While another transition of power has taken most of the press this week, Broom and Miselle are jumping back across the pond like Meg and Haz to add to their rival royal dynasty. And you just know, I’ve got big Big Kev energy going.
Aka, yes, I’m excited.
Despite my disappointment that Ella and her meek-ro-wah-vay didn’t get their rightful crown, I was once again willing to drop by and support the dolls. Particularly since if they win four challenges, they don’t get the win and frankly, I’m not laughin’ about it.
Once again, I ventured across (the very large from Australia) pond to help dull the doll’s pain after they’ve been booted from the competition and had their spirits and/or dreams crushed by way of a mid-to-low-quality meal. But, like, made with love. Which counts.
Who will be the first to drop by (disappointed after becoming the Porkchop of their season)? Check back next week for all the deets.
While I will gladly complain about the entire drop the 4 schtick and the permanent reduction in days – please Probst, I like my traditions sweet angel – I am sitting at an impasse, wondering how we’re ever going to get a more majestic winner than last season’s iconic Maryanne.
I mean, sure, I will fall in love with the latest batch of 18 new castaways Probst and Co. have dumped on a myriad of islands in Fiji to battle it out. But Maryanne was a star. She was messy, she was emotional, she was passionate, she was kind and honestly, she was a damn delight to watch.
I know I’m meant to be here reminding you that yes, I am still on Probst’s personal payroll to provide culinary comfort to the castaways to ease their post-boot pain. But could you imagine a world in which Maryanne had won but four seasons earlier – don’t worry about dropping that one – and competed on Winners at War.
It. Would. Have. Been. AMAZING.
That being said, I have high hopes that if we can still find an icon like her after 42 seasons, we surely will find someone to love in the 43rd. So sit back, relax and enjoy the ride while awaiting my post-boot catch-up/s next week!
Previously on Drag Race Down Under the top five starred in tourism infomercials to sell their very own home towns. And well, the resulting five infomercials – directed by Suzanne Paul, no less – were vastly different, verging from melancholy to masterpiece, alongside a healthy dose of manic for good measure. Spankie was delightfully demented, Kween went dark but forgot to add the humour, Bev was confusing but appeared to be having fun, Molly gave drunk chick realness and Hannah gave us pure cinema. Obviously it led to Bev and Kween landing in the bottom and TBH, I’m glad it did because they turned the best lip sync in Down Under history. And while Bev went home, after that performance, it was on a very high note!
Backstage the dolls toasted Bev’s run in the competition and shared how proud Brisbane would be, which yeah, we are. Kween meanwhile was grateful for the journey and to be able to turn the lip sync, though was not planning to do it again until the crown. Which, as usual, is foreshadowing right? Molly asked Spankie how it felt given everyone that is eliminated seems to be leaving messages telling her they are rooting for her. Which obviously made her feel damn great, admitting it means the world to her that they feel loved, while Kong admitted that she too is team Spankie given she is so lovely and helpful. But make no mistake, she also wants to win. As do Hannah and Molly who showed off their aunty moves to prove it.
The next day the top four were thrilled to be lining up for the second last challenge, while Molly was frankly shocked to have made it this far. Particularly over Minnie and Yuri, who they all agreed are each icons in their own ways. They then got a call from zaddy – and recently minted Emmy winner – Murray Bartlett who dropped some hints for this week’s Maxi Challenge, the makeover. Which was quickly confirmed by Broom when we arrived with a super fan, his father, cousin and uncle and TBH, all of them could choke me. In any event, the family would be joining each of the dolls’ drag families. With the duos decided by a game of scissors, paper, rock, with Molly first to make her choice, opting for Keelan the superfan. Kween went with cousin Tyler, Hannah opted for Tony the dad(dy), leaving Spankie with Uncle Paul.
Molly and her new sister were vibing and living their best life, with her quickly kikiing about the dolls while Kween looked on, grateful she would have someone that didn’t already have all the energy. Hannah and Tony meanwhile became the fastest of friends, learning that three of his sons are gay and that he was ready to get the biggest titties possible. Spankie then learnt that he was partnered with a fellow Palmy local, and while Paul knew they had to work hard to get Spankie to the end, sweet Spanks just wanted her to have fun. Kween meanwhile was partnered with the chillest, sweet guy and given they have similar builds and personalities, condragulations Kween, I was right about the foreshadowing. And though her partner was ready to break down some barriers, he was scared of breaking his ankle in the heels.
Which the youngens mastered – unintentional death drops be damned – while the older generation seemed to struggle. Though given Spankie almost stacked it in the walking showcase too, who actually knows what will happen.
Ru returned to kiki with the new families, with Molly and Keelan going for a bit of sweet and sour while Molly just hoped to keep up with her new sister’s energy. Keelan opened up about how lovely his family are and damn, I want to hug Tony. Speaking of him, he and Hannah charmed the hell out of Ru who then gave Tony some tips about walking in heels. Spanks and Paul were living their slut dream and made Ru even happier than Tony, and I’m so ready for this. Kween and Tyler meanwhile were a little subdued, but damn Kween is in her element and ready to slay. And you know Tyler is going to be feeling her oats, though needed to sell everything in her eyes.
After Ru exited, Molly started to grow nervous about Kween and Tyler who were clearly coming together perfectly. Particularly since Keelan kinda-sorta hated her outfit and wanted to slut it up a little more, making Molly’s life quite hard. Spankie too was struggling to make all the alterations required to pull together Paul’s look, making her terrified about landing in the bottom again. Which was heartbreaking as she started to cry.
Elimination Day rolled around with Tyler spending the night before practising his walk, while Keelan was taking notes for where she and Molly can improve. They then received another call, this time from Norvina from Anastasia Beverly Hills. After that commercial, the duos split up to start getting ready with Tyler nervous about letting down Kween, leading to Kween going into Spankie territory and giving the most beautiful pep talk and well, they are totally winning. Right? Spankie and Paul meanwhile bonded over family, with Spankie admitting she moved back to Palmy when her father was given six months left to live and while he is still alive and well, he is grateful he was able to build a stronger relationship with his father. Which is essentially what Paul did for his own father, with the duo breaking down and becoming the best of friends.
And. I. Live.
Molly meanwhile was ready to give Kween the win, given Tyler looked like a woman and well, she had run out of time to get her and Keelan into drag. With Keelan then trying to pull a Spankie and Kween by giving her a pep talk.
Ru, Michelle and Rhys took their places on the panel as Kween Kong introduced Sister Kong on the Opposites Attract runway, serving angel and demon and well, Tyler SLAYED. Molly Poppinz and Kandy Flippinz were a camp delight as Kandy lived her best life. Spankie and Flash Jackzon gave pizzeria realness, now with pineapple – WHICH IS ALWAYS WELCOME ON ANY GOOD PIZZA – and they looked so cute together. Hannah and Elle Gator gave mediaeval, regal realness and were oh, so beautiful.
Kween and Sister received universal praise, particularly given how much Tyler was living for how beautiful she looked. Kween opened up about how wonderful her week was, while Tyler was proud of how much fun he had. And I assume, for doing THAT. Molly and Kandy were praised for giving sweet and sour, while Michelle couldn’t understand the narrative of their runway. Keelan opened up about how jealous she is of how good her family looks and for how much fun they were. Spankie and Flash were praised for giving sexy and having fun, though Spankie obviously had the better mug. Spankie opened up about how close she felt to Paul and ugh, I love it. Hannah and Elle were praised for their vibe and how beautiful Tony looked, while Michelle and Ru lavished praise on Tony for how much of a wonderful parent he is and ugh, of course I’m crying.
Backstage the duos toasted their success with Kealan so happy for the experience, while Tyler felt like it was a powerful, transformative experience. Everyone then lavished each other with praise, talking about how grateful they are for the experience. Hannah then started to break down, feeling like it would be her and Molly lip syncing tonight leading to everyone having a tear, desperately hoping that nobody would be eliminated instead.
Obviously Kween took out her second win of the season – Tyler is the new Wintergreen, right? – while Spankie was deemed safe, tragically leaving the self-proclaimed hobbit twins to lip sync. Just as was foreshadowed, and then expected. And while Hannah was threatening to go the park and bark route, she turned Heartbreak in This City by Steps and Michelle Visage, using every corner of the stage and hitting every lyric. And while Molly also turned it, I feel like Ru fell back on the track records and sent Hannah through to the finale, tragically eliminating the delightful Molly Poppinz.
