RuPaul Recap, Episode 10: What Fans Had to Say About the Finale
As the episode rolled along, it followed the formula of all the previous finales. A musical number choreographed by Todrick Hall, original lyrics written by each queen, a podcast interview with Ru and judge Michelle Visage, and their best runway look. Then came the stunner: Two queens were crowned.
Basically, we were fed the same RuPaul Raisin Bran, but with added bananas.
RuPaul announced (with horrible voiceover editing) that we have two winners. Trinity the Tuck and Monet X Change each won a $100,000 grand prize and a spot in the All Stars Hall of Fame.
Rewind: How did this happen, why did this happen, and what was Ru thinking? Let’s break this down.
For die-hard fans who had been watching for months, this was a slap in the face. They idolize the franchise, they’ve bought the merch, clocked the phrase and kiki’ed Ru into their everyday life, and for what? To quote Bianca Del Rio, “BALONEY!”
On Twitter, we found similar confusion and annoyance from past competitors:
As the world turned, various conspiracy theories were floated:
In 1995, an iconic and impactful drag film called To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar hit the mainstream. At the time, RuPaul, in prime supermodel status, had a cameo as Rachel Tension, the emcee who announced the winner of the pageant at the beginning of the film. And what did she say in the movie? “It’s a tie!” and she named both Noxeema (Wesley Snipes) and Vida (Patrick Swayze) the winners. Were the All Star 4 results a direct nod to the film? Monet has Noxeema’s attitude, and Trinity does channel Vida’s style over substance.
Team Latrilla forever
This season’s first shocker was the handcuffed entrance of past All Stars competitors Latrice Royale and Manila Luzon. They built their careers on their friendship after competing in All Stars 1 as a team. Was a double-crowning meant for these two queens instead of the actual winners? The situation feels much like the dismay over Trixie Mattel’s win over Ru’s beloved Shangela Laquifa Wadley in All Stars 3. But the All Stars 4 season’s result was a direct outcome from the race itself. Naomi Small’s decision in Episode 8 to send home Manila launched the competition into an alternate “Ru-niverse,” where Trinity and Monet take the crown instead of the expected win by Latrice and Manila.
No matter the results, there will always be haters – Team Katya over Team Alaska, Team Shangela over Team Trixie. In today’s social climate, inclusivity is in the headlines. The last three seasons resulted in white queens taking the crown, and with All Stars 4, Ru had the opportunity to induct a queen of color into the Hall of Fame. But if she named Monet the sole winner, Trinity fans would be livid because of her strong track record in the competition. If she named Trinity the sole winner, fans would shame her for not being inclusive. Did Ru choose a double winner to avoid further fan division?
But regardless of conspiracy theories, the fans’ reactions, angry drag queens, mean tweets, and double-crownings, this is a TV show. It’s entertainment for the masses. From the beginning, Ru always said the decision was hers alone to make. After all, the show is called RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Later this year, her brand will be expanding into the United Kingdom. Season 11 of Drag Race starts Feb. 28. RuPaul’s DragCon in Los Angeles will be in May, and the New York version will be in September. She has 11 studio albums and counting, and even a candy line. RuPaul is never going to sashay away.