Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the top five played a little quiz game for the power to assign teachers for this year’s makeover. Despite having to read herself for the win, Loosey paired everyone with people that made sense for each of them. Well, except for Luxx, who she decided to take revenge on for reading her for filth all season. While Loosey and her new sister looked like legit twins, the judges felt they had no chemistry on the runway. Luxx gave nothing to build their family resemblance, though her new daughter did look like Jennifer Collidge which should count for something. Ultimately Anetra was perfect from start to finish, which handed her her third win of the season while Luxx and Loosey faced off in the lip sync, with Luxx coming out on top and sending Loosey out in fifth place.
Backstage the dolls soon discovered Loosey was completely annoyed to be eliminated, while Luxx found it hilarious that Loosey was eliminated after trying to play dirty. Mistress on the other hand was just proud of Loosey for finally admitting she was playing the game, in addition to being stiff competition. Luxx admitted she was heartbroken to have been in the bottom so close to the end, while everyone was just excited to have made it to the top four. Anertra was proud of herself for being neck and neck with the one and only Ms Colby, while Sasha herself was just hoping for no last minute goopery costing her place in the competition.
The next day Ru dropped by to announce that for their final maxi challenge, the dolls would be writing and recording verses on Ru’s song Blame It On the Edit before filming the film clip with Miguel Zarate (swoon). And sitting with Ru and Michelle for a tic tac lunch, like icons. Oh and then he announced that only three of them will be going through to the finale, which obviously left them gagged. Just as Sasha feared. After Ru left, the dolls split up to listen to the song and work on their lyrics. Mistress was obviously super confident given she is shady as hell, while Sasha is glad she knows words. Anetra was planning to lean into her brand – voguing and sex – while Luxx felt like she had it in the bag, so went aside to have a nap like Pearl and Jinkx before her.
Sasha was first up to chat with Ru and Michelle, welcoming them to the meet and greet before talking about her epic career leading to this point. She admitted that she has struggled throughout the season, not wanting to do too well given she didn’t want the girls to hate her. She opened up about how her lack of support from her mother is what makes her worry about gaining people’s approval. She then went very deep, talking about how she was left everything after her father died, and how that was almost a seal of approval. And ugh, crown her.
Speaking of crowning her, Sasha’s co-winner Anetra was up next, talking through growing up Mormon and how drag is what opened her up to every colour of the rainbow. Michelle then gushed about how good her and Marcia’s lip sync was – shoulda been a double save – labelling it the greatest of all time. She spoke about how she learnt to vogue in Vegas, while Ru praised her for always bringing something to the challenges that only she can. Oh and you best believe winning would mean everything to her, and prove everything was worth it.
Mistress was next up, talking about what made her such an outspoken icon and how that got under Loosey’s skin. Who she in turn felt was different on camera to what she was like when the red light went out. She spoke about how she came to the competition wanting to prove why she deserves the crown, and that she desperately wants to make everyone proud. Particularly Mama Chavelle, winner of Season 16. Oh and you best believe she is now in her top three era. She tapped out with Luxx who spoke about how she came to the competition ready to serve looks at every moment. Oh and she opened up about going to Cicely Tyson high school and honestly, I am jealous as all hell. She spoke about how her parents taught her to be confident and proud of herself, and you know she took that and ran and now, is always ready to prove a bitch wrong.
The top four came together on set to work through the choreography and given Sasha is serving Barbwire realness, you know she is winning. Everyone admittedly looked amazing, though Mistress kinda got stuck in her head, worried about learning it all in time and ugh, it sucks to see someone so confident get so nervous. Without any time to process things, the back-up dancers were brought in and the dolls were put through their paces in front of the red light. Luxx was perfect from start to finish, while Anetra was surprisingly nervous. Most importantly, Luxx lost a nail in her outfit and ugh, she is hilarious and I am going to miss her when the season is over. They traded out with Sasha and Mistress and similar to the others, Sasha was perfect at every damn moment, while Mistress was so focused on the choreography, she didn’t give the attitude.
