Well after my full-throated bitching about this show last week, I am pleased to report: the makeover episode was a significant improvement. Not only was it a solid entry in the overall Drag Race makeover legacy — and there have been some wonderful makeover episodes and some truly awful ones over this show’s 14-year history — but it was a solid Drag Race episode in general. I’ve said all along that the issue isn’t with the queens, it’s not with the judges, it’s just things weren’t all clicking. I felt that with this episode, it all clicked. Unfortunately there are just two episodes left…
Mind you, things started off in a decidedly positive direction as the work room was stuffed with beefcake. The super-sized Pit Crew came in and the six remaining queens had to answer animal trivia questions to guess what stuffed animals were sticking out of their underpants. I have commented almost every week on how hot the Down Under Pit Crew is, and the extended Pit Crew cast did not disappoint. Confidential to all the menses in that room: if you ever want a bear between your legs, feel free to DM me @ericrezsnyak.
Anyway, Maxi Shield won the mini challenge, bless her, and was given the opportunity to make assignments for the Maxi Challenge: makeover gay rugby players into their drag sisters/mothers. Yay, more hot men! This episode truly was a sausage fest, and after pandemic quarantine, I personally was just *starving* for it.
Maxi, being a sweetheart, did her best to match up the rugby players with the queens for the best shot at family resemblance — which Ru specifically mentioned numerous times as a key component of this challenge.
What I enjoyed about this mini challenge is that everyone was just having fun with it. There was no backstage drama. There was no hostility. There were no gut wrenching stories of trauma. Just a bunch of guys comfortable with themselves and having fun trying something they’d never done before. Every rugby player was a delight, and they had some charming interactions with the queens. I know the producers think we want drama all the time, but I will take five of these light, charming episodes over 100 episodes like the Season 4 makeover with the aggro daddies, or the Season 11 makeover where Silky was ready to murder Soju, or the Season 6 makeover where Joslyn Fox’s basketball player was apparently put up for this as an elaborate revenge plot by his then-fiancee, who found out he cheated on her. I would much prefer these people have a good time than be pushed to the brink for guest starring on a reality TV show.
I will say that the results, like most of the challenges on Down Under, were largely adequate. Kita Mean was the obvious winner with her stripes/dots concept along with sister Phita Mean. Art Simone also did well with her sister, Craft Simone, giving us “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” couture — but the family resemblance was minimal. Art has posted on social media that the original assignment from producers said nothing about family resemblance, just to bring matching costumes representative of your “drag house.” I understand what Art is saying, but anyone who has ever watched any makeover episode of this show KNOWS that the judges look for family resemblance. This should not have been a surprise to her. One of the other queens (I forget who) specifically said that Art’s issue is that she has great ideas but doesn’t care if she meets the brief. That is exactly what’s going on with Art, and it is going to cost her this competition, and potentially fans. She did not come off great this episode.
That said, all the queens who were knocking Art for focusing too much on her mug instead of her sister — and both Art and Craft looked incredible on that runway — ended up struggling with their partners’ make-up or look. Elektra Shock went for an…interesting but awfully crunchy space invader concept, while Scarlet Adams went super basic and yet still sloppy looking vamp concept, and the make-up on her partner bordered on a hate crime. I’ve been dogging on Karen from Finance for weeks, but I actually thought she and her partner, Debbie from HR, looked elevated and expensive. The problem was, her partner looked like a carbon copy of Karen, not a sister. She lacked her own identity. And that’s one thing Karen does better than anyone in this competition: brand herself.
But sadly it was Maxi Shield, in garish bags of fabric and no wigs to speak of, who was cut after lipsynching against Scarlet Adams to, finally, a Kylie Minogue song. (I expected something off “Disco,” but I won’t complain about a classic like “Better The Devil You Know” coming out to play.) Maxi is such a lovely, endearing queen, and I think she’s actually quite stunning at times. I don’t think Maxi ever thought she was a real contender in this competition, and that bums me out. I wish she would have fought a bit harder.
That said, Scarlet did very well in that lipsynch, and she remains the most obvious contender to the crown. We’re heading into the penultimate episode with five queens remaining. Scarlet has 2 wins and 1 B2, Elektra has 1 win and 2 B2s, Karen has 1 win and 1 B2, Kita has 1 win and 0 B2s, and Art has 0 wins, an elim/return, and…not a great shot at winning this. What a whacky season.
Speaking of whacky, next week we get a Talent Show, the first time a non-All Stars season has ever had one! And it’s the penultimate episode that will determine our Final 4!
How are you doing in our little pool? Data master Michael is still waiting on our Toots & Boots form this past episode (my partner had family staying with them and is a bit behind), but look for those updated scores by end of week.