Welcome to my review, recap, and power rankings of the ninth episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 15 – “The Crystal Ball: Episode 200,” a ball with a Crystalized Eleganza design challenge that nods to Kennedy Davenports iconic “I had crystallized” runway for the “Death Becomes Her” theme.
This episode is a celebration of all things Drag Race, which is really no different than any other episode of Drag Race. Ever since that “Lip Sync Extravaganza Eleganza” spoken word lip sync challenge back on Season 5 (10 years ago this month!), the Drag Race juggernaut has become increasingly self-referential. The show is constantly high on its own supply, which only works because it has featured so many incredible drag artists over the past 14 years and 199 prior episodes.
However, it’s that weight of history that makes it increasingly hard for each season to stand up to all that came before. It’s not like every American Idol contestant has to occasionally sing in the style of a past contestant. Do Project Runway contestants occasionally have to remake the garments of past competitors? Do housemates on Big Brother speak exclusively in quotes from past housemates?
I don’t know, because in the realm of reality TV these days I mostly only watch British shows about painting that are borderline meditative.
My point is that the more you self-reference, the more reductive and insular you get. It’s the reality-TV version of inbreeding. You want more “walk that fucking ducks” and fewer repeats of “proportionizing” and “Miss Vanjie.” Those things were hilarious to the audience the first time around, but they produce less and less positive nostalgia from every hit.
At the same time I don’t want the show to encourage repeats of past bits, I also want it (and, in particular, Michelle) to drop the “We’ve seen it before” critique for things that aren’t deliberate copies. In 199 episodes just of this main franchise we have seen a lot of concepts and gags. For every innovative plunging dress with a crystal spine like Anetra’s this episode, we’ve seen a dozen beauty pageant looks and people coughing up things on the runway.
I think that kind of repetitiveness is fine. Let’s judge these queens on the originality of their total package of drag without harping on them for imitating one little design element or runway beat of a past queen. I think that’s just another function of this show’s self-obsession.
If that sounds like a lot of complaining, perhaps it’s because I’m worn out on these hyper-speed episodes and I didn’t like many of the looks in this ball. Oh, and that was a terrible lip sync to one of my favorite Lil Nas X songs!
That lead to some minor shuffling in the ranks compared to last week’s rank of the Lalaparuza, but it’s still the same four queens in line for the finale and the same few queens wrestling over who will be the next out. The only real surprise is the one queen who seems to be improbably floating in the middle of those two groups at the moment.
Readers, start your engines. And, may the best drag queen win!
Reminders: I typically refer to Drag Race artists with their drag names and with she/her pronouns even when they are not in drag, which is the convention of the show. Some performers may have different personal pronouns. Drag is inherently brave, political, and artistic, and all drag is valid. It’s also hard to do. I’m commenting on drag artistry in how it comes across in relation to this specific television program, but the reason I’m commenting at all is because I celebrate all drag!
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 15, Episode 9: “The Crystal Ball: Episode 200” & Crystalized Eleganza Design Challenge Power Rankings
Before we get to ranking the queens and reacting to Ru, I’m introducing a little something extra into this Ball Challenge.
I thought this judging seemed like a bit of a tossup, but I also thought many of these runways were rotted and I’m having trouble articulating who I would have given the win to.
So: we’re getting out the scorecards. For each look, I’m going to stack-rank it in that category and give them a score out of 10. That means each queen has a potential top score of 30 if she score straight 10s across the board. Will anyone get close?
Now, onto Mother Ru. I enjoy this look and the accompanying make-up for giving something different. Ru doesn’t do a lot of mini-dresses or cowgirl-inspired fringe. I wish the hair was a warmer color. Also, Raven’s version of Ru’s face looks increasingly inhuman as the weeks press on. This time in addition to her weird nose contouring there’s the inner corner of the eyes pushing up into Ru’s nose to make them seem oddly close together, and a somewhat jarring flat red lip.
#1. Sasha Colby – 2 Wins (1.63 avg; was #1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 5, Pre-Season #1)
Sasha Colby turned out an average effort and won the ball! If that doesn’t scream, “frontrunner who we’re awarding an extra win just because,” I don’t know what does. Of course, I can’t get too upset about it, since Sasha had at least one episode she should’ve won since her initial win for the heavenly commercial.
