For the fifth episode of Drag Race Thailand, the six remaining contestants – Amadiva, Année Maywong, B Ella, JAJA, Natalia Pliacam and Petchra – are feeling the heat as they tackle big challenges back-to-back. Hosts Art Arya and Pangina Heals are joined by guest judges Metinee Kingpayom and Polpat Asavaprapha.
Last week Amadiva and Natalia lip sync for their life, however, both we’re saved by Art Arya. This week the some of the contestants were showing a lot of animosity against Amadiva, accusing her of putting out an act non-stop. The show never really showed anything of her doing this, so I can only speculate this is behind the scenes and/or dynamics between the cast off camera. Some are very vocal about their desire for her to leave the show. It’s hard to make sense of the drama without the footage.
“Amadiva should quit this game.” – Petchara
“Amadiva should just go home.” – Année Maywong
JAJA is also a target. In particular, Natalia Pliacam ridicules her fashion choices saying “seems quite tasteless.” Natalia also struck a nerve with Dearis Doll when she accused her of putting on a bar show when she did her lip sync – perhaps to Natalia “stripping” in a lip sync is a cheap way to earn points and is reserved for bar performances. Dearis defended herself saying she didn’t put on a bar show, she was lip synching for her life, and said, “if you want to see a show, go to the bar.”
Unlike the show’s US counterpart, they don’t sugarcoat or filter how they express themselves in Drag Race Thailand. The hosts and cast are frank, unfiltered and zany as ever. And they got very thick skin to match. Fortunately, in other countries (including the US), the show will be streamed on WOW Plus or other affiliates with streaming platforms, beyond the reach of the FCC, so it’s very likely that censorship will be very minimal if any. Otherwise, we’ll be hearing a lot of beeps. It’s all gag-worthy and jaw dropping … and definitely hilarious. Some people in the West might take offence in some of their statements (you’ll see later).
The Library Is Open
For their first ever reading (critiquing) challenge, Drag Race Thailand gave the phrase “reading is fundamental” a cultural twist. They changed it to … “accents indicate your origin, manners indicate your clan (family),” meaning, how one speaks can reveal where they’re from and one’s manners can reveal how they’re raised. Two of the Pit Crews brought in trays of assorted sunglasses. Host Art Arya randomly picked a strip of folded paper, which bears the cast’s name, inside a clear acrylic box which Pangina was holding. And each one walked up to the pit crew, and flirt a little, pick one sunglasses from either tray and read any of the cast or hosts for one minute.
JAJA was the first to get picked. She opened with, “reading is fundamental. So I’ll read myself first because if you read yourself, it’s good, and you can read somebody else.” With arms up in the air, she said, “Fun!“, then pointing to her missing molar, she said, “No fun” – “fun” in Thai means tooth. She read B Ella with a fat joke, “You’re the biggest one. And I believe you’re the biggest winner in the “Biggest Loser Season 1″.” She turned to Amadiva and said, “I cannot see you, you’re too dark.”
Petchra was next to read, she said, “B Ella, you diabetes bitch,” and I gagged. She continued, “Let me tell you something, be courteous to the diabetes in you when you’re eating.” And my jaw dropped on the floor. Then she read Dearis, saying, “you should start the Srimp Farmers Association page instead (of creating a fan page for Dearis Doll).” She was demeaning Dearis’ job as a shrimp farmer, but too bad for her, Dearis is proud to be a farmer.
Année Maywong took a jab at Amadiva, “I love the way you do all your characters because you’re an actor. But putting an act all the time must be tiring,” basically calling her “fake.” She called Dearis Doll for her next read, to which she replied, “Oh, shit. Me?” She said, “I think you’re better off raising shrimp because it fits your country image.“
Amadiva wasn’t holding back either, she said “Natalia, I’m so happy that you’re still here with me. Because if you leave, I’d be the only asshole left on this show.” Gag! She turned to Année Maywong and said, “your makeup is so beautiful but you have a twink body, you know?” And Petchra too got read, “I thought the LINE Man (rideshare) came to visit us. If I wanted something I’ll start a chatting with you.” And for her finale, she turned to JAJA, and in clear English, she look at the two pit crews and said, “Pit crew! You know JAJA is really happy that you’re here. You’re like tall, smart, handsome, clever and seems like you’re really funny. Something she’ll never be.” Jesus! So brutal!
