…in an END OF SERIES RANKING! PARTY!
17. Milk – 9th place
This is currently 7th in the fan-voting for All-Stars 2, ahead of Ongina, Shangela, Tatianna, Jessica Wild and worst of all MILAN (just me? ok). THIS. On the basis of what? Milk was sold to us all as a quirky and unsettling queen, but the only thing unsettling about her was being sat on the edge of your seat wondering if her wig-front was going to fold all the way up like a flapping dicky. Everything about Milk looked and felt cheap and unfinished and costumey, her only memorable performance of the entire series was when she gave up at the rap challenge and just flailed around randomly out of desperation, and the ongoing car crash of her trying to prove she can do glamour (…) is hard to watch. Literally the only explanation is that he is hot out of drag. Screw Courtney, if there was anyone resting on pretty this season it was Milk. I mean…LOOK AT IT. SEVENTH. THAT IS SEVENTH. (Oh and I am entirely unsurprised that, per Adore’s post-show interviews, that he was incredibly self-serious and nobody really liked him)
16. The Lady Gremlin
This homophobic bitch robbed Joslyn Fox and I will not have it. It’s 24 years since your movie ho, what have you done for me lately?
15. Magnolia Crawford – 13th place=
I’m not going to talk about the reunion much, although a lot of it was fun (Alaska! Joslyn’s Wedding! Adore’s mom’s pim…BOYFRIEND! Courtney not really doing or saying anything!). What did highlight the failings of the format though, was it prevented RuPaul from giving Magnolia the absolute curb-stomping that she deserved for pretending she hadn’t watched the show, and which had previously been delivered to bitter twits like Tammie Brown, Shannel and Alexis Matteo, before the finale was before a live studio audience. Instead RuPaul had to just sit there and grin because all the contestants moms were in. Without that to make her memorable, Magnolia was really just a standard-issue first boot, with a nasal theme. That shading though…
14. April Carrion – 11th place
April seemed sweet enough, but the show clearly is just casting its Puerto Rico queens out of a sense of duty at this point, to be ESL sex-objects that show one fabulous outfit at the beginning, then are gone within a month for no speaky the English so nice. Since her elimination, April has mostly been telling us about all the amazing outfits she would have worn on the show, most of which seem to have involved her sticking half of Claire’s Accessories to her face.
13. Kelly Mantle – 13th place=
LOL, remember that spoiler pre-season that said that the Final 3 was Courtney, Laganja, and Kelly? I’m glad I left that proviso about her maybe being a first boot in my series preview in order to save myself a little dignity. To be fair, Kelly probably WOULD have made it a lot further if she had been able to sew/not wornbacon, but just like Magnolia, she’s kind of one-note as a first boot. I hope she’s at least able to eke out a career based entirely out of pork based puns for a little longer.
12. Courtney Act – 3rd place
I think it was the very wise and very respected Phi Phi O’Hara who said “this isn’t a competition to see who can buy the most shoes!”. Courtney and Bianca were actually very alike I think. Both came into RuPaul’s Drag Race with a very honed and very practised but ultimately quite narrow act that could easily have fallen to bits if they hadn’t played it right. And yet they took completely opposite routes to the final. Where Bianca showed vulnerability and relied on her craft, Courtney remained absolutely implacable and relied on papering over whatever deficiencies she’d shown in the episode with a great big store-bought outfit at the end. As such, it was kind of hard to relate to Courtney on any level other than a sort of grudging admiration for being so hard, bright and shiny. Just, as she would have you believe, like all Australians are.
11. Gia Gunn – 10th place
Gia’s one of those rare reality show villains that’s at the same time utterly awful and also far too stupid to take seriously. Snootily insisting that everyone be flawlessly pretty with one eyelash permanently wonked off at a 45 degree angle. Reading someone for their hair having come out the week before literally with half-inflated balloons stuck to her head. Rattling on about the depth and intricacy of her cultural knowledge then noisily honking “WHAT’S A DELOREAN? WHO’S A TONY?”. And then finally her glorious, badly-written, ungrammatical, incoherent note FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE calling out…well, mostly Milk. Just think, if either of them were half as good as their fans claim, they would have been forced to work together on the advertising challenge. Glorious.
10. Ben DeLa Creme – 5th place
I never knew that Maggie Smith was a Thundercat. Ben was basically the second coming of Pandora Boxx. A twittering fluttering “comedy queen” that usually wound up ageing-up significantly, who won the hearts of the audience via a tenderly veiled story of past mental illness, whose greatest triumph came in Snatch Game, and whose elimination BURNT THE INTERNET DOWN WITH OUTRAGE when it finally came. Except unlike Pandora, Ben didn’t suck, so she managed to win the odd challenge and be legitimately quite funny along the way. I think it was somewhere around the middle of her finale speech about being glad that her loving herself had caused everyone else to love her which made her love everyone and the world just fill up with more love that I made my peace with Ben. Likable enough, but kind of pretentious and full of herself in a way that I don’t know that she’ll ever be able to identify.
9. Laganja Estranja – 8th place
I was so in love with Laganja on the basis of her pre-series tape and then, for the first half of her stay on the series…nothing. She was a constant low-level twitter, occasionally yelling a catchphrase that was immediately forgotten every time she entered the workroom, occasionally backing Gia up half-heartedly in a fight, occasionally looking drop dead gorgeous on the runway, but mostly an annoying background noise that never quite made it to the A plots. Then, one day, everyone else decided to compare notes and share that they found Laganja absolutely unbearable and IT WAS ON. Laganja’s shrieking meltdown came in three phases – first lashing out at Bianca for not being sufficiently respectful of her video from home, secondly telling Adore that she wasn’t sure when it happened, or what it was, but Adore definitely did a bad thing to her at some point over the last three weeks, and then finally her GLORIOUS post-stand-up all-encompassing mega flame-out. In a fairly calm series of Untucked, Laganja gave us about 90% of what pyrotechnics did occur, and for that she deserves…credit? I guess? And points for trying so so so so so so so so so SO hard. But of course not at all because it was all natural and real and her and WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET MAMA, YES MAMA, LEGS. FOR. DAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYS. SAH! *click* *death drop*
8. Vivacious – 12th place
What a nice old lady.
