She already done had hers’ spoilers…
Never knowingly understated, season eight of Drag Race
continues its masc-4-masc descent into steroid abuse by again throwing everything and the kitchen (lip) sink at fans: shock returns; inexplicable courtroom fashion; dead mums; Empire spoofs and roller-disco realness on the Main Stage.
Let’s unpack the crazy one at a time. As I dimly predicted, Naysha Lopez was wheeled back out, and with so little opportunity to know her (or care), it felt somewhat underwhelming. I’m with Bob on this one: Porkchop Parker would have been a more welcome return.
After an incongruous judge’s robe style challenge, it was straight to work on RuCo’s Empire - the first acting challenge of the year. While physically impossible to out-camp Taraji P Henson’s actual performance as Cookie Lyon, Bob The Drag Queen gave it a bloody good go and finally came into her own - living up to the early promise. Her ‘Chocolate Chip Cookie’ was hysterical, and apparently partly improvised. When she tipped the drink on Naomi’s head, I swear a tiny bit of wee came out.
Less impressive was Robbie Turner (who, if you squint, was channeling Laganja Estranja), Cynthia Lee Fontaine, Naysha (who is going to have to work a lot harder if she wants to convince us she deserves to be here) and poor Derrick Barry. The saddest part is, I think Derrick IS trying REALLY hard. More on him later.
This week’s now perfunctory ‘human story of spirit over adversity’ came courtesy of Thorgy Thor’s tearful story about his mum wasting away and dying of cancer while he partied on down at college.
But never mind that! Here’s some drag queens on roller-skates! Drag Race is nothing if not varied. Here’s my ratings for the week.
Bob The Drag Queen
Although I might subtract half a mark for us not being able to appreciate Bob’s promised Transformer-themed car costume, Bob slayed the competition this week. Pre-paid phone! You thirsty bitch? That said, I think it’s safe to say by week three, his drag is not the most polished in the competition. A
I actually preferred Thorgy’s runway look to Bob’s. The headphones, the hotpants, the tube socks…I was fully feeling Thorgy’s '80s fantasy. Not half bad as (White) Chocolate Chip Cookie either. A-
Serving Pepper from American Horror Story realness in the challenge, and Freddy Krueger-on-wheels on the main stage, Betty was finally read for essentially doing the same thing in a different colour every week. I have no doubt that Betty is a phenomenal drag queen, but question if she’s this year’s Detox. B
I think we’ve seen that wig twice now, hon, but we’ll let it go. I have seen Naomi described as ‘Raja On A Budget’ which isn’t entirely inaccurate, but her Ru-Ru-Kitty was far better than Kim Chi’s. Predicted weeks until Michelle tells her to ‘stop relying on that body’: two. B
Chi Chi Devayne
Continues to be better than she ought to be, frankly. Compare her Shortbread (with actual rap) to Naysha’s… yeah. B+
Kim Chi continues to throw herself into whatever ludicruousness Ru throws at her with good grace and humour. Jesus loves a try-er. Kim will rely on theatrical Main Stage looks, it seems, but who cares when they’re that well put together? B
If Ru only has one ‘save’ this season, I’m not convinced it was best spent on Naysha. Yes, she’s very beautiful, but both her challenge and runway performance get an M for ‘Meh’. M
LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE. OK, it’s hard to feel bad for Derrick because she came into the contest so assured of her own magnificence. As the world’s best Britney impersonator, who can blame her? In another season, she’d be a dead cert for a finalist. The problem seems to be, like Courtney Act before her, it’s hard to warm to perfection. While her Britney is uncanny, nothing else has landed yet. It’s not for lack of trying either…she tried to serve butch ghetto lesbian (and failed) while her Katy Perry dress looked like a frock I made out of bubble-wrap when I was five. I want Derrick to be amazing, but it hasn’t happened yet. C-
Second lip-synch for everyone’s least favourite hybrid of Ben De La Crème and Jinkx Monsoon. For me, Robbie was worse than Cynthia – the roller-skating rather distracted from the fact his mouth wasn’t moving. Robbie seems dead nice, but I think this was the wrong judgement call. E
Cynthia Lee Fontaine
See above. Yes, Cynthia struggled with her lines, but her Ginger Snap was no worse than Derrick’s and I certainly preferred the energy she brought to the table over Robbie’s. Of our two Puerto Rican queens, I sadly think we’re left with the less good one. D
Next week, I am LIVING for Debbie Harry as guest judge, and it’s battle of the New York queens as Bob, Betty and Thorgy form a girlband. See you next week, hunties!
More Ru-caps from Juno:
Season 8 premiere: 'Meet the queens'
Season 8, ep 2: 'Shady Bitches vs Lady Bitches'