I’d like to use this column as a thinly veiled (or, in fact, not veiled in any way) love letter to Lucian Piane. Sure, in previous seasons of Drag Race, the autotune knob-twiddler has been kinda cute, but in Season 8, he’s a fully-fledged Daddy-In-Training. Adorable. Can we have him every week, please?
The episode begins with the upsetting revelation that Ru started his career in a New Wave outfit called ‘Wee Wee Pole’. I mean, who wasn’t in a garage electroclash band circa 2004 (google ‘Cherry Filth and the Deathlegs’ for my ‘contribution’ to ‘music’) but few of us can say we did it in 1980s Storm from the X-Men cosplay – except, presumably DaxExclamationPoint.
There’s no messing around as we dive head first into the main challenge: in groups of three, the queens must form 80s pop girl-groups. The least punk ‘Nice’ queens (Robbie, Kim and Naomi) make a play for Punk, leaving the ‘New York’ queens (Bob, Thorgy, Betty) to fight it out for Party with the ‘Leftovers’ – Derrick, Chi Chi and Naysha. After the oddest negotiation EVER, The Leftovers are lumbered with Synth.
While figuring out their style, The Leftovers blithely ignore Acid Bully’s advice, folly given that Betty is the only queen old enough to have lived through the New Wave moment the first time around. Chi Chi wants the group to dress as big shapes, conjuring the image of Wizbit performing on the main stage. Derrick, perhaps wisely, refuses to wear a cardboard box.
It’s not plain sailing for the New York queens either as Jim Carrey’s white Rasta alter ego, Thorgy Thor, hates everything Bob suggests. As they’re planning fart gags about street meat, this speaks highly of Thorgy’s taste level.
It’s off to meet bae Lucien, and while Derrick tries to go one better than Actual Britney and sing live, it’s Bob who bumps heads with Lucian Sexface Piane. In possibly my favourite moment in Drag Race herstory, Lucian, bless him, asks Bob to channel the B52s and Lorde. Yes, the zany Loveshack pioneers mixed with surly Lydia Deetzesque chanteuse Lorde. Next week: Taylor Swift does Slipknot. Even better is Bob’s utter disgust at the mere mention of the name Lorde. Cut to Bob’s dressing room: the mirror plastered in myriad images of the New Zealand misery, her eyes burned out with cigarettes.
Onto the main stage, and the bands must perform early Girls Aloud b-sides for Debbie Harry. The New York Queens set the bar high for the Leftovers, who weren’t so much bad as forgettable, but both are trounced by the Nice Queens, who unexpectedly slay as the punks.
As ever, the queens will be judged as individuals.
Robbie Turner (B)
Was the best one in the best group, although her Little Blow Peep dress on the main stage was horrid. End of. Points deducted for his boy fashion which looks like prototype KFC uniform realness.
Kim Chi (A-)
Should have won solely for her facial reaction to Derrick being safe while in her Leigh Bowery mask. Gif please! Oh she bring it every ball!
Naomi Smalls (C+)
The least impressive in the winning team, Naomi is going to have to step up her runway looks if she’s to progress beyond the half way point. It’s not even a case of ‘stop replying on that body’, it’s a case of ‘stop replying on those legs.’
Bob The Drag Queen (B+)
It’s hardly fair, because Bob can just pull a face and I will laugh for two straight hours, gasping for breath. I don’t care what she’s wearing. I don’t care if she’s a massive bitch. I just need her face in my life.
Acid Betty (A-)
OK, fair’s fair. That runway look was INCREDIBLE. Fish Monster Pride, you guys! I want to go there. And she was unfairly read for dressing like the B52s after being expressly told to be like the B52s.
Thorgy Thor (C)
Derrick Barry (C)
Is it just me or is it starting to feel like a high school movie where a child star can no longer afford fees at performing arts school and has to start regular school, where all the normal girls pick on her? Derrick has been the biggest fish in a small Britney-shaped pond for too long and now finds herself outranked and outperformed. That said, I feel sorry for her. It’s vital Derrick survives until Snatch Game and we can all witness Ru challenge her to do anyone other than Britney. If she fucks that up, we’re talking a career-ending disaster.
Chi Chi Devayne (C-)
Chi Chi represents a very different kind of drag, and indeed, drag queen, to the rest of the competition. She’s from the South, she’s self-taught, she comes from poverty. All interesting stuff. That said, they’ve also put her up against a group of exceedingly talented performers and, as such, Chi Chi looks like the poor relation. It’s almost unfair. That said, she turnt it out in the lipsynch – dressed as Rihanna - and certainly deserved to stay.
Naysha Lopez (D)
Or, as I like to call her, ELIMINAYSHA *dies*. Sashay away, hunty, and this time, remain so.
Next time it’s the one we’ve all been waiting for. IT’S TIME FOR SNATCH GAME.
Words: Juno Dawson
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