RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE recap: “New Wave Queens”

After a few parting thoughts to Cynthia Lee Fontaine, who was sent packing last week (Bob the Drag Queen: “Cynthia’s so loveable but girl, that may have been the worst outfit in drag race history”), as well as confusion from Derrick Barry regarding Michelle's suggestion that he needed “soul” (or “a soul”), we immediately jump into not this week’s Mini Challenge but straight to the Maxi Challenge:

Working in teams of three, they were tasked with forming their own New Wave band. They had to write a song, and create a unique style, and perform the song live before “an audience of groupies.”

Six of the nine remaining queens immediately broke out into teams of three.

Team “Best Friend Race” included Kim Chi, Robbie Turner, and Naomi Smalls.

Team “New York” included Bob the Drag Queen, Thorgy Thor, and Acid Betty.

Left to form the remaining team, then, were Derrick Barry, Chi Chi DeVayne, and Naysha Lopez. Let’s call them The Remainders.

From there they had to figure out which of the New Wave styles in which they would work. Team Best Friend Race ran off with “Punk,” and the other two groups each wanted “Party.” Because they’d witnessed some dissension in The Remainders (Chi Chi wanted “Synth”), Team New York rightfully figured they’d just divide and conquer by having each individual member identify to everyone which style he wanted.

And so it was settled. Team New York took “Party,” and The Remainders took “Synth.”

The Remainders continued to be divided. For their costumes, Chi Chi advocated for cardboard cutouts of the shapes rectangle, circle, and triangle, an idea the other two hated. Derrick and Naysha were looking for something more glamorous and figured, it seemed, that Chi Chi couldn’t contribute in that area. He then spent a fair amount of his time focusing on his runway look, an area where he’d been criticized last week.

Division erupted within Team New York. In writing the song, Bob and Betty found Thorgy, according to Bob, “not contributing as much as negating.”

Next the teams met with guest judge Lucian Piane, who for The Remainders suggested the other two follow Chi Chi’s lead despite his less than enormous contributions so far. He suggested the members of Team Best Friend Race not sing their parts and it offended Derrick Barry who wanted in this challenge to emphasize his vocal ability. The biggest mess, though, came about during Team New York’s visit. Lucian found their performance cheesy instead of B-52’s style, to which Bob the Drag Queen came back that they were the same thing. A full-on argument ensued.

At the make up mirror, Chi Chi continued to rule with the emotional revelations, mentioning to Kim Chi that he’s currently in bankruptcy due to debts in “the tens of thousands.”

At the main stage, judges included, along with RuPaul and Michelle Visage:

Lucian Piane

Chris Stein, the cofounder of Blondie

Debbie Harry

The bands performed and, as much as I liked Team New York and their “Street Meat” song, the judges audibly, very audibly, howled at Team Best Friends Race (dubbed “le Chicken Wings”).

On the runway, Robbie Turner – who Ru has for the past three episodes referred to as “Robbie Turnter” – was declared with winner of the challenge. He in turn gushed and gushed over Debbie Harry. The remainder of his team were safe: Naomi Smalls and Kim Chi.

Bob the Drag Queen and Lucian made their peace. Chris and Debbie loved Acid Betty’s style. Michelle told Derrick Barry that she’s still waiting for a breakthrough. Then we came to Naysha Lopez.

RuPaul asked, "in terms of the outfits in your group, were you in charge of that?" Naysha suggested it was a group effort and Chi Chi disagreed, telling them all that “that thing that Thorgy had on her head, that’s what I wanted to have on as a costume.” (It was a large cardboard cut-out of a 3D triangle). Further, Chi Chi reminded them all that he may have been absent from the group only because he was told to “step [his] drag up.”

Michelle: “So tell me why you’re standing out here in a bathing suit with no corset and a belt.” Chi Chi mentioned the bankruptcy again but she would have none of it.

After a commercial break, Ru declared the entire Team New York safe to which Acid Betty seemed both surprised and genuinely appreciative.

In the bottom three, then, was the entire Remainders team and, let’s be real, because (like Kim Chi) I can’t even fathom Derrick Barry in a lip synch — cuz you know it won’t be a Britney song — this was all along going to come down to Naysha and Chi Chi.

The song was Blondie’s “Call Me,” and Chi Chi ruled.

Robbie Turner: “Chi Chi just went in for the kill.”

Front flips, back flips, writhing on the stage.

It’s funny with the lip synchs this season: they’re all so one-sided.



See also: 

RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE recap: "RuCo's Empire" (season 8 episode 3)

RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE recap: "New Wave Queens" (season 8 episode 4)

RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE recap: "Supermodel Snatch Game" (season 8 episode 5)



Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

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