RuPaul's Drag Race: RuPaul Book Ball
April 25, 2016 7:49 PM - Season 8, Episode 8 - Subscribe

EVERYONE LOVES PUPPETS in the mini challenge; for the maxi challenge, our five queens each create three runway looks to tell their life story. Bonus: a song-and-dance skit inspired by Strangers With Candy!
posted by duffell (9 comments total)
One of the best episodes in the season and of many, many seasons.

I live tweeted this so the world knows how lame I think Derrick is, and this episode exposed all of his weaknesses. He thinks being a Female Impersonator is the exact same thing as Drag. Not quite.

His pitiful costumes and inability to paint really showed in what contempt he holds Drag. Bitch didn't learn to sew, refused to learn to sew, has no imagination for costumes (with glue gun), and was unwilling to develop any character for herself, versus performing as Britney.

He got WAY too far, and should have gone before Acid Betty and Thorgy. Those queens at least have given thought to developing characters and have enough brains to be funny and witty and entertaining.

If Derrick couldn't lip synch to Britney, what exactly would he be doing?

The other part of this was the total inability to take on-board any criticism either from the judges or other queens. The whole entitled, "I'm a big hit in Vegas", thing wore quite thin when he was being told repeatedly that he needed to do other things.

He wasn't staying because of talent, he was staying because frankly the drama of it was entertaining. The Queen we loved to hate. Really, I loathed him at the end of last night.

He CLEARLY had never heard Sylvester before having to learn it for the LSFYL. How is that possible? That is THE song in every club ever, world-wide. His dead-eyed lip-synch sealed the coffin for him. It's an irony because the very last thing Derrick was, is 'Mighty Real".

Still loving Bob the Drag Queen, although she's not serving glamour. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. It's not about glamour and if it comes down to it, I'll be very pissed if that takes precedence over talent and entertainment.

Naomi is adorable, and in a few years she may be more than gorgeous. Kim Chi needs more seasoning as well, although I'd watch her paint her house.

I think it will, and should come down to Bob and Chi-Chi, who are both funny, wise, and mighty real.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:03 AM on April 26, 2016 [4 favorites]

I agree, Bob and ChiChi, either, both, I'll be happy. Naomi edges KimChi for me, just slightly, especially after her abject refusal to let Derrick get away with anything this week, including having uneven eyebrows.

And holy lord, those eyebrows. That was the worst bad terrible no good drag makeup I've ever seen. It made her look even more masculine, somehow, with a side helping of serial killer realness.
posted by donnagirl at 9:19 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

I honestly think Derrick was just Too Famous to Fail up until this point, and served nicely as a villain. I also think that the "drag your makeup up a bit" comment from last week was 100% setting the stage for....that...paint job we got last night. Hoo-boy, I saw a community theater production of "La Cage Aux Folles" with half the "girls" being straight guys, and all their eyebrows looked exactly like that. Derrick has benefited mightily from looking very much like Britney Spears facially and never really moved beyond that. And maybe he never needs to...female impersonation and drag are two entirely different types of art, and both are just as valid as one another. I just think he's not really used to having to grasp and grab his way toward anything up until now. He's set himself up to perform Britney in BOTS for a few years and get more local gigs whenever Vegas doesn't want him anymore.

The perfect person to take him down was Bob, of course. I was thinking that it was a setup for a Derrick/Naomi LSFYL, but that probably wouldn't be all that impressive, whereas Bob just mopped the floor with Derrick. Satisfying to see, even if it wasn't anything near a question of who would win going in.

I'm guessing Final 3 will be Bob, Chi Chi and Kim Chi. I think Naomi will give them a run for their money, and expect the final LSFYL will be Naomi vs. Kim Chi, with everybody writing Kim Chi off, but they'll give them something like The Monster Mash to lip sync to, and Kim Chi can stomp her way through to the end.
posted by xingcat at 12:58 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

Derrick was an odd kind of villain, though - pretty heavily un-self-aware, but as opposed to previous un-self-aware villains (ahem, Phi Phi) who were adamant about defending the One True Drag, he didn't seem all that interested in what the tenets of drag even are.

