Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race: we had another busted runway concept and the somewhat unfair dismissal of Trixie.
After the Elimination
Ginger is appropriately both sad about Trixie and congratulatory about Katya and Violet, but then brings up the elephant in the room – now that Miss Fame is gone, Violet is the only girl who has yet to lip sync!
Ginger claims she “just wants to see it,” but it’s hard not to react as if someone is saying they want to see you sent home. Violet fires back, “Ginger, how does it feel to have a weakness? I feel like you’ve been really strong this entire competition – but I felt that I really got to see this week.”
Ginger says she does all her crying after they head home from the work room, and then comes back with her game face on – which Pearl and Kennedy agree to. Nice show of solidarity and strategy there. Ginger does a lot of whining in the work room, but she doesn’t let us see her truly upset.
This was the best intro chat of the season. I think we’re going to see some great interactions in this final five that we probably wouldn’t have had if some of my other favorites like Trixie and Max made it this far. Plus, much as with last season, there are really no under-accomplishing villains – even Pearl on the weaker side has fought for her spot.
A New Day!
The girls confess that they really thought Katya was an imported bitch from Russia. “Most people who come to my show don’t know I’m not Russian. [Speaking Russian.]”
Ginger: “Do any other girls do any languages or accents?”
Pearl: “No, girl, I can barely speak english.”
RuPaul’s video mail is about cities and brands, with some vaguely Japanese music cues beneath. She enters in a black and blue plaid jacket and a ruffled white tuxedo shirt with several buttons undone. The mini-challenge is the mini-queen puppet challenge! Each girl gets a little buddy boy puppet in the image of a fellow competitor and has to drag it up to provide an exaggerated imitation of her peer.
Katya pulls Ginger. Ginger pulls Violet. Pearl pulls Kennedy and loves it. Kennedy pulls Pearl. That leaves Violet with Katya.
Ginger and Violet send semi-good-natured snark back and forth across the room as they work, with Ginger threatening to bring a naked puppet to the stage and saying, “I’ll learn to sew when you learn to act.” Except, Violet’s acting is way better than Ginger’s sewing.
Katya: “The key to capturing my essence is capturing my scent, visually.”
Pearl is up first as Kennedy, whose head is completely sequined and bedazzled in a read of her Death Becomes Her look, while her body is obscured by a feather boa.
Kennedy has a raggedy Pearl doll with overdrawn breast shading and no pads. She starts off asleep and barely moves her mouth as she speaks. This was a miss – Kennedy should have played up Pearl’s hotness and her crush on her from last week’s Untucked. Pearl interviews: “These bitches need some new material, I woke up a long time ago, damnit.”
Violet brings a generic blond doll in a sequined pink long-sleeved dress that only reads as Katya due to the cigarette dangling from her lips. She mocks Katya’s disappearing Russian schtick and former addictions, but it’s not too funny.
Katya brings an insane Ginger Minj doll, with thirsty red hair twice as big as the puppet and a flower mumu. She reads Ginger’s north of Florida accent and black forehead shading.
Ginger has a perfectly apt Violet doll, half-nude, corseted, and with a high ponytail. She asks about the origin of her name, and the puppet replies, “Well, I wanted to figure out what was beautiful and completely worthless.” BING BING BING WINNER. Even Violet finds it uproariously funny. Ginger lands every joke, including one about fisting and waist size that I can’t even believe made it on air.
I got these sense these girls like each other a little too much to be mean, but Ginger’s base level of meanness is enough to slay the other ladies. She deservedly gets the win.
Ru introduces a brand challenge and Fame is somewhere right now crying and clutching her chickens. Their advisor has a global brand worth over $8 Billion Dollars. As Ru continues the intro (“besties with Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, and Nicki Minaj”) the girls are freaking out. Is it Madonna?! Ru welcomes to the room… HELLO KITTY.
Katya and Violet are beside themselves. This week’s challenge is creating runway eleganza entirely from Hello Kitty merchandise. Oh great, another busted runway challenge. Did a focus group tell Ru that pretty drag queens are too threatening or something? Where is the glamour?
As the mini-winner, Ginger gets a first go at the Hello Kitty goodies, but she has no plan and just grabs a random assortment. Ginger, Kennedy, and Katya are all stressed about the sewing. We get a macro shot of a sinister sewing machine in motion. Kennedy is doing her best to make her look sexy, “Like Becky, who is 21 years old with a hot boyfriend and a fetish for Hello Kitty.”
It sounds as though she is describing Violet, who is gagging over the challenge, “I’m all about having concepts and executing them flawlessly. I’m so excited to do this fucking challenge, you have no idea.” She wants to do a 60s mod look.
Katya wants to obscure her body with umbrellas, and Violet commands her to “get some inspo” and asks what she can do to help. How very Max of her! She interviews that Katya has, “so much talent, I just want to see her focus.” Katya replies, “You have something I don’t have … this unshakeable confidence, and I so admire that.”
