- “Everyone in the top four is worthy of the [title] and deserves it [but] in the end, the job of a drag superstar is to take an audience and lead them on a fantasy that makes people feel inspired, strong, and proud…”
- “Clearly, I love queer history, learning, thinking about things really hard, and having these discussions about them… I hope that’s my legacy: this serious person with a tough veneer is about all these things, about what queer culture has been and should be, because we need that in order to combat from this political era. We need a historical, political kind of drag.”
- “…It was bittersweet… when I was going out to perform against Peppermint, Shea said, “Go win this for us, for our team.”
Conservatism is all about surfaces and labels and presentation, and drag says, no, we refuse to follow any rules about that.”
7 THOUGHTS ABOUT RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE - SEASON 9 FINALE
So, I take back everything I said. Season 9 of the acclaimed RuPaul’s Drag Race may have started with a whimper, but it certainly ended with a bang. To make things clear, I did not hate this season. I just felt it was rather lackluster compared to dynamic seasons like Season 2 (Bitch, I’m from Chicago!) and Season 4 (Go back to Party City where you belong!). However, after we got rid of a series of “filler queens” things picked up for me and I became a fan of this season. When Ru named Peppermint, Sasha Velour, Shea Coulee and Trinity Taylor as Top 4, I was thrilled. Honestly, I felt she could have done this Season 8 (Bob, Kim, Naomi and Chi Chi were amazing queens) but now was the time for RuPaul to flip the script. Last night, the Finale aired and while Drag Race Recap Podcast’s Joe Betance warned me it was going to be the ultimate RuPaul’s Drag Race finale, my mind, my body and my soul was not ready. Not ready at all.
Another season has ended and another queen has been crowned as the Next Drag Superstar.
Per my own tradition I will share my seven thoughts in regards to this
epic finale. For those of you who have not watched the finale there
will be a copious amount of spoilers! You have been warned…
My heart goes out to Shea Coulee and her family. Cancer is an ugly, ugly thing and I pray I see the day where we get rid of all cancer for good. To lose a parent and a sibling within days of each each other is devastating. In many ways, this season has been all about loss, i.e. Sasha Velour losing her mother and the death of Trinity Taylor’s grandmother. However, Shea managed to turn that tragedy into triumph. I was thrilled to see Shea’s mother in the audience. How far have we come. I remember the late Sahara Davenport from Season 2 talking about how her minister mother had come around to accept her as a drag queen and gay man and seven seasons later we have an actual minister in attendance at the finale! Shea, while you did not snatch the crown, I am so thoroughly proud of you. You turned it out time and time again and if you had to lose, I’m glad it was to Sasha Velour whom I was also rooting for. I look forward to seeing what you do next!
LET’S TALK FASHION! Every single queen to grace the finale stage looked sickening! My favorite look of the night was Sasha Velour’s first lip sync look. It was Myrtle Snow from American Horror Story meets Poison Ivy meets Veronica Lake and she looked gorgeous! I thought Bob the Drag Queen’s African-inspired look was beautiful and something I have never really seen on the show. Oh, and we cannot forget Ru. I know there was a bit of controversy surrounding RuPaul’s wigs and makeup this season but Raven and Delta Work stepped it up and she looked amazing in her finale look.
I’m so glad they separated the reunion from the finale. The reunion was all about petty drama between the queens and I think having that take place in the same show as the finale, would tainted the magic of the finale.
Speaking of the finale, having the four remaining queens lip sync for the crown was sheer genius and it helped to keep the show fresh. When Shea mentioned during her interview with Ru that she would love to lip sync against Sasha, I figured the two of them would be pitted against each other. Now I will be the first to admit, while I had expected Peppermint to beat Trinity Taylor, I had not counted on Sasha Velour besting Shea Coulee. Neither Shea nor Trinity were bad at their respective lip syncs. Let that be said. The passion, the hunger…it was all there. However, what they both brought to the table paled in comparison to what Peppermint (wig and outfit reveal!) and Sasha (rose petals abound!) brought to lip sync. In the end it was Peppermint versus Sasha and while Peppermint gave it all she got, Sasha owned that lip sync, hands down. All in all, the lip sync for the crown was a pleasant addition to the finale and I look forward to whatever other tricks Ru has up her sleeves for future seasons.
Peppermint, Shea and Trinity did not win but I would love to see all three of them returning for All Stars 3. Prior to last week’s reunion, I did want to see Valentina return but I think she has garnered enough fame. I feel like there are more deserving queens who should be cast in the third installment. Other queens I would like to see return: Jessica Wild, Trinity K. Bonet, Joslyn Fox, Darienne Lake, Pearl, Trixie Mattel, Chi Chi Devayne, Kim Chi, Naomi and Thorgy Thor.
While Peppermint did not take home the crown last night, she still went home a winner. Seeing Peppermint on the finale stage was yet another reminder of how far we have come in such a short time. When Monica Beverly Hillz came out as trans during Season 5 I remember there being online debates about if whether or not a trans person could be a drag queen. A lot of transphobia emerged as a result. Even the show and RuPaul herself have been accused of being transphobic in the past. Last night, Peppermint reminded us that trans people have been drag queens since the beginning of time. The march towards equality has been a collaborated effort by not just gay men and women but also trans men and women, bisexual men and women, queer individuals, and drag queens. It is important we remember this as we continue to march forward. With that said, Peppermint, I am so grateful for you and your presence on this show. I wish you nothing but success and happiness as you navigate your post-Drag Race fame.
Sasha Velour is our queen. Hate if you must but you can’t deny the bitch turned it out. I won’t sit here and quote facts and figure or deliver a PowerPoint presentation because at the end of the day it all came down to lip syncs.SASHA VELOUR LIP SYNCED HER ASS OFF AND DESERVED TO SNATCH THE CROWN. Now I totally get it! We all have our faves when it comes to reality show competitions and sometimes our faves do not win. However, that does not mean we should attack the other competitors. With each season, the fandom around RuPaul’s Drag Race increases - which is a truly amazing thing - but as the numbers increase so does the ugliness. For a community that is supposed to promote equality and inclusion, I am amazed at how ugly we can be to each other. As RuPaul says at the end of every episode, if we - The LGBT community - can’t love ourselves how the hell can we love someone else (or expect them to love us)? With that said, Sasha is our winner and I am happy. She will do amazing things with the platform and let’s be honest, a lot of the queens we stan for have not made the most of their drag race victories. So I support you Sasha and look forward to seeing what you do next! CONDRAGULATIONS!
Okay. So. I understand why so many people wanted Shea to win, and I mostly expected her to tbh, but let’s not act like it’s unfair that Sasha won. Each were in the top 7 times, each was in the bottom once, and each turned it the fuck out. You can argue about the number of wins, times in the bottom two, etc., but in the end it’s about the big picture, and I thought Sasha and Shea were both incredible.
I love Sasha so much. Every look she turned was unique and unexpected… honestly can we just address her renaissance-era, homicidal unicorn? Every time she walked onto that runway her look was creative and polished - what else could you ask for?