The latest episode of Canada’s Drag Race Season 4 was a rollercoaster of emotions, packed with high-stakes challenges and an unexpected twist that left fans reeling. Last week, viewers were introduced to a dynamic group of Canadian queens, with Venus and Denim emerging as the top two performers following a thrilling first impressions ball challenge. Venus, who triumphed as the first maxi challenge winner after an electrifying lip sync in the debut episode, set the bar high.
As the queens re-entered the werk room post-lip sync, the ambience crackled with excitement over the non-elimination week. Venus and Denim shared their thrill for the lip sync and extended heartfelt congratulations to the bottom queens for persevering. Melinda expressed both relief and nervousness, feeling the weight of proving herself in the upcoming challenge. With the competition intensifying, the pressure to impress the judges reached palpable levels.
The following day, a refreshed and energized aura enveloped the werk room as the queens geared up for the week’s challenges. Amidst the anticipation, RuPaul interrupted with a video message, teasing a shopping-related riddle before Brooke Lynn Hytes entered to unveil the week’s maxi challenge. The task was no small feat – the queens were tasked with embodying on-air personas, presenting captivating sales pitches for fabulous drag-inspired products on QV-She. Organised into groups of three and a pair, each queen meticulously crafted their approach, aiming to captivate the audience during the intense four-minute live broadcast by infusing wit and humour into their sales presentations.
As the curtains rose on QV-She, the performances varied in flair and impact. Some groups stumbled out of the gate, grappling with forgotten lines and faltering deliveries, while others like Melinda and Kitten shone brightly, eliciting laughter and applause from their fellow queens. Venus, Aurora, and The Girlfriend Experience displayed finesse in selling their tip storage bras, although The Girlfriend Experience faced hiccups with forgotten lines as well as stumbling through giggles that saw her break character and lose all hope. The final group, showcasing the party poncho, presented a mixed bag, with Nearah’s retro TV personality contrasting Luna’s subdued contribution and Aimee’s earnest effort amid jokes that didn’t quite land.
On elimination day, hopes hung on the queens’ runway looks to potentially salvage their positions. Conversations around the table were a blend of gratitude, reflections on the challenge, and discussions on drag experiences. The queens shared personal stories, delving into topics ranging from Canadian queer history to individual journeys within the drag realm, fostering a space for learning, growth, and embracing inclusivity within the community. We learnt a lot about queer language and how some people dislike “bio queen” and “AFAB queen”, with The Girlfriend Experience explaining that in Vancouver they use “hyper-queen” which means “hyper-feminized version of drag” – YAS Queen! We’re so using hyper-queen from now on!
Stepping onto the main stage, the queens donned stunning jewel-toned and semi-precious-inspired looks in the “Gemstones” runway category. On the judging panel, Brooke Lynn Hytes, Brad Goreski, and Traci Melchor are joined by Canada’s Drag Race: Canada vs the World’s reigning champion, Ra’Jah O’Hara. Brooke informed the queens that despite performing in groups, they would be judged individually. Luna, The Girlfriend Experience, Sisi Superstar, Kitten Kaboodle, Melinda Verga, and Venus emerged as the top and bottom performers of the week, as Brooke emphasised the fortune of the remaining queens who secured safe positions, letting them know that they’re very lucky that there are only three bottom positions.
The critique session commenced, unravelling a spectrum of assessments. Sisi faced feedback on her marked improvement from the previous week’s runway, though her challenge performance received criticism for rough execution and a lack of audience engagement. Brad also clocks her for not wearing shoes on the runway – as RuPaul would say, “This is the Olympics of Drag”; we’re actually in shock that a drag queen dared to walk the runway without footwear.
Kitten earned praise for her joyful performance and seamless balance with Melinda, while Melinda herself was commended for a fun challenge performance and nudged to inject more fun into her runway demeanour. Venus garnered accolades for her captivating runway look and her performance was described as terrifying but in a good way. The Girlfriend Experience received compliments for her runway appearance but was urged to showcase more personality on stage on top of the fact that her challenge performance didn’t go so well, while Luna grappled with critiques of missed moments and a sluggish start to the challenge.
Kitten went on to secure the win, gaining $5,000, while Melinda Verga and Venus were safe. At the end of the critiques, the pivotal twist of the season was unveiled – the winner of the maxi challenge would also wield the power of the “golden beaver”, offering the opportunity to save one of the bottom three from the impending lip sync.
Backstage, emotions ran high as the queens revealed Kitten’s victory and explained the significance of the “golden beaver” to the safe contestants. Tears flowed, nerves were palpable, and emotions tugged at heartstrings as the bottom three – The Girlfriend Experience, Luna DuBois, and Sisi Superstar – pleaded their cases to Kitten, each laying bare their vulnerabilities and hopes.
However, in a poignant moment of selflessness, Sisi, acknowledging her position in the bottom last week, declined to vie for the lifeline, believing it unfair to take the chance from her fellow queens. On the main stage, Kitten, wielding the power bestowed upon her, handed the “golden beaver” to The Girlfriend Experience, saving her from the lip sync battle. This left Sisi Superstar and Luna DuBois facing off in a heartfelt and passionate lip sync to Avril Lavigne’s “I’m With You”. The emotional performance tugged at heartstrings, but ultimately, Sisi Superstar bid adieu as Brooke and the judges made the difficult decision to send her home, marking the first elimination of the season.
As the episode drew to a close, the teaser for the forthcoming week hinted at looming tensions during the girl group challenge, suggesting potential rifts and conflicts brewing among the contestants.
New episodes of Canada’s Drag Race Season 4 are dropped every Thursday night on Crave in Canada, BBC Three and iPlayer in the UK, and WOW Presents Plus in the US and the rest of the world.
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