Gosh, I love this season. By Episode 5 of Down Under I was wishing it to be finished already, and with this series, I am dreading that we only have three episodes left. Thank you to the queens, judges, producers, and editors of Espana. You have done such a great job. I honestly think this may be one of the strongest debut seasons of any Drag Race series. I really mean that.
The main challenge this week was an acting — or rather an overacting challenge — in a skit based on what I *assume* is the Spanish version of “Beverly Hills, 90210” or “Degrassi.” And from what I could determine, it appeared that Blonde Javi was formerly an actor on the show, and Brunette Javi was a writer or producer? I could be getting that totally wrong.
The roles went something like this: Pupi Poisson was the evil principal who was screwing and also maybe killing her students, Sagittaria played an oversexed girl who was the object of lust for Hugaceo Crujiente’s awkward goth girl, her ex who wanted her back. Killer Queen was a…student?…completely obsessed with her stuffed animal dog, Dovima Nurmi was basically Dovima (low energy, sarcastic, huffy), and Carmen Farala played the…zombie?…of a girl who Pupi’s teacher apparently killed after fucking? I don’t know, it was wild.
But I loved it! I had no idea what was happening, but they all had fun with it and I had fun watching them. Pupi was an obvious standpoint, fully milking her evil/horny teacher for every laugh. And Carmen took what was one of the smallest characters and completely stole every scene she was in, eating increasingly larger bunches of bananas. Sagittaria was solid, and Dovima was fine with a role that, again, didn’t exactly push her in any real way.
Pupi won the challenge, after weeks of being right up there, but just passed over. I wonder if part of that has to do with Pupi’s runways generally being pretty tragic. I adore her, but it is true. Even this week, I thought she was the weakest on the runway. But let’s talk about that runway! The theme was Spanish Art, and my god, did these queens crush it. Pupi did a very literal translation of Velazquez’s “La Meninas.” It was…fine, and she goosed it by adding a quasi-slutty “reveal.” But the rest of the queens really stretched their creativity here. I wasn’t totally sold on Sagittaria’s until I saw the painting she was referencing, but it was a beautiful interpretation. Carmen went for a more modern, but surprising route. But the looks that Killer Queen and Hugaceo served up were two of my favorite looks I have ever, ever seen on ANY Drag Race. This is top-tier work, and these queens should be VERY proud of themselves.
Killer and Hugaceo were in the bottom — correctly, based on the challenge. Killer was completely over the top and wasn’t taking direction, whereas Hugaceo had the opposite problem, struggling to get into any kind of character. It was a solid lipsynch and both of them fought, but Hugaceo ultimately was eliminated. It’s heartbreaking, because I think Hugaceo is genuinely a genius. I did not realize when I first watched the episode, but the frame around him divided his costume between full surreal color and drab, more reserved tones. That’s like Sasha Velour-level art thinking, and Hugaceo is a spectacularly talented queen. I just don’t think she’s well rounded to win this particular competition.
That leaves us with five queens, and of them, there’s a pretty clear answer for who should leave next. I’ve spent the past few weeks defending Dovima. I do think she is one of the most stunning queens we’ve ever seen, and I even find her attitude charming. But they were really leaning into her bitchy comments this episode, and it was becoming harder and harder to root for her. Going into the last three episodes, she’s easily the most dispensable member of the cast left. But will she be cut in fifth? Or will they keep the “villain” to the very end? Who do you think will make Top 3? What do you think of the season overall?