Between the absence of the traditional “Ru-mix” and the results of that extremely close lip-sync battle, we’re officially filing Friday’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race under “polarizing.”
Following Gigi Goode’s victory in the mini challenge, she and the other remaining queens — Jaida Essence Hall, Crystal Methyd, Jackie Cox and Sherry Pie — learned that, instead of putting their individual spins on a RuPaul jam, they’d be performing a medley of numbers from RuPaul’s Drag Race Live! (That’s right, folks. Just like that Frozen-inspired runway a few weeks back, we’re once again being advertised something we can’t buy tickets to. Here’s hoping Ru’s Las Vegas show fares better than Frozen, which announced plans to close just days ago!)
This being the final challenge of the season, the queens were determined to leave a lasting impression on the judges, especially Jackie, who hoped that showing her sexier side might result in her first win. She even compared herself to Yvie Oddly, who won Season 11 despite only winning one maxi challenge, but I’m… not sure I’d put them in the same category. At all. In fact, there were a few times this week where Jackie got way too into her head, like when she said that she and Crystal are “f–ed” if “report cards” are taken into consideration. “No, no, no, no, no,” Crystal corrected her. “I have shown that I am ever-changing and ever-growing.”
Then came the show, which I did not love. I was willing to accept that we weren’t getting a traditional Ru-mix, even though they’re always iconic, but the songs that we got tonight did nothing for me. The performances were all solid (Gigi’s vocals!), but I didn’t even know what I was watching half of the time. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but this wouldn’t have inspired me to buy tickets, even if I could. (That said, I’ll probably have “I’m Still That Bitch,” or whatever that song is called, stuck in my head for the rest of my life.)
Thank goodness for the final runway, an Eleganza Extravaganza that let us experience these queens one last time in all their respective glory. Crystal’s puffy “futuristic space princess” look had me craving some of Willy Wonka’s blueberry bubble gum; Gigi’s ’80s prom dweeb was an unexpected delight; Jackie gave us a “Dior-inspired silhouette in Andy Warhol colors”; and Jaida, indeed, looked like a “strong, confident” goddess in an on-brand gown. Sherry was also there.
I wasn’t surprised to see Gigi snag her fourth maxi win of the season, nor was I surprised to see Jackie and Crystal wind up in the bottom. Don’t get me wrong, both queens have fought like hell to reach this point, but the other three were the obvious shoe-ins here. I went into the lip-sync battle rooting for Crystal, and even though Jennifer Lopez’s “On the Floor” didn’t necessarily give either queen a specific edge, I prepared myself for disappointment. … But I was wrong! She pulled it out, and I could not be more proud.
“Thank you guys so much,” Jackie told the judges. “This competition was unlike anything I could have imagined. … It’s so hard to make it this far and not make it all the way. Even though I’m gong home, I’m so proud of myself. I feel so victorious.”
Factoring in Sherry’s disqualification, that leaves Gigi Goode, Jaida Essence Hall and Crystal Methyd as this season’s final three. As previously announced, those finalists will compete in a virtual finale on May 29 (VH1, 8/7c), after which the winner of Season 12 will be crowned.
Did the right queen sashay away this week? And which of the final three are you rooting for? Vote in our poll below, then drop a comment with more of your thoughts on Season 12.