Let’s Kiki About RuPaul’s Drag Race! Episode 5: Monster Ball
33 runway lewks! Drag queen kisses! Elvira! There’s so much to talk about on this week’s fashion-packed RuPaul’s Drag Race episode, so let’s go!
After Mercedes’ elimination, the queens return to the work room for the usual post-mortem discussion/mirror cleaning. While the queens will miss Mercedes, Yvie says she’s glad the pack is thinning, and the girls all pay tribute to the fallen queen by imitating her entrance/exit scream. Scarlet was “basking in the glory that is that sunshine” after getting singled out by Ru for her casting of last week’s musical. Ariel discounted the praise, saying she felt everything that came out of Scarlet’s mouth was “a giant eyeroll.”
The queens then confront Vanjie and Brooke Lynn about their cuddlin’ and kissin’. Vanjie says that Brooke Lynn “is a good friend of mine.” Brooke Lynn says in the confessionals that there’s a “crush”, but I’m not sure if it’s a Rosie O’Donnell/Elizabeth Hasslebeck thing or something more, telling the girls that “we’re just getting to know each other.” I guess we will just have to wait and see. Ra’jah says that if she has to keep lip syncing for her life, she’s going to do it, as she lives to perform, which prompts Yvie to ask her why she doesn’t apply her stage energy to the challenges. She’s not wrong, but Ra’jah isn’t having it, calling Yvie’s runway look “trash” and getting the shade rattle when she announces, “I’m not gagging.” I do like Ra’jah, but, if this is going to be an ongoing feud, I am #TeamYvie, because she really knows how to play the game.
Side note: in this week’s intro, guest judge (a/k/a best guest judge EVER) Elvira walks the runway in her Vegas tassle twirler costume from the Elvira Mistress of the Dark movie and she is giving me life. This is the highlight of the episode and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
The next day in the work room, the queens reveal that have come up with a cute (and somewhat obvious) couple name for the pair. Let’s hear it for “Branjie!” During this conversation, Nina is behind Silky and kind of rubbing her chest. The two engage in a little smooch of their own and almost get tongues involved until video Ru interrupts. I wanted to know what their couple name would be. Westy? Nilky? I got nothing.
Video Ru tells the girls that America’s Next Drag Superstar needs to be “
First up for her photo is Plastique Tiara, whose “model and manicurist” doll looks just like she usually does, just with a little less makeup. Nina is “Gloria Freebush”, Ru’s “feminist bestie”, wearing a pair of pants obviously inspired by Janelle Monae’s “PYNK” video. Shuga transforms into “Flaquita” with a huge curly wig and plenty of animal print. Silky is “Sticky Finger Silky” whose accessories include bootleg CDs and chips. Yvie is “Uranium Yvie” clad in a pink body suit and giving us full Yvie. Kids “can shave her periodic table and watch it grow back.” “Awesome Ariel” doesn’t give us many surprises, but she’s cute and, “If you pull her string, she swallows.” “Stupid Scarlet” is another pink-clad queen, who “loves to hate.” “Starr-Kiesha Booty La’Rajah” has smaller feet that Ru but a huge badonkadonk and comes with her own “extra-large draaank.” “Brooke Lynn is “Bachelorette Brandy” whose hobbies include “cocktails, peeing behind dumpsters and telling everyone she’s getting married.” She’s also incredibly flexible. Miss Vanjie is “attending night school at the University of Hookin’ to get her degree in stripperology.” Her shoot made me laugh the most. A’keria is a one-armed bad ass, and, “when you pull her string, she pulls a knife from under her wig.”
With help from some Halloween-y props and fabrics from the F&S fabric wall, the gals get to work. Silky is having a problem putting something together. Yvie points out that the judges have been “lenient” on Silky for her “style issues” because of her personality but warns that she’s not going to be able to “ride the personality train” to the finale. Vanjie and Brooke Lynn make it clear that whatever is going on between them isn’t going to stand in the way of winning. Ru checks in on her “little monsters” and we discover that you do not come for Ru when it comes to knowledge about Murder She Wrote. Ru and Nina talk about her past design mishaps and Nina vows to work within her limits. Ru talks to Shuga, pointing out that she hasn’t won a challenge yet and asks her about her past working in corporate America. Shuga gave up a stable job with a six-figure salary to pursue her dream of being a drag performer. She’s an inspiration, but I don’t have a good feeling about this discussion. Brooke Lynn runs her “sexy pageant queen” idea past Ru – a runnier-up beauty queen wearing a crown of the (shrunken) heads of her competitors – and Ru is less then thrilled. Back to the ol’ drawing board, Brooke Lynn.