Dearis Doll’s revenge was swift, she was picked next. She said, “Hi JAJA, you look great today. You’ll look even better when you’re selling water filters.” And to B Ella, “This is a big studio, who left a gas tank here? What if it explodes?“
Natalia Pliacam was next. She’s not hiding her dislike for Amadiva, telling her, “you really are the lowest of the low. Simply speaking, a single celled organism.” She took it like a pro. Natalia turned to the hosts, “I don’t have much to say to our two hosts.” She continued. “you should be picking a queen and not animals or trash as a winner.” She closed her read with what she often likes to bring up in her confessionals, her money, “Bye bye penniless bitches.”
Some of the cast are tired of hearing Natalia boast about her money,
“You’re rich, so what?” – Petchra
“I don’t know how rich she is, but from what I know, millionaires and billionaires don’t bring it up every chance they get. It doesn’t help if you have money, you need to have a brain too.” – Dearis Doll
“Uncle, you may be rich but your wealth won’t help you (win) Drag Race Thailand.” – Année Maywong
“She keeps talking about how rich she is and it’s like, I’m sick of it.” – B Ella
Finally it was B Ella’s turn, she took a jab at Petchra, “do you know why she’s always wearing a cap? Because if you lift it up we’ll be witnessing a second sun.” She took a pause at Année Maywong, and said, “I’ll come back to her later. This bitch is too pretty.” And to Natalia, she said, “you’re not fat. You just haven’t taken a shit yet.”
The hosts picked Amadiva as the winner, and the other cast agreed. Art Arya explained why they picked her, “First, there was flow in how she arrived to the punchline. Her timing and rhythm when making comments and reads were good. More importantly, she kept the pace with her reads and they were sharp.”
Savage! And that was just the mini challenge.
Drag Race Thailand debut one of Drag Race’s staple challenges, Snatch Game. With the exception of JAJA and Petchra, the other four queens pick Thailand celebrities and public figures: Année Maywong as Lukkade Metinee (The Face Thailand mentor), Dearis Doll as Jintara Poonlarp (Thai country and pop singer), Natalia Pliacam as Sumanee Gunakasem (Thailand’s Billionaire Barbie who is eighty years old); JAJA as Nicki Minaj, Amadiva as Cherprang Capture (captain of the band BNK48), Petchra as Amy Winehouse and B Ella as Leena Jung (a controversial Thailand lawyer and politician).
Earlier, in the confessional Année said she’s “more scared of the Snatch Game than the runway.” Expectations are high, with Art Arya calling her the “queen of the runway”, she explained, “if I screw this up, I’m dead. I won’t survive this.” JAJA shared the same sentiment, saying, “It’s so hard to make this challenge. But I don’t want to lip sync.” And started to sing, “ I came here to win. To fight. To conquer. To try but came to win. Fighting!” lol
The game’s guests were Lukkade Metinee (The Face Thailand mentor) and Polpat Asavaprapha (owner of a fashion brand).
For someone unfamiliar with Thailand pop culture, the references are out of the question. But it was easy to tell who performed well. B Ella, Dearis Doll and Natalia Pliacam. Année Maywong had a rocky start. She was impersonating Lukkade, who from the get go overshadowed everyone on set, and called her “stupid” to her face with a matching glaring look! I didn’t know how Année was able to keep her composure.
