RuPaul’s Drag Race review: America’s Next Drag Superstar is…


We have a winner. America’s next drag superstar is… going to be announced at the end of this review. Sorry, I had to do it in true RuPaul’s Drag Race style and make you wait.

After a season of hits — the Brooke Lynn vs. Yvie “Sorry Not Sorry” lip sync — and misses — the Nina vs. Silky mess of a lip sync — the RuPaul’s Drag Race finale is finally upon us. This year, they did things a little differently. Instead of chatting with the eliminated queens about the season or spreading the lip sync battle out over the course of the 90 minute show, they packed almost the entire first hour with, well, what was it exactly?

To introduce the final four, Ru put together montages of each queen that felt straight out of an episode of Maury. They were very scripted and meant to be funny, and didn’t really give any real insight into who the queens are, so it kind of left we the audience thinking, “what exactly was the point of this?” I definitely feel like they’re trying to spice things up, but that was not the way to do it.

Another questionable but not totally unappreciated moment was a surprise performance by Christine and the Queens, who oddly enough performed a cover of Ru’s “Sissy That Walk” while former queens walked out onto the stage. But again, it was kind of pointless — why were the queens there? They weren’t dancing backup for Christine, it was just kind of a runway.

While I did appreciate the Vanjie vignette, because Vanjie can never not make me laugh, it was nice when we finally got the finale started an hour into the show. But Ru still managed to throw in about twelve commercial breaks to break up that last half hour.

Now let’s get to the details. Last year’s Miss Congeniality Monet X Change returned to crown this year’s winner, sponsored by Crest (any excuse for product placement, right Ru?): Nina West! Nina was the definition of congenial the entire season, so this was well deserved.

For the lip sync showdown, the first queen chosen was Silky, who got to choose which queen she competed against, and shockingly, she chose the biggest competitor, Brooke Lynn. Brooke got to choose the brief case with the song, and they ended up with “Bootylicious” by Destiny’s Child.

It was clear right off the bat that Silky was going to pull a reveal, because she had on a shapeless poncho and a giant wig. And yet again, she managed to give a fail of a reveal because she just pulled them off right at the beginning, no build up, no pizazz.

Brooke, on the other hand, pulled off a reveal that has never been done before: she pulled a chain from her heels, which revealed POINTE SHOES!! This B went from heels to dancing en pointe in seconds! Besides that reveal, it wasn’t an especially memorable lip sync, and of course Brooke took it.

That left A’keria and Yvie going head-to-head to “S.O.S.” by Rihanna, and honestly, it was kind of disappointing. Yvie flailed around the stage, not showcasing her usually stellar acrobatics, and A’keria didn’t seem to know the words. It really could’ve gone to either of them, but Ru gave the win to Yvie.

Now we’re down to the final two. Yvie is decked out with a gown and an ornate headpiece that surrounds her with mirrors for a cool multi-headed effect, and Brooke is in a giant robe with reveal written all over it — literally. The final song: “The Edge of Glory” by Lady Gaga, a fitting selection. Brooke Lynn does her reveal, she does her flips, her splits, gives it all her energy. But Yvie is reserved, emotional. It’s two opposite ends of the spectrum, and both performances work.

But the crown can only go to one queen — unless this is a repeat of All Stars 4 — and that queen is…

Yvie Oddly.

While I personally, as a Canadian, would’ve loved to see a Canadian queen crowned, especially one as immensely talented as Brooke Lynn Hytes, this win for Yvie is a big win for different types of drag. She’s a young queen, she’s artistic, and she’s unique, and that will take her far.

Now it’s time for me to sashay away until next season, or until RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 5, which will probably start, like, tomorrow.

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Random Ruflections

  • Ru looks underwhelming for a finale
  • I like this Stonewall educational PSA, informing the straight viewers about gay herstory
  • I don’t know what is going on with this segment on Michelle’s implants but “In Mammorium” and “BREAST IN PEACE” are hilarious.
  • What’s with this random reunion going on during Christine & The Queens? And why is Christine performing “Sissy That Walk” though?
  • This Vanjie segment is the best one so far and she’s not even one of the finalists.
  • “You both just lip synced the house down.” – Ru to Brooke and Silky — well one of them did.