We begin this week's episode in the empty Werk Room, where the queens are solemnly filing in one by one, their hearts heavy after Cynthia's eviction...
Well, the expression of grief can take many forms...
As Robbie wipes Cynthia's spelling mistakes off the mirror, everyone takes a moment to reflect on what a talented queen she was, and how beautiful...
...but mostly on how terrible her outfit was.
TFW you realise the cucu is gone forever.
Suddenly Derrick pipes up, complaining that Michelle Visage told her she doesn't have a soul.
"No, Michelle said you don't have 'soul', she didn't say you don't have A soul," corrects Bob.
"Then I'll just start twerkin'!" giggles Derrick, before shaking her butt and shouting "COME ON BARRY BOOTY!"
TFW you confuse the concept of "soul" with the concept of "being black".
Everyone shifts uncomfortably and looks away like Derrick is their casually racist uncle at Christmas dinner, and tries to change the conversation before she starts talking about watermelon and fried chicken.
Hey, uh, Chi Chi? Do you have an opinion on this?
Doobly doo music, wavy lines, more doobly doo music, and...
(By the way, someone messaged me about this wanting to know what I was on about. You know it's this, right?)
Well, now you do.
So it's the next day in the Werk Room, and for the second week in a row no one does or says anything of interest because before anyone can even open their mouths they're summoned by RuPaul's siren call to stare at an old sheet of newspaper pinned to the wall and pretend it's a flat screen TV.
"SHEEDUHHREDDYHADHERSSSS HEY WE COULD SAVE AT LEAST 30 SECONDS PER EPISODE IF WE JUST CUT THIS POINTLESS BIT OUT AND THEN WE COULD HAVE MORE TIME FOR THE RUNWAY SHOW JUST SAYIN'," screams RuPaul.
"Blah blah blah music pun blah blah blah reference to the '80s blah blah blah Blondie blah blah blah you can probably ignore this bit because it will all be explained when I walk in the door in 60 seconds' time anyway blah blah blah," says RuPaul.
Meanwhile in the corner, Derrick is still trying to work out what "soul" is.
"Hey guys, I think I've got it! This is soul, right?"
Everyone immediately starts trying to make sense of RuPaul's fiendishly cryptic clues (Rock the Casbah? The Tide is High? What could she possibly be saying?) except for Thorgy, who is too busy admiring the life size Kim Chi statue she ordered off Ali Baba:
"It's accurate to EVERY measurement!"
Just as Thorgy is demonstrating how her statue can walk more gracefully than the real Kim Chi, the lights start to flicker and swing violently from side to side, casting ominous shadows across the room that make Acid Betty look even more psycho than usual.
Suddenly a chill falls over the Werk Room, forcing everyone to huddle underneath Thorgy's dreadlocks for warmth, but a fight breaks out when Derrick can only fit under the fringe.
"GIMME MORE," she shouts.
Never gets old
Everyone gasps as the door at the top of the stairs creaks open and...
OH MY GOD IT'S A BROWN HAT!
"CAN IT BE TRUE? IS IT REALLY BROWN?"
"YASSSSSS! BROWN'S IN TOWN!"
"The complex mathematical algorithms that monitor the ratings for this show have determined the most lucrative demographic at which to pitch advertising is the over 30s," announces the brown hat.
"To that end, I am going to mention some 1980s bands, to which you should respond dramatically. The B-52s, Blondie, Wendy O Williams."
Yes, very dramatic, very good.
Great facial work, very expressive, good job.
"Hey guys, can you see my soul yet?"
Meanwhile, watching at home:
"Wendy Williams was in a band?"
"For this week's maxi challenge you're going to form your own new wave band," announces the brown hat, before adding: "Make your own damn teams, I can't be bothered anymore," and floating out the door.
"But I can't afford a new weave!"
The queens quickly form into two teams (Kim Chi, Robbie and Naomi, and Thorgy, Bob and Acid Betty) and one bunch of leftovers (Naysha, Derrick and Chi Chi) and get to work writing their totally rad 1980s new wave songs.
Robbie's team takes "punk" as their genre, which is perfect for them because how much more punk can you get than a 1950s glamour housewife, a supermodel with no eyebrows and a lisping, introverted Korean?
Honestly, I thought this was a picture of the Sex Pistols when I first saw it.
Alternatively: "When you're about to sing and someone punches you in the balls".
Bob's and Naysha's teams almost come to blows when it's revealed they both want the "party" genre, until Chi Chi announces she'd prefer "synth".
"Synth has soul, it has rhythm," says Chi Chi.
"Hang on, it has what?"
Note to Chi Chi: picking a genre for its "soul" when one has Derrick on the team is not necessarily the smartest move.
