[Review] 'Dragula' S1E5: Mother

The Boulet Brothers are itching to get a move on, as it’s San Francisco or bust this week. A hilarious argument breaks out between the hostesses, branching from "just packing the essentials" to who needs more time to get ready, and following their trip down the stairs, the title sequence plays. The final four has a wide range of styles, and anything can happen. This week’s challenge, as explained in the tail end of last week’s festivities, will be a real Mother.

As the three safe girls, Vander, Meatball, and Frankie await their companions. There is still no love lost for Loris, as the three are more or less convinced that she went home. Melissa arrives on the scene, and the double elimination of Loris and Xochi Mochi becomes clear to what is now the final four. A vehicle pulls up to pick the girls up, and off they go to San Francisco.

In a car confessional, the girls talk about how their upcoming show at Mother will serve to validate and solidify them. Frankie sums up my personal feelings about mainstream drag in a few words, and stresses the importance of what "Dragula" is trying to accomplish. The car ride brings the final four together, before the competition fires up like never before.

A meeting of the queer minds sees The Boulet Brothers meeting with this week’s guest judges, the legendary theatre queen Peaches Christ and the nightclub proprietor Heklina. Before the final four take to the Mother stage, the Boulets ask Peaches and Heklina what they will be looking for from the girls, as well as what they believe having “star power” means. Heklina stresses aspects such as the overall performance and the concept that a performer is trying to pull together. Peaches Christ talks about how the best performers leave the audience wanting to see more. As the drag legends roundtable comes to a close, the floor show begins!

First out is Meatball, whose number is “Model for Me” by Jer Ber Jones, the progenitor of "tranimal" drag and the drag mother to Alaska Thunderfuck. Her act includes a hot piece of something from the audience who she urges to, as the song says, model for her, but he looks particularly clueless. She has a prop that she uses to "beat" her plant with, but I couldn’t tell what the hell it was until judgment (turns out, it was a fish, but it did NOT read well, even in closer shots). In all, it was something of a weak opener, and that’s not a good thing to be saying about a character like Meatball.

Following Meatball is Vander von Odd, who chose "Really Rich Italian Satanists" by Dirty Sanchez, led by singer and iconic drag queen Jackie Beat (and yes, she invented that too!) Her performance makes up for the rocky opening number, and her look is that of, well… a really rich Italian Satanist. We knew Vander could perform, and tonight is no exception.

Frankie Doom is out next, performing Alaska Thunderfuck’s "This is My Hair." Her performance is sex on a stick, complete with a GWAR-inspired outfit. It’s grungy, it’s punk, but once she drops down to her knees and works the crowd near the stage, things take a turn. After all, the stage at Mother works best for all involved when everyone can actually see the performers on stage.

Melissa Befierce closes the floor show with the cunt move to end all cunt moves. She takes dolls of each of her fellow contestants and tosses each one aside, seemingly with more aggression with each passing doll. She also chose "Model for Me," and her performance is death drop central. This is as in her domain as Melissa has looked all season, and it shows. Her closing the floor show truly does send the fans home happy.

Judgment comes, and the stakes are high. The final three will compete in the epic finale, and the Boulets are in search of the absolute best. Frankie gets torn apart for her performance, and when she goes to suggest that she had several ideas that she didn’t get a chance to pull out, Dracmorda shuts her down, saying "Doesn’t matter, cuz you didn’t do it." Meatball is dinged for her performance, as the judges say that a lot of the gimmicks and high spots just didn’t pan out for her. Melissa’s opening was praised highly, even if the joke was a bit too "Inside Sports" for any casual clubgoer. Heklina dings her for too many death drops, and I have to agree with her. The first time you bust a move like that out, it pops the crowd. By the fifth time, you’re demonstrating the law of diminishing returns. Heklina makes no bones about the fact that she would book Vander in a heartbeat. Her act was captivating, though it does get brought up that Vander’s attention to detail may have been a bit too much, and could wind up costing her in the long run.

The extermination challenge is another "all hands on deck" affair, as the girls are tasked with developing their own sea monster looks, which will be photographed in a shoot in the frigid San Francisco Bay. The montage for the photo shoot goes by fast, but I will say this: Frankie, unsurprisingly, looked the most monstrous of the group. Meatball simply did not read sea monster. I love everything she has put out this season, more or less, but her look here was something, but not a monster.

These shortcomings lead to Meatball’s extermination, as she is beheaded in the chicken coop in one long, drawn out fat joke. Now, the final three is set, and next episode’s grand finale will see the first drag supermonster crowned!


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