What’s that? It’s Tuesday? Well that means it’s time once again to look at the best show about duct taping your scrotum, RuPaul’s Drag Race! This week, the final four take part in The Fabulous Bitch Ball, where they must come up with three runway looks and put together a Broadway-style opening number. Let’s take a look at the shit that worked and the shat that was pooper-scoopered.
The queens have been whittled down to the final four yet again, the lineup unchanged from last week after little Kenya Michaels was brought back and subsequently sashayed within the space of an hour. Yeah, I know, what a shame. That Bitch Phi Phi reads Kenya’s second set of departing words (or third, if you count her letter) in her best Puerto Rican accent as the queens laugh at Kenya’s inability to comprehend the language. Sharon Needles jokingly bemoans the fact that she hasn’t won a cruise yet, while Latrice Royale reflects on the fact that she’s had to lip-sync for her life twice in a row.
Before anyone can get mired down further, oooh, girl! You got SheMail! RuPaul throws in a bunch of dog-based puns and proceeds to act like a dog just in case the jokes weren’t perfectly clear. Boy Ru announces the mini-challenge: the girls are going to drag out some puppets of each other and have a bitch-fest with their puppets. Because the only thing this competition was missing was some ventriloquy. After they pull their puppet sisters out of a glory hole (hyello), Sharon ends up with “Chad Michaels,” Latrice ends up with “Sharon,” Chad ends up with “That Bitch Phi Phi” and TBPP ends up with “Latrice."
Sharon drags up puppet Chad as a cosmetically enhanced burn victim who wants a motherfucking cigarette, and Latrice’s Sharon puppet is basically just a pissed-off goth who tells her to fuck off. Chad’s puppet version of That Bitch Phi Phi is hilarious, with her raggedy-ass wig, snaggletooth and bad attitude, but Chad brings it home by dead-panning to TBPP that “America is just going to love you.” Well played. TBPP closes off the show with her Latrice puppet, who is mostly unremarkable save for the recreation of Latrice’s necklace breaking on the runway. Naturally, Chad wins the challenge.
And now on to the main challenge. The girls will be competing in The Fabulous Bitch Ball, where they’ll have to put together three looks: daytime dog-park realness, pooch-in-a-purse party girl and canine couture. And of course, you can’t have a dog-themed ball without some doggy companions, so the pit crew comes out with a slew of dogs in what can only be described as the most perfect moment in Drag Race herstory.
Here’s the thing: ever since I moved to Toronto, I’ve wanted a dog more than anything, and I’ve been pestering my boyfriend for one for the past three months. So when the pit crew walked out with all those precious little dogs in tow, my body spontaneously grew a set of ovaries for the sole purpose of having them fucking explode. The moment they stepped out, I immediately started screeching shit like, “OH MY GOD LOOK AT THE LITTLE DOGGY WOGGIES — I WANNA MASH UP THEIR WIDDLE FACES AND CALL THEM MR CHIPS!” (Mr Chips will be the name of my dog. Also, I have no dignity left. So there.)
Anyway, as the mini-challenge winner, Chad gets to pair up the queens with their dogs. Chad picks Fillan, the Chinese crested. Sharon gets Callie the poodle, Latrice gets Baby Face the Pomeranian, and That Bitch Phi Phi gets Hunter, the bloodhound. Despite the fact that TBPP got my personal favourite of the bunch, she throws a bitch-fit because she didn’t get one of the cuter dogs. Well, that and the fact that Hunter keeps trying to hump her. Personally, I think Hunter could do better.
The girls set about designing their looks and bonding with their dogs, Latrice going so far as to let Baby Face wander around in the fabrics so that she can pick one out herself. I swear, my heart melted a little. That Bitch Phi Phi, on the other hand, hates her dog and leaves it tied up to the table, a move that upgrades her to That Monster Phi Phi. That Monster Phi Phi then launches some weapon-grade bitch at Chad, saying that this was all meant as sabotage, and everyone just sort of rolls their eyes, since TBPP has sabotaged other queens in the past.
