Vicious voting, fab mythology, and an epic showdown highlight ‘Drag Race Philippines’
On Wednesday, August 24, the third episode of Drag Race Philippines was made available online, providing fans with a massive 1 hour 27 minutes of Filipino drag awesomeness.
Anything might be premature to say it at this point, but the current episode is the finest of the season thus far. It’s also one of the best episodes of any incarnation of Drag Race, if I may venture to say so myself.
The episode begins with a mini-challenge that is inspired by Halalan 2022 and is called the Drag Race Rulections. In this task, each queen is required to rank all of the other queens on the show from one to nine.
When the host Paolo Ballesteros asked each queen to provide her ranking, Brigiding was always ranked the lowest. Some of the queens reasoned that she didn’t have a powerful brand, but others didn’t agree. Not only because of her talent, but also because of her generosity, Precious Paula Nicole ended up being everyone’s favorite in the workplace.
Therefore, it should not have come as a surprise that the COMELEG (Comission on Eleganza, we adore these little drag Filipinisms) tally placed Brigiding in tenth place, which is the lowest position possible.
Vias finished just one spot above her in ninth, and Marina Summers and Xilhouete, who compete against each other as mother and daughter, tied for eighth and seventh place, respectively. The final standings were as follows: Lady Morgana in sixth, Gigi Era in fifth, Minty Fresh in fourth, Eva Le Queen in third, and Turing in second place.
The mini-challenge and the prize money of P20,000 were awarded to Precious because she came in first position in the rankings. She and Brigiding were then selected team captains for the episode’s maxi-challenge, which was a girl group face-off. This was because they were the bottom queens.
Fans of Drag Race had high expectations for the episode featuring the girl groups, and with good reason. When you take a number of drag queens and force them to perform in a group setting, you can pretty much guarantee that it will be entertaining as well as full of drama.
Eva is selected as the final member of the team after the team captains have made their selections. The girl groups were separated into two teams: team Pink Pussy Energy (PPE) consisted of Precious Paula Nicole, Vias Deluxe, Minty Fresh, Gigi Era, and Xilhouete; while team Flexbomb Girls consisted of Brigiding, Marina Summers, Turing, Lady Morgana, and Eva Le Queen.
Paolo outlines the requirements for them to successfully complete the challenge, which include the following: compose a verse for the song “Pop Off, Ate,” record their verse, and choreograph and perform a dance routine.
In addition to this, he reveals that the show will have an extremely exceptional guest judge in the form of Nadine Lustre, who is the President of the Internet, a recording artist, and a former member of a girl group herself.
He sends them off to work with a fitting allusion to the legendary Filipino female group the Sexbomb Girls: “Hindi tayo pinalaki ng sexbomb para bumawi lang.”
The queens continue to write their verses, and while they do so, they each find inspiration in a distinct set of sources.
While Precious is frank about her experiences growing up without a parent, Gigi discusses her life as an overseas Filipino worker. Brigiding uses her verse to brag about herself, but her teammates Turing and Marina let her know that the words don’t really inform anyone very much about who she is. “Noted. “Copy,” is the way that she replies.
After penning her rhyme, which is where she opens up about how she feels insecure about not fitting the drag standards in the Philippines, Eva becomes emotional and starts crying. Eva is given the advice by Turing, who is always ready to offer words of encouragement, to establish her own criteria.
With President Nadine’s direction and blessing, as well as the assistance of producer Moophs, the queens are able to record their verses after telling all of their experiences in a timely manner.
The majority of them are able to overcome their nerves and provide a good performance, so it all goes down without a hitch for the most part. It appears that Brigiding is the only one who allows her nervousness to get the better of her, since she is the only one who has trouble synchronizing the timing of her verse with the music.
After that, they will have their dancing rehearsal. The first band to perform is Pink Pussy Energy, and the Flexbomb Girls will be there to watch them. When the Flexbomb Girls’ practices turn out to be a bit of a mess, it gives the impression that PPE is a shoe-in to win the competition. This is due to the fact that their choreography and smooth execution puts fear in the hearts of their competitors.
