If you still doubt the deadliness of a great lip sync battle, you clearly missed Friday’s season finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race: a four-way bloodbath of charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent.
For the first time in Drag Race herstory, all four finalists — Peppermint, Sasha Velour, Shea Coulee and Trinity Taylor — took part in a “smackdown for the crown,” a multi-battle melee that alone would determine the winner of Season 9.
The first round found Trinity and Peppermint battling to the tune of Britney Spears’ “Stronger,” which Trinity appeared to dominate — until Peppermint shocked the audience with a last-minute wig toss. (Frankly, I thought Peppermint’s efforts were too-little-too-late, and I would have sent Trinity through. But who am I to question Mama Ru?)
Round No. 2, during which Sasha and Shea battled to Whitney Houston’s “So Emotional,” felt like a clash of titans by comparison, with both queens going all-in from the start. (They also played off of each other really nicely, which I appreciated.) But just as in the first round, the victory went to she who lost her wig — which, in this case, was Sasha.
And just when you thought things couldn’t get any more dramatic, Sasha and Peppermint face off for the crown to Houston’s “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay.” Both queen-testants brought something different to the table — Peppermint channeled Whitney’s iconic sass, while Sasha brought a level of weirdness all her own — but in the end, Ru handed the crown to… Sasha!
* Laverne Cox, who recorded a congratulatory message for Peppermint, might be one of the most well-spoken humans on television. Every sentence out of her mouth sounds like it was lifted directly from a sonnet. Does she do any audiobooks?
* Nothing made me happier than finally getting to “meet” Papa Velour.
* Actually, Eureka’s elephant-inspired look was a close second. That also made me very happy.
* As did Bobby Moynihan’s message for Trinity — though I’m sure she was not-so-secretly hoping it was going to be Chris Pine on that screen.
* On a considerably less happy note, how heartbreaking were Shea’s reveals — that she lost her father to cancer a few days before the cast was announced, then her sister to cancer a month later also to cancer?
* Did we really need Ross Matthews to explain word-for-word how bracket tournaments work?
Now that a winner has been crowned, weigh in via the poll below, then drop a comment with more of your thoughts: Did the right queen win Season 9?