‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ season 13 finale recap: “You should see her in a crown”
Since the start of season 13 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, a new President has been sworn in, rollouts of the COVID vaccinations have the country nearing a return to form and we’ve murdered three different people for saying the letters “NFT” to us in public.
My name is Daniel Trainor and while this season’s road has been long, it has also been pretty underwhelming, so at least there’s that!
Meanwhile my name is Sam Stone and I’ve made the brave, bold and brash decision to actually really enjoy most of this season! Accept joy into your lives! Stop disliking things for the sake of it! Call your mother!
For one final time, let’s recap the shit out of this dang show.
DT: The finale opens with a lovely tribute to the respective, impactful journeys of our four final queens. Just kidding, it opens with a musical performance from RuPaul.
SS: The original queen herself gives us an incredibly stiff and dead-eyed performance of her new hit song “New Friends Silver, Old Friends Gold.” I must agree that my new friends are less good than my other, older friends, so this one spoke to me.
DT: RuPaul’s performance has all of the energy and charisma of a circus peanut. The entire thing looks like a Snickers commercial.
SS: For our finale, we’re invited to a Drive’n’Drag, outdoor, socially-distanced moment and after Ru’s welcome number, it’s time to see our final four queens turn a few looks.
DT: It’s simply exhilarating seeing a bunch of gay people in a parking lot cheering on our girls!
SS: I would pay between four and six hundred dollars to be in a parking lot with a bunch of gay people, for the record.
DT: The three runway themes are “Black & White,” two of my favorite colors, “Red All Over,” and the ultimate “Grand Finale Eleganza Extravaganza.” Eleganza and Extravaganza? They mean business!
SS: This is not a time for jokes, Daniel. Please be serious for one time in your life.
DT: These recaps never have been.
SS: Let’s talk about our gorge gagatronja girlie, Gottmik. Her B&W look was an homage to Pinhead (gay icon that I think got her start on Season 3?) a fierce, very on-brand bondage moment. ‘Mik’s red look was a wide-legged bodysuit, an homage to Keith Haring that I gagged for, and Daniel took in stride. And, finally, her last look, a true eleganza extravaganza, was a huge sculptural gown featuring a Swarovski encrusted heart. She went to Jared!!!
DT: I thought Gottmik’s E.E. (short for Eleganza Extravaganza) look was MAJOR with a capital MAJ.
SS: Little known historical tidbit: E. E. Cummings was actually short for Eleganza Extravaganza Cummings.
DT: Our girlie Kandy hits the runway next in an elegant gown with BLM stitched across the front. I cannot get past the weird hairdo, but she looks pretty great and it’s definitely a more elevated version of Miss Muse. The same can’t be said for Kandy’s second look, which is more than serviceable for a regular runway challenge, but doesn’t meet the finale moment. Kandy’s last look is definitely a big ball gown! It’s giving me Maleficent vibes. Like, if Maleficent fell into the exotic bird exhibit at the zoo.
SS: Let’s talk Rosé. She arrives for the Black and White runway in the tightest dress scientists could figure out how to put on her. It’s a “My Fair Lady”-meets-dominatrix sort of situation. Hold on, I think Dan has a joke here.
DT: A My Fair Lady-inspired Latex look? More like Audrey Hep-burning up!
SS: Thank you, Daniel. Rosé’s Red All Over look is big tree vibes and, darling, I did not think it worked…ok hold on Daniel has another joke.
DT: More like Read All Over. By Sam!!!!
SS: Lastly, Rosé appears in a kind of slutty Mary Queen of Scots gown. I found it to be Eleganza, but not, dare I say, Extravaganza.
DT: Last, but certainly not least, is the pure distillation of Extravaganza, Miss Symone. Her B&W gown is way bigger than anything we’ve seen from her all season, but somehow also manages to be quintessentially personal and cool. Symone’s acrylic nail-inspired Red look is, quite literally, jaw-dropping and…hold on, Sam has a joke now (copy cat vibes).
SS: I just wanted to say, uh, she nailed it.
DT: Got it! Symone’s final look is also incredible, giving me Britney/Beyonce/Pink Pepsi Super Bowl commercial vibes. She goes three for fucking three. STOP THE COUNT.
SS: Phew! We have made it through the runway portion of the evening ladies and gentleman! Next, Ru sits down with each of the girls for what I would describe as their exit interviews.
