RuPaul's Drag Race: Category Is
June 11, 2017 1:51 PM - Season 9, Episode 12 - Subscribe

The top four queens each record an original verse and learn choreography for a remix of RuPaul's "Category Is."
posted by Zephyrial (9 comments total)
And... (spoilers, of course)

We still have four! As bleh as it is, I'm sort of relieved, because the manufactured "Trinity is in danger!" and "Sasha better worry!" storylines in this episode rang false to me. Sure, neither is a singing/dancing machine like Peppermint or Shea, but both have demonstrated a great talent for making the challenges work for them, and for being willing to stretch themselves. They did fine.

The inevitable comparisons to "Read U Wrote U" aside, I thought this was a pretty good episode. Todrick was much more successful as a coach than as a judge. That being said, I hate that the background music for the recording-studio scenes is so obviously out-of-sync from the actual music in their headphones. I understand they want the "reveal" of how well they actually did... but blah. It's stupid; let us judge for ourselves.

More and more I just think that Peppermint is just a Very Good Drag Queen, and a fun tv presence, but her aesthetic is just (sorry Pepp) boring. I couldn't believe they let her get away with that final runway look. Honestly I imagine the producers looked at her pedigree and decided off the bat she would be top-four... and then I picture them being disappointed over and over again with her runways. (With a few notable exceptions, 🙌🏼 for her club kid and roast looks.) But here she is, thanks to some lip sync salvations.

Trinity's final runway was EV👏🏼ERY👏🏼THING👏🏼. The dress, the hair, the strut—so perfect.

As I've been saying for awhile, Shea's coronation is approaching Alaska levels of predictability—and she's great—but at this point I'd be more tickled by a Sasha or Trinity upset. Both have more unique personalities and approaches, whereas Shea is just an all-around great competitor.

Also, obligatory moment of pause to think, "What final four did the producers expect, if not for Eureka's knee and Valentina's mask?" 🤔

Okay, I know they are handicapped by deciding to become An Important Gay Show, but I have to say, the "talk to your younger self" bit is the cringiest thing imaginable. Especially with Ru's expectant "I want to drink your tears" face peering over the photo, it just makes me so uncomfortable. I guess props to Ru for not gendering baby-Peppermint, as Sasha pointed out in Untucked, but still... glurg. It's so performative, unlike the best parts of the show. And really, haven't these people been through enough?
posted by Zephyrial at 2:03 PM on June 11, 2017 [5 favorites]

Zephyrial: Yeah, I always cringe at that too, especially since you just know that even the queens with the best family life, the best childhood and whatnot still have some heavy shit in their histories. It's just so breathtakingly uncomfortable.
posted by Jilder at 4:26 AM on June 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

I still cry though. Every single time. Even if I'm re-watching the episode.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:37 AM on June 12, 2017 [6 favorites]

I know it is so manipulative, but I have to be honest it still gets me to cry.
posted by Julnyes at 12:27 PM on June 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

I was spoiled on the "no one goes home" bit (by choice!) so that maybe made this a bit anticlimactic? I liked it well enough and I didn't hate the emotional manipulations, but it also ended up feeling like nothing was at stake.

I'm routing for Sasha and Peppermint over Shea and Trinity, but each has their own great qualities-- it's just Sasha and Peppermint appeal to me more. I adore Sasha's weird, arty aesthetic (and she's an acquaintance -- even if a bit remote -- so I'm going to stand up for her) and Peppermint is just a delight. Shea & Trinity just don't do much for me, but I agree they're great queens.

I guess we'll see how this turns out. I definitely want it to go one way but ... if it doesn't, I think I'm OK with it.
posted by darksong at 6:44 PM on June 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

We finally caught this, and I was half-watching the ending, so I wasn't as shocked as they wanted me to be. My wife and I were sure Ru had done a Top 4 surprise in the past, but it looks like we were mistaken. Anyway, solid performance from all the queens, which was nice, because we were worried that Trinity or Sasha would fall flat, or Peppermint's confidence would mislead her.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:50 PM on June 12, 2017

I really want Peppermint to win, if anything as a balancing of the scales with regards to Drag Race's history of transphobia. It would be good to see an open transwoman take the crown, and I think Pep deserves it too - she's worked really hard and is just so vivacious.
posted by Jilder at 6:03 AM on June 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

My wife and I were sure Ru had done a Top 4 surprise in the past, but it looks like we were mistaken

All Stars 1?
posted by en forme de poire at 12:26 PM on June 13, 2017

Based on the numbers, Shea has the win in the bag and I'm fine with that. If Trinity or Sasha were to win, I would be surprised, but not disappointed. Peppermint is very charismatic, but hasn't done enough in the competition to warrant a win - but darn it she is incredibly likeable.
posted by Julnyes at 3:06 PM on June 13, 2017

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