RuPaul’s Drag Race Episode 5: The DESPY Awards

Bryony Bates

As we enter episode five, Pearl has a lot to prove but you know she’s, like, totally over this whole RuPaul thing and who even wants to do drag anyway when you’re not surrounded by people who think your every Xanaxed fart is the best thing they’ve ever inhaled? Used to being effortlessly beautiful, Pearl is finding life hard now that she has to like, make an effort.

pearl eye roll

Mrs Kasha Davis wastes no time breaking out the tiny violins, and starts in on a rant about how infuriating it is when she’s worked her ass off trying to get here for seven years and then SOME PEOPLE just give up at the first criticism they get.

I know honey. It must be frustrating to send those audition tapes in year after year when SOME PEOPLE get on first try when they’ve only been doing drag for a year. Luck of the draw I guess, nothing whatsoever to do with relative levels of talent…

For the mini-challenge, the queens have to recreate some famous celebrity looks out of paper, a challenge which is itself a recreation of Paper Drag Race, an Instagram where some guy recreated all of last season’s runway looks out of paper. Drag-ception.


For my money, Kennedy Davenport and Jaidynn Diore Fierce’s version of Lady Gaga’s meat dress is the most impressive, but Katya and Mrs Kasha Davis win for their Bjork swan dress, or, more accurately, for Kasha’s Joan Rivers impersonation.


Best mini-challenge moment –

Violet (as Fame sticks paper to her head): You don’t have to fucking slap me!

Miss Fame: If I get the chance.

I feel you, Miss Fame.

The main challenge is to put on an awards show where they give and receive questionable prizes – Most Busted Queen, Meatiest Tuck, Sexy Sexy Drag Queen and Shadiest Queen – with Kasha and Katya opening the show as a reward for winning the mini-challenge.


This comes easier to some queens than others: Violet and Miss Fame are not known for their wit. As Violet moans about Fame shooting down her idea, Fame advises her to ‘present it in a comical way’ – more withering advice has rarely been given.

Their bickering is just the warm up for the real showdown: Pearl and Rupaul. As RuPaul advises Pearl to ramp up her personality, Pearl says that she thinks she has a great personality, and it doesn’t make her feel good or give her confidence for Ru to say otherwise.


Has this girl been reading too many self-help books? A staring match ensues, which Pearl kind of wins by saying, ‘Have I got something on my face?’

After seven seasons’ worth of people bowing and scraping and saying, ‘Yes, Ru, thank you, mama,’ during these work room critiques, it’s nice to see someone standing up for themselves for a change. Metaphorically, of course – literally standing would be far too energetic for Pearl.

Pearl storms out and everyone speculates that this means she’s not coming back, though I suspect she only went out for a fag and the producers told everyone to act like she’d been gone for years. Max’s acting skills in particular are stretched to the limit, as she swears she practically had a solo show planned, honest.


Each pair present their material to Kathy Griffin, who tells Katya not to compare Ginger Minj to Danny Devito because THAT’S NOT A GAY REFERENCE, I WANT EVERYTHING GAY ON THIS GAY SHOW BECAUSE I, A STRAIGHT WOMAN, AM THE DIC-GAY-TOR – I DECIDE WHAT’S GAY ENOUGH FOR YOU.

In case you hadn’t guessed, this kind of gets on my tits, so that’s enough about her. Katya keeps the joke.

The episode’s finest moment comes from Miss Fame’s surprise pre-show revelation that she grew up on a chicken farm and honed her aesthetic making chickens look beautiful for … some kind of chicken pageant? Miss Fame.

Between the drug-addicted mother, murdered grandparent and bedazzled chickens, how did you end up so boring? I’m kidding, it’s actually pretty heart-warming to see that behind all the make up there’s a kid with a passion for chickens. Unexpected, to say the least.


The skits go exactly as you’d expect: Mrs Kasha Davis underperforms, as she has done all season, Ginger Minj turns on her stink eye to great effect, Kennedy is not nearly as great as she thinks she is – though she does look absolutely stunning, the best she’s looked so far IMO, especially with her make up – and all that fake drama leads up to Max and Pearl winning the challenge.


I don’t know whether they really deserve it, but then as everyone was kind of a bit funny at some point it doesn’t matter that much. Pearl’s impression of Ginger Minj was scarily on point, that’s for sure.

Speaking of Ginger, she revealed in Untucked that her bargain basement-look dress cost $5000. Really, queen? Maybe the price tag would have been more apparent if she hadn’t paired it with all that cheap jewellery. Which I’m sure she’ll be quick to tell us next week is all Tiffany’s finest.


Kasha and Kandy lip-sync, and I don’t really care which one of them goes out, though I’d prefer it to be Kandy because she’s seriously boring. But she’s one of those queens who will save herself on the lip sync for longer than she ought, just like Trinity K Bonet last year, so chante she stays while Mrs Kasha Davis, international celebrity housewife, sashays away.

It’s not the worst result in the world: Mrs Davis hasn’t ever really stood out or made me laugh as much as she ought to have done, and she looks pretty busted compared to some of these queens.


As Ru tells her to go home to Mr Davis, she says the funniest thing she’s said all season: ‘He’d better have that box wine chilling!’

Farewell, Kasha. This year it’s all about SOME PEOPLE.

I have to say, while both Trixie and Kasha didn’t live up to their comedic promise, it’s a shame to see Ru sending queens like that home, leaving us with a bunch of listless, whiny little girls.

After a few years’ worth of funny/weird queens winning, there seems to be a plot to make sure that doesn’t happen again in Season 7. Watch out, Ms Minj.

Oh, and before I go – it’s not an award ceremony until we judge Who Wore It Better? This week: painted boobs!

Pearl vs Violet. Let us know your winner (and anything else you want to say) in the comments.

rupaul tits

About Bryony Bates

Bryony likes reading, writing, glamour and anger. @Bryony_Bates