RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 14 ends with a bang and a series first
RuPaul’s Drag Race returned to the Flamingo in Las Vegas this weekend for a finale bonanza like no other. In a series first, the winner got a whopping $150k and the runner-up received a not-so-paltry $50k.
Anyone who has watched this series will feel like it started a hundred years ago but was in fact ONLY FOUR MONTHS long due to the amount of episodes that had no elimination. In fact there was still half the whole cast left 4 episodes before the end!
In another first there were 5 finalists in what many see as one of the most congenial in the franchise’s herstory. NOT only did they all seem like proper friends but at the end, there was a sense of genuine love and support for one another with more traditional ‘out for themselves’ queens like Daya Betty or Bosco losing the love of the fanbase with attitudes that looked frankly a little crass up against the kindness of the other three finalists Angeria Paris Van Michaels, Lady Camden and Willow Pill.
CAUTION: SPOILERS AHEAD
Going into the finale it seemed like Lady Camden might have it in the bag. She was projecting real winner’s energy in the Reunion and She hadn’t really put a foot wrong for weeks, coming out with the win in the last competitive episode a few weeks ago.
This all changed on stage in Las Vegas however. All five top queens got their own original lip sync song written specifically for them and in a style that suited them best (rock for Daya Betty, burlesque for Bosco etc). Frontrunner Lady Camden performed original track I Fell Down inspired by her faux fall wig reveal earlier in the season. It was a triumphant number with ballet, acrobatics and reveals and it looked like the win could be hers.
Then came 27-year-old Willow Pill. A fan favourite from the start, she had been open about her illness cystinosis and her gender identity throughout proving that she could rise above any setbacks she may have had and utilise them in her creative drag. In possible the most Willow Pill of all her performances, I Hate People (see below) is possibly one of the best 70 seconds you’ll see in a long while.
It’s subversive, avant-garde and the fact that after 14 years of RuPaul’s Drag Race we can STILL be served someone as new, challenging and frankly adorable as Willow Pill is testament to her and the show. Her treble reveal in the final lip sync against an almost diminished Lady Camden cemented he path to the crown and it was almost a forgone conclusion.
One of the most joyous sentiments of this season was how happy they all were for each other, something you can see in for yourself in the finale reveal video below. As usual, they film more than one person winning so its a surprise even to the queens themselves when the show airs.
Somehow Willow Pill has managed to turn Drag Race on its head and revitalised what some had been saying was perhaps a slightly tired format. Her vulnerability, sense of humour and creativity all come together in one mesmerising package that makes it al worthwhile.
For a full recap of the finale, check out United Queendom, the UK’s premier Drag Race podcast. As is the way with Drag Race, it’s not long before the next series cranks up and that will be RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars season 7 which starts on May 20 onVH1 or on WOW Presents Plus.