This has already felt like the longest season in RuPaul’s Drag Race herstory, and Friday’s episode did nothing to change that.
Fresh off the elimination of Olivia Lux, the four remaining queens — Gottmik, Kandy Muse, Rosé and Symone — assembled in the werkroom to brace for their final challenge, immediately theorizing about the surprises still remaining up Ru’s sleeve.
“It could be that one of us goes home, it could be that two of us go home, it could be that none of us go home — we don’t know!” Symone said, though I think we all knew it was going end up being option No. 3. Seriously, did anyone think that only three queens would make it to the finale?
For their final challenge, the queens were tasked with writing, recording and performing their own verse to Mama Ru’s “Lucky,” complete with choreography by Jamal Sims. The end result was a fun, colorful music video that really featured all four girls in their best light. Gottmik delivered a spoken verse that remained inspiring without getting too cheesy, Kandy looked back on her journey “from the hood to Hollywood,” Symone served more attitude than anyone else, and Rosé… can rap? Is that what that was? Honestly, everybody slayed this in their own way, but if I had to pick a winner, it’d be another Symone/Rosé split.
The queens also appeared as guests on RuPaul and Michelle Visage’s new Inside Drag Race segment. (Don’t worry, there were still plenty of Tic-Tacs to not go around.) Rosé insisted that Jan will be more supportive than jealous of her success on the show, Kandy defended herself against haters who feel she hasn’t earned her spot in the Top 4, Gottmik admitted that her drag name may or may not have a porn star connection, and Symone looked back on her own journey of self-acceptance.
There was also some emotional kiki-ing as the queens prepared to hit the main stage one last time. Gottmik said this whole experience has taught her not to feel pressured as a representative of the trans male community. “I’ve learned that the best way to represent your community is just by being you,” she said. “The pressure’s just unnecessary.”
That revelation resonated with Symone, who explained, “I’ve had to unpack a lot of things about myself. I was a very lonely and very shy kid. I didn’t love myself. To come to this competition and to blossom into the Symone that everyone sees… I finally see it. And let me tell you, when you finally get on the other side, it is a beautiful feeling. Nobody can take that from me. I love me, and I can say that. I can say that now.” (BRB, sobbing.)
Now, for the runway: “Drag Excellence!” Mik gott things started in a form-fitting, Cruella de Vil-approved spotted dress; Kandy followed with a “fun, sexy, flirty” little number; Rosé paid tribute to her Scottish heritage in a gown made entirely of tartan; and Symone closed the show in a stunning purple gown with enormous sleeves that screamed “royalty!” in surround sound. The judges, of course, didn’t have a single negative thing to say about any of the queens’ looks. (I thought Symone’s was great, Rosé’s was good, Gottmik’s was fun and Kandy’s was a choice.)
Then came the final gag of the evening: Not only did all four queens have to lip sync for their lives, but they had to do it individually. Thus began a montage of four separate performances to Whitney Houston’s “I Learned From the Best” (HQ2 Radio Remix) — a song I have absolutely, 100-percent heard before. Like the girls’ performances in the music video, what is there to even critique about this? They all went the dramatic route, they were all fully committed, and I wasn’t the least bit surprised when Ru announced that they would all be staying for the finale.
Did Friday’s episode play out as you expected? Which topics are you excited to explore in next week’s reunion? And which queen do you expect to win it all, regardless of you think should win? Weigh in via our polls below, then drop a comment with all of your thoughts.
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