Previously on Drag Race: Everyone underestimated Valentina and she slayed the house down. Charlie Hides told Eureka to shush her face. Kimora Blac was mind-numbingly delusional about pretty much everything in her life. And poor, sad, insecure Jaymes Mansfield sashayed away.
We open on the first of many post-elimination lipstick message reunions. The girls spend about a second and a half discussing Jaymes and immediately move on to talking about themselves again. Picking herself right up from her earlier self-doubt, Kimora goes right back into crazy delusional mode and labels herself an underdog for being put in the bottom next to Ms. Mansfield.
Lovely, sweet, talented Valentina has now gone from being cruelly underestimated to being looked at as someone to take down at all costs. Trinity Taylor takes it upon herself to dethrone the latina queen and win the next challenge. But Valentina’s true nemesis won’t make her dastardly appearance until Untucked, later on. Dun dun dunnn.
Mama Ru comes in and brings the contestants’ attention to the wax figure of her in the corner of the werk room. Thought it was creepy enough already? Guess what – it’s way worse than you even imagined!
RuPaul swiftly moves on to this week’s challenge: The queens need to get royally creative and design a princess look for the runway, as well as a weird little animated sidekick that’ll be kinda floating there with them like some budget Disney Channel special effect. Okay, werk.
The girls get to work and Aja is suddenly being given significant screentime: She’s super confident about her chances with this challenge. Because that’s never an ominous, foreshadow-y way to begin the episode.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Farrah Moan is having a complete mental breakdown over how to sew an outfit together. Any outrage over queens on a ninth season of Drag Race coming in not knowing how to sew aside, I have such mixed feelings about this.
Eureka shows a surprisingly sweet side by helping Farrah, as well as Nina Bo’nina Brown (in this bonus scene), with their outfits. Also metaphorically coming to Farrah’s rescue is Kimora, who once again proves she is the most wildly unprepared person in the room with this gem: “What’s an adjective?”
I’ll do you guys a favor and skip over Cynthia Lee Fontaine‘s hourlong explanation of the word Cucu, because, no.
Runway time! Todrick Hall is back, and with him comes the delicious Cheyenne Jackson.
The queens start going down the runway, and it’s a real odd batch of princesses. Eureka tried to go for this whole sewer princess glamazon thing, but it looks more bedazzled than most of the girls so I guess they have jewelers down there or something. Alexis Michelle‘s shtick is “subway fish,” but she just looks like she got scooped up by a crab-fishing expedition and I’m trying to figure out where the subway part comes in. Farrah Moan’s lack of sewing skills is clearly visible. Aja looks really, really rough and her backstory is a mess. Kimora Blac looks pretty great, but her robotic, smooth-haired monkey is so, so, so cringeworthy.
Nina Bo’nina Brown’s look is very Nina Bo’nina Brown, and I’m kind of in love with her bouncy-breasted robot sidekick. Sasha Velour shines with her crazy, incredibly well-acted sidekick, a troll with the voice of Gollum. Shea Couleé shows up saying something about Aquaria and stars but all I can see is this:
Valentina and Trinity Taylor, like Sasha, give their sidekicks really cartoony voices and funny lines and smartly show off their kooky side along with their looks.
While the safe girls go to the Untucked lounge and each discuss who they’d like to kai kai with, Kimora literally gives the judges a sob story about how she’s not used to living without hip pads or breastplates and it’s affecting everything. Mama Ru and Michelle Visage‘s faces are just priceless. Then they praise Trinity and oh my God I just understood the whole “chocolate starfish” joke from the werk room. Ugh.
The tops and bottoms join the safe girls backstage, where Aja goes off on Valentina and how much the judges love her and, for a fraction of a second, Valentina’s impeccable, eloquent facade breaks and her whole speech pattern suddenly changes.
Back on the main stage, Trinity gets her wish of defeating Valentina in a challenge. Are we looking at a potential top 3 with our challenge winners so far? Mayhaps. Shockingly, Farrah Moan is declared safe and Aja lands in the bottom alongside Kimora, where she proceeds to lip-sync the adjective-deprived queen all the way back home.
I have to say, I’m going to miss Kimora Blac. She was a little too snarky and not all that creative, but her personality was reality TV gold. Fare thee well, monkey girl.
Time for the weekly rundown!
Cynthia Lee Fontaine – Her Cucu got a little less spotlight this week, aside from a really sad story about Pulse nightclub. Cynthia’s trucking on through season 9 so far.
Peppermint – Peppermint scored high this week, but I’m still a tad ambivalent about her. She doesn’t really fascinate me all that much.
Farrah Moan – Farrah seriously floundered (pun intended) this week, but she still shows some sliver of promise. Hopefully, she can make up for this slip-up with an acting challenge or something.
Charlie Hides – Grandma looked gorgeous in her outfit and it’s a shame she was just safe. I sensed a tiny bit of tension between her and Ru in this bonus scene, though, and that’s worrisome.
Eureka – This season’s big girl is making up for the last couple of episodes by being very kind and helpful to several of her fellow queens. Is a redemption storyline in the works?
Alexis Michelle – I feel like she didn’t really deliver on her “subway” theme, but she still looked great on the runway and is a solid presence in Untucked. Girl’s doing well so far.
Nina Bo’nina Brown – Miss Fofana gave us a little bit of episode 1 face paint fantasy again this week, and while it didn’t get her into the top this time, it still looked amazing and so different from everyone else.
Sasha Velour – Sasha is very slowly getting more screentime with every episode and is still doing really well overall, though a challenge win is starting to become necessary if she wants to rise above the pack anytime soon.
Shea Couleé – Like with Sasha, I feel like Shea is one of the most consistently talented queens in the competition, but she needs a win soon if she wants to make it to the top 4.
Valentina – As Aja so bitterly put it, Valentina is definitely a bit of a teacher’s pet right now, which is great for her but not so great as far as her position with the other contestants is concerned. She’s probably not making a lot of friends and I feel bad for her about that. Still, she continues to kill it week after week, so yay for Valentina.
Aja – Oh boy. Aja fell and she fell hard this week. That makeup is definitely a problem and I hope she takes some of the judges’ criticism to heart. She’s a fierce dancer and lip-syncer, so it’d be a shame to see her go home early.
Trinity Taylor – Trinity got exactly what she wanted this week and proved once and for all she is absolutely not a filler queen (I’M SO SORRY TRINITY). I’m really happy for her. She’s gorgeous and hilarious, an excellent combo.
With that, I shall leave you all with this amazing gif of Valentina and Aja angrily sipping their drinks at each other, courtesy of reddit user ceecizzy. Ciao!