Plastique is apparently a “sewing bitch” and is going for a “dark angel/beautiful spirit” look. When Ru asks if she can get past her “pretty’ reputation, she exclaims that she’s been waiting to show that other side of her performance. Silky’s not buying it. Yvie is going for fashion + her unique perspective and says she’s going to inject an element of glam in this week’s looks. She doesn’t want to be “predictable”. This challenge is really hers to lose. Ariel seems to be missing the gist of the challenge, working on a cutesy mermaid costume that Vanjie says looks like something from “the Party City mermaid collection.” Ariel wants her costume to be true to her. This isn’t going to end well, I fear. Brooke Lynn is trying to incorporate a lone rubber snake in her monster look. She looks a little lost for the first time this season. Scarlet is doing “Creature from the Black Lagoon” for her MILF look, with a tight lamé dress with a matching mask…complete with “booty holes” (h/t Ra’jah) from her questionable seams.
On elimination day, the queens get ready and chat about their Halloween memories. Yvie’s first cross-dressing experience was on the spooky holiday, as her mom dressed like a pimp and she was her dead hooker. Silky doesn’t like Halloween. A’keria’s first drag was on a dare to see who looked fishiest. She won. No one seems to think Plastique can do anything but pretty. Silky tries out a new catchphrase, “to the runway,” as in, when she sees Brooke Lynn’s mummy ensemble, she screams “Toliet tissue to the runway!”
Speaking of “to the runway”, it’s time for the Monster Ball, and I’ve never been more excited – and not only because my idol, the ageless Elvira is on the judges’ panel (along with model/actress Cara Delevingne.) I’m slightly surprised Ru didn’t go dark on the runway, but she looked stunning, as always. Here we go…
Trampy Trick or Treaters
A’keria gives us sexy Las Vegas dealer, complete with gaming table.
Vanjie is an “all-inclusive Victoria Secret model” with an angelic look, complete with wings, crystals and a secret, as she declares, “I’TS MISS VANJIE!”
Plastique is giving us pink Playboy Club bunny realness (“Lady Bunny’s attractive sister” jokes Elvira.)
Scarlet is a sexy pirate “stomping the plank” or, as Ru dubbed her, “Captain Hooker.”
Nina pays homage to Little Shop of Horrors with mini Audrey IIs on her head, hands and boobs. I love this look.
Ra’jah is a sexy pink puss in boots.
Shuga’s look defies identification by the judges. She says she’s giving us “sexy troll doll” but I still agree with Elvira that she’s more harem girl.
Brooke Lynn is not only stunning in her sexy mummy outfit, she also walks the runway en pointe. Gorgeous.
Ariel is, according to Ru, Monét X Change’s cousin “Needles Exchange.” Her white gown is okay, but the syringe-covered epaulets on her shoulders are striking.
Yvie is a sexy T-rex. She glued dino feet to her pumps and, after dropping a dead dinosaur head on the ground, attempts to pick it up with her tiny T-rex arms, to comic effect. Talk about committing to a bit. She’s amazing.
Silky is a unicorn in a sparkly white sequined jumpsuit with pink cut-outs and sparkly horn.
A’keria wants to give you “Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman – a sexy, deadly look.” Ru calls it “Edgar Allen Ho.”
Vanjie is a “high couture runway” witch with a black sparkly bodysuit, fascinator and a flowing feathered skirt.
Plastique is, as Ross put it, “Malificent-sational” in a Angelinha-inspired horned headpiece, black corset (“cinched for the gods”) and long train.
Scarlet is a “Fire Island witch,” which she describes as “beachy, swampy…and she’s giving you pants on the runway.” She’s the only witch with a prosthetic, witchy nose, so I give her kudos for taking that risk.
Nina takes us back to the Salem witch trials in a Crucible-era dress with flames on the bottom. Quite clever. Well-played, Nina.
Ra’jah is all in green, in, as Ru says, “an outfit that inspires oohs and Oz.”
Shuga goes full monster, donning tattered and blood-spattered garb to portray Bloody Mary of urban legend fame.
Brooke Lynn is paying tribute to the Enchantress from Suicide Squad (who Cara just happened to play in that movie…smart move, Brooke Lynn.) She does look appropriately spooky and her moves are magical.
Ariel thinks she’s channeling Meryl Streep from Into the Woods, but to me, she’s still Ariel in a black dress, this time with a green wig that has been styled into a 1940s-looking style.
Yvie is a “witch with a fashion twist”. She’s got on a mini dress, with a white wig, a hat that obscures one eye and a milky white contact lens in the other eye. She does not disappoint.
