RuPaul’s Drag Race S08E04: Do The Punky Chicken

Last week on RuPaul’s Drag Race, human pet peeve Cynthia Lee Fontaine sashayed away! After the elimination the girls talk about how sweet she was and how much they’ll miss her, but they also acknowledge that her runway look was one of the worst in Drag Race herstory.

They give Robbie props for her roller-skating tricks, but she confessionals that she is a little discombobulated about having failed the acting challenge, given that she is an actual actor. Meanwhile Derrick is busy completely misunderstanding the criticisms she received from Michelle Visage. Bob has to explain to her that Michelle didn’t say she didn’t have a soul, she said she didn’t have soul. Derrick responds by saying that she’ll just have to twerk a lot to solve the problem.

I’ve been a bit on the fence about Derrick but my opinion of her is in a steady decline at this point. Though she does win a couple of points back the next day when she is one of two queens (Kim Chi is the other) wearing a Trixie Mattel shirt, presumably as a “fuck you” to Acid Betty, who spent the entire duration of Trixie’s video message to Kim in last week’s Untucked talking about how much she hates Trixie’s makeup.

But anyway! Ru comes in to announce the main challenge (no mini challenge this week!): breaking into groups of three to write a New Wave style song and perform it live in front of an audience.

They’re allowed to form their own groups, and the three New York queens (Bob, Acid Betty and Thorgy Thor) immediately latch on to each other. Kim Chi, Robbie Turner and Naomi Smalls are also quick to group up, because apparently they are good friends.

That leaves Chi Chi DeVayne, Naysha Lopez and Derrick Barry as the third groups. None of them are very happy about this turn of events.

They get three tracks to choose from (you didn’t think they were going to be asked to write anything more than the lyrics, did you??): Punk, Synth or Party. The least punk rock of all the teams, Kim/Robbie/Naomi, chooses Punk, while the other two teams both want Party. But while the Team New York is unanimous in their choice, Chi Chi goes against her teammates and says she’d rather do Synth. So they get Synth, and discord is sown between them.

The teams break off to write their lyrics, and drama continues between Chi Chi and her team. They decide to go with a geometry theme, but Derrick balks at her suggestion that they come dressed as shapes (multiple times Derrick says the words “I’m not coming out in a box” but I am too annoyed with her to make a filthy joke about it). To make matters worse, Chi Chi has no outfit for this week’s runway theme (having worn her only neon outfit last week) and has to take time apart to sew something. The other girls are annoyed, but Chi Chi visits the Shade Tree (which you probably forgot existed because it is pointless and nobody ever uses it) to say that she’s worried because everybody else in the competition has extravagant costumes and she’s too broke to buy shit and is going to have to walk the runway in a bathing suit. I WILL GIVE YOU MY MONEY CHI CHI. LET ME BE YOUR PATRON!

Team New York also has some friction despite their early camaraderie. Thorgy and Bob disagree over what’s funny and what’s not. Thorgy makes this face a lot:

There seems to be something of a Thorgy/Bob feud storyline brewing which I am NOT featuring because I love them both and want them to be best friends. And friends get annoyed with each other sometimes! It’s fine!

On the other side of the room Kim, Robbie and Naomi are lounging around in fur coats and writing lyrics about chicken wings, happy as can be.

We move on to the actual recording of the songs (because apparently when they said the queens would be “performing live” they meant lipsynching to a pre-recorded track like true pop stars) and get our second Lucian Piane appearance of the season! You can never have enough Lucian.

Team Chi Chi/Naysha/Derrick goes first, and Derrick decides that she’s going to break free of her Britney Spears image by… Christina Aguilera-ing all over the place. To which Lucian responds with his trademark low-key shade.

He recommends that they do a talk-singing thing since it fits the vibe of the music and will disguise their general lack of singing skills. Chi Chi and Naysha are down, but Derrick’s dream is to be a real pop star and not just impersonate one, so she insists on singing for real. Lucian pretty much just rolls his eyes and lets her do her thing, and then heaps praise on Chi Chi for actually doing what he asked.

