Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race, the final five were tasks with battling their inner saboteur head-on – Nina Bonina Brown caught gagged to have inspired a challenge – and walking the runway as their best and worst selves. Despite having the most aggressive inner saboteurs, Miz Cracker and Kameron Michaels struggled while Aquaria slayed the house down. Once again Kameron survived a lip sync and poor Cracker was left to be thin, white and salty on a plane back to NYC.
The final four reconvened in the Werk Room where Aquaria was sad to see her final NY sister go while Eureka pointed out that once again Kameron slayed the lip sync and as such, is fast becoming everyone’s biggest threat. Asia clearly had some remorse for saying Cracker lacked star power on the runway and therefore made a public apology. Which did nothing more than make Eureka terrified of her opinions. Oh … and then Asia shared her opinion with us, identifying Eureka as the least deserving of being in the final three for being too damn much, and just wanting the bragging rights of being the first big girl winner.
The next day the queens were delighted to learn that their final challenge would require them to write and record a verse on her song American, perform it on the mainstage to Todrick’s most difficult choreography or all time and appear on Ru and Michelle’s classic podcast, What’s The Tee? Ru made a quick exit while the girls got to work writing their verses, with Asia hoping to redeem herself after her Cher Rusical disaster. Though given she can’t sing and isn’t a trained dancer, she doesn’t seem hopeful.
Aquaria was up first to record her verse and as is her brand, was full of confidence until Todrick beat her down and – wait for it – called her out for being butch. Oh wait, no, it didn’t dent her confidence, and she was sure that she slayed the challenge despite being read for filth. While that was underway Eureka dropped by What’s The Tee? and made quick work of charming Ru and Michelle, dodging whether being on her second season was an advantage and throwing in some killer emotional content about her mother … which screams winner’s edit.
Sensing Todrick would attack her, Asia was nervous to record the song before being proven correct on the first take, read for her inability to keep on the beat and for sounding like a robot. Aquaria dropped by the podcast and while she usually sucks at stringing together sentences, she was delightful, charming and spun a good story and dammit, I want her to win. Kameron followed her on the podcast and admitted to being shy and reserved on camera and being scared to share his emotions. He then spoke about being similar to his deceased dad and how his passing inspired him for greatness, and I’m not crying, you’re crying.
Speaking of tears, Eureka went to record with the tyrannical Todrick though somehow got away relatively unscathed. Though she was made to add an elephant noise to her verse, so yeah. There’s that. Asia rounded out the podcast portion of the episode talking about losing his parents within a matter of months, building a family of his friends and always being true to himself. Rounding out the challenge, Kameron dropped by Todrick and was quickly told to go up an octave if he wanted to succeed. Which he did, knocked it out of the park and damn I love our quiet queen.
Back in the Werk Room Kameron was proud of her performance, though wasn’t keen to perform for her sisters backstage. While Eureka tried her darndest to get her to perform, Kameron’s will held out long enough for Eureka and Asia to start fighting and deflect from her verse.
Before I could figure out how serious they were, the queens returned to the mainstage to learn the choreography with Todrick who quickly spoke about raising one’s bar. Which he does not do for me. Anyway, Aquaria slayed the choreography in one go and then started to cry about how great the final performance is going to be. On the flipside, Asia struggled despite giving it her all, Kameron also had trouble getting down the moves and Eureka was stuck in her head. The queens learnt the last section together with Asia and Aquaria well and truly up to the challenge while Eureka had no idea what was happening.
The top four walked into the Werk Room for the final time this season to discover a tray of cocktails to toast to their achievements. The drink must have had some sort of effect on Kameron who decided to come and get dressed with the girls … no, wait, it was too hot and she wanted to look good so went back to get dressed solo. The other queens spoke about their biggest moments from the seasons with Aquaria shocked to have won Snatch Game, and Asia and Eureka focusing on their failures. The top four all spoke about the likelihood of their victories, with Asia getting it right by saying Vanjie – who has been name dropped every damn week – is the winner.
When it came to the performance, Aquaria killed her choreography, Asia worked the moves she was given – and looked to be channelling Monét and the damn sponges she hated, FYI – Eureka brought her special branding of crazy and Kameron slayed the freaking house down. On the runway Aquaria was once again stunning and a little slutty, Asia served pageant Cleopatra realness, Kameron served lavender nude glamour and Eureka made sure we remember her name by emblazoning on her body.
The judges loved everything about Aquaria tonight and well everything she has done throughout the entire competition. They loved that Asia showed a piece of herself and her joy in the challenge, and how she has killed most of the competition. Eureka was praised for her performance in the challenge and bringing the silly, and praised her for being super fun, enjoyable and bringing it all season. Finally Kameron received well earned praise for dominating American, looking stunning on the runway, nailing the choreography … and killing all of the lip syncs.
Ru asked the queens to talk to their younger selves, with Aquaria concerned about the quality of her three year old self’s feather boa, baby Asia wearing the season one filter, Eureka reminding herself that being big is beautiful, just like Mika said and Kameron brought all of the feels and nailed the episode. On the flipside, Ru questioned why they deserve to win with Aquaria focusing on the fact she dominated the competition and did the Haus of Needles proud, Asia vowing to be America’s Next Drag Superstar whether she wins or not, Eureka is proud to be extra and Kameron is damn resilient and, TBH, if it is a lip sync for the crown, she is a shoe-in and that is all that matters.
With that, the queens got to their final mainstage lip sync to Mama Ru’s Call Me Mother where Kameron continued her dominance and Aquaria finally showed why she is the front runner. As was the case last season, Ru opted not to eliminate any of the girls and instead sent all four through to the finale to lip sync for the crown. Which makes it lucky I was catching up with Miss Fame while watching this week’s episode!
Fame’s career has gone from strength to strength since Divine-ing out of Violet’s winning season of Drag Race. I mean, modelling contracts, rocking Cannes and still being a chicken loving boss? I don’t know how she does it and still fits in time for her friends like me. That alone makes her worthy of a pick fat helping of Misso Fame Pork Ribs.
There is nothing I love more than a meaty bone melt in my mouth, and these ribs more than fill me up. With joy. Spicy, sticky and full of zesty punch, they are, quite simply, delicious.
Misso Fame Pork Ribs
1 cup miso paste
½ cup muscovado sugar
1 ½ tsp Sichuan peppercorns, ground
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 ½ tbsp tamari
1 tbsp sesame oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 chilli, sliced
2 oranges, zested and juiced
1 onion, sliced
2 yuzus, sliced
2 racks of pork ribs
Combine the miso paste, sugar, peppercorns, vinegar, tamari, sesame oil, garlic, shallots, chilli and oranges in a bowl and stir to combine.
Preheat oven to 150°C.
Layer a baking dish with the onions and yuzos, generously brush the ribs with the marinade and play on top of the onion-yuzo bed. Add a cup or so of water to the bottom of the tray, cover the tray with foil and place in the oven to bake for two hours. Re-slathering the marinade throughout the cooking.
Remove the foil from the pan, slather the last of the marinade on top and bake for ten minutes or so, or until gloriously sticky. Devour immediately, obvi.