WARNING: This article is nothing but spoilers. If you didn’t see last night’s episode, leave now.
Why we’re writing about this: If you have to ask, you don’t deserve to know.
Last night, RuPaul’s Drag Race all but crowned Bob the Drag Queen as the winner of season eight by eliminating the only other queen who really offered any run for his money — Thorgy Thor. This leaves Bob in the company of less talented competitors, ones who thrive on being “safe” and who cry onstage over how hard the competition is. Pay attention, Sevens — a 10 is among you!
It’s not that we thought Thorgy would win or that Bob doesn’t deserve to: Bob has consistently brought laughs and good looks to the runway and Thorgy — an immensely talented and funny queen in her own right — has long twisted in his shadow. Rather, it’s that Thorgy is head-and-shoulders more talented than two of the remaining queens, namely Chi Chi DeVayne and oblivious Britney-clone Derrick Barry. Hell, Thorgy might even be more talented than Kim Chi, and we like Kim Chi.
Ask anyone (except Derrick Barry) and they’ll agree: Barry doesn’t deserve to be in the Race. Bob saved his ass last night and anyone who doesn’t think so has merely to realize that Bob had more screen time in Barry’s campaign ad than Barry did. Yes, Barry ate a baby in Bob’s ad and that is to be commended, but Bob came up with the idea, and Barry’s bit of blood-spattered cannibalism comes too little, too late in the Race.
We can agree that Barry’s transformation of his little black dress into a floor-length ball gown on the runway was stunning. But just last week, Barry had jiggling metallic horse-cocks adorning the shoulders of his lackluster “Tin man” costume, a look which involved little more than sheen fabric cinched around his waist. For weeks before then, Barry appeared onstage as barely-different iterations of Britney Spears. If we’re judging on overall performance, Barry hasn’t delivered. Not at all.
And let’s take a second to note that Barry is also none-too-subtly racist. He keeps referring to Bob’s drag as “ratchet” — shade that shows that Barry can’t read because Bob has always outshined him! Looking for a way to insult a Black queen? Call her ratchet! For Snatch Game, Barry wanted to perform as the minstrel-esque Laura Bell Bundy character proclaiming that “she’s a black woman trapped in a white woman’s body” (gross) and then last night, Barry asked Kim Chi where in Korea she was born. Kim Chi responded graciously, but we’re not: such casual, conversational racism is basic as fuck and has no place onstage, in the workroom or in any serious competitor for America’s Next Drag Superstar: not in 2016 especially. Go home, gurl.
Moving on… Barry finds himself in good company with his plucky competitor Chi Chi DeVayne, a queen who has excelled in consistent mediocrity. Talented? Sure, but he’s no Bob or Kim Chi and dang are we tired of hearing about how DeVayne is too poor to deliver jaw-dropping drag. A true queen could make a ball gown out of a roll of toilet paper, so enough! DeVayne’s repeated complaints merely illustrate how poverty can stunt a promising imagination — a true social tragedy — but this isn’t RuPaul’s Hard Luck Race.
One need only look as far as Naomi Smalls for an example of how it’s done. She wasn’t über-talented either at the outset, but girl has BROUGHT IT in the last two challenges: she’s funnier, more confident and waaaaay more stylish — not enough to be America’s Next Drag Superstar mind you (not unless Bob has a stroke or turns into a busted and venomous queen in the last three episodes), but enough to go down in Drag Race herstory as a transformed competitor.
All T: Thorgy did miserably in last night’s challenge. He DID look like a dead Boy George onstage and his over-stated, underprepared campaign ad landed few laughs and even less shade. Plus, it was laughable to think that he would own a lip-sync to a Black woman’s empowerment ballad (“And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” from the 1982 musical Dreamgirls) — that song was practically MADE for Chi Chi and even Thorgy seemed to give up mid-performance: he didn’t know the words and practically presented DeVayne as the winner at the song’s conclusion.
So yeah, by those measures, Thorgy deserved elimination last night; but if the bottom two had been decided on overall performance rather than a single challenge, he wouldn’t have been there. Alas, it’s Mama Ru’s show and eliminating him has effectively squashed any surprise or competition left in this season. The rest is Bob’s to win and, barring any unpreparedness, he’ll easily do so; that is, unless Naomi starts slaying his wit or Kim Chi learns how to walk in high heels and enunciate.