Going out just before the final is always a bitter pill to swallow, but given Molly is such a sweet delight, she took it all in stride. I pulled her in for a massive hug and assured her she had a wonderful run on the competition and truly got to show how kind and funny she is. In addition to serving some killer looks. And while she was felled at the near-final hurdle, she is the perfect kind of star to go out and snatch an All Stars crown. With that, she was well and truly perked up, which is convenient, given you can’t be sad ahead of eating a big stack of Molly Poppancakes.
Before brunch became a thing, pancakes at home were well and truly my favourite weekend treat. Fluffy, pillowy discs of carby goodness, drizzled with a heaping of maple syrup, honey or lemon and sugar. Whatever your choice of topping, pancakes are always a win.
Molly Poppancakes Serves: 2 dear hobbit friends (which I can say, given I’m built like the hobbit queens).
Ingredients 1 ¾ cup milk 2 eggs 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract 2 cups flour ⅓ cup raw caster sugar 1 tbsp baking soda ½ tsp kosher salt butter, for fryin’ (and servin’ too, obvi) your fave condiments, to serve
Method Whisk the wet ingredients together in a measuring jug and combine the dry in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and slowly whisk in the wet ingredients until the batter is just combined.
To fry, pop a large skillet over medium heat. Once nice and hot, add a bit of butter to the pan and spread across as it melts. Pour about ¼-½ cup of batter into the pan and cook for two minutes, or until bubbles start to form, pop and hold their shape on the top. Flip and cook for a further minute or two, or until they are cooked through. Transfer to a plate to keep warm and repeat the process until done.
Serve immediately with butter and your favourite topping, before devouring, in the triumphant melancholy only carbs can fix.
Previously on Drag Race Down Under the dolls formed girl groups and while the producers tragically opted against keeping costs down and getting the girls to talk about their tight tucks, it did work out for the best as it was absolute fire. Like the first season of UK, one team absolutely molly wopped – not whomp, which I just learnt was different and something I would love TBH – while the other team had a Cheryl trying to hold them up. While Spankie took out her third win, Hannah her second and Kween her first, Beverly was the aforementioned Cheryl on the losing group, which tragically resulted in the elimination of my fave – and total baby zaddy – Yuri.
Backstage everyone was rallying around an emotional Molly, who had been expecting to the one going home. She toasted Yuri for being such a hard worker before Spankie stepped in and gave a beautiful speech about just how great Yuri is and reiterated that she belongs, while she (and I) sobbed. And ugh, just crown Spankie this instant, you cowards!
The next day the girls were still feeling their girl group oats, though fearful that Minnie was also lingering in the rafters, ready to start a feud at any moment. Kween meanwhile apologised for bringing the room down last week, though stopped short of apologising to Beverly specifically for fighting. She felt she was most disappointed in the fact she was so frustrated that she straight up missed the chance to toast Yuri and remind her how proud she is. This led to Bev instead apologising to her and while they hugged it out, I feel like things are still tense.
Ru interrupted things to announce that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would be filming tourism infomercials promoting their hometown. As they split up to come up with a plan, Hannah locked in Perth while Molly was going to lean into Newcastle, given it is where she and Rhys are both from. Bev meanwhile opened up about being like me, starting on the GC before moving to Brisbane while Spankie was proudly going to rep Palmerston North and smalltown life. Kween meanwhile opened up to Hannah and Spankie about how much she is struggling with her depression, while everyone rallied around and vowed to always be there for each other. And ugh, I love seeing it!
My fellow Tweed local Samantha Harris then dialled in to advise them how to sell shit and while it didn’t add much, she is Tweed Breed 4 Lyf like me, so you all should stan.
Ru made her ru-turn to the Werk Room to kiki with the dolls, cutting down all of Spankie’s ideas and telling her to highlight the best part of Palmerston North, herself. Beverly then dropped by and well, let’s just say I’m not mad, just disappointed, that she has never watched Muriel’s Wedding. The cinematic celebration of TWEED HEADS. Is this the Tweed showcase episode?! While Ru just wanted to find out who Beverly is, Kween was told to bring the fun, Hannah was told to be less serious and well, Molly’s version of Newcastle was quote-unquote, sad.
Done dropping bombs, Ru exited stage left as they started to get ready while Beverly asked her sisters for advice on how to show more of her personality. With Hannah jumping in with suggestions before Bev even finished her sentence, while Kween joined in with more advice that Bev felt was aggressive. As such, she started to spiral leading to another epic pep talk from Spankie in the rack of costumes and again, if Spankie doesn’t win, we riot.
Kween was up first to film with Michelle Visage and down under icon Suzanne Paul and well, she was a little boring. But given the pit crew are hot, I loved it. Spankie meanwhile slayed as the drunk aunty wandering through town on her way home from a night out. Hannah arrived looking stunning and was so organised, prepared and most importantly, bonkers, that I live for her. Molly meanwhile was sexed up, demented and a little confused, but Michelle and Suzanne were having fun together and that is all that matters. Oh and then Bev was living for her concept hunting for a sugar daddy as a lesbian Irwin. And well, I love the shoot portion if nothing else, because Bev was fun.
Elimination Day arrived with Beverly opening up about the fact she has realised that she is still trying to find herself and that that, combined with her family’s drive for success has made it difficult for her to just be. Talk then turned to the girls’ families, with Kween opening up about how her oldest sister died the year she was undergoing her gender confirmation and how she is living with the regret of not getting to know her or support her on her journey. She then immediately pivoted and encouraged everyone to do what they love as it makes them happy. And that is the sweet Kween Kong that I know and love.
Michelle, Rhys and Ru took their places as Kween opened the Swimsuit Edition runway giving oceanic goddess realness. Spankie was sex on legs as Pamela Anderson’s older sister, Molly was a stunning Meter Maid – complete with high-beams – while Hannah was a confection in a bright, mod delight while Beverly gave another Meter Maid, this time with a ruveal AND coins.
When it came to the commercials, Kween’s was silly and demented though the judges wanted it to be more funny funny and less dark humour. Though they loved her runway. Oh and then Ru gave an epic monologue about internalised homophobia AND daddy issues, which was amazing. Spankie was up next with a gloriously deranged commercial that confused the shit out of everyone, meaning it was perfection. And then add in her Baywatch moment and well, it was a good week for Spankie. Molly’s ad meanwhile was classic bogan Australian and I love it and sadly, feel like I’ve lived it. Multiple times. Hannah’s ad was camp perfection, telling a story and was so damn smart. I mean, she fought a black swan AND exploded. Oh and they loved her pivoting on the runway and standing out in all the right ways. Bev meanwhile lived her Irwin fantasy, though kinda fell flat by being so polished rather than showing her messiness.
Ru opted to get messy and asked the dolls to identify who should go home with everyone opting for Bev due to her track record, while Bev instead felt Kween’s commercial was the weakest. Adding that her track record wasn’t much better than her, either.
Backstage Bev was heartbroken to be the one everyone named, despite understanding why they called her out. Hannah once again cut her off and encouraged her to stop being so in her head and instead just be. And while Hannah felt she was being encouraging and trying to push her to be better, Bev cut her off and started to sob. Once again Spankie gave her a pep talk and helped lift her back up, encouraging her to swear at Hannah all she wanted. Which she sadly opted against, instead choosing to practice the lip sync since she was totally in the bottom.
Ultimately Molly and Spankie – ROBBED – were sent to safety as Hannah joined the triple winners club with Spanks. Which obviously left Kween to face off against Beverly to Ru’s very own The Beginning. And damn, did the dolls turn a show. Like I know I say that a lot, but it was actually WILD. There was almost a collision within the first three bars, they were flipping and spinning every second line, backwards AND forwards, hitting every lyric and oftentimes in complete synchronicity. I mean, if ever there was a time for a double shantay, it was now, because this was amazing. Like a gymnastics version of Alyssa and Tatianna. Sadly though, somebody had to go – apparently – as Kween was sent to safety, sending my fellow Bris-babe Bev out of the competition.
While Bev went through a lot of emotion this week, she held her head high as she returned to the Werk Room. I pulled her in for a massive hug and tried to give her my very best Spankie impersonation, reminding her that she is a star and has all of her career to figure out who she is, so to just believe in herself and have fun. Because spoiler alert, she is already a massive success. Which thankfully got through to her, allowing us to laugh and cry, as we reminisced about the glory of the GC and Brisvegas (and I firmly explained the importance of watching Muriel’s Wedding) before smashing some glorious Baoverly Buns Kills.
