RuPaul’s Drag Race S7 E14: Grand Finale

Bryony Bates

I’m going to assume if you’re reading this that you already know who the winner is – I know I couldn’t keep it off my newsfeed, and also this is a recap so…? But in case you clicked on this by accident or you want to recreate that scintillating hour of ~suspense~, look away now.

So, Violet Chachki eh?

I get the feeling people aren’t going to like this decision much, but to be fair to the girl, she was never in the bottom two, won a shit tonne of challenges, and always looked spectacular, even on her off days.

This is Tyra Sanchez 2.0: other queens might be more popular, but this one’s on point. Congratulations, Violet. Buy yourself a sandwich with that $100,000.

If there’s one thing to take away from the finale, it’s that this show makes money these days. Nothing about this felt cheap – except Miley Cyrus in the audience. Flap your genitals around all you want, darling, I don’t care, but that glitter hair gel was unforgivable.

We had the top three performing lip syncs of songs written especially for them – I would have preferred to see them do a song that is actually, you know, a hit, but hey why not play to their strengths.

Ginger Minj gave it her usual on a gospel number, and Ginger’s usual never gets old. She really broke out the black hairspray for the occasion, her hairline practically met her eyebrows. We get a little Q&A as well, with a few tears when her dad calls in with a video message. Ahhhh. That’s heart-warming moment (HWM) number 1.

Pearl treated us to the patented Pearl Smash arms once more with a song called ‘Sleepwalker’ (GET IT BECAUSE PEARL ALWAYS SEEMED LIKE SHE WAS ASLEEP WE CANNOT TAKE THIS JOKE TOO FAR). People like to criticise Pearl’s performance style, but have you ever seen Raven lip sync? Raven is Drag Race fucking royalty, and she just wanders about the stage looking at people intently until they give her money. And it works! So let’s lay off Pearl.

The Q for her Q&A is ‘Why does everybody want to fuck you?’ which was apparently sent in by a young man frantically waving his arms around in the audience, whom Pearl pretends not to see. This girl won’t flazé her da for just any old schlub.

Finally, Violet does well with a burlesque number which sees her stripping down to some nipple tassels, and is her usual self in the Q&A. She went to Catholic school. That explains a lot.

All the other queens return for a bit of chat – props to Tempest Dujour for giving us the full ‘I WENT TOO EARLY’ treatment, with a Virgin Mary Sacred Heart get up complete with rays of light designed to poke Kandy Ho‘s eye out. Oh but they’re friends they say! Dearest, dearest friends. Good job we didn’t see too much of either in the acting challenges, because no one’s buying that.

Jasmine gets a personal message from Patti LaBelle (HWM #2) and I honestly can’t believe she was only the third one to go out. She left a big impression, that’s for sure. We get to meet Mr Kasha Davis, and my God if the Davises aren’t the most stereotypical middle-aged, middle-class gay couple you’ve ever seen. If you invited them round, the house would tastefully redecorate itself.

HWM #3 comes courtesy of Jaidynn‘s mother. Remember, Jaidynn wasn’t fully out to her family for fear of rejection: while her mum is clearly finding this difficult, at the end of the day she loves her baby Jaidynn.

But nobody, of course, deserves an HWM more than Katya Zamolodchikova. So wonderful to see her relaxed and having a good time and raising Ru’s eyebrow a millimetre by saying she wants to tackle her to the ground and stuff her wig in her mouth and get Ru to piss on her, and really aren’t we all just waiting to hear those words from someone we care about? Also, she looked fucking fantastic in a red sequinned jumpsuit with a cape, best in show, imo. Feel loved Katya! You’re fantastic!

So Bianca comes on dressed as a trophy to present the crown, and Ru has some fun by making everyone think for a split second that she’s named Katya the winner. But no (maybe next season? I would love to see the face of the three ‘finalists’ when they realise none of them are winning the crown), it’s Violet, and she just about manages to keep breathing in that corset of hers until the credits roll.

It’s not been the best season of Drag Race, but I maintain that’s been more to do with the choice of challenges rather than the talent on offer. Next season, here’s hoping for less acting, more balance, and preferably more Hello Kitty.

Or maybe it’s time for a fresh look at Drag Race with a UK version … only time will tell. ‘Til next year, darlings.

About Bryony Bates

Bryony likes reading, writing, glamour and anger. @Bryony_Bates