The fashion ball is back on RuPaul's Drag Race Season 12 Episode 4!
Are you surprised? They bring it to you on the runway every season.
Thirty-six outfits strutting the stage with plenty of personalities and a flair for fashion. A jam-packed hour to find out which queens can bring it ... and which ones should bring it back home. (Where's Heidi Klum when you need her?)
Before we jump into all the fashion-forward moments, we have to discuss the couch debrief. This is one of my favorite parts of any RuPaul's Drag Race episode.
The queens get to chat, debrief, and share their thoughts of the round before. We get a real and raw look into their mind after what happened and their motivation for the next stage.
Some queens fuel their fire while others continue to spiral after their previous missteps. The couch also foreshadows the future for the queens who steal the focus.
Jan, Brita, and Aiden Zhane emerged as the narrators for this couch chat.
Aiden needs to get her aesthetic together. We discussed it during the last review that Aiden has to push her simple and minimalistic looks further if she wants any shot to win.
Sure, the queens have to give her a chance to lead in challenges, but if you compare her looks to the other queens, she needs to catch-up.
RuPaul: [About Jaida] Oooh, she is giving me Bee-yonce.
[Scene switches to Aidan Zhane dancing]
RuPaul: And she is giving me Bea Arthur!
From the onset of her "Balls to the Wall Eleganza" look, it was a corset with balls glued to it. Nothing else. How Michelle Visage didn't rip her to shreds was a miracle unto itself?!
Also, how did she not notice that she created a referee outfit?!
She should thank her lucky stars that Jan saved her by bringing up that comment. If she just walked onto the runway without any theme, Aiden would've ended up in the bottom.
I have a feeling Jan might have a similar narrative to Miz Cracker on RuPaul's Drag Race Season 10.
She kills it consistently all season with stellar challenge performances and great looks on the runway, but she doesn't snatch the win until it's too late. Her past performances stood out and should have landed her at the top. However, for whatever reason, she kept being overlooked.
Jan could be the underappreciated (but fan favorite) queen of the season.
Brita, on the other hand, has started doubting herself, which isn't a good sign.
Self-doubt segments are typically a narrative associated with one of two things: (1) a queen who overcomes it and dominates the challenge or (2) an early boot queen. Brita ended up in the bottom this time around, so that doesn't fair well for her chances.
She doubted herself on the couch and she kept doubting herself during the challenge. It's one thing to be worried about if you're out of your element, but a queen has to keep their mind in the game and look over their entire aesthetic before hitting the runway.
I knew Brita was going to end up in the bottom two before her outfits were shown.
The editing had set up the stage for her downfall, and the confessionals from the other queens reinforced her not living up to her New York City reputation. If Brita can't turn it around, she'll end up in the bottom again.
The Maxi Challenge was broken up into three phases: Lady Ballers, Basketball Wives Realness, and Balls to the Wall Eleganza. The first two runways are outfits that queens can bring from home and the third must be created in the Werk Room.
I like that Drag Race gives them the themes before the season to supply looks.
Could you imagine if each queen had to create three outfits from scratch in one and a half days? There is no way all those ensembles would come out as top-tier outfits. Designers show their bread and butter to make a mark on the stage too.
[Sigh] I am a little nervous. This is the first design challenge that we’ve had, and I’ve only sewn one garment before this. So, pray for me.Heidi N Closet
Still, this is RuPaul's Drag Race Season 12, Heidi N Closet should've learned to sew an outfit by now. She doesn't have the same luxury as Shangela did during RuPaul's Drag Race Season 2; the lesson has been taught and honed in.
Heidi dodged a major bullet since her outfit came out well on the runway.
For the Lady Ballers runway, the best of the round included Aiden's nod to A League of Their Own, Rock M. Sakura's tetherball hair, Heidi's golfer look, Widow Von'Du as an equestrian, and Gigi Goode as a character from Heathers.
Heathers is an amazing cult classic, so the look won me over. The reference was noted and appreciated!
Rock M. Sakura's look could've looked so much greater if she had done more to the bottom part of the ensemble. Her jumpsuit blended too much into the hair since it was the same color. And, with it being a beige shade, it didn't pop like the other looks.
Brita's outfit, on the other hand, looked deflated and messy.
The baseballs emphasized the shoulders, but they looked huge on her when everything else was fitted. Brita has a preference for outfits that have big arms and shoulders; compared to the others, this wasn't her best look.
