While the Drag Race finale/reunion does have a tendency to be a bit unsatisfying—it has neither the nonsensical chaos of an America's Next Top Model "Ghost Brides" runway show nor the fisticuffs and screaming of a Real Housewives reunion—this year's pageant show produced perhaps the most C.U.N.T.-worthy winner in the show's history.
Yes, Miss Bianca Del Rio took home the crown! Of course she did! She was amazing all season, killed it at pretty much everything she tried (even the things she claimed not to be good at), and struck just the right balance between reading the filth out of her competitors and proving herself a thoughtful, caring mentor (Trinity's testimonial about how her relationship with Bianca turned around her experience on the show was particularly lovely). And, despite Courtney Act's bitchy "In her own way, so…no," Bianca is totally pretty! That smile! Come on!
An errant eyelash may have caused Bianca to appear like she was crying upon her coronation, but she sincerely tells us that she's the most grateful guy on the planet. And I found her crowning words to be rather inspirational: "On a serious note, as a 30 year old man in a wig, never give up. Shit can really happen later in life."
Of course some other stuff happened in the 89 minutes preceding Bianca's crowning, too.
Musical Numbers: The opening number at the least gave us an opportunity to review all the glorious ensembles and watch the Scruff Pit Crew make it rain on Ru (dipping into the prize money to do so). The pre-break dance numbers were fun, particularly the one featuring multiple Ornacias. But the best was Bianca (of course!) during the entrance of the final three. While Adore and Courtney sing about how they can sing, Bianca yells, "I'm Bianca, I could give a shit about your runs/I could read your ass to the bank and back for fun/I can't fucking sing, but I'm in the motherfucking top three motherfuckers." How does she make that so charming?
Kelly Mantle and Magnolia Crawford: Ru's chats with each of the contestants reminded us that these two exist. Which I guess is a good thing? Kelly—who looks so distractingly like Mackenzie Phillips that I can't fully focus on what she's talking about—laments her bacon bodice. As for Magnolia, she's been dead to me ever since she disparaged Cher. And now, after claiming she didn't watch the season, I think she's dead to Ru, too.
Vivacious and April Carrion: Vivacious reveals that Ornacia has sent her a writ of emancipation, which I guess is why she's now wearing a quarter-moon on her head. She gives the children a walking lesson, which is amazing, and says she gives "hips for nerve." What does that mean? And April has apparently been tweeting outfits she would have worn for challenges—the pregnant Kim Kardashian at the Met Ball for Snatch Game is a highlight—which make me wish she'd stuck around a little longer.
Gia Gunn and Milk: Gia would like people to know she's just a humble, really nice Asian girl who's just there to turn the party. So there's that. And Milk has apparently quit her boy job! The implication is that she's gone pro, though Ru wonders if she's making coin from all the horny Drag Race fans who want to bone her.
Laganja Estranja and Trinity K. Bonet: In case you had doubts, Laganja is still VERY ANNOYING. (Michelle Visage, scowling from the audience, agrees.) Still, her inclusion ensures us reaction shots from drag mother Alyssa Edwards, which makes her presence tolerable. Laganja tells us that she now has a song, music video, jewelry line, makeup line, and is about to go to Brazil for the world cup, making her the Sonja Morgan of drag queens (unless you consider Sonja Morgan the Sonja Morgan of drag queens). Trinity looks particularly gorgeous, and is proud of being brave and telling her story. You can tell that Ru really loves her, and it's quite touching when she says that instead of aiming to be a Beyonce impersonator, Trinity should just be her marvelous self.
Drag Herstory 101: I love a good montage, and this gave us flashes of notable drag moments, ending with Paris Is Burning. And look, I was a women's studies minor at Vassar in the 90s. Paris Is Burning is basically my sacred text, and one of the many ways that Drag Race wins my heart is by consistently honoring it. If you shoot an arrow and it goes real high, hooray for you.
Ben and Darienne's Reconciliation: While Darienne characterizes their falling out as, "She snapped, I snapped," (Ben mouths, "I didn't snap,"), these two seem to be fine now? Kind of? They hug, and when Ben gives Darienne a BenDeLa matryoshka doll, Darienne asks, "Is there candy in there?"
Darienne's Parents: What feels more genuine than the reconciliation with BenDeLa is Darienne's reaction to seeing her parents on video. They've apparently had their differences for some time, and a little tear may have escaped from my left eye upon seeing Darienne's mom say she's proud of him, and that she knows how hard it was for him to come out and tell them who he is and how he feels. The family stuff on this show always kills me, though Darienne's dad shows that comic timing is hereditary when he busts out elephant tusk earrings to prove that Darienne has lately been a style inspiration to his mom.
