RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 Episode 9: “Your Pilots on Fire” – TV Show Review


This season’s RuPaul’s Drag Race has been a cave full of… well, quietness and humbleness (apart from a couple queens that just love to throw the shade, and drown in sorrow… literally). But this episode, the creative challenge of “Your Pilots on Fire”, we see it all; the tension, the drama, the shade, the sadness, the laughs… gurl, the everythang! I’ve been DYING for an episode that basically moulds all these elements together because frankly, it’s been a bit lacklustre as a whole, so it’s good to see a lot of drama for… well, a reality TV series full of drama of course. And, it could possibly be the best episode this entire season for the reasons to come!

Nina, yet again, is stuck in her head and feels that the girls are ganging up to get her. Imma be real here… why? She won a glorifying challenge in the first episode of the season, and while her looks are killer, she has had a bit of a bumpy resilience since, nothing which has been credible or well-performed either. I just feel that she’s really shooting herself in the foot by not focusing, because now, with only six queens left after this elimination, she’s probably gonna go home if she doesn’t focus (I found out the spoilers and leaks of the elimination and wins, but… that’s under wraps… I’m acting surprise). But having said that, Ms. Alexis is also gearing up to be a bit of a villain by casting out some girls for a variety of reasons. Gurl, focus on you, not the other contestants cause guess what? You might go home if not! And DO NOT get me started on what happened between her, Trinity and Peppermint because… ohhhh, queen no.

This week was a create and star challenge where the queens created, wrote and starred in their own TV Pilots. The teams were pretty flexible and freelancing; Shea and Sasha (obviously…), Trinity, Alexis and Peppermint, and Nina and Valentina. You would think Nina and Valentina would be a shocker right… well, don’t be too surprised. Alongside this, the seven queens had to come up with a Club Kid Couture look for the runway, WHICH I F-ING COMPLETED DIED FROM! Not only did it snatch my edges, but it stole my life! I’ve been dying for a really creative over-the-top runway challenge because all these runways have been basic to some degree, so thank god a completely realized F-ing runway! Let’s begin:


Alexis Michelle

Ughhh… whiney Ms. Michelle… yet again. I’ve noticed that Alexis is really getting stuck inside her head ever since she won the Snatch Game episode, and has bravely thought this entire trip would be filled with advantages for her… gurl bye… NEXT! Her condescending nature, yet again, came out in the acting challenge where she was getting completely lost with what she was doing, and, instead of making her country swangin’ housewive role a lot more memorable, she got a little too consumed by her… ehhmm, “producer” nature, and F-ing bombed. She seriously needs to check herself if she wants to win the crown, because thinking your “all that” may land you in the bottom betch! The runway had me a little mixed up; I LOVED the make-up and hair because it really went to the extreme of Club Kid, but the fish-netted jumpsuit—which was absolutely STUNNING on her—was worn at the wrong time. It’s like seeing a McDonalds meal at a Burger King restaurant… like gurl, no. (Performance: BOOT / Look: TOOT)

Nina Bo’Nina Brown

Nina Bo’Nina Paranoia All Day, All Night Brown is, yet again, back in her habitat of paranoia and insecurities… CALL THE ZOO AND BRING HER OUT! In the challenge, she and Valentina obviously did the worse; it was quite sloppy, cringe in areas, and unplanned in many. But to an extent, I felt that Ms. Thang did a lot better than her counterpart Valentina, mainly because Nina is, by nature, a person who is a lil’ messy and succeeds with improvisation and quick-wit (despite it being a bloody scripted challenge… come on’ gurl). The runway look was extremely creative, per usual; she basically went full skull kween with a bloody crow (!!!) on her head, and… literally face cracked with her look. By far the best make-up she’s achieved this season. The attire she had worn, which was a little skimpy frilly skirt and stockings, was a little mehhh, but screams A LOT more Club Kid Couture than other looks on the runway. Living for the kill gurl! (Performance: TOOT / Look: TOOT)


CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS OUTFIT FIRST! An actual Leigh Bowrey-meets-Avant Garde couture get-up that symbolises her name sake?! Genius idea from the gods above! This is probably one of the most inventive and creative looks I have seen on the runway in a long-time, and that’s saying something for Peppermint, who doesn’t necessarily have the most… ehhh, sweetest looks in the candy jar. But this one was sure a sugary sweet! Her performance as the second mother to “Mary, Mothers of Gays” was extremely funny and definitely on point for her. She’s a queen that feels comfortable with scripts and articulation, so it’s a really good rise from her falling in the bottom during the Snatch Game episode! She’s really turning up a party gurl! (Performance: TOOT / Look: TOOT)

