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RuPaul’s Drag Race S9 – “Your Pilot’s On Fire” Recap

I watched this week’s episode at Uproar in DC with Iva and it was a blast! For a TV nerd who is obsessed with drag queens, this episode was basically a dream come true. But it quickly became a nightmare. Let’s break down #MaskGate, shall we?

Sundae Co. | RPDR S9 Girls

The girls are still recovering from their fallen sister, Farrah when Ru enters the workroom and explains that the maxi challenge this week will be that each team will create, write, produce and star in a pilot presentation for a proposed TV show! This had me so excited! Y’all know I love TV. Add the cast of my favorite “non-scripted” show and I am one happy boy. Ru asks them to choose their own teams and we all hold our breath until Sasha and Shea find each other and team up. These two. I just love them. Peppermint, Alexis and Trinity team up leaving Nina Sour Puss Brown and Valentina to work together.

Uh oh. This could potentially not end well.

The girls split up and get to work crafting their pilots and choosing characters. Team PepLexIty (catchy no?) decide to set their pilot in the world of homosexual teens! Team SaShea decide to combine Russian spy flicks with blaxsploitation movies of the 70’s and come up with a wacky creation which needs to be greenlit to a full series ASAP. It can air Thursday nights on LOGO after 9021-Ho? And last (and certainly least) Team NinaTina are a literal train wreck that is difficult to watch. They do not write out a script or develop a plot and it is obvious they are not prepared when we get to see them taping their pilots later in the episode.

Obviously, Shea and Sasha have the most promising concept, with each of them taking on characters they are comfortable with and can pull comedy from and they both do not disappoint. They have Michelle and Ross cracking up during their scenes. Trinity totally steals the show from Alexis and Peppermint as the crazy old nun and further justifies my prediction that she is making it to the top 3. Also, someone stop Alexis from always finding some way to make me roll my eyes at her every episode… And then poor NinaTina… Having no script really threw them for a loop. Who’d have predicted that?!

Cutting ahead to the runway, because DAMN we have a lot to talk about. Category is: Club Kids. And I have to say, this is a long time coming! How have we not had a club kids runway yet? That is how Ru got his start after all. Let’s break these down one by one.

Sasha Velour – Sad clown realness. I absolutely loved this look. The asymmetrical eyebrows, the way she moved in it! My friends did not enjoy it, but I thought it was very club kid in Brooklyn and very Sasha. I thought it was fun.

Sundae Co. | Sasha Club Kid Runway

Shea Coulee – I MEAN. This look is so much and all of it is good. Shea sure loves a bathing suit, doesn’t she? She killed me with this look though. The design is so fun and so bold. I loved it.

Sundae Co. | Sundae Co. | Shea Club Kid Runway

Nina – She did a Halloween look. Again. I can’t… She literally does the same runway every week – down to the movements.

Valentina – I think this look is gorgeous. But it was not very club kid. But she is very young and might not fully know what that means? Valentina is always on theme and I appreciate that. I was hoping for a reveal with the mask, but it stayed on. (For way too long…)

Trinity Taylor – What a runway! Trinity was all nervous about not ever doing a look like this and being a pageant queen and holy heck she slayed this one. Her look is so fun and so over the top and her walk is iconic. Ugh, I loved this so much.

Sundae Co. | Sundae Co. | Trinity Club Kid Runway

Peppermint – I had a feeling she would do well with this one and I was certainly not disappointed. Peppermint came out there looking like a Candy Queen and looked so damn good! I was super proud of her for pulling this look together and am so happy to see her doing better and better each week!

Sundae Co. | Peppermint Club Kid Runway

Alexis Michelle – Remember when she was one of my favorites? I had such high hopes for Alexis and I am just constantly let down by her looks on the runway. This is not a great look to me. It’s a little too simple and a little not coherent as a look. But it did give us yet another failed RuPaul pun. #blessed

We finally get to watch the pilots our queens created and they were quite a trio of episodes. Obviously, SaShea’s Teets & Asky is hilarious and the two get another team win – I smell a spinoff?

Sundae Co. | Shea in the pilot
Sundae Co. | Sasha in the pilot

Team PepLexIty’s pilot Mary, Mother of Gay is funny, if not a little dull at times, but Pep and Trinity stand out over Alexis.

Sundae Co. | PepLexIty pilot

NinaTina’s is clearly the worst of the bunch, making little sense and seemingly wrapping up the story in the first episode so it is no shock to me when they are put up against each other to lip sync. But this is Nina’s third time in the LSFYL so I was certain she was a goner…

Sundae Co. | Nina Tina Pilot

Here is where I have to confess something I’ve been hiding from you all for quite some time… I like Ariana Grande’s latest album, Dangerous Woman. Like, a lot. And Greedy is one of my favorite songs on the album. So when I heard the first few notes, I was super excited. I couldn’t wait to see Valentina slay the lip sync, show us all what she can do on stage and finally send Nina home… Then #MaskGate began.

The queens get a good few lines into the song, and Valentina is still wearing her mask. This prompts Michelle and the judges to ask each other when the mask is coming off… And then it happens. Ru stops the lipsync and asks Valentina to remove her mask so we can all see her lips. *duh* Then, the 7 words heard around the world:

Sundae Co. | Valentina MaskGate

SHOCK! AWE! FEAR! So many emotions ran through the crowd at Uproar (me included) and once the song starts up again it becomes clear why Val wanted the mask on…she didn’t know the damn words. The only emotion I sunk into was disappointment. To watch one of my favorite queens since the beginning go down in flames during the lip sync was one of the hardest things I have had to endure this season. It was rough. And upsetting. And you can see she didn’t have the fight in her. And Nina Bo’Skeleton Brown sends yet another queen home…

Sundae Co. | Valentina Crying

So, we see our Latina Princess sashay away with tears in her eyes and hugs from all the remaining queens, plus a look of disappointment from RuPaul! (How could you possibly survive knowing Ru was disappointed in you?!) We now have our Top 6! It is really getting down to it! (Also, can I just brag that I am now in third place in our Drag Race pool and I am very proud of myself!) Next week, the queens give some of the crew members makeovers and I am actually really excited to see how this all goes down!

Sundae Co. | RPDRS9E9 Card

Tune in next week and never forget:
Sundae Co. | Trinity Venereal Disease

gifs courtesy of LogoTV

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