RuPaul’s Drag Race S7 E11: Hello Kitty Girls

Bryony Bates

All I can say about this episode is THANK GAWD! It was precisely as weird and fun as the John Waters episode should have been and I want the entirety of next season to be like this.

i'm ready for a pussy party

The puppet mini-challenge is one of my favourites, and though no one’s that great at doing impressions (remember Adore‘s perfect Ben DeLa Creme from last season?) it’s still good fun. I mean, who doesn’t want to watch a young twink at a glory hole for the first time?

Ginger Minj wins for an unflattering portrait of Violet Chachki (though points to Pearl for reminding us of Kennedy Davenport‘s chicken outfit) and then things get weird because RuPaul comes out with Hello Kitty. Wonder which member of the Pit Crew‘s mincing around in that outfit. My bet’s on the ginger one.

hello kitty arrives

I suppose it shows how far Drag Race has come that where we used to have product placements for (that’s, it’s now shilling kawaii Hello Kitty crap, which the queens have to make into a runway outfit.

I’m finally getting the sewing challenge I always wanted! Is it Christmas already? Look, they’re running over to the Fabric Planet wall! Just like old times.

Speaking of which, Santino Rice has returned from the black cave from whence he came and to which he was once more banished when Ru got tired of him at the end of last season.

i flood my basement bitch

In the time-honoured tradition of a contestant coming up with something nice to say on the VT about a guest judge no one cares about, Ginger shows off her acting skills once more by insisting that Santino is a ‘sexy sexy man’ who ‘floods her basement’.

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I mean he’s … tall I guess? Taller than RuPaul actually, which is quite an achievement. The things you learn when you see someone standing up for the first time.

In a reversal of the Work Room dynamics of seasons past, it’s the young queens who can sew and the self-proclaimed ‘old lady brigade’ who can’t. Though Ginger’s inclusion in said brigade at the age of 29 – same age as Miss Fame – makes it more a state of mind than a state of being.

Kennedy’s ripping bows off things, Ginger’s waving a pair of scissors around and Katya is staring at a sewing machine like it’ll do something for her if she looks pathetic enough. Come on Katya, what self-respecting Soviet hooker can’t rustle up a bustier and nipple tassels from an old pair of (iron) curtains?

pearl hobble skirt

Violet is confident – as ever – about her bubblegum space mod look, though I reckon Kennedy’s on the money when she says Violet’s headdress makes her look like a human gaydar. I don’t have a lot of love for Kennedy, but she proves her worth sometimes with comments like that. Pearl is making a hobble skirt out of a blanket, so she’s apparently not worried about lip syncing this week.

But wait! The queens have to make not one … but TWO runway looks! One involving a giant blank white head that they have to use to turn themselves into Hello Kitty’s new BFF. This really is another level, watching them all stumble around with swollen heads and giant black eyes. Like the end of a really good weekend at my place.

Katya’s now completely fallen to pieces: she hasn’t even done her eleganza look and now she’s got this (literally) staring her in the face. It’s hard to see how she’s going to come out well from this and (spoiler alert) she doesn’t.

hello kitty headsAfter the judges have traded all the words they know in Japanese for some pre-show banter (konnichiwa! Kawaii! Domo arigato! Fried rice!) it’s time for the runway.

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Violet stays true to herself with a pretty, vain Hello Violet character, while I get the feeling this is not the first time Ginger has been in a mascot/character outfit like this as she’s the only one who gives the impression of being able to see out of the damn thing. She does come from Florida – perhaps a stint at Disney World?

pearl hello kitty madonna

I love Pearl’s trashy Madonna look, while Katya apparently got through her crisis to pull on a headscarf and give us a low-life Communist foil to the hyper-capitalist Hello Kitty. Kennedy does what Kennedy do. I like how colour-coordinated she is. Next.

The eleganza looks are suspiciously well constructed for a bunch of people who can’t sew, though we did see Ginger cutting out a panel for this dress, so she maybe knows more than she gave herself credit for.

violet chachki torture device

I absolutely hate Violet’s ‘fashion-forward’ fur-lined headpiece: it’s the only truly awful thing she’s worn all season. And no one reads her for it! They all act like she’s a genius for coming up with the thing!

It looks like some kind of serious medical apparatus that someone has misguidedly tried to make less scary for a child by making it pink and fluffy. But the rest of it’s put together very well. As ever.

pearl hobble skirt mince

I love Pearl’s look, though Michelle Visage does later point out that if you’re that skinny then yes you can wrap a blanket round yourself and belt it and call it a dress. But hey, it’s all about the styling and I love the fact she’s got a big stuffed Hello Kitty head balancing on her head. She looks like she has just come from a cartoon drag battle in the desert and she has ripped the head from her lifeless enemy as a trophy.

Kennedy’s body suit and stripper boots are just blah and not very Hello Kitty, and Katya’s look is a bit all over the place. Katya’s looks are always more interesting to hear about than they are to see.

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For once, Santino says something accurate when he tells her that she should have gone further to get her point of view across. Katya describes her look as ‘1960s stunt woman who’s been forced into prostitution on her way to Fashion Week in Chernobyl’.

What actually comes across, as Rebecca Romijn says, is ‘Futuristic space mom who loves Hello Kitty?’ Maybe? Katya says earlier in the episode that she envies Violet’s confidence and yeah, she could do with some because she never quite dares to go as far as she could and should with her looks.

kennedy splits

It’s a weakness that sees her in the bottom two, along with Kennedy, and from the moment we see Kennedy limbering up it’s clear Katya doesn’t stand a chance.

OK, so Kennedy pulls out all the usual lip sync shit, all the gymnastics and giving herself whiplash she’s jerking her head around that much, but that woman can really sell it. She’s known as a dancer and a real performer, and she finally shows us why that reputation is deserved.

katy splits

When Katya goes into a split it’s too late – should have had the confidence to do it earlier sweetie.

It really genuinely sounds like Ru doesn’t want to keep Kennedy, but she could hardly send her home after that lip sync. So it’s goodbye Katya – at least she’s got the Miss Congeniality crown to look forward to. I mean, who else could it go to? Jasmine Masters?

Down to the final four, and I really don’t know who’s going to make top three – from the way the competition’s gone so far, it could be any configuration of the remaining queens. I suppose we’ll just have to sit tight and hope that Violet finally has to lip sync.

About Bryony Bates

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