In less than a week, RuPaul will crown America's Next Drag Superstar! And if it's not Bianca Del Rio, I will lose what little faith I still have that the world can be a fair and just place. Last night's "Countdown to the Crown" episode ran through some highlights from season six and allowed us to ruminate upon the final three, all with commentary from some of our favorite queens past.
We reminisced about Ornacia, Vivacious's second head (who was also maybe a better drag queen than its host body); delighted in never-before-seen footage of BenDeLaCreme as Maggie Smith on the Snatch Game; got choked up all over again at Milk's departure; tapped our boobs along with Joslyn as she said "Keep it foxy!"; wished that Michelle Visage and Leah Remini's mutual dislike could have played out during a season of G.L.O.W. (the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling); appreciated Trinity K. Bonet as she revealed her HIV status and became an occasional motivational speaker on Untucked; wrote slash fiction about Adam Lambert and April Carrion; coveted Gia Gunn's epic hula hoop handbag; considered the merits of putting a cork in our mouth for enunciation thanks to guest judge Sheryl Lee Ralph; and let Raven have the final word on Laganja Estranja: "If you are gonna cry that fucking much, get a better damn lash adhesive and waterproof fucking mascara."
And then, of course, there are our three lovely finalists:
Adore Delano: I have to confess that while I found Adore to be a little grating initially ("party!"), she's really grown on me throughout the season. Scrappiness is one of the human attributes that I respect most and Adore's got plenty of it, probably inherited from her awesome chola mom (plus maybe a little from Paula Abdul during her stint on American Idol). Of course sometimes that translates to sloppiness (what Ru calls "raw talent"), but Adore's charm and "Jesus eyes" (as Manila Luzon characterizes them) are enough to make you overlook the fact that her dress doesn't hit the floor. As former victor Raja tells us, a little dirt under the acrylics is hot.
Adore also does a good job of taking her critiques and using the feedback to try and grow, as last year's Next Drag Superstar Jinkx Monsoon points out. Plus, the bitch can sing, and her "Straight Outta Azusa" rap was a challenge highlight. Adore may have started with a whimper, says Ru, but she ended with a big bang. She also tends to bust out some impressive moves while lip syncing for her life, but I attribute that more to her young knees than anything else. Overall, I think Adore's charm won't be enough to overcome her distinct lack of polish compared to the more seasoned finalists, and this will prevent her from getting those dirty acrylics on the crown.
Bianca Del Rio: In the interest of full disclosure, I feel I should tell you that I am deeply in love with Bianca Del Rio and think that we would have the funniest babies together. (Something I knew instinctively from the moment in her "Meet the Queens" video when she named Dolly Parton's "Applejack" as her ideal Lip Sync For Your Life song. "Try to find that song and get the rights, Ru.")
Bianca was brilliant in her ability to cut anyone and everyone to filth with her Rolodex of Hate (including Santino and Michelle Visage), excelled at being a damn seamstress (especially if you don't mind a boatneck), and was basically just good at everything she tried. She also hit upon a deep, universal truth when she said, "If I was gonna come for you, I'd come into your room at night and cut up your fucking wigs"—a line that is more easily integrated into everyday parlance than you'd imagine.
Bianca also showed a softer side during the season—encouraging Trinity when she flailed during a challenge, helping the other queens with their makeup, and loaning Adore a much-needed waist cincher while saying, "Don't tell anybody that I'm being kind." Of course, as Sharon Needles (Snatch Gaming it as Michelle Visage) said, "Secretly she allowed Adore to borrow one of her corsets. In front of nine cameras. Way to play the game, bitch!" But I'm not about to give anyone demerits for being smart. To the possibility that anyone else will be named the winner I say: Not today, Satan!
Courtney Act: Oh, Courtney. I mean, obviously she looks amazing. Khloe Kardashian wanted to skin her alive and wear her body (which is a compliment), and Alaska said, "Every time she walks down the runway I'm like, who let that girl in here? Can someone call security, there's a young woman walking around the main stage!" Her ensembles were glorious—I mean, the bird! And the Klaus Nomi homage!—and she's got Aussie-sized loads of talent as a queen and a singer.
Courtney got a lot of flak for relying on pretty ("Well, everyone else is relying on ugly, why can't I rely on pretty?") or being TOO perfect, but her polish shows why she's a big deal in Australia and Joslyn Fox's idol. Or why she WAS Joslyn Fox's idol. Poor Joslyn got the brunt of Courtney's shadiness, which often seemed to emerge without the charm that would make it feel clever instead of mean. She does, as Latrice Royale says, have star quality written all over her (Latrice also says, "Such a shame about that body. I know she wishes she had my curves and swerves"), and she wouldn't be an undeserving winner. But she never quite displayed the heart or wit or grit that would make me feel compelled to really get behind her (metaphorically).