RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 8, Book Ball

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Hello my little strumpets! Welcome back to my RuPaul’s Drag Race recap where I thank Yeezus profusely for sending Britney Barry packing. But before we delve into this 90 minute Book Ball Extravaganza episode and the elimination that’s been 5 episodes in the making let’s rewind back to Thorgy Thor’s departure.

The queens return to the workroom completely confused as to how a bitch who doesn’t know how to paint her eyebrows has made it to the top 5. Naomi (rightfully so) reads Derrick the house down boots, and Derrick retaliates with some mean-spirited digs, which pretty much secure her position as the least liked queen of season 8. There’s no question now that Derrick is the mean queen of the season; she makes Acid Betty look like Gandhi.

The queens then participate in the season’s puppet challenge, and because of producer manipulation Naomi and Derrick are given yet another opportunity to shit on each other. Naomi calls out Derrick’s hemming, lack of drag identity, and overall unpleasantness. Derrick then jumps in and attacks Naomi for a lack of talent, turning what is a few funny jokes into a really mean-spirited dig. Bob humorously mocks Kim Chi’s weight and speech impediment, Kim calls out Chi Chi’s cheapness, and Chi Chi Chi walks into the club purse first with her impersonation of Bob and wins. Afterwards Ru Paul announces the Book Ball, a three-part sewing challenge with the following categories: “Baby Drag Realness”, “That’s My Mama Realness”, and “Autobiographical Eleganza Extravaganza”, which requires our queens to create couture looks out of kindling( pages from RuPaul & Michelle Visage’s books)

What’s great about this episode is that it’s long enough for us to actually spend some time with the queens in the workroom.  Bob finally delivers on the vulnerability the production team has been looking for when he breaks down in tears over his mother’s illness. Kim Chi’s strained relationship with his mother over his secret drag life is highlighted. Even Derrick Barry gets a sad moment! It’s nice to see that behind the wigs and shade these queens are all just a bunch of gay boys in need of their mother’s love.

After the heartfelt workroom walk-around the queens are told that there’s another component to the Book Ball: a lip sync performance inspired by Strangers with Candy, a cult classic television show starring one of the two guest judges, Amy Sedaris. As the winner of the mini challenge, Chi Chi is assigned choreographer. The performance is cute but has little bearing on the overall main stage critiques, so all I’ll say is that Kim Chi still doesn’t know how to dance.

Now to the runway!

Derrick Barry

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This episode proves what most fans have thought since episode 2: Derrick is better as Britney. While his attempts at shaking things up are valid, Derrick lacks the drag know-how to pull off anything other than his main celebrity impersonation gig. His eyebrows are a hot mess, his outfits are uninspired, and his couture look is just a corset with pages glued to it. How a queen who doesn’t know how to paint on eyebrows got to the top 5 is beyond me? #RIPACIDBETTY and #RIPTHORGYTHOR

Chi Chi DeVayne

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Chi Chi broke out of the Dida Ritz box this week by serving up some actual couture on the runway! She may not have gotten much screen-time this episode, but Chi Chi strutted down the runway in some very fierce looks.

Kim Chi

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Kim Chi gives us some Pokemon evolution realness with her trio of inspired looks. Out of all the queens, she’s the only one to serve up a story, and her “That’s My Mama Look” is a breathtaking and solemn homage to her mother. It’s pretty safe to say Kim is one of the most visually intelligent queens in Drag Race herstory.

Naomi Smalls

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Gone are the days of filler queen! Naomi was perfection on the runway this week with well-executed, simplistic couture looks that showed the judges she’s more than just a great pair of legs.

Bob the Drag Queen

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Bob’s looks aren’t bad this episode, but they’re not nearly as inventive or well-constructed as Naomi or Kim’s. Given her track record, it’s inevitable for Bob to end up in the bottom 2 so they can make it seem like the other queens have a fighting chance against her.

Kim Chi wins her second challenge of the season, and Naomi and Chi Chi are announced safe. Bob and Derrick end up in the bottom for the lip sync we’ve all been waiting for, and as expected, Bob wipes the stage with her crazy eyebrow ass. Derrick is finally sent home, and all the wrongs in the world are righted, leaving us with the top 4 we want and deserve.

RANKINGS

Bob

Let’s be real, Bob is still winning this season. She’s the most well-rounded queen by far, and she’s been a fan favorite since day 1.

Kim Chi

As of right now, Kim is in second place. She and Chi Chi have received the most favorable edits this season, and Kim has won over the entire fan base with her dorkiness and sweetness. We all know Kim has yet to land in the bottom 2 because she can’t dance for shit, and it’s very arguable that the producers have carried her through several challenges this season, but whatever she’s great.

Chi Chi

Chi Chi is the dark horse of this season, and it seems like RuPaul and the producers really love her. She’s a lip sync assassin, great talking head, and she knows how to perform. Her runway looks have been bleh, but her story may be just compelling enough to secure her a top 3 spot.

Naomi

I love me some Naomi Smalls, but I don’t think the judges would put two look queens in the top 3. She’s received the least screen-time out of her competitors, and it seems her story of growth is coming to an end, so I wouldn’t be surprised if she sashays away next.

 

 

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