RuPaul Drag Race Recap: The Fur Flies at The Bitch Ball


Let’s face it: the only one who gained something last week was Phi Phi O’Hara: While homegirl walked away with a free trip to Las Vegas, the rest of us had to sit through a non-episode where Kenya Michaels came and went faster than you can say “La Tranzzzz-Pear.” Please. Let’s get down the business.

And by business, I mean decorating puppets. Before the memory of that glitter-tastic bear challenge could fully escape our minds, RuPaul brings out that damned craft table again. Another week of this thing, and I’m going to start a charity walk-a-thon to have it exiled to a farm upstate. That way, it can run free with other terrible ideas and never bother the mini-challenges or us ever again.

But at least this one isn’t just about decoration. The girls are going to have a bitch fest—with puppets. Meaning they take a puppet that resembles one of the other girls from a prop glory hole (Drag Race is known for its tact and subtly), dress it up in drag and then riff off some insults. It’s similar to the reading challenge but with a hint of Avenue Q.

Sharon’s puppet of Chad Michaels looks like a burn victim. She delivers a few funny lines, mostly just yells about how hard it is to get a cigarette.

Latrice covers her Sharon puppet completely in black and then drops a bunch of f-bombs. Meh. Not her best.

Chad Michaels makes a Phi Phi puppet with a protruding snaggletooth, comments on her reusing a wig, and then offers this advice: “Maybe you could get the help to help you out.”

Done and done.

Phi Phi, as much as it hurts me to type nice things about her, got a good laugh when she had the jewelry of her Larice puppet come crashing mid-sentence (referencing her main stage jewelry malfunction). It’s still one of my favorite moments of the season, so I’ll take any excuse to see it replayed.

RuPaul calls Chad Michaels  the winner of the mini challenge. A fair decision, I’ll admit.


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  • Aedan

    I was heart-broken to see this episode. I have always been Team Sharon since the promo clips- but Latrice grew on me like some big, black, wonderful ivy. She is a girl with a lot of heart, class, and sass and brought a lot of laughs and unforgettable lines to the competition. Chad also grew on me for his polished perfection and sweet personality. I was initially off-put by him in the promo but he’s been flawless nearly every challenge. I’m still Team Sharon (She’s done nothing but proved my initial impression correct) but those other two were obviously in the running as well.

    Phi Phi, however, has been on a downward spiral since day one. He coasted the first several episodes based on the fact that, while none of the other queens (save, perhaps, Milan) were as delusional and mean-spirited and manipulative as Phi Phi, there was always a queen who was shoddier in presentation. Then he just kept getting more and more immature, shady, and just over-all toxic. He’s been the one horrible blemish this season that just won’t go away. Ru and the producers may have thought it a good idea to keep him around for “drama” but it actually has brought down the overall enjoyability of this show. And who the hell needs the vitriolic nonsense spewing from Phi Phi’s mouth when you have honest-to-goodness, proper and hilarious one-line zingers shooting from Latrice and Sharon a mile a minute?

    Sure Phi Phi can sew. Sure his looks this last episode were polished. But they were also derivative and had little to do with the challenge. Every single one looked like a knock off of a far more creative celebrity and felt like it had little to nothing to do with the challenge. And no- covering a dust pan in pink fuzz does not make that Nicki Minaj rip-off pertain any more to the actual challenge. Latrice may not have had the best looks- but at least it was obvious that she tried to make something that ACTUALLY WENT WITH THE CHALLENGE.

    Latrice should have been top 3. Phi Phi should have gone home several episodes ago. Not only is he NOT competition for Sharon or Chad- his self-aggrandizing, delusional attitude, vitriolic, caustic personality and overall horrendous behavior has guaranteed he cannot win this season. His attitude is perfect for the producers to use as a Reality Show Villain- but that tends to disqualify you from actually winning. The one exception I can think of being Wretchen from Project Runway- and we all know how that turned out.

  • Frederick

    I was so sorry to see Latrice go…it really should have been Phi Phi. I was particularly annoyed that when questioned by Ru Paul as to which competitor should go, Phi Phi actually tries to justify her cut throat behavior when Sharon calls her out on it, saying she’s just fierce and it’s okay to do whatever it takes to win. I found it in rather bad taste that some of the judges (i.e. Santino) agree with Phi Phi. Hello, um, there is such a thing as good sportsmanship. Anyway, I totally agreed with what Sharon had to say about Phi Phi’s lack of ethics in this competition.

  • Aedan

    @Aedan: Edit: my initial impression INCORRECT.

  • Franco

    I watched some of this last night, first time ever, and I was disappointed with how terrible they treated one another. The contestants appeared insecure and incapable of loving themselves, let alone any one else. It was sad exploitation I felt.

  • Mark

    I thought the show was one of the best of the season. I really enjoyed Chad Michaels down the runway looking for her lost doggy, and Sharon Needles was perfect as usual as the slut wearing an ankle monitor. PhiPhi for the first time in this season made me laugh at her with the Latrice bead splatter.

    Sharon Needles has won the most challenges, and should have won the Drag-a-zine challenge which was a robbery. Surely she will win.

    In the UnTucked show – was that scripted? Surely Sharon, Latrice, and Chad would not have ignored RuPaul like that. Poor Dita. They’re told to go to the Gold Room and Chad just sits and continues fighting? Not Chad.

