The time has finally come for the remaining three queens competing to be the next winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race to lip-synch... from their homes. After last week’s Zoom reunion—which I did not watch because if the show is going to ignore its Sherry problem, I’m going to ignore the ignoring of it—Jaida Essence Hall, Gigi Goode, and Crystal Methyd will compete for the crown from the comfort of their own homes due to covid-19 restrictions.
According to a press release from Vh1, the queens will be aided by “innovative technology that highlights the creativity of the queens,” whatever that means. Will it be weird? Probably. But Jaida, Gigi, and Crystal have been the most compelling top three in a good long while, and I’m looking forward to seeing one of them become the winner.
Despite a few bad weeks toward the end of the season, Gigi has been a consistent hit with the judges. Her runway looks are flawless, and despite the fact that she has never lip-synched for her life, she did lip-synch for a cash tip in Episode 1 and performed admirably despite constantly insisting that she cannot dance. And though she came off as a bit robotic in the challenges she bombed, when she was actually robotic on purpose in the Snatch Game, Gigi was a star. With four wins and constant praise from the judges for her costumes to recommend her, Gigi is probably the frontrunner.
However, Jaida Essence Hall has proven once and for all that pageant queen is not an insult over the course of this season. She was strong out the gate—easily out-performing Sherry Pie to win her first challenge of the season and has two more victories to boast as well. In her confessionals, Jaida is also a charming and hilarious personality, even if she doesn’t quite seem to know how to consistently capitalize on that character in her drag performances yet. But her “Look over there” moment from the drag presidential debate has become the unofficial tag line for a season that will, unfortunately, be most remembered for editors attempts to get us to look anywhere but at Sherry Pie.
With only one challenge win, Crystal Methyd is very much a long shot to take the whole thing, but god, what a win. Her performance as Phenomenal Phil, an exotic dance instructor who doesn’t know he can’t dance, in the one-woman show challenge was one of the funniest, smartest characters I’ve ever seen created for a challenge on the show. And Crystal’s thrift store hipster/Treasure Troll drag in the makeover challenge, along with that insane asymmetrical blueberry getup, has created great expectations for what demented arts and crafts she’s gotten up to for her finale looks.
For this week’s front-runner, my head says Gigi—who is fine!—but in my heart, it’s a battle between Jaida and Crystal.
Please, convince me of which queen is America’s next drag superstar in the comments.