RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10 episode 4 review: The Last Ball On Earth


The annual ball challenge on RuPaul’s Drag Race is always a chance for the queens to show off their versatility and creativity. And after three episodes of mostly-mediocre looks, the “Last Ball On Earth” finally delivered the showstoppers we wanted.

In “The Last Ball On Earth,” the remaining queens have to prepare three unique outfits for a ball inspired by the impending doom of climate change. So topical! The three looks have to follow specific themes: Alaskan Winter Realness, Miami Summer Realness and Martian Eleganza Extravaganza, which must be made entirely from scratch.

Immediately, the queens got to work, and it was obvious who had the sewing skills to slay a challenge like this, and who did. Monét didn’t know how to work with the fabric she chose — something Asia immediately called her out for — but other queens, like The Vixen and Blair, proudly told Ru about their sewing skills. Speaking of Asia, she told Ru that she makes stage costumes for a living, creating outfits for dancers, figure skaters and even RuPaul’s Drag Race alums like Kennedy Davenport.

Her skill in the costume department also made her a hot commodity in the workroom, where she helped just about every single queen make their outfit. But that may have been her downfall. The second she started talking about her experience, I knew this challenge would either make her or break her, and it definitely did not work out the way Ru, or any of us, probably expected.

In one of the biggest gags of the century, RuPaul herself walked out onto the runway for tonight’s judging in an on-theme, post-Apocalyptic (or post-Apopalopic, as Lashawn Beyond would say), outer space look. Her entire face was covered with a hood and glasses, only her red lips and cascading blonde ponytail visible. Either she’s finally trying to show some versatility, or her makeup artist called in sick that day.

For their first look, Alaskan Winter Realness, the queens had to show a summertime look, since winter is being ravaged by the effects of climate change. Most of the queens came out in some kind of bathing suit, though Kameron is serving body in a nude-illusion bodysuit and bikini. For any other queen, it would be basic. But for a queen as muscular and masc as Kameron to look that feminine and fishy on stage in a bikini, that’s an accomplishment.

The Vixen and Aquaria were two of the only queens who actually had more of a conceptual look rather than just a bathing suit. The Vixen had a bikini made of clear, studded vinyl and an oversized vinyl fan as an accessory. Aquaria pulled a look best described as “Wonder Woman goes Luchador.” She worked that floor-length braid for the gods!

Blair St. Clair also surprised us in a vintage ’40s Barbie-inspired bikini look. Like Kameron, it wasn’t a wildly creative idea, but she executed it perfectly.

Remember when I said this challenge would either make or break Asia? Right off the bat with her first look, I realized this would not be her night. Not only was she in a bodysuit like pretty much every other queen, but it was nude-tone covered in colorful pompoms in all the wrong places. Girl… no. There was absolutely no concept or story behind this look.

Since the Alaskan Winter had to be hot, Miami Summer Realness meant the queens had to be frosty ice queens. Again, it’s a lot of the same. Monét set herself apart from some similar Ice Queen looks by blowing out a puff of icy breathe before stomping the runway. Cue the gay gasps!

Aquaria brought yet another cohesive, well-executed look in a colorful faux-fur ski outfit, complete with fur hat and tutu. The pieces of her costume moved so beautifully with her body, and it wasn’t just another ice queen trope like the other girls.

And yet again, Asia came out in a costume that was just plain tacky. She can’t brag about her costuming skills and her pageant background and then come out in a Day-Glo, cheetah print ski suit and matching neon-spotted fur coat.

For the Martian Eleganaza Extravaganza, the queens had to put together their own original outfits from materials provided to them in the workroom. Yet again, Aquaria was the one to beat. Blair was being shady in the workroom about the fact that Aquaria was cutting out pieces of paper for her outfit, but in the end, it was perfect. She looked like the world’s hottest supervillain from the gayest comic book, with a giant lightning bolt made of patent leather, a long black cape, and a deep V covering her deep V (and not much else).

Aquaria literally pulls looks for a living. She’s an Instagram sensation for a reason. The girl knows how to dress her body, she knows how to wow a crowd and she’s not afraid to take a risk for the sake of fashion. That’s why everybody is gagging over her, and that’s why she was this week’s winner. It’s about time!

Meanwhile, self-proclaimed costumer Asia O’Hara came out in a messy, shapeless number with what looked like a giant sperm on her head. After three very disappointing ball looks, Asia better thank her lucky stars she was not in the bottom this week. Instead, it was Monet and Dusty Ray Bottoms.

Their outfits weren’t bad, per se, but they just didn’t wow the judges. They were basic and blended in with a lot of the other concepts on the runway. And at this point in the competition, you don’t want to blend in.

Monet and Dusty have to lip sync for their life to Nicki Minaj’s “Pound The Alarm”, and poor Dusty. Monet was serving up comedy, getting huge laughs from Ru, but also whipped out jump splits and voguing. Meanwhile, Dusty just danced around like a drunk Kris Jenner, but still gave it her all. Ru was so impressed with the high-energy lip sync that he directly addressed all the safe queens and told them, “That is what we call a lip sync for your life!”

It’s sad to say goodbye to Dusty so soon, especially after her heartbreaking confession last week about her family’s attempt to exorcise away her homosexuality when she was younger. But unfortunately, as the season goes on, some queens just don’t cut it.

This week’s episode was less drama-centric than the last three, which in all honesty, I preferred.  It focused more on the actual challenge and runway. Thankfully, because this runway finally gave us some sha-blam!

But that doesn’t mean there was a lack of drama. Instead of the usual Cracker vs. Aquaria, the episode started with Monique and Mayhem squaring off over Monique’s leadership skills in the “Tap That App” challenge. But of course, the producers couldn’t resist poking a dead horse by getting Cracker (you know she did not decide to ask Aquaria this herself) to ask her fellow New York queen Aquaria about having a sugar daddy, a rumor she supposedly heard around the New York scene. Surprisingly, Aquaria defended her hard work and nobody fought over these so called “rumors.” Unfortunately for us, that means no Sugar Daddy speech, part two.  

This episode finally gave us the fashion moments we were craving. I’m actually glad they moved up the ball challenge, which is usually much later in the season because it reminded us how amazing some of the queens are at executing high-fashion ideas on the runway. Now let’s hope this season can keep up this momentum.

Related Story: RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10 episode 3 review: Tap That App

Random Ruflections

  • Is that Aquaria or The Fame era Lady Gaga in the mini challenge?
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race is literally bringing more attention to climate change than the actual President of the United States
  • Can somebody put out a missing person’s report for Kameron Michaels?
  • The Vixen, pointing out the obvious: “I’m the fire starter.”
  • Blair St. Clair, also pointing out the obvious: “I’m mistaken for a 12-year-old boy all the time.”
  • Miz Cracker looking directly into the camera and asking for a sugar daddy is honestly the biggest mood.
  • Aquaria looked like Rainbow Brite getting ready to go skiing in her Miami Summer Realness outfit
  • RuPaul, approximately 890 times this episode: “Lerks.”
  • “I may be a b*tch but tonight, I feel like that bitch.” – Aquaria
  • Blair should’ve been top three, all of her looks were so consistent
  • “Would you say she’s a… Kameron Kameron Kameron Kameron Kameron Chameleon?” – Michelle Visage