Sasha Colby had my eighth favorite “Start Your Engines” look, which I’d rate 3-out-of-10.
This is a hardcore BOOT for me. I hate it. I hate the mini bandeau top, and I super-extra-hate how it attaches to the arms of the outfit instead of them being a separate bolero jacket. I don’t get the barely-peaked shoulders. I don’t get the top of the skirt. I don’t get the bottom of the skirt.
It all looks kinda tacky for a Drag Race runway, if I’m being honest. And it’s barely giving me “racer.” It’s just a mega-boot.
I’d begrudgingly award Sasha my third placement in the “Favorite Ball,”thought I’d only give this look a 5-out-of-10.
Yeah, weed, whatever. She’s not really selling “made out of bags,” which was the theme, so much as she’s selling, “I am a bag.” The look isn’t all that flattering… but it hangs together and makes sense as a garment.
It might be the second worst thing Sasha has worn this season (after her first look of the night). If this is Sasha’s worst the other queens are still in a world of trouble.
I hate this look, but it’s still an incredibly sixth favorite in this Crystalized Eleganza ball line-up. It’s a 4-out-of-10, I guess.
There are pretty elements to this, but I feel like the judges giving this positive marks was like someone pissing on my leg and calling it fashion. You need something more than appliqués on your boobs to make a look work. That piecemeal skirt and some random branches aren’t gonna save it.
Grand Total: 12/30
Sasha didn’t even break the 50% mark for me. I not only think she was in Luxx’s rightful spot in the Top 3, I think she should’ve been in the bottom three! Honestly, this would’ve been a fine week to give her a “bottom for vulnerability” edit with plenty of time to bounce back from it. That the show didn’t risk marring her track record shows how incredibly cautious they are with front-runners when they want them to garner a positive reaction from viewers.
That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped loving Sasha, but I’m upset that one of her high points of the season will forever be a middling performance in a design challenge. I think she is doing a fantastic job without giving her bonus wins. I’m curious to see what Sasha can do with an improv challenge next week, since we only saw brief glimpses of Sasha’s solo comedy chops in Snatch Game and the acting challenge. I wonder if she can be as hilarious live and unedited as she was in the heavenly commercial.
#2. Mistress Isabelle Brooks – 1 Win (2.88 avg; was #4, 1, 2, 4, 4, 4, 2, Pre-Season #6)
Mistress Isabelle Brooks has an amazing taste-level on the runway, which almost snagged her a win for this ball challenge and is keeping her in the top week after wek.
Mistress Isabelle Brooks had my second favorite all the “Start Your Engines” looks, though I’d only give it a 7.
Mistress Isabelle Brooks rendered a drag racing look that was the most-similar to RuPaul’s original. However, I think the similarity can be overlooked slightly considering how much adaptation MIB did to make the look fit her size so perfectly. I think the major element she missed that could’ve improved the look was RuPaul’s white belt. It needs something to break it up.
Mistress Isabelle had my second favorite of the “Favorite Ball” looks, but I’d only give it a 6-out-of-10.
I love the construction, I love the camp of the giant balloon breasts, and I love the mini-beach-balloon wig. Top marks for all of that!
However, since this wasn’t actually a design challenge, that means she got to pick the colors of the suit – and I think she could’ve done a better job there. I think the midsection and butt of the suit sells “beach ball” enough without having to have both the legs be totally separate colors. Also, I think she could have been more strategic about where to place the white and yellow panels to balence the look. The white on the one leg against the heavy red and orange on the other leg just doesn’t work. I think of the color-blocking was more symmetrical I would like it more.
It’s still a super cool concept executed well!
Mistress Isabelle Brooks had my second-favorite Crystalized Eleganza. After some hemming and hawing over it, I have to give this look an 9-out-of-10. It’s just SO CLEAN. What can I say is wrong with it?
Sometimes the classics are classics for a reason, y’all! MIB designed and absolutely gorgeous dress that has just enough detailing on it: the double straps, the stoning at the bust, and the stoned mini-train. It’s not innovative, but it’s beautifully constructed and she looks totally stunning.
Grand Total: 22/30
Basically, Mistress Isabelle Brooks crushed the rest of the queens under her kitten heel. She was the clear and obvious winner of this ball. I’m not sure how Sasha scooped it out from under here.
