RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9, Episode 4 Recap: Chocolate Salad

Previously on Drag Race: Trinity Taylor and Eureka were introduced as the Alyssa Edwards and Coco Montrese of the season. Aja went on the rant of a lifetime at Valentina in Untucked and it was TV gold. Thousands of viewers died from alcohol poisoning after taking a shot every time Cynthia Lee Fontaine said “cucu.” And Kimora Blac‘s totally-not-fake booty sashayed away.

The queens gather in the werk room after Kimora’s elimination and Aja finds herself fist-fighting with her inner saboteur. She calls Valentina out (again) for her look on the runway, but the latina queen is totally not bothered and Aja comes across just a tad desperate.

The next mornting, the queens have officially lost it:

Glory
Serving glory hole realness.

The contestants are back and ready for another exciting mini-challenge – oh wait those don’t exist anymore. This week’s challenge: morning talk show! Acting challenges are always a great way to see how quick-witted the ladies are – and they’re just full of cringe-worthy moments for us viewers, so that’s just awesome/horrible.

Trinity Taylor and Aja are named team captains, and teams are formed. Aja immediately picks Valentina while Trinity chooses Eureka, both impressive steps toward mending fences. Or just more easy drama. Poor Nina Bo’nina Brown is picked last and that is just not okay – I mean look at that tank top!

Nina.PNG
She came to slay. Literally.

Trinity attempts to cheer Nina up despite essentially being stuck with her, and Nina is not having it. But that drama is immediately buried as Eureka throws the word “ghetto” around approximately 25 times – including at Nina – and generally acts like that 7-year-old cousin we all really want to slap in the face but aren’t supposed to.

Nina4
We’re all Nina.

Shooting for Team “Good Morning Bitches” gets started, with Alexis Michelle and Farrah Moan talking about acrylic toenail extensions. I don’t find it funny, but Ross Mathews does and I guess that’s all that matters.

We move on to Aja and Valentina doing some extremely weird segment about queens who’ve had their eyebrows and teeth photoshopped out? Who writes this stuff?

Valentina
Valentina looking at the show’s writers like…

Fortunately, Sasha Velour and Shea Couleé are here to save us all from this shitshow of a challenge with a glorious segment filled with sexual tension and RuPaul chocolate bars.

Sashea.PNG
I’ll have what they’re having.

In comes the fabulous Naya Rivera for the interview segment. Alexis Michelle’s wig is questionable but she does a great job managing the bit, so yay for her.

Next up: “Not On Today!” Y’all, if you thought the last team was cringe-worthy, you’ve got something coming. Trinity Taylor and Peppermint have this “I slept with your husband” thing going and it’s terrible. Charlie Hides tries to direct Cynthia Lee Fontaine through their whole segment and it’s terrible. The queens forget to conclude the interview with Naya Rivera and it’s terrible.

Ross2
This is the high cringe you came here for.

Fortunately, Eureka and Nina’s “drag on a dime” segment saves this from being a season 7 Shakesqueer-level trainwreck. Shooting for the challenge finally ends and I’m just grateful to be alive.

It’s elimination day and the Aja/Valentina feud is finally handled in a mature way. Aja comes clean, Valentina gives her some advice, and the girls hug it out.

As the queens bond over Charlie’s heartbreaking losses and Valentina is preparing to open up about a health issue of hers, Eureka decides she hasn’t acted like a terrible person in a little while and makes a joke about an eating disorder. When Sasha Velour asks her to be a little respectful, Eureka walks all over her and then feels like she’s being made out to be a villain.

Eureka
“It’s the editing!”

Runway time! Naya Rivera is back, along with UnREAL star Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman. I’m not familiar with him, but it’s nice to have some eye candy, because dragged-up RuPaul once again looks a little iffy and the runway lasts about 30 seconds this week. At least we have an extended version on Logo’s website.

Category is nightie glamor, and the ladies are all serving body-ody-ody. Aja has overcome her inner saboteur and listened to the judges. She’s unrecognizable – and gorgeous.

