Rupaul's Drag Race: Season 4, Episode 9

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

Okay, the political spin of this episode was ridiculous, but damn it was fun seeing Chad Michaels whip out her pink poodle up-do. Not to mention the 'tude to go with it! [singlepic id=143 w=350 h=550 float=right]

Even though this was another fun, outrageous episode, it suffered something of an identity crisis: were the queens expected to make cogent political arguments, or were they supposed to make us laugh? In the workroom, the contestants seemed evenly divided in their approach as Ru and Dan Savage went around to check in. To confuse matters even further, Savage took a particularly serious angle on the whole thing.

All of this led to a rather messy main challenge as the queens clashed with each other--moreso in their respective tones than their rhetoric. What were the overly serious Latrice and Dida supposed to make of Phi Phi's manic, politically incorrect maven?

I think, given Dan Savage's involvement in the episode, the show's producers expected the queens to walk the fine line of political satire, making salient political points while still maintaining a sense of irony and self-awareness. Sharon came closest to that, with her sober delivery of some real zingers.

Chad Michaels was riotously funny as the "Lady Pimp," though I think his act was a bit far too removed from anything related to politics to earn him the win. And weirdly enough, Dan Savage loved Chad's performance. (I was actually hoping to do a portrait of Savage, given that he is awesome and kind of studly. Listen to his podcast Savage Love, read his books, and swoon. Sadly, my attempt at capturing his likeness was not swoon-worthy.)

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I was glad that this week's runway had an actual theme behind it, even if nearly all the queens disregarded it. I didn't buy Sharon's line about her look depicting the drag Commander-in-Chief "of the future," but she certainly looked fabulous. It was also great to hear the heartfelt recollections of her high school years and seeing how that's shaped her.

Some food for thought: Although Sharon is clearly one of this season's front-runners (I'd be thrilled if she, Chad, or Latrice wins), the Absolut PR guy clearly doesn't dig her shock schtick. And given that a big part of the winner's responsibility is to headline Absolut's Drag Race tour, might that factor into Ru's final decision of this year's top queen? I hope not, but still... something to chew on.

Or slurp down.

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Chad Michaels looked stuuuuunnnning in his retro outfit. Seriously, I was just... speechless. Despite the classic feel to it, the look felt fresh and immaculate.

No, my simple little portrait couldn't capture her elegance, but it was fun drawing such a long, full, shimmering skirt!

It was rough seeing Latrice in the bottom two, but haven't we all been looking forward to seeing her strut her stuff? And lordy, the song selection was tailored to her--a gorgeous, soulful Gladys Knight tune? Yes, please.

I thought Dida did a great job. But, I mean, Latrice just dominated, because that's what she does.


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Now, who do you think Michelle and Santino will bring back to the show? Last season, I was genuinely surprised that they brought back Carmen Carrera, who had proven such an underwhelming performer. Will they choose among the prettiest queens once again? Might we see more Kenya Michaels? Is it just a cheap ploy to extend the season and add to the drama? I don't care, because I love it.

As always, you can find my other Drag Race work here, and you can see what prints I have available right here!