The Norm Can Conform

The opinions you never asked for on the subjects you’re not bothered about.

RuPaul’s Drag Race S12 Ep4: The Ball Ball

After last week’s ‘World’s Worst‘ episode and saying by to our first queen, Dahlia, the competition is very much on the way. But will this week be a step up from the last? I think so. Why? Well, because its time for a ball – The Ball Ball to be specific! Now, there are a lot of outfits to talk about here so I’m going to try my best to blitz through it as quickly as possible.

The Mini Challenge – Queen Bees

As you know, every season seems to have some sort of weird dance break, get into a weird costume type of challenge these days. Season 12 was no different. This week the queens had to dress up as bees 🤷🏻‍♂️ and do some sort of boogie. Why? To save the bees… allegedly.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t help but feel that the message was somewhat lost when the queens started twerking. Still, it was just one of those nonsense challenges. Remember the good old days when a mini-challenge would give a queen an advantage in the next challenge? Precious memories.

In the end, Gigi won the challenge. Her prize was a $1000 donation in her name to an organization to save the bees. Good intentions – weird challenge.

The Maxi Challenge – The Ball Ball

It’s the episode we love to see – a great big design challenge. This week the queens had to present 3 looks for ‘The Ball Ball’. The theme was set around ball-based sports. They had to prepare 3 looks (one of them they had to make from unconventional materials in the werkroom). The themes were; Lady Ballers, Basketball Wives and Balls To The Wall Eleganza.

I won’t fanny around with werkroom debate and planning – I want to get straight into the looks because Christ on a bike there is a lot to discuss. So let The Ball Ball commence!

Category Is: Lady Ballers – Toot or Boot

For the first look, the queens had to dress as ball-based sports queen. All sports are available (as long as a ball is involved).

Jackie Cox / Lacrosse – Toot

I thoroughly enjoyed this. It was nice to see Jackie showcasing her Canadian roots with her chosen sport and uniform. Who doesn’t love a little bob wig and a sequinned sports kit?

Nicky Doll / American Football – Boot

This was way too similar to that sequinned outfit she did with the silver skull. I just found this a bit boring and unimaginative.

Aiden Zhane / Baseball – Toot

I rather enjoyed this look from Aiden. It was quite simple but it was nice to see someone thinking outside the box a little bit. This vintage baseball outfit was a fun take and the wig was a pleasant change for Aiden.

Rock M Sakura / Tetherball (or Ball in a Cup..?) – Boot

The idea was really funny but the outfit was awful. It was a lumpy leotard with some knee-high boots. Not really a sports uniform.

Jaida Essence Hall / Basketball – Toot

Great. This is exactly what I expected from this challenge. Even though Jaida is giving off masculine energy, she still manages to make it look ultra-chic and feminine.

Brita / Baseball – Boot

A fun idea but weak execution. The outfit itself looked ill-flattering and unfinished. Brita’s socks were baggy and the jacket/dress looked like it wasn’t wrapped around her body correctly.

Crystal Methyd / Bowling – Toot

Love this. This is exactly what I would expect from Crystal – kooky, kitsch and camp. This 50’s bowlarama vibe is brilliant and it proves that a simplistic outfit can still be effective.

Jan / Football (or Soccer for the Americans) – Toot

This was genius and what I expected from this week’s challenge. The outfit was stellar, the fact she brought out a football so you could see the full reference and the Cruella-esque wig to match the outfit was all sheer perfection. This is what I expected from the challenge and I think Jan may have been the strongest in The Ball Ball‘s first runway theme as she didn’t just dress in a sport’s uniform.

Heidi N Closet / Golf – Boot

I like that she did golf, but I wasn’t too keen on this outfit. This is very much a fancy dress costume for a pub crawl in the UK so I couldn’t be ‘wowed’ by it.

Sherry Pie / Shotput – Toot

Sheer genius! Honestly, when Sherry walked out onto the runway I howled with laughter! This Miss Trunchbull outfit was phenomenal. The most terrifying shot-putter from all of our childhood nightmares – this was a great way to take a theme and really have fun with it. Possibly my favourite outfit of the week.

Widow Von’Du / Polo – Boot

It was a bold move to go as a sport that you can’t initially tell what it is. I bet a lot of you were wondering if horse riding involved a ball – when polo does and that made this quite clever. I didn’t particularly like the actual outfit though. The velvet trousers looked a little baggy and although the toy horse was funny, I wish she wore a rider’s helmet and carried a polo mallet instead.

