‘Drag Race PH’ S2 midpoint recap: A bigger stage, grander looks, and double the drama

We’ve finally reached the midpoint of “Drag Race Philippines” Season 2 with six queens still in the running to become the country’s next drag superstar. It’s been one heck of a ride as the cast puts on a valiant effort to fill in big heels and a grander stage for a growing audience in the country and abroad.

Aside from some truly memorable runway looks, this season has a number of emotional beats that struck fans and had them reaching for tissues. Emotions have also been running high on “Untucked” with pot-stirring and confrontations abound.

Here’s a recap of the episodes so far to help you guess which two queens will make it to the finale. 

Ep. 1: “Grand Opening Part 1” 

Season two’s first episode was met with mixed reactions from fans when it deviated from the format by starting off with the first set of six queens. We met the funny Arizona Brandy of Rapture, sweet multimedia star Matilduh, bold Tiny Deluxe from the House of Deluxe, Cebu’s pride Nicole Pardaux, feisty trans queen Captivating Katkat, and the trans nonbinary living Bratz doll M1ss Jade So. With this roster, we got to hear trans Pinay power discussed at the Werk room.

The queens served “America’s Next Top Model” realness with a freaky photoshoot with a tarantula shot by BJ Pascual for their first mini challenge. 

To their surprise, the queens immediately faced the Girl Group Challenge where they wrote their own verses for the track “Boogsh!” Having this challenge so early in the competition seems to have robbed fans of a more polished and meaningful performance but the queens served body-ody-ody and lines like “Arizona, alak pa!” that stuck.

One of the more memorable “Feather You Like It or Not” runway looks is M1ss Jade’s Ibong Adarna-inspired outfit. Although Nicole’s tribute to Sinulog was touching, she was up for elimination and bid goodbye after lip syncing to “Here We Go” by guest judges 4th Impact.

Ep. 2: “Grand Opening Part 2”

Episode two introduced comeback queen from Quezon Province DeeDee Marié Holliday, stunt queen Astrid Mercury, Hana Beshie from Cagayan de Oro’s Haus of LaFeya, Veruschka Levels from Hong Kong’s House of Levels, trans O-Bar legend Bernie, and Drag Playhouse PH’s queen of spook ØV Cünt.

This batch’s “Boogsh!” was more chaotic but with Bernie as their captain, it was still impactful. Bernie’s Victoria’s Secret fantasy for the “Fringe With Benefits” runway was also a standout while Hana’s campy Cup Noodles look became a topic of discourse backstage. 

Its “Untucked” episode gave us the shaaaade with pullout discourse and even sugarcoating claims also in the mix. Reality TV fans claimed that Veruschka got the “villain edit.”

Also shocking was Astrid’s moment of vulnerability when she picked herself  when asked who should go home. After lip syncing to 4th Impact’s “Unleash the Diva,” she did end up giving a tearful farewell.

Ep. 3: “Who Wore It Bettah?”

One of the most exciting runways so far was a product of the design challenge “Who Wore It Bettah?” where the remaining 10 queens went head-to-head with holiday-inspired designs. Bernie and M1ss Jade’s Christmas divas looks were fan favorites and their chemistry in the little comedy bit they added was fun to watch.

It brought another emotional “Untucked” episode with ØV breaking down after guest judge Tessa Prieto-Valdes called her design “trash,” the same way Rajo Laurel disparaged Eva Le Queen’s “Divi-divas” creation in the first season. M1ss Jade and Katkat also got into a confrontation on a bullying claim that Veruschka recklessly relayed. 

The “Kitty Girl” lip sync battle against Arizona and Tiny was also an all-timer with Arizona triumphing with the help of powder and floor licking. 

Ep. 4: “Snatch Game KNB?”

This season’s “Snatch Game” was a bit underwhelming as fans couldn’t help but compare it to last year’s iconic “game show.” This batch impersonated the likes of Adele, Mayor Joy Belmonte, and Zenaida Seva but the jokes rarely landed. 

The queens did redeem themselves with their “U-la-lam Realness” runway looks such as Katkat’s tapsilog regalia and ØV’s stunning Job Dacon tahong gown.

The “Untucked” episode was a heavy one with DeeDee opening up about her mental health battle and insecurities as a long-time queen. 

Then, it was Veruschka’s turn to say goodbye after a three-way lip sync battle to guest judge Kim Molina’s rendition of “Bongga Ka ‘Day.”

Ep. 5: “Sirena The Rusical”

Move over, Ariel! There’s a more bongga mermaid in town. The queens stepped up for the Rusical challenge inspired by “The Little Mermaid.” Katkat played the titular Sirena while opposite her is DeeDee’s phenomenal Tiya Pusit. Production-wise alone, it’s a definite glow-up from last year’s “OPM Divas: The Rusical.”

“The Shoooes!” runway served a number of fun campy looks like Katkat’s kadang-kadang ice skiing outfit, Hana’s Undin execution, and ØV’s cowboy look featuring custom MX Studio boots. 

The emotional lip sync battle to Morissette “Gusto Ko Nang Bumitaw” between M1ss Jade and Matilduh had fans crying. Matilduh’s exit also touched hearts as she took her “Drag Race” journey as an opportunity to come out to her parents.

Ep. 6: “Dramarama Mama!”

And finally, we got to this week’s episode that turned intense the moment DeeDee made a poor decision to divulge an intimate detail about Hana on the “Puppet Ate!” mini challenge. This led to an outburst of emotion in “Untucked” from Hana who felt betrayed, saying that she doesn’t want to feel ashamed in the competition when it was her way of coming out to her parents too. 

But the IRL drama didn’t take away the queens’ shine in “Pangako Sa’Yo, Mula sa Puso… Magkaribal sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan ng Kadenang Ginto…Two Gives!” acting challenge where Maricel Soriano served as mentor and guest actor. Katkat, Hana, ØV, and Arizona’s character’s were especially fun to watch. And that scene where Soriano slapped them one by one had fans gagging.

The “Can I Get an Alien?” gave us one of the best looks so far, Katkat’s golden, floating interpretation of Diva Plavalaguna in “Fifth Element.” 

The latest to sashay away is DeeDee after lip syncing to “I Bring the Beat.” 

Who do you think will win the crown this season?

 

Art by Ella Lambio

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Amrie Cruz: Amrie is a nonbinary writer who likes to talk about politics and viral animal videos. They have a dog daughter named Cassie who doesn’t go to school.