Melissa, Melissa, Melissa! We see Melissa talking about her separation from her ex-husband, saying she’s fed up with everyone, winning last week’s challenge…Unless this is setting the stage for her to snatch two wins in a row, this doesn’t bode well for our favorite dark nun. Oh, also no one went home last week.
Intro! This week I’m a mirror shard.
Welcome to Dragula: Titans Episode 7! Things are already starting off with weird energy. We’re treated to a sort of chaotic, unfocused sense of conflict in the boudoir. Melissa’s gleeful about her success in last week’s challenge, but even more so about the fact that now Astrud’s the only one without a win. Evah returns and, in true theater kid form, really commits to pretending that HoSo’s been eliminated. Astrud thinks that this makes sense because Evah seems to want it more, but then is sad that HoSo is gone, but then is wistful because she thinks HoSo would want her to go far, but then is upset because she feels as though Evah attacked her in the cauldron last week?
This is by far the most confusing drama of the episode, likely because the viewers are missing important context. From what I can gather, Astrud feels as though Evah’s statement in her cauldron speech about “treating everyone with kindness and grace, including those behind the camera” was a passive-aggressive dig at her. This makes me wonder about what interactions Astrud’s been having with production that would lead to the development of such a guilty conscience, though I doubt viewers will ever be privy to this.
Anyways, everyone’s upset about the “consequences” that the Boulets vaguely alluded to at the end of last week’s episode. But…spoiler alert: this is the last we’ll hear of them this week.
Once again, the Boulets are dipping into Season 1 for the floor show theme. This week, the contestants will be tasked with putting together sea monster looks, though I don’t know if anyone can top Frankie Doom’s Season 1 masterpiece in my eyes.
For the Fright Feat, the ghouls will climb through sewer pipes where they will have to unlock a gate with a code in order to exit before the pipes flood. Initially, I was excited for a Fright Feat with a little more oomph, but in practice, it was almost as confusing and weird as the Astrud/Evah beef. The “pipes” appear to be no more than a few yards long and the whole thing is over very quickly and filmed in such a way that it’s difficult to get a strong grasp on what’s actually happening.
Regardless, all the ghouls seem freaked out as they return to the boudoir afterward, particularly Koco, who talks about a deeply harrowing drowning incident she had as a child. Following her story, which involves being dared to jump off the diving board when she didn’t know how to swim and then watching her friends watch her drown (holy sh*t), Astrud goes to talk to Melissa and Victoria pulls Evah aside to speak with her.
Again, this conversation is initially a little baffling to me. Vicki claims that the other ghouls were saying Evah was being “performative” when she rejoined everyone in the boudoir. But HoSo and Koco are there with them, so the only other people she could be talking about are Melissa and Astrud. Melissa seems to notice this, and I wonder if this was what started her on the paranoid journey she continues for the rest of the episode. However, it quickly becomes apparent that the person she’s actually talking about is Astrud, who says in a confessional that she felt Evah’s speech about being kind to everyone was performative because it was used as a way to get in a dig at Astrud.
While I love watching our ghouls engage in the age-old queer tradition of misusing the word “performative,” it’s time for everyone to start working on their looks!
Maybe She’s Born With It, Maybe It’s Middle School
Koco’s working on a seahorse look, which I love for her. Even more charming is the fact that it’s based on her love of My Little Pony. Over in another corner, HoSo’s busy with a hagfish-inspired outfit. I’m obsessed. Also, I had no idea those nasty little f*ckers were edible. If anyone’s tried them, I’m dying to know what they taste like. Victoria’s working on a typically complex lionfish-esque look involving real porcupine quills and a color-changing paint she “whipped up [herself].” Okay, work!
Everyone discusses who they see making it to the finale. Not that anyone’s asking, but my best guess is that it’ll be Victoria, HoSo, and Koco. None of the contestants agree with me, though. Astrud thinks she’ll be there with Victoria and Koco, while Melissa thinks the same. Koco thinks it’ll be her, Melissa, and HoSo. Later, she clarifies that she thinks Victoria doesn’t need the win as much as others, which is interesting framing. I can see that reasoning for Resurrection, but it’s clear that Victoria wants to be crowned monster of all monsters on Titans. When asked for her top three, Victoria says that she’s had the same lineup since the beginning—her, HoSo, and Evah.
Astrud asked what happened to her since Victoria lied about seeing her in the finale back in Episode 4. In her typically gentle cadence, Victoria demurs, “It’s hard to say…” Incredible.
But then things go off the rails. Evah says that her top three are her, Victoria, and HoSo. There is definitely a slight edge to her voice when she says this (I imagine she was a little disappointed that so few others pictured her in the finale), but Melissa comes after her for it in a jarringly intense way. They go back and forth for a while and it’s heated and weird and seems to come from nowhere, which is sort of the theme of this episode.
