Rupaul's Drag Race: Season 4, Episode 7

(Chad's note: due to some technical difficulties, the images in this post won't appear correctly. Sorry!)

So, this episode didn't have any balls-out, heart-wrenching emotional highpoints, but it was fun and buoyant and a total delight. The theme of the week? READING and WRITING, honeys.

The mini-challenge teaches that reading is fundamental, a phrase and practice made famous in the unforgettable documentary Paris is Burning. Yes, it's an amazing old film about drag queens, and yes, it is legitimately known as one of the greatest documentary films ever made. Seriously, I can't stress this enough: If you like ANYTHING about Rupaul's Drag Race, you must go get Paris is Burning from Netflix, your library, the decaying husk of Blockbuster--whatever. Here is just a taste.

The actual Reading mini-challenge this week is entertaining, but not terribly impressive, compared to past seasons. Of course, Latrice and Chad are the funniest. And Phi Phi's venomous jabs are just awkward.

K, now on to WRITING. When I saw the previews for this episode, I was skeptical. "A magazine challenge? They're reeeeeally desperate for ideas, aren't they?" But I was wrong--seeing the smart queens get a chance to shine was an utter delight.

Sharon's photoshoot for her magazine Kitty Cat? IT. WAS. CLASSIC.

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She walks in, notices the outrageously studly photographer, and breaks the ice with “Have you done porn? You should really consider it.” And then she climbs a kitty stand. Seriously. When the producers shoo her off the teetering structure, her response was droll and fabulous: “You don’t know anything about fashion.”

And just to properly enrich all of your minds, I must point out that Sharon's kooky "crazy cat lady" costume was referencing another classic documentary, the amazing Grey Gardens. It's less gay, but just as wild. Take a look. The film depicts an eccentric mother and daughter, Big Edie and Little Edie, who hide away in a dilapidated old mansion, fighting, and singing, and dancing. (I can't help but mention that I named my own crazy, reclusive cat Edie after them.)

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Chad Michaels rocked an edgy, zebra-print outfit for his photoshoot. That queen can seriously handle her animal prints, right? And you know I can't resist drawing a pretty pattern.

Willam's photoshoot was pretty fabulous, too. This week, she was really rubbing me the right way--maybe I've just gotten used to her humor, but I found myself enjoying her barbs more often than not. Seriously, I thought she might win this one!

But Phi Phi deserved it--after weeks of complaints, she finally lightened up her makeup, and she had never looked better! And I appreciated her sordid, gay approach to a travel magazine.

Jiggly's photoshoot was just priceless. That jumping rope segment was just... we're talking comedy gold, people.

Once again, I totally missed the week's runway theme, not that it ever seems to matter. But there were some really good looks, and I was compelled to finally do a proper portrait of Willam:

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I thought Latrice looked fabulous, but I understood some of the judge's criticisms. Still, I wanted to draw the lovely sheen of her dress, and as I kept pushing the colors, my portrait of her made her look like The Queen Who Was On Fire. But it suits her, since she was a Goddess of the Sea last week.

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Chad Michael's looked amazing, as always. My only regret is that I didn't figure out a way to frame this to fit in her fabulous boots.

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And of course, Sharon:

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I admit, I went a little crazy with this one. But I told you--I'm a sucker for pretty patterns!

All in all, a great episode. Seriously, I wore myself out trying to capture all these fierce bitches.

Remember to check out my new PRINT SHOP, where I'm selling all my prints of Sharon, Chad, and Latrice! (as well as my best illustrations from last season!)

And my last few notes:

If you don't watch Untucked, you're really missing out. This week, we got Sharon's explanation for Willam's five o'clock shadow--apparently, it results from Willam's reluctance to use the same heavy pancake makeup the other queens do.

Also, Sharon cops to farting on the runway, which is most notable for Rupaul's flustered non-reaction.

Finally, Logo has included some deleted scenes from the Dragazine challenge, and Chad Michaels' one is DIVINE!