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Monday, February 27, 2023


The Drag Race fever-dream continues – Season 15 is underway and it has our attention.

Are you ready for a recap of Episode 9?

The mini-challenge

Celebrating the 200th episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race – which, objectively, is an incredible achievement – this week’s mini-challenge was the quick-drag photo-bomb challenge, with iconic moments from Drag Race as the target.

This was cute and it was fun to watch. Luxx had a good concept for her bomb of Vivacious, but Anetra seemed liked the clear winner with her bomb of Willow Pill.

The maxi-challenge

This was a ball. Three looks, including one made in the work-room.

Look 1 was a reinterpretation tribute to RuPaul’s red racer jumpsuit.

Look 2 was a tribute to a sewing challenge ball concept from previous seasons – for example, the Money Ball, the Hair Ball, the Bag Ball, the Sugar Ball.

Look 3 was the sewing challenge and the theme was the Crystal Ball.

I love the runways and the ball episodes are my favourites. I’d have liked to have seen a bit more of the walk-throughs during the construction process – Carson was doing these and it feels like he gives quite helpful guidance – but overall the pacing of this all worked well.

·         Mistress: Mistress had a very good ball. Her jumpsuit was fairly straight down the line but looked good. Her second look was The Ball Ball, and she was a giant beach ball – it was well done. Her third look was a glamorous gown that looked well-constructed. Smashed it.

·         Spice: None of this was terrible from Spice. She’d reimagined the jumpsuit concept into a mini-skirt and made it a look that made sense for her – the boots were particularly eye-catching. Her second look was The Ball Ball, but it looked like every other outfit that she’s had made for this competition so didn’t feel very fresh. Her third look showed her lack of sewing skills – she had a bodice and then a shapeless bit of fabric as the skirt.

·         Luxx: Luxx smashed this. She’d reimagined the jumpsuit concept into a motor-cross mini. Her second look was the Hair Ball and she looked super-model stunning. Her third was a crystal butterfly construction that looked stunning.

·         Marcia: Solid work from Marcia. Her jumpsuit was in pastel colour-block and she looked gorgeous. Her second look was the Bag Ball and she’d make a milk-maid costume out of hessian. The third look was a gorgeous play on Marie Antoinette.

·         Salina: Salina struggled a bit this ball. Her jumpsuit popped in bright blue and matched her streetwear style. Her second look was the Money Ball and she’d made a Los Angeles palm tree out bank-notes – which didn’t look great. Her third look was a gown – she looked pretty but she didn’t have time to get the fit right.

·         Malaysia: Solid work from Malaysia. Her jumpsuit was pastel pink. Her second look was the Hair Ball and it hit the assignment. Her third look was a glamorous gown that did what it needed to do.

·         Loosey: Loosey wanted to do really well in this challenge but she didn’t. Her jumpsuit was a cute cos-play version of Princess Peach. Her second look was the Bag Ball but it looked a bit basic – a white skirt dress with some plastic bags stuck to it. Her third look was a gown but the silhouette didn’t quite work.

·         Sasha: This wa s a great ball for Sasha. She’d reimagined the jumpsuit concept into a sporty and sexy gown. Her second look was Bag Ball and a celebration of marijuana. Her third look was gold – fabric and accessories that she seemed to glue together but somehow all worked.

·         Anetra: Giving frontrunner energy in every category, it was a good night for Anetra. Her jumpsuit was neon yellow and was put together. Her second look was the Sugar Ball, which hit the brief. Her third look was a stunning gown with a crystal spine. Fashion.

The Judging

In the bottom were Salina, Spice, and Loosey. No surprises there. Loosey was safe, leaving Salina and Spice as the Bottom 2. I might have been tempted to put Loosey in the bottom against Spice, but I guess by putting Salina against Spice then there was some certainty about what the outcome would be.

In the top were Sasha, Mistress, and Anetra. I think Luxx must have been a little very gagged not to be in the top. I would have had Luxx ahead of both Sasha and Mistress.

Out of the three in the top, I’d have given the win to Anetra – that gown was incredible. It was a bit of a surprise when Sasha picked up the win. I mean, love Sasha but her third look didn’t have the construction that both Mistress and Anetra had delivered.

The Lip-sync

The song was That’s What I Want by Lil Nas X.

I love this track but it’s an odd choice for a lip-sync battle between drag queens. It’s boppy angsty pop.

We know that Salina can lip-sync and we know that Spice can’t. So this was a bit of a foregone conclusion.

I heard Thorgy Thor talking about last week’s lip-sync battle and she was explaining that if you’ve only ever performed on social media – in your room and to a camera – it’s a totally different experience to suddenly be on a stage with lights and production. It takes a fair bit of experience to learn how to fill a stage with your body and your movement – to own the space. I think this lip-sync between Salina and Spice really illustrated that point. It was a relatively subdued performance from Salina but she confidently moved around the stage, dragging the emotion from the song, owning the space. Whereas Spice was fairly static and didn’t seem to have a plan – it was just a series of moves that she did as she thought of them. Bottom line, Thorgy was right.

Salina stays, Spice goes home.

Episode 9, done!


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