Gigi Goode / Croquet – Toot

A nice nod to the film Heathers. The outfit is sinched, she looks great – sure it’s a little simplistic Gigi but it’s still pleasant.

Category is: Basketball Wives – Toot or Boot

You’ve seen Footballers Wives (and if you haven’t seen FW watch it! It was the greatest, trashiest ITV drama that ever lived and I’m hoping they add it to Netflix soon! Inspired by WAG culture, the queens had to become Basketball Wives.

Jackie Cox – Toot

This character was so believable. I can completely picture who this woman is and I think Jackie styled it perfectly.

Nicky Doll – Boot

I like the idea but I wasn’t crazy about the execution – mainly because I can see her snatch. The red-feathered jacket is cute though.

Aiden Zhane – Boot

This was pure trash and although I kind of love it, it wasn’t really what the theme asked for. The bit that threw me off the most was the red shoes with the predominantly leopard and black attire.

Rock M Sakura – Boot

This was awful. I got the vibe, but the dress was gross, the pads were ill-fitting and lumpy and I just couldn’t get invested in this. Not Rock’s best vibe.

Jaida Essence Hall – Toot

Jaida knows how to dress for her body. The fit was perfection and her shape was sublime – Jaida is a supermodel. The dress looked chic and the bolero with the matching fur-trimmed shoes was a great touch. This is a lady who lunches off of her husband’s money and she plays the part brilliantly.

Brita – Boot

This was pretty shit. Kim Kardashian at the Met Gala? I don’t think. I didn’t hate the colour but the actual dress itself was awful. It didn’t help that I wasn’t a fan of the hair, makeup and shoes either. If Brita had done a wet-look wig (to be more referential to Kim K’s Met Gala look my opinion may have been swayed just a little.

Crystal Methyd – Toot

I actually really liked this look from Crystal. It was very different to watch she would normally wear so it showcases her versatility perfectly. I love that Crystal went for trashy over classy – the bubblegum pink latex dress and the long blonde wig look perfect and she really sells the look brilliantly.

Jan – Toot

This, this is how it should be done! The silver sequinned tracksuit with the white stripes on one leg and arm look uber chic. But what I love the most is the ‘JANEL’ bag – a great remake of a CHANEL purse and hey, it’s another ball! Jan really killed it this week.

Heidi N Closet – Toot

Heidi came in an outfit that was simple but effective and I’m here for it. The vibe was spot on. Now, Cheryl Hole got called out on Drag Race UK for wearing a simplistic yet realistic outfit for the ‘Day at the Races’ runway theme. Now, I personally thought she ticked all the boxes and Heidi did here as well.

Sherry Pie – Toot

Hilarious. There’s always that one wife and Sherry showcased her perfectly. The jumpsuit was great, the big wig coming out of the hat was fun and the money gun was an excellent addition – a great look from Sherry.

Widow Von’Du – Boot

Well… This was… different…

The proportions were all over the place and I couldn’t see past the fact that her sleeves were bigger than her whole body. And those shitty little kitten heels are inexcusable.

Gigi Goode – Toot

This jacket was so chic – this gal has come straight from Rodeo Drive and she’s ready to spend even more money. Was it a standout look? No, but she did look good.

Category Is: Balls To The Wall Elegenza – Toot or Boot

The final category of The Ball Ball was for the queens to make outfits using – get this: balls!

Jackie Cox – Toot

The Ball Ball Jackie Cox

This look certainly keeps up with Jackie’s retro aesthetic. The colours she used looks expensive and I love the football hexagons used frame the dress.

Nicky Doll – Boot

The Ball Ball Nicky Doll

It looks good, sure, but it doesn’t wow me. Honestly, it was strings of fabric attached to a corset – not groundbreaking. If I hadn’t seen Roxxxy Andrews do it in Season 5, I may have been impressed. Not only that but Roxxxy did it with sweets. Now that was impressive.

Aiden Zhane – Boot

The Ball Ball Aiden Zhane

I liked the pinup vibe but this was really basic. If she had done a mixture of black and white pompoms hanging down (in volume and different lengths), it could have been quite interesting. I enjoyed the visual idea but the execution was poor.