And so #TeamLeftover takes synth while Bob, Acid Betty and Thorgy dance off to the corner to do whatever it is a party band does.
Or, as half the letters have fallen off their team notebook, whatever this band does:
I can't wait to hear their rhythm section!
HANG ON EVERYBODY, NAYSHA'S HAD A GREAT IDEA.
"Why don't we incorporate shapes? I'm circle, you're triangle, and you're square," she says, pointing to Derrick.
"Yeah I know, but what shape am I?" asks Derrick.
"We can even be THE SHAPES," continues Naysha, with the conviction of someone who genuinely believes they've had a good idea for a cool band name, rather than someone who has possibly just named something she saw on Sesame Street last week.
Things go from bad to worse when Chi Chi suggests wearing cardboard cut-outs of shapes as their costumes.
"I don't want to come out in a box," moans Derrick, who has never been anywhere near a box in her life.
"I don't wanna hellllp you guysss, but the genre of synth was allll about geometric shapes and oddness," says Acid Betty, who is definitely being helpful and not stirring the pot at all.
She won't be so smug when that giant bear attacks her.
Not that things are going brilliantly for her team either, with Bob and Thorgy bickering so much over the lyrics to their song "Street Meat", it's like Lennon and McCartney on Ritalin.
"The first line could be 'what's that smell?'," suggests Thorgy,
"And then we could do a line about 'big black beans'," says Bob.
When you're writing a song about "street meat" but think a line about "big black beans" is too vulgar.
Meanwhile on the other side of the room, Robbie's team is going really well getting into their hardcore punk personas, embracing the political, anti-establishment ethos of the genre to produce a really groundbreaking piece of art that will shake society to its very foundations.
"What about if our song was about chicken wings?" says Kim Chi.
Well, hey: who said chickens can't be punk?
Back over with The Shapes, Naysha and Derrick are struggling to come up with cool lyrics for their song. Possibly because they are in a band called "The Shapes" singing about shapes.
"Don't worry, Chi Chi will help us 'soul' it up," says Derrick.
"DAMMIT DERRICK HOW MANY TIMES DO I NEED TO SAY IT?"
Doobly doo music wavy lines etc and we're in the rehearsal room, where music whizz sort of person Lucian Piane is ready to put the queens through their new wave paces. Or at least just make them sing really badly for the next 10 minutes so we can all laugh at them.
First up are The Shapes, who are now apparently called Dragometry, which is only a marginal improvement but is still better than the name of RuPaul's first band, Wee Wee Pole.
"This challenge is going to show everyone I do have soul," announces Derrick, before shrieking into the microphone like someone who's just stepped on a rusty nail.
No amount of soul can save this.
"I feel like it might be fun for you guys to TALK-sing some of this," suggests Lucian, which is a nice way of saying "PLEASE DON'T SING ANY MORE, GOD PLEASE SPARE MY EARS, I NEED THEM FOR WORK".
"None of you are incredible vocalists," says Lucian.
So Derrick has that in common with Britney Spears too.
Moving on to Kim Chi, Robbie and Naomi with Les Chicken Wings, the punk tribute to KFC nobody asked for.
"I wanna hear a little anger from you," says Lucian.
The angriest thing about this band is Naomi's T shirt, and even that's unconvincing.
Next up is Bob, Thorgy and Betty, who kick things off in spectacular fashion by arguing for five minutes in answer to the question "Do you like your song?".
"Er, are you sure you guys don't want to do punk instead...?"
To be fair it's a difficult question to answer, given their song appears to be a rip-off of the B-52's Rock Lobster with new lyrics about male prostitutes. It's possible no one will ever like this song.
Things get worse when they give it a run-through and Lucian tells them it's "too theatrical".
You know, like how the B-52s were totally not theatrical at all.
"It doesn't have that cool B-52s vibe, right now it's just reading as cheesy," he says.
"I JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE SAYING," says Bob, echoing the thoughts of every person watching this show.
"It's just about creating your own style, like, even someone like Lorde..." says Lucian.
"I HATE HER. I CAN'T WITH HER," spits Bob.
"Why can't you understand what I'm saying? Be like the B-52s but cooler, and be like Lorde but not like a teenage girl, and be less theatrical in a 1980s way. IT'S SIMPLE. GOD."
"It's very surprising that any queen would come for me, because I'm going to be judging these bitches," says Lucian.
Guess that counts Bob out of winning this challenge, then.
So it looks like never being a royal is something she'll have in common with Lorde.
Back in the Werk Room the queens are getting all dragged up, and Chi Chi is talking for the 500th time about how she doesn't have any money because she's bankrupt and she's working two jobs and she really needs to win because $100,000...
"Shit, that trumps my sad virgin story..."
