Drag Race Holland continues to be an oddly edited little show with a cast of charming under-performers and we’re still entertained by it, despite what it may lack. There’s no real drama to be found, no truly standout moments of song, dance, or sketch comedy. There’s just a truly fantastic host, a set of pleasantly likeable queens, and a usually impressive runway showing each episode. Maybe we’re being condescending about it, but it’s enough for us.
We’ve noted before that a newly launched Drag Race franchise isn’t necessarily going to attract the highest echelon of queens a country has to offer. First-season queens are usually hungry queens and that’s fine by us. When we were doing the research for our book, we gained a deeper love and understanding of the importance of rough drag and how it upholds a long tradition in an art form that started underground, while literally hiding from the law. What’s interesting about the Dutch queens is that, unlike the Canadian and British queens in their first Drag Race seasons, they’re rough performers but fantastic at serving looks.
The setup for the improv challenge this week was fun – a blind date with a Dutch Bachelorette contestant. The results were, as expected, wildly edited and not particularly funny with no real standouts, although Ma’MaQueen and Chelsea Boy really gave it their all. We don’t really get the kind of coaching scenes that are built into every singing, dancing or acting challenge on the OG Drag Race and we really think it’s why the results are usually so bad. Get some more choreographers, vocal coaches and comics in there to show the girls the basics.
This girl, on the other hand, doesn’t need to be taught a thing. We remain blown away by Fred’s energy, talent, and commitment to the show.
As for the drag family challenge, which is after all a looks challenge, the results were as expected:
Impressive. All of these queens have fantastic makeup skills and most of them have real style. We knew who the judges would favor, but it was tough to guess who’d wind up in the bottom.
They looked great and as the only father in the competition, Hans made a tremendous – and touching – impression.
The Mars Attacks look was a great idea, but we honestly think the lack of a family bond was a big reason why the judges didn’t connect with it. Everyone else had these tear-jerking bonds and back stories.
The resemblance was off the scale. They look like the same person at different ages – and that wasn’t necessarily true when Janey’s mother was out of drag. But it’s a tight race at this point and despite the impressive makeup, the looks were pretty dowdy.
Envy’s mother clearly charmed the hell out of the judges, which may have contributed to her win, but there’s no denying that these looks are truly eye-popping. They also showed a greater range to the judges, which is the one thing she needed to do, even though she’s clearly leading the game.
Their bond is cute and Abby’s brother impressed everyone with his willingness to let go of his cishet self and get into it. But the looks aren’t really all that great. We think the producers must have gotten tired of putting her in the bottom each week and the judges just responded to the family bond.
Which honestly kind of sucked for Chelsea Boy because he really doesn’t seem to be all that great at lip-syncing.
As soon as we the opening notes of “9 to 5” hit, we knew it was all over for him. In many ways, he’s one of the more creative queens left in the competition, but Janey’s clearly better suited for a Dolly song and even lucked into the right kind of costume for it. It was clearly over within a few seconds.
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[Stills: WOW via Tom and Lorenzo]