As if the theme was not creepy enough in the first place, this week’s Boulet Brother’s Dragula introduces its aesthetic with a puppet show. The episode sees the season’s top four embracing the subversive and chilling theme of Killer Clowns.
How close the season is to its finale is apparent in the boudoir, with only the top two performers from last week waiting to see which of their competitors went home. The discussion when the other half of the final four return is genuinely moving.
The reactions to the terrifying extermination challenge last week, the emotions of the final few stages and the tension of the competition are all taking a toll on everyone. It is heartwarming to see them taking care of each other and feeling glad of the company they have left.
The challenge this week is to construct full monster looks inspired by the Killer Clown theme. They are given complete freedom to do whatever they want with that simple brief, as long as their look tells a story.
At this point in the competition, you are guaranteed an interesting floor show with that much creative space. All of the four remaining acts have shown a lot of their personality up until now. So, even without knowing what approach they’ll take, you can comfortably anticipate some unique takes.
Before they get to work, however, there is a Fright Feat, which sees each of the contestants perched above a dunk tank while their competition attempts to knock them into the water. This is given a little flavour by the return of Merry Cherry, who hurls reads at them as they go. They aren’t as thrown by this as you might imagine Merry would like them to be, but it certainly makes for some dryly funny confessionals.
It is very endearing seeing four incredible performers, who have proven floor show after floor show that they have impeccable control over their bodies, fail miserably to throw a ball in a straight line at a target.
With only four queens left, there is plenty of opportunity to see their thought processes in the boudoir as they construct their outfits. Their appreciation for the story element of the floor show comes across nicely. As well as the aesthetic aspects, the contestants examine the artistry and physicality that goes into clowning.
The boudoir scenes tease an amazing floor show, dropping glimpses of costumes coming together between deep emotional moments and a playful discussion about the eroticism of fear.
Inevitably, the floor show is astounding. You can see every performer’s character realised in the design and movements of their piece. If you’ve been paying attention to the competition so far, some won’t come as a huge surprise.
Hoso Terra Toma effortlessly weaved the influence of her Asian heritage into her clown. Meanwhile, Sigourney draped hers in her now iconic glamour. Saint steered away from the bright colours you might expect and came out with a look that was all the bolder for it. Finally, Dahli served a look that smashed sweetness and filth together in an aesthetic that was uniquely, unmistakably Dahli.
Ahead of the critiques, it was interesting to see the Boulet Brothers examine how each of the final four have shown growth over the season so far. Looking back over the journey each of them has gone through over the past few weeks was really enjoyable.
Following a tight floor show between four hugely impressive competitors, the cauldron this week was tense. It would have been impossible to have any kind of conversation without mentioning who you think might be going home next. You can see how much effort people are putting into trying not to hurt each other’s feelings. However, that doesn’t make it any easier when we see the heartbreak in some eyes when an artist is told that their peers think they’re the weakest one left standing.
The mood is considerably brightened by this week’s extermination challenge. In quite direct contrast to last week – when you would have been forgiven for legitimately fearing for the competitors’ lives – this episode has all four remaining artists racing in clown-themed go-karts. The winner of the Fright Feat at the beginning of the episode assigns a kart to each of them. As well as navigating a winding track, they also have to avoid pies to the face thrown by a horde of Killer Clowns waiting on the sidelines.
Given how close the competition is, this lends a real air of frivolity to the end of the episode. The tension feels relieved, and it serves as a reminder that this is, ultimately, all done in good fun.