The most predictable ending since the last one!
16. Penny Tration – 14th place
For all that it feels like the show’s ultimate results are led by the vagaries of public opinion, sometimes it’s good to see that sometimes Ru looks at the results of a public vote, goes “nah”, and chucks the beneficiary in the bin. And so it went with Penny Crayon, who somehow beat Danny Noriega in the vote for the “Fans Casting” slot (HOW?), and then proceeded to make herself up like a puffer fish and do a sub-par Mae West impersonation to a Miley Cyrus song. Sometimes this show’s fans really don’t know what they’re doing.
15. Honey Mahogany – 10th place
Initially I had high hopes that Honey Mahogany was going to be the new Milan, because based on her pre-show tapes she seemed seasoned, theatrical, opinionated, mildly delusional and doomed to be a background figure in the series. Instead it turned out I was just being racist, and Honey Mahogany was no Milan. She’s just a girl who wore a WHOLE lot of kaftans and didn’t really have a lot else going on. Even her post-show tie-in single is boring. Unlike THIS MAJESTY.
14. Monica Beverly Hillz – 12th place
There’s much about RuPaul to admire, but one of my favourite aspects to her character is the occasional flash of utter brutal ruthlessness that shines through in the show’s process. In this case, milking Monica Beverly Hillz for maximum levels of “……………*gulp* I’M A…TRANSGENDERED WOMAN!” tears and drama in the first two episodes, and then cutting her the very second that drama teat had run dry in episode 3. It was the most gentile DQ in the history of reality tv and Monica was brushed off in the most heartwarming way possible. Outside of her political value, there wasn’t much point to Monica Beverly Hillz other than her utter loathing of Serena Cha Cha and ability to turn a lip-sync out. And everyone this season could turn a lip-sync out and everyone this season loathed Serena Cha Cha so…I’ve got nothing.
13. Ivy Winters – 7th place
“Is she pretty?”
*smug face* “No”
“Is she banjee?”
*smug face* “What does banjee mean?”
Your Miss Congeniality, ladies and gentlemen! Ivy Winters is hands down the most boring queen ever to crack the top 7, and it makes me like Manila slightly less that she bought this bore a Miss Congeniality title. Ivy Winters was mostly notable for being quite good and quite likable when she was performing other peoples material, and sitting there with her mouth open going “GORP!” whenever she had to think for herself. Most painful was her performance in Snatch Game, when she played the BIGGEST FEMALE POP CULTURE ICON OF THE 20TH CENTURY and couldn’t stump up anything more than looning around like a CGI Sharon Stone. If only she’d lasted one more episode, we could have seen the awkward fallout of Jinkx’s crush on her but she couldn’t even be that interesting. She wasn’t even that incidentally funny, apart from that one glorious moment when she simpered “DRESS CODE BY IVY WINTERS!” then did a shimmy and her dress fell to bits.
12. Lineysha Sparx – 9th place
Oh Lineysha. So so pretty. So so dumb.
11. Vivienne Pinay – 11th place
I know that Vivienne is an acquired taste, and a pretty monochromatic one at that. But I will always have a place in my heart for sour miserable little gremlins who hate everyone and everything around them. Vivienne’s thing was that she was OVER IT, whatever “it” was, usually after “it” had happened just now, for only the second time, over the course of a month. Nothing was good enough, her talents were wantonly under-recognised, and she was perfectly justified in just hanging round the back of shot sulking rather than actually *doing* anything, because she’s VIVIENNE PINAY DAMNIT, and that should be enough. By the time she was eliminated, hissing “I’ll always be the fishiest queen”” then scuttling away under a cloak down a trapdoor, like the villain from an episode of Look & Read, I was in love, in a very minor way.
10. Roxxy Andrews – 3rd place
As villains representing the conservative elements of drag go, I’ve got a lot more time for Roxxy Andrews than I ever had for Phi Phi O’Hara, just because the former is far more psychologically fascinating, and a far more interesting performer. Sure it took her about a month of sweltering under a ratty double layer of weave before she got to do her reveal, but there’s no question that her tearaway wig was more fascinating than anything Phi Phi ever did during a lip-sync. Her Tamar Braxton was a Snatch Game classic and far surpassed Phi Phi’s Lady Gaga. Her runway was more often on-point than Phi Phi’s “Dynasty : THE PREQUEL!” wear and whilst her make up did occasionally run to the Rum-Tum-Tugger, at least she didn’t have STROKE EYE the whole time. And as I said, her psychological disintegration as the competition went on at least seemed to have understandable motives like jealousy, insecurity, being pissed off at the constant muttering of “water off a duck’s back”, and BEING LEFT AT A BUS STOP BOO HOO HOO. Rather than just being a straight-up twat. As such I find it much easier to believe her post-show recantation of her behaviour and public apology than…whatever Phi Phi said. I forget.
