) bring it every single time.” And that’s how you handle it, Pearl! What, do I have something on my face?
Kim Chi explains that she’s going to use her looks as a visual fairytale. She’ll start as a little sprout and through drag she’ll blossom into the artist she wants to be. And then Kim Chi admits to RuPaul that her mother doesn’t know she does drag. “I think that Kim should tell her mom,” Bob states in her talking head. “Because I feel like if you’re not really opening yourself up to your family, then you’re robbing them of the experience of getting to know and experience you for who you are. I mean, in theory I know Kim better than her fucking mom knows her. That’s not fair.” Heartbreaking.
Before he leaves, RuPaul shocks the girls. Not only do they have to make three distinct looks and model them on the runway, they also have to do a dance performance honoring Amy Sedaris’ Strangers With Candy character, Jerri Blank. No wonder this episode is 90 minutes long.
As the winner of the mini-challenge, Chi Chi DeVayne has to choreograph the dance. They begin practice and Kim Chi is lost from the get-go. As Bob describes, “It’s literally walk, walk, walk, turn.” Uh oh. Naomi has no idea who Jerri Blank is and Derrick is doing a terrible impersonation but Chi Chi doesn’t care. “We down to the top five. I ain’t finna correct her.”
Back in the workroom, Derrick and Naomi start fighting again. I just can’t with these two anymore. This time it’s about Derrick not gluing his eyebrows and Naomi not gluing her lace fronts. #DragQueenProblems
The next day, Naomi feels bad for how she spoke to Derrick. She decides to make it up to him by helping him as much as she can. Her mama raised her right. “I’m proud that he’s trying to give the judges something new,” Naomi explains. “But he only wants to ask me about his eyebrows and changing up your face is so much more than just eyebrows. But I’m giving Derrick space because I don’t want him to think that I’m coming for him about his makeup.” Naomi is a true lady.
RuPaul welcomes judges Michelle Visage (she holds up her book), Ross Mathews (he holds up his book), David Sedaris (he holds up his latest book) and Amy Sedaris (she holds up her book). Never one to forgo a promo, RuPaul makes sure to hold up her latest book as well.
The runway begins with the Jerri Blank dance. Can I just mention how happy it makes me to see five drag Jerri Blanks on stage? Hysterical. Bob the Drag Queen is great, of course. Kim Chi isn’t as bad as she was in rehearsals but Derrick is. That’s ok. As long as Kim is safe, I’m fine. Amy Sedaris is having a ball and RuPaul is laughing her butt off.
Baby Drag Realness
All of the girls come out in huge red pumps, sized as if they’re babies. It’s cute. Kim Chi wears a silver mumu with a little sprout coming out of her head. Michelle Visage jokes that Kim walks the same awkward way in her real heels. She’s not wrong. Naomi Smalls comes out in a fashion diaper sucking on a binky. She looks gorgeous. Bob genuinely looks like she’s wearing her mama’s sweater. She looks adorable. Derrick Barry is doing the Little Mermaid in a form fitting green dress. Nope. Doesn’t work for me. At least Michelle notices that she changed her eyebrows. Chi Chi DeVayne looks gorgeous in a huge wig and purple mumu.
That’s My Mama Realness
Kim Chi is wearing a traditional Korean dress. She has a dandelion and floating seed heads in her hair. Her makeup is hauntingly beautiful. They show a photo of baby Kim with her mother but her mom’s face is blurred out (which doesn’t bode well for their post Drag Race relationship). David Sedaris gazes upon her as if she’s a work of art (which she is). Naomi Smalls’ simple dress and long mom bob (that matches the multiple photos of her mom shown, face unblurred) create a stunning look. Bob wears a power suit to portray her mom (who we see in a photo with face unblurred). Derrick made a nightgown to represent an iconic dress her mother wore (which we see with her face unblurred). Huh? Oh, I see. The whole thing was a setup to make a stupid Britney Spears joke. Chi Chi is all glamour in a blond wig and leopard dress. Her mother was gorgeous and I know this because her face is unblurred.
Autobiographical Eleganza Extravaganza
Kim Chi is a flower. Her gorgeous pink wig matches well with her white paper dress. She has slender leaves jutting out of her shoulders and the entire thing is just lovely. Naomi Smalls has made a couture party dress full of ruffles that certainly doesn’t look old or stodgy. It’s slightly reminiscent of her Scarecrow dress but not enough to diminish either look. Brava, my dear! Uh oh. Bob the Drag Queen is wearing a short dress made almost entirely of cardboard, painted blue and gold. It’s not pretty. But her hair and makeup are most definitely glamorous so hopefully Michelle Visage will be happy. And she’s rocking some gorgeous legs. Derrick is wearing (wait for it) a corset and panties. She considers it a showgirl costume but I’m not buying what she’s selling. Chi Chi DeVayne has made a fabulous dress out of shredded paper with a fitted bodice and spikes (even in her hair). The unconventional challenge brought out the best in Chi Chi. It’s a great look.
Top queens: Kim Chi, Naomi Smalls and Chi Chi DeVayne. Kim Chi wins!
Bottom queens: Bob the Drag Queen and Derrick Barry
LIP-SYNC FOR YOUR LIFE
The two queens up for elimination are Bob the Drag Queen and Derrick Barry. They perform You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) by Sylvester James.
Derrick won his last lip-sync but I’m not worried. I’ve seen Bob perform (unfortunately never live) and she’s a powerhouse. She’s not going anywhere. From the first notes of the song we see why Bob is the huge success she is. This is the perfect example of the difference between a green queen and a true professional. Derrick is dancing around, trying her best but it’s no contest. Bob is THE drag queen. Bob the Drag Queen, shantay you stay. Derrick Barry, sashay away. Before she leaves the stage, Bob makes a lovely speech about Derrick. Bob is a real class act.
Get more behind the scene footage on Untucked, right here at Tamara Tattles!
Next week: The queens compete in their final challenge, starring in the music video for “The Realness” by (guess who?) RuPaul. I can’t believe it’s almost over…