"I'm going to put my hair and makeup on immediately - I'm always the last person running around with my head cut off," says Thorgy.
"And yet you still win every time," says Robbie, who has obviously been watching some other show for the past four weeks, one in which Thorgy actually wins something.
"I feel like I'm the Susan Lucci of Drag Race," says Thorgy.
"Hey don't forget the terrible make up too!"
But enough of all this pointless crap...
IT'S CONCERT-SLASH-RUNWAY TIME!* Sadly it seems Chi Chi isn't the only one having money troubles, as RuPaul is forced to strut down the runway with half a blow wave after a run-in with the coin-operated hair dryer at her local DIY salon:
She ran out of cash 20 minutes in.
* It appears production budget cuts have also hit Michelle Visage, who has had to give up her usual make-up session with Mathu Andersen to instead use Homer Simpson's makeup gun:
I think we all know what setting it was on.
* And introducing special guest judges Chris Stein and Debbie Harry of Blondie! So I guess that explains the budget cuts.
* Sadly Debbie Harry has confused the week's theme of "living in the 80s" for "living in YOUR 80s", and so has come straight from her audition for the Shady Pines Retirement Village's annual production of the Geriatric Rocky Horror Picture Show:
It's the hip replacement that really drives you insane.
* First on stage is Bob, Thorgy and Betty with their 1980s party band Street Meatz:
Which is sort of appropriate because they look less like a band and more like three weirdos who just randomly met on the street.
When you realise you're surrounded by hot guys but you look like Raggedy Andy on pills.
* Thorgy looks like what Devo would might have been if they'd gotten their costume inspiration from IKEA instead of a gardening centre:
I truly want to believe she didn't paint this jacket herself, but just found it in some thrift shop, fully formed, and that is used to belong to someone called Pamela who wore it on aeroplanes "for comfort".
* Next up is Dragometry with their straight-to-number-150 hit "Rectangle Girls of the World", which is all about being unique and not fitting in to a box. Or a rectangle. (We already know none of them will fit into a box)
* Derrick looks like someone who's only just realised they're wearing a giant square on their head:
"Britney would totally have been a circle. Dammit."
* Chi Chi looks... well, sorry, but she actually looks fierce as fuck:
A little scary, too.
* Naysha tries to stay on top of the song while struggling under the weight of a massive keytar:
Sadly it's not big enough to cover her entire outfit.
"A fuckin' bumblebee?"
* The crowd staunchly refuses to go wild:
"Maybe I should get a drink? Or go to the loo?"
* And finally it's punk band Les Chicken Wings with... well I've got no idea what their song is called, but it involves them singing about mustard sauce and crispy drumsticks and sucking on bones and somehow isn't totally terrible.
* Robbie looks like the love child of Courtney Love and Dee Snyder, while Naomi actually looks like RuPaul circa Wee Wee Pole:
And I'm sure Les Chicken Wings will achieve just as much success as that wonderful band.
* Kim Chi takes a note from Naomi, decides to wear the angriest T shirt she owns:
I think it says "I HATE SOY", which you might think isn't a very bold statement - but you're not Korean.
* Moving on to the fashion runway which tonight has a theme of "neon queen realness" or, for everyone watching the show at home: "edited way too fast to even see what anyone is wearing realness". Due to budget cuts, each queen gets approximately half a second to showcase their look, meaning everyone pretty much looks like this:
Damn, she's gone already.
Seriously, why is this shit so fast this week? Are the producers being paid by the minute here?
Oh, wait. Yes, they probably are.
* So anyway first up is Derrick Barry, who looks rather like Britney Spears accidentally got caught up in her shower curtain on the way to the pool and decided to just go with it:
Formal swimwear, it's the new thing.
* Moving on to Naysha Lopez, who looks like a Bloomingdales mannequin being swallowed feet-first by a large, exotic lizard:
Just one more swallow and she'll be gone completely.
* Next up is Chi Chi DeVayne and I'm sorry I just can't ever find fault with her I just can't she is the best:
SHE LOOKS LIKE LIL KIM HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE THIS BITCH?
* If I had more than three milliseconds to assess Kim Chi's look I'd probably be super impressed, but as it flashes past my eyeballs it looks rather like a Picasso that melted onto a circus clown:
I think I'm frightened.
* Next up is Robbie TurnasjahjhJHSHIU S&9wfhuv sabav
Sorry, I just fell asleep on my keyboard half way through that sentence, from boredom.
If your response to "neon queen realness" is Barbara Bush in a painting smock, you need to reassess your life choices.
* Then there's Naomi Smalls who's just dropped in on her way to a "come as your favourite sex toy" costume party:
In an unusual interpretation of the theme, she's dressed as "Street Walker Barbie".
