Sunday, May 01, 2016

RuPaul's Drag Race Episode Recap: Season 8, Episode 8

Well it's been just over a week since RuPaul gave the big, glittery platform boot to Thorgy Thor, and she seems to be coping with the loss really well:

It's OK Thorge, I like to eat my feelings too.

All of the other queens are pretending to care that she's gone, a sentiment of indifference which isn't helped by the message Thorgy has left them on the Werk Room mirror, reading: "Top 3: Naomi, Bob, Deryk".

Meanwhile, in the corner:

Still can't tell...

Meanwhile, in the other corner:

"Who the fuck's Deryk and how can I get rid of her?"

Meanwhile, in the other corner:

"Whatever, y'all know I'm taking this thing out."

"Real talk, y'all: Derrick's ass should have been lip syncing tonight," says Chi Chi.

Real talk y'all: Derrick's ass lip syncing would probably be more entertaining than the way she normally does it.

It seems Chi Chi isn't the only one who thinks Derrick has outstayed her welcome; Kim Chi and Naomi agree. Along with the rest of the world's viewing audience.


"Derrick's black and white runway looked like he stepped out of the thrift store bargain sale day," says Kim Chi.

Whereas Kim looks like she just stepped out of a Japanese toy shop.

Annoyed at having the whole room come for her again, Derrick starts defending herself, shrieking: "Hey, Bob and I smeared the shit out of each other!"

"Gross, no one needs to know about what you do in your spare time."

"It's just funny to me because this is my drag," Derrick continues, in an expert demonstration of self-shade.

Still, she does admit she needs to change her makeup to make it draggier - blocking out her eyebrows and changing her hairline, for example.

Fortunately Chi Chi is on hand to show Derrick a "more drag" way to wear her hair:

"If yew staple yer wig to yer head lahk this, it looks lahk yew bin dragged threw a bush."

Hey Chi Chi, what's your general reaction to Derrick pledging to change her hair and makeup to be a better drag artist when there are literally three episodes to go?


Oh and hey Chi Chi, what do you do when you're at a restaurant and you want the cheque?

Cool just checking.

Purse first.


Puns puns pop culture references.

"Every. God. Damn. Week."

Suddenly a cold wind blows through the Werk Room, causing all the queens to quiver even more than the fake brick walls made out of canvas.

As everyone huddles under Bob's giant bouffant wig to keep warm, the whole room starts to shake violently, the makeup tables rocking back and forth spilling cotton wool balls all over the floor.

"Shit, now what am I gonna eat around here?" sighs Naomi.

Just then a shelving unit dislodges from the wall and topples towards the queens, threatening to flatten them all under a 10 foot pile of thigh pads, but tragedy is averted when Derrick shoots out from underneath Bob's butt and catches the shelf in mid air.

"I'm stronger than yesterday!" she cries, as she single handedly pushes it back against the wall.


Everyone's on the brink of tears (except maybe for Kim Chi, because who can tell) when the door at the top of the stairs bursts open to reveal RuPaul, dressed as a diagram of a bacterial colony to promote Macmillan Science Textbooks.

Well, you gotta take those sponsorship dollars where you can get them, right?

That's nitrospirae on his right lapel, and planctomycetes on his pocket...

"Blah blah blah PUPPETS," says RuPaul.

"Everybody loves puppets!" says everyone.

True dat.

As per Drag Race tradition, each queen gets given a puppet version of one of their competitors, which they receive by sticking their hand into a lucky dip inside a wall.

Funnily enough, this is not the first time any of the queens have been pulled through a hole in the wall.

With one exception.

RuPaul gives them 20 minutes to drag up their puppets, and they all race over to the craft table to pick over the accessories.

All except for Kim Chi, who gets Chi Chi and so walks straight past the craft table to the rubbish bin.

"All this shit is way too expensive looking - where's yesterday's lunch scraps?"