Regardless of whether or not Mistress won this challenge, at the moment she feels like the only queen who could credibly challenge Sasha for the crown in the finale. I don’t think it will necessarily stay that way, as I suspect Anetra or Luxx will get a slight surge out of the back half of this competition. The question is if Mistress can truly keep up her error-free game down that same stretch.
Even if she doesn’t win the season, Mistress just might prove herself to be one of the best-prepared queens of all time when it comes to being ready for every challenge on Drag Race. Hopeful future contestants should study her, cause she cracked the code.
(Yet another reference!)
#3. Anetra – 1 lip sync (3.25 avg; was #2, 3, 5, 6, 3, 3, 1, Pre-Season #2)
There’s no question that Anetra turned in the best of all of the designed looks in this challenge, but her other two looks weren’t strong enough to clinch her the win.
Anetra had my fifth-favorite “Start Your Engines” look, which I’d give it an average 5-out-of-10.
What is this really other than (as Michelle pointed out) a putrid green see-through catsuit? Anetra walked it well, her hair looks great, and I love the knee-high riding boots, but there’s just not much “outfit” to this outfit. It’s more about styling and modeling.
Anetra had my seventh favorite “Favorite Ball” look, and that’s just because I actively despised two of the looks more than this one. I think this Sugar Ball look is pretty rotted, so I’d give it a meagre 2-out-of-10 points.
Here’s my problem: WHY PICK THE SUGAR BALL IF YOU DON’T HAVE AN AMAZING CONCEPT?!?!?!
The Sugar Ball was one of the hardest ball challenges of all time, and Roxxy Andrews turned out a functional garment purely by being a genius drag designer. Alaska’s was held together with superglue, and Detox and Jinkx were just corsets with stuff on them.
I guess Anetra at least avoided that fate by being nude, but there’s hardly any candy here and this isn’t even a garment. The one thing I will give her is that she picked some colors that pop nicely. That’s… it.
No queen even came close to touching the hem of Anetra’s stunning garment in the Crystalized Eleganza category. It’s a 10-out-of-10 and a total SHOOT for me!!!
I already loved this dress due to the plunging neckline and the absolutely stunning pleats and folds of the trumpet skirt. Then Anetra turned around to show the crystal spine. HOLY FUCKING SHIT. Like…. WHAT?! Who thinks of that? Who executes it this cleanly on a garment this gorgeous in under 24 hours?! This look needs to go straight to the design challenge Hall of Fame alongside Utica’s sleeping bag look. That’s the only other look I can think of that stands up to this. I think it’s even better than Trinity The Tuck’s pair of All Winner gowns, which I probably would’ve said were the best two design challenge gowns in recent Drag Race herstory.
Grand Total: 17/30
While Anetra suffered in the overall score department due to her first and (especially) second looks, her last look absolutely had to be commented upon by the judges. You can’t turn out a design challenge look that good and then get called safe.
Anetra also benefited from getting some major space in the edit this week to develop as a character. She told the story of being briefly accepted and then almost immediately rejected by her mother for being out and doing drag. It’s a heartbreaking story, made even more shocking by seeing the typically stoic Anetra break down into sobs both in the workroom and in her confessional.
I think the show giving Anetra all of this plot development one episode after all of her lip syncing cements her as a main character in the back half of the season. After her big “walk that fucking duck” introduction, she has been slightly invisible in the edit. I expect that to change in a major way as we surge toward the finale.
Next week we get the big make-or-break question for Anetra: is she funny? I say it’s make or break because there’s not only an improv challenge next week, but almost-certainly a stand-up or roast challenge two or three episodes after that. Anetra needs to do her best not to lip sync twice, since we’ve already seen so much of her lip sync repertoire. I think she has one gauranteed lip sync win in her, and after that things could get a little dicey for this Vegas queen.
#4. Luxx Noir London – 1 Win (3.88 avg; was #3, 5, 3, 3, 5, 2, 6, Pre-Season #3)
I was absolutely shocked that Luxx Noir London didn’t score a top placement for her inventive Crystal Ball look! Is this as a sign that the Top 3 has solidified and she is the odd one out?
Luxx Noir London had my third favorite “Start Your Engines” look, which I’d give a 6 out of 10.
