The makeover challenge on Rupaul’s Drag Race is a crowd pleaser in the way that Snatch Game wishes it could be. And this is no exception on Down Under. But before the queens get to make some baffling choices in the maxi (how ironic) challenge, they first return to the workroom to reminisce about Etcetera Etcetera, gone too soon.
“She’s the future of drag,” says Art Simone.
“She’s the future of the human race,” says Karen From Finance.
“She should still be there!” I scream emphatically at the tv and pointing at the giant racist in the workroom.
But she isn’t, and there’s no business like show business and the show must go on and that’s just show biz ain’t it.
The mini challenge makes looking at bulging men in speedos fun and playful by making the queens guess animals and the pit crew, who it would appear are more diverse than the selection of remaining drag queens, reveal plushie underwear. I will admit, I had no idea what was going on for about half of this challenge, but I suppose it was fun?
My heart sank when Maxi won the mini challenge. I foresaw disaster for her. The show loves to sink or celebrate people in one ep, raise them just enough to make them misstep and then throw them away the next episode. At any rate, Maxi Shield, bless her heart, didn’t seem to be too concerned with sabotaging anyone. Although to be fair, aside from some beards, all of these men seemed like they would be similarly challenging.
The men themselves are from the NZ Falcons, and just like the pit crew, they are more diverse than the remaining drag queens on Rupaul’s Drag Race Down Under. Which is great, because the show isn’t a complete whitewash, but also sad to think about certain queens who remain. I won’t harp on about it any more, and indeed, the show has completely stopped referencing the bombshell revelations of last episode, as have many other recappers. I will however continue to mention it and will no longer mention the person in question.
We got everything you want from a makeover challenge. Queens bonding with people who wouldn’t normally explore their femininity in this way, faces transformed by make up, large men failing to walk in heels, beards being shaved and so on. Plus a good level of snark between the queens themselves. Having an audience is so revitalizing for the queens on any season of Drag Race and I find that their performative banter is always on point in a makeover episode.
And then they’re on stage. And the judging is confusing and we remember we’re watching the most controversial season of Drag Race yet. Some queens are praised for creating looks that are practically identical, such as Kita Mean, which others are derided for the same, such as Karen From Finance and Elektra Shock. Art Simone is read for not looking alike at all, and to be fair, aside from the Priscilla, Queen of the Desert connection, they really don’t look like family. I suppose one could argue the point of the found family, as evidenced in the film, but the show is looking for something more superficial it seems. Both the queens in the bottom have similar critiques. Lazy outfits which are identical aside from being in different colours.
Maxi, oh Maxi. How can you be so smart as to take sewing lessons and deliver a line about not being an idiot in one episode and then not read the room of the past fifteen years of Rupaul’s Drag Race and simply pack two ‘one size fits all’ sack outfits for the makeover challenge? Rupaul was correct when saying he wanted to see the great big honking badonkadonks on both of them. We’ve seen in episode after episode that this play doesn’t work. It’s with incredible sadness that she ends up in the bottom, perhaps a little defeated and a bit over it.
Maxi does her best, but without a sparkly mic, she is overshadowed when singing Better The Devil You Know by Kylie Minogue, because her combatant is literally dressed as the devil and, say it with me now, is a known racist. A friend of mine suggested that Maxi could have brought out a ‘maxi’ mic which might have edged her over, but hindsight is a painful, accurate thing, so unfortunately she didn’t, and Maxi Shield, last remaining Sydney queen and surely, Miss Congeniality, sashayed away.
So we have a top 5, two episode to go and no clear idea of who will win.
- Did you hear the new conspiracy theory about how this season is manufactured to make Art Simone the host of season 2? Yes, please.
- Aunty who? The fact that their only ringing endorsement on the show is from a known racist must sting a bit.
- Rupaul’s make up was amazing, her Ugg boot lewk was fantastic, her hair was an 80s extravaganza. I loved.
- When I said out loud “Come on, Maxi,” and moved to the edge of my seat prior to the lip sync for your life, I felt like I might be experiencing what it’s like to view sports with a vested interest. Can anyone confirm?
- Next week we get a talent show, Raven as a guest plus THE question, “Who do you think should go home tonight and why?” I can’t wait.
- One more thing, Elektra Shock completely blanking the winner of the LSFYL when she went to the back of the stage turned me into an Elektra stan now and forever. Bravo.