Sasha Velour

Once again, Ms. Sasha Velour pushes the envelope and elopes yet another substantial performance! Performing as a Russian spy in the Shea Coulee duo pilot, her ever-changing dynamics and intelligence is the key element to her success in this competition, and has definitely become a fan favourite, and a potential to snagging another crown to her collection (but keep the paper crown gurl, it looks stellar on you!) Her clown-coutore for the Club Kid runway was, per usual, a knock-out; I’ve always liked a clown aesthetic, and it’s great to see the revival of that back on the stage, especially with the crazy shapes for eyebrows and lips, and the colour co-ordination of blue and pink! Truly a bold win this week! (Performance: TOOT / Look: TOOT)

Shea Coulee

Now gurl… this Leigh Bowrey realness look, complete with sporadic jewellery and textures is to die for! Ms. Thang has become a staple with fierce, gorgeous and front-running couture looks, but this one is F.I.R.E.! The gold cape, the little top crown on the head, and fun over-the-top elements screams nothing but Club Kid realness! Lord have mercy, this is probably the most Club Kid look that night! Her performance as a foxy mama in the TV pilot with Sasha was extremely funny. She’s a queen, just like Peppermint, who gets along with a script but empowers it with her personality and little extra kinks! Definitely one of the better performances of the week! (Performance: TOOT / Look: TOOT)

Trinity Taylor

Knowing that Trinity was in the bottom three last week, only time could tell whether the sassy queen would fall in the bottom again. But gurl, she turned a party! Her performance as Sister Mary in her TV pilot with Alexis and Peppermint was by far the best of all three, and was extremely humorous in… well, basically every grunt, line and scream she invested. I’ve really enjoyed Trinity this season, and I feel that’s she has really pushed the limitations of a pageant queen to it’s maximum potential, having the flexibility of being silly, crass, crude and somewhat pretty at the same time! She’s a strategic player, and that’s what keeps her in. And her look? A Club Kid look that was inspired by somewhat, somehow, and somewhere a venereal disease with over-the-top colours and lines? Perfection, yet extremely crude and comical at the same time! (Performance: TOOT / Look: TOOT)


No gurl… no, no, no, no, no… I have a big heart for Valentina, probably because she’s definitely one of the most genuine and well-rounded characters in the competition. But her performance completely bombed this week! Even the little squanders of thoughts, ideas and screams didn’t even save her. She and Nina, both creative yet subdued little odd-balls, have a strikingly abnormal charisma that weirdly worked together in this challenge; Valentina’s allowance of Nina being Nina, and Nina basically letting Valentina do the talkin’! But script-wise, their show just sucked, and it sucks because while I like Valentina, she did worse out of the two. As for her runway? No gurl… NO, NO, NO! Her Espanol take on Club Kid couture was a complete miss, and the lacklustre application of make-up and all red realness just didn’t work for me at all. It was a complete miss, and that’s a bummer! (Performance: BOOT / Look: TOOT)



Verdict? I get that Ms. Shea Coulee and Sasha Velour have easily paved their way to the crown, but this weeks victories in my opinion are definitely Peppermint and Trinity Taylor, two queens that have fought their way and become resilient through the challenges that may have stooped them down a couple weeks prior. Ahhhhh, these queens could honestly burp and I would probably laugh!

Unfortunately, the bottom two were held by Nina Bo’Nina Miss Cleo Brown and Valentina, both for their shoddy performances. Whilst this was a pretty obvious predicament for Ms. Brown, I was quite in shocked that Valentina would fall here. She has definitely become one of the most consistent players in the contest (no betch, I ain’t fan boying just stating the obvious), but this is a prime example that one SMALL little error could literally cost you the crown. Whereas Nina has been a little shoddy through the entire contest, not because her looks are bad (Fuck, her looks are probably one of the most iconic on the shows for goodness sakes!), but her attitude has definitely brought her down to the ground again.

As they whip up a lip-sync for Ariana Grande’s hit “Greedy”, all music halts in which could arguably be the most iconic yet controversial lip-sync yet. Valentina, as part of her costume, had a small little veil across her mouth, obscuring her lips in the lip-sync, which the entire panel of judges noticed. Then Bam… Mama Ru stops the song, and asks her to take it off, which completely freezes Valentina, where she insists to keep it on. Mama Ru is not taking this respond nicely, and Valentina gives in to her request and performs… but as in performs, I mean… gurl. Valentina has no frickin’ idea what the lyrics are to the song!

When the song started again, Nina is kickin’, booottaaaay shakin’ and living for the beat, whereas Valentina stands in one spot and doesn’t know the song in its entirety, which basically had my jaw drop. We already had Charlie Hides stand in one spot in an epicly failed lip-sync attempt, and now Ms. Thang brings both Charlie and Penny Tration realness in the lip-sync… I just knew it was pure defeat once she started to just move around with lifeless energy, and it sucked. As predicted from that lip-sync, Ms. Nina Bo’Nina Beatta Bitch Ass Again Brown gets a third chance at getting the crown, where as the hopeful front-runner Valentina starts packing as she sashay’s away. I’m still quite shocked that she went home, considering that she was a top contender, but all that glamour and personality doesn’t necessarily win you the money…

What do you guys think? Comment below.


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