It is no secret that I passionately and ardently love both a porkie – praise be, Benedict – and baos, but this little duck number is just a little bit better than the rest. Rich, sweet and a little bit fresh, the flavours dance over your palate as expertly as Bev in a lip sync.
Baoverly Buns Kills Serves: 4
Ingredients 8 buns Bret LaBao Buns ¼ tsp salt 1 tsp light soy sauce 1 tsp shaoxing wine ¼ tsp Chinese five spice 4 boneless duck breasts 1 tbsp vegetable oil ⅔ cup hoisin sauce, plus extra for drizzlin’ ¼ cup kewpie mayo 2 lebanese cucumbers, cut into lengths 2 shallots, sliced ¼ cup coriander, leaves torn
Method Prepare the baos as per Bret’s recipe. Combine the salt, light soy, shaoxing and five spice powder in a bowl and rub into the duck. Transfer to a plate, leaving the skin up to dry for an hour or so.
When you’re ready to cook, pop the oil in a heavy based skillet over medium heat and once nice and hot, pop the breasts in the pan, skin side down and cook for about 10 minutes, agitationg frequently, or until crispy and the fat had rendered out.
Drain most of the fat and flip the breasts and cook for another 10 minutes or so, or until cooked through. Remove the duck and leave to rest for a couple of minutes. Shred the duck and return to the pan with the hoisin and toss to combine.
To assemble, smear mayo on the baoss, layer with some cucumber and shallots, top with a heaping of duck, a drizzle of hoisin and some coriander. Then, devour.
Previously on Canada’s Drag Race the top six gave us a late-breaking rusical in honour of the iconic girls trip movies of the ‘10s. And while everyone was solid, given it is so close to the end, it was the back-up dancers showing their buns that stole the show. Well, the buns AND Vivian who absolutely devoured the performance and finally secured her first, very well-deserved victory of the season. Tragically while one half of my heart was shining, the other one faded as Irma landed in the bottom opposite Giselle. And in my opinion, was sent home solely for having the weaker track record. On paper.
Backstage Vivian was disappointed that her shining moment coincided with her bestie going home. Same, girl, same. As they read Irma’s farewell message, Fiercalicious grew annoyed that yet another queen was rooting for Vivian to take out the win before she departed. Which, obviously. As the dolls sat down, they praised Giselle for absolutely slaying the lip sync which led to Vivian realising she is now the only one to not have to do so in an adorable little humble brag. Oh and then Fiercalicious and Kimmy started shading each other, but thankfully it stopped before they stumbled into real feud territory again. I think, because these icons love to pop off.
The next day the top five were exhausted after the rusical, though ready to push through to make it through to the end. They spoke about how diverse they are as performers and how they have each brought something different to the competition, while Vivian worried what Fiercalicious would do once she developed pores. Brad dropped by to reward the dolls with some video messages from their family with Giselle’s boyfriend being super cute, while more importantly, their dog Vicky is absolutely gorgeous, as Giselle – and I – started to sob. Kimmy’s mum is a sweet, perfect angel who must be protected at all costs, Vivian’s dad is the most adorable, energetic, kind man and I live for him, while Jada’s bestie Baby Bel Bel gave her a delicious pep talk and Fiercalicious’ mum was so gentle and lovely that I just want to give her a hug.
With everyone’s hearts nice and full, Brad announced that this week they’d be going big with the challenge by throwing a Masquerade Ball. The first category would be Masc for Mascara, then they would stomp the Incog-she-to runway followed by walking in a designed outfit that is inspired by five masks. And since Vivian took out the last challenge, she got to give them to her sisters, this time matching them with ones that she thinks they will excel at.
Everyone split up to get to work on their outfits, with Fiercalicious very nervous about having to sew a look while Vivian and Giselle were thrilled to be the only sewers left. Team Glue Guns meanwhile were busy shading each other while Giselle tried to help out her sisters where she could. Which was 99% of the time. When focusing on herself however, she was planning to go big and dramatic in her look while Jada was just shocked that she was sewing. Brad returned to kiki with the dolls about their looks, with Fiercalicious confident in her workmanship (once she goes from the machine to the glue gun, obvi). Kimmy was sewing against type by giving a dramatic gown, rather than a bra and panty combo, Jada meanwhile was playing it safe with Brad cautioning that she needs to give them more while Vivian was struggling to edit down her look and to give it polish. While Giselle was reminded to focus on her own outfit first, like oxygen on a plane.
After Brad exited, Vivian put the advice to work and decided to whip up some statement pants, while Giselle ran into disaster as she tried to line her gown WITH SHEETS OF GLUE. And let’s just say, it did not like the steamer. Jada too was on the struggle bus as she discovered she hadn’t left a head hole in her gown, while Kimmy questioned her ruffle choice and instead tried to Kaos her gown with cardboard shards.
Elimination Day arrived as the dolls spoke about the importance of ball culture in educating and leading the way for the LGBTQIA+ community. It then took a very heavy turn towards consent when Kimmy opened up about how often she, and all trans women in general, are sexually assaulted. Which visibly shocked all of her sisters as they rallied around her and reiterated how strong and powerful she is and thanked her for being some open with them. And ugh, the dolls are just so damn loving and beautiful, despite how often they have brought the drama this season!
Brooke, Brad and Traci were joined on the panel by Lesley Hampton before Giselle opened the Masc for Mascara runway giving sexy Gaultier sailor, Kimmy was a gloriously regal king, complete with nipple tassles, Fiercalicious was PERFECTION in mint with a pink beard and wig in honour of Mathieu Anderson. Vivian was a gorgeous, androgynous camp delight, while Jada looked like Cruella de Vil’s pimp boyfriend. On the Incog-she-to runway, Giselle went from school girl to glamazon showgirl, Kimmy went from anonymous profile on Grindr to club kid clown, Fiercalicious went from glamorous villager to golden Josephine Baker, Vivian went from chef to Italian vixen while Jada went from evil queen to shimmering fairy.
When it came to their Masquerade Eleganza, Giselle was stunning in a glamorous Cinderella gown – minus the unfinished hem – Kimmy was a carnival delight, Fiercalicious was stunning in a purple velvet gown, Vivian was a glamorous Sandy Olsen on the way to the ball while Jada was all drama is a stunning black gown with golden ruffles. Giselle was praised for giving three vastly different looks, despite a clunky reveal in the second category and the fact she didn’t hem such a perfectly designed look. Kimmy received universal praise for wearing pants in the first runway and looking stunning in the other looks (despite not making much sense, obvi). Fiercalicious received universal praise for knocking each and every look out of the park, Vivian was praised for the vibe she brought, despite Brooke wanting her to stop hiding behind the camp on the runway and to bring more drama in the designed look. While Jada gave us the Meatloaf treatment, aka two out of three were winners while her Incog-She-to was read for not bringing enough of a reveal.
Oh and then Brooke announced that this was the final elimination, as this year, they would be having a top four!
Backstage the dolls were gagged by Brooke’s pre-exit announcement that there is only one more week of the competition, while the hot glue girls were shocked that one of them is likely to win the challenge. Well, were shocked, until they started to bicker amongst themselves over who used less glue. Vivian meanwhile was well and truly in her feels given the judges felt she didn’t give them enough drama, while Kimmy was accepting of her designed look being read for filth, though was pissed about the rest. They one thing they could both agree on, is that neither wanted to lip sync against their sister.
Ultimately it was Fiercalicious that took out her second win of the season, while Giselle and Jada were sent to safety, leaving Kimmy and Vivian to battle for safety. Just as they expected. As soon as Ctrl, Alt, Dlt by Rev kicked off, the dolls were ready to fight. Kimmy was a full on showgirl, hitting every lyric and nailing everything. Vivian meanwhile was camp, high energy with a little bit of edge and well, it was perfect. Sadly, not perfect enough for her to make it through to the finale as Kimmy was saved and my love Vivian exited the competition.
And well, I was not happy about it. She followed the sound of my wailing screams and heaving tears to find me backstage cutting up Brooke’s wardrobe and wigs in an act of revenge for breaking my heart two weeks in a row. Vivian being a delightful cat-mom, she gently pulled me in for a hug and assured me that everything will be ok and she is happy with making it to the top five. Her calm soothing presence was enough to talk me off the edge, allowing me to pivot into the bargaining phase of grief by demanding she and Irma live out my dream for them to become the Canadian version of Trixie and Katya. Which she agreed to, but maybe that was because she was starving for some Taragon Chickian Vanderpuss.