Team Kim/Robbie/Naomi goes next, and they struggle a little to summon a recognizably punk attitude. Lucian asks them each to give him a primal scream and the results are probably the gayest thing that has ever happened on this show. Robbie is worried that they’re going to fuck it up and she’s going to be on the bottom again (and not in the fun way).

Finally Team New York takes their turn, and if you thought Derrick had drama with Lucian, just wait. First of all, Bob and Thorgy carry some of their workroom quibbles into the studio with them. Then, Lucian points out that they’re singing like they’re in a Broadway musical and need to make it sound cooler. Bob is basically like “What the fuck are you talking about, New Wave bands sounded cheesy as shit, we sound super authentic right now!” I love you, Bob, but don’t come for Lucian. Especially when he’s going to be judging your ass this week!


After the recordings are finished, the queens get ready for their performances and the Neon-themed runway. Chi Chi talks some more about her money struggles (she’s in massive debt and on the verge of declaring bankruptcy) and Thorgy complains about how she keeps coming in second place in challenges. I can sympathize to a point, but she insinuates that her Cookie was better than Bob’s last week and that is just patently false. Sorry girl.

But without further whining, we head to the runway where Ru is wearing a beguiling blue peplum-ed jumpsuit!

She introduces the judges for the week (Michelle, Carson and Chris Stein and Debbie Harry from Blondie), and then the queens perform!

First up is Team New York, who have named their band Street Meatz. I honestly wondered for a second if I had missed a part where they announced that the songs had to be meat-themed, but I think it’s just that after a few weeks sequestered in a Motel 6 these queens have had a certain something on their minds. Anyway, their song is funny (especially a joke about “black beans” that Thorgy originally tried to veto) and their performance is solid. But arguably the best part of their performance (and really all of them) is the Pit Crew backing band.

Next is Team Chi Chi/Naysha/Derrick, or as they’re known tonight, Dragometry. Their song and performance are both a bit dull, and I’m distracted the entire time by how much Naysha looks like Robin Sparkles.

Finally, the biggest punks in town hit the stage as Les Chicken Wings. And they’re actually great! Robbie as a punk is much more appealing to me than Robbie as a vintage queen so it’s a shame this isn’t her usual character. Their song is fun and they’re all very energetic, jumping around and kicking and flipping each other off. A+

Next, the queens show off their neon runway looks.

Derrick Barry

I can’t tell if this is Marco Marco or just a Marco Marco knockoff but it’s pretty much as basic as you can get as a drag queen in neon. Not that she looks bad or anything, but put a little more effort in, girl!

Naysha Lopez

If Derrick was looking a bit Marco Marco, Naysha is looking a bit BCALLA. But hers is a more interesting look and something we haven’t seen from her before.

Chi Chi DeVayne

I know it’s basically just a simple bathing suit and tall boots but I’m so mesmerized by how much she resembles Rihanna that I don’t even care.

Kim Chi

Is she even wearing clothes? I don’t know because LOOK AT HER FACE. WHAT THE GLORIOUS FUCK?

Robbie Turner

Just when I was starting to like Robbie a little she comes out in yet another boring-ass old-timey looking dress. HOW COULD YOU MAKE NEON BORING?

Naomi Smalls

She looks kind of like a sex doll who’s trying to rebrand herself as a Barbie. Which is a compliment, I think!

Acid Betty

Oh look, Acid Betty is wearing something outrageous with tall hair again! I can’t hate too much because I like the Zora realness she’s serving in the face, but the dress is kind of a boring afterthought.

Thorgy Thor

Thorgy’s dress looks like a less fabulous and more ill-fitting version of something Yara Sofia wore on All Stars. The rest of it isn’t terrible, but that dress is distracting.

Bob the Drag Queen

Not 100% in love with the dress but her head is perfection (aww, just got a Miss Fame flashback).


The judges don’t even bother building suspense about which team won, immediately congratulating Les Chicken Wings and awarding the challenge win to Robbie. They head backstage while the other two teams stay back to be critiqued.

