Last night, Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 6 hosted its sixth finale in Downtown Los Angeles. An array of queens, fans, femmeboys, and entertainers of all kinds donned their most colorful ensembles and hit the Ace Hotel to find out who would be America’s Next Drag SuperStar. Adjacent a glittering backdrop playing RuPaul’s Sissy That Walk, attendees anxiously waited to find out if “It Girl” Adore Delano, witty and wise Bianca Del Rio, or picturesque Courtney Act would take the crown. To viewers’ delight, RuPaul added some sugar and spice to what can often be a rather dull, annual ceremony. From a #selfie, to a song sung throughout the entire antechamber, to a gay wedding ordained by Ms. RuPaul herself, the sixth season’s finale turned out to be one hell of a show.
Following a choreographed dance number involving all of the queens from season six, RuPaul slays her entrance onto the main stage. Lights dim, cameras focus, and the curtain lifts to reveal RuPaul in a stunning dress and her trademark, giant hair. She walks out toward the crowd, stopping for a moment only to be showered by dollar bills. You can see the well-deserved glint of pride in her eyes as suited dancers throw money all over her shimmering, sashaying body. Definition: Fierce.
She then pulls her girls in for an actual selfie, which she posted on her twitter account. The caption reads, “If U can’t love your #selfie, how in da hell U gonna love somebody elsie.” As in film, as in life, RuPaul takes center stage. RuPaul is never one to shy away from self-promotion. She has branded herself all the way to the top and her shamelessness has become itself a staple of her character. In the world of drag, no one touches RuPaul Andre Charles, 53, whose talents span acting in television and film, recording, modeling, and, of course, the performance of drag artistry. He is originally from San Diego, California and came to prominence in the underground club scenes of Atlanta and New York. RuPaul gained widespread attention in the nineties for his hit song Supermodel Of The World hosted the MTV Video Music Awards in drag, and has been unabashedly self-endorsing his way to superstardom ever since.
As expected, the season finale revisited the experiences of eliminated queens, interviewing fan-favorites like April Carrion, Milk, Gia, Trinity, and others. Carrion’s revivial of one of RuPaul’s signature looks was mentioned as it took twitter by storm earlier in the season. And dancers performed a number in sync wearing Vivacious’ headpiece, Ornacia. After the interviews, Rupaul took a moment to educate audiences on drag herstory. From punk musicians, nightlife performers, activists, to comedy and theater, RuPaul reminds viewers that drag is about self-expression and self-love. The cast and audience then break into a touching love anthem, solidifying the ever-changing, often amorphous community that makes up the LGBTQ spectrum.
To the surprise of very few, the Ms. Congeniality of RuPaul’s Drag Race was named as BenDeLeCreme. Her excitement is visible as she ferociously bows and elegantly bucks her hips in the glimmering sash. Bianca, Adore, and Courtney perform a little song together filled with cursing, chiming and a little bit of cacophony. Perhaps the most heart-wrenching moment of the show, however, was the proposal to Joslyn Fox by her longtime fiancé. RuPaul excitedly announced her title as an ordained minister and pulls Joslyn’s fiancé on stage. Surrounded by the Scruff pit crew, the season six queens, and everyone in the audience, RuPaul ordained Joslyn’s gay, drag wedding in front of the whole world. As if the man who charmed his boyfriend with a choreographed number in The Home Depot didn’t set the bar high enough for queer wedding proposals, Joslyn Fox and RuPaul certainly set a new standard of romantic.
Finally, after a few words from the previous season’s Drag Superstar, Jinkx Monsoon, the audience braced itself for the ultimate announcement. With no further ado, RuPaul tells cameras that the final decision rests with her and her alone. Drumroll commences and the crown is handed to the only queen who did not fall into the bottom two during the entire season.
Bianca Del Rio!
With a few tears in her eyes, she steps up to take the her place among royalty and tells other, aging gay men not to give up. “Amazing things can happen later in life,” she says.
Bianca Del Rio has proven, time and time again, that she is a fierce competitor with unending wit and grace. In a culture obsessed with youth and image, Bianca Del Rio encapsulates the essence of entertainment and the soul of someone who has, well, been through some sh**. While the previous episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race may have been a bit bland, producers made sure to spice up this year’s crowning. From ordaining a wedding to synchronizing a choir of love, RuPaul and her team made the finale of the most tweeted and talked-about season of Drag Race also the most touching, glamorous, and memorable.
Opinion by James Ryder