Rich, creamy and packing a herbaceous punch, this comforting main is the perfect winter meal. The tarragon perfectly cuts through the creaminess to dance across your palate alongside the earthiness of the chicken. Just like our sweet Vivian in a rusical.
Tarragon Chickian Vanderpuss Serves: 2.
Ingredients 2 tsp olive oil 4 shallots, sliced 3 garlic cloves, minced ½ tsp dried tarragon 2 chicken breasts 80ml dry vermouth ½ tsp sea salt 60ml double cream pepper, to taste 1 tbsp fresh tarragon, roughly chopped
Method Place the oil in a frying pan with a lid over medium heat and cook the shallots, garlic and dried tarragon for a couple of minutes, or until the kitchen is nice and fragrant. Push it to one side and add the chicken breasts, smooth side down and cook for five minutes or so. Flip and immediately pour over the vermouth. Allow to bubble up for a minute before sprinkling over the salt. Reduce heat to low, pop on the lid and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through.
Remove the chicken to a plate and cover with foil. Bring the juices to the boil, stir in the cream and add a good whack of pepper and the fresh tarragon.
Serve the chicken immediately on a bed of rice or mashed potato, followed by a generous drizzle of sauce and some fresh tarragon. Then devour, like the winner you should be.
Previously on Drag Race Down Under the dolls played the Snatch Game and thankfully raised the low bar – outside Anita and Etcetera, obvi – from last season that even famed nice person Bindi Irwin had to rubbish. Continuing in the tradition of celebrated producer Alexis Michelle and Queen of All Queens Jinkx, Hannah slayed with a member of the Garland-Minneli clan. And while Yuri and Spankie were just as good, Minnie was far and away the weakest as Ellen despite the fact she would have killed as her back-up, Jeanne Little. Ultimately Hannah won, while Bev narrowly saved herself after a painfully boring Snatch Game, sending the iconic Minnie home.
Backstage the mood was sombre outside of Bev, who was thrilled to take the title of lip sync assassin after eliminating a second icon. They then discovered that Minnie’s exit message thanked Spankie, Yuri and Kween for being so kind, which obviously pissed off the dolls she called bitches. Essentially. Thankfully Hannah pivoted and said she would cry into her tears, while Spankie was delighted that Minnie did one final pot stir. Talk turned to their track records, where everyone noticed only Bev and Kween were without wins, and while everyone seemingly knew Kween’s victory was inevitable, Bev was also ready to prove herself despite everyone sleeping on her.
The next day Yuri was ready to have fun and be silly, while Beverly reiterated that she is here to prove herself. And did a very long monologue about how hard she will fight. Which led to everyone taking micro-naps, while Yuri summed things up simply by pointing out that Bev had been in the bottom the most and well, that’s just that. Before anyone could pick their jaws up from the floor, Ru dropped by to open the library – or libo, I assume – for the reading challenge. Bev kicked things off very sexual, until Kween read her as not interested. And I love every moment of it. Yuri was so silly and charming, despite hating every moment of it. Molly was hit and miss, but at least it was funny. Kween then arrived and destroyed literally everyone and everything and while I normally just focus on her looks, she is just so fucking good. Spankie did some accurate word association before Hannah closed the show very strongly. But yeah, Kween was the only person that could have won that – she was amazing.
Oh and for this week’s Maxi Challenge, the dolls would be keeping the shade alive as they diss their bandmates on their verses on the new song Bosom Buddies. Then record the song with Michelle before performing them on the mainstage. And well, Bev was ready to shine. Ru then gave them the chance to choose their own groups, with Kween quickly grabbing Hannah and Spankie and well, just like that, it was decided. Leaving the rest as the leftover group. But given Bev was feeling like the dancing diva of Brisbane, she was ready to drag them over the line. Kween, Hannah and Spankie locked in the name BAB’Z – or Bad Ass Bitchez – living for the song, while over with the other dolls, Molly and Bev were worried about how many words Yuri was hoping to spit while dropping the beats.
As BAB’Z were living their best lives, being silly and camp and building their chemistry, Beverly whipped Molly and Yuri into shape learning the choreo. And by choreo, Molly felt like it was a bit of a show choir, asHannah tried to hide her giggles from the other side of the room. While Kween and Spankie just lived for their general dynamic. When Bev, Molly and Yuri asked the other girls to do their choreo live in front of everyone, it led to a delightful blow-up between Kween and Bev as they both triggered each other and went to 1000 with everyone else kinda unsure how it escalated to that point.
BAB’Z were up first to record with Michelle with Hannah delighting as Michelle read her via lyrics, though ultimately slayed. Spankie meanwhile has some damn pipes and nailed every note, while Kween was perfect from start to finish as she channelled that rage from her fight with Bev. The Hung Divas – which is an iconic name, TBH – traded out with Bev giving delightfully ocker rap, with not much sass according to Michelle. Yuri meanwhile was on the struggle bus from start to finish but since I love her, it was charming. And then Molly gave Mr. G vibes as she nailed it in one take only. Much to Bev and Yuri’s nerves.
We cut to rehearsal where Kween was ready to slay as she whipped BAB’Z into shape, giving charm and flips and kicks. And well, when she shared that she was galvanised, happy and ready to finally shine in the competition, I wanted to cry tears of joy. On the flipside, watching Yuri struggle in The Hung Divas’ rehearsal made me sad because I love her. While Bev grew more and more desperate about trying to nail the choreo.
Elimination Day arrived with Bev confronting Kween about their drama the day before, with her explaining that their group felt like they were the unwanted outcasts and she was trying to playfully challenge them. In turn Kween called her out for projecting on her and whispering and taking things a little too seriously. Eventually though, they both apologised and were ready to move on. As they split up to beat their mugs, Kween started to spiral, stressed about the drama and worried about her issues with Bev while Spankie tried to encourage her to breathe and push it aside so she could star. And while she assured us that she will do what needs to be done, given it is what she always does, I am still heartbroken to see her sad at a time when she is clearly poised to shine.
And shine she did, as BAB’Z opened the show and absolutely slayed. They felt like a cohesive girl group, they all shon and sold their personalities. They were camp, they were funny and well, did what needed to be done. When it came to The Hung Divas they all gave killer bright looks and their song was super fun, despite Yuri clearly not being the strongest of dancers. But when she is clearly having fun, does that matter? Given I love Yuri, I vote no.
On the Belts, Buckles and Chains runway, Kween opened the show in a sexy belted, bondage outfit in honour of Mean Girls and her niece. In all the right ways. Spankie gave a sexy, slutty Barbie and well, I love it despite knowing Michelle will hate the lack of pants and its bagginess. Hannah was gothic and sexy, serving Gaultier realness. Bev meanwhile gave Britney’s denim outfit, after dark, Yuri was perfection as a chained snake while Molly closed the show giving yellow and black rocker madam, but make it Elvira.
The judges lived for everything Kween served this week, with Rhys particularly loving the fact she finally owned herself and her place in the competition. Spankie was read for an ill fitting look, though given Rhys and Ru felt it was on brand, they loved it as much as her performance on the girl group. And well, Hannah received universal praise for everything she did this week too. Even charming as she explained her low-rent lyrics. Bev received wall to wall praise much to her delight, while Yuri was read for struggling with her inner sabo-teur, though the judges explained that they love her. While Molly was praised for nailing the runway and rehearsal, despite there being some stumbles in the main performance.
Backstage the dolls were feeling a little confused about who would be in the bottom, given they all received wonderful critiques. Though Molly and Yuri were fairly sure they would be the ones lip syncing. While Bev suggested that maybe they would all be saved for doing well, which is nice, despite Yuri just wanting to feel her feels. The ring of a phone interrupted them as Sophie Monk dialled in – not Courtney Act, FYI – to send her love and give them a pep talk and well, despite myself, I can’t help but love that icon with all my damn heart.
Ultimately BAB’Z were deemed the winners of this week’s challenge while Bev was sent to safety alongside them, leaving Yuri and Molly to lip sync for their lives to Chains by mother tucking Tina Arena. And while it was tragically a remix, both the dolls served the hell out of the song, giving emotion, camp and hitting every damn lyric. But when the song kicked it into the epic Tina money-notes, it became Molly’s show as she gave us everything. And then some. Which tragically cost my love Yuri her place, as she exited the competition.
