Canada’s Drag Race
Apologies for last week’s late review. I was simply stunned silent by the shocking elimination of Eve 6000 …
… Lol jk.
But what a good week this was for everyone! Finally, every single queen got to shine in some capacity, whether it was in the mini, the maxi, or lip syncing for their lives. Even the judges popped. The episode starts with Synthia the Kissassin wiping away Eve’s mirror message. Kimora commemorates her fallen Ontario sister, saying, “That dough ain’t ready to come out of the oven yet. She’s almost baked. She chewy. But she ain’t finished.” Adriana is still a little rattled that she was chosen last for girl groups, but Gia and Synthia have very diplomatic answers and our Reina Latina chooses confidence instead of stewing on it.
This week, Amanda Brugel is back (from a visit to Brooke’s filler guy) and announces that for the mini challenge, the queens will have to get into art ho drag (my words, not hers) and paint their inner saboteurs. This mini challenge rules. Everyone is funny, and some of the art is actually impressive. Pythia stabs her (gorgeous) painting and emerges through it. Kendall paints her own inner saboteur, “unclean douche water.” Synthia’s painting is called “Dissociation by Synthia Kiss” and is scary-good for the presumably short amount of time they had. Adriana is giggling at every single person’s presentation. Ultimately, Icesis Couture wins for giving the funniest performance of all: pretending to be smart. They all cathartically toss their paintings in the “dumpster fire,” which actually looks like it catches flame at the end. Color us impressed.
This week is the Sinner’s Ball, which is such a fun Ball Challenge theme. The three categories are: Sex, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll, Ugly As Sin, and — this is one that fans have wanted for years — Seven Deadly Sins. For that third category, Icesis assigns each queen a tombstone with a “coffin” full of materials to construct their deadly sin couture. This rules. Icesis assigns herself wrath, and decides to give queens looks that will work for them rather than sabotage them, and we thank Producer Couture for bringing us a good ball. Kimora is tripped up by the Envy box; “Vines! Vines and leaves, bitch!” she says, rifling through all of the green. Kendall is given Pride, but very humbly internalizes last week’s runway critiques and aims to construct a new and accentuated silhouette. Pythia is like a kid in a candy store with the Gluttony box, and sketches out a gorgeous Hansel and Gretel-inspired candy witch look.
On elimination day, the queens discuss the ever-expanding LGBTQ2+ acronym. Gia identifies as a “tie-dye of gender” and goes by they/them pronouns. Kimora is tripped up by all of it; “Growing up … calling someone a they/them was disrespectful.” I’m having a hard time imagining bigots knowing about “they/them” pronouns in the 1980s and using them as an insult, but Icesis backs Kimora, saying, “When I grew up, calling someone a they was very offensive.” I half-wondered if Kimora and Icesis were confusing subjective they/them pronouns with the insult of using object pronouns to call someone “it.” But no matter, they’re learning and they’re accepting of their castmates’ chosen identifiers.
When the ball drops, who is behind the judges’ table but none other than Gigi Gorgeous. She is a fun and engaging judge through all three categories, beginning with Sex, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll, which is interpreted by all of the queens as mostly just rock n’ roll. The indisputable highlight of this leg of the tour is Gia Metric, dressed as an electric guitar, accentuated with electric blue. It’s so camp and she’s having so much fun with it, from strutting on stage with a “yeeeeeOW” to literally playing herself.
Next is the “Ugly as Sin” category, hot off the heels of U.K.’s Fugly Ball. The looks are gloriously hideous. Pythia serves her most Crystal Methyd look yet in all-crochet, white facepaint, and kindercore spikes. Kendall nails the assignment as a cat lady with a cat vomiting down her shoulder. This is not the last instance of vomit we see in this ball. Gia has an adorable chewing gum illusion that’s full of detail. Synthia forgot to be ugly. Adriana has a look that’s halfway between a babushka and a turd; it’s one of those “it’s so ugly it’s cute” things.