Aja2
Princess Disastah who?

Valentina is perfect as always, Shea Couleé is serving fabulous 1920s realness, and Sasha Velour is giving me Violet Chachki and Pearl‘s lovechild. Charlie Hides looks like she’d rather be grocery shopping. Eureka’s got a wig reveal, but what’s underneath kinda looks like every single wig she’s had on the runway thus far, so it’s a little underwhelming. Nina Bo’nina Brown describes her look as “zombie Naomi Campbell” and I think I’m into it?

Shea Couleé and Sasha Velour both win the challenge! Team “Good Morning Bitches” is safe and Valentina and Aja hug it out again and all is well in the world.

Sashea2
Sashea for the win!

Now for some drama: Team “Not On Today” get read to filth for their looks and performances. Nina Bo’nina Brown starts sobbing even though her critiques are actually mostly positive and I just want to hug her giant inappropriate breastplate.

Then comes the fateful question: “Who deserves to go home tonight and why?” Eureka votes against Trinity Taylor and that’s all the fuel the two of them need to last throughout all of Untucked. Their conversation backstage is mature and composed for all of 5 seconds, and then they start talking over each other and raising their voices and all hell breaks loose.

Nina3
Nina doesn’t want Mommy and Other Mommy fighting.

Trinity and Charlie Hides fall into the bottom two and my heart breaks because I love them both. Right away, though, it becomes obvious who the winner is going to be, as Charlie pulls a Tammie Brown and just kinda stands there, barely making an effort. Regardless, Trinity lip-syncs the house down and totally kills it.

Trinity2
Yes, bitch, pound that expensive face into the ground!

Thus, the transatlantic dame sets sail for home. Charlie was one of my favorites going into the season, so it sucks to see her go so soon – but I could tell the competition was getting to her and she was just over it. That said, she pulled some fabulous looks while she lasted and showed age doesn’t matter if you’re talented enough. Ta-ta, Ms. Hides!

Time for the weekly run-down!

Farrah Moan – Farrah seems to have recovered from her crisis last week. She wasn’t the best, but she definitely wasn’t the worst either. Keep it going, girl.

Alexis Michelle – I feel for Alexis when she says in Untucked she’s worried about having been nothing but safe in the competition so far. It’s hard to tell what the judges think of her because of that.

Aja – As I said earlier, Aja showed some serious growth in this episode. She maturely ended her feud with Valentina and seriously improved her look. Aja is back on track!

Valentina – Valentina struggled a bit with the talk show challenge, either because of Aja or because of what she was given to work with, but she still continues to kill on the runway and handle her haters with maturity and zen.

Shea Couleé – I finally get the hype for Shea. She’s talented, confident, and funny, and she totally deserved her win. Her ’20s runway look this week was to die for.

Sasha Velour – My personal favorite has finally won a challenge! This week she showed she’s not afraid to get real silly, and that’s great for a queen who sometimes looks like she takes herself too seriously.

Trinity Taylor – Trinity may have landed in the bottom due to her mismanagement of her team this week, but she’s still a total contender for top 3 in my eyes. Her lip-sync was incredible.

Peppermint – Her runway look this week was a bit of a fail and she didn’t do great in the challenge either. I would’ve preferred to see her in the bottom rather than Trinity or Charlie, but she does give pretty funny confessionals, so she’s got that going for her.

Cynthia Lee Fontaine – I can’t help but feel like the judges are giving Cynthia a few free passes because she’s the “beloved returning queen.” Hopefully, that doesn’t lead to some unfair eliminations down the line.

Eureka – So much for being nice and redeeming herself last week. Between the “ghetto” thing, the eating disorder joke, and the constant fighting with Trinity, Eureka went from bad to worse this week and I’ve just about had it with her.

Nina Bo’nina Brown – As the judges said, Nina’s biggest weakness is her vulnerability. She’s incredibly talented, but I hope her emotions don’t get the best of her. She still has a lot to show.

That’s it for this week, hennies! 11 queens remain. Who do you think is next to go?

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