She was crying, the dolls were crying, I was crying and then she gave us iconic words to live by, live fast, eat arse. Which honestly, is now my motto.
Backstage I managed to spot Yuri enter the Werk Room through my tears and immediately pulled her in for a massive hug. There was something just so lovable about Yuri, as she exudes joy and fun throughout the competition. Kinda like a young, kiwi Katya? No matter what it is that made me get a stan card, Yuri now has a fan that will fight anyone that talks shit about her. And while she may have been nervous about my energy, she appreciated the sentiment as I ranted about how robbed she was before dishing up a big bowl of Yuraita Guaii.
While paneer is great, as are all curries, raita is truly the heart and soul of any and all visits to an Indian restaurant. Poppodum too dry? Raita. Curry too hot? Raita. Need something in your mouth? Raita. Spicy, creamy and oh so fresh, it is, to me, perfect.
Yuraita Guaii Serves: 6.
Ingredients 1 ½ cups Greek yoghurt 1 garlic clove, minced 1 tsp ginger, minced 2 tbsp coriander, roughly chopped 2 tbsp mint, roughly chopped 1 lime, zested and juiced ½ tsp garam masala 1 lebanese cucumber, seeded and diced 1 tomato, diced salt and pepper, to taste
Method Pop everything in a bowl. Stir. Serve. Devour, obvi.
Previously on Canada’s Drag Race the dolls were tasked with designing some signature eye shadow palettes, before producing an entire beauty campaign to support them. Including not just a commercial, but a beauty shot like ANTM before it. After stomping – or swinging, in the iconic Fiercalicious’ case – the runway as works of art, everyone received glowing praise in at least one of the assignments. While Fiercalicious came out on top, Irma, Giselle and Bombae’s runways weren’t enough to save them from the bottom three. With the iconic Bombae felled by sweet, camp Irma.
Backstage Irma was equal parts shocked and thrilled to have taken out the lip sync, while everyone was sad to see the sweetheart home. Irma regaled the girls with tales about being focused on the performance, while the girls read her for being a little weird and wacky, which TBH is on brand. Talk turned to Fiercalicious’ first win, with everyone kinda sleeping on how well she did which mainly came down to the fact that Vivian felt like she has been doing so well in the competition and was just heartbroken it is yet to reward her. So either she wins this week or goes home. And since I love her, it needs to be the former.
The next day the dolls were thrilled to be the top six, none more so than Fiercalicious, after finally joining the winner’s circle. Promptly calling out Irma and Vivian for not being there, with the latter growing more stressed while Irma crunched the numbers and deduced that based on her track record, she will be winning this week. Before we could audit the maths, Brad dropped by and put the girls to the ultimate test, popping on actress quick drag to audition for his upcoming movie Super Queen. Vivian lived her Annie fantasy, Irma hoped to sleep her way to the top, Fiercalicious was confident and very good, Kimmy was killer and camp while Giselle and Jada leant into stupid and I love them. But obviously, Kimmy’s brand of stupid camp was deemed the best.
Brad then shared that this was just the start of their acting careers as for this week’s Maxi Challenge, they would be starring in Squirrels Trip: The Rusical. Starting with dropping the vocals and learning the choreo, after cage fighting for the roles, if Bosco v Camden is anything to go by. As they split up to go through the scripts, Giselle jumped at one of the smaller roles before everyone agreed that Fiercalicious should play the gaslighter. Kimmy jumped into a difficult role nobody wanted before Irma and Jada went in to fight for the same role, though sadly it was no Moulin Ru sitch as Irma just as happily stepped aside for her. While Vivian was happy to play a pent up mother, despite not feeling confident with the challenging choreography. As they split up to memorise their lines, Irma immediately lost her feelings of confidence given Giselle is far from being described as a confident singer. Vivian meanwhile worried about taking such a demanding role, while Fiercalicious admitted she pushed for her to take it to sabotage her. And well, this season is wild and I love it.
The dolls dropped by to work on their vocals with known chanteuse, Brad Goreski and well Jada sounded good. Kimmy gave all the confidence despite not knowing what some of her lyrics meant, while Fiercalicious was perfectly cast and oh so good. Poor Vivian appeared nervous behind the mic – though I’m hopeful this is our fakeout edit – and while Irma nailed it, Giselle bombed. And she knew it, thank you very much. Brad tapped out with Hollywood Jade who delighted Vivian with some sexy dance partners, and as soon as they held her tight, all her nerves just disappeared. Which is relatable AF. Kimmy knocked anything and everything out of the park, while Giselle and Irma traded places with the latter unable to get down the choreo, while Giselle hit every mark and hit it perfectly.
Elimination Day arrived with the dolls running scales and beating their mugs, with Jada looking forward to hearing her dulcet tones on the track. Irma meanwhile opened up about her speech impediment growing up and how that has led to a lot of trauma and anxiety that still worries her to this day, though thankfully she was happy due to the fact it made her who she is. Giselle opened up about her own struggles growing up as queer and how it wasn’t until a teacher took him under his wing did he see that life is worth living. Jada meanwhile shared a spooky story about how her door kept opening throughout the night and how her bussy had been quivering, deducing that she fucked a ghost. Well, bottomed for one. And while it obviously adds nothing to the plot, I would argue it is just as important as the competition.
Brooke, Brad and Traci were joined on the panel by Jeremy Dutcher as the dolls took the stage for the opening and closing performance of Squirrels Trip. Jada opening the show strong, bringing all the charm and energy while Kimmy was delightfully demented. Fiercalicious gave full Ramona Singer teas – as a compliment, oddly – while Irma and Giselle kinda blended into the pack, though arguably had the toughest gig playing the (alleged) straight guys. Most importantly, Vivian did receive the fakeout edit of the week as she stole the damn show, giving horned up mumma-vamp in all the right ways. And while I SAID Vivian stole the show, the back-up dancers had their bums out, so yeah, they won my heart and my loins.
On the Dystopian Drag Runway, Jada gave zombie hunting Harley Quinn does Mad Max realness and well, it worked. Fiercalicious was perfect as the sexy sister of the monster from the Shape of Water while Vivian was terrifying, artistic and stunning in a True Detective kinda way. Kimmy was stunning as a sexy, shiny, spike warrior, Irma gave gassed glamazon while Giselle was living mirrorball model from Dune.
The judges lived for Jada’s energy and her hitting every note, despite wanting her to give them even more. And while her runway was good, it could have been better. Fiercalicious was praised for being a perfect bitch in the performance and for giving such an iconic look on the runway which will live on forever. Vivian meanwhile was universally beloved for everything she did this week, particularly for taking a risk in the challenge and for popping her baby teeth on her runway. Kimmy was read for giving another bra and panty combo on the runway, while everyone lived for how fun she was in the performance. Irma’s runway was beloved, despite the unnecessary reveal and while her vocals were great, they could see she was on the struggle bus when it came to the dancing. While Giselle received universal praise for the runway, she was read for blending into the background in the performance.
Backstage Kimmy was disappointed that her runway could cost her another win, while Fiercalicious was confident her runway may secure her second. Everyone read Jada for her basic outfit, which made her nervous she would be lip syncing yet again while Irma too was sure she would be in the bottom. Talk turned to Vivian’s breakout performance, with her delighting in everyone’s praise and support.
Ultimately Vivian finally jagged a very well-deserved victory as Fiercalicious and Kimmy were sent to safety before Jada narrowly avoided a third time in the bottom, with Giselle instead facing off against Irma. As soon as Alannah Myles’ Love Is kicked off both of the dolls kicked into fight mode, leaning into the camp, fun, nostalgic energy of the song and turning it. Though given Giselle is a straight up dancer, she really gave us everything and while Irma was giving the drama and silly, she was hurt by the fact she was wearing milky contact lenses and we couldn’t see all the emotion. Which is what I’m blaming her departure on, as she sashayed away while I dreamed of her and Vivian making their way to the top two together.
As soon as she stepped foot back into the Werk Room, I pulled her aside for a massive hug and shared how disappointed I was by her tragic elimination. Not only does she have one of the funnest, meme-iest names to grace Drag Race, but she was so sweet and kooky and talented, it is impossible not to stan. I mean, her Marilyn Snatch Game was bloody inspired! I reiterated that she is guaranteed to have a long, illustrious career – could her and Vivian become Trixie and Katya 2.0? I hope! – due to her talents, and in the meantime, she always has Bacon, Brocolli and Cauliflowerma Gerd Bake.
