Balmain, Escada, Lanvin: Three houses remained by the time Legendary‘s Season 1 finale began Thursday. And what an atypical reality-competition finale it was — thanks to COVID-19 precautions, the competitors catwalked, spun and dipped to an empty hall, with only the judges to watch and determine their fate. (At least we know it’ll be back for Season 2!)
A title card at the top of the episode explained that in early March, as the first cases of the novel coronavirus were reported in New York City, the show’s producers decided to film the final ball without an audience. The theme: The Heaven and Hell Ball.
In the first round of competition, Lanvin started off with a hellscape full of demons that transformed when Eyricka entered, dressed all in white. The rest of her house followed, shucking their demonic looks for more angelic ones, and a four-person dip at one point really wowed the judges. Leiomy & Co. also loved Balmain’s contribution, which Law Roach summed up best: “Y’all came out here in the beginning and gave us Sunday service, and then it turned to A Nightmare on Gay Street.”
Escada’s group number featured lots of feathers and some very soft — maybe too soft? — choreography; the fact that some of the costumes fell apart during the performance didn’t help things, either. Ultimately, House of Escada was eliminated from the running, meaning the final competition came down to House of Balmain vs. House of Lanvin.
The deciding performance was a face-off, in which members of each house directly competed against each other in one of five vogue categories: Hands (Carlos Lanvin vs. Jamari Balmain), Catwalk (Eyricka Lanvin vs Cali Balmain), Duckwalk (Makayla Lanvin vs. Torie Balmain), Floor (Packrat Lanvin vs. Gravity Balmain) and Spins and Dips (Zay Zay Lanvin vs. Calypso Balmain).
The competition was fierce (in several senses of the word), the spins were epic and the duckwalks would’ve felled lesser mortals. At the end, though, the House of Balmain reigned supreme, taking home the $100,000 prize and the title of Superior House.
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