9 ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Season 9 Moments, Ranked From Worst to Best (Videos)
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 9 lacked the pizzazz of other seasons. It’s unclear if this was due to lackluster contestants, strange editing, or something else entirely. However, what we give this season was that it knew drama. While Season 9 seemed like it was going to be “Best Friend Race,” it left some of its biggest, most jaw-dropping moments until the end. In honor of the Friday finale, we look back at some of these and other memorable moments.
It’s shocking that a drag queen hadn’t attempted Liza before the season 9 “Snatch Game.” Other gay icons have gotten the impersonation treatment multiple times — Cher and Lady Gaga for starters — but Liza? No takers? We’re glad the first try was done by Alexis Michelle, who clearly reveres the superstar. Her theater training didn’t always shine throughout the season, but it didn’t get any more clear than this.
“Drag Race” is full of atypical eliminations — from two queens getting booted at once to Willam getting disqualified in Season 4. However, Eureka’s elimination due to her torn ACL was the first time one had been eliminated for medical reasons, and it was bittersweet. Eureka later said that she received support from her fellow contestants and from the crew, which added to the emotional moment. That, plus the fact she got asked back for Season 10, makes us want to tune in.
RuPaul loves Sarge. The contestants love Sarge. We love Sarge. The makeover challenge this season went behind the camera and allowed the queens to transform the crew into their drag daughters. They were all surprisingly charming, but one stood out. Sarge was quick-witted and hilarious, but when RuPaul asked him about working on the show and how he views drag, he was able to tone it down for a sweet moment where he showcased his respect for the medium.
It was by far the best runway of the season. The episode gave us a primer on Club Kid culture and allowed the contestants to stretch their creative muscles. Trinity, who had never experienced the culture before, was able to wow with her interpretation but it was Peppermint in her candy-inspired clown outfit that made our jaws drop.
Sasha Velour’s entrance
There are only a handful of memorable workroom entrances, and this season, it belonged to Sasha Velour, who walked into the workroom, lifted her hands in the air, and screamed. We know now that Sasha is an intelligent, quirky queen with a unique sense of style, but in that moment we just felt her emotions. When you enter a new situation for the first time, you just want to scream.
Valentina compares herself to Selena
We’re happy to see the return of a full-length reunion episode, since the queens are allowed to be more emotional and raw when they’re not in front of a large audience. The whole episode was tense, but when the spotlight finally focused on Valentina and her fans, things got a little weird. When asked to explain her rabid fanbase — some of which sent abusive messages to the other contestants — she compared herself to 1990s superstar Selena. The other queens’ faces are priceless.
In a season full of lackluster lip syncs, we were happy whenever Peppermint ended up in the bottom two. At least you knew she was going to put on a show. The one quality lip sync featured her and Alexis Michelle going head-to-head while lip syncing to “Macho Man.” It’s everything a lip sync should be — competitive and dynamic. Alexis started it off with a mustache reveal, but once Peppermint pulled off her wig to reveal another wig, it was over.
“You look like Linda Evangelista”
It was the quote of the season. When Aja came for Valentina in “Untucked,” she, in her own words, “aggressively complimented” her for what she felt was an undeserved spot in the Top 2. “You’re perfect, you’re beautiful, you look like Linda Evangelista, you’re a model. Did you stone those tights? Oh you’re smiling!” It’s almost like Aja knew it was going to be on a T-shirt.
This was the season of one-sided lip syncs. We thought it couldn’t get worse than Charlie Hides sway and clap effort, but somehow it did. Valentina was doing well throughout the entire season, but a major misstep sent her into the bottom two and into a lip sync against Nina Bonina Brown. She could’ve gone all the way, as Ru said after, but when you don’t know the words and refuse to take off your mask, you’re going to be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
Let’s for argument’s sake pretend that all of this is legit. The (admittedly super adorable) baby picture indicates that Louis is a proud father, the pregnancy may have been weird but it actually happened exactly the way it has been presented to us, as horribly mishandled as that is.
One more time, try and explain away these fucking bears. No one outside of the fandom gives them any real attention, no one who’s not a committed Larry really believes they have any deeper meaning. The argument against them is that a crew member is doing it as a joke or they’re being deliberately used to bait/distract Larries.