You know those moments when you’re trying to make a healthier version of a meal – in this case, Simon Potato Baker Denny – but end up just making another, delicious, creamy delight? Well, this is it. Gone are the potatoes of said bake, traded out with broccoli and cauliflower, elevating it to tasty heights.
Bacon, Broccoli and Cauliflowerma Gerd Bake Serves: 4-6.
Ingredients 400g cauliflower, cut into small florets 400g broccoli, cut into small florets 200g streaky bacon rashers, diced 6 garlic cloves, minced 200ml cream 200ml sour cream ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated salt and pepper, to taste
Method Preheat the oven to 180C.
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and cook the cauliflower for five minutes. Add the broccoli and cook for a further few minutes before draining and setting aside.
Pop a large pan over medium heat and cook the bacon for a few minutes, or until crisp. Add the garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, cream, sour cream, parmesan, half the cheddar and a good whack of salt and pepper, stirring until well combined.
Transfer to a baking dish, top with the remaining cheese and pop in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through and the top is golden. Then devour, solo or with a freshly cooked roast.
Previously on Drag Race Down Under the dolls hosted a cute little brunch in duos. While Molly tried to do a little bit of sabo, by pairing herself with her bestie Hannah while making sure every other pair had a contender. And well, not. Despite Yuri disappearing for half the day to go to hospital, she and Spaknie absolutely slayed their set – CUM (which is generally the culprit of all eye irritations in my house, but I digress) – while Pomara and Bev just felt like they were at two different venues. As such Spankie and Yuri took out a very well earned joint victory while Bev and Pomara faced off in the lip sync, with Pomara tragically shown the door.
Backstage Bev was well and truly in her feels, though was giddy to have survived. She was feeling like everyone was ready for her to go next, though was ready to gag them. Speaking of gag, she opened up about her and Pomara not getting along in the challenge and while she wasn’t comfortable then, she assured her sisters she was ready to speak up as needed. She congratulated Spankie and Yuri on their joint victory, with Spankie giddy to be the first two-time winner of the season. While Hannah questioned whether she is maybe cursed and is the reason she and Molly didn’t win. Oh and then she questioned whether her topping Spankie would look like a Chihuahua doing a Great Dane which adds nothing to the story, but is a very important visual.
The next day the dolls were full of energy and having the best damn time, while Hannah admitted she continues to have a steely focus on hitting the top. She opened up about being emotionally drained, leading to a beautiful discussion amongst the girls about mental health and the general pressure of the competition. Ru then dropped by and gagged them once again with the news that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would be playing the Snatch Game. As she left, the dolls split up to talk characters with Spankie bringing Dame Edna to the stage and yes, that is perfect for her. Yuri is going with my girl Courtney Love, Minnie is doing Ellen while Molly is going with zaddy Orville Peck, which made Spankie particularly nervous.
Ru returned for a walk through with Hannah debating between Liza and Drew Barrymore, though ideally will follow Alexis rather than Willow. Bev was thinking she would go with Val Garland, until Ru questioned whether anyone found her funny in her real life. Kween Kong was going with Nene Leakes, opening up to Ru that she was hoping to get out of her head, let go and finally have some fun. Minnie was excited by Ellen which thrilled Ru, though I wish she went with the one she was joking about, Mr G. She then threw Bev under the bus, telling Ru she was gagged by Bev lying about getting along with Pomara on the mainstage and well, there is going to be drama once again.
After Ru departed, Yuri was looking forward to being messy, Hannah was a mix of emotions while Kween opened up about her talk to Ru making her feel seen and ready to shine. She opened up about her upbringing and life, feeling guilty about leaving her family behind to start her career and succeed, always worrying about making it up to them. Hannah then brought up Bev seeming a little down, with her calling out Minnie for throwing her under the bus in front of Ru and telling her it hurt her feelings.
We ventured to the Snatch Game set where Rhys and Raven joined the dolls to compete, where Minnie was confusing and Kween was a zaddy and selling Nene’s energy. Yuri was a delightful mess, Bev was a little confusing but so committed while Hannah stole the damn show as Liza. Molly was hilariously off character, while Spankie was a killer Dame Edna. But make no mistake, this was Hannah’s breakout challenge. I mean, her Liza was a masterclass and so much damn fun. I mean, she even followed in Jinkx’s trajectory of singing covers of Ru’s songs. And it was perfect. Though Yuri and Spankie were also super fun. And while Minnie and Molly were a mess, Bev was forgettable, which is the far greater sin in Snatch Game.
Elimination Day arrived with the dolls recapping their performances, with Hannah thrilled to clearly be getting her first win while Bev was feeling fine. Which elicited eyerolls from everyone. Minnie meanwhile knew that she bombed, though was hopeful her runway would be able to save her. As they split up to beat their mugs, Spankie suggested they do impersonations of each other with Hannah and Spankie nailing each other. Molly did a pitch perfect Minnie, but more importantly, was brave to do it. Kween read Yuri for filth, by saying her sitting there was a Yuri impression and again, Kween is my life and loins at this point.
On the Cirque Du So-Gay runway, Minnie slayed the runway as the rollergirl clown while Kween was the sexiest bearded lady, complete with a full, shimering bush. Spankie slayed in a harlequin mime number, Yuri was a sexy showgirl in white, complete with a tattooed burlesque show. Bev went full sexy lion, lion-tamer, owning the big top, Molly was perfection as a fairy floss mime-clown, while Hannah gave sexy-jester realness.
Kween was sent to safety solo before Minnie was praised for her runway, though read for absolutely bombing Snatch Game. Spankie was praised for doing well, despite Michelle wanting more, while her runway was praised for her growth. And by that, I assume Michelle meant pants. Yuri was praised for leaning into the stupid and agan, slaying the runway. While Bev’s runway received universal praise, her Snatch was read for absolute filth for just missing every damn mark. She then opened up about feeling like an imposter, before Ru encouraged her to kill the inner saboteur and slay. Molly’s runway was beloved, though her Orville was read for being nothing. While Hannah received effusive praise for literally everything she did this week, from the runway to her Liza. And well, that praise was deserved.
Backstage Kween’s peace and quiet was interrupted by the rest of the dolls with everyone congratulating Hannah on slaying the game. Bev opened up about feeling the pressure of the competition, while Minnie started to break down, feeling bad for having upset Bev and stressed about it playing on her mind when she clearly has to lip sync. Molly meanwhile was nervous about lip syncing because Minnie is beloved by the judges.
Obviously Hannah took out victory while Spankie and Yuri were deemed safe. On the flipside, Molly narrowly avoided lip syncing, leaving current feuders Minnie and Bev to battle for safety. To Lady Gaga’sDance in the Dark, no less. While Minnie delighted in clown comedy, Bev was desperate to save herself, giving all the emotion and slaying every damn lyric and well, it was good. Good enough to give her another week and tragically send the legend that is Minnie Cooper home. Thankfully with a lot of love from her sisters.
While I was tempted to start a feud with her when she walked backstage – I crave the attention, you know – I couldn’t do that to such an icon. Instead, I pulled Minnie in for a massive hug and reiterated how damn proud of her I am. Not only is she a killer performer that has well and truly earned her legacy, she also knew the assignment when coming on reality TV and gave us camp, gaggy moments and a lot of heart. I then asked her if she had any other potential people she was tossing around for Snatch Game and upon hearing she opted against doing Jeanne Little, who she would have demolished the competition with, I lost it. There were tears, rage screams and well, I am ashamed at how much it hurt. Thankfully after her holding me in her arms and assuring me it was ok, and downing a Minnie Cooperstown, everything was all good.
This little drink is the perfect pick-me-up when you’re feeling down, earthy, sweet and packing a minty punch, it is a symphony of flavours that fill your heart with joy.
Minnie Cooperstown Serves: 1.
Ingredients 45ml gin 25ml red vermouth 35ml dry vermouth a couple of dashes of bitters 2 mint leaves
Method Combine everything in a cocktail shaker with ice and stir to chill. Strain into a glass and down.
And then repeat, as necessary (in a responsible manner).
