MANILA, Philippines – The fifth episode of Drag Race Philippines started out with Lady Morgana cleaning up Turing’s parting message, and now her signature line: “It’s just a bad day, doesn’t mean you have a bad drag.”
In a way, that line would turn out to be applicable to the entire episode in general, as Twitter user Jihyo Alvarez joked:
After four straight showstoppers, Drag Race Philippines hit a lull in episode five – yes, even with RuPaul quoting Pia Wurtzbach in his video message for the week.
Host Paolo Ballesteros walks into the werk room and tells the queens they’re skipping the mini-challenge this week.
Instead, they’re getting a supersized maxi-challenge: an improv challenge in the form of a beaucon called Miss Shutacca.
As part of the challenge, the girls not only have to portray stereotypical pageant queens, but also perform in an opening dance number, again choreographed by last week’s terror teacher Douglas Nierras.
Mamwa Pao then announces the runway theme for the week – “Pink, Pak, Boom” – and reveals the extra special guest judge, no less than Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach.
The queens divvy up the characters among themselves. Marina Summers gets the character of the randy Miss Makyondi, Xilhouete takes on the spotlight-stealing Kabogera queen, Viñas Deluxe is the nervous Miss Tarantela, and Minty Fresh is Miss Bitchesa.
Eva Le Queen and Brigiding face off for the role of the Jologs queen, but Eva eventually gives in and takes on the Stateside queen character.
Lady Morgana and Precious Paula Nicole also eye the same role, that of the dumb AF Shunga queen, and Precious eventually gets it after winning a round of bato bato pick. Lady Morgana is left with the role of the virginal Miss Santa Santita.
The queens jump right into rehearsals, with Douglas once again grinding down on them – Xilhouete especially – over choreography.
At this point, the queens have had to showcase their dancing skills for three challenges in a row.
As the girls prep in the werk room after rehearsals, they go through throwback photos of them from their early days in drag. There’s also a conversation about the Golden Gays, and how Precious pays them a visit every now and then.
On the main stage, the judges are resplendent in Pia Wurtzbach-blue: mainstays Kaladkaren and Jiggly Caliente, recurring guest judge Rajo Laurel, and of course, Queen Pia herself, in an ensemble reminiscent of her Miss Universe winning look.
The Miss Shutacca pageant then kicks off with the aforementioned dance number, and the queens introduce themselves as their characters.
Jon Santos comes on stage playing the pageant’s host, joined by Kaladkaren. The queens participate in traditional pageant activities: a swimsuit portion, an evening gown portion, and a Q&A round.
At some point in between the queens’ feeble attempts at comedy, this writer wonders why the pageant format was chosen for an improv challenge at all. There’s hardly any interaction between the queens and the hosts, leaving them little opportunity to set up jokes and play their characters.
After what feels like a million years, the pageant winner is decided – by lottery. In the end, the crown is given to Miss Shunga Precious – only for it to be taken away and given to Pia, who now adds Miss Shutacca to her pageant titles.
On the runway, the queens turn out their best pink looks. Xilhouete stuns in a sleek pink off-shoulder dress, and Marina likewise in a ‘50s-inspired floral number. Viñas goes the camp route, portraying dressing room realness in waist-length rollers, a robe, and a glittery pink face mask (as in for skin care, not for COVID).
At judging, Eva and Minty are marked safe yet again – though there are no reprimands from the judges this time.
Precious is among the top bets, with Pia saying that Precious’ performance in the pageant really made her laugh. Xilhouete is also a favorite among the judges, who loved her runway look and appreciated her improv, so much so that Jiggly declared her “the dark horse of this season.”
Rounding out the top queens is Marina, who is praised for her “crazy” antics in the pageant, and for giving the judges variety.
On the flip side, the judges don’t like Lady Morgana’s performance, calling it inconsistent, like her runway look. Viñas also surprisingly lands in the bottom, and is read by Mamwa Pao for not doing a ruveal of the bodysuit under her robe.
Brigiding, excited at finally being able to receive critiques this week, is also in the bottom, with Jiggly saying “you tend to be forgettable,” and Mamwa Pao saying they have yet to see the superstar they know she is.
After the critiques, Precious is marked safe, and Xilhouete and Marina are in the top two. Ultimately, the win goes to Marina, who brings home P80,000 and her first Ru badge.
Viñas is also marked safe, and indulges the judges’ wishes by stripping off her robe and doing a wig reveal before she walks to the back of the stage.
For the third time, Lady Morgana lands in the bottom two, with Brigiding this time. The two lip-sync to Maris Racal’s “Ate Sandali.”
Brigiding lip-syncs with a vengeance, stripping down to her bodysuit, doing a showstopping split jump, and spraying her wig black. It’s no surprise that she gets to shantay.
Lady Morgana’s goodbye is another tearful one as she signs off with some words of inspiration for her fellow probinsiyana queens: “I’m a simple gay drag queen na nangarap (who dared to dream), and here I am.”
With Morgana dalay-gone, only seven queens are left.
New episodes of Drag Race Philippines air every Wednesday on WOW Presents Plus, Discovery+, and HBO Go. – Rappler.com