Here’s the thing about That Bitch Phi Phi: while the other three queens are happy to form bonds and let the cards fall as they may until the top queen emerges, TBPP is the only one who still sees this as a competition she must win. She refuses to really connect to anyone until she’s sure she can take it home. It’s not cute, and it does little to endear her to anyone at all, be it the other queens or the audience. She’s a fierce competitor, for sure, but her problem is that she places all the emphasis on “competitor” and in the process sacrifices the “fierce” part.
As the queens work, Ru steps into the workroom to assess their situations and throw one last wrench into things: the girls have to put together a Broadway-style musical number to open the show. Eep. And as the mini-challenge winner, Chad has to choreograph the whole thing. Mind you, Chad is actually in charge of The Dreamgirls Review, one of the biggest and most famous drag shows in the world, so this shouldn’t be a problem for her. Well, it SHOULDN’T be, but of course That Bitch Phi Phi has to butt her nose into everything, huffing and puffing through the entire rehearsal.
On to the main stage! RuPaul is wearing dreads and some sort of black rubber/PVC dress with roses all over the collar. The dress is gorgeous, although I thought the hair was a tad flat. But whatever. The judges this week are Michelle Visage and Santino Rice as per usual, and the guest judges are Rose McGowan and Wynonna Judd. Oh, and then there’s the Broadway number, which is just sort of . . . nyeh. Inconsequential, really. Considering how much time it actually took up, I’m convinced it was thought up as a way to make the queens hate each other more than they already do. Anyway, on to the looks!
- Daytime dog park: a black top with a blue skirt. Nothing too exciting, but it’s still very pretty.
- Pooch in a purse: a shimmery golden top with a white skirt and big red hair. Super cute.
- Canine couture: a very basic dress with a fur trim that matches her Pomeranian, Baby Face. It’s nice, but WAY too plain, and the hemline at the base looks raggedy.
That Bitch Phi Phi
- Daytime dog park: oh look, Kenya Michaels is back. No, literally, she’s wearing the same wig Kenya wore for the girly-girl main stage. A purple top with a pink skirt, a bedazzled pooper-scooper and a giant pink bow.
- Pooch in a purse: neon and garish as fuck, topped off with a random grey cardigan and red hair. A good edit would have fixed most of this.
- Canine couture: where to start . . . There’s a lot going on with this look, which is kind of at odds with the simplicity of the bloodhound. She’s wearing a jacket with a massive hood, and underneath there’s a bathing suit and some sort of sash thing . . . I mean, it’s all pretty, and the different tones of chocolate brown look great, but the busyness of it all is throwing me for a loop.
- Daytime dog park: a gorgeous, summery, floral print sundress with a blonde wig. Surprisingly bright and girly for Sharon, but I dig it.
- Pooch in a purse: a punky bad-girl look, with booty shorts, a punk-rock top and a SCRAM bracelet. She looks like Lindsay Lohan, only less worn-down.
- Canine couture: a very Parisian little black dress, with beautiful shoulders and a smart beret. Her thigh-high boots covered in white fur match her poodle perfectly, and the poufy white hair ties it all together perfectly.
- Daytime dog park: a fluffy white top, a pink mini-skirt and a brown wig. Like Latrice, it’s not exciting, but it is pretty.
- Pooch in a purse: If Michelle Visage and Kim Kardashian had a baby, and that baby became a Cher impersonator, it would look like this.
- Canine couture: a creamy catsuit (In a dog ball? How gauche) with furry boots and a poncho that makes her look a little older than she actually is. It’s nice, but there’s just something about the whole thing that doesn’t pull together too well.
Now for the judgment . . . the judges like Latrice, but the looks are all too simple for them to full-on love it. That Bitch Phi Phi is praised for her performance in the musical number, and the judges love her couture look, but they thought her dog park look was a little too costumey. Chad is, for once, read for filth over her look, which the judges think is a little too fancy grandma. But Sharon is the one to beat, as the judges gush over her super Vogue look and her willingness to step out of her comfort zone.