The Norm Can Conform

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

TV Review: RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4, Episode 7: Queens of Clubs

Bugger me blind, we’re back to 7 queens! Yes after the pointless episode last week where we basically had to watch an hour of lipsync performances of RuPaul’s music, we finally ended up having Latrice Royale back in the competition as well all expected. However, Gia Gunn really put up a fight worthy of a competition re-entry.

Of course, Latrice’s beef with Monique has ended now that she’s back in the competition. Anyway, on with the show! After last week’s rather dull episode, Ru came back with a beast of a battle for the queens.

Each queen had to come up with a club night, create the theme, design the room, create a cocktail and host the best party in town. Christ, Ru wasn’t messing around this week!

As Latrice reentered the competition, she was given the power of pairing up the queens. I would say she paired people up quite fairly. She first paired up Monique and Monét. Valentina was trying her damndest to let Latrice know that she wanted to be paired up with Trinity. But Latrice was having none of it, she instead gave her Naomi. Latrice wanted Trinity and Manila all for herself!

The teams then started coming up with their temes. Monique and Monét were pretty quick to come up with an alien invasion/space theme. My first thought was how obvious that was. Let’s be honest, I think we’ve all been to a space party at least once in our lives. Anyway, their theme was called ‘The Black Hole‘ – that’s quite funny, I’ll give them some kudos.

Valentina and Naomi were also running down the ‘basic themes’ route as well when they were trying to come up with a Studio 54 spinoff. They then came up with ‘Club 96‘.

And then Latrice, Trinity and Manila came up with a bee themed night called ‘The Hive‘. These three may be seen as the ‘old queens’ but believe me, they’ve been hosting parties for years – they know what they’re doing.

The challenge was bigger than anyone could have expected

The queens really did have to plan and decorate their club rooms. We saw Latrice struggling into decorating overalls, Monique painting her walls horizontally and Valentina doing very little other than removing her pants.

The Black Hole

Even though it was a pretty obvious theme, I think Monique and Monét did a really good job. They looked great, they were entertaining. They had an incubator with a meet and greet for an alien baby – genius and the cocktail looked fun.

Club 96

Well… this was awkward from start to finish. You could tell the pair hadn’t really done any form of rehearsals and Valentina even admitted that Naomi did the majority of the work. The only funny part of the promo was Naomi’s continuous whispering of “Club 96”.

Club Hive

These three nailed it. The look was right, the jokes were good and the room looked incredible (and reminiscent of the Gold Lounge from the Untucked series of yesteryear). They had a strip spelling bee competition and ended the night with a swarm of bees attacking Club Hive.

Main Challenge Looks – Toot or Boot

Seeing as each queen was in a team that had a theme (couldn’t resist a rhyme), I thought I’d toot and boot the main challenge looks as well as the runway. So let’s start with the club night costumes first.

Monét X Change – Boot

I don’t think this outfit is very flattering on Monét, I think it makes her look boxy and bigger than she really is.

Monique Heart – Toot

This is much more fun for the alien theme of their club night. It’s spikey, confusing, fashion-forward and fun. The purple bowl-cut suits her and the glasses look great. I even like the little tentacle fingers that were very reminiscent of Sharon Needles on Season 4.

Valentina – Boot

I don’t think this is a bad outfit, but it doesn’t work with the theme for me. Yes, the dress is very similar to Naomi’s which made them a great pairing, but it looked more ’60s/’70s than the ’90s. However, the colours were nice and I liked the details – I wasn’t as crazy about the shoes, they were gross.

Naomi Smalls – Toot

Stunning. This was the ’90s take on Studio 54 that they were aiming for and she looked absolutely beautiful.

Manila Luzon – Boot

I don’t think she looks terrible, Manila always looks flawless but it’s just a bit plain for what I know she can do. Still, the fact that all 3 members of their team managed to find cohesive costumes and that matches the colour scheme of their chosen club night theme was good.

Trinity The Tuck – Toot

I love the details in this. The thigh high boots, the matching cap, the pointed hips. Trinity looks great and the blue gloves, feathers and wig really breaks up the outfit nicely

Latrice Royale – Toot

I like that Latrice put the bee details into her ‘beehive’ wig, a very nice touch. The bodysuit is flattering for her legs and the pop of yellow on the sleeves looks good.

After the maxi challenge, it was on to the runway for the judges’ critiques.

