RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap Season 8 Episode Six – Shady Politics
There’s a quick recap of last week: Bob and Derrick were at each other’s throats. The queens worked with Little Women to create couture Wizard of Oz characters. Robbie’s look was unflattering. Derrick sewed a piece of fabric. RuPaul asked who should go home and three people immediately said Derrick, while Thorgy expressed disgust at Chi Chi’s lack of effort. Robbie left and Derrick cried in relief.
With Robbie gone, the queens seem exhausted. “That was an emotional one,” Derrick says in a monotone. The other queens remark on Derrick’s runway speech — which apparently went on longer than the edit on last week’s show. Several hours longer. Naomi asks how Chi Chi is feeling. Chi Chi is sad that the other queens don’t appreciate her hard work. Cut to Thorgy in a talking head, still complaining about Chi Chi. She will never forget that Chi Chi wasted time on a task. She sees Chi Chi and Derrick as the next to leave — and she doesn’t care what order they do it in.
“We’re not in Kansas anymore!” Bob exclaims when they skip into the Werk Room the next day. And that’s all the chit-chat we get, because RuPaul’s video is already starting. It’s in the form of a political ad — paid for by Citizens Against Lady Bunny. I smell an election year satire coming up!
But first, RuPaul decides to the Annual Andrew Christian Mini-Challenge. This involves an extended Pit Crew, all wearing Andrew Christian underwear and doing some silly, risqué game. I didn’t catch a name for the game, but it involved RuPaul reading a fun fact about each Pit Crew model, and one of the queens guessing if the model preferred the top or bottom (of a bunk bed). Yeah. Right. Bunk bed. It’s cute, though, and Derrick wins a prize from Casper Mattresses, which seems to sponsoring every pod cast in the world right now.
Afterwards, RuPaul explains the Maxi-Challenge. Each queen is going to make a political commercial that must both promote her own campaign for America’s First Drag President, and smear one of the other candidates. RuPaul pairs them into teams: Bob and Derrick, Naomi and Kim Chi, and Thorgy and Chi Chi. Nice of the producers to set up fights between Bob and Derrick and Thorgy and Chi Chi.
Despite the weeks of sniping at each other, Bob and Derrick actually have fun doing their ads. Every crazy idea that Bob comes up with, Derrick loves and commits to completely. When they film the ads (under the direction of Michelle Visage and Carson Kressley), they both have a great time, and Bob can’t stop talking about how funny Derrick is.
Naomi and Kim Chi have been close friends in the competition, so it’s hard for them to smear each other. The angle they pick is based on looks. Naomi is going to slag Kim Chi for not being pretty enough, while Kim’s negative smear is that Naomi is too skinny. During the shoot, Naomi seems a little low-key, while Kim Chi has trouble with diction and line-readings. Michelle and Carson give her many, many notes.
They also have to work with Chi Chi, who tries to be very dignified, but — as Michelle puts it — ends up sounding like John Wayne. They encourage her to be more “country.” This is distressing to Chi Chi, who feels like they really want her to be “ghetto.” Thorgy is very oversized in her ad — and I finally figured out who she reminds me of: Archer‘s mother.
With the film shoot over, the queens prepare for a “Black-and-White Movie Realness” runway (inspired by the amazing black-and-white make-up Detox wore to the Season Five finale. Bob tells us that he and his friends demonstrated every Saturday in Times Square for Marriage Equality, and Bob was even arrested while in drag. As always, Bob seems proud and happy about it (as he should be).
Derrick asks Kim Chi if she grew up in North or South Korean. Record scratch sound effect. Kim Chi good-naturedly explains that she couldn’t grow up in North Korean, because you don’t get to leave North Korean. She was born in America and went to school in South Korea. “Would you ever go back?” someone asks. Kim Chi says yes, but notes that there’s no drag culture — and barely even gay culture in Korea.
Cut to the Runway. RuPaul is not in black-and-white, but violet. Again. This time her hair is up. I’m a little underwhelmed with this look. The guest judges are Thomas Roberts, anchor of MSNBC’s Live with Thomas Roberts, and Vivica Fox.
