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Hey, kittens! Hasn’t this season been just the gaggiest? I want like, half of these contestants on All Stars now, which really speaks to their appeal – even the less successful ones have been incredibly memorable. I hope you all have been enjoying the show as much as I have. Now, without further ado, let’s get to our finale countdown!

Rather than list out individual memorable moments and talk about each contestant’s performance, I thought I’d do something a little different – a look back at my first impressions of each queen’s Meet the Queens video, and how that impression was either validated or proven very very wrong in the end. Let’s get this show on the road, shall we?


First impression: “I’m going to just put this out there – Jaymes terrifies me. She is just really, really creepy to me.”


I’m sorry, Jaymes! I appear to have misjudged your act a little bit. I do think while the high-pitched squealing thing could’ve gotten annoying in the long run, there’s really nothing to be afraid of with this queen. In fact, she was probably a little too harmless through her run on the show. Womp womp.

Most memorable moment:


“I’m Jaymes, I’m jewsy!”

It speaks to how short-lived Jaymes’ Drag Race run was that her most memorable moment is of being tongue-tied. She definitely shut down in the presence of all these talented girls, and I wish she’d let herself shine a little more.



First impression: “Season 9 is clearly not going to be RuPaul’s Best Friend Race as far as she’s concerned – but she’ll probably be adding a lot to the entertainment factor, so that’s something.”


Sooo, I was right about this one, for the most part. I just wish she was a little more talented than she seemed to imply. And while I wouldn’t say she really caused much drama, she did make things extremely entertaining. Which leads us to…

Most memorable moment:


“It sounds disgusting.”

Kimora’s clueless outbursts were absolutely the best thing about her. She gave so many hilarious soundbytes and made the weirdest of comments that, in retrospect, were just really clever. In a very “Legally Blonde” kind of way.

Honorable mention: “What’s an adjective?”



First impression: “Charlie is a fun, quirky ‘transatlantic dame’ who isn’t afraid to make fun of herself. She’s definitely one of the most amusing girls in this batch.”


Oh, Charlie! It was such a monumental disappointment to see such a witty, fun queen be eliminated so early on. My original assessment placed her right there in the top 3 with Sasha Velour (my only accurate top 4 prediction), so to see her in the first three to go… Oof. Brutal reality check. But of course, how do you expect a 52-year-old to survive a cheerleading challenge?

Most memorable moment:


“Come on, Charlie. Do something, Charlie.”

Even worse than seeing Charlie go home early was watching her completely give up the moment she was placed in the bottom two. Supposedly, she broke a rib during the cheer challenge, so I guess she decided not to bother with lip-syncing. Makes sense, but it’s a real shame. I thought this queen was going to break a glass ceiling with her age, but all she broke was a bone.

Honorable mention: “Could you shut up a second?”



First impression: “Eureka warns us that she gets a little impatient at times and may ‘cuss, cut, or eat’ her fellow queens. Consider me officially freaked out/intrigued.”


Eureka was a polarizing one indeed. One week, she was starting all of the drama. The next, she was the kindest, most helpful person in the room. I didn’t love her, but she did deserve a better exit – especially considering the fact that she was more talented than most of her fellow competitors. I could definitely have seen her make it to the top 5 or 6 – and she probably will in season 10.

Most memorable moment:


“But why push it straight to negativity?”

For all the drama the producers were probably hoping to get from Eureka’s rivalry with Trinity Taylor, the most talked-about tiff she had on the season was with our resident brainy queen, Sasha Velour. The eating disorder argument was a real mess of a conversation, but at least it sparked a couple of new catchphrases. Don’t joke about that, guys.

Honorable mention: Her shock elimination, duh. She got Willam’d and Ongina’d.



First impression: None! Not in the Meet the Queens reveal, anyway, for obvious reasons. My actual first impression of her appearance in season 9 was probably something along the lines of “… oh.”


Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad Cynthia got another chance to be on Drag Race, for her own sake. But like her favorite word, her whole shtick got old real fast. If anything, I worry that what was originally intended to make her more well-loved by the fans has ended up turning a lot of people against her. Hopefully, that will fade.

Most memorable moment:


“This is not a shadé or shade I’m not you know because I love her so much ay dios mio!”

Cue Shea Couleé’s cringing. Besmirching the good name of Sofia Vergara with that mind-boggling performance was probably one of the worst things Miss Cucu did on this season.

Honorable mention: This face:


I find it very amusing to look at.




First impression: “Aja seems like a talented queen with a decent sense of humor. And look at those freckles! I don’t know how she’s creating freckles with makeup, but it’s seriously impressive.”


