Drag Race season 10 episode 4 recap: ‘Climate change is real – and so are these queens’ A Newbie’s hot take
Just as I thought I was getting the hang of Drag Race it threw a fashion curveball.
This week RuPaul called on the girls to serve up three – yes, three – looks. Among the 11 queens left, that’s 33 different outfits. And how long do they have to make them again?
The theme of the ball was global warming. It may not be as catchy as “sashay away”, but “climate change is real” became RuPaul’s biggest catchphrase of the night.
He relished the opportunity to throw shade at climate sceptics. “Quick poll – hands up if you believe in climate change,” he said to his panel at one stage.
“There you have it, 97 percent of scientists and four out of four drag race judges all agree.”
The three looks given to contestants were Alaskan Winter, Miami Summer, and Martian Eleganza Extravaganza.
As the ball was being held in the climate ravaged future, contestants had to think melted snow and fur bikinis for Alaska, and a colourful but cold neon tundra for Miami.
At first, the episode’s big focus on fashion threw me slightly.
The entire middle section followed the contestants as they worked on their looks. Previous episodes in the season relied on a rehearsal stage for entertainment. But this time, the queens were stuck backstage and too busy sewing to throw much shade.
RuPaul seemed to pre-empt this and came out to interview a handful of contestants as they finessed their outfits. They were all a little starstruck but still gave some fascinating glimpses into their lives.
Who would have thought Asia O’Hara had worked on dresses for Gladys Knight and Dolly Parton?
The episode’s funniest moment came when Monét X Change took a break from sewing and turned her hand to sociolinguistics.
According to her, British people spoke with American accents before they came to America… and only began to talk “like the Queen” when they came back.
No-one really knew what to say, but Monét was able to point them towards another expert to back her up. “Don’t ask me, ask Siri,” she said. “She’ll tell you everything you need to know.”
After Asia O’Hara blew away the competition with her Tweety Pie dress last week, the episode cleverly played with our expectation. At first, she seemed like she’d clean up again.
As well as having her glittery CV put on display during RuPaul’s interview, she used her technical brilliance to help other contestants out as they worked on their outfits, earning her the title of “black Martha Stewart”.
The rug was then pulled from under her feet by the judges – she had helped the other girls too much and hadn’t focused enough on her own outfits.
She landed in the bottom three, and for a moment it looked like she could go from a triumphant win to a dramatic loss all in just one week.
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Monét and Dusty Ray Bottoms’ lacklustre displays were there to save her day, however. After impressing the judges the least, they lip-synced to Nicki Minaj’s “Pound the Alarm”.
It was by far the best and fiercest battle of the season so far. Unlike previous weeks, there was no clear winner – until Monét took her routine to another level with a huge jump into the splits at the end that is.
It was a shame to see Dusty go after she revealed her moving backstory last week (if you missed it, it included a very Christian family and an exorcism, among other things). It would have been good to have seen more of her.
But at the same time, did she really have any special or defining features over the others? Spots on her face? Let’s be honest, it was only a matter of time before Dusty bottomed out.