This is it. The Final Four.
Twelve episodes later, we’re left with the four queens RuPaul thinks could possibly be America’s Next Drag Superstar. While Ru has broken with tradition almost all season (where was my runway ball Ru?) the race to the Top 3 remains the same.
Michelle Visage pays her traditional visit to the queens in place of Mama Ru and tells them they will be starring in RuPaul’s music video for her song, “Born Naked.” In addition to learning choreography from the famous Candis Cayne, the queens will be flexing their acting muscles in a scene with Ru herself.
In keeping the tradition alive, the queens will also have lunch with Ru, giving them one last chance to impress her.
Unlike other episodes, this one has a lot more talking amongst the queens. Of course the Bitter Old Lady Brigade is still in full force, but Violet and Pearl can hold their own. Ginger questions Violet about her strategy for this challenge, noting that acting and dancing are not Violet’s strong suit. Violet maintains that she’s going to go with the flow just like she always does, and kind of blows off Ginger’s question. Ginger asks again and Violet gets a little snippy. While I think the question may have come across to Violet as catty, I’m not convinced that was Ginger’s intention. Given that she doesn’t consider herself a dancer, it seemed to me more like Ginger was looking for a little camaraderie.
The queens are all doing equally well during their dance lesson with Candis Cayne. Violet needs to slump a little more (she’s got amazing posture) and Candis makes a 1980’s reference. It goes completely over Violet’s head and she reminds us she was born in ‘92. I keep forgetting how young she is!
It’s nice to see Ginger not letting her nerves hold her back. She’s got rhythm! Without the extra worrying, it seems like Ginger is even having an easier time catching on to the choreography. Candis is equally as impressed and gives Ginger some well deserved praise.
In traditional Ru fashion, lunch is served…and it’s a Tic-Tac. Just one…even though there’s a huge bowl of orange Tic-Tacs on the table. And as everyone knows, orange is the best flavor of Tic-Tac. Seriously, when is a queen going to just take a handful on her way out? I would.
As much as a rip on Kennedy, I was really touched by her one-on-one. Finally, we get to see there’s more than the catty pageant queen. When Kennedy says “the struggle is real” she means it. Kennedy grew up with a lot of responsibility and has been a primary caregiver for her disabled sister. She grew close to her father in recent years, and he would support her by coming to her pageants and cheering her on. He passed in 2013 and Kennedy is still reeling from the loss. She auditioned for Drag Race for him.
We knew from the video message she received from her husband that Ginger has been through a lot. Her father left when she was 15 and Ginger’s humor has become a defense mechanism. Ru asks Ginger what she wishes her father knew about her, and Ginger answers honestly…she doesn’t know, because she feels there’s a lot her father doesn’t know about her. Ru tells Ginger there’s a lot we do know about her. She’s talented, beautiful and amazing.
Pearl had a rough childhood. We’re not privy to the details, and I’m rather okay with that. Whatever went on was clearly horrifically traumatic and lasted several years. Which, to me, makes Pearl’s laid back, easy-going attitude quite a miraculous psychological phenomena. I think it’s safe to say that Pearl has grown this season, and I like the “out of her shell” queen.
I might say that Violet’s lunch with Ru was the least insightful, but I have to remember she’s only 23. That’s young. Despite her age, Violet has confidence that many people envy. She revealed that her sister was going through a tough time growing up and all the attention was focused on her. This made Violet realize the only one she can rely on is herself. What might be an isolating experience for most only seems to have made Violet stronger. Her confidence has no arrogance about it. She’s her own biggest fan because she’s always had to be.
The queens are tasked with dancing in RuPaul’s video for her song “Born Naked.” To put it simply, all of the queens were great at the dancing part, but several had wardrobe malfunctions. Kennedy, however, was the only one not to have her wig or earring fall off and made a point of repeatedly saying how unprofessional it all was. Hey, things happen!
I did particularly love Kennedy’s impersonation of Pearl’s dancing!
