RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race: Queen of Clubs
January 26, 2019 9:26 AM - Season 4, Episode 7 - Subscribe

The queens design and host a pop-up nightclub.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero (10 comments total)
I like the idea of this challenge, but why not do a REAL event? It’s hard to get invested in which team runs a better fake nightclub (for all we know, they filmed in the middle of the day).

Next week’s preview shows a makeover challenge! I love those!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:40 AM on January 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

I have been stanning Manila hard all season, but I have to say that this time I thought she should be in the bottom. Her moue-ing for the camera and over-the-top campiness just felt too forced, and interfered with what was otherwise a good flow between her teammates. But she did play an important role in developing the design and concept (which was apparently the most successful?), and her runway look was okay, so I guess that's what saved her.

Based on the editing, though, I was surprised Trinity was in the top. The judging was unclear: sometimes they judge based on teams, and other times they say the competition was in teams but critiques are individual. Here, they could have declared The Hive the winning team, and then explained they could only pick two winners, but that's not how it was framed. Monet and Monique were funnier as hosts, but their concept didn't quite hang together, and Club 96 did fall a bit flat despite Naomi's heroic efforts. Anyway, that was confusing.

I did not understand the point of Trinity's lip sync costume. Actually, neither of them really dressed for the song, but Latrice just did her usual thing. I'm really not a fan of making fun of weight or age (I also didn't love Shangela's lip sync fat suit in AS3), but beyond that, this didn't even make sense. It looked like it was intended for the "Silver Foxy" runway in season 10.

The right person went home (what WAS that mise Valentina wore for painting?????), but I didn't love the episode as a whole.
posted by Superplin at 9:52 AM on January 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I really loved this challenge, and I'm assuming there were some constraints on why they couldn't do this as a real club night - the biggest one being I think the higher likelihood of a leak of the state of the competition, and timing being a close second. I'd also be very suspicious of the fans of various contestants throwing their weight around and making it more about who has the better fandom. You have to advertise, and if you wind up with a club full of fans it really skews the result.

To do a real club night from scratch like that is a few weeks of planning, at least, too, so they probably wouldn't have time to get it together in the timeframe of the episode.

That said. I really loved it. It's was a different take from the usual string of challenges, and really gave the queens an opportunity to show off their bread and butter. This is what queens *do* for a living, and it was wonderful to see them doing it. I thought Trinity really shone as a hostess, and I freaking looooooooooooved her club outfit. She really earned that win.

I'm not sure the edit was kind to Latrice, either - we didn't see much of her actual hosting, but it was good to see it acknowledged by the judges. And super respect to both of the winners for flagging that they couldn't have won without Manila. Very classy.
posted by Jilder at 7:13 PM on January 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

I should clarify that I love this challenge, but the editing and judging felt off to me. I hope they keep it up and it turns into the Restaurant Wars of Drag Race. People who go to the RW restaurants have to sign draconian confidentiality agreements, and I think this could be done in a way that at least somewhat protects the secrecy of the show.
posted by Superplin at 7:50 PM on January 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

I did not understand the point of Trinity's lip sync costume.

I think she purposefully threw the lip sync because she didn’t want to be the one to send Valentina home
posted by Automocar at 9:22 AM on January 27, 2019 [4 favorites]

I've seen that theory floated, but Trinity is a competitor, forged on the pageant circuit. She did not come to play. I'd be thoroughly shocked if she deliberately tried not to win, especially considering the amount of effort it took to get into that godawful saggy skin suit.

I'm not buying it. I think she made a miscalculation. It was an attempted joke that didn't land, which isn't exactly off-brand for her. Throwing the game would be.
posted by Superplin at 11:00 AM on January 27, 2019 [5 favorites]

I also thought the challenge was great. I'd love to see it become a standing challenge for Drag Race, kind of like Snatch Game or Restaurant Wars on Top Chef. This episode was a lot funnier than a lot. The scene of Valentina in his ridiculous getup on Naomi's shoulders painting the wall cracked me up, as did RELEASE THE BEES as the closeout for the trio's club.

I could not believe that Susanne Bartsch is SIXTY TWO years old. If you had asked me I would have placed her in her early thirties. She and Rita Ora were great judges.

I am dying to know who designed Latrice's latex runway look but can't seem to find that info online. I wish she'd post her runway looks on Instagram after each episode, crediting the designer, but maybe with the racist harassment she is getting from Valentina's fans she's avoiding it.
posted by urbanlenny at 5:47 PM on January 27, 2019 [3 favorites]

urbanlenny: I KNO RITE?? I had Susanne mixed with Sonya Tayeh for a moment there and still thought she was aging beautifully. And she runs clubs for a living?? Like, cigarettes and booze and drugs and late nights and that's how she's growing old?? Fuck kale and yoga man, I'm going to go start a nightclub.

As far as Trinity's hag suit goes, I think she was aiming for a Shangela Peanut Butter moment and just misfired. If she'd had some crazy obvious bad plastic surgery with her oldness maybe it would have worked, but the suit didn't do much for her song. But hey, as she said in the voiceover, she's got to stretch herself, and while the execution was garbage I can at least appreciate her attempts to branch out.
posted by Jilder at 8:24 PM on January 27, 2019

After watching this I immediately Googled for Susanne Bartsch's beauty tips. Sounds like rigorous cleansing and good genes!
posted by apricot at 7:53 AM on January 28, 2019

I get the sense that Trinity is still really, really, really trying to convince people that she's more than a pageant queen, and I think her lip sync choice was part of that. (It certainly was a Choice. Which she committed to. Hard.)

I loved this challenge as well; I sort of liked the tiny rooms they had to decorate themselves and all of that. Like a nightclub in extra-miniature! It was also just really fun? Like, I would actually go out if I could be promised a club like one of these. (That didn't cost too much. And was mostly over by midnight. I don't go out a lot, can you tell.)

It was time for Valentina to go home; she's obviously very talented in a lot of ways others. It's kind of sad to see her fans are still batshit crazy.

By the way, there's a wonderful documentary about Susanne Bartsch -- Susanne Bartsch: On Top. She is a deeply interesting person. (Also, look out for a few seconds of pre-Drag Race Aquaria footage!)
posted by kalimac at 3:45 PM on January 28, 2019 [3 favorites]

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