During the Basketball Wives Realness runway, the queens all featured outfits of varying levels of sexiness. It's exactly what you'd expect while watching VH1's Basketball Wives.
(Wait a minute, I just got the connection! Good subtle promotion, VH1.)
This runway was a good opportunity for the queens to try something new and give the judges exactly what they wanted. Sexiness and opulence is an easy category on RuPaul's Drag Race. As long as you showcase femininity and glamor, you've made it past the round.
Here is where Aiden Zhane should've tried harder. Her nod to Peggy Bundy was fun, but it didn't fit in with what the judges expected for the theme. Sure, you have to bring yourself to the outfit. However, meeting the challenge is all that matters.
Even Crystal Methyd broke out of her makeup aesthetic to appease the judges and give them beauty.
And finally during the Balls to the Wall Eleganza runway, the outfits that ended up in the bottom were the biggest standouts compared to the top.
Don't get me wrong, Jaida Essence Hall's fashion-forward bubble ensemble, Nicky's tropical fringe, and Gigi's bubblegum frock all had the flair and style that wowed the judges. Jaida initially had me worried since she ran out of materials for her vision, but she pulled it out and dominated.
Though, the bottom three all had varying degrees of misses that failed to live up to their expectations.
Aiden should've pushed her referee costume beyond a corset. She could've decorated her legs to do something with stripes, a more elaborate headpiece, or something else that stood out. Overall, she needed more.
Rock M. Sakura needed to edit her outfit. If she had removed the bottom frame of her ensemble, she would've avoided lipsyncing for her life. Everything about it was distracting.
And with Brita ... she looked like corn. That wasn't a pineapple in the least.
Gigi winning the Maxi Challenge made sense since she dominated the round as a whole.
She killed it during the Mini Challenge with her dance moves, and all three looks on the runway were better than the last. Gigi has pushed ahead to be a frontrunner in the competition.
Also, a big round of applause for Gigi's mother as a designer! The woman needs to win a Tony, an Oscar, or another prestigious award to acknowledge her talent.
I'm changing my earlier prediction about the Top 4: Gigi Goode will be in the Top 4 as the fashion queen spot. Nicky Doll, on the other hand, will be an earlier boot due to her personality issues with the judges.
The lipsync between Brita and Rock M. Sakura to "S&M" by Rihanna was rocky.
Rock M. Sakura struggled with pulling the part off her outfit and wasted plenty of valuable time to perform. She kept trying to catch up to Brita, who was already deep into the performance. Her acrobatics helped her to stand out, but it didn't make up for the lipsyncing itself.
Brita: I had an amazing dream last night.
Heidi N Closet: What was it?
Brita: I won RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12.
Aiden Zhane: And then you woke up.
[All the girls laughing, Brita shocked]
Brita's choice to do a funny lipsync helped her out since it suited the upbeat tone of the song. Plus, she was able to play off the lyrics and her competition's movements.
I hate whenever queens purposely block each other during the lipsync, so she lost some points in my book. However, Brita won the lipsync in a close race.
Last Thoughts From The Werk Room:
The bee Mini Challenge was fun and peppy. It's great knowing which queens can bring out the acrobatics during a lipsync when the time comes.
- Leslie Jones is an amazing guest judge! She had plenty of one-liners and excitement to be there! Can RuPaul make her a permanent rotating judge?!
Leslie Jones: Girl, you better work!
RuPaul: Leslie, are you recording this?
Leslie Jones: Yeah, girl! This is how I do it at home. I live-tweet live!
[They all laugh]
Leslie Jones: And you is bomb! You look like a banana birthday cake! [RuPaul giggling]
RuPaul: And you look amazing!
Leslie Jones: Thank you! I am channeling Diana Ross tonight.
RuPaul: Call her “Ms. Jones.”
[Leslie bursts out laughing]
Crystal Methyd is listening to the judges and changing up her makeup. She deserves some kudos for trying.
The judges were on fire this week with their runway puns!
- The edit majorly gave away that Rock M. Sakura was getting eliminated. She had too many confessionals so soon. The editors need to ease it up a bit.
Now, over to you, Drag Race fans!
What did you think of "The Ball Ball"?
Has Aiden reached the limit with her simple aesthetic? Can Brita pull herself out of the bottom? How will Nicky Doll show her goofy personality to the judges?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.