I for one welcome our new robot overlord.
It’s finally here! This would have all gone up sooner but the BBC is incapable of keeping MasterChef on a regular schedule, so I apologise for that. Blame Tim Davie. (For this, and many other things.)
A Quartet to Remember
With the shenanigans and fuckery firmly put to rest, we finally have an official top 4 – it might not necessarily be the top 4 I’d have called when the season first began – Ginger and Eureka both seemed like dead-certs for the final and in all honesty, I had assumed Jan would get a redemption arc but production decided that they wanted to go ahead with breaking what was left of her soul, spirit and psyche into a million pieces. I had also thought A’keria would have made it given how polished her drag is – that’s not to say I had completely discounted both Ra’Jah and Kylie – I just didn’t know what narrative they’d go with for Ra’Jah, who mercifully got given the redemption arc that I think Jan felt was promised to her. As for Kylie, I think it was a case of not wanting to get my hopes up, because we all saw her on the fever dream of a Christmas special.
The elephant (queen) in the room is whether Eureka even had a chance of winning given the fact she was technically eliminated but the fact she didn’t miss a single challenge and then came back to win the very next episode puts her in a pretty good position – she was also barely ever in the bottom in any event when it wasn’t just everyone who didn’t win so she has a pretty solid track record according to BenDeLaCreme’s All Stars Abacus.
It really did feel like a finale that any of them could have won but I was very much going in to this routing for Ra’Jah and Kylie, who as she de-dragged did look delightfully like a gender flipped anime Ronald McDonald
it takes one Hell of a queen to pull that off. Also, someone make that TV show?
Four Queens and Country
As ever the finale is a challenge for the queens to write their own verse to be shoe-horned into whatever-the-opposite-of-a-passion-project-is RuPaul has chosen to record over the answering machine this year. Revealing that this year it was the turn of country music to undergo the Drag Race treatment with the song “This Is Our Country”, news he broke while dressed a granny blanket cowboy
obviously as well as writing their verses, the queens also have to learn choreography and then there’s the chat with Ru and Michelle to get through which I shall absolutely not be recapping if RuPaul is going to continue to say things like this
Call your dad, you’re in a cult.
The upside of it being a country song was the fact it didn’t really give the queens much room to sing about how Ru should give them the crown – a merciful reprieve after several years of “crown” being rhymed with “down”. It probably also did help (and is maybe a little suss) that the four queens left are all from The South and kind of get the whole country vibe – can you imagine Jan trying to do country? It’d be like Oklahoma! on bath salts.
The country theme also gave Kylie an opportunity to reclaim some of her pride for the things she’s been taught to be ashamed of – mostly the country twang in her voice which apparently doesn’t go down very well in LA. And she gave one hell of a performance in the final production – something about her spin and swipe to camera just felt like a bona-fide superstar
and that’s not even mentioning the part where she just kind of cartwheels and backbends her way off the screen
Which is only the second most acrobatic thing Kylie did this episode.
I also think her lyrics sounded the most like a genuine song “If they’re not gonna lower heaven / Then I’m going to raise Hell” is exactly the sort of thing many a Drag Race fan is going to get ill-advisedly tattooed on their forearms, so Kylie you have to live with that for the rest of your life I’m afraid. I HOPE YOU’RE HAPPY.
The lyrical highlight of the whole piece was from Ra’Jah
That’s a gut punch of a lyric which I’m not sure got properly appreciated because she did have a little bit of a mush-mouth situation towards the beginning of her verse. But she also killed the performance and just looked damn good as a sexy picnic table
which is a relief considering she spent the choreography session looking like an arthritic octopus trying to do The Haka.
I’m not sure she really needed the patriotic parrots on her shoulders but it gave the outfit some movement I suppose, and really drove home the fact that this was all meant to be about ‘Merica. A concept that felt a little lost on Eureka who for some reason used this as a diss-track about the monarchs of Europe – Queen Elizabeth does needs taking down a peg or two I suppose. I know she was talking about Elizabeth The First but I couldn’t help but immediately think that Eureka was calling Elizabeth II a tyrant and a dictator.
