RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10 episode 12 review: American


It has been a long season of twist and turns on RuPaul’s Drag Race, with shocking eliminations, and even more shocking non-eliminations. But now it’s time for it all to end.

This week’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race is the last episode before the grand finale, and these queens came to slay! They gave us looks, they gave us verses, and they gave us some of the best damn choreo of the season, but that doesn’t mean some weren’t better than others.

It’s the final four, and it has been a tough season — in fact, we still don’t know who’s going to take the crown!

Since we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty, Ru nixed the mini challenge to give the queens more time to prepare for their final maxi challenge. They had to write their own verses for the Ru-mix of “American” and then they also had to perform together as a group for their single. Choreographer and vocal coach Todrick Hall did not make it easy for them, either.

Ru warned them right away that this choreography would be the hardest of the season — which immediately made Eureka shrivel up in fear — and he was not lying! Todrick worked those girls out in rehearsals, but a couple of them were up to the challenge.

Aquaria, who many of you may not know is a trained dancer, absolutely slayed the choreo from the second she got on the stage. She picked up the steps with such ease that it left the other girls watching in awe, especially Eureka, who was terrified of the challenge.

Asia and Kameron held their own in rehearsals too, but Eureka struggled from the beginning. She didn’t give up though, which was a nice change from the Eureka who gives a million excuses about some traumatic experience that is holding her back. She was determined to get it right, and on the main stage, she definitely did a good job.

The vocal part of the challenge wasn’t quite as easy for the girls. Aquaria has some singing experience, but Todrick kept pushing her to sing in a different key. I don’t think he realizes that these girls are not vocalists, and him singing it back to them flawlessly still won’t make them sing any better (“Those were some sketchy vocals.” Girl, bye!).

The queen that surprised us the most in the singing portion was definitely Kameron Michaels. She knows how to carry a tune! She won the Cher musical challenge, but it’s not like we got a good sense of her vocal talents from that song, so it was nice to hear her actually sing. Kameron walked back into the workroom confident and glowing until Eureka kept hounding her to sing for her. Girl, let her get back to work, she just sang it 100 times!

The top 4 queens also had the chance to sit down with Ru and Michelle Visage to record an episode of their podcast, What’s The Tee? Each queen has a chance to sit down with the duo to explain their experience in the competition. In typical Ru fashion, he psychoanalyzes their childhoods and brings their deepest, darkest fears to the surface. What’s funny is that Aquaria did get really emotional, but not during her sit-down with Ru and Michelle. Instead, she let her emotions out during dance rehearsals.

Seeing Aquaria tear up out of happiness after stepping off the stage is probably the highlight of the entire episode for me. People forget how young Aquaria is. She’s just a baby at 21. To be where she is in the competition right now is such a big deal to her. For someone who came into this competition with a hard exterior who everyone thought was a bitch, it was nice to see her finally open up and be proud of herself.

When it came to the performance of “American”, all four of those queens proved why they are there. I may not be the biggest fan of Eureka, but despite struggling with the choreography, she really worked it out.

Aquaria’s verse ended up being way better than they made it seem in the rehearsals (as they usually do). To nobody’s surprise, she rocked the stage. Michelle said she couldn’t keep her eyes off her, and I agree. She looked stunning, and her verse was so totally her. Plus the choreo was so on point, I could scream.

Now miss Asia was not going to let Aquaria steal any of her thunder. She came out and stomped that stage to death. Her voice was powerful and confident, and she hit every single step just as hard as her competition. She put up a serious fight on that stage and she wasn’t about to be taken down so easily.

Kameron’s verse was great in the rehearsals and great on stage, and she’s a great performer. She looked stunning as always, but I feel like maybe it wasn’t as memorable as Aquaria or Asia.  Also because her rehearsals were better, we weren’t as wowed or surprised as we were with Eureka. Kameron is definitely made to be on stage, though.