Previously on Canada’s Drag Race the dolls worked through a lot of their Fiercalicious related drama backstage with everyone finally ready to get along and focus on the competition. Which was perfect timing, given last week they finally took the stage to play the Snatch Game. Thankfully Giselle opted against doing Celine injustice once again, instead slaying as Marie Curie. It was a three horse race at the top of the pack, as Irma gave a pitch-perfect Marilyn Monroe and Vivian channelled the power of Jessica Chastain to delight as Tammy Faye. Ultimately though, it was Giselle’s absurd take that handed her the second win in a row. At the other end of the pack, poor Kimmy was struck by the Ariana curse, though narrowly saved herself as Lady Boom Boom was booted from the competition.
Backstage Giselle was heartbroken to lose her fellow French Canadian sister, though given she left a hilarious goodbye message, they quickly turned their focus to how she slayed the competition. While Kimmy was disappointed to have to lip sync, she was proud of herself for fighting and as such, had a fire within her to slay. Vivian meanwhile was disappointed to have narrowly missed out on the win, while Giselle was hopeful to keep her momentum going and to parlay winning the most important challenge into winning the season.
The next day the dolls were still shocked that their frontrunner was gone, which disappointed Jada given she felt she was a front runner too. Irma meanwhile was proud to have done well, though ready to get that win ASAP. While Bombae was feeling a little lost, though Giselle encouraged her to just show the judges who she is. Their kiki was interrupted by the arrival of Traci who tasked them with dragging up for family photoshoots. Vivian, Kimmy and Fiercalicious would shoot a holiday card, Bombae and Irma were giving vacation chic, while Giselle and Jada would be celebrating their growing family. Vivian was an absolute delight as they did their shoot with Kimmy a killer mess and well, I love their trio. Irma and Bombae were totally demented divorcees while Jada and Giselle were such a gorgeous couple as their third baby was born. And despite everyone slaying, it was Jada that took out victory. And well, Vivian was robbed, TBH.
Before departing, Traci announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be pulling together an eye shadow palette before filming a commercial to promote their product. The girls immediately selected their colours before splitting up to work on their campaigns. Kimmy was going to be giving all the heart, while Bombae planned to give a deluded ‘90s supermodel. Jada was planning to turn up the party, while Fiercalicious was selling fierce, obviously. And damn, she was focused on taking out the win, methodically planning her concept and selling herself to the judges. Vivian, Giselle and Irma were focused on making it funny, as the former planned to target the cat-parent market. Giselle planned to teach international swears, while Irma was selling snotty vibes. Bombae started to worry about having the wrong concept, approaching Irma and Vivian to see if her idea of desperation was good. With Irma reminding her that she is better than a ‘desperate to win’ joke and instead, she should come up with a new plan.
Vivian was first up to film her commercial, nervous as hell but no less charming. Giselle gave full ‘90s glamour and while Traci didn’t love the amount of beeping through the commercial, she was confident. Bombae’s new concept served butter chicken and tackled racism and immigration before Kimmy dropped by and lived her best life throughout the shoot, giggling at her own jokes and being generally adorbs. Irma was fluro, wild and oh so fun before Fiercalicious was focused and on brand. Oh and Jada was obviously charming as hell.
Elimination Day arrived with Giselle and Irma confident in their commercials before the girls kikied about their first time in drag. Bombae admitted her sisters dressed her up when she was a kid and felt so pretty, instantly falling in love with drag. Kimmy shared that she came out as trans at 6, with her mum raising her up and allowing her to express herself and damn, I am crying. Fiercalicious was feeling like she can help the future queens learn skills by being in the competition, while Jada got her start after a promoter suggested she compete in a bar pageant.
Brooke, Traci and Brad were joined by Mei Pang on the panel as the dolls stomped the Paint runway with Vivian slaying as a sexy work of art, painter’s palette. Irma was stunning as a paint by numbers delight, Bombae served drama in a beautiful watercolour look, Jada was gorgeous as she dedicated her look to her black beauty while Giselle was a perfect Picasso. Fierce gave camp glamour as a swinging rococo girl before Kimmy closed the show as the love child of Vivian and Bombae, and oh so sexy.
When it came to the commercials, Vivian was bonkers and energetic and well, I love everything about it. And how much she lived for it herself. While Mai suggested she adds some drama to her make-up, though beyond that, she is perfect. Along with her runway. Irma’s runway received universal praise while the judges felt her ad was a mess of concepts, despite it being fun. Bombae’s commercial was super fun, though the judges only really lived for her girly runway, feeling like her commercial was too rehearsed. Jada was praised for looking so good, which led to her breaking down as the judges heaped all the praise for what she did this week. While Traci held back tears over how much she loved it all too.
Giselle meanwhile was totally bonkers, though the judges felt she was too focused on serving funny rather than giving any content at all. Thankfully, her look was absolutely stunning and they loved it. Fiercalicious, gave the most traditional commercial and was rightly praised for how strong the end product turned out. And for how close she stuck to her brand. Add into that the perfection on the runway and well, condragulations my dear, you’re the winner of this week’s challenge. Kimmy meanwhile was adorable and oh so stupid and I love it. As did the judges, only they were confused by her look.
Backstage the dolls were all confused about who could be landing in the bottom, with everyone getting high praise for half of the week. Vivian encouraged Jada to accept the fact she is a beautiful queen, while Bombae was worried that the judges think she is terrible at make-up and is quite confident she will be lip syncing. Irma suggested Kimmy will be in the bottom too, given they hated her runway while Fierce and Kimmy were sure Irma and Giselle would be the ones joining Bombae in the bottom. Despite their perfect runways. And while everyone thinks it is between Jada and Vivian, Fierce was confident in her chances too.
Ultimately Kimmy was sent to safety before Fiercalicious found out she was right to back herself, taking out her first win of the season. That left Vivian and Jada as safe, before they were narrowly joined by Giselle. Which left Irma to face off against Bombae to Table Dancer by Keisha Chante. And while I was fully expecting Bombae to demolish, Irma put up an epic fight, giving comedy, shapes and hitting every lyric. And while Bombae was so stunning and perfect, she spent the start of the song worried about her nips popping out and well, it felt like that distraction is all that cost her, as the dolls turned a show. Though tragically, it was Bombae’s final one this season leaving Irma to fight another day.
Backstage Bombae was still pretty down on herself after the judges critiques and getting in her head before I started to channel Ru. Well, after I pulled her in for a hug. After the physical contact was down, Ru took possession of my body, reminding Bombae that all the negative thoughts running through her head were her inner-saboteur and that the judges critiques weren’t to have a go at her, but to help her explore areas that she could try something different in. You know, because drag is art and art is subjective. Once that little Boulet detour was out of the way, I pulled her in for another hug and reminded her she is perfect, will likely win an All Star season because of her talents and then fed her drive with a piping hot Strombombae.
Stromboli is one of the lesser known – at least here in Australia – Italian delights. Part pull-apart, part calzone, all deliciousness, it is the perfect, cheesy-carby snack to help cheer you up and reinvigorate your soul. Annnnnnd, now I have Beyonce in my head again.
Strombombae Serves: 2 dear friends, or 6 on the reg.
Ingredients 1 ball of pizza dough per Zsa Zsa’s recipe, or store bought if you don’t have time 1 cup Amber Marinara Sauce 150g ham, sliced 150g hot salami, sliced 1-2 cups mozzarella, grated ½ cup parmesan, grated a small handful basil, roughly chopped 1 egg, whisked
Method Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Split the dough in half and roll out each on a lightly floured surface until it is roughly the size of a 20x30cm rectangle. Spread the mariana over each rectangle, leaving a little border around the edges. Divide the meats, half the mozzarella and most of the parmesan over the top, followed by the basil. Fold in the shorter sides before rolling the dough to enclose the filling, wetting the final edge to seal the dough. Transfer to a lined baking sheet, seam-side down.
Brush each log with some egg, followed by some extra mozzarella and parmesan, and slash some diagonal cuts into the top with a knife. Leave to prove for about 15 minutes before transferring to the over to bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
Leave to rest for five minutes before devouring, ideally with a sprinkle of basil and extra marinara for dippin’.
Previously on Drag Race Down Under the dolls starred in our first acting challenge and while it paid homage to Prisoner, I still wish they went with Homo & A-gay or Gaybours. But when life gives you lemons, it is generally a Drag Race acting challenge or something. Which coincidentally was the plot, as Bev was given the death penalty for writing the franchise’s past acting challenges. While Aubrey and Kween struggled, Spankie was demented and gorgeous, while Minnie and Hannah gave the best criminal duo since Home Alone. Alas, there could only be one winner as Spankie took out her first victory of the season, before Kween destroyed the lip sync and poor Aubrey sashayed away.