9. Lil Pound Cake
Lil Pound Cake’s catchphrase is “You’re not my real dad and you never will be”. Her hobbies include riding dirty, and being a straight up motherfuckin dick pig.
8. Detox – 4th place
A lot has been said about how Detox ultimately lost because she was complacent, aloof, and above it all, but I can’t help but thinking that that’s pretty much her drag persona anyway. I’m not saying I think she was secretly peddling as hard as she could for the crown at the speed of a Coco, but I think she cared more than she let on. That said, the constant implacability, the huge amounts of surgery, and the occasionally incredibly self-contained mini-meltdowns over things that she clearly didn’t want to talk about, made it hard to really warm to or root for her. Has there ever been a more awkward moment on the show than when she forced them to cancel an entire mini-challenge because it reminded of her dead ex-boyfriend, and nobody really knew if she was being serious or not? No, no there hasn’t. Her Ke$ha was criminally underrated though. So what if she pissed all over the stage? SHE’S JUST BEING KE$HA! I also loved that such a edgy nasty-tinged queen, called Detox Icunt, won the kids tv challenge, playing it straight, hands down.
7. Serena Cha Cha – 13th place
Serena Cha Cha was the perfect early series drama hors d’oeuvre before the main course of Alyssa vs Coco, and the non- delicious dessert of Jinkx vs Roxxy. Never in the history of Drag Race has one queen been so universally despised. Even Mimi Imfurst got invited back for All Stars. NOBODY’s ever going to vote for Serena to win anything, because she is the world’s most pretentious human being. Telling the other queens that she goes to college and reads books and is educated and will not accept their “ghetto vernacular” was a classic moment in show villainy history, as was her rambling on to Ru about how she’s part of a new artistic movement called “soft sculpture”. Which mostly seemed to consist of scrunching up used tissues and attaching them to her bodice with PVA glue, to compliment the rest of her outfits, which consisted of granny panties, crinolene, and miniature Panamanian flags. Needless to say, the absolute pile-on that ensued, with every single other queen on the show getting their licks in before Serena went home in an inglorious 13th place looking like roadkill, was one of the greatest episodes of Untucked there’s ever been. They were chopping that footage up and pretending it was part of other arguments for WEEKS.
6. Coco Montrese – 5th place
One of my favourite journies this series was taken with Coco Montrese. At first it seemed like she was a witty narrator par excellence, who had been wronged by the less talented Alyssa, and who should clearly win the battle of the two of them. Then it suddenly dawned on me to wonder why we were supposed to feel sorry for Coco, given that she usurped her best friend’s crown then proceeded to act like a victim about it for…no discernable reason, other than it apparently cost her her marriage for some undefinable reason. Then it turned out that Coco was kind of a combative twat who couldn’t really keep it together to do anything other than lip-sync. Then she won The Roast Challenge with a cheap knock-off Shangela performance, and it pissed me off. Then she beat Alyssa, and it pissed me off even more. Then, with Alyssa gone, she actually seemed vulnerable and out of her depth and I was back to feeling somewhat sorry for her. Then it turned out that the Alyssa and Coco feud was by far the best part of the series and “GIRL, LOOK HOW ORANGE YOU FUCKING LOOK!” entered my daily lexicon, and I made my peace with Coco Montrese. Not that hideous baby doll outfit she wore for the Pink Runway challenge though. That’s never leaving my nightmares. *shudder*
5. Jinkx Monsoon – Winner
I will give the end of this season this, I’ve re-evaluated my stance on the contestants a lot more than I did last year. Last time my mental process was pretty much “Sharon should win, Sharon’s going to win, get on with it already”. This year I was resigned to a Jinkx victory but convinced that Alaska was about to be robbed, then I re-evaluated Jinkx’s challenge performances and realised that she did actually do a lot of good stuff (her 80s pop song performance, which should have won that week ; her Day Of The Dead dress ; her Snatch Game; her ballet; her on-point veteran makeover) and came to the conclusion that she and Alaska were equally deserving. Then she tried to get the entire audience of the reunion to chant her transparent season-long catchphrase grab “water off a duck’s back” with her and I was back to being mildly annoyed. I didn’t ask you to life-coach me Jinkx, piss off. In the end, despite her undoubted theatrical talent, good heart, and supernatural ability to restrain herself from screaming “FUCK OFF, YOU LOOK LIKE A RACCOOON!” at Roxxy whenever she was doing dumb trash stuff like pretend she couldn’t hear her over her hairdryer, I just can’t get behind somebody this insipid winning the show. Hell of a set of pipes on her though.
