RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 Review: Episode 7: 9021-HO (SPOILER FREE)

RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 Review: Episode 7: 9021-HO (SPOILER FREE)

After last week’s amazing (and non-amazing) Snatch Game impressions, everyone’s back with a new acting challenge – and hell, it’s gonna get dramatic!

After the elimination of season returner and “CuCu” extraordinaire Cynthia Lee Fontaine, everyone is showing a range of emotions, from sadness and loss to some praise and relief. Every elimination narrows the group a little more, so everyone must be careful with every stroke of their make-up brushes.

The sisterhood between Shea and Nina is one that’s for the ages, as Nina opens and confesses she needs to stay strong and stay brave, Shea is there saying they are all watching their backs because of her fierce looks. Well, no lies there!

Upon RuPaul’s arrival into the workroom, the new challenge is announced: an acting challenge in a drag parody of Beverly Hills: 90210, called 9021-HO.

What did I find strange about the practice of this challenge? Last week’s winner, Alexis Michelle, isn’t given the leading role in the challenge – despite winning. The duties instead were given to lip-synch survivor Peppermint; I have no qualms about her leading, but it is a different and odd decision.


Moving on to assigning roles and practicing, the queen causing the trouble (again) this week is Aja. Unfortunately, she has had to argue and fuss about getting a role she didn’t want (a la Nina Bo’nina a couple weeks ago), and I can see this is probably going to harm her. Just a hunch – because Aja seems to be the week-long attitude kind of person.

Moving to filming the episode, 90210 originals Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth are directing the queens through their scenes and the stress is hitting the roof from the first scene! One queen, who we have seen having trouble from weeks ago, is mixing her lines, giving the wrong tone, and when she walks backstage I personally started panicking. One of my last favourites of the season risking herself? Got the heart pounding.

As the scenes progress, there are still standout stars! Aja and Peppermint made me holler, laugh, gasp, all in the space of a minute (I won’t say any more; you’ll find out), and sweetie queenie Valentina is still stealing the spotlight – and hearts.

Once all scenes are through, it’s time to prepare for the runway!


In the workroom, the queens discuss their school lives and tell short stories of their prom experiences; but among the happy and funny stories, Trinity and Shea tell the stories of how their family members had been suffering from cancer, and Shea’s especially was a heartbreaker as she tells the story of how her father’s diagnosis gave her the incentive to try and form a bond which happily worked out and she said of how he was proud and accepting of her.

The families are strong with this group, and how everyone has connected with their relatives, it tugs at the heartstrings and gives others watching the message of “not every family abandons their LGBTQ children”, which is a beautiful one.

With everyone prepared, the real show begins and the queens rock the runway with their “Big Hair” looks!

My standouts for the runway are Sasha Velour, truly “rock”ing the runway (haha); Valentina, for being one with nature in her appearance; and the extraordinarily inhuman look of Nina Bo’nina Brown, who brought the jungle with her and roared her heart out. Special mention also to Peppermint, who in my eyes brought us Coco Montrese realness (but you know, less orange!)

Now onto viewing the episode: every queen is showing what we saw during the filming, and it’s apparent who is going to be the best ones – but the worst, that’s not too clear this time around! We must wait until the judges speak out to see who is going to win, be safe, and lip-synch for their lives.

The critiques are expected – we can see what each judge is saying, and my last favourite got me worrying again! This is when my hands came together, and I prayed hard as all hell.

Shea and Aja’s characters were focused on, and it screams “uh oh” for Aja. I warned that her early fussiness could mean there is something happening later; all hope for you, Aja.

When our winner is chosen, and applause is given, it’s time to find out who is in the bottom two. When you see the last three, sadly we can see who the obvious safe one is – which leads us to the tensest moment every week. The lip-synch is about to commence.

As CeCe Peniston’s “Finally” starts, no queen paces into the song. When you have a dance song, you bring it, and they are both doing this – but one queen is capturing the song in her heart and soul. The other is mouthing and moving, and it might be in rhythm, but you can’t feel the sincerity. And I’m sure a few moves were being copied too. Never a good sign.

Don’t lie, saying you don’t shed at least one tear seeing this queen sashay away. She wasn’t everyone’s favourite, or everyone’s friend, but she learnt. She grew. She lived her time on the show, and now as she goes, we blow kisses and prepare for next week.

It’s getting tougher, but someone’s got to win in the end.

Rating: 7/10


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