Let’s address the elephant in the room – how awkward is it that I praised Aja’s promo look makeup when her main issue on the show ended up being her rough face-painting skills? Clearly, that picture was a little misleading. Aja sadly didn’t get to do much of anything special on the show – her runway looks were decent at best, and her challenge performances were not that great either. At least it seems like she learned a lot and may use that to improve in the future.

Most memorable moment:


You’re perfect 💯, you’re beautiful 👰, you look 👀 like Linda Evangelista 💃.. You’re a model 💋 💅. Everything 🔁 about you ☞ is perfect 💯! Did you stone 💎 those tights 👢 ? Oh, you’re smiling 👱 ! They eat 🍽 her up 🔝 EVERY🕛SINGLE🕧TIME🕗 she’s on that damned 👹 stage 🏁.She 😡ftsdbsds😣. She could walk 👣 out there in a fucking 😠 diaper 👶 and they’ll 👥 be like 🗣: “Valentina! 👰 Your smile 👄 is beautiful! 😍”



First impression: “Farrah would rather be the ‘best possible version of herself’ than compare herself to the other queens in this competition – a nice philosophy, though it may not be very well-suited to the competitive aspect of Drag Race.”


Farrah definitely was in a league of her own in this season. Or maybe it was a world of her own. She was pretty, that much is certain, but as far as everything else was concerned, she just kind of did her own thing most of the time, regardless of what seemed like a good idea and what didn’t. Hey, it worked for her for a while!

Most memorable moment:


Her very cringey roast of Michelle Visage, complete with sighs and “hmmms” every few sentences. At least she looked nice.

Honorable mention: Just about every time she emitted one of her signature whines or moans. A drinking game where you take a shot every time she does that would be a lot of fun. And possibly very dangerous.



First impression: “Valentina is gorgeous. Really, really beautiful. Her makeup is flawless, her outfit is perfect, and her hair – her hair! That wig is amazing.”


So… somehow my first impression kinda sorta sounded like Aja’s jealous outburst? That’s hilarious. Valentina was definitely one of my favorites for this competition, and a shoo-in for top 4… Or so I thought. Sigh.

Most memorable moment:


“Take that thing off of your face.”

I don’t think this gag-worthy moment needs any more introduction. Valentina gagged, RuPaul gagged, Nina Bo’nina Brown gagged, everybody gagged. It was a gag fest. And not the sexy kind. Well, maybe a little.



First impression: “Nina Bo’nina Brown’s original drag name was ‘Beat-a Bitchass,‘ and if I hadn’t already fallen in love with her for this crazy look, I would be completely head over heels for that name. Nina seems like a very fun person to talk to.”


Nina promised us crazy looks, and she definitely delivered. However, despite her talents and sense of humor, in the end, Nina was her own worst enemy. I think given a little more time and appreciation for her own art, Ms. Brown will be unstoppable.

Most memorable moment:


That tear!

Really, Nina will mostly be remembered for her self-sabotaging, which is so sad. But at least, when she got in her own way, she did it with style.

Honorable mention:


The peach!



First impression: “She’s just the right amount of confident – where you know she’ll turn it out and leave you gagging but also won’t be a total bitch just for the sake of it. But hey, Phi Phi O’Hara also promised to be a ‘good girl’ like Alexis is doing right now, and look where that got her.”


So… it appears Alexis was actually the wrong amount of confident. I was really rooting for her going into the season, but her attitude and sense of style were definitely problematic. Given a bit of time and moolah to update her wardrobe, though, I think she’d make a fierce contender for All Stars.

Most memorable moment:


“If I see something, I say something.”

Alexis Michelle had quite a few oblivious rants in Untucked that made her a real controversial presence in the competition, a la Derrick Barry last year. But every season needs a shitstarter, and our resident Jewish queen did a pretty great job at instigating some drama in an otherwise fairly tame season. You go, mawma.

Honorable mention: A flawless Liza Minnelli. Winning Snatch Game is no small feat, so mazel tov!


Which leads us to… our top four!


First impression: “While I am glad the show is allowing trans women to audition and get in, I am a tad concerned at Peppermint’s potential reception from the other queens – there’s a lot of room for things to go wrong here and I hope the show does Peppermint justice.”


Evidently, I was worrying for nothing. Not only were the other queens total sweethearts about Peppermint’s gender identity, RuPaul and the show made a point of celebrating the first transgender woman in the show’s top four. Something I do feel bad about, though, is having underestimated Pepper throughout the entire season. Hers was a slow burn kind of rise to the top, and while her performance through the first 5 or 6 episodes was so-so, she started doing really well later on in the competition. Werk!

