To all things… an end.
Well, squirrelfriends, the time has come… for RuPaul’s Drag Race… to crown… a winner!
But first let’s spend 90 minutes padding out way through an over-stuffed review/variety show to get to that point.
If it sounds line I’m being slightly bitter, well yes I am. Ever since Season 4 when they switched the format around, I’ve been against this over-wrought drag extravaganza. I missed the days of just naming the winner then having a closed set reunion so we could watch the queens (and, most tellingly in the Season 1 reunion, Ru) get real with each other. These extravaganzas just feel padded out and have no real consequence.
That said, of the big production number reunion/crowning episodes, this one is perhaps the best done of the lot. Rather than do a full play by play analysis, I will do just a smattering of my favorite moments:
* You could tell which queens Ru liked more in who she gave more time to. For example, the interview with Vivacious and April Carrión celebrating Vi’s legendary walking skills (which caused the crowd to cheer) and Ru gagging over April’s looks that she would have worn during the competition (April’s look for the impersonate Ru runway would have beaten BenDeLaCreme’s look, it was that accurate.) And the dancing Ornacias were life-giving.
* Gia and Milk were kind of a snooze fest, to be quite honest.
* Laganja looked great but then she opened her mouth showing she had learned nothing. I don’t know which was funnier; Michelle’s stony resting bitch face or Alyssa Edwards’s cringing during that section.
* The first Atta Girl! Award of the night went to Trinity K. Bonet, who not only looked fantastic but it was clear that her time on the show changed her for the better. Good on you, girl! Good on you!
* Then came out Joslyn Fox, BenDeLaCreme, and Darienne Lake and each girl got rewarded justly. For Darienne, it was a video message of reconciliation between her and her parents (staged as all hell but why ruin the moment). For DeLa, it was winning Miss Congeniality this year (as presented by last year’s winner Ivy Winters, who came out in a ball gown on stilts!). And for Joslyn, she got to be married right then and there with Ru officiating (and the Pit Crew as bridesmaids). Staged, yes, but you can’t deny the sweetness of it all.
* At last our top three of Adore Delano, Bianca Del Rio, and Courtney Act arrived and each looked great (though it took me a moment to recognize Courtney’s take on Jerica from Jem And The Holograms). And after the usual chatter it was time for audience questions (as delivered by Latrice Royale! Alaska! and Jiggly Caliente who had the second Atta Girl! moment of the night not only for being the victim of a Bianca Del Rio read but also serving up a personal best look).
* Of all the filler bits this year, my favorite was the Drag Herstory 101, a montage of iconic queens (Joey Arias! Divine! Lypsinka! Holly Woodlawn! Marsha P. Johnson!) and a quibble or two (Flip Wilson is slightly odd but I get it, where was Eddie Izzard, and while I can understand and agree with John Cameron Mitchell being on the list – for creating dear Frau Hedwig, I about spit out my cocktail at the sight of Mr. Harris).
* Finally, it was time for the crowning and last year’s winner, the inimitable Jinkx Monsoon, descended onto the stage in a fantastic look (think The Emerald City Of Oz Civic Theatre’s production of Evita).
* And congratulations to BIANCA DEL RIO!!!! While I would have been happy had Adore won, it’s thrilling to see Bianca get her due. While Adore has the potential to be the next RuPaul due to her talents and charisma, Bianca has the ability to be an aspirational role model to the drag community and future drag queens, combining grace and professionalism to her immense talents and presence. I am so happy to be living under the reign of Queen Bianca!
Finally, I must give a special thanks to The Gay 90s for hosting a packed finale party. All season long they have been throwing one of the best viewing parties in town and last night’s packed turn-out was a lovely validation for them. So go and support your local drag queens! Who knows? One of them may end up on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Photo Credit: Logo TV / World Of Wonder