The runway theme for their very last appearance on the main stage was “Final Four Eleganza Extravaganza” and boy did they bring the eleganza (or at least three of them did). Aquaria proved that she will go down in history as one of the best-looking queens the show has ever seen in yet another stunning creation. She took a classic silhouette but put her own touch on it with the jewels and the cutouts, and her makeup was flawless, per usual.

The judges praised Aquaria for her maturity and her ability to take critiques and learn from them. For being so young, she really proved she deserved her spot and worked hard to get there.

Asia is usually pretty tacky on the runway, if I’m being completely honest, but this week she toned it down. Not a single clashing pattern or animal print in sight! She wore a geometric blue and gold dress, with very old Hollywood style hair and some futuristic gold brows and chin accessories.

Ross and Carson praised Asia’s performance of “American” because of how happy she looked the whole time (which she did), and loved her verse. She’s a serious contender for the crown.

Kameron Michaels may be the lip sync assassin, but she also shocked us all this season but proving that she can pull some serious looks! The muscle queen strutted the runway in a nude-illusion, crystal-embellished lavendar gown, with some big, purple pageant hair to match. She always serves such glamour on the main stage. I love that she proved herself worthy of making it this far.

Kameron has grown the most in this competition, and the judges can see that. Kameron’s emotional speech to her younger self and the honesty in her verse (which moved Ross to tears) made me so happy for how far she has come, too. She was just a shy boy with no confidence. Now she’s a sickening queen in the final four of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

My feelings about Eureka have been made pretty clear in all my reviews this season. Yet, I have to admit she is talented and slayed on this episode. However, her runway look was not a final judging-level look to me. The judges seemed to eat up her simple, stretchy white gown with the definition of “eureka” printed on it. But it seemed so basic and cheap to me. Compare it to the other gowns on the runway, and it falls flat, I am sorry. It was… a choice.

To the surprise of no one, Ru didn’t eliminate a queen. Instead, we still have a final four going into the finale like last season.

If I had to put money on who the final two would be based on tonight’s episode, I would have to say Aquaria and Asia, or maybe Eureka. I don’t particularly think Eureka should have made it this far. But the judges seem to love her, and she did a good job on tonight’s episode. Kameron is an amazing performer, and just getting this far is a testament to her talent. Still, I don’t know if she’s America’s Next Drag Superstar.

There’s no saying what twists await us in the RuPaul’s Drag Race finale. If it’s anything like last year, then the queens will be paired off and will have to lip sync for the crown. Will anyone pull any gags as iconic as Peppermint’s double reveal to Britney Spears’ “Stronger” or Sasha Velour’s wig snatch rose petal reveal to Whitney’s “So Emotional”? Here’s hoping!

Random Ruflections

  • Eureka with one of the best burns of the season, to Asia: “Not my fault you sittin’ over here lookin’ like the Babadook.”
  • “Every time I bat my false eyelashes, I’m making a political statement.” – RuPaul, with some wise words
  • If the queens are guests on What’s The Tee? With RuPaul and Michelle Visage, do they get a free Squatty Potty™?
  • Ru giving the children a history lesson: “In the words of the great Abraham Lincoln… don’t f*ck it up”
  • Todrick to Asia when she is way off the beat: ““You as a black woman cannot be off the beat.”
  • It feels so weird to hear Ru and Michelle greet Aquaria as “Giovanni”
  • The jokes about Kameron being quiet are getting so old. Like, not everyone is as loud as Asia or Eureka.
  • Todrick to Kameron after singing a nearly-flawless verse (or maybe wise words to the children of the world?): “F-ck the crack!”
  • Seeing Aquaria get excited to the point of tears about being in the final four is so adorable and heartwarming
  • “Top four, big slutty whores!!!”
  • The real winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10, according to Asia: Miss Vanjie! Miss…Vanjie!
  • Ru preaching to the audience about registering to vote for the mid-term elections, we love political fish!