Why didn’t we see more of Kennedy being funny? That would have shown more of her personality.
Following the video shoot, the tradition of acting in a scene with RuPaul is continued. It’s here that Kennedy falls flat with her lack of short term memory, but she still manages to do a decent job. Pearl overacts the part of the pilled-out mom just a tad and Violet is rather monotone as the sulky teenager. Ginger, however, SLAYS with her take on the little girl.
Back in the Werk Room, as they prepare for their final runway, there’s a considerable amount of shade being tossed around. We can see a clear division between the “pretty queens” (Pearl and Violet) and the Bitter Old Lady Brigade (Ginger and Kennedy). The Bitter Old Ladies don’t think Violet is mature enough to be America’s Next Drag Superstar. It’s a criticism that Violet handles incredibly well. In fact, the way she handles it shows how mature she really is.
There is no extra special guest judge this week and the queens are tasked with showing off their best runway looks.
I like this look, but I find it predictable. Kennedy tends to always go with the mermaid silhouette. Granted, it looks great on her curvy figure, but it’s a little tiring. However, the architecture of this dress is amazing and it’s fun to look at. I only wish she had cinched her waist a little bit tighter for a more dramatic effect.
Pants on the runway is risky, but boy do I love this look! It’s polished and sophisticated. It’s a nod to classic fashion with a modern twist and it’s delivered, like all of Violet’s looks, flawlessly. I’m not 100% a fan of the beaded top. The hanging beads in the middle look more like they were coming off than intentional, but the overall look is simply smashing.
Fringe is a girl’s best friend when they’re walking the runway. I wanted a little more sparkle out of this dress, but found the details on the sleeves to be lovely. There was just something about the plain bodice and neckline that I found kind of boring. The fringe and overall shape of the dress is very complimentary. It reminds me of something Dolly Parton would wear, and I like that.
I like Pearl’s style. It’s very hip and laid back, but also innovative. I’m generally not a fan of big hair, but I like this on her and I like it with this outfit. It’s a little bit Real Housewife, but it works. I find the chiffon robe ironic given the constant reference to Pearl being asleep. It’s a nice touch.
RuPaul’s first order of business is to confront each queen with a picture of their younger self and ask them what they would tell them. The answers are fairly predictable. Still, it gives you a bit of the feels and is touching to see just how far these queens have come.
Then came the part I hate. Every season RuPaul asks the remaining queens why they should be America’s Next Drag Superstar and why their competitors should not. It’s an automatic set-up to be bitchy. Some queens follow the instructions to the letter. They state the case for themselves and against their sister queens. Others try and avoid throwing shade at the other queens and focus on why they should win. There’s no right or wrong way to do it.
Kennedy (who uses the word “condone” wrong several times) and Ginger, follow RuPaul’s instructions stating why they should win and Pearl and Violet shouldn’t. While Pearl and Violet both simply explain why they should win. I wasn’t really convinced by any of the answers. They all seemed too scripted and contrite. Granted, I’m sure they knew this question was coming and rehearsed their answers for weeks.. There was still something lacking.
What surprised me was that instead of eliminating a queen right away or having two of them battle it out, this season all four queens had to lip sync together. This was a good move. For one thing, it gave us a chance to see Violet perform since she hasn’t had to lip sync all season. It also gave a really good even playing field for which to determine who should stay and who should go.
All four queens gave strong performances. It was clear the song, Katy Perry’s “Roar,” spoke to each of them. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Kennedy is a PHENOMENAL dancer. However, she’s not a technically clean dancer. Pearl seems to have a limited number of dance moves and resorts to this sort of jerking motion…which kind of works but gets old. Violet and Ginger, while not strong dancers, are both able to strongly deliver the emotion of a song. It’s enough to pull your eye to them.
This must have been a hard decision, but in the end RuPaul sends Kennedy home.
The top three are: Ginger Minj, Violet Chachki, and Pearl. Who will be America’s Next Drag Superstar? TONIGHT we’ll find out!