"I'm lucky I didn't get someone who wears makeup," snarks Naomi, glueing a piece of roadkill onto her Derrick puppet.

"Remember honey I paint for the Las Vegas stage where you actually have to look like someone," snips Derrick.

Not like anyone famous, necessarily. Just someone.

When the puppet show eventually comes around it's clear that everyone has somehow slipped into an alternate universe where Derrick is actually funny, because Derrick is actually funny.

"Is this your rollergirl outfit, your Madonna outfit or your neon outfit?" Derrick asks her Naomi puppet.

"They're all the same," deadpans the puppet, Naomi style.


Naomi gets her own back with her puppet recreation of Derrick's Wizard of Oz look, shrieking "I HAND SEWED THIS ENTIRE PIECE OF FABRIC BUTTONED UP AROUND MY WAIST!"

It took me at least 30 seconds to realise this wasn't actually Derrick.

But top honour goes to Chi Chi, who dresses her Bob puppet like Monique in Precious and makes it "walk into the club purse first":

Can't be Bob, the makeup is too good.

Chi Chi wins and receives as her prize a fleeting glance from RuPaul. Congratulations, Chi Chi!

"This week's maxi challenge is a book ball, featuring guest judge author and humourist David Sedaris," announces RuPaul.

"Just smile and pretend you know what any of those words mean."
"What did you say, puppet?"


David Sedaris is MY HERO. So now is a great time for me to humblebrag about the time I got a book signed by him in a New York bookshop, and he drew a picture of me "grafted onto your sister's ovaries after a terrible car accident".

I do not tell a lie.

"In the book ball, you will have to create three looks that tell the story of your life," continues RuPaul, who is still trying to pretend this isn't just a big publicity push for his and Michelle Visage's new books.

"Get it? Book ball? Story of your life? Reading is fundamental! We totally love books, they're so relevant to this show etc. hey why not download my book at"

The three looks the queens will have to parade today are "baby drag realness", an homage to their childhood or early days in drag, "that's my mama realness", paying tribute to their mums, and "autobiographical eleganza extravaganza" which is, as RuPaul explains: "a couture outfit made entirely out of books".

"We don't have to read them first, do we?"

"For your first two looks you can use clothes, shoes and accessories from the Out of the Closet thrift store," announces RuPaul, gesturing to a table full of hideous crap.

What the hell kind of thrift shop is this? A THRIFT SHOP FOR GIANTS?

The only hat in Hollywood bigger than RuPaul's.

No sooner have the sewing machines come out than so have the claws, turning the Werk Room into a proper stitch-and-bitch session.

"Is that how I really sound, how Derrick did my puppet?" pouts Naomi.

"Yeah, you're like Paris Hilton, like, giving me one note," laughs Derrick.

And we know how much Derrick hates using just one note.

"Bitch I'm not mad, I have tough skin," says Naomi.

"It looks like it," retorts Derrick.


"And Derrick has thin hair," snaps Naomi,


"The fun thing about Naomi is that she only has one thing to say, and then she has to think for hours to come up with another read," continues Derrick, before adding "'I have one thing to say: I am not that smart'.".

Well let's not get too cocky, eh Derrick?

"Hey guys, seems like now would be a great time to go use the Shade Tree!" suggests a producer from off camera.

Everyone ignores him.

While Naomi and Derrick continue to pit their incredible IQs against each other, everyone else gets to work ripping up books to make their costumes. 

Most are tearing out pages of RuPaul's book 'Workin' It' - not because they think it will impress him, it's just a really shit book.

This is how the third reich started, you know.

"My outfit is going to be taking elements of your book and mixing it up with pictures of famous paintings, because I feel like celebrity female impersonation is such an artform," Derrick explains to RuPaul.

RuPaul is so bored, he falls asleep.

Usually when this happens his assistant hangs a "Do not disturb" sign around his neck but she's sick today.

One of the producers nudges RuPaul and he jerks awake, gasping: "Do you know how to paint an illusion on your face?"