Category is: Plastic Fantastic – Toot or Boot

After the main challenge, it was on to the runway for a plastic inspired theme. Plastic is one of those materials that can be really difficult to work with or a great source of inspiration. I have to say, each queen really brought a different idea to the theme which was really nice.

Manila Luzon – Toot

I fucking love this outfit! Saran wrap was a great idea for a plastic based runway. The wrapped fruit basket headpiece, gift-wrapped shoes and oodles of saran wrap to make the dress made Manila look gorgeous. I also love the wig and makeup choice as she looks just like Chi Chi Rodriguez in the finale of To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar.

Trinity The Tuck – Toot

Another great example of a queen with a brilliant idea. I love that Trinity’s body looked like discarded chewing gum. She was the only queen I think to wear an outfit that was completely stiff and motionless while still giving the vision of fluidity – bravo.

Naomi Smalls – Boot

Now hear me out. I actually think Naomi looks stunning here. But this was a reinterpretation of one of the outfits she wore on Season 8 and honestly, I prefer the Season 8 outfit to this one.

The giant plastic disks look great and they go with the theme, but the yellow fur coat distracts from the plastic element of the outfit.

Valentina – Boot

This outfit really had me torn because I liked that she thought of being a Barbie for a plastic runway. But we saw her as Miss Venezuela in a mini-challenge on Season 9 and as Miss Columbia for Snatch Game. Maybe if she’d have painted on some hinges and joints like Trixie Mattel did for her ‘Born Naked’ runway look, it could have been a better outfit. And with her crotch showing, either hide it or show more and make it look like a real Barbie bump.

Monét X Change – Toot

I was split as to whether or not I liked this outfit more as a boot or a toot but there were some really nice details in it. The pink wig with the streaks of green made it look iridescent and the detailing on the outfit was nice. But it just wasn’t giving me ‘plastic’ as much as others did. Not only that, but we kept seeing her boob sweat steaming up the chest piece on the outfit.

Monique Heart – Boot

The second Monique walked onto the runway, I understood the Josephine Baker reference straight away. However, I just don’t think it was executed as best as it could have been. The laser cut, 2D bananas I actually like, I think the makeup and the wig is what threw me off this week.

Latrice Royale – Toot

This is such a great look from Latrice. It’s the first time we’ve ever seen her really push the boundaries with her attire. Her body looks incredible, the colours are lush and the outfit is fun.

How did the queens do?

I think it was pretty clear that Club Hive had the best theme, visual and level of fun so naturally, they were the winners of this week’s challenge. The Black Hole was safe as they also had a relatively good theme and then, of course, Club 96 were the losers.

The top two ended up being Latrice and Trinity which I thought was fair enough but Manila really did put her all into this challenge so it was a shame she wasn’t in the top. Of course, Naomi and Manila were in the bottom this week.

I genuinely believe that Latrice’s outfit on the runway is what got her into the top 2 this week. And that’s not a bad thing, she tried something new and she looked great.

The queens then got to argue their cases backstage and Valentina wasn’t happy. I don’t think that being in the bottom again worked for her ‘fantasy’.

Naomi was also fearful because Trinity and Latrice are both good friends with Valentina and so she felt that she was in the danger zone for elimination.

The lipsync

This week, Trinity and Latrice had to lipsync to ‘You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)‘ by Dead or Alive. Honestly, this is one of my favourite songs of all time and I’m surprised the late Pete Burns hadn’t been lipsynced on the show sooner.

Trinity had me howling in this lipsync, her outfit was hilarious and she committed to the role. But in the end, Latrice won the lipsync and with tears in her eyes, she eliminated Valentina.

I’m sure a lot of the Drag Race fandom was shocked that Valentina wouldn’t make the finale or win, but I think it was a justified elimination.

How has that affected the scores?

With Latrice coming back and Valentina leaving, Tom and I are back on a relatively even playing field with 3 queens each still in the competition.

Winner: Latrice – 5 Points
Top: Trinity, – 3 Points
Safe: Manila, Monét, Monique – 1 Point
Bottom: Naomi – 0 Points
Eliminated: Valentina – -3 Points

Thanks to Latrice’s win (even though I think Trinity actually deserved to win, but I’m not complaining) my scores have definitely started to catch up to Tom’s. I received 7 points this episode whereas Tom only got 1 point.

That now brings the current total to Tom with 38 points and I’m starting to catch up now with 35 points. Can I finally overtake him? We’re both down to 3 queens left so it could be anybody’s game!

It was a pretty juicy episode, wasn’t it? Do you think Valentina deserved to be eliminated?

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top