7. Puppet Bianca
Don’t get me wrong, I think she was hilarious and added a lot to the show but…I could have done with a little more vulnerability.
6. Trinity K Bonet – 7th place
Nobody had a bigger or better journey of self-discovery this year than Trinity K Bonet. She came into the competition with dreams no bigger than being a third-rate Beyonce impersonator in a dive bar in Vegas, and a belief that her talents extended no further than lip-sync’ing and wearing nice clothes. She left with a new self-confidence, a knowledge that she could do stand-up or commercial acting or high fashion or…third-rate Nicki Minaj impersonations, AND happiness that she could be a role-model for other young people living with HIV. What a transformation. And *then*, as a tearful RuPaul told Trinity that she was so proud of her, and asked which benevolent mentor Trinity credited with effecting her massive life-change, Trinity looked Ru dead in the eye and said “Bianca Del Rio”. Tee hee.
5. Darienne Lake – 4th place
Fun Fact : Alanis Morissette is currently in the process of rewriting Ironic to include the lyric “it’s the Facebook Fan Favourite, being won by Darienne Lake”. (She’s rewriting it in honour of the 10,000th iteration of someone doing a variation of that joke). Whilst the pre-series Fan Favourite vote exists solely to add Puerto Rican/overweight queens to the mix when casting can’t be bothered, it’s still amusing that this year’s chosen one ended up being so reviled. To be honest, the hatred Darienne got for daring to find Ben tiresome only made me feel closer to her, as did her complete lack of ability to dress her lower half and her 50% corny/50% cutting sense of humour. What I could never hope to match is Darienne’s sexual self-confidence, as she was by far the horniest “Big Girl” queen the show has ever seen, quite happy to have her all-natural boobs front and a little bit higher than centre at all times and to regale the FormDecor Lounge with her best sex stories. Between Darienne and Latrice, I’m so glad the show has finally started sourcing big queens who can compete for more than two or three episodes in a row without collapsing into a puddle of self-loathing.
What a legend. I hope when All Stars 2 is inevitably rigged for her victory it doesn’t take any of the shine off.
3. Adore Delano – Runner-Up
It’s clear that when it comes to the C in the C.U.N.T of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Adore has the rest of this year’s cast beat hands down. The youngest queen to make the final since Tyra Sanchez, and the rawest thing to make the final since Rebecca Glasscock’s assho[*punchline deleted*], Adore arrived brimming over with youthful energy and wild oats to sew and fourth walls to break. And whilst she was never quite capable of pulling it all together into a complete performance without either Bianca or the ghost of Anna Nicole-Smith holding onto her reins, it was hard not to punch the air when she fully broke down that 90s rap or became the fifth Mean Girl or conquered the Glitter Ball or yelled “MY MOTHER’S A CHOLA! SHE LOVES BIG COCKS! PARTY!” to a crowd of senior citizens. Being present for the national television debut of Adore Delano felt like being there for the birth of something exciting and fresh. And foul-mouthed.
2. Joslyn Fox – 6th place
The purest sweetheart this show has ever seen, whether getting married to her fiance, playing the 50s horror ingenue, righteously standing up to Gia Gunn, getting EFFING ROBBED of Miss Congeniality, trying to teach The Lady Gremlin the wrongs her homophobia wrought, getting EFFING ROBBED of a top 3 placement in Snatch Game, keeping it foxy (*womp womp*), donning NINE. WHITE. BIKINIS, blundering through the rights and wrongs of abortion with Cher’s mother, calling Ru “Rusie Q”, liking gumbo, reminiscing about her time as Worcester’s corniest waitress, being the only person who had an effing clue what she was doing as part of The Ru-Tang Clan, being the only person who had an effing clue what she was doing as part of the Dreamgirls in the Musicals challenge, being a black horse, being everyone’s cup of soup, finding a discarded rhinestone, being terrified of the prospect of touching a vagina, advancing conspiracy theories about how RuPaul and RuPaul were the SAME PERSON, or finding out that her Australian Idol had feet of clay. I’m so glad that my record of adoring the queen finishing in 6th place gallops on a-pace.
1. Bianca Del Rio – Winner
I’m so glad, after the last two or three series of winners who were constantly on the defensive or having to explain and justify themselves, we got a winner who was unashamedly aggressive and in charge. Bianca came in hard from the get-go, winning challenges, starting fights, telling people off, controlling her own edit, and not taking any shit from anybody. By about week 6 it became apparent that Bianca had somehow made herself den mother of the whole show, making the other girls costumes for them, guiding them with a steady hand to challenge wins, and serving as their moral compass in all their social interactions. She had the mafia hand of a Series 4 Chad Michaels, but with more racist jokes, better outfits, and a clearer grasp of the story arc it takes to win a reality show. Because let’s be clear, from “I hate everyone” to the genesis of “Roy Lady”, Bianca had that shit on lock from the beginning. Warm, wise, vindictive, clownish, and absurd, I hope Bianca goes on to great things, just like every other winner this show’s ever ha….oh.