Could we get Violet wins on back-to-back weeks? Given the relatively equal footing of the landscape right now, whoever wins this is going to be surging into the final.
Ru peeks into the room and the wry grin on Pearl’s face totally gives away that it has only been about 30 minutes since she left. But, the bigger laugh (or, you know, surprise, if you roll that way) is she has Santino Rice in tow!
Violet is happy even about this development. Violet is the happiest girl on earth this week. Aside from Ginger, who interviews, “Santino Rice walks through that door, and I flood my basement, bitch. That is one sexy man.”
Ru loves the bows Kennedy has ripped off of her Kitties. Kennedy describes herself as the catsuit queen, but she doesn’t know how to make one. Yet, the punning possibilities are MASSIVE. Santino gives solid pep talk, he’s more useful here than at the judges table.
Violet is happy and immediately begins flirting with Santino, which leaves Ru a little speechless. Ru tries to bring things onto topic by drawing a comparison between the two of them while Santino flirts back at Violet. Ahh, this is why we don’t invite Santino to the workroom. Violet starts speaking crazy fashion language at him while Ru just watches. It’s all pretty funny.
Katya is in a pink polka dot hat with earflaps with all of her materials spread out on the bench in front of her. Katya is one who is speechless here. “I have no idea what I’m doing.” Ru and Santino encourage her to just start doing SOMETHING so she can begin to react to her creation.
Pearl has been pretty quiet this whole time, but she’s super charming with Santino and Ru. She has a little fashion sketch of a slinky dress with a mammoth cat-head hat. Pearl has delivered some of the best constructed looks so far this season – this could easily be a win for her. She wants to make her hobble skirt out of the skin of plush animals … Santino is skeptical.
Ru opens on Ginger with, “You don’t sew.” Ginger seems appropriately freaked out. Santino goes drag-tech on her, talking about her foundation garment. Ginger has one, but doesn’t cinch as a result of her drag mother’s advice. Santino is pushing the cinch. Ru does some poking, but doesn’t get too in her face.
Before departing, Ru drops an extra bomb. The Pit Crew enters with massive Hello Kitty heads. They have to create a second look… an actual Hello Kitty character of themselves that could appear on the show. Katya looks like she’s about to fall on the floor and die – but, she’s got the best character basis! Just make a crazy Russian cat! Ru will die over her finally playing Russian!
All the girls except Kennedy try on the massive heads and wander around bumping into each other. Apparently there’s no way to see out of the heads.
Katya just keeps interviewing, “I’m not even done with my first outfit” over and over again. It’s really starting to look like she might show up naked on the runway. She interviews, “The other girls have no idea what’s going on in my mind right now because I’m the master of my turbulent emotions, but I am flipping the fuck out. I just feel like I’m fucked.”
Violet feels good and is pleased with her look, while Katya thinks her decision is the worst one in the history of the world. She loves her Hello Kitty character, but still has no outfit.
Pearl interviews, “I’ve been drawing Pearl since I was, like, ten, Pearl was this character that distracted me from the horrible things I thought were going on around me.” She realized one day that she could be Pearl. Awesome story.
First up are the “Hello Kitty BFF Realness” characters, who are preceded down the runway by Hello Kitty herself. Each character has their own little monologue!
Hello Violet is in a Disneyfied humanized cat face on her massive head with a violet bow in her hair and an elegant gauzy pink dress with a plunging neckline. Her monologue is about her vanity – one of her favorite things to do is look in the mirror.
Hello Ginger is incredible. She is a Kitty-esque cow complete with snout in a Minnie Mouse-esque dress with massive polka dots. She looks ripped from the world of Hello Kitty. Her monologue is hilarious, “I dream of one day becoming a designer handbag.”
Hello Pearl has brought Pearl into the world of Hello Kitty in a banjee look with a fuzzy coat and glitter nails over a bra and panties. It’s a little underdressed compared to the others. Her monologue isn’t too funny.
Hello Katya went ALLLLL the way there, with a Russian cat doll from “The Magic Land of Siberia.” She has on a snug dress in a hideous pattern of what looks like neon colored space invaders. Finally, we get the episode one Russian humor from her, and it’s real damn funny.
Hello Kennedy looks – gorgeous? She’s in a white on purple print dress with absurdly over-exaggerated curves. It’s very subtle but pretty. She loves to fry chicken and play on the monkey bars.
Now we’re up for Hello Kitty Eleganza.
Violet has constructed a real marvel, a pink glitter mini-dress with outswept hips, elbow-length gloves and a fuzzy ring of pink fuzz and kitties orbiting her face. It’s very Violet.
Ginger clearly figured out something overnight, because she is gorgeous in a little pink dress with a patterned center panel and a shawl of kitty dolls. It is slickly cut to the shape of her body. She may even look a bit cinched?