"Yes," replies Derrick.

"I've always got an illusion on my face - THIS is my real face."

Moving on to Chi Chi, who starts explaining her "mama realness" outfit to RuPaul.

"My mama always wears platinum blonde hair, long eyelashes, leopard print, she's a party girl," says Chi Chi.

BREAKING: Chi Chi's mum may be Nene Leakes.

Oh awesome, hey that's great, what a great challenge this is huh? MAMAS, am I right? Everyone got a mama! Hey Bob, tell us a crazy story about your mama!

"My mother has a rare form of pneumonia," says Bob.

Oh. Well. That's...


"How are you going to insert more of you into this challenge?" asks RuPaul.

Like I said, you gotta take that sponsorship money where you can get it.

"A few weeks ago you were almost fading into the background, but you came up from behind and knocked them dead," continues RuPaul, as Naomi continues to miss every innuendo thrown her way.

How's your head, Naomi?

"I'm kind of glad I was in the bottom two, because it literally lit a fire under my ass," says Naomi.

Well, that explains that smell.

Over to Kim Chi, who explains to Ru that her mother doesn't know she does drag.

"I'm worried that she'll see all of this as a waste of time," she says.

Aw come on, why would she think that?

But wait! RuPaul has a big announcement!

"Not only will we be joined tomorrow by David Sedaris, but his twisted sister AMY SEDARIS will be here too!" he says.

"Seriously, who the fu...?"

Then RuPaul tells them that as part of the parade, they'll all have to dress up as Amy Sedaris' comedy character Jerri Blank and do a dance routine. Unfortunately he's not joking.

"Chi Chi, you won the puppet mini challenge so you'll be head choreographer," says RuPaul, in what has to be the worst prize ever awarded on this show.

And that is seriously saying something.

They all go off to rehearse what will no doubt be the least funny thing ever associated with Jerri Blank ever, which looks less like a tribute to Amy Sedaris and more like the winners' podium for the Moron Olympics:

Double gold.

Back in the Werk Room Bob is trying really hard to live up to Michelle Visage's demands from last week's runway by creating a "glamorous" dress, which she is fashioning out of cardboard and hot glue.

Sadly, it just looks like Spiderman jizzed on the recycling.

"It is literally so close you can taste it," gasps Naomi.

It is unclear whether she is talking about being in the top four, or Bob's jizz-dress.

Having run out of RuPaul books to tear up, Kim Chi picks up a new pastime: ragging on Bob's makeup.

"I don't think your makeup is terrible, it just looks like you're not wearing any," she says.

This is actually the shadiest comment of the season.

"I think beauty is important," interrupts Naomi for no reason.

"You might be able to death drop, but it's not going to be as impressive if you look a fucking busted mess."

Exhibit A.

"Then why don't you ever glue down your lacefronts?" Derrick snaps at Naomi.

"I can not wait to see a shot of you and screencaps go round and it's just lifted lace," she squawks.

Yeah, that won't be the only screencap that goes around.

Suddenly what started as a comment on Bob's makeup becomes an all-in catfight about beauty standards, lacefront glue and the underlying philosophies of drag. Unfortunately, with all available copies of RuPaul's "Workin' It" having been shredded and turned into dresses, the queens are a bit shaky on all of that, so they just attack Derrick for the hell of it.

"We all came here with our own aesthetic, and you're always Britney Spears. You're coming to represent you as a drag queen, not Britney Spears. Why wouldn't you come as Derrick Barry?" Naomi asks.

"If I have to change my face to be myself, then I'm not really being myself," says Derrick.

This is the only appropriate reaction to that statement.



Doobly doo music, wavy lines... and it's the next day in the Werk Room, where Bob is already ensuring her place in the bottom two by converting her ball gown into a gown that may possibly show her balls.

"It's OK, short can be glamorous too," says Kim Chi unconvincingly.

Meanwhile, watching at home:

"You're damn right!"

