We feel like we owe the queens of Drag Race Holland season two an apology. Sorry, girls. The show drops here in the States at a time most sane bloggers would consider unfortunate and the result is that we let several days (aka a weekend) go by before we get to recapping your exploits.
There’s nothing wrong with your exploits, of course; nothing about them that is contributing to our slowness in recapping. But there’s also no denying that an episode like this can be considered a fairly work-a-day episode of Drag Race:
Cute Pit Crew guys: Check.
Photography session with wind machine: Check.
Slightly embarrassing cultural stereotypes: Check.
Hilariously unflattering shots: Check.
Prettiest queen winning: Check.
After that, it was more pretty guys and a standard unconventional materials sewing challenge; in this case, with a glamping theme. It was a cute idea and we ran into the standard problem of queens who don’t know how to sew acting annoyed that the sewing challenge they knew was coming actually arrived. It’s all good and even kind of comforting in its familiarity. We’ve yelled at so many queens for not learning how to sew before coming on this show, that it pretty much goes without saying here.
And there was just the right amount of “getting to know you” business in front of the makeup mirrors; the highlights being Ivy-Elise’s rather haunting explanation for her drag name and The Countess somewhat condescendingly bonding with Tabitha, who appears to be a raging mass of insecurities around all the other queens. We also learned that Love, Masis gets inside her head too much and that she’s letting the competition dredge up some old feelings she’d rather not feel. Good stuff all around – and all very likely to play out in the competition itself.
We thought last week’s inaugural runway showed a rather high level of lewks-serving for such an untested group of queens and this week’s runway has pretty much solidified that impression for us. It’s not just that there are no real disasters here; it’s also notable just how stylish and creative this group’s efforts are. Some of these efforts are shockingly good for homemade, trash-picked drag thrown together on the fly.
Ivy-Elise’s look wasn’t horrible; just kind of drab and uninspired. It might have helped if the fabrics weren’t so clashy. Tabitha shows herself to be a fairly high level practitioner of drag. She looks great in that dress but we were nodding our heads vigorously at the critique about proportions. Big girls need big wigs.
Vanessa had a fairly creative, sort of McQueen-esque take; Keta’s drag appears to be high-impact genderfuck and this look is kind of unforgettable, and Puny’s princess take was amazingly well-rendered. They were all waved through as safe.
We think Vivaldi’s look was a weensy bit overpraised, but that coat really is gorgeous and looks like a high-fashion piece. The briefs and pasties were unfortunate choices. The Countess confidently announced that she was going to win this challenge and then did so handily. We don’t see how her win can be argued against.
Love Masisi’s look wasn’t a total disaster, but there was a sadness to it and the judges (who really are quite good with their commentary, much like the Spanish judges were) were right to pick up on that sadness.
We noted last week that her drag had a very ’90s Ru or classic Grace Jones feel to it. This week, we were just getting around to noticing that part of the reason her drag stands out to us is because she doesn’t over-highlight her face, like a lot of Black queens might do. The result is that she leans into her dark skin and makes it a feature of her drag. And just as we made that observation, she opened up and revealed some painful feelings about colorism in her background. It seems clear to us that she’s a true artist who’s working through some things in her drag and we’re happy to see that the judges appear to have agreed. She made it through on a relatively poor effort because shows a lot of promise.
Reggy B’s half-assed look sent him back to the lip sync. While we can’t say Ivy exactly slayed it (the sleeping bag couture didn’t lend itself to particularly commanding performances), we think Reggy B more than demonstrated that he’s just not ready for this competition yet.
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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T LOunge for August 17th, 2021