She took RuPaul’s exact look and rumixed it just enough to put her own stamp on it. I love that the boots are higher, that she moved the placement of the stripes, and that she cropped her top so high that her bra is showing under it rather than above it.
It’s not revolutionary, but it’s cute.
Luxx had my favorite of the “Favorite Ball” looks, but I’d give the look a 6-out-of-10… which should tell you how little I enjoyed this category.
Ultimately, it’s still a look made out of hair, which I don’t think would be anyone’s preference on the runway. It has great proportions, I love the placement of the bikini top, and the wig is great!
However, the skirt needed more hair and her lets are so long and plain. I’m not saying it needed a boot or something on the stocking, but it feels as though the look just… stops.
Luxx Noir London has my third favorite of the Crystalized Eleganza design challenge and I’d give this look 8-out-of-10.
Is it a barely-there deep-V swimsuit? Yes, sure. But, did Luxx manage to create a full-on tinkerbell look out of crystal appliqués, complete with wings and a skirt that flares as if she is in flight and then model the ever-living fuck out of it? ALSO YES.
This is one of those times when the combination of the garment, the modeling, and the queen adds up to something greater than the sum of its parts. Luxx created something high-impact and memorable without making a complex garment and she walked it perfectly.
Grand Total: 20/30.
Luxx was breathing down Mistress Isabelle’s neck in this ball challenge. She absolutely should’ve been in the top three tonight alongside MIB and Anetra. Her being called safe was robbery.
Even though it feels like Luxx has been doing incredibly well all season long, she has only been high a single time other than her win for the last design challenge. That means of the four seemingly-obvious finalists, Luxx’s spot may be the most-precarious because she has had the least feedback. Compare that to Sasha (2 wins, 2 highs), Mistress (1 win, 3 highs), and Anetra (1 win, 2 highs, 1 low).
Or… maybe that actually makes Luxx the Black Horse (wonk wonk) of the competition right now. She hasn’t been judged much, but aside from being pressed about losing her first lip sync last week we haven’t seen the pressure rankle her one bit. There’s so much room in her edit to learn more about her, and she’s not exactly a shrinking violet.
If Luxx can be funny next week or slay the Rusical that is sure to follow, she might suddenly hop-skotch over Anetra and Mistress back into contention with Sasha for the crown.
#5. Marcia Marcia Marcia (6.5 avg; was #6, 7, 9, 8, 6, 7, 4, Pre-Season #10)
A design challenge seemed like one of last best hopes for Marcia Marcia Marcia to score a challenge win, but she was merely safe. That leaves her hanging the middle of the ranking.
Marcia Marcia Marcia has my fourth favorite “Start Your Engines,” which I’d give it a 6-out-of-10.
I actually like the Marco Marco color-blocking effect she’s going with here and I love the hair and makeup. From the neck up, this might be the most gorgeous she has looked all season!
As for the outfit, I think it has a few too many different colors going on and it didn’t need those little hip flounces. Still, it’s one of her more-effective outfits.
Plus, between the long lines of her body in the catsuit and the tall boots, Marcia actually walked it like a model! It was so refreshing to see her doing something other than goofing off on the runway.
I suppose I have to acknowledge that Marcia Marcia Marcia has my fourth favorite “Favorite Ball” look. However, I’d give this garment a 4-out-of-10 on its own. I’m tempted to score it even lower.
On one hand: it’s made of bags! Points for actually making it out of bags!
On the other hand… what the fuck is this look about? Burlap sacks, which I guess are heavy, so she’s also lifting weights? WHY?! I don’t understand why she needed the pole with her at all, and given that this was not an actual design challenge I don’t understand why she couldn’t add some kind of pop of color anywhere on the garment. Like, I don’t know, use another color of rope for a belt? Glue some tomatoes to it?
Literally any addition would be an improvement, but it’s a cute shape.
Marcia Marcia Marcia has my eighth favorite Crystalized Eleganza look. I’d give it a 4-out-of-10.
I mean… it’s a bodysuit. Marcia has been bragging all this time about how good she is at making clothes and she made a damn body suit. With a single crystal as a vajazzle. And she added the same damn hip flounces as both of her other garments in this ball. And she Made it a single color with no accents just like her previous look.
