RuPaul Recap, Episode 7: Drag Race After Dark, Club Kids Edition
“Guess who’s back in the house, [Latrice] click-clackin’ about!”
Yes, ladies, Latrice Royale was back in Episode 7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4. She acknowledged that in seasons past, an eliminated queen who returns to the competition usually gets the boot on the following episode. Latrice vowed to break the streak and bring it to the runway. She started off the episode determined to prove herself as a fierce competitor, as opposed to relying on her legacy, as she did in her previous performance.
This week’s maxi-challenge is a three-part test, as the queens were asked to break up into teams and develop, design and host a nightclub concept for the judges. Latrice got to assign roles and join the team of her choice, and she naturally gravitated to the talented Trinity the Tuck and bestie Manila Luzon. Monet X Change and Monique Heart of Kansas City were paired together, as were Valentina and Naomi Smalls.
Monique and Monet went with a space-themed club called The Black Hole with the tagline “Where anything goes!” They conceptualized a darkly lit, neon-splattered extravaganza, complete with an alien baby meet-n-greet. The two queens showed true chemistry playing off each other and allowing their cosmic club creation to come to life. Judges were wowed and even said they didn’t want to leave the club because it was so much fun.
Valentina and Naomi focused on attitude. Their concept, Club 96 (a play off 69), harked back to the supermodel heyday of the mid-’90s. Snob-fashion and elitism took the stage with the overused whispered tagline: “Club ninety-siiiiix.” Valentina got distracted in the design portion of the challenge, relying on Naomi to finish painting the club and to come up with the comedy material. Judges were confused on this concept as a whole and were left wanting more.
Team La-Trill-Ity went a campier route with a black-and-yellow beehive concept, based on costumes they each already had on hand. The Hive was a place where one can relax with a Bee-tini and witness a “strip spelling bee contest.” It’s the bee’s knees for a V.I.-Bee-yotch. You get the idea. Overall, Latrice killed it with her beehive up-do, and Trinity made everyone laugh as the emcee for the strip contest. Manila seemed to skate by and took criticism for attempting to overshadow the two other queens.
On the main stage, the category was “Plastique Fantastique.” The contestants hit the runway in their best plastic concepts. Latrice again showed she wanted the crown with a purple and blue Latex outfit and a floor-length ponytail made of Latex balls. It was a stark contrast to the pageant gowns that we saw pre-elimination.
Other standouts were Manila in cellophane as a fruit basket and Trinity with a pink-splat look reminiscent of popped bubble gum. Valentina eventually got praise for her pageant Barbie doll look, but she took some near-criticism from judge Michelle Visage for relying on her South American pageant look from snatch game back in her season. However, they were in fact different countries (Colombia and Venezuela), each with different crowns. Sorry, Michelle. Monique also got critiqued for her plastic take on the iconic Josephine Baker banana dress as not being up to par with the other queens.
Latrice and Trinity took the top two places, much to the dismay of Manila, who was the bottom performer of their La-Trill-Ity trifecta. Club 96 took the bottom two places, leaving Valentina and Naomi in jeopardy of elimination.
Backstage, the queens pleaded their cases. Naomi seemed to be consistently safe, while Valentina’s work ethic came into question. Valentina showed emotion and vulnerability for one of the first times this season when she broke down in tears to both Latrice and Trinity.
Back on the main stage, Latrice and Trinity took their places to lip-sync for their legacy. They couldn’t look more different. Latrice is everything with a short glittery number with a short blonde up-do. She definitely came to slay the competition. Trinity, however, took a risk and dressed as an old woman complete with glasses and a cane walker. The two lip-synced it out to Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record).” Trinity tore off her robe to reveal an elderly body suit, with comically saggy breasts nearly reaching her knees. Latrice turned it out, rolling on the floor and spinning right round, baby. Latrice took the win and the $10,000 tip. She broke down emotionally as she chose to send home her friend and fan-favorite Valentina.
Six queens remain, and only three more episodes left. Can we expect a double-elimination? Or will we again have a top four for the finale? Until next week, Hennies!
You can catch the weekly RuPaul watch parties at Woody’s Classic Sports Pub in Midtown Kansas City at 7 p.m. every Friday, hosted by Candice Marie and Luna Flare.