The library didn’t really closed, because everyone was still reading, a bit more harshly than usual. “JAJA is Nicki Minaj. Do they look similar? Sure! She’s future Nicki when she’s old. So wrinkly!” Dearis’ assessment of JAJA’s Nicki Minaj look. Natalia on Amadiva’s Cherprang impersonation, “what is she saying? I can’t understand. Fortune cookie? All I’m getting is misfortune cookie waiting to die.” Amadiva was not impressed with Petchra’s Amy Winehouse, “Petchra shouldn’t be killing her all over again.”
It was very lively, vulgar, awkward and at times confrontational. At one point one of the judges approached the panel to throw a lip stick! Who does that? Well, it’s Thailand. Natalia, bless her heart, for saving everyone from awkwardness a number of times. Art Arya declared herself the winner, but from the looks of it, Lukkade stole the game by being so extra. The other guest was very appreciative of the queens and what they had to do – recreate the look of the character through costume and makeup,acting and comedy. That made up for all the over-the-top game play.
Petchra was acutely aware she failed, she said to herself as she prepares for the runway challenge, “put on your dress and learn the words to the lip sync song, Petchra.” B Ella’s observation summarized the whole segment, “everyone walked into the workshop looking like zombies.”
The runway theme was “Thai Silk Extravangza.” The contestants were instructed to incorporate Thai silk in their costume, with emphasis on the material. Right after the mini challenge, the queens were asked to pick a bundle of colored silk of their choice. Starting with Amadiva, as a reward for winning the mini challenge. She picked dark blue. Art Arya then asked her to pick the next queen to pick a silk. She’s a friend of JAJA, but after JAJA picked Morrigan instead of her, she said, “Not JAJA, she betrayed me last time.” She choose Natalia instead, who picked light blue. Année was next, she picked green. Petchra picked red. Dearis picked yellow. B Ella was about to pick on of two remaining silk bundles, orange and purple, when JAJA was screaming, “My god, I don’t like the orange one! I don’t like the orange one.” In the Philippines prisoners wear orange jumpsuits. lol. “No oh. Fuck you, I’m like a prisoner,” she complained loudly. Luckily for her, B Ella picked orange. JAJA end up with purple – though in Philippine culture, purple is the sign of death, so I don’t know which is better … prison or death?
With multiple tough challenges stacked in one week, some of the queens were feeling the heat. During the walk through, Dearis Doll broke down when she couldn’t figure out how to incorporate the yellow silk in her costume design. Art had to comfort her, “We barely got started and you’re crying already? Calm down.” Dearis’ wiped tears trickling down her cheeks. Pangina gave her a very sweet and reassuring pep talk. Later, one of the queens asked if the hosts’ encouragement helped, Dearis said, “No.” LOL However, she was determined, “I’m very stressed out but I’m going to do my best no matter what,” Dearis explained.
B Ella created ginormous shoulder pads and long sleeves with her orange silk, and incorporated it in her elephant gown.
Natalia Pliacam created a beautiful origami-inspired butterfly which covered the whole front section of her light blue dress.
Amadiva created an gorgeous short dress inspired by “The Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh, painted her face and exposed shoulder to match the patttern, and wore a half moon as a fascinator.
Asava was not impressed with her messy hair. Pangina, who agreed with him, responded, “thank fucking you!“
Dearis Doll, inspired by flowers of the golden rain trees, created flowers out of the yellow silk and adorned a circular mesh with it.
Année, who was not feeling her design, fashioned the green silk diagonally across her dress from left shoulder to right hip, and bunching it up on the hip to resemble a flower or some sort. The judges thought it was “too simple“, “she’s playing it safe, again“.
Petchra constructed a wavy drapery out of her red silk, and wove it around a nude dress giving the illusion of silk hanging in air.
JAJA didn’t have any inspiration for her purple silk, she wore it like a messy tube top. Metinee said she like it, ‘because it looks like a whore.”