It was a weird choice all round from Eureka, her frills runway would have been a better choice for this
because even after the reveal from her Elizabethan Liberace gown, it didn’t read particularly country
and it just meant she stuck out for all the wrong reasons when the four queens stood next to each other for the final chorus
she did sound good though and I have nothing but respect to the dedication to normalising potato shoes on Drag Race. I demand it to be a runway theme in Season 14 – probably starting this October.
Lastly we have Ginger Minj who might have had my favourite performance outfit of the night
What can I say? I’m a sucker for fringe.
We all know that Ginger can write and sing, or at least as much as any Drag Race queen needs to be able to anyway. Her biggest struggle was always going to be the choreography and she certainly struggled in training session with Jamal “Imma Flood My Basement” Sims
it was less sex kitten and more cat-rejecting-worm-medicine. BUT, come the actual performance she did fine, it still wasn’t quite right but hey, not all of us are spinally gifted. I will say, I had expected a little more fun and playful lyric writing from Ginger but I think the fact this was an All Stars finale and she needed to have ~a serious message~ kind of got to her head and so we ended up with something that felt like an algorithm had written a RuPaul song.
Eleganza as Expected
As ever the final runway of the season is a call for the queens to wear their best, most elegant (and apparently purple) outfit, which a little bit infuriates me that this isn’t actually their crowning outfit, but I suppose it does meant that Eureka can can show up looking like she’s Cher leading The Undead Carnival
This is spectacular, I might wish that the nude illusion matched just that little bit better, but really, who cares about that when she’s serving Malamar realness on a scale I didn’t know was possible
The only good Generation 6 Pokémon, I will have no more said on the subject, I mean, read it’s Pokedex entry: “It lures prey close with hypnotic motions, then wraps its tentacles around it before finishing it off with digestive fluids.” God bless Nintendo when they decide to go Full Horror Show on us.
Ginger Minj had a tough act to follow and I will say, it’s the most fashionable Ginger has ever looked
but it’s still playful, there’s a touch of 80s prom movie in which she’s obviously playing one of Mollie Ringwald’s many characters who had her dress destroyed by her arch nemesis and had to fix it together, pulling out an outfit that everyone has coveted for the last 40 years. OH GOD THE 80S WERE FORTY YEARS AGO.
The only thing I might change is that I don’t think it necessarily needed the gloves, I think they’re muddling into the dress and kind of distracting but her hair and makeup are stunning.
Giving us a short reprieve from The Purple Runway 2: Electric Violet Boogaloo is Kylie who was giving us some serious 80s Miss America Pageant realness
This is a camp delight.
My heart always sinks a bit when someone says they’re going to wear a dress made from either the American flag or the Union Jack because I just don’t think red, white and blue makes for a particularly sartorially successful outfit, however I think this as successful as it could ever hope to be – mostly because it’s extremely shiny. I do maybe wish something a little more interesting was happening with the skirt because it’s giving me some serious “it’s a piece of fabric” vibes. But I also like that the crowning outfit Kylie wore was more of a Finale Eleganza look, someone clearly learned from Shea Couleé. LIPSYNC IN A BEAUTIFUL GOWN, LADIES.
And back to purple with Ra’jah The Undisputed Purple Queen
First of all: That thigh slit is CORRECT and we thank it for its service. Secondly, Ra’Jah made this herself (and all of her other pieces, I believe? Or at least she was involved in them all) which should be commended in the age of Buy It From a Designer Drag – we might as well just rechristen the runway as Diego Montoya’s Runway as this point.
I want to love Ra’Jah outfit unreservedly, it fits, the colour is great but I really don’t know how much I like what’s going on around her bust
it’s just a little lumpy and kind of reminds me of Monique Heart’s finale runway dress which had similar bulkage issues, although on a much grander scale
I still think she should have been in that final lipsync though, especially after the rumours that the heart on her planned lipsync outfit was full of fake blood. MORE FAKE BLOOD ON THE RUNWAY.
Sadly the other queens didn’t get to come back for the finale runway but I fully imagine A’keria would have had A SERVE, Jan would have worn purple, Scarlet would have looked like a Lana del Ray album cover, Serena ChaCha would have turned up as a soft sculpture matador, I’d have compared Pandora to Bette Davis again, Silky would have brought something out of her cleavage, Yara would have been 90% hair, Trinity would have worn an entire species worth of feathers and Jiggly would have looked perfectly cute.