Interesting that for the first time since... oh look, Season 3! we have a situation where all the finalists are set to be nonwhite. With all the talk of who's "ratchet" (ugh, can that go away) and country and adopted and "outsider" (immigrant-shaded, despite being U.S.-born), the final four are bringing an intriguing range of backgrounds, which inform (but don't--generally--overshadow) their presentation.

I mean, I want to see Bob the Lord High Most Wacky take the crown (is there a question?), but I really do like all the remaining participants and that's so nice to be able to say.
posted by psoas at 3:19 PM on April 26, 2016 [4 favorites]

Oh, also: THIS.
posted by psoas at 3:23 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]

OMG, that t-shirt! I need it.
posted by xingcat at 4:32 PM on April 26, 2016

Agree that this was probably the best episode of the season. So much cringe-y reading and OH LORD Bob's camera interviews had me screaming. First when he cried about his mom and then looked at the producer and said, "You got me, bitch." Second was when Naomi and Derrick were catfighting and Bob totally called the rattlesnake sound effect.

Bob deserved to be in the bottom two with his runway looks as compared to the top three (sorry Bob love you grr!), but boy was I glad to see someone finally send Derrick home. I'm sure he's a lovely guy but his thin-skinned but-still-entitled attitude really rubbed me the wrong way this whole season.

Props to Chi Chi who really busted out this challenge, I thought, with her looks. Also how delightful having two Sedarises on the panel! Can't think of anything wrong with this week.

And yay, I also was struck by having a nonwhite final four! Not that it makes a huge difference, but it's really satisfying that a show that celebrates outsiders (gay boys who wear makeup) is, in some ways, getting its arms around people who are often on the margins of pop culture in other ways.

It's a mark of a good season that I'm not sure who I want to be in the Top 3... Bob and Chi Chi for sure, but Naomi and Kim Chi are so different... unless maybe Naomi could take Chi Chi's spot if she really stumbles. Doubtful, I think. Probably Naomi will get sent home with a warm "you're so young and have so much more to learn/do/be!" message?
posted by Zephyrial at 8:02 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

xingcat: I honestly think Derrick was just Too Famous to Fail up until this point, and served nicely as a villain.

To Famous to Fail is all I can give Derrick, because there were other worthy villains who fell before their time (aka before Derrick). In reviewing how everyone scored, Acid Betty was eliminated after being in the top 3 for the first three episodes, then being low, and finally while having doves fly from her pregnant belly when almost everyone else, including Naomi Smalls (the other in the Bottom 2) wore kimonos. Srsly? Robbery #1

Robby Turnter didn't do as hot, but won in the 4th episode, only to be in the bottom 3, before being eliminated in the 6th episode, against ... Derrick.

Thorgy didn't stand a chance in DFYL against Chi Chi, given that Thorgy doesn't seem to go beyond camp, and that doesn't hold up in DFYL for most songs.

But back to Derrick - the only former drag queen who was less drag and more female impersonator was Courtney Act, but she had more variety in fashions and makeup, even if she didn't do "drag" makeup. If you wanted style and drama, keep Acid Betty. Except she was against Naomi, who apparently had room for growth (she did, but not for a while).

psoas: Interesting that for the first time since... oh look, Season 3! we have a situation where all the finalists are set to be nonwhite.

I noticed that, too, but Drag Race has been pretty diverse back to its beginning, though some seasons are less so than others. But looking at the winners alone, there's significant diversity present again. By contrast, the judges are less racially diverse, for whatever that's worth.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:39 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

But back to Derrick - the only former drag queen who was less drag and more female impersonator was Courtney Act...

May I also respectfully submit Willam to this category? IIRC, Willam actually brought and used women's makeup instead of drag makeup. And who knows how far Willam would have gotten if he hadn't been disqualified?
posted by joan cusack the second at 8:52 AM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

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