Apparently, the library was still open! As soon as Art Arya reached her mark on the runway, guest judge Metinee Kingpayom made a comment about her outfit, “is Q-tip your sponsor for this episode? You’re serving cotton bud realness.” Imagine a guest judge saying that to RuPaul? LOL … Drag Race will be re-titled, “Murder She Did – Drag Race.”
Unlike RuPaul’s Drag Race where they make funny, sassy double entendre comments about the contestants’ runway look and presentation, Drag Race Thailand starts their critique as soon as the queen emerge on the runway entrance. When they line up for the critique, that’s when they finish them up.
Production: During the critique, judge Polpat Asavaprapha expressed how disappointed he was with JAJA this week. He said he’s a huge fan of her after watching her in the show week after week. (PAUSE) It’s only the fifth episode! How could he say that he’s seen JAJA on the show if it’s still on-going and he’s also on the show? Unless! He must have time traveled to the future to watch the show and returned to the present time to join the panel of judges! This was quite a revelation! Actually, as it turns out, Drag Race Thailand is still filming! They started airing the show as soon as they finished filming the third or fourth episode. It’s unlike Drag Race which films the whole season, except the finale, in one continuous production. This also implies the cast are not sequestered in some hotel, like Drag Race. They go home and work on their day job and return to the studio to film. If anyone else notice this, there are no costumes in the Werk Room. They bring it with them the day they’re called back to film. And this also explains why JAJA defends her tardiness as caused by traffic or work! This is all very interesting, it’s like real-time competition.
Natalia Pliacam was declared winner of the Snatch Game and Runway Challenge. B Ella was declared safe.
While Année Maywong, the front runner, along with JAJA and Petrchra fell in the bottom three. Earlier, Art Arya told the queens that what happened the previous week where no one got eliminated was a one time thing. This week, someone has to go. The bottom three lip sync to Britney Spears’ song “Toxic.” Année shed her gown to reveal a beautiful body suit. JAJA jumped off stage to apply fake blood on her mouth (ketchup). Petchra didn’t slack either, she was also killing it. Even though B Ella was a bit concerned for her, “Petchra has her work cutout for her. I feel bad for her because she’s my friend. But there’s a lion on her left and a tiger on her right.”
All three did a very tight and intense lip sync, it wowed the judges. Asava exclaimed, “Oh wow! That’s a fucking lip sync. I hope you have insurance for the performance. My god! That is what we call, “lipsync for your life.” ” Art said, “thank you for making us feel that. It has been an honor that we get to watch you all fight to stay here.”
Année was declared safe. “I will keep one of you here and will send one of you home,” Art Arya said in English to JAJA and Petchra. “And the girls (sic) that I choose to stay is … ” she continued, as the queens at the back of the stage brace for the verdict. “JAJA, congratulations, you’re staying with us. You have another chance. You may join the other girls in the back.” Natalia’s jaw fell on the floor. Dearis and B Ella cried. Amadiva was gagged. “Petchra, I love you so much,” Art Arya wrapped up the verdict, next to an emotional Pangina. “I’ve been very impressed with your beauty thus far. You’re a great fighter. I’ve watched you grow. I’ll be honest with you. I’m so proud of you.” It was a long “sashay away” speech but well deserved. Petchra was pretty good at keeping her composure, she was all smiles.
And as she exit the main runway, Petchra addressed everyone, “don’t fucking cry or I’ll slap the shit out of you.” lol. In her farewell message on the mirror, she told Natalia, Année, B Ella and Dearis to keep fighting. Nothing for JAJA, because they don’t understand each other. And for Amadiva, “quit being such a fake,” she said.
Natalia Pliacam’s double win moved her to second place in the rank, just about half point away from tying with the current front runner, Année Maywong. Année is still in the lead but at a precarious position. JAJA and Amadiva fall behind by one spot. While Dearis Doll and B Ella are still trailing behind, with the latter at a very dangerous spot. Unless B Ella really excels next week, she’s likely the next cast to get the chop.
The drama continues next week!