4. Jade Jolie – 8th place
So, Jade Jolie is officially my Random Favourite of the series, and I’m so sorry that she never blossomed into the glorious monster that she could have been. Jade came across as easily the most bubbly, upbeat, and optimistic member of the cast, which made it all the more amazing when it was slowly revealed that she was kind of a manipulative skank-bitch. That brief Untucked segment of Honey, Lineysha, Ivy and Vivienne all comparing notes and realising that she’d gossiped about them all behind their back was great. Especially as it felt like it had just been ported in from an entirely different season, where any of those guys were relevant. Jade was, I think, at one point or another, friends with every single member of the cast, until she stabbed them in the back to trade up, by snarking about their crappy make-up and, of course, their back rolls. Never has there been a greater synergy between queen and Snatch Game impersonee than between Jade and her choice, Taylor Swift. It added an extra layer to every fake giggle. Jade also can’t be mentioned without a nod to her utter lack of taste, as she came out to the runway every single week looking someone had thrown a bunch of children’s party bags into a wood-chipper, then vomited tinsel over it. Acetate peacock tails, rainbow coloured unicorn horns, blue raspberry shaded wigs, too tight ringmistress outfits… Jade had a style all her own, and again it reflected her toxically upbeat personality. Finally, Jade Jolie exists to prove the First Rule of Reality TV Contestants, which is “It’s Never The Ones You’d Want To See Do Porn Who Actually Do.” And that is why Jade Jolie is my random favourite for this series.
3. Puppet Roxxy
What a star. SHE HAD A TEARAWAY…UNDERNEATH HER TEARAWAY!
2. Alaska – 2nd place
As this ranking alone proves, Alaska’s biggest legacy to RuPaul’s Drag Race is making the mini-challenges a legitimately entertaining part of the programme. (Yes, alright, the Andrew Christian models helped as well, I’m only human). And not just the obvious successes already mentioned, but other, more minor hits, like being the best at the Reading Challenge, her bizarre Soul Train dancing, that fantastically bizarre “bad make-up” job she did, and almost drowning in Week 1. Alaska made all of this memorable by being, bar possibly Willam, the funniest queen in the history of the show. It’s so sad that most of her storyline was spent distancing herself from boyfriend and previous winner Sharon Needles (whilst still milking every last ounce her name had for competitive value OBVIOUSLY), because whilst they have the same root intent (to upset, unnerve, and entertain) they’re really very different queens, and whilst Sharon is more polished, Alaska is far funnier. They’re both totally talented in their own rights! Alaska’s biggest problem during the series was definitely style, as she seemed to bring just the one dress, in varying shades, but even then she completely dominated the Sugar Ball, mastering butch drag in a way that Milan could only dream of. In short, Alaska should have won, and I’m kind of bitter. But you know what they say, “don’t get bitter” *mic crack* *feedback* “st get better” *walks off*
1. Alyssa Edwards – 6th place
And so it is that the two queens that I wrote off most swiftly before the season started turned out to be my two favourites. Alaska because her pre-show video was far too try-hard and Alyssa because she seemed like your typical humourless pageant girl coasting on pretty. Whilst Alaska won a place in my heart by surpassing her early limitations and showing her talent, Alyssa gained one by rolling around in them giggling like a pig in poop. Alyssa Edwards has the rare talent of making really banal things just sound funny because of the way she sells them. A simple quote like “Bitch, shut your ass down and shut the hell up, bitch” might sound crass and simplistic but in the hands of Alyssa, twisting it through her complete lack of irony and gift for shouting the obvious, it becomes art. It’s really hard to capture the magic of Alyssa in words except to say that she has no self-awareness, or chin, but she does have back rolls and a secret. She’s the sort of human being who was really born for this Internet age, as her true magic is only apparent in gifs, tumblr feeds, or photoshopped pictures of Coco Montrese made to look like a Dorito. She’s not witty, she’s not creative, she can’t sew, she can’t read (except by mistake), she can’t dress herself half the time, she can’t even fill in the relevant paperwork required to become Miss Drag America, but Alyssa Edwards is my favourite queen from RuPaul’s Drag Race 2013 and if she isn’t back for the next All-Stars to face off with Willam then I will NOT BE BEST PLEASED. Also, yes I did deliberately pick the picture where she looked most like Strictly Come Dancing All-Star Karen Hardy, thank you.