Over at the makeup mirror, the producers are making sure we all feel a bit of sympathy for Derrick so it's a more poignant moment when she probably gets eliminated later, so they show a long clip of her explaining her fraught relationship with her mother.

"Everything changed when I came out to her," Derrick says.

"The only thing she said was 'do you mind if I keep this under my hat?'."

And here is the hat Derrick's mum will need now her son is starring in an internationally televised drag competition.

Still, after Derrick's radical makeup change this episode there's a chance no one will recognise her at all.

She's blocked out her eyebrows and drawn them on for the very first time, finally creating a new drag character other than Britney Spears:

It's a superhero called "Surprise-O the Mistress of Perpetual Amazement".

"I am seeing tremendous effort and fearlessness, but on the other hand I am seeing someone's dad doing drag for the first time," gasps Bob.

"Oh my god, it's bad."

Coming from Bob, this is really saying something.

But enough of all this brow beating...


* In keeping with this week's runway theme, RuPaul has come dressed as a party girl with platinum blonde hair and long lashes...

It's Chi Chi's mother.
(In other news: I'm glad Mathu Andersen is finally having the holiday he deserves)

* Not to be outdone, Michelle Visage has also come as a mother:

A baaaad mutha.

* My hero David Sedaris is there, please go and buy all his books:

He will probably hate this screencap. Sorry, Mr Sedaris.

* His awesome sister Amy Sedaris is also there, bow down to the greatest siblings of all time:

I know this looks like Julia Louis Dreyfuss melted on someone's dash, but take my word for it, it's Amy Sedaris.

* First it's time for "Jerri Blank The Musical", or whatever the fuck it is. "Five Queens Flail About With Hunchbacks And Buck Teeth For Three Distinctly Unfunny Minutes" is probably a more appropriate title, to be honest.

This works too.

* The less said about that the better, so let's move on to the ball which is probably a good idea anyway as there's five queens each wearing three outfits and MY GOD HOW LONG DOES THIS GOD DAMN EPISODE WANT TO BE?

* Category IS: "baby drag realness", and Kim Chi is first down the runway dressed as... An alien TV antenna? An extra from the Flintstones? A cry for help?

It's probably best not to ask too many questions about Kim Chi's childhood, tbh.

* Moving on to Naomi who manages to make dressing like a giant baby look fashionable:

Meanwhile, dozens of diaper fetish websites suddenly got their new poster girl.

* Next up is Bob, looking like "Streetwalker 1" from the X rated adults version of The Flintstones Movie, "The C**tstones".

Meanwhile, how many pairs of those damn shoes are there back there?

* OK, let's have a look at Derri... OH GOD NO MAKE IT STOP, MAKE THE SCARY SHOW STOP MUMMY.

It's like Ronald McDonald trying drag for the first time.

* Hey Derrick, you know how the other queens told you to "carve out your face" more? Maybe try that literally next time, it might look better.

* Moving on to Chi Chi, who looks like Tina Turner got caught in a sleeping bag:

Meanwhile, sales of these shoes sky rocketed after this episode.

* Category IS: "That's my mama realness", and first up is Kim Chi who unfortunately misheard the theme as "Tagalog drama realness" and has come as Imelda Marcos:

Nailed it. Literally.

* If this is supposed to be a book ball it's probably safe to say Kim Chi's story is never getting published, with lines like "her mother had to release her seed in the wind for Kim to become the botanical sensation she always wanted to be".

Meanwhile, watching at home:

"Oi, I'm the only botanical sensation around here."

* Whatever botanical sensations are going around the studio David Sedaris has clearly had some:

"But have you ever really thought about your hand before? I mean REALLY thought about it?"

* Then there's Naomi Smalls who looks like Naomi Campbell in an episode of Punk'd where Ashton Kutcher convinces her she's been hired to star in a commercial for Baby Born dolls:

Still looks hot though.

