I can’t believe it’s over. It’s over! There is no more Drag Race at least until next year and, honestly, this whole thing felt like a school year that would never fucking end.
But it’s over! It’s over. We made it, we’ve read the think pieces, and we just might be ready to talk about it. So…Let’s talk about it! I really have one thought about things since the finale was both overwhelming and underwhelming, a chaotic good and a lawful evil.
We all knew what was going to happen in this finale: there would be a double ‘sync off, some stunts would be executed, and we’d end up with a winner. That is exactly what happened.
What was unexpected was the protracting of the drama, the waiting and waiting and waiting some more for things to happen. The interviews with the three queens were pretty standard while the welcoming back of Season One queens was inspired. Did I want that all in the finale? Not necessarily. I wish that had been it’s own special since me – and everyone at the bar I watched at – were waiting for the something to fucking happen. This was like in an action movie where a room is filling up with water and you are trying to stay calm, knowing that your hero or a solve is in sight – but it’s just getting too close to “stay calm.” This was what the long wait heightened: that some shit was about to go down.
And go down it did, mostly via poor, poor Asia O’Hara. I don’t feel bad for Asia! Nor do I feel that embarrassed or mad: I was just too fucking anxious to even process what was happening. It was an out-of-body experience watching someone so beloved – And who looked so good! And is so talented! – fail so hard. We as the audience knew the second she opened her bracelet that something was off and she, sadly, did not recognize this. The results were that of a train off the tracks seeking to right its wrong. That never happened, sadly. It was too distracting to try to correct Butterflygate 2018 when she could (and should) have focused on slaying Kameron – who simply removed a robe. That was all she had! Asia would have won so easily if she hadn’t been distracted.
The lesson here, born of collective anxieties, is to keep it simple. No one is going to attempt something that ambitious ever again, will they? It’s not that Asia isn’t as talented or as planned as Sasha but Sasha’s big finish was so simplified that it couldn’t have fucked up. Relying on live animals? Particularly delicate insects? Not a great idea.
Something else Asia related: did this finale get filmed before the reunion? Because they sure acted like it was and that made it all the weirder. Asia opting to not slap Ru, there being no mention of Vixen’s storming, and a general “Everything’s fine!” mentality seemed to be fake because we all know and have been discussing the reality of the show. The reunion was none of that. Hence more anxieties!
Eureka and Aquaria both gave us serviceable performances, Eureka offering cheap thrills while Aquaria was going above and beyond to show that she is the perfect student made from the same mold of Violet Chachki. And here’s the thing: Violet’s season, while a grower not a shower, was not great. It seemed great, had all the touchstones of greatness, but really was a dud. We can only look back on it now and smile because the Katyas and the Fames and the Trixies and the Violets and the Jasmines have all grown up: none were really “prepared” for the show and they have only now found their ways. Aquaria was more advanced than they were, surely, but most others seemed to need a bit longer to bake (save for Asia and Eureka).
So what are we left with? More breath holding as we wait for next year, to see if Ru is going to address things like race or keep pretending that all is fine in our rainbow world. I’m also starved for talent: the queens this season were fun and good and did well but simply lacked a sort of performative umph to sustain a season. This may also be the result of axing some queens too early (Mayhem, Monique, Vixen, Cracker) while others stayed for no other reason than being cute (KAMERON.). I’m not eager for next season for myriad reasons but mostly because I’m longing to be impressed. The false equivalency that these queens are as good as queens from previous seasons is getting tired: we need a revolution.
My final tally is a far cry from my initial assessment. Goes to show you how poor the game of gay football is these days.
Vanessa Vanjie Mateo(She looked great! She’ll be back next season.)
Kalorie Karbdashian Williams(How did this boring queen get on this season? So boring.)
Yuhua Hamasaki(I really, really do love Yuhua but she’s missing something? Can’t tell.)
Dusty Ray Bottoms(I don’t like Dusty but she will live on in my heart as the queen who revealed Kameron sucks.)
Mayhem Miller(She should have been a finalist.)
Blair St. Clair(She looked so good in the finale, didn’t she?)
Monique Heart(She also looked so good in the finale. I was dying for them pants.)
The Vixen(She needs to give a TED talk on race and queerness.)
Monet X Change(Our Miss Congeniality! Obviously but also…unexpected! Well deserved! But give them sponges a rest, girl.)
Miz Cracker(Honestly? Hated that finale look.)
Asia O’Hara(Down three – and out. Justice for Asia! Fuck butterflies!)
Kameron Michaels(Maintained – and out.) (Fuck her.) (She is and was so boring. I hate her!)
Eureka O’Hara(Up one – and out. She did well but she just ain’t no Aquaria.)
1. Aquaria (Up one – and won! Well deserved but, as I have said, she lost by winning: she will be encumbered by touring and such when she could have just hit the runways. Congrats!)
Thoughts? Thank god it’s summer. SHEESH.