* Acid Betty has had enough of this shit and is off to find an audience that truly appreciates her:
By auditioning for Cirque du Soleil.
* Remember how Thorgy said she was going to spend more time on her hair and makeup this week?
Not sure that was such a great idea.
* And finally it's Bob, who looks like the victim of an unfortunate manicure incident:
When you're trying to dry your shellac and you accidentally spill nail polish on your head.
* At this point can I just say what a disappointment it is that not a single queen turned up wearing ACTUAL neon light tubes? CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW COOL THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN? But you know, whatever. I can't do all the thinking around here.
* Bob, who so far on the runway has worn a silver spandex robot suit, a sheer black ballgown, a handmade floral cocktail dress and now a 1960s mod pantsuit, is told by Michelle Visage that "ratchet drag" is her thing.
* Having not finished delivering the diss, Michelle tells Thorgy she's not crazy about her makeup, because there's "too much" going on.
When Michelle Visage tells you your makeup is too busy, you know you've got a problem.
AND THAT'S A HAT TRICK, PEOPLE.
* Meanwhile, further down the line:
"Lucky a swimsuit with fake lapels is OK!"
* Chris Stein shades Chi Chi for wearing the same shoes in the band performance and the runway show. Good pickup. Maybe if we'd had more than three milliseconds to look at the runway show, we would have noticed that too.
* "Bob has a lot of arisma," says Debbie Harry, which sounds like a medical condition, so I hope Bob is alright.
* "Derrick really had an outstanding voice," she continues, so maybe Debbie's the one with the medical condition.
"If by 'outstanding voice' you mean you want her to stand outside when she uses it, then yes."
* Michelle says Acid Betty's performance in the band failed, because she was "completely swallowed up by those other two girls". Conversely, that exact same sentence was the basis for a five star review of Betty's home video on DragShag.com
* Chi Chi apologises to Naysha and Derrick for not being enough of a team player, explaining: "I didn't mean to throw any y'all under the bus."
"Where is this bus everyone keeps talking about? Is the bus still running?" says RuPaul.
Meanwhile, watching at home:
* Despite singing a terrible song with a giant cardboard square stuck to her forehead, Derrick manages to impress Chris Stein so much he suggests she play Debbie Harry in a movie.
Can't wait for that one to go straight to DVD.
Despite not wearing any neon and looking like a Marie Antoinette display at Billy and Babs' Budget Waxworks, Robbie Turner is declared the winner of the day and so is safe from elimination. She also receives a slew of glittering prizes including a packet of Kleenex, a 20 per cent off coupon for Amtrak (valid Mondays only) and a can of Ovaltine (expiry December 1993). (It's OK though, that stuff never really goes off.)
The rest of Team Chicken Wing, along with Bob, Thorgy and Acid Betty are also sent back to the safe zone.
Then, in a move that shocks everyone, so is Derrick Barry.
I can't tell if she's surprised, or if that's just her makeup.
Even Derrick doesn't seem fully convinced that she's not in the bottom two, until a producer whispers in her ear "Next week is the snatch game, BRITNEY!".
"Yeah sure no worries, I'll just wear bathers and a shower curtain next time shall I?"
But it's too late for that - it's lip sync time! And it's Naysha vs Chi Chi to one of the most epic dancefloor songs of all time, Blondie's "Call Me".
"Imma lip sync for mah fuhkin' lahf," drawls Chi Chi.
She's not joking.
What happens next is one of the most monumental lip syncs in Drag Race history, even more amazing than when Roxxy Andrews took off her wig and revealed another wig underneath, and the one where Jujubee and Raven almost collapsed in hysterical tears to Robyn, and the one where Mimi Imfurst picked up India Farrah like the Hulk.
While Naysha takes her shoes off and faffs about in her bare feet like a circus performer leading a water-robics class, Chi Chi flips and cartwheels and death dropps all over the place in her thigh high stiletto boots like some sort of ninja dominatrix.
And while Naysha's puffball of a wig keeps flapping about her head like a rabid squirrel, Chi Chi's stays perfectly in place, even after she swiffers the floor with it.
Grab the new Chi Chi Shiner for just four easy payments of $34.99!
"Chi Chi DeVayne - shantay, you stay," says RuPaul, to the utter surprise of no one.
And as Naysha sashays away, she throws a little shade to counteract her glowing neon butt, saying: "Am I a little upset that someone that's giving 50 per cent and not committed at all is still here? Yeah, absolutely."
Over to you, Derrick?
"Hey guys, is this what soul is? Guys?"
That's it for this episode - now for more soul searching, sequins and sexual innuendo, go on and READ EPISODE FIVE. Or go back in time and READ EPISODE THREE again. You know. Only if you wanna.