Safety in Sequins
The queens are already missing Joslyn. At Dela’s suggestion, they send her off with a double-push to the breast. Even Courtney does it. I guess that’s the ending to the Joslyn/Courtney storyline. She made an impression on her idol.
This is Bianca’s third win, and she’s quite happy about it. Dela notes that she quickly fell after getting cocky about her wins and wonders if that might happen to Bianca.
Meanwhile, Darienne is pissed about being ranked below Courtney on the make-over challenge. As she should be. She sounds off about Neil Patrick Harris and “his Val Kilmer knock-off boyfriend.” Adore notes Darienne isn’t really listening to the judges, and compares her to a girl who thinks the boys are looking at her, when they’re really looking at the booger hanging off her nose.
Dela wonders what’s next. A double elimination? Or will the judges just bring in fourteen more girls and start over? Who can tell!
I can. RuPaul always does a ball challenge right after the make-overs. That means three looks using the same basic (and usually unconventional) materials.
Courtney claims that she wrote down five names the night of their first shared challenge. Those names? Courtney Act, Adore Delano, BenDeLaCreme, Bianca Del Rio, and Darienne Lake.
The mini-challenge is doing reads with puppets. This is staple challenge since Season 4, but always great. Each queen randomly picks another queens puppet-likeness. Then they have to drag the puppet and use to lampoon its corresponding queen.
Darienne and Courtney draw each other’s puppets. Adore gets Dela, Dela gets Bianca, and Bianca gets Adore. The queens are so eager for this that they start reading each other immediately and continue all through the arts and crafts session But that doesn’t mean they’re out of jokes when RuPaul returns. Dela wins by using acrylic nails to make Bianca’s huge teeth, and screaming out “Baloney!” a dozen times.
Then the main ball challenge is explained. It’s to be a “glitter ball.” The materials will be tons of paste gemstones (from Fierce Drag Jewels), and cloth from the Fabric Planet wall. As winner of the puppet show, Dela gets to assign the jewel tones to each queen. (I guess they have to stick with one general color).
The categories in the ball are three: Bangjee Girl Bling, Platinum Card Executive Realness, and Dripping in Jewels Eleganza. Okay. That sounds a lot like the categories last year. Except those had to be made out of candy! I hope there’s some huge twist, because this ball sounds like a walk in the park next to previous balls.
Dela tells us that everyone is worried — except for Bianca. They all know she’s the best on at sewing. We don’t see Dela assign the colors, but she assures the others that she didn’t think there were any bad colors. She mentions giving diamonds to Adore, because they were easiest.
RuPaul comes in to chide Darienne and Dela for not having won any challenges lately. Dela is determined to wow the judges this week. Darienne, as usual in these mentor sessions, is tongue-tied. It’s kind of cute that she gets all flabbergasted in Boy RuPaul’s presence. Maybe she has a killer crush on him.
But the most interesting is Adore’s session. Adore says she has a lot of ideas and then suddenly says, “I think what I had in the beginning got lost,” and breaks into tears. She apologizes for being a chiona (crybaby), but RuPaul is okay with that. He just advises Adore to what the same energy to sewing that she does to other challenges.
RuPaul throws in the usual last-minute twist. There’s another Lucian Piane production number that they need to choreograph and lip-synch. Dela passes the choreography to Courtney, who comes up with something serviceable, but not exciting. The one who shines most in the number, interestingly, is Darienne.
During the werk time, we see Bianca helping out. Darienne’s first dress idea goes south, and Bianca checks to see if she can help. Adore, of course, has no idea how to make the dress she’s sewing. Bianca talks her through making a tulle skirt.
The good news for Courtney is she’s sure she’ll be safe after the judges see Adore’s hot mess.
After the judges (including the returning Khloe Kardashian and legendary designer Bob Mackie) politely applaud the opening number, we get the triple runway. Adore is the only one that really captures “Banjee Girl Bling.” Bianca looks like a cougar on Rodeo Drive, Dela is just in black underwear, Courtney goes in a Britney Spears direction that’s exactly as exciting as Britney’s live X-Factor appearance. And Darienne is wearing a Katy Perry wig with Jade Jolie’s toddler onsie.
For Platinum Card Exexutive Realness, Dela looks like Minnie Mouse in a power suit. Adore describes her look as a lesbian who sleeps with men on the weekend. Bianca’s got on a powder blue suit, and calls herself a real estate agent. Courtney’s wearing a sharkskin blazer with a very short skirt. She’s holding a cell phone, so that makes it businesswear. Darienne is wearing a green sequined blouse, black track pants, and a blazer. It’s really dreadful.
And the final looks is the one every spent time making. Dela’s wearing her standard showgirl look, but very pretty and sparkly. She made an interesting headpiece. Adore is a demented puppet ballerina in silver handcuffs. Bianca is also doing the standard Bianca dress, but in sapphire blue. Darienne has glued her topaz gems on a nude gown to look like a bikini. Unfortunately, the gems have stretched material so that her “bottoms” are around her knees. And Courtney is in a ruby red toga, and has created a red make-up mask over half her face.
