RuPaul's Drag Race Ru-cap, Episode 8: 'The Book Ball'

*Spoiler alert, hunties!* This is your Amber Warning for extreme shade as the knives come out. Derrick Barry finally steps up and claims her Roxxxy Andrews position as Bitch of the Year, squarely taking aim at Naomi. It all starts with the annual EVERYBODY LOVES A PUPPET! challenge. You know how it goes: each contestant drags up a little puppet and prods fun at a competitor. Only in this case, Derrick eviscerates poor Naomi, and the feeling is quite mutual (LOL at Naomi poking fun at Derrick’s ‘thruple’ set-up back home). Derrick feels Naomi is (altogether now) ‘relying on that body’, while Naomi – and the others – want to see Derrick apply some proper drag beyond just a dab of tinted lip balm. The maxi-challenge sees the girls tell their life story at the Book Ball. They must create three distinct looks representing their childhood, their mothers and a couture look made only from paper. More bitching and sniping ensues, much of it centred around Derrick’s eyebrows. Naomi says more than she has all season on this very subject. That said, it’s Derrick who comes across especially arch and venomous. I think we all know a Derrick. If you say anything against them, you’re ‘jealous’, you’re a ‘hater’. Actually, D, we don’t hate you cos you’re beautiful; We hate you because you’re horrid. My mother – while we’re on the subject – always used to say ‘if you can’t take it, don’t dish it out’ and there’s a lock-jawed humourlessness about Derrick. She’s hard to warm to. Discussion turns to mothers as the queens prepare. Bob’s mum is sick and Bob has a little cry because it is sad. Kim Chi’s mum doesn’t know she does drag and you just know that’s coming up at the ‘live’ final. Naomi’s mother, apparently, is Pippa from Home & Away. RuPauls-Drag-Race-image-2 The most important thing about this week’s episode is the queen’s homage to the CRIMINALLY underrated Strangers With Candy. The cult sitcom aired from 1999-2000 and starred the also underrated Amy Sedaris. In the show, reformed crack addict Jerri Blank is released from prison and decides to complete her high school diploma. It’s a must for fans of Nighty Night and it’s sad that in the UK, Sedaris is now better known for a fabric softener commercial. I’m gonna stop there because I can probably get a whole ‘Iconic’ column out of this for the print edition. After much bickering (and not an awful lot of dress making), the queens take to the main stage. Let’s assess their efforts. KIM CHI (A-) Kim_Chi-510x550 Of course Kim Chi did well at this, this is what she does. That said, although I like Kim and she’s certainly very sweet, there are few surprises from Kim Chi at this stage. Her Queen Amidala drag style all very nice, but is nice enough to snatch one-hundred-thousand-dollar? CHI CHI DEVAYNE (B-) Chi_Chi_DeVayne-510x550-1 OK, sure. I can pretend to see whatever it is the judges are seeing. Actually I can’t, sorry. Chi Chi seems very lovely but let’s bear in mind Chi Chi is still here, while Acid Betty and Thorgy Thor are not. I did like her paper dress a lot, but, based on the pictures, Chi Chi’s mother would have been a better drag queen. NAOMI SMALLS (B-) Naomi_Smalls-510x550-1 She is very beautiful, isn’t she? In amongst all of Derrick’s shade, there might have been a point in there somewhere about how, as she is so utterly gorgeous, drag isn’t that much of a stretch. Or, is it actually the case that Naomi is so good at makeup, it looks effortless. I wonder, like so many queens before her – Phi Phi O Hara, Pandora Boxx, Pearl – if Naomi got cast too soon. Would she be better with another couple of years under her belt? I did think Naomi was a goner. Her runway looks were pretty, but quite basic. BOB THE DRAG QUEEN (B) BOB THE DRAG QUEEN Continuing the pattern of ‘Let’s Not Make It Too Obvious This Bitch Wins’, Bob finds herself – quite unfairly – in the bottom two. I thought she did deliver the glamour Michelle wanted – big hair? Check? Big earrings? Check? Showgirl dress? Also check. I was getting ‘Skinny Latrice Royale’ for days. It seemed unfair, but I’m so glad we got to see Bob lipsynch for her life. DERRICK BARRY (C) Derrick_Barry-510x550 That make-up. Oh it was like the moment at the end of Death Becomes Her when Goldie Hawn lifts up her veil, wasn’t it? If Derrick had been a more pleasant character, she’d have been the one to root for this year. Britney impersonator triumphantly discovers her identity and shines as herself: it should have been glorious. In reality, it was often hard to watch. But would I go see her Britney? Yes I would, so I doubt any long-term damage has been done. Next time: Crikey, we’re there already? The final four film a music video for RuPaul’s The Realness. Words: Juno Dawson More stories Interview: There's always time for a cocktail with Drag Race's Mrs Kasha Davis Dolly Parton has 'no plans' to cancel North Carolina show over anti-LGBT law