Symone Better Win RuPaul's Drag Race Or Else

Illustration for article titled Symone Better Win RuPaul's Drag Race Or Else
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Listen, I do understand that I declared Symone the winner of Season 13 of RuPaul’s Drag Race on this very site back in Episode 3, which felt like a prudent amount of time from when I declared her the winner on my sofa at home the moment she walked into the werk room wearing a dress made of Polaroids featuring herself in all the looks she would systematically use to take the other queens out week by week. I assumed everyone felt this way.

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It wasn’t until I was taking Cody Rigsby’s Drag Race-themed Peloton ride and he declared his support for Rosé—but professed his belief that Gottmik would be the winner—that I considered the fact I might could be living in a Drag Race bubble outside of which there are others, like Cody, both incorrectly rooting for queens who are not Symone and daring to predict winners who are also not Symone.

So in the spirit of fairness, I have enlisted my colleagues to offer their Drag Race opinions and speculation as to each of the final four queen’s merits and chances of winning because everyone is entitled to their own opinion, even if that opinion is, unlike mine, wrong.

Kandy Muse

Let’s get this out of the way first: Bless her heart. The Drag Race producers should be ashamed of themselves for letting the Muse situation get this out of hand. On the bottom three times with just one win (that, let’s be honest, was actually a win for Gottmik), there is absolutely no chance that Kandy is taking home anything but fond memories, a two or three episode stint on All-Stars, and a couple episodes of Werk the World and Follow Me on WoW Presents Plus. -Emily

I have loved watching Kandy because, frankly, she’s the only one who has brought a rough-around-the-edges energy to this season and I tend to root for Drag Race’s scrappier stars who can put up a fight (seriously, where were the fights this season?). But I agree with Emily that her time to shine will likely be All-Stars. -Hazel

My heart always wants the big girl to win it all, and almost every season, I am disappointed. This season, Kandy’s delightful Bronx honk has been a refreshing addition to the werkroom, and I agree with Hazel that if this had been a more argumentative and less-kind season of Drag Race, Kandy would’ve won every single fight she deigned to start or enter. But! COVID made softies out of everyone and so the fights were basically non-existent. Rude. Unfortunately, now is not the time for America to taste Kandy’s sweetness (I’m sorry), so to All-Stars she will go. -Megan

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Rosé

Rosé is not going to win but I do not understand the vitriol she seems to get from nearly every other fan with whom I deconstruct Drag Race on a weekly basis. Rosé has a strong brow, a lovely singing voice, and always understands the assignment. Perhaps it’s that reliably good but never stunningly great element that puts people off, but I find humility in Rosé’s ongoing attempts to be flexible and respond to the judges’ feedback, something that is always challenging for perfectionists or Tina Burner to do. As anyone who has ever been bored by my Drag Race diatribes knows, while I realize that Chad Michaels is not anywhere near the most popular queen to come out of the franchise, Chad’s professionalism and commitment to playing fair has always made her my favorite, and I see that in Rosé, who I am very much looking forward to seeing again in All-Stars. -Emily

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While I’ve never been a Rosé hater, she has certainly grown on me from the early days of the competition. I found her sort of static, with a beauty pageant elegance, which didn’t square at all with her self-descriptor of “comedy queen.” Over time though I have warmed up to her, and her having one of the few (god, so few) excellent Snatch Game performances made it clear she was actually funny. But I just don’t see her as Drag Race’s queen this season. Although RuPaul’s selections for the “future of drag” are sometimes a miss (*cough* Violet Chachki *cough*) because, well, he’s RuPaul, I don’t see even a little “future” in Rosé. Is that way harsh? -Hazel

Because I’m rude, I wrote Rosé off at the start for being a perfectionist who would be unwilling to shed her status as such to reveal her gooey, messy emotional core. That that did not happen, coupled with the fact that I just don’t like her drag (sorry!), means that I am shocked to find her in the top four. But! Ru loves to plop someone who is adequate, fine, and good, into the top four, only to eliminate them at some point within the first 15 minutes of the finale. I imagine this will happen to Rosé, who will return to All-Stars with a narrative about how she’s less Type A and more Type YAAASSS, or something, and we’ll just have to wait and see if that does her any good. -Megan

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Gottmik

I guess Gottmik is a favorite to win? And if that happens I will not march the half a mile from my home to World of Wonder studios and set the building on fire, but I will put the win in the pile with Trixie, Alaska, and Lawrence Cheney as a victor who both could plausibly have been a winner of a season, just not this one. Gottmik’s roast performance won me forever, and those runways (I’m picturing the safety pin through the head look as I type this) are some of the best and likely most expensive the show has ever seen. But I’m struggling to remember literally any performance Mik gave outside wearing clothes or imitating Paris Hilton, though I could watch those things in perpetuity. -Emily 

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Gottmik has definitely grown the most out of any of the contestants in this competition, and if the judges are looking for growth alone then Mik has the crown. But I also agree that I feel a disconnect from Gottmik, and that might come down to feeling like there was a lack of vulnerability and intimacy. I don’t really feel like I know Gottmik the way I know Symone who is, I admit, my choice to win. -Hazel

RuPaul adores Gottmik for her fashion sense, her sly little humor, and for her story, and that deadly combination makes me think that Ru’s gonna give her the crown. This is not my desire, though it has nothing to do with Gottmik as a performer. She’s quite talented when she wants to be, she slayed the roast, and her growth is a great example of the sort of positive growth that can come from this specific show. Mik is selling the journey, as she sells every garment that she puts on her body, but she’s doing it like an influencer might, which speaks to the lack of both vulnerability and intimacy that Hazel and Emily suggest. I feel like she might snatch that crown, but that is not what I want, producers, if you’re listening. -Megan

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Symone

I think I’ve made my feelings on the matter clear, but in case I haven’t—The Harriet Tubman performance, the “Say Their Names” dress, the beaded wig spelling out Symone, the fact that I believe Symone to have been created in a drag lab using Ru’s own DNA modified to create a drag weapon so powerful not even Ru could defeat Symone fair and square in a drag competition as evidenced by a werkroom entrance that came complete with a signature catchphrase and laugh to both echo and rival Ru’s own. Flag factory. - Emily

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Team Symone, team Symone, team Symone. That’s all I have to say! - Hazel

Harriet Tubman was an iconic Snatch Game choice, on par with Kennedy Davenport’s Little Richard. Her runway looks are impeccable. I stan her choice of a sensible nude manicure. She is unafraid! She is bold! She has nearly squashed her inner saboteur, or has done so just enough to make sure that she can step her pussy all the way up so that she snatches that paste jewelry crown and scepter for herself. Symone! Sy-MONE! If she does not win this evening, I will be screaming from my apartment’s open windows, banging a pot and rending my garments. Everyone who makes it through this gauntlet deserves a little something, but Symone, in my opinion, deserves it all. -Megan

DISCUSSION

davehasbrouck
Dave Haaz-Baroque

I’m exactly where you’re at; I’m rooting for Symone, but wouldn’t burn the place down if it were Gottmik. My partner has a theory that they might do a double crown, which is a long shot but would make some folks happy. I don’t hate the idea.

I totally see hoe Rose’ made the top four - she’s kind of a Jill of all trades, but master of none. I don’t think she’s ever done poorly enough for elimination (to be fair, I haven’t seen all the episodes) but she hasn’t blown me away on anything either. She’s been perfectly satisfactory in a way that keeps her consistently safe.

My curiosity is over who’s going to be Ms. Congeniality. My vote would have gone for Utica, but I’m afraid she burned that down with her roast, which is a pity because before that episode she was my personal favorite.