* Then there's Bob, who has put on a mismatched pantsuit (bitch, that's navy and black, what are you doing) that's too short for her and a blouse from the Katies sale bin, slapped on some lipstick and wandered out looking like Karen from accounts:

She's not going to tell you again to label your food in the refrigerator.


Derrick's look is less "mom" and more Princess Mombi.
(Shout out to anyone who actually gets this reference, btw)

* Just in case Derrick's mum outfit isn't frightening enough, she then tells everyone how she's recreating how her mother looked on the night she was conceived.

Unrelated, but I've heard this is a good play.

* Hey remember what I said about Chi Chi's mum possibly being Nene Leakes?


* Category IS: "autobiographical eleganza extravaganza", otherwise known as "piss elegant plus books". And here comes Kim Chi who is still persisting with this bizarre botanical metaphor she's got going, except this time with books thrown in:

On the plus side, this is the best use anyone has so far found for RuPaul's book since its release.

* Stop press, it's Naomi, looking like a total fucking goddess:

This is the closest Naomi has come to actually reading a book in years.

* "It's not about being the prettiest or wearing the best dress," announces Bob as she walks out onto the runway.

Well that's lucky.


No, it must be Derrick: there's a corset with things glued to it.

* Ironically, for the queen with the fewest number of book pages stuck to her, Derrick is far and away the easiest to read tonight.

* Finally it's Chi Chi DeVayne, who's the hottest thing to come wrapped in paper since my fish and chip dinner last Friday:

I skipped to the final chapter of Chi Chi's book, it says "SHE WINS".

* Chi Chi looks so damn good, the only appropriate reaction is this:


* Amy Sedaris says she loves Kim Chi's looks, and that she "couldn't wait for her to come out". Coincidentally, this is the exact opposite of how Kim Chi's mother feels.

* Naomi starts crying about how much she loves her mother, has to blow her nose on her own paper dress.

* David Sedaris praises Bob for "not trying to look too pretty", deftly stealing the Shadiest Shade Award for this episode from Kim Chi.

* La Visage doubles down on David's critique, telling Bob: "I am not getting book at all from your dress, I'm getting cardboard."

"I'm still wearing books, I'm just not wearing pages, but it's a book," says Bob.

Yeah, see this particular book is a best seller known as "Packing Box".

"Books are not made of corrugated cardboard," says Michelle.

SNAP, BITCH. You can't lie to La Visage.

Michelle calls Naomi "Miss Underdog 2016", which makes a nice change from last year's title - "Miss Doggystyle 2015".

* Annoyingly everyone has to pretend Bob's "Walmart manager" runway look was great, because to call it a disaster might somehow insult Bob's actual mother. Dammit.

* La Visage tries to find a way to be polite about Derrick's new makeup, but the best she can do is: "I have seen what you've done with your eyebrows."

Dude, astronauts on the International Space Station can see what Derrick has done with her eyebrows.

* Ross Mathews calls Chi Chi a horse and says he's hung up on her. Or maybe he calls her a well-hung horse, I can't remember, I was too distracted by Derrick's eyebrows.

* "For me, I'm gonna say, Chi Chi is probably my favourite," says Michelle.


There's some more deliberation and the queens return from the backstage lounge which, after failing to pick up a luxury alcohol brand sponsor for a third year running this week is sponsored by Amazon Kindle. Amazon Kindle: No one buys paper books anymore, you idiots!

For refusing to let a confusing visual metaphor die, Kim Chi is crowned the night's winner and receives a slew of glittering prizes including a half-used bottle of Old Spice, a cube of tofu that Michelle Visage once threw in a waiter's face while yelling "I CAN'T EAT SOY" and a copy of every one of tonight's judges' books! She can use them to rest her feet on while she reads David and Amy's.

Naomi and Chi Chi are both sent back to the safe zone, leaving Bob "Cardboard is Books" The Drag Queen and and Derrick "Paint is Eyebrows" Barry to go head to head in a lip sync battle to Sylvester's "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)".