I just don’t know what she was thinking. Just as in the last design challenge, this was her challenge to do something HUGE, GLAMOROUS, and most-importantly, DIFFERENT.
Grand Total 14/30
Yeah, that’s right: I think Marcia did better than Sasha Colby. She placed smack in the middle of this ball.
I still believe Marcia is going to turn out to be a secret weapon as we come down the home stretch, because I just don’t think she’s going to be bad at any of the challenges. I also don’t think she is going to lose her first lip sync if it’s against one of the next three queens. That means she has a strong shot of avoiding the bottom altogether, and even if she winds up there she’s got a 50/50 chance of winning.
I really think that could possibly carry her all the way to Top 5 unless she hits a surprisingly stumbling block… perhaps in a branding challenge that tends to happen around the Top 6-7?
#6. Loosey LaDuca – 1 Win (5.5 avg; was #7, 4, 4, 2, 2, 5, 14, Pre-Season #8)
Loosey LaDuca gave her Crystal Ball look a character, but it wasn’t enough to distract from some questionable design choices on her constructed garment… and throughout all three of these looks.
I think Loosey LaDuca had the worst of all the “Start Your Engines” looks. I’d give this a 3-out-of-10.
There are good ideas here. Loosey’s shape is lovely. I love the silver-and-pink motif. I love hair coming out from under the helmet and the giant cartoon ponytail.
But, the actual garment? I don’t get it. It’s not reading as a racing outfit to me. She looks more like some kind of Fembot from Austin Powers. Why does it have a heart on it? Why is there a bow at the neck and on the boots? I get that the stripes down the sides are so big because they are helping with her shape illusion, but she lost the race suit aspect by making the stripes into panels of their own.
I think there are too many ideas going on at once here. She said herself on her runway voiceover, “Barbie on wheels, Princess Peach, and a female Speed Racer… it also looks like a crash test dummy decided to be a sex worker.” It’s too many thoughts fighting it out all at once on the garment.
Loosey LaDuca has the eighth-best “Favorite Ball” look,” which I’d award a 2-out-of-10.
It’s a peasant top and a skirt with a trash bag crown. There’s nothing bags or fashion about it. It’s just a clothing. I’m not even sure what else I can say about it.
Loosey only escapes the bottom of my stack ranking by virtue of one other look being actively hideous.
Loosey LaDuca had my seventh favorite Crystalized Eleganza look, which. I’d give a 4-out-of-10.
This is a well-made but badly-proportioned ball gown. I think if Loosey had walked it like a fashion garment rather than as a goofy pageant loser it could have had slightly more impact.
Where did she get that sash, anyhow? The lettering doesn’t look hand-made in 24 hours. To me that suggests she had specific plans to play this character in a ball no matter what, and maybe even had a pattern with her to work from.
All that said: It’s not quite as bad as the judges made it out to be. I think it’s more boring than bad.
Grand Total: 9/30
Loosey was on the struggle bus this week as the worst performer in the ball by a hair. A lot of Loosey’s fashion sense this season has been about making some odd, matronly-feeling outfits still look a bit sexy. I think the problem here is we lost the “sexy” in two of the looks and the “matronly” in all three, and there was just no positive aesthetic qualities left over after that.
I think Loosey should have been in the lip sync, but if that happened we would’ve lost her to Salina. I don’t think production is ready to turn her loose just yet when they are clearly working a “Jan’s facecrack” narrative on her. I suspect that means we’ll see her be high without a win or even just safe next week for the Improv challenge, which will leave her fuming. Then the next episode could be the end of her run – especially if it’s a Rusical, given the stiffness we’ve seen from her dancing so far.
#7. Salina EsTitties – 2 lip syncs (7.75 avg; was #5, 8, 11, 8, 8, 7, Pre-Season #12)
Salina EsTitties simply can’t seem to please the judges with her fashion aesthetic, and after seeing a second lip sync for her life (plus one in the tournament) it feels like her time on the show is almost up.
Salina EsTitties had my sixth favorite look of the “Start Your Engines” runway. I’d give it a 4-out-of-10.
