By: Kiera Mitru
Racers, start your engines! And may the best drag queen win!
Any seasoned fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race understands the pageantry of Ru’s famous VH1 show, on which some of the world’s fiercest drag queens are born into stardom. On Friday, April 23rd, the Season 13 queens gathered to lipsync for their lives and the chance to be crowned America’s Next Drag Superstar.
Just like the rest of Season 13 of Drag Race, the finale was different to that of years prior with new and necessary alterations put in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The most recent season of the critically-acclaimed reality TV competition series started in a non-traditional way, asking the Season 13 queens to lip-sync for their lives on the first episode. Ru used this opportunity to judge the queens on their first day, sending them to “sashay away” or exclaiming “shantay you stay.” However, the queens that were “eliminated” never truly left the set. This introduction broke tradition and set the stage for a unique season of Drag Race that would go on to leave audiences on the edges of their seats.
After a string of episodes unlike any other, the final four queens that made it to the finale included Rosé, Symone, Kandy Muse and Gottmik. The top queens not only sharpened their competitive edge throughout their time on Drag Race, but also became very close friends.
Utilizing their large platform, many queens took the opportunity to share important personal and political messages with the Drag Race audience. There were a few episodes woven into the season that addressed many of the events of the past year including the Black Lives Matter movement, Trans Rights, the impact of COVID-19, how the pandemic has changed the entertainment industry and how to establish confidence in oneself. Part of what makes RuPaul’s Drag Race so accessible to fans is its message of acceptance for all and its reassurance that one can do anything they set their mind to. Whether shown in rhinestone-studded runway looks or coverage of Werk Room discussions, activism and self growth were at the front of the minds of this season’s queens.
As the season finale opened up with a glowing performance of “New Friends Silver, Old Friends Gold” by RuPaul herself, the socially-distanced Drag Race Drive-In crowd went wild. The evening was emceed by Drag Race judge, Michelle Visage, who introduced highlight reels of each of the queens from the moment they arrived in the Werk Room to the moment they were set to move onto the season finale. Ru even took the time to sit and chat with the final four queens about their journey on the show and collected video clips from their families for encouragement. After stunning the crowd in three jaw-dropping runway looks, the queens battled it out in a Britney Spears-themed lipsync challenge.
To avoid spoilers for those who may not have watched yet, the Season 13 finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race celebrated a culmination of the beautiful journeys each of the Season 13 queens lived out. From strutting down the runway to stating their opinions during Untucked, each queen excelled at serving the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent that describe the heart of drag.