Backstage Kween was still feeling disappointed in herself, feeling broken and picking the performance apart. On top of that, she felt bad for poor Aubrey. Thankfully everyone rallied around and gave her a glorious pep talk and she was soon feeling far better. She then congratulated Spankie on her first victory, while Spankie in turn praised Minnie and Hannah for doing so well in the challenge. Hannah then lamented the fact that she has been a bridesmaid in the first two episodes and best believe she was ready to step into the spotlight and take out a victory. Otherwise, why did they invite her to this wedding?
Oh and Minnie offered to suck off and then bottom for Kween – um, get in line lady – and Hannah suggested finding Ru’s trailer and sucking her off for a win. So yeah, maybe this is why Ru called us all ratchet?
The next day Yuri was feeling good, particularly since her outfit saved her last week and this week, she vowed to get out of her head and get back into the top. Ru dropped by before Yuri could top, though thankfully brought the Pit Crew with him and well, my basement was flooded. There was something about a tool stuffed in their pants and the queens had to pick who was packing what. As is oft the case, we all won as the menseses dropped trou over and over. But apparently, in whatever way Ru was keeping score, Molly Poppinz took out the actual victory.
And as the victor, she was able to pair up the queens for this week’s Maxi Challenge, where they would be hosting a 5-minute drag brunch set. She obviously paired up with Hannah, before getting Minnie and Kween together and putting Bev with Pomara, leaving Spankie and Yuri as the final duo. And while Spankie felt like Molly was trying to do a little bit of sabo(tage), I have a feeling in my waters that Spankie and Yuri will shine.
After Ru departed, the pairs split up to workshop their sets with Molly wanting to be natural rather than scripting anything and well, is this a good idea? Spankie then asked Molly if she was trying to be strategic with her pairings, admitting that yes she did, wanting to put a strong queen with a weaker girl. Before basically admitting she was just trying to bring Spankie down. Speaking of Spankie, she was pissed by the decision while Yuri was feeling ready to bring herself up to Spankie’s level and yes Yuri, I love you. Beverly and Pomara meanwhile learnt they are polar opposites with their performance styles, with Bev wanting to script everything and Pomara focused on being off the cuff. Minnie and Kween meanwhile were leaning into the fact they have completely different backgrounds, focusing on racism and privilege.
Oh and they told Hannah about it so Hannah could address her Scarlett Adams-esque background with cultural appropriation and the hurt that it did, has and will cause. And fuck, Kween is so mature and wise, giving Hannah space to apologise and address the scandal while firmly explaining why it is such a problem and how addressing it in a non-performative way proves she is willing to grow.
Spankie and Yuri were first to workshop with Rhys and Chris Parker – who is wearing a super cute shirt – and were very fun with their scripted roast of the queens. Rhys encouraged them to make it a little more Drag Race, while Chris wanted them to take advantage of the fact they are a Kiwi only duo. Molly and Hannah started out with a dry script about Hobbiton, before the mentors told them to make things personal. Where we then learnt Hannah wanted to be a priest, which is a story we all need to hear. Minnie’s energy meanwhile took all the rehearsal space, with Kween encouraged to come up a little while Minnie was told to tone it down a little. While Bev and Pomara just couldn’t figure out where the script was going and who was saying what, while Rhys and Chris reminded them to lift each other up.
Elimination Day rolled around with Yuri MIA with an eye infection, though ugh, Pomara suggested they could all help paint her face when she comes back and maybe they listened when Ru said, everyone say love.
Ru, Michelle and Rhys were joined by the iconic Urzila Carlson on the judges panel as Beverly and Pomara opened the show looking absolutely stunning and going well, until Yuri’s absence appeared to really throw them off because things then became stilted. Backstage, Yuri returned with half vision and a cream and quickly beat her mug while Molly and Hannah took the stage and were so energetic, fun and personable and well, I love it. I mean, “the only balloon I can blow up is when I’m farting in my foreskin in my meaty tuck” is a line that came out of Molly’s mouth. What could you not love? Kween meanwhile was charming and sparkled while Minnie dropped in and brought all the energy, which proved to be a formidable combination as they slayed. Yuri then gagged the dolls as she made her triumphant return with Spankie to close out the show. And I don’t know if she got drugged up at A&E, but Yuri was hilarious and so much fun despite Spankie giving an absolute hosting masterclass.
I mean, they nailed it.
On the Red for Filth runway, Beverly was a stunning goth ready for the boudoir, complete with a chandelier headpiece. Pomara served red earth glamour and looked so damn stunning, Hannah Conda gave Carmen Sandieg-ho does Dallas, Molly was a blooming rose bud with a perfect mug. Kween gave sexy volcano realness while Minnie wore a stunning red dress that just could not stay up and then Spankie looked perfect in a poppy gown in honour of the Anzacs, while Yrui was iconic as a bloody red devil and fuck I love her. But also, is she high?
Ultimately Spankie and Yuri took out victory and sent to untuck before Beverly was praised for giving a stunning runway though read for not really vibing with Pomara while they were on stage. Pomara too received universal praise for her look, but yeah, that vibe wasn’t great. Hannah and Molly were praised for such killer energy and how they bounced off each other, despite not having much of a script. Though their looks were both praised, despite Ru deeming Molly’s trashy. Kween meanwhile received wall-to-wall praise and thanked for bringing the energy she had in lip sync to the challenge and stamping her place in the contest, while Minnie was praised for her energy and despite the dress not fitting, they loved the dedication to the sisters she lost to HIV/AIDS.
Backstage Spankie and Yuri were overjoyed to take out victory, particularly after everything Yuri had to go through this week. And Molly’s sabo attempts. The rest of the girls arrived and congratulated them on their victory, while Pomara and Beverly both started to sob given they were clearly in the bottom. While their sisters tried to rally around them, Bev brokedown over her fears and how she was terrified of failing herself and the greater Brisbane area. Which thankful doesn’t include Logan for the record, but I digress. Kween then gave her and Pomara an epic peptalk and well, I’ve loved Kween because she is so damn hot, but damn, she has such a beautiful soul too. Begging the question, did Jesse McCartney write it about her? Because he should have.
Ru didn’t beat around the bush this week, telling Bev and Pomara they were in the bottom before sweeping the rest of the girls off stage. Despite the fear and emotion they were showing backstage, they both went off as Years & Years feat. Kylie’s Starstruck kicked off. Both of the dolls hit every damn lyric and gave all the energy but when Bev started splitting and slipping and nearly sliding off stage, it was over. Until Pomara hilariously switched into mocking her opponent. I mean, if ever there was a time for a double shantay, it was this. But alas, they didn’t even have enough time to edit Ru’s stumble on the runway out, so tragically, we had to say goodbye to the iconic Pomara. Who rightly summed up her feelings with a simple, bye cunts.
Backstage poor Pomara was still feeling disappointed in her performance, so I pulled her in for a hug and reminded her how charming and talented she is. I then went on a very long-winded rant how this was far and away the strongest challenge of the series, with everyone kinda doing well. Add into that the fact they both slayed the lip sync and well, if there ever was a time to go out, it was when you all did well. Which appeared to do the trick as we slipped back into being silly and joyful as we smashed a fresh batch of Arepomare Fifth.
These gorgeously flavorful South American pita-esque breads are the perfect accompaniment. Or even with a thick layer of butter on their own. Crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, they are so damn good. And more importantly, v. easy to make.
Arepomare Fifth Serves: 2 dear friends.
Ingredients 1 tbsp raw caster sugar 1 tsp kosher salt ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper 2 ½ cups lukewarm water 2 cups white corn flour ¼ cup sunflower oil (or corn, if you can find it)
Method Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Combine the sugar, salt, pepper and water in a jug of water until only the pepper is visible. Meanwhile, pop the corn flour in a large bowl. Slowly add the sweet and salty water into the bowl, stirring constantly, until it all comes together.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Pop on a lined plate, cover and leave to rest for about half an hour.
When you’re ready to cook, divide the dough into ¼ cup(ish) sized balls and flatten into 2cm discs. Heat a lug of oil in a skillet over medium heat and add a couple of arepas to the pan. Flatten with a spatula and cook for a couple of minutes before flipping and cooking for another few. Repeat the process until done.
Place them on a lined baking sheet and transfer to the oven to cook for a further 5-10 minutes, or until they sound hollow on the inside. Then devour, either with some eggs or leftover birria, not that either are traditional but they are great.