Neither Shea, Cracker, nor Jujubee are surprised that they are the Top 3 in RuPauls’s Drag Race: All stars, Season 5, and neither are we. While the girls all agree that this is the trio they expected to see make it to the end, you can’t help but think, “Yeah, gurl: I feel you.” Even if you’re not one of Reddit’s thirsty Nancy Drews, and didn’t have this final three spoiled for you the minute that filming wrapped, surely the minute that you saw the names in this cast you must of thought, “So, Top Three is Shea, Cracker and Jujubee,” right? And if you came in to this completely open and unspoiled, there’s no denying that it became incredibly obvious as the season progressed that this is the finale that was coming. Still, it’s a pretty deserving conclusion to this season, and these are the only three girls to win Maxi Challenges (and India, bless!) this time around.
Last week’s episode was so mind-numbingly predictable that they OWED us and the queens that All Stars 5 is celebrating a killer finale. This was fine. This was nice! There’s obviously a lot of preparation that went into that final number, and it was great to see the eliminated queens come back and present their Finale lewks. It certainly doesn’t come anywhere close to challenging the 2017 Golden Globes opening musical number (while actually even being better than that) inspired finale of All Stars 3 (hands down, still the best thing to ever happen in any episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race). And while some of the attempts to gaslighting us into thinking that this was amazing, like the increasingly stale judging critiques that fawn, “OMG, everything was amazing and you’re the fiercest group of girls ever!” or the feeble hopes of stirring the pot by bringing back the eliminated queens flopped, the best moments of this finale were when each of All Stars 5 just go to be themselves, for better or for worse. Here are the Top Ten moments that made us gag this finale.
Special Mention: Trinity the Tuck and Monét X Change in To Wong Foo Drag
Many of us still aren’t over the fact that the show couldn’t commit to a decision to draw a line in the sand and pick one winner of All Stars 4, but the best thing to come from their tie (other than two talented queens getting $100,000 and a huge Title) was their “Tie? What she mean, ‘a tie?’” moment in Vida Bohème and Noxeema Jackson cosplay in their message to the three finalists. It’s such a good meta parallel, and it was too good to pass up. If you still haven’t seen To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, do it. Right now. Bingeing old seasons of Drag Race is not your first priority right now!
THE TOP TEN MOMENTS FROM ALL STARS 5’S FINALE
10. “I just get to relic in it!”
We were robbed of a season long experience of Derrick Barry’s petty, pointed reads of the other queens after she was prematurely sent home by India Ferrah in the first episode, but we also got to miss out on a playful, loveable cringe side of this Britney Spears body double: when she expresses her delight for getting to enjoy some drama without having to be at the center of it, she squeals, “I just get to relic in it!” before quickly realizing, “I said ‘relic,’ didn’t I? Is it relish? It IS relish?” We love a queen whose mother tongue is English, and still butchers the language!
9. Ongina Stanning Jujubee
One of the show’s big visibility problems is highlighting Asian queens: of the 153 queens who have been cast to date, a meagre 16 queens of Siberian, Central Asian, East Asian, South Asian, Pacific or Middle Eastern ancestry have appeared on the show. That’s barely more than one per season! So, it feels really special that we get to see a Filipina and a Laotian-Thai queen on the same season, and that Ongina gets to be there to cheer Jujubee, saying “It would be really warm and fuzzy to see her go all the way, and win the crown. You can do it, my little dumpling: I believe in you!”
8. Mariah Reading the Queens Who Voted to Eliminate Themselves
While she patronizingly calls it a “nice, touching Kumbaya moment” that Ongina voted to eliminate herself from the competition, Mariah is irritated that “If Mayhem was going to eliminate herself, we could have just swapped spots.” As she should feel! The self-elimination votes were one of the most frustrating things to be seen this season, and deserved to be dragged once more!
7. Mayhem Shutting Down “Alliance” Nonsense
One of the things that feels like such a phony attempt to create conflict where there’s none to be found comes when the girls are clutching their pearls that part of the reason why Mayhem cast Shea’s lipstick in Episode 3, gasping, “An alliance?!?!?!” Even though Mayhem used the word “alliance” once herself, it’s within her jurisdiction to roll her eyes at the way the girls are parched for drama: she made a deal to save India if the time ever came, should India choose to send Derrick home over her in Episode One. This isn’t some nefarious, shocking, or surprising revelation. Next!
6. India Ferrah’s Breastplate
Of all the inanimate superstars to grace the screen of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the only realistic runner-up to the goddess that is Ornacia has to be India Ferrah’s legendary breastplate, which quite often has upstaged the queen herself! But, in her final prance down the runway, this is one of the times that India Ferrah WORE THE BREASTPLATE, instead of letting it wear her! Ooh, gurl, she’s jiggling those babies, and feeling her fantasy! It’s a fun way to relive the memories of what we best remembered from her (other than being picked up by Mimi Imfurst). There’s three things in life you can count on: death, taxes, and India Ferrah’s Breastplate!
5. Alexis Mateo’s Walter Mercado: The Shequel
Alexis truly did the Lordt’s werk in introducing the audience of Drag Race to the Puerto Rican psychic icon they probably should have heard of already, but probably haven’t! “Someone will walk away with the Crown and $100,00, and the rest will be bitter bitches!” she predicts in character once again, relishing the absurdity of stating the obvious!
4. Blair Learning the Top 3’s Choreography from Her Seat
Hey, if you’re just going to be sitting in the wings, forced to watch the finalists prepare for their finale number, you may as well learn their moves! Great way to maximize every second of your Drag Race experience, and keep challenging yourself! Good for you! Now, just resist the temptation to pull a Showgirls moment and cast some beads on the stage so you can step in!
3. Cracker’s “Make Me Feel” Lip Sync Gag
Some of the best Cracker moments are the amazing cringe content that she gives us are when she think’s that she’s about to be Sick’ning, and it’s… not. When Cracker pulls the nip plugs from her cone titties, there’s a couple little adorable puffs of glitter. Aww, it was a great idea, but it’s not an, um, explosive moment.
2. Jujubee’s Final Runway
Damn, Miss Juju has never looked better in her life! While a slightly reworked version of this Hindi Buddha gender-fuck look could have gone toe-to-toe with Shea’s instantly iconic look for the “Love the Skin You’re In” runway, it’s wonderful that she saved this look for her final runway, and wow, she’s never looked this good in her life!
1. Shea Claiming Her Crown
While we had to hear about Sasha Velour’s rose petals quite a few times this edition, it really was a minor travesty that Shea Couleé wasn’t able to waltz away with the Crown and Scepter for Season 9’s America’s Next Drag Superstar that was unequivocally hers. From the get-go, this always felt like Shea’s to lose, but to her credit, she was able to close the damn thing out without getting tight in the end. She was terrific all season (the one time the show tried to make it look like she had a bad week was beyond transparent), and this is the girl who had WINNER! Moments. The Drag Race Hall of Fame doesn’t get much better than its newest addition!