RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 13, Episode Fourteen (Gettin’ Lucky!)

My partner and I were a wreck at the end of this episode. Tears, laughter, emotions. It’s been a long season but we’re finally here. The Top 4. This has been a pleasure to do, of course the Reunion and the Grand Finale do not need a recap, so I kindly and proudly retire as Chapter Z S13 correspondent. Spread love not hate, less make the fandom a kind place to live.

Summary

This week our Top 4 queens were asked to write and perform original verses for RuPaul’s new song Lucky. In addition, the queens will have an intimate conversation with Ru and Michelle discussing their Drag Race journey. On the runway category is… Drag Excellence, and in the end, for the fifth time this season (I counted), no one goes home! Meaning our Top 4 are official going to the Grand Finale to battle it out.

Inside Drag Race: Intimate Conversations

After getting the prompt for the challenge, the queens take a break to talk about the judges about their drag journey through the competition. A huge highlight here was Gottmik and Kandy Muse’s interview. Mik’s especially had a winner’s edge to it, with Ru gushing and laughing with her throughout it.

Symone’s interview was my favourite however, only because of how familiar it was Right off the bat Michelle asked the question on everybody’s lip: What skin product do you use to make it look as if the sun was shining only for you? Symone gleefully admits baby oil, and Ru says smiling ‘I hate you.’ They’re old pals, old friends, having a lovely time.

Rose’s interview had all the characteristics of an employer’s interview for a Marketing job in the city. It wasn’t especially titillating hearing how much of a perfectionist she is, although her Broadway aspirations are inspiring, I do feel a tint of cynicism when it comes to her approach. I’m not fully on board, but also recognise she really has slayed many challenges, and if she was to *gulp* win. I would be happy for her, and riot for Symone and my only alternate: Gottmik. Whose Snatch Game and Ball challenge win, along with her awesome runways, could warrant a crown.

L-U-C-K-Y Performance

I will say this: Lucky might be one of the better songs to come out of a finale in a little while. In my list I got Read U Wrote U from AS2, and Category Is… from S9 as two really strong ones. But Lucky wasn’t a trap bitch track, it was something more throwback and doo-woopy, which I loved. Shout out to the set design very much borrowing from Destiny’s Child Say My Name  video.

Gottmik had the best lyrics of anyone, she really showed out and has come such a long way from the very first she wrote on her second episode! This could have very well being her third win if there had been winners and losers for the challenge. Alas, this was not the case.

Then we had Kandy Muse giving her best Lil’ Kim impression, she looked gorgeous in yellow, took to the choreography really well and had some really dynamic lyrics. Did I understand them at first listen? Maybe not, but did I go back and watch with subtitles? Yes I did.

Then we had Rose. Objectively, she did amazing. Every step fell on the right beat, she was graceful, funny, expressive, Broadway, camp!  “I’m the definition of the American Dream” … “She can rap? What a gag!” It’s hard to put my finger on what it is I find divisive about the lyrics, but maybe it’s  that CV-esque quality of listing a talent and forcing me to agree that it is indeed a gag. I don’t know. She did great.

Then we had our Ebony Enchantress… really struggling under the pressure. Her verse was noticeably the worst, using a slightly strained inflection to her tone, she manipulated the bars and lyrics in not the most palatable of ways. She looked beautiful, and the verse wasn’t complete rubbish, but next to the other three girls, it did not compare.

Category Is… Drag Excellence

On the runway we first had Gottmik in a gorgeous black and white, graphic Negative Space Dress by Dallas Coulter. Her makeup was showing the versatility we know Mik to have, with her stamped white clown face with bubbles of flesh tone.

The Drag Grand Slam herself, Rose came out in an ill-fitting structured Tartan Gown by Christopher Palu complete with a faux fur Sporran clutch, a leather belt and embellished gloves (‘did he just say ill-fitting?’). Not to rain on her parade, but whilst the concept of celebrating her Scottish heritage is actually really inspired for a finale gown, the execution lacked where the fit is concerned. But of course, don’t take my word for it, take Yuhua Hamasaki’s Bootleg Opinion.

Then we had Kandy Muse wearing a Sheer Victorian Disco Dress by Pinwheel Pinwheel again for her final runway presentation! I said it last week, creatives have good days and bad days. Perhaps the Haute Pocket runway was a failure, but this category was nailed good by Pinwheel and Kandy. It wasn’t a gown, but it felt elevated, elegant, modern, and uniquely Kandy. Lived.

And last but never least (and hopefully the winner), Symone. Dressed by Gigi Goode’s mom and Gigi herself, the gown and hair combo were for me the true showstoppers of the night. And that is what Symone has throughout this season been able to bring to the stage, Drag Excellence that pays homage to her Black culture in a modern and exciting fashions. She’s an icon, she’s a legend, and she is the moment. Now come on now.

Lip Sync… For The Crown

Our last lip sync of the season is of course by The Voice herself, the incomparable Whitney Houston with her song I Learned from the Best (the HQ2 Radio Remix). The queens were asked to lip sync one at a time, a first in Drag Race herstory. But watching all four performances I thought the second Symone took out that towel, it was game over. Whitney was an effusive sweater as illustrated by one of my favourite live performances of her in Brazil.

Unseen Lewk of the Week! – 

Please pay a visit to Utica Queen to see her finale runway look, as well as our mainstay Kahmora Hall to marvel at her Drag Excellence. And! Of course, Olivia Lux, sporting an orange kaftan-y moment.

Before We Crown A Winner: Final Thoughts.

It has been a long season but we’ve officially arrived at the end. Drag Race is a queer cultural phenomenon that has been instrumental in liberating my mind and words, so recapping this season has been a very healing experience for myself.

As far as winners, we know Drag Race likes to keep us guessing and it’s not a mathematical equation. Sasha Velour can always come out with rose petals and steal the show from a frontrunner, although a frontrunner can just as easily lose to an Yvie Oddly, or hands down win without question like Sharon Needles. So It’s all in RuPaul’s inclination. 

This writer has made his inclination far too known. But if I wasn’t rooting for Symone, I would most definitely give the crown to Gottmik, who has enchanted us and represented (and excelled) for the trans community in ways never before seen on Drag Race. I top my hat off to her. Could a double crowning be, for the first time in a normal season, in sight? Could #TeamSymone and #TeamGottmik win the season… together?

We will have to see. For now, continue to tune in to Chapter Z amazing content and follow me on IG @abigailjosevv, because that’s where you’ll find me talking about any writings recently done. Readers! Start your engines, and let the best drag queen, win!