I think the idea of taking Ru’s racing suit and making it more of a baggy flight suit is a good one, but the execution is off. Is it baggy ENOUGH? And, couldn’t all of those black lines have been harnesses? Maybe they are and they’re just pulled too tight on the garment. I wanted to see something more like an AirForce flight suit, and I think that could’ve been really chic.
There’s just something unpleasant about this look. Maybe it’s the flat black quality of the stripes against that powder blue. If they had been gray and glittered, this look would’ve read differently.
Salina EsTitties has, by far, the worst of all the “Favorite Ball” looks. I’ll give it a merciful 2-out-of-10 just because it involved some considerable effort beyond simply constructing a garment.
I hate that Salina put so much thought into the money printing and then decided to be a palm tree. I feel like that’s a perfect example of the problem with a lot of her looks: she has a good idea, but then she tries to use that idea to portray a second totally different idea.
This look could have worked with twice as much money on it and the green being a shawl or high-necked wrap rather than a nonsensical bunch of palm fronds.
There’s not much to say about Salina’s Crystalized Eleganza look. It was my least favorite of the category, though I’d give it a 3-out-of-10 for being a complete garment that stayed on her body through the lip sync. We’ve certainly seen worse from a design challenge before!
I think we’ve seen enough satin fails on design challenges for queens to know at this point that they ought to stay away from it unless they are exceptionally gifted seamstresses. It’s simply not a very forgiving fabric. It’s prone to wrinkles and puckers if you even look at it sideways. While I think Salina’s stoned pattern here is lovely (as is the pattern of the dress itself), affixing that many stones to a satin dress in that little time was always going to turn out looking wrinkly.
The same exact look in another fabric could’ve been a high point of this category. There’s really nothing wrong with the construction or the styling here. It’s simply the fabric that is sabotaging Salina’s success.
Grand Total: 10/30
Salina was deservedly in the Bottom 2 this episode, though I think she lip synced against the wrong queen.
Going 0-for-3 on the ball certainly didn’t do anything to improv Salina’d chances this season. There’s no getting around the fact that she’s got a winning amount of talent backed by a losing runway package that has held her back from getting a single high placement so far.
The one thing keeping Salina alive for another week is that next week is an improv comedy challenge. That’s the one spot where her ability to be loud and completely over the top should score positive notices. However, even if she kills in the improv challenge I suspect her runway will hold her back from notching a win.
Could she then hold on for another week to get to Top 6 if the following challenge is a Rusical or Branding? I’m just not sure she’ll have the plot momentum left to escape the Bottom Two at that point, even with a strong performance. And, now that we’ve seen two competitive lip syncs and one Lalaparuza performance from her, it feels like she might be almost out of tricks.
#8. Malaysia Babydoll Foxx (8.38 avg; was #8, 6, 10, 5, 9, 12, 9, Pre-Season #5)
Malaysia Babydoll Foxx needed something more than a safe placement this week to restart her engines. I fear at this point she is purely filler.
Malaysia Babydoll Foxx had my seventh-favorite “Start Your Engines” look. It’s a catsuit, and her figure looks amazing thanks to the illusion at the edges of that silver stripe! I’d actually give it a 5-out-of-10 on its own – I think it’s a better outfit than Salina’s! But, there are problems with it fitting the theme.
I think Malaysia stretched this concept too far away from RuPaul’s racing costume. It doesn’t read as a racing suit to me anymore. Also, I don’t understand why the silver stripe just stops at the front edge of the suit rather than wrapping around like a belt.
Past that, there’s just nothing happening here. It’s fine, but it feels like the base garment for a look, not a completed look. It’s bland.
Malaysia had my fifth favorite “Favorite Ball” look that I’d give a middle-of-the-road 4-out-of-10.
It fits her body and I love the drama of the zebra-print cloak. I don’t understand the white scrolls on her body not being the ornamentation on her breasts. It just makes it look like she has a low bustline, because those shapes on someone’s torso are always going to look like breasts
Also, while I like the shock of white in the front of the skirt, I don’t really understand the placement of the little black curls on the side of the skirt. If she had done a few rows of them they would’ve read as stripes, which is… fine, but they would still be horizontal stripes. Vertical stripes would be better.
I think she had to go back to the drawing board on the skirt, in general.
I am somewhat shocked to be saying this, but Malaysia Babydoll Foxx had my fourth favorite Crystalized Eleganza look, for a solid 6-out-of-10.
