Saturday, December 3, 2022

REVIEW: 'Canada's Drag Race: Canada vs. the World' - Drag Representation Takes Another Leap Forward in 'The Weather Ball'

Crave's Canada's Drag Race: Canada vs. the World - Episode 1.03 'The Weather Ball"

The queens put their design skills to the test as they present three looks in this ball challenge. Guest judges are Hollywood Jade and Jeanne Beker.

Icesis had no qualms about eliminating Stephanie. She hopes it serves as evidence of the game she is playing. She wants to handle things fairly. She believes that will allow the other queens to see her as more than a former winner. That isn't a guarantee though. Whenever the conversations happen between the winning queens and the bottom two, they always have to decide if they would rather eliminate the stronger competition. That's true regardless of how well Icesis does in any particular challenge. The moment she lands in the bottom that will immediately be the thought of the people controlling her fate. It's unavoidable. She hopes to shift that perspective. She also continues to show her competitors why she won in the first place. The ball is the latest example of that. She won two design challenges from her season. She offers a unique perspective in drag. That translates very well to this particular challenge. Ra'Jah has similar expectations. Everyone knows she creates all of her looks. The pressure is high. They have to deliver. It's shocking when both of them are declared safe by the judges. That bucks expectations. It allows others to shine even though everyone thought Icesis and Ra'Jah would once again slay. That serves as further proof that absolutely anything can happen. The queens and the viewer should never feel safe and secure at any moment. Of course, that contrasts with the end result where the weaker queen is eliminated. And so, the three eliminations so far have gone as expected. The true competition can start with the six remaining queens. That's where the truly unexpected moments were always going to happen this season.

That's getting ahead of things slightly. Brad Goreski makes his first appearance of the season to introduce the theme for the ball. It's all about weather. The first look is lacy lingerie. The second is ice princess. The third has to be constructed from scratch to fit the theme of "caught in the rain." Now, one would think Icesis has an unfair advantage because her whole brand is "ice queen." She absolutely nails that particular look as well. It's one of the standout pieces from this entire runway. But again, the praise for her isn't universal this time around. Instead, she isn't offered any feedback from the judges. That doesn't entirely make sense. Each week it seems like the judges don't want any suspense as to who their two favorite queens are. Only five queens are called out as the potential tops and bottoms. Two have to fit into each category. For the second week in a row, the one ultimately declared safe was also given negative feedback. This trend probably won't continue. However, it does showcase some inconsistency in the judging. Anita comes across as delusional slightly because she doesn't know how to interpret what the judges are saying. Everyone else seemingly gets it and understands the reasoning. Many in the audience probably agree that Anita deserved to be in the bottom once more for her presentation. The specific criticisms from the judges though are where the problems come from. The first and third looks were simply underwhelming and unimaginative. That was enough to sink her when being compared to the other queens. Anita was confused. It's justified critiques though. The same isn't true elsewhere. These judges simply prioritize variety amongst the competitors. If they believe the queens are repeating the same silhouettes, they will call it out whether it's valid or not.

Silky was worried about Vanity and Anita using the same fabric for their designs. It's notable that they are then the first and last queens to walk the runway each time. It's only noticeable when they are standing in the lineup waiting to be judged. It still invites a comparison. In that sense, Vanity's design was better. The judges were searching for negative things to say about her though. Vanity killed it with her Victoria's Secret moment. That took the prompt for the challenge and flipped it on its head in a way no one else would do. That takes true creativity and conviction. She was then gorgeous in her icy presentation. The judges said the design was too similar to the first runway which lessened the impact of the second. That was essentially them trying to take away from another great thing she produced. With the final look, the judges had a problem with not being able to see her face for the entire runway. And yet, Vanity purposefully had moments where she brushed the produced rain away from her face to show off her makeup. Safe was the right outcome for her. In fact, Ra'Jah had a few more questionable moments. The first look featured a wig that was simply far too back on her head. She wanted to mix Storm from the X-Men with Cruella de Vil. That concept was achieved. It just wasn't entirely necessary. Her second look essentially took the same approach of wanting to be sexy without exactly showing off her body in a new way. The look she made there was well-constructed. However, there was a clash between the fabrics at the top and bottom. It was severe. That made it seem purposefully. She took a risk and had the skills to pull it off. The same couldn't be said elsewhere.

Victoria and Silky are declared the winners. It was obvious Silky was going to be in the top. She brought forth excellence with everything she presented. Her gold lingerie was so seductive and beautiful. The opulent and oversized gown of her second was exquisite. And finally, her creation was the most distinct on the runway. Sure, the brown top needed something to increase the glamor to better blend with the rest of the look. She still picked a wonderful fabric and manipulated it well to achieve her vision. Meanwhile, Victoria was rewarded for producing a wonderful moment on the runway. Sure, one could argue that the looks these queens make in the workroom should be judged more during a ball than the two they brought from home. In that sense, Victoria is a lackluster winner as the huge leafs on her bodysuit were pitiful. However, she became the first competitor to perform as a drag king in any iteration of the franchise. She pulled it off incredibly well too. That moment captured the attention of everyone. It's not her typical approach to drag. That also made it so smart and deliberate. It evoked a response. It fit the category and exceeded what was expected of her. She thought out of the box when so many took the same approach with the idea of sexy lingerie. Rita landed in the bottom alongside Anita because her skills of selling a story on the runway couldn't make up for lackluster outfits. Brooke Lynn was so insightful in saying that Rita needs more padding in the hips to better sell her illusion. Ultimately though, that final creation made no sense whatsoever. She had no distinct vision and the judges were left confused. It would have been perfectly sensible for her to be eliminated. She's still seen as stronger competition. And so, it's enticing for Silky to form an alliance with her. She believes the tables could eventually be reversed. The same possibility doesn't seem true with Anita. Similarly, the editing of the lip sync to Deborah Cox's "Nobody's Supposed to Be Here" would suggest an even match between Silky and Victoria. However, Silky took command of the stage with her emotions from the first moment. She didn't need tricks to impress anyone. She knows how to grab attention and maintain it. That's a powerful skill. Silky has that in spades. She's humble as well in letting Anita know she's sickening even though she is now leaving the competition.