Blondie’s Debbie Harry and Chris Stein guest-judged RuPaul’s neon blow-out on Monday night’s Drag Race, and in homage, the remaining nine queens were tasked with forming ‘80s-influenced bands—punk, or synth, or “party” in the style of the B-52s. That little experiment had varying results (though three drag queens doing a punk song about chicken wings is pretty fucking punk), but Blondie’s presence seemed to conjure some NYC juju: on the runway, the New York queens wrecked shit and left a trail of blood in their wake.
The category was “Neon Realness.” Bob the Drag Queen, an early favorite whose Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent is already on display with her ebullient personality and creative style notes, appeared as a glamorous club kid ghost/fatal accident, rubbery hot-pink paint pouring down her head like her noggin got cracked and spent the afterlife bleeding and raving unto eternity. And yet, her ensemble bridged the gap between Limelight regular and Michelle Obama—Michelle OBOBma? Ugh, sorry—in a floor-length dress with pockets and a cropped top over a hemmed-in waist. If you were wondering how to go formal after closing time, here you go.
The judges weren’t totally wild about Thorgy Thor’s look, particularly Michelle Visage—“too much,” said a woman wearing Whitney Houston “How Will I Know” eyeshadow—and yet Ru’s comment that she was “thoroughly modern Thorgy” was on point: she wore a YSL-influenced sequined minidress in acid green, and while her cut-out eyelashes were a little more party monster than mod gamine, her heart was in the right place:
Acid Betty, though! Chris Stein, who clearly watches Drag Race and is probably the bigger fan between himself and Harry, called it perfectly: “It’s like Nosferatu goes to Fiorucci.”
Betty’s a DIY queen, as she explained to Harry—she made “everything but the shoes,” including her wig, which draped all the way down her back like a fishtail (hence the gills behind her elf ears).
Look at these paragons of excellence!
It’s worth mentioning that their band—the party band—was entitled Street Meatz, and their song was about street meat, one of the most important aspects of New York City. (Double entendres abound; Ru and Bob exchanged one of my favorite jokes of all time, which was “How’s your head?” Without missing a beat, Bob responded: “No complaints.”)
Needless to say, none of these goddesses had to lip sync for their lives; it was a gymnastic match-up between Chi Chi DeVayne and Naysha Lopez to Blondie’s “Call Me,” in which both of them were pulling off roundhouses like the Olympic gymnast team. Chi Chi pulled through, though, and Naysha went home for the second time. Tragic.
Images via screenshot/LOGO