A Finale Runway Ranking
- Eureka’s Malamar Realness.
- Kylie In The Only Act of Patriotism That I Will Abide.
- Ginger Minj as The Unwritten Mollie Ringwald Character.
- Ra’Jah O’Hara As A Formality.
Well This is Stupid
Once again Rupaul is completely incapable of making a damn decision and so we’re treated to a 4 way lipsync in which everyone has to go one by one but it’s all cut together in a bit of a dizzying mess. Also it’s to Lady Gaga’s Stupid Love which… is weird for a finale but sure. I suppose Born This Way is a little on the nose? But in dire need of a redemption after it’s treatment in Season 8.
Of course everyone had changed into their lipsyncing outfits, and they were… quite obviously the only things a few queens had left, most notably Eureka who was just wearing a very plain beige gown
I mean, it’s pretty but after the grandiosity of the rest of Eureka’s wardrobe, it’s a bit of a damp squib.
But maybe not quite as bad Ginger who was the only one trapped in a leotard
Are they ever going to crown something wearing a leotard? I just can’t see it happening.
Kylie meanwhile just looked really fucking cool in her voluminous green cloak and spiked dress
It’s giving me some major Cosmo the Alien vibes
and there’s the irrelevant media reference for the episode. Also, how many times have I mentioned this DOS game now? I’m determined to keep it’s non-legacy alive.
Ra’Jah too went the route of “I’ll wear a big coat!”, hers being distinctly more… prolapse adjacent
and beneath that she was quite literally dressed as a Care Bear
which for whatever reason does feel like Peak Purple.
A Stupid Love Lipsync Outfit Ranking
- Kylie’s MS DOS Realness
- Ra’Jah’s Prolapsed Care Bear
- At Least It Was a Cute Leotard
- Eureka’s Dulux Magnolia Gown
With the outfits taken care of, it’s just the actual lipsync to go and… it was all a little too choppy, as any lipsync with more than 2 queens tends to be. The biggest drama being the moment Kylie pulled a Farrah Moan and tripped over her coat but had the cat-like agility to not fall flat on her ass and instead styled it out into a barrel roll worthy of the MCU’s fight choreography
that is both a compliment to Kylie and a read about the MCU’s fight scenes, just so we’re all on the same page.
The rest of them were all very good, Eureka and Ginger both went slightly comedic and sang *at* the crown. Ginger may have won $50K in two lipsyncs but that does also mean we’ve all seen this comedic schtick twice before, which shouldn’t, but I imagine did, kind of count against her in the end.
And Ra’Jah, while not as out of it as she was in the Charlie XCX lipsync, did mostly just walk around the stage while rubbing her stomach like me unsubtly trying to tell someone to feed me
Stupid Love was a bad lipsync choice, can we all agree on that? But, it does also provide a nice bookend to Kylie’s Drag Race journey considering she was eliminated for a Lady Gaga impression and then went on to win her All Stars return in a Lady Gaga lipsync
I’m thrilled with a Kylie win, it genuinely means A LOT to me as a transwoman to see a fellow transwoman get her flowers (her crown and her sceptre) and while I don’t want to give much time to the people who claim she didn’t have to try as hard as the other queens to “create a female illusion” – I think they fail to see the mental strain that being a transwoman who does drag can be. That keeping your out-of-drag femininity and your drag femininity separate is no easy feat – we saw Gia Gunn struggling with that on All Stars 3 and we saw how that ended for her. It of course helps that Kylie is, what?, 11 years into her transition, so has a more concrete sense of self but I still think that needs celebrating and acknowledging. Anyway, I hope that was coherent, I’m just really happy for her, especially as during the live reaction to the episode she saw herself trip and obviously thought she had fucked it all up
little did she know every gay bar in America that livestreamed it utterly erupted with unbridled love when she saved it.
Before we get to the final Elimination Wall, if you’ve enjoyed these Drag Race recaps and would like to support the blog, you can leave a small donation via my Ko-fi account HERE. It really does help keep all of this up and running, and thank you to everyone that has given so far – you’re all angels!
And so, we have our winner