Drag Race Holland: Icons Only

Posted on August 23, 2021

Our Dutch sisters went all-in on the hometown-specific references and once again (just as we did with Drag Race Espana), we find ourselves thrilled to see a Drag Race franchisee embrace its own culture instead of paying deference to Ru’s while at the same time find ourselves laughing bitterly at the prospect of trying to recap an episode where we didn’t get 85% of what everyone was talking about.

 

Granted, it’s not like a dance-off is all that hard to understand as a mini-challenge. The girls were told to throw together their best ’90s rave drag and shake their asses, Dutch style.

 

Since roughly half the queens admitted they didn’t know much about the gabber scene or hakken dancing, we don’t feel so bad for sitting there with puzzled looks on our faces as they all tried their best.

 

We have nothing to say about their individual efforts, largely because we couldn’t see any difference from one attempt to the next.

 

Anyway, Dutch Pit Crew.

 

Next up: At the risk of being told we’re just a couple of dumb Americans (which is always a possibility), this was one of the most excruciating Snatch Games we’ve sat through in years. We’re pretty sure every queen here has seen the Snatch Game challenge play out several times, which is why we can’t quite understand how they wind up being the least prepared group of Snatches this challenge has seen since its earliest days.

 

Puny committed to her bit, we’ll give her that. We had to go book a couple of massages after watching her whip her neck around for the entire length of the challenge. She seemed to land enough vaguely humorous lines to keep her from going off the rails.

 

Love Masisi had nothing to offer. We think it’s more than clear that she’s simply not the kind of queen who’s going to thrive in a reality television competition.

 

The Countess is another one we’ll give credit to for sticking with the bit and seeing it all the way through. Never truly landed a joke, though.

 

Even with her appearances on the show last season, we can’t say we’re familiar enough with Nikkie Plessen to rate Vivaldi’s attempt, but everyone else sure seemed to enjoy it.

 

Vanessa made the classic Snatch Game mistake that almost all the non-humor queens make: She confused the concept with the punchline. “Queen Mathilde is an imperious bitch” is the concept and she kept treating it like the punchline. No follow-through at all.

 

Again, we’re not familiar enough with Kim Holland to rate Tabitha’s version of her. It was appropriate for the character in this case, but some of the queens went way too hard on the pussy jokes – not because they’re offensive, but because there’s nothing more boring than a drag queen constantly talking about her pussy.

 

Case in point – although to be fair, we think Keta gave one of the better performances.

 

 

Ooof. Girl, what a mess.

 

 

As always with this cast, the runway remains the best part of the episode because while a lot of these queens have serious deficits in the performing requirements, nearly all of them are world-class at serving looks. The theme was monster-based and even though the girls may have been a little one-note in how they interpreted it, there wasn’t a bad attempt in the lot.

Ivy’s monster look was impressive, but the dress was an afterthought. Tabitha served something surprisingly dramatic, although too much of her face was obscured. Vanessa was gorgeously grotesque.

 

Vivaldi’s sea monster was gorgeously realized, although we think the costume has some home-sewn qualities to it. Keta’s look had one really striking feature: the exposed muscle made out of sheer and beading. It’s a really impressive costume but for us at least, it’s one of the ones that strays a little from drag into straight up creature work.

 

 

Love Masisi’s had a different issue: it looked like basic drag with a halloween mask on top. It was a cute idea, strikingly rendered, which is a testament to her styling skills, but it wasn’t impressive next to most of the others. Puny’s also suffered from a fairly basic dress design, but the facial prosthetic was really well done.  The Countess’s high fashion bug take on Beetlejuice is an absolute stunner.

 

Ivy-Elise and Love Masisi were the rightful choices for the lip sync. They both gave downright terrible Snatches and they both served some fairly uncreative drag on the runway.

 

But the writing was on the wall for this one (as it will be for Ivy next week if she doesn’t snap out of it). We can tell she’s a good drag queen and a sweet person, but that latter quality is a huge weight around your neck in a reality competition. She’s just not cut out for it.

 

Our book, Legendary Children: The First Decade of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Last Century of Queer Life, a New York Times “New and Notable” pick, praised by The Washington Post “because the world needs authenticity in its stories,” and chosen as one of the Best Books of 2020 by NPR, is on sale wherever fine books are sold!

 

 

 

 

 

[Photo Credit: WOW Plus via Tom and Lorenzo]

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