They start with Bob, who takes a moment to apologize for getting mouthy with Lucian. The judges seem weirdly unperturbed by this particular drama, which is going to make me annoyed later so stay tuned! They love her look and thought she did well in the performance. They move on to Thorgy, who they loved during the song but whose outfit they were not fans of. When it comes to Acid Betty they feel the opposite: loved the look, were underwhelmed by the performance.

The harshest critiques go to Dragometry. They applaud Derrick for looking slightly less like Britney during the challenge but thought she faded into the background a bit in the performance. They start to talk about Naysha but don’t get much beyond saying they like her outfit because some drama flares up between her and Chi Chi. They talk about some of the disagreements they had about costumes, and Naysha says Chi Chi seemed disconnected and over it while they were planning. Michelle reads Chi Chi for wearing a bathing suit with no corset and she starts explaining how she has no money. WHICH IS VALID! Michelle doesn’t think so though, and lectures her about how she can go to the thrift store and plenty of broke queens manage to put shit together. That might be nice for drag night at the local gay bar, Michelle, but these queens are given a list of looks to bring with them to the show and not a lot of time to put them together. A lot of the queens have the resources (whether money or friends to borrow things from) to pull together some fancy-ass shit. Chi Chi has to pawn her own belongings to buy food. And take Jaidynn Diore Fierce from last season as an example of somebody who put herself into credit card debt just to buy fabric to make every single outfit she wore on the show, and then got read for looking cheaper than the other girls (like Miss Fame, whose clothes were all custom made for her by other people). Don’t pretend that they’re in the same boat! I AM RANTING!

In their deliberations, the judges talk about how shocked and concerned they are by Chi Chi’s negative attitude. Whereas they shrug off the fact that Bob relentlessly argued with and was rude to a judge as “letting the stress get to her.” It’s some bullshit, basically, and just an excuse to toss Chi Chi into the bottom two even though they all admit that she was the strongest performer in her group. It’s BS that she’s in the bottom to begin with, and even bigger BS that it’s Naysha and not Derrick who joins her. Not that I’m totally shocked, since there’s no way they’re going to let Derrick get kicked off before Snatch Game because they need to see Britney in action, but still. Come on.


They’re asked to lipsync to “Call Me” by Blondie. Naysha kicks her heels off immediately which is a big no-no. She does it presumably to facilitate the cartwheels she starts doing across the runway, which cause her wig to fall off. Strike two! Meanwhile Chi Chi is like “Oh that’s cute, honey” and proceeds to death drop, cartwheel, flip and handspring across the stage with her damn heels on.

Naysha is asked to sashay away once again, and after leaving a message on the mirror she makes some really bitter comments about how she deserved to stay more than some bitch who doesn’t even care about the competition. This caused me to yell “BYE GIRL BYE” at the TV in outrage because clearly Chi Chi is very invested in the competition, but after watching Untucked I’m pretty sure that was some really shady editing. Because not only is there no apparent beef between her and Chi Chi backstage, but as she packs up her stuff she writes Chi Chi a sweet note and leaves behind some of her own clothes for her to wear in a future challenge. Aw, Naysha! Upon reflection I very strongly suspect that her bitter comments were about Derrick, who despite being very close to lipsynching was virtually absent from Untucked and who does seem to think that she’s too good to be there, to a certain extent. I SEE YOU, SHOW.

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3 Responses to RuPaul’s Drag Race S08E04: Do The Punky Chicken

  1. artdorkgirl says:

    I agree with you about Bob and Thorgy! I think they were just friends who were getting on each other’s nerves in a stressful situation! It’s not drama!! And while Bob should know better than to argue with Lucien, he did have a point that the music was totally B52s, which is over the top and schticky.

    I am way over Derrick Barry. That runway outfit was just Britney, again! and she should have gotten clocked for it. Chris Stein was delightful, and he should be a permanent judge. It was like listening to your grandpa critique! Favorite line “I’ve seen every season of this show. You cannot wear the same shoes in the challenge that you do in the runway.”

  2. collin0truckasaurus says:

    I also loved the old guy throwing shade about wearing the same boots twice in the same week.

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