Rock M Sakura – Boot

The Ball Ball Rock M Sakura

This hurt my eyes. The phrase “less is more” could not be more required when looking at this. Rock looks like what I imagine a herpes virus to look like through a microscope. The ribbon skirt thing is attrocious – she looks like a badly decorated maypole.

Jaida Essence Hall – Toot

The Ball Ball Jaida Essence Hall

Love love love. The little sudsy soap bag was a great idea. It was really clever to make the outfit look like bubbles and it looked chic. The only thing I wish she’d have done was to have a white towel turban on her head instead of the beige headband. I think that would have taken this look to the next level, still, she looks beautiful and the look was great.

Brita – Boot

The Ball Ball Brita

A pineapple?! I don’t think. This was honestly horrible. The shoes looked hideous – like she was walking in tissue boxes. Manila Luzon made the pineapple dress iconic and if you’re going to do that, you better make it better – this was hot garbage.

Crystal Methyd – Toot

The Ball Ball Crystal Methyd

Crystal is definitely bringing some fun looks. She may not be as fashion-forward as Gigi, but Crystal has a really fun point-of-view with her looks. This Carmen Miranda inspired outfit was brilliant, campy and clown-like.

Jan – Boot

The Ball Ball Jan

I like the hair and makeup, but I wasn’t crazy about this outfit. I thought it was clever what she created but I just don’t like the end result.

Heidi N Closet – Boot

The Ball Ball Heidi N Closet

It wasn’t perfect but I commend Heidi for doing something different. The colours suited her and the bald cap was a really interesting touch – Heidi looked like a completely different queen! The outfit wasn’t particularly well-made but she gave it a good go and Heidi added some fun elements to the outfit.

Sherry Pie – Boot

The Ball Ball Sherry Pie

This was pretty basic. It’s a little awkward judging this one considering she made a swampy moss outfit and the whole ‘Alison Mossey’ thing. The outfit itself was quite bland – a corset with a skirt doesn’t really excite me. Sure, Sherry did some fun things with her hair and makeup but this has to be her first boot of the season so far.

Widow Von’Du – Boot

The Ball Ball Widow Von'Du

This only just scrapes a toot from me. This outfit was well constructed and the colours looked really chic. Widow also created a really cool headpiece that I fully supported but by Christ those shoes were hideous. A kitten heel really hurts my heart unless it’s done in a fun way – this was not. But still, the outfit was great.

Gigi Goode – Toot

The Ball Ball Gigi Goode

Chic. Out of everyone on the show, Gigi managed to create the best outfit. Maybe not the most creative, but it was certainly the most well-executed and for a sewing challenge – she really made a great dress. Gigi manages to look effortlessly cool in this outfit and I love the nod to the 60s in this little dress. A great look overall.

The Results

Gigi was the winner this week – although I do think Crystal and Jan (and Jackie for that matter) brought some great looks to this week’s theme. The bottom 3 were Aiden, Brita and Rock and people were really triggered that Aiden wasn’t in the lipsync but honestly, her looks were better executed than Brita’s (and actually Rock’s for that matter).

The Lipsync – S&M by Rihanna

Let’s be honest – this was painful to watch. I know a lot of you felt Rock shouldn’t have gone home, but there was no saving her in that sloppy-ass lipsync. She spent half of the song trying to rip a hula hoop away from some ribbons on her dress. It was honestly so painful to watch and it read all over the judges’ faces.

I have to give some credit to Brita – it was definitely better than Rock’s lipsync. The outfit was gross – but the lipsync was alright.

How has that affected the scores?

This episode was a much-needed boost after last week. I don’t agree with all the decisions (Nicky shouldn’t have been in the top), but there was no saving Rock in that lipsync. There was no saving her after that.

Winner:  Gigi Goode – 5 Points
Top:  Nicky Doll, Jaida Essence Hall– 3 Points
Safe: Jackie Cox, Jan, Sherry Pie, Heidi N ClosetWidow Von’Du, Crystal Methyd – 1 Point
Bottom: Aiden Zhane – 0 Points
Lipsync: – Brita -1 Point
Eliminated: – Rock M. Sakura -3 Points

This week I gained 6 points taking my total to 25 points. Tom also gained 6 points which has him creeping behind on 20 points. Widow is now 7 points as a lone contender.

Harry J Bartlett

Digital Content Creator, lover of fashion, drag queen connoisseur and all around phenomenal human being. If I had to describe myself in 3 words I would say; Gorgeous, Talented and Humble.

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