Silky is paying homage to Eveline, the wicked witch of the west from The Wiz. I love the reference, but she is too pretty to evoke Mabel King’s scary look.
A’keria is embraced by a huge spider (as Ru said, she can be found on “Harlot’s Web”) and is padded superbly.
Vanjie rocks a headstone headpiece with a bird percehed on top in a look described she as “Vanity 6 meets apopalyptic [sic] dead ho” and a finally showed us something not red! You go, Vanjie.
Plastique is showing off her “dead goddess” look. She accessorized with a sickle and white wig. Her makeup, while still kind of glam, is skeleton-inspired and spooky.
Scarlet’s Creature of the Black Lagoon look is more polished than it was in the work room and it is creepy, although she thinks it’s “weird, fashion and timeless.”
Nina also goes “full creepy” in a mask she removes to show off some special effects makeup that makes it appear that the lower part of her face is decomposing.
Ra’jah is a bone collector in skull-esque makeup, horns, furry white trousers and a red wig, carrying a snake skeleton. Interesting.
Shuga is “workin’ the merkin” (h/t Ru) as in a feathered merkin, to complement her feathered pasties as the “wife of Satan”. She’s also showcasing “body, feathers and bones” as well as the red wig and horns combo.
Brooke Lynn made that rubber snake work with a beautiful black off-the-shoulder black widow gown.
Ariel’s Little Mermaid look is almost identical to every look she’s worn on the runway since this season began. Even though it’s cute and 100% on-brand for her, there’s nothing monstrous about it.
Yvie was going for voodoo doll. The makeup, with eyeballs glued to her teeth, stiches and a button eye kind of worked, while her lacy capri-length jumpsuit did not.
Silky is also in horns (what is it about horns this season?) for a “red she-devil” look with a skin-tight red pleather gown with fur accents on the back. I am not crazy about the gown, but her makeup is unique and I dig it.
Ru deems Nina, A’keria, Scarlet, Vanjie and Ra’jah safe. As for the rest of the queens, they face the judges. Plastique got kudos for her makeup but Michell says she lacked personality. Shuga got clocked by Elvira and Michelle because her troll doll costume wasn’t well thought out. As for her witch, Ross said she was “better than this.” Ouch. Brooke Lynn was complemented for her mummy look and ballet skills by Elvira. Cara noticed the resemblance between Brooke’s witch and her Enchantress character and said she probably should have taken some dance lessons prior to filming. Elvira said she would borrow Brooke’s black widow gown for her “day look.”
As far as Ariel’s Trick or Treat look, Cara loved the needles, but Michelle thought the execution of the dress was lacking and no one liked her witch and mermaid looks. Ross wondered if she was giving them “her legacy.” (Spoiler: she’s not.) Cara was speechless after seeing Yvie’s dinosaur look and Ross loved her character’s story. Elvira says it’s on her top 10 unique drag moments and said she was “oddly sexy” – especially for her distinctive laugh. Ross liked the “simple, tasteful” witch look. Ross didn’t get the MILF look, calling her “the monster I’d like to take to a fundraiser.” Michelle didn’t like Yvie’s take on glamour. Ru holds Yvie to her promise that she will only rock a glamorous look “when appropriate” moving forward. Silky’s looks got middling responses from the judges, especially for her “shabby” MILF dress. Michelle reminded her to “think of the challenge.”
After the queens went back to untuck, the judges agreed that while Plastique was beautiful, she lacked personality, Shuga’s looks were confusing and Brooke Lynn was able to capture all of her looks with amazing costumes and hypnotizing looks. As for Ariel, she was once again called out for not being unique or monstrous. Elvira pointed out that “Yvie brought something to the party that no one else did, and that was humor,” but no one wanted to “f” her voodoo doll. Silky also got knocked for her looks, with Ross telling the pageant queen to “get ugly, girl!”
Ru has made her decisions. Plastique is safe with her “bewitching” looks. Brooke Lynn once again wins! She deserved it. Yvie is also safe, as is Silky. So we are left with Shuga and Ariel, who must lip sync for their lives to Whitney Houston’s “I’m Your Baby Tonight.” Ariel trips herself up on her mermaid skirt and tumbles to the floor. Uh-oh. Like the trouper she is, she recovers quickly and keeps on going. Aside from the fall, the two are giving it their all, and until Ru makes her decision, I’m not sure who is heading home. Sadly, it’s Miss Ariel’s time to sashay away, leaving us with our top 10 queens. Next week, it’s the ‘Drag Olympics”, which promises to be quite epic. One last thing, watch Untucked. This week’s episode is pretty amazing, and that’s all I’ll say about that. Until next week, and in tribute to Elvira, unpleasant dreams….