Bob is first on the runway. She’s wearing a Harlequin gown, with a white Joker face. Derrick follows, in a rather basic look — but her black cocktail dress transforms into a white evening gown. So, there’s that. Naomi’s look is inspired by Raven’s final Season Two cabaret look. Kim Chi’s look is… just beautiful. She explains in voice-over that she’s doing a “sad-looking French clown” and I can’t help but think of Children of Paradise, which is one of my most favorite films. She does a whole character act, peeking out at the judges from the edge of the runway. It’s just enchanting. Thorgy Thor calls her look “Mae West meets Carrie Bradhaw.” I don’t really see either one. She looks like a rodeo clown to me. Chi Chi is the last one. She’s wearing a 1940’s glamor look — a long white sheath gown, with a black mink stole. It’s gorgeous. Like Bob, she’s got white make-up on her face, which makes her look like a zombie starlet.
Their commercials are shown. Bob’s is hilarious. She explained earlier that she was going for a combination of Michelle Obama and Hilary Clinton — and she pretty much nailed it. She accuses Derrick Barry of eating babies — and we see a shot of Derrick doing just that. With gusto. It’s a great piece. Derrick’s is also good, but the best parts are when Bob is onscreen — stealing dollar bills á la the Hamburglar.
The judges praise Bob’s commercial (cut to Thorgy looking pissed), but Michelle challenges Bob to do a full glamazon look. Carson tells Derrick that he didn’t find her politician convincing and that her runway look is basic.
Naomi’s commercial goes on a little long, but Vivica gives her points for basing her platform on being a drag queen. Also, the judges love her runway look — especially the padding. Kim Chi’s commercial is strange, as she compare her and Naomi’s look. She’s good at casting shade, though. In the judging, Michelle notes that she and Carson had to really push Kim to read her lines effectively. Kim explains that she has a fear of public speaking and starts to cry a little. Which oddly, works perfectly with the sad-clown face she’s wearing. RuPaul almost apologizes to her for being harsh.
The last set of commercials are by Thorgy and Chi Chi. Thorgy’s commercial is all about this Archer’s mom character she’s doing. She smears Chi Chi for being a drunk… I think. It’s not clear. The judges seem confused by it, and Carson calls her runway look, “Dead Boy George.” Carson is better at reading than I am. Dead Boy George is perfect. Chi Chi’s ad seems like a political ad done by a Country Kitchen restaurant owner. “Vote for me and get a free chicken dinner!” is kind of how it goes. Vivica praises Chi Chi’s runway, but calls her politician look “Wanda Sykes as the assistant in Monster in Law.” Michelle talks about having to push Chi Chi into that character — and now Chi Chi is crying. She thinks it’s ghetto and that’s everything she’s trying to escape in life. RuPaul tells her they aren’t trying to push her into being a type. They just want her to be herself.
Michelle takes a moment to tell the contestants that this is the strongest Top Six they’ve ever had. Nobody did a bad job this week, so it’s going to be a tough decision to send anyone home.
The final judgment is that Bob and Derrick win the challenge. Derrick looks shocked and delighted. RuPaul was impressed that they took their rivalry and used it to their advantage. Naomi and Kim are safe — and Kim almost faints from relief.
That leaves Thorgy and Chi Chi in the bottom, and I’m devastated to lose either one of them. The song is “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.” The Jennifer Holliday version. Chi Chi is determined not to leave, and Thorgy is confident she’ll be sending Chi Chi home. This one for the books. Thorgy is strong, but I can’t not look at Chi Chi and — I can’t bear to spoil what happens, but there’s a moment of pure magic.
When it ends, I’m hoping for a non-elimination, but RuPaul sends Thorgy home. Although Thorgy was in my top three, she hadn’t won a challenge yet — and I’m not sure she could win the crown without that. Still, it’s sad. I feel like she’s taking the sunshine with her.
Link to Full Episode
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Untucked always starts with the black-and-white sequence of the couch area being readied, the queens walking backstage in slow-motion to piano music, and then a bleed into color and sound. What’s odd this week is that the queens stay black-and-white, while everything else changes around them.
Everyone admires Kim Chi’s look, then quickly go into analyzing the judges’ feedback. Thorgy, Kim Chi, and Chi Chi are clearly in the bottom. Derrick states that only she and Bob really smeared the other in their ads. Naomi and Chi Chi did get the most praise for their runway looks. But, Derrick notes, this week the runway doesn’t seem to factor as highly as the ads.