So we’re supposed to write off the dozens of coincidences linking them to Harry and Louis. I’m talking about the coding of each bear with timing and objects and clothing, the endless parade of green and blue mood stickers, the color specific spotlights, the night at the gay club, the blurred and visible reflections in the glasses.
We’re supposed to write off the industry connections. The parade of lgbt celebrities, many of whom were closeted and came out later in their career revealing a committed partnership and/or sued news outlets and record companies for their negative impact on their careers: Larry Grayson, John Inman, Quentin Crisp, Liberace, K.D. Lang, Danny La Rue, George Michael, Andy Bell. The celebrities that were advocates for queer rights or created media that has been iconic to the lgbt community: Judy Garland, Queen, Liza Minelli, Joan Rivers, Bette Davis, The Village People. Celebrities like Claire Richards, who wrote a tell all about how horribly she was treated in the music industry after getting her start on a music competition.
We’re supposed to write off the connections to Simon Cowell. The drag queen Stella Artois whose image was repeated until she was successfully identified in a poster with three former competition show contestants that were judged by Simon Cowell, one of whom likened her experience with and after X Factor to being part of a money making machine where she would have signed anything they put in front of her. The drag queen Lee Star, who had just been associated in the media with Chris Maloney who came out after being closeted while on the X Factor.
We’re supposed to write off all the times that the rbb twitter posted right after the Larry fandom was rocked and shaken by events that had unfolded, or right before as a warning to buckle up. We’re supposed to write off the countdown that coincided with the suspiciously cancelled show that ended with a warning that the bears would be coming out soon. We’re supposed to write off the Divine birthday cake icon on Louis’ birthday, and the Freddie Mercury icon when Freddie’s name was finally revealed to the public. We’re supposed to write off Home and Soon to Return.
We’re supposed to write off the favoriting of the Larry Ok tweet and the photograph that was signed “Love, Larry.”
All of the exquisite attention to detail, the extensively compiled information on queer celebrities and industry commentary that implies foul play on the part of Simon Cowell and their record company, the endless careful allusions to Harry and Louis, the extensive planning and dedication to monitoring the fandom to make sure that we were ok and understanding everything.
We’re supposed to write all of that off as either a mean-spirited prank by a member of their crew or a baiting effort to keep us here performed by a team that has spent One Direction’s entire career trying to make us leave and feel stupid and delusional and guilty of destroying the friendship of the two celebrities we cared most about.
~ Regina is bisexual and has had sex with multiple people of different genders. She’s comfortable with it. No one talks about the Evil Queen’s sex life, obviously. They’re a bit preoccupied with everything else.
~ Emma never slept with a girl until graduating high school, but she remembers the way she felt about Lily. She dismisses it. After all, she was young. A couple of one-night stands between high school and Neal don’t count.
~ They had anger sex at some point during the first season, probably around the time when Henry got pulled out of that mine.
~ They kissed after drinking together at that bar. They were drunk and it clearly didn’t mean anything to the other person. They’ve never talked about it.
~ Regina won’t let herself admit that she’s into Emma for ages, since she has a “soulmate” and she does love him.
~ Half the reason Regina was so pissed about Marion coming back was because, as usual, Emma was getting in the way of her and Robin. Of fucking course.
~ Once Robin leaves, Regina and Mal have a brief fling (again). Every time Regina looks at her, she sees Emma’s face.
~ Emma likes Hook, but her feelings for him are more of the friendship type. He wants to date her though, and Regina clearly doesn’t feel the same way about Emma, so why not?
~ Hook kisses Emma to get rid of the curse. It doesn’t work.
~ Regina is the one who breaks the spell. Emma isn’t the dark one anymore. She looks at Regina and could almost kiss her. She doesn’t.
~ Almost a year later, it turns out that Robin isn’t Regina’s soulmate after all. He’s working for Zelena. It’s horrible, and heartbreaking, and… liberating. She’s free.
~ Emma comes over to console her best friend. Regina kisses her and tells her that she doesn’t have to feel the same way, but she needed to do it once. Emma kisses Regina back and tells her she loves her.
~ When they tell Henry, he’s not shocked. Let’s just say that.