Queen Crowned

Sharon Needles from "RiPaul's Drag Race."
Sharon Needles from "RiPaul's Drag Race."

“RuPaul’s Drag Race,” shante you stay – at least for another season.

Even though I’m four seasons late with this review, here it is.

The show focuses on a certain number of drag queens competing for the title of America’s next drag superstar. The ever fabulous RuPaul hosts, both in and out of drag, and hunty he pulls it off! Queens progress through the various challenges with their claws out. They are serving Joan Crawford-realness.

This week, we saw the ever-spooky Sharon Needles crowned as the season four winner. She urged her fans, and anyone who feels like an outcast, to just be themselves. Needles broke the mold of the traditional “show-girl model” of drag and came out as something new, something that showed a grittier side of the drag world. She once walked the runaway covered in fake blood and bandages.

According to People magazine, Needles said her life has changed significantly since the end of the show. Her hardest, most personal task was being thrust into the spotlight and adopting a role model status.

“I never wanted to be a role model,” she said, “but I’m taking the responsibility really seriously.”

Needles was one of three left standing for the crown, beating out her fellow “drag sisters” Chad Michaels and Phi Phi O’Hara. Michaels, known for her Cher impersonations, impressed the judges, especially RuPaul who called Michaels “a class act.” He said she rose above the drama to bring a respectable standard to drag race.

Michaels, 40, was the oldest contestant this season and has been in the drag circuit for years. Meanwhile, O’Hara, 25, was a newcomer with cutthroat ambition. She was usually pinned as the mean girl who would manipulate and throw fellow contestants under the bus. As RuPaul said, “the shade of it all.”

She eventually apologized for her behavior, but still held that this was a competition and she was only “playing the game.”

The final queen to be eliminated  before the coronation, Latrice Royale, was clearly a fan favorite and was voted Miss Congeniality by the viewers. Royale will join RuPaul’s other show on Logo “Drag U,” as a consulting drag professor. On “Drag U,” women who feel frustrated with their look and need a new outlook on life allow ghosts from drag race past to doll them up and teach them the value of a good pair of heels. Werk!

In addition to the coronation, the eliminated girls got together to share some words that were until then left unspoken. Some shared regrets and felt that they left too soon. Others let the insults fly, specifically about having a messed up grill. One queen, Willam, who, according to RuPaul, was the first queen in drag race history to be disqualified for breaking contractual agreements, got a chance to finally speak on the matter and clear up any confusion.

Willam said that she had told her “husband” which motel she was staying at, which is against the rules, so they could have sexual relations. Willam said they didn’t really do too much talking. Oh gurl! However, RuPaul hinted that Willam might be given a second chance to prove herself as a fierce competitor, and that drag race might not have seen the last of her.

In any case, season four is done and can finally sashay away to make room for a new round of dolls for season five.

4 stars