Welcome to my review, recap, and power rankings of the sixth episode of Drag Race Sverige (AKA Drag Race Sweden) Season 1 – “Dream Sisters.” It’s the standard Drag Race makeover challenge with a substantially beefy set of sisters-to-be in the form of a pair of Swedish Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters and their gym buddies.
The results were by far the most-hilarious episode of Drag Race we’ve had so far in 2023. Between Admira Thunderpussy’s constant deadpan antics and Fontana’s ongoing meltdown over whether her partner will shave his bushy eyebrows, you could find yourself laughing out loud through entire swaths of this episode’s workroom antics.
Admira was on fire this episode with a literal and metaphorical straight man to play off of. When her partner tries on corsets and pads and asks her “How do you put up with this?” she dryly replies “I usually think about my invoices when I do this.”
Later, while instructing her partner on his runway walk, she strikes a pose and exclaims, “Ah! I’m the world’s most beautiful! Everyone else can die! Ha ha ha!”
Every word out of her mouth is iconic. She is like a Disney cartoon villain come to life.
In the midst of all the comedy, Fontana has a surprisingly nuanced character arc as she gets to know her makeover partner. He confesses that he used to be that straight guy – who used “gay” and “homo” as slurs, who judged queer people, and didn’t understand why there ought to be a Pride parade.
As her partner shares his journey to acceptance, Fontana goes through her own journey both live with him in the workroom and in her confessionals. This is the sort of straight man who taught her to fear straight men! She can’t help but be triggered merely by his presence, and especially by his story You can see the panic of PTSD washing over her in her wide eyes and set jaw as he tells his story. She adds in voiceover, “In the real world, I’d never dare to hang out with a guy like that. I was so scared. Guys like him are always so mean to me.”
Even as he gradually reveals how he discovered his own version of being an ally, Fontana can’t decide how she feels about it. She’s not wrong to be hesitant. Her partner’s story essentially centers his observation of queer trauma as the turning point to acceptance. It’s nice to acknowledge someone else is a human being when you see them be hurt, but it would be even better to accept their humanity without having to see them in pain.
Yet, this story does have a happy ending, with Fontana’s partner forcefully proclaiming, “I want to leave behind the person I was and grow to become someone better!” In that moment, you can see Fontana find some joy but also some steely resolve to make this partnership work – not just to win the challenge, but to show people watching the power of embracing allyship.
I don’t think her partner wasn’t trying to center himself and his feelings in the story of his journey. His whole point is that he wants to learn and transform, and in sharing his story he wants to help other people get to that place without needing to wait to be inspired by a queer person’s trauma like he was.
Fontana channels her newfound kinship into a surprising performance while Admira can’t translate her humor onto the runway, which leaves our power rankings severely shaken compared to last week’s “Dragodi Festival” Girl Groups episode. What does that mean with just one more episode before the finale? It feels like we have our winner locked in, but there might be a shocking entrant in the runner up position!
(Want to watch Drag Race Sverige outside of Sweden? For most of the world, it’s available as part with a Wow Presents Plus subscription as soon as the episode is done airing.)
Läsare, start your engines. Och må den bästa Drag Queen vinna!
Reminders: I consistently 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. Every drag artist in the world deserves endless essays dedicated to their talents and life stories. I’m commenting on drag artistry in how it fits the established expectations of this specific television program, but the reason I’m commenting at all is because I celebrate all drag.
Drag Race Sverige Season 1, Episode 6 – “Dream Sisters” makeover challenge Power Rankings
Before we get to our quintet of Dream Sisters makeovers, let’s take a long, contemplative moment to enjoy Robert Fux once again being the best-dressed host across all of the many Drag Race franchises. This outfit is impeccable, and I could not stop staring at his eye makeup! I’ll have you know he kept this head piece on through the entirety of judging. This man is committed to his art.
#1. Vanity Vain – 1 win, 1 lip sync (was #2, 4, 2, 7, 6 Pre-Season #2)
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Vanity Vain finally comes out on top of the power ranking, and it’s at the perfect time – with just one episode left until the finale!
While Vanity’s pair of shapeless swimsuits left something to be desired on the runway, she created a reasonable resemblance on her “Dream Sisters” partner Nikita Vain. They had some early turbulence in the workroom when Nikita revealed he is a chiropractor and objected to some of the tools of the drag trade based on what they do to the human skeleton. He “doesn’t let” his wife wear heels! Yet, he also turned out to be the most nimble out of all of the sisters in drag. That really helped to sell Vanity’s act and the judges seemed to eat it up.
Vanity claiming the top spot doesn’t mean I think she’ll win the season. Yet, this queen who came on so plain and surly at the start of the season has shown off her heart… even if I’m still waiting to see some stronger runways. With Elecktra fading and Fontana just now clinching a win, Vanity might find herself cast as Admira Thunderpussy’s main competition for the finale.
#2. Admira Thunderpussy – 2 wins (was #1, 2, 6, 4, 3, Pre-Season #1)
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Admira Thunderpussy gets a somewhat puzzling “low for vulnerability” edit this episode despite having the most gorgeous of all five makeovers with one of the most obvious resemblances. The judges arbitrarily decided that the runway was all about connection, which made her seem to be at risk when really that was never the case.