  • stevoj

    @Franco: yeah it’s pretty unreasonable to watch roughly a few minutes of a show that you’ve never seen before and make statements like “incapable of loving themselves.” please think before you type

    i enjoyed this episode up until the end. i won’t make any comment on phi phi cause i have wasted enough words, time, and text on her as it is. latrice really surprised me though when she critiqued sharon. much of the criticisms she made were a direct reflection of her own mistakes

    i love latrice to death but that was a bit off-putting… and is anyone else dreading the finale? i really don’t wanna hear “she who shall not be named” voice anymore

  • Chris

    I like that Sharon was portrayed as tethering, it’s good that they show how hard it is at this stage of the game. And Latrice may not have rocked the lipsynch, but she’s won my appreciation.

    @Aedan: Hear, hear.

  • DenverBarbie

    @Mark: I’m going to venture to say that it was either totally scripted or editors took some drama footage and edited the bit with Ru trying to get their attention in post. At any rate, it was unbelievable… Just like Phi Phi’s father story. I’m not saying I creep, creep, but there was some chit chat on another gay news site about Phi Phi having a family picture (dad included) and some loving words (i.e.- how happy she was to have supportive parents) on her MySpace (yes, it’s still around..). I checked it out, and whattaya know!
    RuPaul and Logo, drag queens are interesting enough. The show doesn’t need to be so heavily produced (and if it does, it’s because your casting was way off).

  • Sozo

    A. “and then accuses Sharon of being a lair.”

    Phi Phi did not accuse Sharon of being the White Worm’s home.

    B. Will miss Latrice and her goodbye was wonderful. She better be on All-Stars or else, Logo.

    My problem with Phi Phi goes a but further than her asshole attitude. I really don’t like her drag. Her looks always scream BRATZ doll to me. Loud, clashing colors of cheap looking fabrics. If she were a sweetheart I’d say the same thing.

  • SebX

    @Aedan: 100%, whole-heartedly agreed!!! Well put. :)

    I guess most of us agree that PhiPhi has no chance in hell of winning and is being kept on just for the drama, but it has passed that point now. She’s a shady, conniving snake that only brings aggression and toxicity to the show. I think the final will be PhiPhi vs Sharon because that would be the most tense finale, but Chad’s class and elegance is leagues above whatever PhiPhi will ever reach.

  • jormol90201

    I freaking love Latrice Royal I still cannot get over the fact that she is gone. Good God get a grip Girl lol. Going to miss her I swear I agree with all of ya’ll Phi Phi should have gone home she should have already been gone but they keep her around because she is the BITCH of the show. Drama is always good I mean it makes for ratings without her it would actually just be a freaking competition which I thought it was. Anyways I say F*CK Phi Phi I dont think she will win this years drag race but might come a cool 2nd place just because everyone wants to see a Sharon vs. Phi Phi moment. I would love Chad Michaels to win but it looks like the winner is Sharon Needles in my opinion one of the most original Drag Queens I have ever seen. True to her colors true to herself no fishy business. Team Sharon Needles!!

  • Karanis

    For me, this was easily the most terrible episode of the entire season. You can tell just from watching the girls that they’re all tired and worn out from this arduous competition, and are really just bitching at one another because their minds are fraying at the edges.

    And FOUR CATEGORIES?! Are you f*cking serious? A pointless and over-cut performance, then three looks. That’s entirely too much, Logo. Pick ONE. ONLY ONE. The poor editors had to somehow compile all of that terrible stuff into a single segment and now the viewers are expected to truly take it in. That’s just too much for us to watch. Even the judges’ critiques were overly-diluted because there was just too much material to comment on and only 40 minutes to cram all that garbage into. The only purpose it served was to really wear down the contestants, and make them more irritable and exhausted so they would be vulnerable and emotional for the cameras.

    Untucked was also pretty terrible… that’s where you can really see the girls being worn out, because they only thing they really have to talk about is a bloody cruise. That’s not entertaining. I wonder if they’re just doing that because they’re so tired and they just need to give the cameras SOMETHING to air.

  • Franco

    @stevoj: I didn’t mean any disrespect, but the way that they were yelling and screaming at one another was sad. It’s not that difficult to get along with people, so for me, it was rather sad to see adults be so vicious to one another. I will not watch again.

  • Josh in OR

    So, having just recently watched the ep, finally (I missed it on Monday…) as well as the Untucked afterwars, can I just say that Phi Phi is both untalented and utterly demented? Sharon says, quite truthfully, that Phi Phi has no respect for the family of Drag Queens, and Phi Phi goes OFF and calls her a liar….DISPLAYING her lack of Drag family values for the entire world to see?

    Add to that her constant, unironic harping on how “So and so is untalented and doesn’t deserve to be here” and it all adds up to an unpleasant bitch. And not the good kind of bitch either. This entire season has been painful to watch because of Phi Phi, and only the talent and grace of Chad Michaels, the incredibly sharp wit and cutting-edge look of Sharon Needles and the hilariously deadpan personality of Willam has kept me around.

    If Pee Pee wins, I’m done. Ru will have lost me and pretty much everyone I know, which will suck because then we’ll need to find a new “Get drunk on Mondays and laugh at shit” show…


    I have to agree with Aedan regarding Miss Phi Phi and her delusional & mean-spirited, manipulative ways – just another worn-out living stereotype of the quintessential bitchy, vitriolic “queen”. Hopefully Mama Ru and the producers will look for more constructive dramatic elements to bring into the show without dragging down the entire fare for all involved on set and watching at home.

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