Previously on Drag Race: Crystal Methyd, Gigi Goode, and Jaida Essence Hall fought through a season of incredibly talented girls and made it to the top three among some messy behind-the-scenes complications and the world shutting down. And now they’re ready to shake their ass for the crown.
We open up with Michelle Visage introducing the queens from her bedroom.
Let’s review these ladies’ lewks!
Dahlia Sin is fully leaning into the Brocc-ally thing with this fabulous green fantasy. I wonder how Michelle feels about it––but I love it. And it’s nice to get confirmation that she did enjoy the Brocc-ally cameos and wasn’t just being held hostage in that outfit for weeks.
Rock M. Sakura looks pretty awesome in this prismatic lewk covered in what kinda looks like Pokémon or Yugi-Oh trading cards. It’s bringing my awkward teenage years crashing back and I love it.
Nicky Doll is rocking this French-ified commedia dell’arte getup and she looks great. The outfit is fierce, the color combo with the hair (and eyebrows!) is super pleasing, and she does the best she can with that tiny hallway.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner. Aiden Zhane looks fantastic in this mirrored Queen of Hearts lewk. She’s out to show that she doesn’t always have to do minimalist looks with a pussycat wig, and damn, did she do a good job. Kudos.
Brita‘s giving herself a rudemption moment from her nasty cone-bra Madonna outfit in the Rusical. This new and improved gown with spiky cone boobies is pretty damn awesome. No motorboating this one, boys.
Jan looks wild in this Edward Scissorhands lewk. It’s super different for her, which makes me wonder if there’s some sort of symbolism behind this choice for a finale lewk. Maybe she’s finally snapped and is out to get all the queens who stole challenge wins from her.
Widow Von’Du is serving Marvel supervillain in this amazing Black Widow moment. It’s bold, it’s different, it’s not something we’ve seen from her before. Well done, cyst.
I’m not super in love with this Heidi N Closet outfit, honestly––the gown is gorgeous but I feel it would’ve looked better with longer hair or some more accessorizing. Still, it’s always a delight to see her on my screen.
Jackie Cox is playing to her aesthetic with this beautiful old Hollywood lewk. Her makeup has really improved since filming for the season. Werk that New York rooftop.
Crystal Methyd is a piñata. I have no words. She never ceases to surprise and amaze us. Also, she gets extra brownie points for having a Sasha Velour artwork on her wall.
Gigi Goode is living up to her reputation as the helmet queen with this huge conical Plavalaguna-like headpiece that she takes off to reveal a blonde Marge Simpson wig underneath. It’s really fucking awesome.
As the obvious center of the universe, Jaida Essence Hall is the whole damn galaxy tonight. High school science project, but make it sickening.
And speaking of lewks, how about this question mark of an outfit from RuPaul? This is giving me “when you have a funeral at 5 and a S&M dungeon orgy at 7” teas. I don’t actually hate it.
Michelle Visage talks about how she and her family are doing while her husband mops the floor in a pink apron and no pants… or underwear.
Ru plays a few cute messages from celebrities, including one from one of this season’s best guest judges, Rachel Bloom, who shows off the gigantic bosom she’s developed since giving birth recently.
Ru has a little chit-chat with Crystal Methyd first. She’s wearing the wildest getup for this interview: 50% hairy troll doll, 50% magical creature, 100% Crystal.
Crystal gets a sweet message from her parents, who sadly do not have quite the screen presence she does.
Crystal gets to talk to her younger self like queens have gotten to do in past seasons. She tells herself to embrace what makes her different and not to hide that weirdness.
The queens of Season 12 put out a really cute lip-sync message dedicated to healthcare staff and essential workers, thanking them for their service.
Gigi Goode is up next, and she’s wearing a fab (and 100% accurate) reference lewk to an outfit Ru herself wore on television in 1993.
Gigi gets a sweet video message from her mom––who’s also the lady who made most of Miss Goode’s outfits. Now that’s a supportive mom.
Gigi gets to talk to her younger self, warning young Gigi about his father being unable to accept Gigi’s interests for a very long time. Seems like her dad sort of balanced things out from her super supportive mother. I guess you can’t have everything, sadly.
Jaida Essence Hall is giving us Flintstones, but from Wakanda. It’s a fabulous lewk that reflects her heritage and just another flawless showing from Miss Jaida.
Jaida gets two sweet messages, from her brother and her father. Her dad tells her he wishes Jaida’s grandmother and auntie were still around to see her do so incredibly well. It’s a really sweet moment.
Jaida talks about her grandmother’s fabulous self inspiring a lot of her drag persona and how she always brings a part of her grandma into her drag whenever she gets ready. She concludes this emotional segment by telling her younger self “I love you” with a reminder to always love herself.
As an interlude before the lip-sync for the crown, we’re treated to a delightful segment following Heidi N Closet’s quarantine life. Heidi talks about washing hands, social distancing, and keeping busy at home.
