MANILA, Philippines – The seventh episode of Drag Race Philippines aired on Wednesday, September 21, and the race to the crown has gotten even more intense with seven queens still in the game and an impending elimination following last week’s surprise double shantay.
The episode starts with a Big Brother-esque voice announcement reminding the queens what’s at stake: a year’s supply of ONE/SIZE Beauty Cosmetics by Patrick Starr, and a cash prize of P1,000,000.
The queens get emotional as they gather in the werk room. Brigiding, perhaps buckling under the pressure, cries over her performance in the last few weeks.
Host Paolo Ballesteros walks into the work room in a glittery sports attire – a nod to the week’s maxi-challenge, another Drag Race favorite, the ball.
After two weeks of just maxi-challenges, we also finally get another mini-challenge – a nude illusion photo shoot with photographer BJ Pascual. Minty Fresh and Brigiding stand out, but ultimately, Minty wins, bringing home P20,000 and getting a headstart in choosing materials for her ball look.
For the ball, the queens need to prepare two looks. For the first look, category is “Shopulence, she buys everything” – a shopping-inspired rich bitch look. The theme for the second look is “Divi divas” – an outfit created from materials from Divisoria.
As the queens race to gather materials for their looks, someone accidentally knocks into Viñas De Luxe, and she hits her foot on one of the carts and deals with the bum foot throughout the episode.
Jiggly Caliente joins Paolo for the werk room walkthrough, and they talk to the queens about each of their looks. Brigiding shares that her look, made from bayongs, is inspired by her parents, who were market vendors. Eva Le Queen seems intent on standing out from the colorful numbers the other contestants are working on, so she makes the effort to spray paint her cut-up eco bags black and gold.
After a long-ass walkthrough, the queens finally prep for the runway.
Let’s get ready to rum-ball!
Mamwa Pao walks on to the main stage in an opulent tribal-inspired gown, and introduces the judges for the week: mainstays Kaladkaren and Jiggly Caliente, and the judges on regular rotation, Rajo Laurel and BJ Pascual.
The ball begins, with Precious Paula Nicole opening the show in her “Shopulence” look – a navy trench coat, yellow turtleneck dress, and layers upon layers of shopping bags on her arms. Xilhouete walks out in a green velour gown with a corset bodice, structured sleeve, and a fox fur draped across her shoulder.
Eva channels a rich tita going to the market in a white ensemble, while Marina Summers goes Crazy Rich Asian in a red chinoiserie gown and an ang pao shower on the main stage. Brigiding wears a look inspired by ’80s supermodels, and Viñas draws laughs when she walks out dressed as Hurt Evangelistam, Mamwa Pao’s spoof of actress Heart Evangelista, which she did for an Orocan ad.
Minty closes out the first runway by wearing a cheetah print from her wig to the accents on her purple dress.
For the “Divi divas” category, Precious opens the runway by referencing RuPaul’s Drag Race season 13 contestant Lala Ri and her infamous paper bag dress, but thankfully turns up in a much better look – a pink and purple pin-up girl outfit.
Xilhoute goes with a structural cheetah print dress and a wig reminiscent of Hannah Montana – her take on the “big hair” requested by the judges. Eva debuts her black-and-gold outfit on the runway – a structured bodysuit accented with gold gloves and thigh-high boots.
Marina models her “four-hour couture piece,” a playful dress made out of colorful abanicos and floral fabrics. Viñas goes for gold and green in an origami-inspired look. Brigiding wears her brightly-colored bayong dress, and Minty brings basahan couture to the mainstage in a dress made from foot rags and styled with grunge accessories and a wig to match.
The shade of it all
After the runway, Brigiding is marked safe, while the rest wait for their critiques as the tops and the bottoms of the week.
Xilhouete, Marina, and Minty all impress the judges with their ball looks. BJ tells Xilhouete her runway is “the best you’ve ever looked,” and the drag queen launches into yet another one of her monologues about being the dark horse of the competition.
The intricacy of Marina’s abanico look impresses Jiggly, while the judges sing praises for Minty, with Rajo even telling her “you, in particular, are the future of drag.”
Precious, Eva, and Viñas land in the bottom. The judges said they wanted more from Precious’ look. When it came to Viñas, the judges, despite laughing out loud at her Shopulence look, clocked it for being a reference that the international audience wouldn’t get.
They also said her “Divi divas” look was messy. “It made me question – is this an art piece or an art project? For me, it’s more of the latter,” Kaladkaren said. At this point, Viñas shares with the judges what happened to her foot in the werk room beforehand.
The judges expressed their displeasure at the craftsmanship of Eva’s look. In what may have been the most painful thing to watch in the episode, Rajo goes off on Eva, doling out the harshest critique the show has heard yet.
“That actually, if you look around you, that’s ugly. And I’m being fierce because I know you can do better. I’m being hard because I’ve seen what you can do, and this is trash,” Rajo tells Eva, making even Mamwa Pao gasp.
Surprising no one, Minty wins the maxi-challenge, giving her another P80,000 and making her the first queen to earn two Ru Badges. Xilhouete and Marina are congratulated, and marked safe.
Precious, while in the bottom, is also deemed safe, leaving Eva and Viñas to lipsync for their lives to RuPaul’s “Born Naked.”
“Good luck at dapat pakak kung hindi sapak na may kasamang tadyak na may kasamang sandamukal na talak sa Hinulugang Taktak bago kita ihulog pabagsak, with your face na wasak,” says Mamwa Pao in her increasingly lengthy pre-lipsync spiel.
Eva gives it her all, even serving a surprise wig reveal. Viñas, with her injured foot, is hardly able to move, but still manages to do a slow-mo split towards the end of the song.
Ultimately, Eva wins the lipsync battle, and Viñas – an early frontrunner in the competition, the winner of the previous design challenge, and a fan favorite – sashays away. At the back of the stage, Viñas’ Divine Divas sisters Precious and Brigiding are clearly devastated.
She walks off still flashing her bright smile and bringing her signature brand of comedy. “This is my time to go home but the world will see who I am,” she said.
“Tagalog nalang…makikita ng buong mundo ang talento ko! Tandaan niyo yan, makikita niyo ko sa bansa niyo (Let’s stick with Tagalog. The whole world will see my talents. Remember that. You;ll see me in your country),” she said.
With Viñas out of the running, the competition has truly blown wide open, with six queens now left in the competition.
New episodes of Drag Race Philippines air on WOW Presents Plus, Discovery+, and HBO GO. – Rappler.com