Hagfish in Heels
The Boulets are sporting probably my favorite look of theirs this season. Our guest judges for the week are Season 4 winner, Dahli, and—in keeping with this episode’s theme of weird, petty drama—Resurrection winner, Saint. This’ll be interesting, as former buddies Saint and Koco seem to have had a pretty major falling out around this time.
On to the Floor Show!
This was probably Astrud’s best look since her entrance look this season. I really enjoyed how she structured the garment so that it really seemed as though the tentacles were bursting from her clothes. Also, despite the fact that the judges weren’t crazy about it, I loved her beak. And I’m always happy to see the return dripping mouth goo, a true Dragula mainstay. However, the performance and polish still weren’t all the way there.
Incredible. I loved this look. From the initial silhouette to the beckoning finger, to the reveal, all the way down to those clean gill ridges, this was perfection. One of the best floor show performances of the season, in my humble opinion at least.
I was just not on the same page as the judges this week. I loved this! It totally read hagfish to me, the performance was great, and I thought the overall effect was the perfect combination of weird, goofy, and genuinely creepy. Also, I loved the heels with it. Sue me.
I also really liked this! I understand why it was at the bottom given the stiff competition, but I thought this was a fun, visually-striking take on the theme. Also, I truly couldn’t understand why the judges felt it wasn’t giving “sea.” Even if you didn’t get seahorse from it right away (though it read through pretty clearly to me), it was at least giving major Poseidon energy.
Okay, this was the one where I completely disagreed with the judges. I adored this look. I know I have a soft spot for Melissa, but I’ve criticized her floor show performances before. This week she gave me everything I wanted from this challenge and everything I always want from Melissa BeFierce. The silhouette with the transparent fin headpiece was gorgeous and I loved the contrast between the monstrous face and the glamorous gown. Also, this was by far her most artfully applied facial prosthetic and she really took the judge’s feedback about editing in that area. If it were me judging, this one would’ve been near the top, but alas…
Actually, this may have been where I disagreed with the judges the most. I didn’t love this. Like, at all. Okay, let me roll that back a little. It was a cool creature costume and I enjoyed all of Victoria’s thoughtful details. However, it really did seem like just a costume to me, even if she added lashes this time. The shapes weren’t striking, it didn’t move particularly well, and the overall effect worked much better up close than from even a slight distance. Also, it seemed uncharacteristically ill-fitting. Even letting go of the fact that Victoria is held to very high standards, this just didn’t work super well as a response to the assignment. Absolutely no shade to Victoria, but I genuinely thought it was going to be at the bottom.
The judges give their critiques and, much to my surprise and horror, have entirely contrasting opinions on all of these looks. They hated what Koco and Melissa brought, weren’t crazy about HoSo, and were living for Victoria. At least we all agreed on the fact that Astrud’s performance slightly undercut a pretty fantastic look. Oh, and that Evah ate this week. Congrats on your second win, girl! (I have truly evolved from an Evah skeptic to a true fan.) As a side note, Dahli looks great. I wasn’t entirely crazy about their stylistic pivot in season 4/Resurrection, but I’m starting to come around now.
Clash at the Cauldron
As the contestants await their fates in the cauldron, Astrud’s alleged issues with production come up. As I buckle in for another endless processing session, Melissa shifts the whole conversation into an entirely new space by…completely losing it. It seems like the combined pressure of the competition and her personal life sort of come to a head here and she lashes out at just about everyone. In a particularly surprising moment, she comes for Victoria, who seems to be genuinely upset, and then comes right back at her. She runs out of the room sobbing and tells production she wants to quit and doesn’t want to see any of the other contestants before she leaves. Koco goes to comfort her, and Melissa tells her that she’s hoping Koco goes far in the competition. Everyone seems pretty shaken up.
So, it’s no surprise that Melissa is sent home this week. (It does seem like she quit, but I’m not entirely sure based on what was shown.) I’ll definitely miss her, but I’m glad she took herself out of a situation that was no longer serving her and that she went out looking like the f*cking superstar she is.
Most I’ve disagreed with the judges this season: This episode.
Floor show look I’d most want to eat at a seafood restaurant: HoSo because I’m now obsessed with knowing what hagfish tastes like.
Next week’s Fright Feat prediction: We’ve gotta do tattoos at some point, right? I want the new “Slut Dragula.”
- “The soundbytes are poppin’ today!” — HoSo
- “I’m just happy we can all agree that I’m annoying.” — Astrud
- ”She’s a theater kid!” — Koco
- “So basically the Fright Feat this week is: I have to drown.” — Koco
- “Girl, what is this, middle school?” — Evah
- “Maybe it is!” — Melissa
- ”That was trauma. Trauma. Trash.” — Victoria, neatly summarizing how I felt witnessing Melissa’s downfall this week.