Yeah, it’s plain. And, the plainness does really bug me when I look closely at it.
Yet, once again, for a queen who doesn’t sew Malaysia proved the strength of knowing your shape and being able to style to accentuate it. Is the styling virtually the same as every other thing she has worn this season? Yes, but that’s the point. She knows what works for her. She looks really damn good.
(Also, I think the skirt could’ve been two inches longer so it hits the floor, but better to be an inch high and not trip on it. At least it’s past her ankles)
Grand Total: 15/30.
That puts Malaysia safely in the middle of the rank for this challenge, so why do I have her at the bottom of the Power Ranking? Despite a pair of high placements, Malaysia is the queen with the least plot heading into an improv comedy challenge. Why is she on Drag Race? What are her feelings about her place in the competition? We know virtually nothing about her compared to the rest of these contestants, nor have we seen her crush them at any challenge.
That’s not a great place to be heading into a 10th episode. Even though both Salina and Loosey are doing statistically worse in the game of tops, bottoms, and lip syncs, I feel like the edit is screaming that Malaysia is about to go home. Realistically, I don’t think there’s any queen on this cast where there’s story potential in Malaysia beating them in a lip sync other than Salina. And, I don’t expect Salina to be in the bottom two next week.
Can Malaysia Babydoll Foxx relocate the same ridiculousness that scored her a top spot for Daytona Wind, or is the race about to be over for her?
Eliminated in 9th place: Spice – 2 lip syncs (9.0 avg; was #9, 12, 12, 6, 8, Pre-Season #11)
I’ll come right out and say it: This wasn’t Spice’s week to go home. In fact, purely on the math of my scores, she was neck-and-neck with Anetra for a spot in the top three! Ru and Production simply decided she was disposable after last week’s Lalaparuza failure and decided to get things over with sooner than later.
Honestly, I can’t fault them for it.
Spice had by far my favorite look in the first category. I’d give it an 9-out-of-10, objectively.
I love the ultra-saturated red. The checkerboard on the visor, the belt, and the shoes is brilliant, as are the little touches of blue. Spice perfectly merged RuPaul with her own aesthetic. I’m not sure she could have done anything better. It’s high-impact and highly fun. Plus, the single stripe on the boots is giving me Wonder Woman!
Spice had my sixth favorite of the “Favorite Ball” looks. I’d give this look at 4-out-of-10.
It’s… a garment. It is on her body. I don’t really think using little pom pom balls necessarily screams “Ball Challenge” to me (and it’s no coincidence that Rock went home for using them for her Ball look on this Season 12 episode). Also, these heavy boots combined with the tattering on the leggings make it hard to understand Spice’s shape. It’s hard to look at.
Also, I think an up-do would have been more effective on this look, since there’s already so much patterning and asymmetry going on on the top of it. the whole thing just has too much going on at once. In that respect, it does look like an actual design challenge look from a ball!
This is a shocking admission to be making, but Spice had my fifth favorite Crystalized Eleganza ball look and I’d give it a perfectly safe 5-out-of 10.
I think this look was fine. We’ve seen a lot of queens deconstruct mirrors and disco balls before, and compared to them I’d say this bustier was one of the better ones we’ve seen. Also, I found the tied sides of the skirt to be quite fashionable, and I didn’t have a problem with the hemline like Michelle did.
This was a solid look.
All three looks were solid looks. That’s not the point of Spice’s dismissal this episode.
Last episode proved that not only was Spice not America’s Next Drag superstar, but she just doesn’t have the nerve and imagination to break out of the doll box that she’s trapped inside. I think if Spice had shown a real moment of breakthrough in those lip syncs (like actually crushing Malaysia in Round 2), or if she had shown some obvious growth tonight (going for a full-on strut instead of barely avoiding her trot) then we might’ve seen a very different outcome.
As it turns out, it was never the talent that was holding Spice back, but the nerve. Ru loves charisma, uniqueness, and talent, but she especially loves that to be paired with the nerve to grow and adapt during the competition.
I think Spice has the potential to grow into a truly powerful drag queen if she wants that for herself. However, she might be perfectly happy with being stunningly gorgeous on TikTok.
Honestly, I can’t blame her – Spice’s mug was flawless all season long