Most memorable moment:



The absolute murder of Cynthia Lee Fontaine in their lip-sync. Those dance moves were all top-notch, and that on-stage sniping was smooth, sassy, and brutal. Loved it! I feel like this moment is where Pep really started emerging as a true contender.

Chances of winning: As great as she did in the last few episodes, Peppermint still does have the lowest record of the top four, with the most times in the bottom two and the fewest challenge wins. While she’s wonderfully charismatic and an absolute joy to watch, I don’t know that that’s quite enough to win her the crown.




First impression: “Sasha is incredibly intelligent and eloquent, and listening to her is just a refreshing change of pace. There’s a drive and a hunger in her smile and I think she could absolutely take the crown if she doesn’t overthink things.”


So, Sasha only got into her head for a single challenge, and she didn’t get the “quirky queen brutally eliminated halfway through the season” edit like Acid Betty did. Yay! I’m so glad Sasha’s gotten a great reception among both the fans and the judges. As she said in the last Untucked, it’s wonderful that she was accepted and loved by everyone immediately, rather than having her choices questioned at every turn.

Most memorable moment:


Call her the Wicked Witch, because there’s a house on her head!

I mean. She had a house under her hat. What else is there to say?

Honorable mention: Her Marlene Dietrich was a work of art.

Chances of winning: The one time Sasha floundered, she didn’t even land in the bottom two for it, making her one of the rare few queens in the entire show’s run who reached the final episode without ever having to lip-sync for their life. That said, she also never managed to win a challenge without being paired with Shea, despite being second-best several times through the season. I’m not sure how likely she is to snatch the crown without any actual solo wins – but her track record is otherwise practically flawless, so maybe that will end up being a factor.



First impression: “A lot of the stuff she’s saying feels really forced (‘I’m just sickening the house down boots gaga yaaaaass‘) and just not very genuine. This queen is definitely giving me some Laganja Estranja flashbacks, and I hope she allows herself to be a little more human throughout the competition.”


Okay, so, I completely misread Shea Couleé, evidently. She wasn’t annoying at all – in fact, she was one of the smartest, most confident and level-headed people in this competition. Not only that, but she was funny, a good dancer, and she slayed the runway almost every single episode. So, yes. I think she does deserve a “sickening the house down boots gaga yaaaaass.”

Most memorable moment:


Nina Bo’nina Brown is still mad she didn’t get Blac Chyna.

Killing the Kardashian musical was one of the first in a series of stellar successes Shea profited from through her season 9 run, and the one that really set her up as a frontrunner – one who was never really surpassed.

Chances of winning: In Shea’s case, the odds are very very high. She’s won four challenges, something only Sharon Needles, the season 4 winner, has also been able to accomplish in the show’s herstory. That alone, despite her one time in the bottom two, makes Shea the most likely candidate for the win. I’m honestly not too sure what could cause her to lose at this point.



First impression: “I’m going to be real harsh for a minute and I feel bad for it, but Trinity Taylor is giving me some serious filler queen realness. She seems like a nice girl, but there’s just nothing really intriguing or memorable about her at first glance.”


So… I apologized for it repeatedly throughout my first few recaps, but I feel the need to apologize again. I’M SO SORRY, TRINITY TAYLOR! I clearly completely underestimated her from her Meet the Queens video and promo look. The second that bitch showed up in her Lady Gaga Countess look in the premiere, I knew I had made a terrible mistake. Trinity is beautiful, multitalented, unpredictable, and most of all, hilarious. She’s like a shadier Alyssa Edwards, and I love her for it.

Most memorable moment:


She was willing to risk damaging her beautiful face to stay in the competition!

Her one and only lip-sync this season, against Charlie Hides, would’ve guaranteed her a win no matter what she did, given Charlie’s lethargic performance. But the girl went ALL. OUT. She was so good, I personally don’t think anyone in the entire season did a better job than she did. Sue me.

Chances of winning: Trinity was neck-and-neck with Shea for challenge wins for a while, and then Shea got a fourth win. But if you think about it, two of Shea’s wins are shared with Sasha Velour, whereas all three of Trin-Trin’s victories were 100% her doing. That, coupled with the fact that her one time in the bottom led to the most epic lip-sync performance ever, could still net her the winning title.


That’s everyone, y’all! Who was your favorite – and who do you think deserves the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar? I’m so torn, I can’t even make a decision. Guess we’ll just find out tomorrow! Talk soon, darlings!

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