“How do you feel about that?” Kim Chi asks Bob. Bob starts to talk, but gets interrupted by Thorgy, who is upset. Thorgy got read by the judges on her need to edit — while standing on the same runway as Bob, whose runway look is way over the top.
“Am I crazy by saying? I feel like I am crazy.” Thorgy babbles. Kim Chi comments in a talking head that Thorgy gets jealous and competitive, especially with Bob. She needs to stop worrying about Bob and just try to be Thorgy. Bob also talking heads that Thorgy is too much in her head.
In the present, Bob tells Thorgy that the judges want her to be more specific. “Instead of trying to be the Jack of all trades, just be one,” she suggests.
“My grandmother said that to me the week before she died,” Thorgy says. “she said to me, ‘you know, you are the Jack of all trades, but the master of none.” Geez, Grandma. Way to curse your kin. Derrick says she loves that Thorgy is so eclectic in her drag.
Kim asks who thinks they are going home. Derrick feels safe. She thinks she and Bob were in the top two. Chi Chi thinks Naomi won the challenge. Bob says they gushed over Chi Chi. “That’s just because they’ve never seen me look this expensive,” Chi Chi laughs.
Bob thinks Kim Chi will in the bottom. Flashback to Kim Chi getting criticism, then talking head to Kim Chi, who was devastated that her efforts were so displeasing. Meanwhile, Thorgy is off at the mirrors, making sure her hat is firmly attached to her hair. She knows she’s in the bottom two. “Derrick, it’s been nice to know you.”
“Are you saying it’s nice to know you because you’re sending me home?” Derrick smiles, confident that she’s not lip-syncing. “Absolutely,” Thorgy smiles. She waves good-bye to the queens on the couches and goes off to some mysterious location.
Bob laughs and tells a story about seeing Thorgy in a restaurant in New York once. Bob greeted Thorgy, who, instead of returning the greeting, went into an Eric Idle-like monologue about all the things that were bugging her that particular day. “Yeah, but hey,” Bob replied, and now, she imitates Thorgy by saying, “You look… amazing.” Maybe that will become Thorgy’s catchphrase.
Kim Chi is outside, alone. She practices the lip-sync. In her sad clown make-up, standing against the white concrete wall of the studio, she looks… amazing.
Bob and Chi Chi read Derrick’s runway look. They find her dress very basic. Bob asks Derrick how much she knows about the lip-sync song. Derrick is familiar with the movie. Nevertheless, Bob explains that the song is about a woman who is at the lowest point in her life — that she’s lost everything, her job, her friends, her man. Kim Chi wanders by, and Bob calls her over, telling her to listen to this (since she’ll probably be lip-syncing). They need to think about the sadness of being eliminated and use that in the lip-sync. “This has the potential of being the best lip-sync in the history of drag race,” Bob announces.
Now it’s only the Chis (Chi and Kim) on the couches. Chi Chi’s fan is a pop of color in a black-and-white world. Chi Chi assures Kim that she’s not going home. Kim Chi agrees, but her voice is shaking and she’s trying to calm herself with deep breaths. Chi Chi jokes that the judges will pick Chi Chi to lip-sync, surprising everyone. But she advises Kim Chi to play directly to the judges. “Don’t be looking at the clouds,” she says.
Five minutes. Thorgy tells everyone that she loves them one last time. She jokes that she she’ll be disappearing into the darkness — cue the smoke. Cue the smoke. Cue the smoke!
After the epic lip-sync, Thorgy walks backstage. She regrets nothing, and knows this will be “Judge us kindly and, uh, fall in love with us, because we’re all in love with each other,” she tells the audience. She reads notes from Derrick and Naomi. “No more notes? Thanks, Bob,” Thorgy sniffs. She pulls out an enormous breast plate, regretting that she never got to wear it. “What is that?” asks an off-camera producer. She drapes it on one arm, making an instant purse. A breast-purse. She leaves jewelry for Chi Chi — or maybe it’s a joke. I can’t really tell.
She puts all her huge wigs into a large suitcase. She had been keeping her most spectacular looks for the end of competition — and so never got to wear them. For someone with no regrets? She’s got a lot of regrets. But, I guess she wouldn’t be Thorgy if she weren’t several things at the same time.