Admira’s makeover look for herself and Stareena Thunderpussy was her typical brand of austere glam that nearly doubles her age but looks damn good. I keep re-examining those plaid skirts and marveling over how simple they are while looking so damn good. I think part of that is that they are well-tailored around the waist – and, Stareena seems to have some killer hips. Who knows if those are natural MMA curves or Admira-supplied pads, but he looks great!
With upstarts Imaa Queen and Santana Sexmachine out of the way and Elecktra saddled with a second lip sync, it really feels as though the fix is in for Admira Thunderpussy. She was allowed the skate by a few early weeks of weakness, and now it feels like nothing can possibly stop her. Even if Admira flops next week, to actually dismiss her it would probably take Fontana delivering an incredibly restrained but still highly aerobic lip sync that was undeniably more fitting to the song than whatever Admira delivered. Otherwise, no matter what happens next week, we’ll see Admira in the finale – and that will probably mean she takes home the crown.
#3. Fontana – 1 win, 1 lip sync (was #4, 5, 3, 5, 5, Pre-Season #4)
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Just when I was ready to count Fontana out of contention for the finale, she finally scores a win!
It’s no big surprise that a makeup artist as talented as Fontana won a makeover challenge. What is surprising is that she did it not just on the strength of her resemblance but due to a well-coordinated and campy runway. Cosplaying as the creepy twins from The Shining certainly isn’t an instant recipe for Drag Race success, but Fontana made it work thanks to establishing a meaningful rapport with the equally empathetic Roxana during their time in the workroom.
It was a brilliant move on Fontana’s part to coax Roxana to shave off her eyebrows for the “Dream Sisters” makeover look. I’m absolutely sure Fontana could have found a way to cover up his brows, but establishing a clear “either you’re in or your out” moment for Roxana helped to galvanize him into producing such a strong, confident runway presentation.
Fontana winning in this quarter-final episode is just about the most-chaotic thing that could have happened. She is now on completely equal footing with Vanity and Elecktra when it comes to her track record, and she now has extra momentum heading into the semi-final. Could Fontana be handed a lip sync win over Elecktra in next week’s episode? If you had suggested it just a few weeks ago I would’ve laughed at you, but now I’m not so sure. Or, even better, could Fontana be safe next week – since a lip sync between any two of the other three queens would certainly yield much higher drama?
Either way, Fontana may have just written her ticket into the finale.
#4. Elecktra – 1 win, 2 lip syncs (was #3, 1, 4, 1, 4, Pre-Season #6)
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Elecktra delivered another dull showgirl look with big crystals with similar vibes to her design challenge outfit, and the judges dinged her for it again with another trip to the lip sync.
I wouldn’t say that Elecktra’s “Dream Sisters” makeover of Perfeckta was bad. Perfecta looks lovely. Her face has a real feminine softness to it, moreso than any other of the makeover partners. However, I don’t know if a touch of femininity equals a sisterly likeness. Elecktra’s drag makeup is so small and so reliant on the fineness of her own features that it’s hard to duplicate on another face. Pefeckta might be made up in the style of Elecktra, but I don’t know that there’s a resemblance there.
Add to that a pair of unflattering outfits and a very different vibe between the two of them during their runway presentation and you wind up with Elecktra being sent to lip sync in this tight field of queens. Elecktra utterly smashed the lip sync – I laughed out loud at her
Elecktra has been living a curious dual life in this competition as both an experienced front-runner and as a traditional queen who is failing to spark the judges’s imaginations and fervor. For a few weeks it felt as though she was the obvious contender to battle Admira Thunderpussy for the crown. Now it isn’t feeling like Elecktra could win that matchup, even if she makes it through next week.
A win next week would help to solidify Elecktra’s shot at the crown, but a safe placement or a lip sync will likely mean she is out of contention for the crown.
Eliminated in 5th Place: Antonina Nutshell – 3 lip syncs (was #5, 6, N/A, Elim, 8, Pre-Season #7)
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Antonina Nutshell wore what might be her most-coherent look of the entire competition for this makeover challenge. Despite this brown dress looking flattering on her, she simply doesn’t have enough of an eye for detail to polish her own drag to the level of the rest of the top five – let alone do that a second time for her “Dream Sisters” makeover partner Angela Nutshell.
While Antonina certainly can’t be blamed for taking advantage of a chance to return to the competition, production can be blamed for using a “comeback” mechanism on three queens who had already given their all to the competition, and the judges can be blamed for a pair of puzzling eliminations the past two weeks when Antonina was ready for her second departure.
I hope Antonina doesn’t reap any hate as a result of those poor decisions that were out of her hands. She is a charming and kind queen, and I’m certain she puts on a hell of a nightclub act back in the UK.
6th Place Santana Sexmachine – 1 lip sync (was #3, 5, 3, 2, Pre-Season #3)
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7th Place: Imaa Queen – 1 win (was #1, 2, 1, Pre-Season #5)
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8th Place: Endigo – 2 lip syncs (was #6, 7, Pre-Season #8)
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Previously 8th Place: Antonina Nutshell (was #8, Pre-Season #7)
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[…] episode’s results completely flipped my power rankings from last week’s makeover episode! I’m not sure that means much with such an obvious front-runner, but this season has […]