…Sharon Needles! It wasn’t a big surprise that the goth goddess from Pittsburgh was crowned America’s Next Top Drag Superstar, even if her little Quija-board piece obscured the tiara. Sharon got the lioness’ share of the viewers’ love on Facebook and Twitter and had a better back story and edge than Chad Michaels. (We were Mother Dust all the way, though—well, some of us were.)
Of course Ru waited until the 59th minute to make the announcement—the preceding 58 were filled with a reunion show that managed to be both corny and riveting. Latrice shared what being on the show has done for her already (and nabbed Miss Congeniality), Jiggly tore Phi Phi for throwing her under the bus (complete with teary “you were my sister!” moment) and Willam revealed what got her kicked off the show. (She was gettin’ the hot-beef injection from her husband—an explanation we’re not totally sure we buy.)
For the full play-by-play of the RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 4 finale, read Queerty’s Start Your Engines recap below!
Coming into the fourth-season finale of Drag Race, I’m already conflicted: After dragging out the coronation for another episode, the producers decided they’d rather manufacture three endings than risk the winner’s identity leaking. They filmed all three girls winning the contest and only aired the true victor. So after sitting through forty minutes of hype and nine minutes of Absolut Vodka commercials, we had to watch a queen pretend like she just won the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar?! And for the losing girls? I’m sure a producer somewhere had to tell them “Look more disappointed—you just lost! Can you cry?”
Not without their mascara running!
As the true finale/reunion show starts all of our girls from this season return to the stage. Our top three are dressed in gold (Sharon is wearing a beer mug costume for some reason—a Party City purchase?), and everyone else is rocking a darker palette. After each queen takes her walk, the disembodied voice of Michelle Visage booms from above, “the star of our show; the original Supermodel of the World; the one, the only RuPaul!”
It’s nice to see that Ru hasn’t let this ridiculous staging and production value go to her head.
Ru proceeds to speak with the first four girls who are eliminated. She asks them about their regrets and—gasp!—everyone basically had the same answer: America didn’t get the chance to see their potential.
But wait, we do get somewhat of a chance when Ru informs that these girls will have the chance to do some reading. They missed the mini-challenge, so this is basically their makeup opportunity. It’s exciting. Madame LaQueer gets out glasses and starts with Jiggly, “Where’s your teeth? I know! Hanging out with your good taste.”
Not bad, Madame. But then all Jiggly had to do was mime like a Pointer Sister and it pretty much clenches checkmate.
When Ru chats with the next batch of contestants, we learn that Milan is still dealing with how people don’t understand her wig flipping and “misinterpret what I do as an artist.” Jiggly is getting sewing lessons (paid for by her brother’s tax return) and Dida Ritz has supportive parents—and grandparents!
And Kenya Michaels (left) is so difficult to understand we need Charo to come on stage and habla the Español with her ¡Cuchi-cuchi!
After all the also-rans and never-weres get their moment, we transition to the Willam segment. Finally! I hadn’t realized Willam wasn’t on stage already (not even during the opening dance numbers) until she was dragged out kicking and screaming by the Pit Crew. Who fights the Pit Crew? Just relish their muscular embrace and all will be okay in the world.
We finally get to find out the answer to the question on every queen’s mind: What did Willam do? Well, apparently when you’re cast on Drag Race, you’re not allowed to tell anyone that you were chosen or have contact with the outside world during taping. So when her husband got suspicious as to why she needed to pack all of this drag for an “overseas non-union horror movie”—the b.s. excuse Willam gave him— he got suspicious and followed Willam to her hotel room, where they made sweet, sweet love.
And that was against the rules.
Whatever, I don’t care anymore. You win, Logo PR Hype Machine. Ever since this incident happened, Willam has willed all of us into submission. But the fact that she said the contestants aren’t even allowed to tell people they were on Drag Race just sounds bizarre—and pretty much filled up my bullshit quota for the show.
We never did find out why Willam blew chunks off the side of the stage, even though folks at the reunion-show taping say it was brought up.
Then we moved onto something real. Something called Latrice Royale, and she gave a speech that I want plastered in high schools all across America. Discussing her time in prison, Royale says:
It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to fall down. Get up, look sickening—and make them eat it!
Ru also takes this moment to announce that Latrice will be joining the faculty at Drag U for the spinoff’s third season on logo. More cheering! Hooray!
As we approach the big finale, Jiggly reveals she’s devastated by how Phi Phi sabotaged her during the magazine challenge and Willam coins the term “RuPologize”—which RuPaul instantly steals. Sharon, Chad and Phi Phi introduce the family members that they have in the audience—including Sharon’s “girlfriend with a penis” Alaska.
There are tears all around. So many tears. Phi Phi gets a case of the semi-ugly cries and the makeup starts to run.
They take a break from the interviewing to give the “Miss Congeniality” award to Latrice Royale! She wins airfare and hotel accommodations to anywhere in the U.S. Oh, and a sash that says “Miss Congeniality.” Never forget the sash.
We take a moment to hear from the judges. They are sitting in the audience surrounded by the fans and seat fillers (subtly hinting at the fact that RuPaul runs this show). Michelle Visage says that all of the queens would be fit to represent Ru (yawn!). Santino Rice and Billy Brasfield shout in unison: “Don’t F*ck it up!”
Meh. Give us an answer! Stop dodging questions.
And now, the final moment. America’s Next Drag Superstar is: Sharon Needles!
Hooooooray! Aw. So many tears. So much awkward rigidity from Phi Phi. So many hugs from Chad Michaels. RuPaul places the tiara on Sharon’s head—and it immediately disappears behind her Ouija-board headpiece.
After a trip down the runway, the new queen sends us—and the season—on our way with a great Sharon line: “Happy Halloween, everybody!”
Jason Sweeten assumes that when you “booooo,” you’re just a ghost cheering.