RuPaul’s Drag Race S7 E9: Divine Inspiration

Bryony Bates

We could only be in for one thing with a title to the episode like that – it’s a John Waters themed week on Drag Race. But who knew the man himself was actually going to turn up? Trouble is, a lot of these queens have trouble getting filthy…

Wait a second, there’s something fundamental we have to pay attention to before we get to this week’s maxi-challenge. Yes, the library is open, and the queens don’t do a bad job.

Violet Chachki by Caetano Weissman.
Miss Fame by Caetano Weissman

Katya’s read of Violet Chachki is my favourite by far: ‘You keep training those corsets girl, soon your waist size will be lower than your IQ!’ Do you know what’s so great about that? Took Violet a second to get it. Oh Violet, I do so love to hate you.


We don’t get to see what the most intriguing read might be when Pearl turns on RuPaul – Ru laughs but shuts her right down. I guess when you’ve got your own show you don’t have to be a good sport.

some people are coasting

Also, Miss Fame is terrible, but you didn’t need me to tell you that. A good read should be sharp, smart and concise: Fame is sweet, stupid and long-winded. She’s also getting increasingly wound up by Pearl who is, in her own words, coasting straight down the middle while Fame really wants this and she just can’t have that kind of – Jesus, it’s too all over the place even to make fun of, whatever, Fame hates Pearl and Pearl don’t care.

filth is my life

The challenge is to work on some musical reworkings of famous scenes from John Waters films. Christ alive. Another acting challenge. Who’d have thought.

The queens get to pick their own teams, so while Kennedy latches onto Katya and Ginger and Trixie go together, Fame, Violet and Pearl end up together because no one else wants them.

Miss Fame by Caetano Weissman
Miss Fame by Caetano Weissman

Cue Fame trying to give Pearl glowering looks while Pearl is literally looking the other way. It’s like watching a Yorkshire terrier trying to look menacing – face it Fame, you’ll never be a true bitch.

From the Work Room, we get the fantastic revelation that Ginger convinced her grandma that Pink Flamingos was a kids’ film so she would take Mini-Minj to see it. That’s the shit-eating one if you’re unfamiliar with John Waters – in which case stop reading this right now and educate yourself, please! I can’t have you in my recap if you’ve never seen a drag queen eat shit – this is a high-class establishment…

Katya turns in by far the most original performance, turning Dawn Davenport’s mother from Female Trouble – the straight (wo)man of the scene – to a filthy beast in her own right, rolling around on the floor with a martini glass and holes in her stockings.

But my goodness, have you ever seen someone look more like Edith Massey than Ginger Minj? When Ginger cracks an egg on her tits it brings a tear to my eye, such a fitting tribute it is to that late, great star of the silver screen.


We’ve got to talk about Trixie for a minute though, because this is the bitch who’s back. She says herself that she’s got to be flawless and in this challenge – she’s OK. Her make up is fantastic, Divine-inspired but also unmistakeably Trixie, but her performance? It’s just not there.

Trixie babe, we all want you to be funny but this is why you went out before: your nerve fails you. When she’s got to deliver, it’s just not there. Up against Ginger, she really fades into the background which is hard to do when you’ve got bright blue eyeshadow covering half your face.


The most interesting thing about Pearl, Fame and Violet’s skit is that in an attempt to mimic Divine’s size, Violet has inadvertently given herself a baby bump. That and the fact that Fame earlier sulked that making her voice low and growly wouldn’t be funny when Pearl suggested that, when that’s exactly what she does in the challenge.

Please can Mama Ru sign a sick note giving these guys a permanent exemption from comedy challenges? It would be less painful for everyone.

The runway challenge is ‘Ugliest Dress Ever’ and THIS IS EXACTLY WHERE WE SHOULD HAVE HAD A SEWING CHALLENGE. Sorry for shouting, I’ll take a deep breath and a valium in a second, but seriously this is kind of unfair. What do you do if you haven’t brought an ugly dress?

It would have been a much more level and entertaining playing field if they’d been given a load of trash and had to make a dress out of it. Think Shangela’s lampshade monstrosity – that’s what I wanted to see.


Katya gets closest to this aesthetic with a truly horrific yellow macramé dress (did you know that ‘erotic macramé’ is a thing? Just wanted to share), though I do think Katya always overestimates how scuzzy she is. She’s all like, ‘I look like I just sucked 10 dicks in a tornado and then gave birth on the floor of a crack den,’ when she generally looks quite nice, all in all.



Violet’s dress, however, is a true monstrosity and I have to give it to her.

Pearl and Fame have misunderstood the whole thing and come out wearing dresses which aren’t ugly – I am also hugely bored of Fame’s neck brace collar things she wears each week in different colours, it’s like she’s worried the size of her head will weigh her down on the runway.


Ginger wins for her spot on Egg Lady and most of the others get a few polite comments. Then we go down the line with the age-old question: ‘Who Should Go This Week in Your Honest Opinion?’ and the almost unanimous answer is Miss Fame.

fuck all these bitches


The only exceptions are Fame herself, who says Pearl, and Violet, clinging to her only friend in the competition. She says Trixie, because she had to pick someone.


It doesn’t take a genius to work out Pearl and Fame are in the lip sync, and this one’s kind of boring. Pearl doesn’t do a great job, but it would take some talent to do worse than Fame, who looks like I do when I try lip syncing to a song I don’t know when I’m drinking on my own in my bedroom on a Friday night (which is totally not what I do every Friday night).

So it’s goodbye Miss Fame – adorable as she was, she’d run her course. Next week, according to Wikipedia, we’re going to see these bitches dance. Oh dear. I’ll make myself a stiff drink now.

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About Bryony Bates

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