On the other hand, when they enter the work area the following day, Marina asserts that she has a positive attitude towards the routine that their team follows.
While the other girls are getting ready for their performances, Turing tells them that she has struggled with body dysmorphia in the past and that she still does so on occasion.
The first act to perform is Pink Pussy Energy, who brings the house down with not one, not two, but five (5) wig reveals and a confetti storm. The Flexbomb Girls come next, delivering a performance that is more polished and streamlined than what they demonstrated during rehearsal, with Turing in particular really POPping off.
Following their performance, PPE returns to the stage with them, and the two girl groups then compete against one another in a dance off.
Following the girl group obstacle course, we will move on to the runway. Shake, Rattle, and Rampa is a theme that is exclusive to this season of Drag Race Philippines. It calls for contestants to create outfits that are influenced by Filipino folklore and mythology. This week’s challenge is “Rampa.”
Precious Paula Nicole is the first queen to walk the runway, and she creates history for Drag Race by being the first queen to give birth to three tiyanaks live on stage.
The tiyanak aesthetic was prevalent all the way down the runway, with models such as Xilhouete and Gigi Era presenting their unique takes on the topic. Gigi delivers straight-up tiyanak realness in a look that would fit right in with a Magandang Gabi Bayan Halloween Special, while Xilhouete wears an ornate gown adorned with beads designed to appear like blood. Xilhouete’s look would be perfect for a Magandang Gabi Bayan Halloween Special.
A high-fashion albularyo was presented by Minty Fresh, a black tiktik was embodied by Turing, an elegant aswang was presented by Eva, a siyokoy was presented by Marina, a dalikmata was presented by Brigiding, a glam sarimanok was presented by Lady Morgana, and the first pwet reveal was presented by Vias Deluxe in a manananggal-inspired ensemble. Drag Race Philippine was hosted by Via
The audience members were so stunned by the female group performances and the runway that Mamwa Pao began the judging by telling the girls, “My queens, you made me proud.”
After placing last in the earlier mini-challenge, the Flexbomb Girls’ leader Brigiding receives some measure of redemption by being declared the winner group in this competition, which is only natural given that it is still a competition.
Turing was declared the winner of the challenge out of the other five queens, giving her another chance at redemption after finishing in the bottom two the previous week. She was able to walk away with a RuBadge and a cash prize of P80,000, just like the other victors before her.
The girls from Pink Pussy Energy, who finished in last place, now had to listen to the judges’ feedback. This week, Rajo Laurel (for the second time) and Nadine Lustre will be joining Mamwa Pao and the judges who have been there from the beginning, Kaladkaren and Jiggly Caliente.
During the girl group challenge, Precious is criticized for not standing out from the crowd, and she breaks down in tears as she reveals that she was unable to spend quality time with her late mother because she was so preoccupied with her career.
Mamwa Pao doesn’t pull any punches when she gives her opinion on Xilhouete’s dress: “I don’t like your outfit,” she adds, before going on to suggest that Xilhouete’s runway performance could have been better given that the topic was directly related to her company.
When Xilhouete talks about growing up without a mother, she too becomes emotional, and Jiggly comforts her by saying, “The beauty of us being in the LGBT community is that we have a chosen family.”
Kaladkaren expressed to Minty Fresh that she believed her female group’s performance left something to be desired, while the judges complimented Gigi on her ability to stay on rhythm while simultaneously criticizing her for being too literal with her runway.
The judges have nothing but love for Vias, despite the fact that his team came in last place. Kaladkaren declares to her, “I am fascinated with you,” while Rajo refers to her as a star.
Jiggly argues that Pink Pussy Energy did not appear to be a girl group due to the fact that their attire did not match up with one another.
Vias and Precious have been declared as safe, while Marina, Gigi, and Xilhouete have been placed in the bottom three of the competition. Some of the queens are still wiping the tears from their faces.
In the end, the lip sync competition will come down to Gigi and Xilhouete. The song “Glamazon” by RuPaul is playing in the background as the two go at it. In the end, Gigi travels back to her house.