Friday night's viewing party for the Season 9 finale of RuPaul's Drag Race here in NYC was a smash-hit, with a line around the block. Considering half of the top talent in the Top 4 were New Yorkers — and fellow New Yorker Alexis Michelle was in the house and in a dress, too — where else would RDR stage the ultimate party for its most-watched season?
Better yet, it was a mostly lovey-dovey affair, a much-needed healing after that circular firing squad on the reunion episode! I guess everyone just missed congeniality so went back to it.
I couldn't stay for the performances, but I did get to chat with all the girls, plus I grabbed Bob the Drag Queen, Bianca Del Rio and Peppermint's best girlfriend Laverne Cox for some great shots.
Speaking of shots, Bianca was hounding Valentina backstage, cackling in her ear, “You'll never see or hear from her again!” about her act. I heard Bianca brought up Valentina's Selena reference onstage more than once, too.
But even though Valentina was ripped a new one for her aggressive fans, she was gracious with me when I asked her about that scorching reunion episode, saying she is still processing the gang-up but acknowledges some of her fans were going too far and were attacking the other queens in mean-spirited ways. She seemed totally sincere in her desire to put out positivity going forward.
Oh, and she looked stunning. Girl definitely didn't go home this season due to her looks.
Shea Coulée was in good spirits and looked better than ever, rocking a “Nothing Really Matters” bob (sad, because during our game of FUCK, MARRY, KILL with Madonna, Cher and Gaga (see above), she chose to kill — gulp — Madonna!). Shea said the reunion had been good for closure, and she didn't seem pissed off at all anymore.
Nina Bo'Nina Brown ... didn't come out. Sigh. Why, girl??? We love you!
Peppermint was in full-on Weezy Jefferson mode — looking regal even when she suffered a nip slip. (I gallantly pointed it out, so to speak, so she could avoid any photo faux-pas.) Pep was really excited and nervous; it felt to me like she would win. I even had her tape a thank-you speech just in case!
She is just such a nice person. I have to say, even though I don't think it was so awful that Valentina won Miss Congeniality, Peppermint probably deserved it even more.
Sasha Velour was wired, too. Her red eyeglasses were giving me Sasha Jessy Raphael, and her laugh gave away her giddiness at being so close to the crown. As we all know by now (and if we don't, too bad, I don't honor spoilers forever), Sasha wound up even closer to the crown when she won the whole damn thing later in the evening.
RuPaul said in a statement:
The world needs drag now more than ever. Sasha Velour represents the future of drag. Her charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent arouse and inspire a generation of young people to live boldly, act up and paint with all the colors of the rainbow.
Sasha herself said:
Now more than ever, drag stands as a beacon of joy and strength for queer people. It always reminds me to dream big and dress up by my own rules, to be serious and ridiculous and childish and brilliant! Take my advice: if you want to be queen, just make your own crown!
My fave all season was Valentina, but I thought Trinity Taylor should win as a sort of overall classic drag queen with humor and talent and gender-illusion cred. That said, who could be mad with any of the Top 4 winning?
Alexis knew she wasn't going to win as one of only two non-Top 4 girls there, so she was utterly relaxed, jumping into a fun pic with Bianca and Bob and looking splended in a Kris Jenner way. (Hey, it worked for her on the show!)
Keep reading for videos of each girl who didn't win this season speaking directly to her fans ...