Queens past and present descended upon Los Angeles’ Orpheum Theatre on “Thursday” for the highly anticipated RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11 finale extravaganza, where (hopefully only) one lucky lady would sashay away a winner, baby.
As always, the finale began with the arrivals of this season’s eliminated queens, and I have to say, I loved watching some of these underrated stars getting the standing ovations they deserved. I knew the crowd would go wild for Nina West, but Plastique Tiara? And Scarlet Envy?! And don’t even get me started on Shuga Cain’s double reveal. I look forward to seeing some of these queens in a future season of All Stars.
Aside from the individual lip sync battles, all of which were saved for the end of the 90-minute finale, we were also treated to a woman-on-the-street segment with Miss Vanjie, the crowning of Nina West as Miss Congeniality and, of course, a touching farewell to Michelle Visage’s breast implants. #BreastInPeace
Heading into the Season 11 finale, 57 percent of TVLine readers believed that Yvie Oddly deserved the crown, while 38 percent through their support behind Brooke Lynn Hytes. Sadly, A’keria C. Davenport and Silky Nutmeg Ganache brought up the rear with 2.5 percent each. Let’s see how the actual results stacked up against those predictions:
First Battle: Silky vs. Brooke Lynn (Destiny’s Child’s “Bootylicious”)
We all gasped aloud when Silky chose to face Brooke Lynn in this lip sync, yes? For the life of me, I can’t possibly imagine why a sub-par lip syncer like Silky would willingly go up against someone previously dubbed a “lip sync assassin,” especially when A’keria was standing right next to her as a perfectly viable (and much easier) option. Silky may be the more bootylicious queen, but as we saw in this battle, Brooke Lynn is far better at shaking her limited jelly. No amount of wig changes (I counted three) could save Silky from Brooke Lynn, the badass ballerina.
Winner: Brooke Lynn | Eliminated: Silky
Second Battle: Yvie vs. A’keria (Rihanna’s “SOS”)
First of all, I haven’t heard this song in forever, so thank you, Drag Race. Second, this might have been the most exciting battle of the evening, as Yvie and A’keria proved a far more even match than I expected. Both queens just gave it their all, with Yvie — who looked like a child’s bedroom threw up on her, in the best way — bending and twisting every way imaginable, while A’keria attempted to hold her own with a sparkly wig reveal and some serious floor work.
Winner: Yvie | Eliminated: A’keria
Final Battle: Yvie vs. Brooke Lynn (Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory”)
This was it, the moment we’d all been waiting for — so why did I end up feeling so underwhelmed? Don’t get me wrong, I loved Yvie’s three-faced mirror headdress, and there was no shortage of drama in her performance. But weren’t you expecting more? For someone who has consistently wowed us all season with her incredible flexibility, you’d think Yvie’s final lip sync of the season would include more than a few backbends. Meanwhile, Brooke Lynn was pulling out all the stops. As a proud member of #TeamYvie, I was worried for a minute there.
Winner: Yvie | Eliminated: Brooke Lynn
There you have it, squirrel friends. America’s Next Drag Superstar is Yvie Oddly. Your thoughts on her victory? The finale in general? Hit PLAY on Yvie’s official reaction video above, then drop a comment with your full review.