Start your engines, it’s time to rank season 4! Considered to be the breakout season of the show, season 4 features some of the most interesting people and creatures ever showcased on TV.
Blood on the runway, blood on the runway
The season begins with the RuPocalypse Now challenge, judged by the somehow un-aging, possibly un-dead, Elvira. Sharon Needles spits blood on the runway and LaShawn Beyond cracks a globe in half and wears it on her head. This is something special!
Speaking of creatures: Willam. NO I. Don’t worry, she’ll correct you, Mr. Sitcom Producer Guy. Willam is bitchy and pretty and has a resume that’s as long as her husband’s arm (wink wink, nudge nudge). Don’t worry, she’ll tell you about all her appearances on a variety of shows: Sex and the City, Homicide, SVU, other flavors of Law and Orders, and so on and so forth until you die. But Willam is great and she gets kicked off the show—the only disqualification in Drag Race herstory! She also pukes off the side of the stage in a corset. She also—DRAMATICALLY—saves either Sharon Needles or Phi Phi O’Hara from elimination.
Willam's elimination feels like so much producer manipulation. Sharon and Phi Phi have been at each other’s throats all season, creating great reality TV. Both are great contestants, winning challenges and in the case of Phi Phi, growing. They are paired in the singing challenge (machinations), which they don’t do very well in. Don’t tell me for one minute that Willam’s disqualification wasn’t saved for this perfect moment—to elevate the feud (Feud: Sharon and Phi Phi coming to FX in 2019) and to raise Willam’s profile. Nothing says cool girl like being kicked off Drag Race for a mysterious reason. The whole thing stinks to high heaven!
Saint of the breaking jewels. Patroness of prison matrons everywhere. “Get those nuts away from my face.” Whether she’s playing an over-it Queen of Soul in Snatch Game or preaching to the children, she is truly legendary. Also, Latrice gives great gif -->
Speaking of Snatch Game, this one is a mess. There are good performances: Sharon as Michelle Visage, making Ru pee his plaid pants; Chad as an impeccable Cher, including the first Drag Race Snatch Game wig change; Dida Ritz as Wendy Williams. But the whole bottom row collapses into “fuckery,” spurred on by Phi Phi’s erratic Lady Gaga (note to future contestants: don’t do pop stars. The killing floors are littered with poor pop star imitations: Lady Gaga (x2), Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Ke$ha. They’re not interesting!) Soon Jiggly Caliente is smooshing people and everyone is just screaming and Latrice is out of chicken and not having it. I’m giving this Snatch Game the Trainwreck award.
Chad Michaels schools the children about how to do a proper Cher—don’t flip your hair. CHER DOESN’T DO THAT. Which is great especially when Ru comes in and does all Cher imitation clichés known to humankind. Chad smiles because CHAD IS A PROFESSIONAL, HUNTY.
Everybody hates phi phi
So, I’ve made you wait this long, and no longer. Let’s take a trip to PARTY CITY! Phi Phi is the most villainous contestant to ever play this game. She’s so tiny and she’s so evil. And she hates Sharon so much! The two row over the album commercial, and when Sharon half-assedly tries to make up, Phi Phi blows her top. Sharon calls her a tired-ass showgirl. Phi Phi tells Sharon to go back to Party City, where she belongs. All the queens huddle in the corner, crying. Ratings soar! Never have the words “PARTY CITY” been used in such a hateful manner. Divorced people don’t spit this much venom!
Crazy ass challenges
Season 4 features the ridiculous Pride Boat Challenge. Just: WHUT? Boats? Pride? Milan “Swiffer the floor with her taint” is sent home, finally. Willam channels Carrie Bradshaw (Willam guested on Sex and the City, ya know!) and decorates her boat with stickers featuring her face.
It also has the Presidential debate, in which Phi Phi calls the black contestants “the help.” Latrice uses all her self-restraint to not prison yard stomp her tiny ass.
This season also has the Bitch Ball, in which the queens are paired with adorable dogs and Phi Phi gets a little too close with her awesome bloodhound. Why? Why are they dressed like dogs and performing a Piane masterpiece? We'll never know.
Sharon Needles is a winner, baby. But sometimes Sharon doesn’t listen. On rewatch, Sharon comes off a tad arrogant, especially in the sitcom challenge. She is the queen of the CLAPBACK and also of not listening.
Who’s the real winner? Well, Sharon. But in my heart, maybe, Willam. Nobody has ever been kicked off before or after. She’s our rule-breaking Queen of Screen.