As I once said after tragically losing my index finger in a boating accident: and then there were four!
This season, we’ve seen the queens on RuPaul’s Drag Race twirl and turn, flip and fight, lick the udder of a cow during a challenge about soda pop for some reason. And after all of that, the grand finale is finally (desperately) on the horizon. This is what we live for, queer brothers and sisters!
My name is Daniel Trainor and I’ve actually never been rich enough to be on a boat, that was a joke.
While my name is Sam Stone and I identify as a sailor, skipper and first mate (triple threat).
We’re in the Werk Room for the final time! Let’s go, gorg!
DT: Upon Olivia being eliminated, the girls return with utter glee, proving that kindness only gets you so far. Who’s laughing now, BRENE BROWN?
SS: Rosé mourns Olivia’s loss, but confidently declares “it was her time to go.” Absolutely merciless. After last week’s episode I can’t help but wait with bated breath for this week’s celebrity drop-in. Who could it be? Julia Stiles? Julia Louis-Dreyfus? Julia Child (‘s ghost?). As the girls are fond of saying: it’s anybody’s game.
DT: It truly is, and nobody has any idea how it’s all going to unfold. I simply must get this off my gay chest: one of the very fundamental problems with the American institution of RuPaul’s Drag Race is that nobody has any Earthly idea what the set-up for the finale will be. There’s keeping us on our toes, and then there’s chopping off our toes and leaving us to waddle around in sandals in the desert. I need structure! I need consistency! I need toes!
SS: I heard this season’s finale is a cage match.
DT: Finally some ingenuity! Our girls are in full LAST EPISODE BEFORE THE FINALE MODE, and saying things like “there is absolutely no way I’m going home this close to the end” approximately seventeen times apiece. Rose says that “athletes don’t go to the Olympics to make friendship bracelets.” Okay, then explain rhythmic gymnastics.
SS: In this episode, our final four gorgalintrasises will have the opportunity to chat with Ru and Michelle on “Inside Drag Race.” Ru’s borderline copyright infringing take on Inside the Actors Studio. The girls will have the opportunity to answer such questions as: “How are you?” and “When did you start doing drag?” As an interviewer myself, I must say those are top-tier questions.
DT: RuPaul goes absolutely cuckoo for cocoa puffs over Gottmik, cackling at his every joke as if she’s never heard a joke before, which is simultaneously fascinating and unnerving. Can she read these recaps? I need the serotonin boost.
SS: Ru touches on Symone’s shyness, Rosé’s friendship with Jan (again?), and Kandy’s unfortunate runway look from last episode — more generally, it’s a recap of the season so far, sprinkled with a few classic RuPaul aphorisms. Believe in yourself! Love yourself! Exfoliate regularly!
DT: After being absolutely grilled over the journalistic fires, we get into the final Maxi Challenge of the season and, you’ll never guess this, but for the season’s penultimate episode, RuPaul is forcing the final four to perform her new, surely non-hit song “Lucky.”
SS: You’ll also absolutely never guess, reader, who is choreographing this music video! Oh…you immediately guessed Jamal Sims? Ok, yes…you are correct.
DT: Nobody is as excited as Gottmik, who reacts to working with Jamal as if he hasn’t been a looming presence over 75% of this season. Jamal has been given the unenviable job of choreographing dance routines for girls he says repeatedly says “are not dancers.”
SS: But before Jamal can “work his magic” the girls must write their unique, original verses. Not to worry, though! At this point, they’re all experts. But no one is more prepared than Rosé, who will be, let’s say it together, rapping!!!
DT: Iggy Azalea really demonized an entire generation of white people, didn’t she?
SS: Tamisha. Iman. is coming. for you! (iconic lyrics, getting them tattooed on m’face).
DT: Symone is up first for rehearsal, and is given the task of making love to a chair for her choreography, which was invented by Britney Jean Spears in the music video for “Stronger” and perfected by Daniel Alexander Trainor while imitating the music video for “Stronger” in his childhood bedroom.
SS: Rosé attacks rehearsal with all the focus and intensity of an Abby Lee Miller Dance School pupil who won’t get dinner if she misses a step.The girls twirl their way through rehearsal, and before you know it, we’re almost ready for the runway.
DT: As they get into drag in the Werk Room, the queens get all lovey-dovey about how much they absolutely appreciate and adore each other, which is not what I come to Drag Race for, girls and girls. I want some back stabbing! I want some hair pulling! I’m horny!
SS: We! Demand! Friendship bracelets!
DT: As we get into the performance, it’s immediately evident that “Lucky” took about seven seconds to write and produce. I love the music industry!
SS: What was fun about this music video is that all the backup dancers had their masks hidden behind fencing helmets which made absolutely no sense in the aesthetic of the rest of the video — that’s what we love about a Drag Race single: it doesn’t have to make sense, and in fact we’d be upset if it did.
DT: While the overall aesthetic is serving major “Say My Name” music video vibes, it’s visually striking and makes for something refreshingly unique and the girls mostly turn it out.
SS: Obviously Rosé turns it out, and, I am reticent to admit, kind of kills her rap verse. As the kids might say: it slapped.
DT: Gottmik is having the absolute time of her life, Kandy is buoyed by her confidence and charisma, and Symone manages to let loose and show off her natural star power that had been severely lacking in recent challenges. All in all, a solid effort from the Final Four (a sports term)!
SS: This week’s runway theme is “Drag Excellence” which I had assumed was the theme for…every week? Aren’t we always trying to do good drag? Anyways, this is why I’m not an executive producer on Drag Race. This is the only reason.
DT: Gottmik looks like Cruella de Vil after a weekend at Chernobyl, but like, fashion? Kandy is serving Judy Jetson at Homecoming.
SS: Rosé glides down the runway in a full tartan gown, and I must say Rosé is really leaning into her Scottish heritage as the season wraps up. Lawrence Cheney is shaking.
DT: Symone looks great and ready for the red carpet, honestly. I’m not sure there’s a tremendous statement here other than SLEEVES, but sometimes SLEEVES are enough.
SS: For me, sleeves are enough. If sleeves are not enough for you, Daniel, the question must be asked: What is enough? What. is. Enough?
DT: One day, I hope God will answer that question for me. Until then, I wait. After their walks, the girls are shown baby pictures of themselves with the intention of getting them to cry. It works! It’s an excruciatingly long runway process, capped off by Rosé giving a speech she’s been practicing in her bedroom mirror every night for the past five years, I can only assume. It’s very Anne Hathaway “it came true” vibes.
SS: After our queens each get a whack at a little soliloquy, it’s time for our lip sync — but there’s a twist! Each queen will be taking the stage by herself to lip sync to “I Learned from the Best” by underground indie darling Whitney Houston.
DT: All of their performances are edited together and, while the other girls are fine, I just want to watch Symone. RELEASE THE SYMONE CUT.
SS: It would seem that someone’s turned the corner on sleeves….
DT: It’s called growth! Evolution! Progress! We’re all malleable. The lip sync wraps up and we’re treated to the news that (drumroll, please, sir)…..ALL FOUR GIRLS ARE GOING TO THE FINALE! WHY DID I JUST WATCH THIS EPISODE!
SS: It’s called drama, suspense, and ultimately, queer culture.
DT: My three favorite things. Nobody sashays away, but unfortunately, this recap must. It’s time to get our beauty sleep for the grand finale, babies.
SS: I’m climbing into my coffin for a good night’s sleep as we speak. See you next week, you hungry little Drag Race stans.