The judges consult and critique. Santino sums up Dela’s best by saying she didn’t surprise him. Adore gets a huge amount of love for her first and third looks. RuPaul says Adore had an epiphany, but doesn’t get as teary about it as she did with Trinity. Bob Mackie thinks that Bianca nailed the executive look, but didn’t like her third one. Khloe finds her repetitive. Darienne gets hate all around, and makes a self-deprecating joke about her disastrous “Princess Leia” bikini gown. Michelle scolds Courtney Act for having no ass in her Banjee look. Santino, on the other hand, thinks her eleganza red toga is “effortlessly chic.”
RuPaul asks the hard question of the queens: Which of them should go home. They all say Darienne. Even Darienne, but she adds that the who does the worst on the lip-synch should be the one who leaves.
In the end, Adore wins the prize (a costume from Kicka custom designs). It’s a surprise, considering her utter lack of sewing skills. But, Adore’s looks were interesting, new, and she acted them well. The two favorites for this challenge, Bianca and Dela, did rather safe looks.
Darienne and Dela fall into the bottom, which seems wrong. Courtney did do one very good look, the final toga/caftan one, but Dela’s three looks were well-executed and more interesting.
They lip-synch to “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson. They both declare their intention to fight, and Darienne says the lyrics really speak to her in the moment. But they both look like their feet are in agony, and it’s hard to say who won.
Alas! It’s Darienne. Not that I dislike her (much), but I hate seeing Dela go home. It was Darienne’s time. Six weeks ago.
Ben is disappointed, the way they all are. She writes a long message that fills the entire mirror. I have no idea what it says, but I’m looking forward to Darienne spending all night cleaning that damn mirror up.
As soon as they leave the stage, the queens take their shoes off. Darienne is so depressed by the critiques that she thinks the judges should send her home without bothering to lip-synch. (Note: After they paid for the rights to a Kelly Clarkson song? I don’t think so!)
They grab their drinks (which look like black Russians), and get to drinking. Dela apologizes profusely to Bianca for saying she was “sailing through” the competition, during the “Who Should Leave” question. It was a compliment, she says, because Bianca is incredible at everything. Bianca acknowledges that she over-reacted.
For what it’s worth, I think they were both right. Dela didn’t mean to be shady, but she does have that Pacific NW niceness thing where we phrase compliments to sound passive aggressive. It’s like we live in Lake Woebegone.
Courtney is surprised that the judges didn’t like Dela’s final outfit. Dela is surpassed, too, because she poured her heart into it.
Then Courtney asks how Darienne feels, and there is a long pause. And flashbacks. And awkward sips of their drinks. And then a commercial.
When we come back, Darienne pretends to cry for a second, then says she doesn’t mind the harsh critiques. She respect her sisters and the judges. Plus, she gets a lot worse from random internet haters.
The Peek-a-Ru video shows childhood pictures of themselves and the other queens that season. Adore goes into hysterics at Magnolia Crawford’s queen look (which she never saw). We see a young Roy (Bianca), holding a parrot and looking very cute. Adore says she dated someone who looked just like that. Baby Darienne was a “Botticelli cherub,” according to Bianca. And there’s a picture of five-year-old Courtney Act, sitting on a car she won in a tiny tot competition. “Who gives a car to a five year old?” she asks, still amused twenty-five years later.
The picture of Laganja brings back their regret at piling on her in that last Untucked session. But Bianca is adamant that someone had to be said about Laganja’s emotional neediness. “I have to ‘sail through’ these competitions,” she states. “I don’t have time for people’s feelings!”
They check the Big Furry Pink Box, and find a letter to Bianca from her friend’s daughter, Lola. Lola is “nearly eight,” but amazingly eloquent in her writing. She’s written about three pages on how much she loves “Lady Roy” and their art workshop sessions. She also includes photos and a hand drawn portrait. Bianca may not have time for people’s feelings, but she has a few of her own, getting choked up as she reads the sweet letter. “This is my moment!” she finally exclaims, imitating Laganja.
The queens then spend a few minutes to appreciate their experience in the competition, and each other. Courtney is so happy that her tuck becomes undone.
We re-watch the lip-synch and mourn all over again. Dela describes her post-elimination feelings as “sadness and shock.” She wishes everyone luck, but says they don’t need it. As far as she’s concerned, all of her sisters are already at the top of their drag.
This is the saddest elimination for me since April Carrion. I don’t think Dela would have won the season, so all it really means is that she gets to rest and decompress for a couple days. I hope she got to sit by the pool in a fabulous outfit and drink cocktails served by handsome cabana boys.
Next week, the final four will do the traditional music video. I’ll see you then! If you feel like venting in the comment section, please do. Or if you want to say why Darienne deserved to stay. All views are welcome!