And Kimora Amour brings the show to an absolute standstill with her powerful, difficult interpretation of “Ugly As Sin,” dressed in what she describes as her depiction of what a slave would have worn in the Caribbean. Kimora represents the sorrow, fear, ugliness, and sin of slavery in her body language, trembling and downcast with her hands in chains. The judges make no interjections; the runway is set apart by the editors with a fade-in and fade-out to black. When she reaches the front of the stage, she breaks the chains and runs, barefoot, “to the one place I know I can find home, and that’s Canada.” It’s an important moment for the Guyanese-Canadian queen. Unlike past runway looks on the franchise that deal with serious topics, Kimora does not filter hers through glamour or fashion. It’s just a surprising and honest depiction of ugliness.
Back to the looks the queens made, there are no true dumpster fires here (besides the one from the mini challenge). Kendall’s purple Pride look is the worst; it’s shabby, unflattering, and poorly constructed. Adriana’s Lust look isn’t great, and although Synthia looks stunning in her gold and animal print Greed getup, she probably had the weakest overall Ball of the queens. Kimora needn’t have worried because she sells her Envy dress. Gia Metric tops off a really spectacular ball with one of her best runways yet, a sort of high fashion housecoat with built-in pillow and alarm clock headpiece. Pythia delivers on her concept with a very impressively made candy-stripe dress and a trippy beat featuring candy vomit. But Gigi Gorgeous’s jaw drops for Icesis’s kinky Wrath runway, which Icesis describes as “Hellraiser but make it lesbian” and “I’m a sleep paralysis demon you can’t wait to move in with after one date.” Throughout the episode, Icesis told the other queens how excited she was to bring a darker, leather and chains-based look to the runway, and she delivers. She wins the episode in a thrilling close race and lets out a victorious “ratatata!” The judges also actually argue and dig at each other during the judging this week, and it’s very entertaining. This show is so much better when the queens give the judges a reason to be passionate.
In the bottom it’s Brat Pack against Brat Pack: Besties Kendall Gender and Synthia Kiss must fight to the death over DJ Sammy’s “Heaven,” an impeccable LSFYL selection, and technically Canadian because it’s a Bryan Adams cover. I can best describe this lip sync as long legs walking longly, as the two beauty queens strut all over the stage, emoting. Kendall isn’t the world’s best dancer but she makes everything big, from twirling her cape around to a dramatic boob slip. Unfortunately for Synthia, who has had some high highs this season, we’ve also seen her lip sync a number of times at this point, and twirling just isn’t enough. As they face off, we cut to their third sister Gia, crying in the back. Kendall wins this very messy lip sync, but at least Synthia get to revive her Rachel Zoe impression on the way out the door. What will this season look like after one of its last remaining Big Characters leaves? It’s a Syn.
• “Her soul is beautiful but in the middle is a phallic symbol” —Kimora’s art talkback
• “[GASP] A talking dick?” —Adriana, proving that when this show is good it’s so good
• “There is evil in this painting!” —Icesis, continuing to serve Alyssa Edwards
• “All you Saboteur Dalis made me Mona Lisa Smile” —it was a pun slay from Amanda Brugel
• “You’re sweet as sin … a man.” —Amanda to Brooke. When I tell you she was on fire with the puns this week.
• “She has made pants out of all the people that she has slept with, and stinking like beer and smoke she is ready to werk it down the runway” —Pythia always brings the best storylines to her looks
• “What’s a bus?” —Gigi Gorgeous
• “Bend her in half and use her for birth control.” —Amanda Brugel, on Synthia’s female condom-ass ugly look
• ”I look like I smell like pee. But I’m still making it fashion.” —Icesis Couture finally winning me all the way over
Note: The initial version of this recap conflated the fabulous Gigi Gorgeous and another fashionable blonde. Your exhausted and brain-dead recapper regrets the error.