She also puts her roommate (boyfriend?) in RuPaul drag so she can be told she won the week’s challenge and live her Jantasy.
This bitch better be getting her own spin-off, because I refuse to live in a world where I don’t get to see Heidi on TV on a regular basis.
It’s finally time for the first lip-sync of the night! Crystal Methyd, Gigi Goode, and Jaida Essence Hall must first compete in a close-up three-way lip-sync where only their face is visible. Way to utilize the Zoom call to the fullest! The lip-sync song is Ru’s latest bop, “Bring Back My Girls.”
Crystal’s lip-sync is a little on the simple side––but she does take advantage of the close-up filming to make very subtle expressions and eye movements that wouldn’t be noticeable in a normal lip-sync.
Gigi is the most clever in this round, fluttering her eyelashes on beat, acting silly with the lyrics, and giving comedy.
Jaida spent a lot of time and money decorating these hands and she is gonna showcase them, dammit! The finger-ography is sublime, and she peppers in a little comedy by moving closer to the camera during intense moments.
Overall, it’s mostly a tie! But before a decision is made, we’ll be seeing each girl lip-sync solo, to a song and setting of their own choosing. First, though, the queens of seasons current and past pay a lovely tribute to Jacqueline Wilson, a producer on the show who passed away before this season started. The girls all say beautiful things about her. It sounds like she was a big reason the show has so much heart.
Before we continue, we’re treated to a dancey cover of “Cover Girl” by the queens of Season 12 encouraging us to vote in the upcoming elections. You betta vote!
NOW let’s watch the solo lip-syncs!
Crystal Methyd is doing a performance of “I’m Like A Bird” by Nelly Furtado and I think it’s the wackiest fucking thing I’ve ever seen on Drag Race. She’s playing a mama bird and a baby chick flying on what looks like a painted shower curtain. The whole thing is ridiculous and 100% delightful, and she tops it off by regurgitating food as her mama bird self to feed it to her chick self.
Next, Gigi Goode lip-syncs to “Take On Me” by a-ha in front of a beautifully drawn backdrop inspired by the music video for the song. Her outfit, which is covered in her iconic quote “Name Something,” switches from white to black halfway through the song. It’s super visually pleasing.
Last but not least, Jaida Essence Hall is doing the thing with “Get Up” by Ciara. She starts in a robe on her couch, tears it off, and proceeds to give us a whole Superbowl showstopper of a lip-sync in her living room. C’mon, wind machine!
Ru has decided: no one is getting the chop yet! All three of the queens get to participate in the final lip-sync for the crown!
Now, we go to last year’s Miss Congeniality, Nina West, who’s having a little chat with none other than Dolly Parton.
Nina then crashes last week’s reunion (wow, a time traveler!) to award this season’s Miss Congeniality with ten thousand doolahs. And the winner is… Heidi N Closet!
But wait! On behalf of Drag Race, Nina West also tells the Season 12 girls they’ll each be receiving a $2,000 tip! So well-deserved. These girls have been THROUGH IT and they earned that moolah.
With Nina’s stint done, it’s time for last year’s winner, Yvie Oddly, to make her appearance! The bitch has put together this incredible quarantine outfit made of socks and sweatpants.
For the final lip-sync for the crown, the top three girls were sent the same sets, lighting and filming equipment so that the setup would look nearly identical for all three girls. They’re performing to “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child.
Crystal Methyd’s outfit is gorgeous and very Crystal. She does a fun job with the song, but there are no reveals, no tricks, no stunts––for a final lip-sync for the crown, it would’ve been nice to have something to help her stand out. Still, it’s a job well done.
Gigi Goode is serving up Wizard of Oz realness with this Dorothy lewk. She delivers a fierce lip-sync as usual, culminating in a wig, outfit, AND shoe reveal, plus a gag-worthy peek at “yellow brick road” panties under her skirt at the end. Amazing.
Jaida Essence Hall was made for this song. She does an incredible job with the lip-sync, combining dance ability, reveals, and great acting––and she does all that with a tiny little pussycat wig, which is hard to provide a good lip-sync with. Jaida ends the number by pulling up her train and revealing a crown above her head. The gag of the season.
And the winner is… Jaida Essence Hall!!
After years of the black pageant queen making it to the top but never winning, we’ve finally had a breakthrough with the Essence of beauty––and not a minute too soon. Jaida Essence Hall personifies black excellence and drag excellence in every way possible. She’s funny, she’s charismatic, she’s sexy, she’s politically involved, and she makes all her own damn clothes! She completely deserved this win.
And hey, now we get the pleasure of seeing Crystal Methyd and Gigi Goode on our screens again for a future All Stars season!
This has been an amazing ride. These twelve queens have had rotten luck, but their sheer charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent cemented their season as one of the best, if not the best season in Drag Race herstory. I’m going to miss them.
All Stars 5 has a lot to measure up to after this fantastic season. Will they live up to the hype? We’ll find out next week!
Thanks for reading, cysts!