Adore and Laganja Hash It Out: Many fans apparently wanted to know the status of Adore's and Laganja's relationship. We learn that Ru brought them together (dressed as boys) to watch an advance screening of their Untucked blowout, at which they start getting into it again about realness versus fakeness, and then just cry and cry. Adore has the sense to want to discuss the matter in private, and they say they're in a good place now. Okaaaayyyyy?
Bianca and Adore Are So Cute Together: Latrice (yay!) reads a viewer question asking if Adore has a crush on Bianca when she's not in drag. Is there, like, slash fiction about this? Because I probably would read it. Adore denies it and Bianca says, "I would never sleep with her because I only give to charity once a year," earning a snap from Latrice. (Bianca is sadly less successful at reading Jiggy Caliente in response to another viewer question, though I do always appreciate a snaggle tooth reference.)
Gia's Eyelash: One million points to the viewer who submitted the question to Gia: "What was with that eyelash, girl?" And another million to Alaska, for making a performance art piece out of reading it.
Joslyn Gets Married!: Right there! On stage! Her boyfriend Andre shows up and asks if they can get hitched right then. Mama Ru performs the ceremony, the Scruff Pit Crew serve as attendants, and Joslyn keeps it foxy as the blushing bride. And though I've never particularly conceived of myself as the marrying kind, if I can get Ru or Stevie Nicks to officiate a ceremony I very well might change my mind.
Miss Congeniality: Ivy Winters comes out on stilts to name BenDeLaCreme as this year's Miss Congeniality! She wins a $2,500 Overstock.com gift card, and we are reminded how her absence from the final three was abject robbery. Ben gets emotional as she says how much it means for a shy person to put herself out to the world, and be received so well. Ben's fans embrace her over the top positivity and feed it back to her, and that has made Ben a happier person. I hope she celebrates by finding a nice wig rack or something on Overstock.
Adore's Album: Nothing against the slew of vanity singles to emerge from queens past and present, but Adore's forthcoming album actually seems like it might be worth buying. Adore notes that she wants to break through to the mainstream and carry on Ru's legacy. ("Lady Gaga's doing it…the only difference between her and I is I have a penis, and that's questionable.") We also get to see Adore's mom and her boyfriend Jerry in the audience. One of Adore's best lines comes when she notes the similarities between Jerry and Bianca, turns to Bianca and says, "That's why I look at you as a dad."
Bianca's Lady Bunny Impression: It was Lady Buny who encouraged Bianca to audition for the show, and Bianca kills it when she does Bunny saying, "This is your chance to electrify the nation! See you in a week when you're eliminated." Thank goodness Bunny's push was enough to overcome Biana's perception that the show was "for younger girls who knew a Beyonce medley."
Lola and Roy Lady: Bianca's legendary little kid friend, Lola, is in the audience! It's amazing to see her cherubic face reciting the poem, "Lashes and lipsticks and hips that kill / RuPaul you sure have some big heels to fill / But I know Bianca, I'm her number one fan / If you crown her our queen, won't tell she's a man." Her thrilled reaction at Bianca's victory is also priceless. Upon seeing Bianca's obvious affection for the kid, RuPaul promises not to tell anyone that Bianca's a nice bitch (even though we already know).
Courtney and Chaz Bono: I mean…??????????? So APPARENTLY Chaz was doing a musical production of some sort, and asked if Courtney would be in it. Their friendship blossomed, and Chaz even came to Australia with her to sing "I Got You Babe" at Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. And…ARE CHAZ BONO AND COURTNEY ACT DATING??? RuPaul asks if they're just friends and Chaz awkwardly says, "We're good." And if Courtney Act somehow ends up as Cher's daughter-in-law, I think we'll all be able to agree that sometimes the world is indeed a perfect, magical place.
Jinkx Monsoon: Jinkxy comes back to look beautiful, tell us about her goings on (an album, an original show that's toured across the world, and a feature documentary coming out this summer) and to remind us: "When the bitches come for you, let that bullshit be water off a motherfucking duck's back."
And Finally, Judge Judy: In a fitting tag to the season, Judge Judy pops up to say that Bianca was a hoot, but Ru's still her favorite. Bianca's last word on the matter? "BALONEY!"