Well, kittens, this is it: the climactic finale to Drag Race’s biggest season to date. And what better way to conclude the narrative of this particular season, one rife with lip sync mis-fires, than a Lip Sync Tournament for the Gods. Truly, any queen could win! It’s exciting stuff.
Normally, the Drag Race finale is a bituvah snooze, but with last week’s fiery reunion doing all the reflective heavy lifting, this episode can get right to it. The other queens are introduced up top and then pretty much not seen from again. But we gotta take a moment for a few prime looks:
I love this look. Serving you big girl glamour! Watch out Season Ten, this bish is set to come stomping through!
2. Cynthia Lee Fontaine
This might be her first full gag in two seasons, but better late than never?
3. Nina Bonina Brown
Wait, where are the cat ears? The lizard scales? The octopus tentacles and the big fat ass? This look is a surprising gag from Nina and a real glimpse at what coulda been. In truth, all of the queens looked pretty stunning on the runway, but we can’t dwell here any longer, as the reason for the season is our Top Four:
What a queen! It’s elegant, it’s playful, and Mama got some new tits! Slay, Pep! Slay!
5. Sasha Velour
I mean, wow. Sasha’s a thinker, to be sure, but this is stunning. It’s regal and smart in a way that reminds me of Violet Chachki. I couldn’t get a screen cap that didn’t have some homo snapping his fingers in it, that’s how good this look is. Slay!
6. Shea Coulee
Shea’s looking gorgeous and sexy. I haven’t always loved Shea’s wigs this season, but these curls are giving me life. Slay, Miss Coulee! Slaaaaaaay!
7. Trinity Taylor
What a strange and fabulous look! And in what beautifully represents the show, she’s pictured here standing under a giant billboard for Ru’s new single. Mama Ru, always shilling! 2bh, I’m surprised there weren’t Squatty Potties on the stage. We move right on to our interview segments. A few highlights:
8. Peppermint + Winter Green Are Reunited
Wintergreen, one of the brightest moments of this season, comes to give Peppermint her blessings. And she’s looking fierce, serving you ‘Drunk Aunt At A Charity Gala’ realness. Other than Eureka, she’s the biggest threat for Season 10.
9. The Plus Ones
The queens brought those who are near and dear to them to the finale. Sasha’s dad bragged about his viewing parties. Shea’s mom, seen above, says she gave Shea all her rhythm. And Trinity, obviously, brought her Grindr boyfriend. A queen for the people, that one!
10. Blac Chyna Sends Shea Coulee A Special Message While Standing In Front Of A Fancy Car
Because obviously. Having made their cases for the crown, we now can move on to what is surely one of the most thrilling advents in Drag Race technology: THE LIP SYNC TOURNAMENT.
11. Up First, Trinity
Ru spins a giant wheel and Trinity is first up. She gets to pick her competitor and because she’s a badass bitch who ain’t afraid of shit, she selects Peppermint. What a way to go out, either winning or swinging!
They are given their track: Britney Spears’ ‘Stronger.’ At first, it’s neck and neck. Peppermint’s energy is infectious, Trinity is dropping to her knees and swinging her hair. But then, Pep changes the game. She begins the lip sync looking like this…
12. Peppermint, Stage One
And then right when the bridge hits and it sounds like Britney is in a well, Peppermint does a twirl and comes out on the other side looking like this…
13. Peppermint, Stage Two
It was an incredibly well-timed reveal and it brought the crowd to their feet. Trinity, fierce lip sync that she is, couldn’t overcome this shot from our Lip Sync Assassin and so loses Round One. Already, I am SHOOK.
Next up, this season’s greatest friendship takes the stage, as Shea and Sasha lip sync to Whitney Houston’s ‘So Emotional.’ How apt! Sasha crushes a rose to begin, then slowly starts to remove a glove. Right as the chorus hits, she whips it off, swinging it above her head, and…
14. Sasha Makes It Rain Rose Petals
Gagged! The crowd loves this and it certainly gives Sasha an early bump, though Shea is still turning it the fuck out. But then, good God, but then…
15. Sasha Starts To Act
Sasha steals the focus as the song is concluding. She’s a character actor now, she’s fucking going for it. She wants us to believe that she’s getting emotional. SO emotional. She’s clutching her chest, she’s on the verge of tears. She reaches up for her wig, slowly pulling it off, and…
16. Bish Was Hiding Rose Petals Under Her Wig!!!!!
Like a hundred rose petals fall off her beautiful bald head! Again, the crowd takes to their feet. And not just for the gag…for the STORY. Shea, who likely would have won any other season, is sent packing. Season Nine hasn’t even ended and we’ve already got a fierce looking All Stars Three ahead of us. The queens do a costume change for the final round. Yet again, Peppermint looks fabulous. But Sasha. Oh looooord, but Sasha…
17. Sasha OMG Sasha
Girl. Did. Not. Come. To. Mess. Around. The championship round begins. The producers, god bless them, don’t even try to pretend anyone other than Whitney is the best singer of all damn time and so our final song is ‘It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay.’ The queens kick in and…
18. The Mask Is Removed
Instantly, Sasha removes the bottom half of her mask. She has taken this season’s biggest gag, Valentina’s shocking elimination, and she has flipped it. Sasha continues to serve story, bitch is the Robert McKee of drag. To me, she pretty much wins it right from the get go, but again, there’s more up her fiercely tailored sleeves…
19. Sasha Cracks Her Damn Mask Open Like An Egg And We’re All Dead
The chorus kicks in. Sasha takes her mask on both sides and splits it off her damn face, again revealing her beautiful bald head and again bringing the crowd to their feet. It’s everything.
And listen, let’s just zoom out for a second. I know there’s a lot of people out there who probably think re-formatting the finale is bullshit. To me, it was an incredible way to conclude the arc of this season and prove that the lip sync matters. More than that, it made for thrilling television. But I’m sure some think that Shea or even Trinity were robbed. They had more individual wins than Sasha, they seemed more poised to be our Top Two and now they’ve have been relegated to Bronze and Third Alternate. And here comes Sasha, with a couple well conceived gags that sinch her the crown. It hardly seems fair. But to those people I say this: It’s not right. But it’s okay.
20. Sasha Is Crowned
Sasha is named this year’s Drag Superstar. Bob The Drag Queen, looking resplendent, hands over the crown. And since you’ve come and continued to come here for my ding-dong opinions, I’ll just tell ya: I think this is a fabulous way for this whole thing to end. Sasha surprised me more than any other queen this year. She has a unique vision for herself and I’m excited to see what she’ll do with her platform. And tonight, there’s no disputing that she was the queen who most understood how to elevate the assignment. With her final message, she encourages us to get inspired, to take in beauty, and to change the mother fucking world. And to that, I quote Mama Ru and say: I think I will.
Godbless Drag Race. And Godbless you homos.