RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 Review: Episode 9: Your Pilot’s On Fire (SPOILER FREE)

RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 Review: Episode 9: Your Pilot’s On Fire (SPOILER FREE)

Last week’s elimination of Vegas girl Farrah Moan means there are now seven queens out and seven queens remaining, and I will agree with the other girls: no one is gonna miss the whining.

We look again at the enigma that is Nina Bo’nina Brown, who is withdrawing from the hilarity the other queens are having together and is letting the insecurity get to her. Stay strong, girl! I’m hoping to see you succeed – so let this challenge go!

Teeny queenie Valentina is showing off a new confident side of herself, where she smiles and admits she has the good idea – almost certain idea – that she is going to win. If she and the Internet are right, no worries. But let’s watch on.

RuPaul announces this week’s challenge: the queens will be split into teams – two teams of two, and one team of three – and plan their own television pilots, writing and starring in it. The teams gather, some more willing to work with their teams than others – not a fresh piece of drama in Drag Race, if I’m honest, but it happens and we’ll have to see how the queens compromise and overcome it. If they can. Remember: “Don’t f*ck it up!”

Team one, Shea and Sasha. They are confident in themselves, having previously won a challenge together (how can we ever forget?) and the ideas are flying around. They are promising so early, so best of luck for them.

Team two is Peppermint, Trinity and Alexis. Fresh from a lip-synch, Alexis should work hard and get deeply involved but so early can we see her tension in what she wanted to do in this challenge. Alexis, play fair and compromise. Teams = compromise!

Team three is Nina and Valentina (nice rhyming, maybe that could be useful?). They are polar opposites at this point: Nina, with low self-esteem and panic in the brain, is discussing and conflicting her ideas with Valentina, who has suddenly placed that crown on her tiny skull already and is beaming with some kind of fairy dust. But can it work? Will it work?

The filming has commenced, and it’s time to see any possible improvements from the previous acting challenges as co-directors Michelle Visage and Carson Kressley advise them through it all.

Here is your way to tell that a team killed it: if they almost killed Carson, they killed the challenge! We can predict who will thrive and who will fall; but simply, not a lot of people fell in this challenge. Every group made the two directors laugh and cough, but laughter aside, it’s a heartbreak to see who is falling. One is not exactly a shock, but one feels as shocking as an electrocution. Pinch yourself, rub your eyes, I promise this week, every moment is real and happened.

Preparation for the runway is underway, and the theme is – which I’m so excited for – Club Kid! Club Kid drag is the underground drag genre where no gender conventions are followed; everyone is just wearing fabrics and colours, masks and boots (and this is very important in the fashion, it seems), and they are rocking it like the humans they were born and raised as. Club Kid doesn’t just excite me, as bald queen extraordinaire Sasha Velour shows her own glee at the runway theme, among the others who do not even know that much about the genre.


As the Club Kids once did, the queens are pushing their own boundaries. With bright pink and white faces, spooky Sharon Needles-esque contacts and hot glue on the face – you’ll find out – this is going to be one hell of a freaky runway. I cannot wait!

With guest judges Lisa Robertson and Noah Galvin, the runway show starts and here comes the new-age Club Kids. I’m more excited for the outfits than the challenge, and that never happens!

Special mention to Shea Coulee and Peppermint, who I believe truly captured the aesthetics of the Club Kid genre, with the over-exaggerated gemstones and badges and the all-over patterns (which was a pleasure in my eyes, in all honesty). Some others, however, failed to understand “Club Kid” – there is no traditional glamour or beauty in Club Kid. There is art, there is raw emotion, and they just took it to mean “glamour with some funny face paint”. Nope, sorry.


Upon viewing the finished products of each pilot, there is tension. One team had no laughter, no reactions, just a sound of lone clapping, and it’s a shame really. So much potential in one team, but it falls flat due to unpreparedness – and that will seriously come back to haunt.

But there is team tension between a team that worked well together, which felt dramatic and uncomfortable, making me see it as a mysterious miracle. But still, well done, ladies. You go on to drag another day.

I’ll be truthful, because I always state my opinion: did both the bottom two deserve the bottom? Not both – one did, but not the other. I had another specific queen in mind, and you probably did too, but you probably did not want one of the bottom two to be there at all. At all! But she will give you an inexcusable reason quick!

As the lip-synch start, before long, it stops! Remember when I said masks? Masks cover your mouth, and you need those lips for the lip-synch. Or else you are out. Now though, lips included, you don’t know the song! You never practiced the song!

I’m not saying any more. She was gone immediately! You can see it, and it might break your heart, but oh well. That’s how the contest goes. You fall now, you fall hard.

I will just end this review with two small but serious words: called it.

Rating: 9/10


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