Pearl executed her drawing to a tee, with a dress of a massive kitty-headed blanket that is snug to every curve with a hood that wraps her neck and supports a massive kitty head on top of her own.
Katya somehow managed a catsuit with asymmetrical pink lines that are maybe a Japanese Kanji? It could be super-glued to her body, who knows, but it is impressive. “I’m giving you 60s housewife who is a stuntwoman, maybe in space. Could be an aerobics teacher.”
Kennedy went basic with a black swimsuit with bows and rhinestones on it, but in the back it’s pink and full of kitty heads! I think it’s a little subtle, and maybe should have been split black and pink down the front rather than front and back.
Predicted Winners and Lip-Synchers?
Character Bests: Ginger and Katya both really delivered in both look and concept, though Violet was also great.
Character Worsts: Pearl was cute, but basic compared to the others.
Final Runaway? Winners: This was a strong week. Ginger looked beautiful and on-theme. Violet’s look was impressive, but not as epic as she hyped it to be. Katya was impressive in construction, but may be a bit too haphazard to qualify as eleganza. Pearl was stylishly simple. Kennedy really was the only one slightly weaker than the others.
Should Win? Ginger crushed her lowered expectations and giving her the win here is a good story, but Violet would be an equally solid pick.
Should Lip-Sync? Kennedy versus either Pearl or Katya, depending on how the judges go on Katya’s runway.
RuPaul is in an iridescent orange dress and massive white hair tied up in a geisha-inspired bow. Michael Visage is in team Kitty colors with blond bangs and pink makeup and looks beautiful. Carson is in a crushed velvet plaid blazer. Santino is in black on black on black. And, Rebecca Romijn is here looking like 20 year ago. “I’m ready for a pussy party,” she yells.
Michelle enjoyed Violet’s BFF, and Rebecca has waist-envy of Violet’s runway. Santino definitely got the Barbarella, and Michelle thinks it’s a different look for her. Michelle loved Ginger’s BFF and her voiceover. Carson thinks she went too literal, but Rebecca loves it. Michelle enjoyed Pearl’s Madonna BFF. Santino is getting too much blanket from Pearl, who was shooting for minimal but still maximum Kitty. Carson and Rebecca loved the BFF. Michelle is confused by the hair and outfit combo, but Rebecca (who has been full of zingers so far) thinks, “you are giving me hot futuristic space mom who loves hello kitty.” Katya makes the critical error of giving her own explanation when she should have stuck with Rebecca’s. Santino wishes it was bigger. Michelle and Santino both feel Kennedy’s runway is a miss, and Carson thinks the lack of adventure carried to her BFF. Ru was surprised to see less creativity from the usually bold Kennedy.
Hello Kitty has joined the judges in private. Rebecca thought Hello Violet was tame, but Ru enjoys that Violet kiddy-fied her slutty aesthetic. Carson loved the coutour, and Santino calls her “a creative powerhouse.” Michelle is giving some bitchface. Carson has no beefs with Ginger’s BFF, but wasn’t in love with her coutour – but Michelle thought it was whimsy to the max. Rebecca was feeling the coutour from Pearl, but Michelle also got blanket and enjoyed the BFF better. Everyone loved Katya’s BFF, but Michelle thinks Hello Kitty isn’t allowed to hang out with Katya … and Hello Kitty might disagree? Michelle and Rebecca have it out over Katya’s eleganza, but they both come for Kennedy’s. Santino is super-offended that she “mutilated” all of those Hello Kitties just for simple rows of bows!
Pearl is safe! Kennedy is in the bottom two. Violet wins! Ka-Boom! Katya is twinkling and genuinely happy for her. Ginger is safe with good comments from Ru, which leaves Katya on the stage.
Damnit. This lip sync could be our first big blowout of the season, as these are unquestionably the best two dancers in the cast.
Lip Sync: “Roar” by Katy Perry! Oh, snap, a modern hit song. Kennedy brings a lot of waving and pointing, but Katya’s subtler take on verse one ending with a dramatic pose on the “HEY” is powerful. Kennedy explodes on the chorus with a big kick and full body choreography drawing her across the stage, but she is arrhythmically headbanging like a maniac to hide her inexact take on the lyrics. Katya never turns up the energy, while Kennedy is full of handsprings into splits. Then the bridge hits… Kennedy leaps off the stage into a split on the ground a little ahead of the big crescendo while Katya cartwheels into a truly full split synced perfectly to the song on the stage. Her legs are completely parallel to the the ground. Kennedy is stomping around on the ground row delivering approximate syncing while Katya goes a little too subtle again while nailing all the words.
Ru gives it to Kennedy’s over-the-topness, breaking the hearts of the nation. Katya might have been on the weaker side this week, but she is truly the breakout star of the season. I wish she had been high energy through her entire performance.
Don’t miss this week’s Untucked, which has some terrific camaraderie from the girls and a great bitchy comedy routine from Ginger and Pearl.