DT: These interviews are always pretty basic and boring (except when we do them!), but Gottmik almost immediately calls RuPaul “kind of rude” and suddenly I’m alive again. We’re treated to messages from all of the girls’ families, which is cute. Gottmik’s dad saying “hey gorg” is, and I cannot state this plainly enough, the single funniest and sweetest thing I have ever seen and we must protect this man and his goatee at all costs.
SS: Keep it in your pants, Daniel, you sexual freak and deviant.
DT: RuPaul asks Kandy the question that’s been on the top of all of our minds: “why is Kandy Muse in the top four?”
SS: I would posit, that after producing this entire season, Kandy deserves not only top four placement, but also an Executive Producer credit, and points on the show, but that’s my humble, and frankly, uneducated, but sexually alluring opinion.
DT: I’m not going to disagree! We get to meet Rosé’s family, who are like Scottish Scottish. Like, Mel Gibson on a horse in face paint Scottish. It gives Ru a chance to flaunt her absolute adoration for Lawrence Chaney in front of an American audience. There’s something going on there. Blackmail, tax fraud, fracking, etc.
SS: Maybe all three! After a brief video from Symone’s mother and grandmother, we move into the next part of the evening, a staple of every drag show: a group number to Bette Midler’s “Friends.” A song that, coincidentally, shares the title with the hit TV that I created and starred in on NBC.
DT: The number can only be described as completely bizarre, bonkers, time filling, and also a way to fill time. Coincidentally, the performance of “Friends” made me wish to never see a single soul ever again in my lifetime. Moving on, the finale paid tribute to the late Chi Chi DeVayne with a very moving video montage. WE LOVE YOU, CHI CHI.
SS: At last, the moment we’ve all been waiting for has arrived. After what feels like four months, and in fact has been four months, it’s happening: Jaida Essence Hall is bopping around a parking lot hawking some homosexual beverage!!!
DT: One of the things I love most about a celebration of queer culture is when it’s exhaustingly branded by a corporation, so thank you Bubly Bounce!
SS: What a thrill. After a brief message from Cory Booker (girl, I don’t know) Ru spins a giant wheel to determine the first lip sync battle. It’s Kandy and Rosé, a battle for the ages. Strap in, babies, you’re about to enter RuPaul’s Best Drag Reveal Race.
DT: Rosé almost immediately goes into her reveal, uncovering an…unflattering flesh-colored outfit underneath? Britney at the 2000 VMAs this is not. Meanwhile, Kandy also goes into a reveal (!!!), and her look is fun and colorful and flirty and we’ve got a battle on our hands! It’s important to note that neither Rose nor Kandy appear to really know the words to “Work Bitch,” which is a gay crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
SS: Rosé seems off her game in this one, and Kandy keeps her energy high, clinching the win in the first round of lip syncs.
DT: Gottmik and Symone are up next and, like their predecessors, both go into quick reveals. But wait! Symone has an outfit reveal and a wig reveal! It kinda feels like these lip syncs are all about the REVEALS instead of the lip syncs themselves, but listen, I don’t make the rules!
SS: Gottmik, however much of a spook-la-rook she is, simply can’t stand up next to Symone’s overwhelming presence and star power. It’s Symone’s world, and I’m just trying to make a living wage while living in it.
DT: It’s sad to see ‘Mik go, but what a run for our gorgina gorgchantress. Before the final lip sync, LaLa Ri is awarded Miss Congeniality from a very whistly Heidi N Closet. I hope not winning Miss Congeniality turns Olivia Lux into an absolute bitch.
SS: The final lip sync is here, and it’s Kandy v. Symone. Kandy, in a lavender bodysuit, waving a Dominican flag, and Symone in yellow streamers from head to toe, featuring a very special robotic wig reveal.
DT: Kandy is out here lookin’ like Bret “Hitman” Hart for the final lip sync, a reference that absolutely nobody will understand in a Drag Race recap, but Sam is contractually obligated to allow me to keep it in. Also, if you do understand it, please call me so we can get married.
SS: In the end, our new reigning queen, America’s newest drag superstar is Symone!
DT: It’s always been Symone. Perhaps there were slight moments of doubt throughout the season, but ultimately, her win feels as cathartic as it does inevitable. Nature is healing.
SS: Thank you for going on this beautiful recap journey with us, readers. It’s been a pleasure to formulate and share our perfect and unimpeachable opinions with you week after week. This is the longest relationship I’ve ever been in.
DT: Seacrest out!