Derrick immediately pulls out her Britney dance moves, grabbing her crotch and pointing and doing power hands all over the place, but with her crazy eyebrows the overall effect is less "pop princess" and more "pill popper".

Meanwhile, Bob is strutting around and sweating and raising her hands to the heavens like she's a whore in church, breaking off a piece of her dress to fan herself with:

"You can't do THAT shit with a Kindle."

It's a neck and neck performance that only gets closer when they both drop to their knees and swiffer the runway with their taints:

If this doesn't encourage kids to read I don't know what will.

In the end though, RuPaul can only save one queen - and it's Bob. Because seriously, nothing's going to sink that bitch.

"That's how you go out in style, girls," says Derrick as she shakes her decoupaged butt out the door.

Actually that's how you go out In Style, and Vogue, and Harper's Bazaar, and Women's Weekly...

Well that's it for this episode. Time to move on and see who the final three are!

Place your bets, kids! My money's on: Chi Chi, Naomi and Kim Chi. Whatever the combo, it's a honky-free zone for the first year in Drag Race herstory! #Diversity y'all!

Go on and READ EPISODE NINE or go back and READ EPISODE SEVEN again...


  1. BeBe (black), Nina (Latino) and Rebecca (Latino)
    Raja (Asian), Manila (Asian), Alexis (Latino)

    1. Since Puerto Ricans are mostly descendants of Europeans, it's kinda weird to not call them white. They call themselves white/caucasian, so I don't see anything wrong with "honky-free zone" statement.

    2. Tyra Sanchez as well.

  2. I realize he lip-synched this episode, but to me Bob seems like the only queen absolutely locked for the Top 3. Curiously, he's the one you don't think will make it. Not saying you're wrong, but it's interesting how the competition can come off differently to different viewers.

  3. Oh my god. The Princess Mombi reference? NAILED IT.

  4. It's clear that you don't love Bob but she's not going girl, embrace her face.

  5. As long as Naomi doesn't get the crown I'll be a happy lass.
    Great recap. Was way more excited than a girl should be to see the Sedaris siblings as guest judges. Loved Mr Sedaris' reactions to Kim Chi.

  6. I actually liked Derrick a lot but it was her time to go. Kim Chi's third look was bizarrely like a Pokémon called Florges and I can't decide if it's deliberate or not. I don't love her but I think Bob is a lock for top 3 and very likely the winner. I think Kim Chi is a goner. Not only will it be very hard for Ru to resist an all-black finale but I suspect she's subconsciously identifying with Chi Chi, Naomi and Bob as being like her at different stages of her career (the low budget start being Chi Chi, Naomi as 90s Supermodel Of The World Ru and Bob as Ru now.)
    Seriously though, funny as always even if I still hate the way all recappers go after Derrick. Thanks for doing these.

    Adam in Scotland

    1. Would love to see all the stuff that wasn't shown as apparently Derrick was a lot better/funnier than what was shown.
      I really hope it's not a repeat of S2 with Ru picking the winner based on his hard on hardness. I can see Naomi winning if this was the case.

  7. Derrick Barry now gives me nightmares. Hats off to you. XD

  8. Thorgy Porgy must still be working on her 30 second political ad.

  9. I kept waiting for an analysis of the moment when Derrick started explaining how she stayed up all night working on her book-corset and throwing round terms like analogous...and then I remembered that was on Untucked :/

    In fairness I like Derrick though, she was overdue to leave but she had some very sweet moments and she tried her best. I think she'll do very well from her stint on the show :)

  10. David Sedaris is one of my all time favourite authors too - I was reading Let's Talk About Diabetes with Owls when this episode screened in the UK, ain't it freaky when worlds collide?! Additionally, I read my 13 year old's copy of RuPaul's Workin It yesterday and an hour later finished Diabetes with Owls and was struck how *both books* had a bit on colonic treatments. Again, freaky.