The 12th season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” kicked off on February 28th and March 6th in a special two-part premiere, but we didn’t see an elimination until March 13th’s third episode when Dahlia Sin was asked to “sashay away” for her reliance on sex appeal instead of showing more facets of her personality. In the Lip Sync for Your Life, Dahlia was bested by French queen Nicky Doll while Sherry Pie, since disqualified from all her challenge wins and a chance to win the title, was declared the winner of the week’s improv challenge and “buttons and bows” runway. This week Nicky had the chance to show the best side of her drag in what was a fashion-centric challenge–“The Ball Ball,” a three-part sports themed runway show.
Below, check out our minute-by-minute “RuPaul’s Drag Race” recap of Season 12, Episode 4 to find out what happened on March 20, beginning at 8/7c. After reading our thoughts on the episode, be sure to sound off in the comments section about your favorite queens on VH1’s reality TV show, who annoys you the most, and who you think will ultimately join the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winners list.
8:00 p.m. – Nicky was feeling herself after the LSFYL win, gaining the boost of confidence the queens usually get after proving that they can pull it together for a lip sync when their ass is on the line. But so was Aiden Zhane who chose Sherry and Brita for the previous challenge, saving herself by pairing up with two of the strongest queens. But that didn’t stop Aiden from shading Brita’s over confidence as a New York queen whose skills outside of the show don’t necessarily fit in the scope of the show.
8:05 p.m. – The next morning Ru arrived in the work room to ask the queens to “shake their stingers” in a “Bee Hive Jive” dressed as bees. The mini challenge was an opportunity for the girls to show off their quick drag and dancing skills. Though the yellow, black and white makeup wasn’t the best choice for any of them, the twerking, high kicks, splits and death drops more than made up for it. Ultimately it was Gigi Goode who showed up and showed out, earning $2500 cash as a prize.
8:10 p.m. – Next Ru wanted to fill them in on this week’s maxi challenge: the sports themed fashion ball “The Ball Ball” including three different runway looks. The three themes for the ball were “Lady Baller” (sexy), “Basketball Wife Realness” (posh), and “Balls to the Wall Eleganza” which would require each queen to create from scratch their own look using different ball adornments.
8:18 p.m. – The rest of the day was spent in the work room creating the ball fashions. Following her mini challenge win, Gigi was in the right frame of creative thinking, but also had the added strength of being one of the few girls who is well-trained in sewing. She was keenly aware of Nicky as a threat in this challenge because of her acute sense of style and fashion. The two seamstresses were less aware of Jan as a threat despite Jan having grown up playing sports and knowing how to merge athleticism and drag, two things that are rarely comparable. On the other side of the spectrum, Brita was completely lost both creatively and without a clue how to construct garments. Her big idea was to make a pineapple costume so, uh ya, that was a choice that was made.
8:27 p.m. – Despite her own shortcomings in construction, Brita was confused by Rock M. Sakura‘s approach. Rock M. created a papier-mâché piece using masking tape, thinking that the bigger the look the better the chances of impressing the judges. And while she went big, Jaida Essence Hall was coming to the realization that she was running out of supplies in order to create her full concept of an all white balls ball gown. Meanwhile, Aiden was happy with her creation, but didn’t quite grasp that her black and white striped corset was fitting so perfectly into the challenge as an interpretation of a referee’s shirt. Luckily jock icon Jan was on hand to point it out to her, albeit in a shady way because she didn’t think it was that great.
8:37 p.m. – The next day while putting on their faces, Aiden and Brita clashed over the previous night’s events where Aiden was napping, having finished early, while Brita was struggling to finish her garment before time ran out. In the eyes of the other girls it was clear that Aiden wasn’t putting in all she could and instead just doing the bare minimum. Later, Rock M. opened up about her experience as an Asian queen and the preconception that they don’t work as hard because of the “naturally feminized” stereotype.
8:41 p.m. – Joining RuPaul Charles on the judges’ panel this was week was mainstay Michelle Visage, alternating judge Ross Mathews and very special guest star and huge stan of the show Leslie Jones! Leslie was one of the most excited judges ever, screaming and recording Ru as she performed her iconic runway entrance. Honestly, if you’re not familiar with Leslie’s live tweeting of the show then check it out!
8:46 p.m. – The girls walked in “Lady Baller” first. Here the best looks were Nicky’s black and gold rhinestoned football pads, Aiden’s “A League of Their Own” vintage look and Gigi’s “Heathers” inspired croquet plaid look.
8:55 p.m. – Next they walked for “Basketball Wife Realness.” In this runway, Jackie Cox‘s 70s look, Aiden’s Peggy Bundy cheetah print, and Brita’s yellow Kim Kardashian inspired dress really, really missed the mark, but Nicky’s red feathered coat and Jaida’s sleek burgundy dress with fur were fantastic. But I was all in the bag for Heidi N Closet‘s little white dress and her concept of the shady wife looking at all the basketball husbands. Go off and get yours, sis!
9:00 p.m. – The ball concluded with “Balls to the Wall Eleganza” and a showcase of their work room creations. As expected, Nicky’s neon fringe ball dress and Gigi’s white with colorful yarn ball mod dress stole the show. Aiden’s referee corset, Rock M.’s busy, overworked puff ball outfit and Brita’s confusing pineapple (it didn’t even look like a pineapple!) were all a hot underwhelming mess. Personally I was really into Widow Von’Du‘s hoop dress with a cute black lingerie underneath and I was fully gagged when Ru said “this is the fashionable are wearing in… Machu Picchu.”
9:10 p.m. – This week the tops were Gigi, Nicky and Jaida while Aiden, Brita and Rock M. were the bottoms. Ross told Nicky that this was her time to shine and she knocked it out of the park, including her variety of looks through the three runways, but Michelle advised her to focus more on personality going forward so that she doesn’t get pigeon-holed into fashion queen only. Though the judges liked Aiden’s “Lady Baller” look, it all fell apart in the final two walks, pointing to Aiden’s “less is more” outlook as the overall problem. Rock M. didn’t have that “less is more” problem because her final look was way over the top, but at least Leslie thought she was great when it came to hair and makeup. Jaida was another one that displayed a variety of looks and they all rose to the occasion, with each look getting praise from a different judge. Like the rest of us, Michelle and Leslie were confused that Brita thought she looked like a pineapple, but Ross had to make it clear that unless the vision is understandable then it will never work. Gigi earned high marks for her across the board elegance and chic aesthetic.
9:22 p.m. – After deliberating, the judges came to the conclusion that this week’s winner would be Gigi! And when it came to the bottom two, Aiden was declared safe, leaving Rock M. and Brita to battle it out in the LSFYL to Rihanna‘s “S&M.” It was a truly rough start for Rock M. who clumsily attempted to tear off the bottom half of her skirt with puff balls flying all over the place. Once she got it off she was finally to pick up steam with some splits and spin kicks, but by that point Brita was already working the stage from side to side with her own high energy and fully realized performance of the song. Though they both turned it out by the end, Ru decided that it was Brita’s moment in the spotlight and Rock M.’s time to leave the competition. Ultimately it was Rock M.’s lack of confidence that was her doom and so she left in tears knowing that she’d have to find a way to believe in herself more.
NEXT WEEK: It’s a comedy challenge when the queens team up to overact in primetime soap spoof “Gay’s Anatomy.”