RuPaul’s Drag Race – The Best Woman Won
RuPaul’s Drag Race just wrapped up its 9th season, and while it was nicknamed “RuPaul’s Best Friend Race” due to the lack of drama shown on the main show and the lack of stand-out queens this season, the final four queens were truly the standouts of the season, and the winner deserved the crown. Spoilers ahead, so don’t give me no shade if you haven’t watched the finale!
Valentina won Miss Congeniality in the reunion show last week, and the other queens went after her like no other, saying that the title should be “Fan Favorite” instead of Miss Congeniality. I’m not surprised. Valentina during the reunion was not the Valentina we saw during the episodes, though I always saw a glint in her eyes showing a bit of shade behind her. Her fans, and even me who wasn’t really a fan, were shocked by her elimination as she really did seem to be the favorite to win. Her fans have been particularly nasty to the other queens, and the other queens called her out on it, with Valentina saying she’s like Selena and that’s why her fans are so fanatical.
Really? Okay Miss Thang, but that’s no reason for your fans to be so nasty to the other queens.
The final four came down to Peppermint, Sasha, Shea, and Trinity. In a departure from previous seasons, the crown came down to a lip-sync battle, or as Mama Ru called it, a “lip-sync for the CROWN!” When this was announced, I fully expected Peppermint to win. She has slayed the competition in all of her lip-syncs, and while Shea and Trinity were no slouches either, no one had done as good as Peppermint. And with Sasha, she had never been in the bottom two, so we had not seen her lip-sync for her life until the final four lip-sync in which all four queens lip-synced and none were eliminated.
Boy did the queens come to play tonight! Trinity and Peppermint were up first. I thought Trinity was a fool for challenging Peppermint but she probably wanted to challenge either who she thought was her biggest lip-sync competition, or who was the least competition overall, because quite frankly, if Ru was going to judge overall performance, Peppermint would be on the bottom. As Trinity and Pep started performing to “Stronger” by Brit Brit, I was underwhelmed by Peppermint. Trinity was stealing the show. But then… oh but then!
Peppermint did her finishing move with a classic reveal of a flowing gown and a second wig, and boom, Peppermint kicked Trinity’s plastic ass out of the competition.
Next up was Sasha and Shea. I was sad about this. Even though I knew eventually only one could remain, Shea and Sasha were the dynamic duo of the season. Who could forget their pilot for the pilot challenge “Teets and Asky”? But against each other they were, and they had to perform to “So Emotional” by the diva herself, Whitney Houston. It started off pretty lackluster, and I was becoming disheartened because Shea and Sasha had been two of the most consistent queens this season, and two of my favorites, and if they didn’t step up their game, how were they going to go against Peppermint? Then Sasha revealed she had an ace literally up her sleeve and started revealing rose petals from every part of her costume, and her intensity with her lip-sync and revealing just kept growing and growing, and it won her the round.
I was really pulling for Shea, but Sasha brought it when Shea didn’t. Something to note about this though: the reunion episode that aired the week before the finale was taped the day after the finale. Shea was especially shady and bitter during the reunion. This could be why. Shea really was the queen who brought it to almost every challenge this season, but if Ru says it’s going to come down to a lip-sync challenge, then you must bring it there too.
Finally, the ultimate battle came between Peppermint and Sasha. I was worried for Sasha because Peppermint, like I said before, is the lip-sync queen of the season. Side-note: I loved Sasha’s shade throwing at Valentina with the use of a mask in her final costume. Valentina notably lost her lip-sync battle weeks ago to Nina Bo-Nina Brown because she forgot to learn the words to the song, and then talked back to Mama Ru when Ru told her to take off the mask she was wearing to hide the fact that she didn’t know the words.
Anyways, they had to perform to another Whitney song, “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay” and I really expected Pep to take the crown. Nope. Sasha worked that stage, had the emotion, and the entertainment value to slay Pep just as she did Shea. Now, the truth is, they film Ru announcing both queens as the winner and then air the actual winner so as to prevent leaks, but Sasha was the clear winner of that lip-sync, and was more consistent throughout the season than Peppermint, never being in the bottom 2, and doing well in most challenges.
The overall season was a bit boring, especially compared to Season 8 which had a lot of standout queens, (BOB!) and All-Stars 2, which was of course filled with supreme royalty (looking at you Detox, Katya, and Alyssa… and I guess Alaska…). But I loved Shea and Sasha, and I loved hating on Alexis with the rest of the fandom, and Michelle Visage’s laugh is always a delight. I encourage you to watch the Ru-Vealed episodes of season 9 starting Thursday June 29th on Logo to enjoy the delights of the season as I did, and I can’t wait for season 10 so that Eureka can get her redemption!