Elimination Day arrived with the dolls splitting up to prepare for the final runway, with everyone shocked by how quickly the challenge has gone. Luxx and Sasha were obviously thrilled to have nailed the challenge, while Mistress vowed not to let the choreo get her down. Anetra too was nervous, given it took her some time to get it down, though was confident she did enough in the end. Mistress asked everyone to talk through their first impressions, with Anetra loving Luxx from the start while the dolls were all shocked by how kind and down to earth Sasha is, given she is as sickening as her legacy. Mistress always knew Anetra would be a silent assassin, while everyone was gagged by how much she has grown as she came into her own around the dolls. Anetra meanwhile loved that while Mistress is obnoxious, she showed she also had a massive heart too.
Talk turned to all of the feuds and damn, these girls really fed us with the drama. Well, Luxx at least, who found herself at the centre of all the -gates. Before they turned their attention to the fact one of them will win, with everyone confident they deserve to make it to the top but also nervous about falling so close to the end.
It was family only on the judges panel as Ru, Michelle and Ross took their places on the panel as Anetra opened the Drag Excellence runway looking stunning in a fitted blue velvet gown in honour of her Asian heritage. Luxx meanwhile was perfect in a shimmering white gown with a huge, curly wig. Sasha meanwhile was glorious in a silver crystal gown, referencing her Hawaiin heritage in the best ways possible. Before Mistress closed the show in a fringed, crystal cheetah print gown and ugh, I love it. Particularly since she wore it in a pageant previously, meaning she is the Kate Middleton of drag. When it came to the film clip, we may be able to Blame it on the Edit because everyone was stunning. Anetra was fierce as hell and v on brand, Luxx was full chanteuse, Sasha was sexy and perfect in every moment, while Mistress rapped the house down and delivered all the attitude.
After thanking the top four for all nailing the challenge, the judges praised Anetra for combining old and new on the runway and looking beautiful. They praised her for getting stronger from week to week, and truly shine when she let them in. Oh and Ru was proud of her, no doubt for showing off her branding prowess by always walking the duck. Luxx was praised for having such impeccable taste and always looking perfect. And showing off everything she has to offer. They all spoke about Sasha’s legacy and how somehow she exceeded all expectations week after week, and constantly slayed. And more importantly, she showed her massive heart and how she is always giving back to her sisters and the community and AGAIN, crown her. While Mistress was beloved for always giving polish and charm, truly showing Houston excellence at every moment. Though also being a versatile and intelligent performer each week.
Ru pulled out a picture of 5 year old Isiah, asking Anetra what she would tell herself, asking him to hold on through the dark days, knowing that one day the world will be safe for you to shine. And it will be so much better than she can even imagine. Luxx told baby Justin that all his dreams will come true, he just needs to know that everything that comes his way is what makes him who he is. Sasha told baby Sasha that she is a stunning woman, and that trusting her instincts will be what makes her dreams come true so just hold it down and know that you are loved. While Mistress told herself that despite how confusing life will be most of the time, that fire within will be what keeps him holding on to hope and that eventually, he will find his tribe and achieve the world.
Backstage the dolls were gagged by the fact one of them will still go home, with Mistress in particular nervous about struggling through the challenge given she has slayed all season long. The dolls rallied around her, agreeing she has done so well that it would suck to be in the bottom. Luxx was fairly confident she would not be in the bottom, despite Mistress reminding her she is kinda delusional. Sasha praised them all for being different and giving something unique, while they reflected on how great they have been throughout the season. Mistress’ least favourite moment was calling Marcia’s drag cheap and her favourite was proving herself in the Snatch Game. Anetra called Luxx’s highlight wearing her Ru look, while she loved saying Loosey should go home. While Sasha pointed out Mistress struggled with Love Connie, while her least favourite was the standup challenge. Everyone agreed that Anetra’s favourite moment should have been her ninja realness in the talent show, though.
Ultimately Sasha took out her fourth win of the season and booked her place in the finale, before Luxx was sent through to join her. Meaning Anetra and Mistress would have to face off for the final spot to Kelly Rowland’s – I don’t care about David Guetta – When Love Takes Over and ugh, they were stunning. Both of the dolls leant into the passion of the song, hitting every lyric, being silly when required and obviously serving tricks as Anetra walked the duck once again, as Mistress tried to swat her out of the competition. It was cute, it was fun and well, thankfully Ru went back on her word, going with a double shantay and keeping both of the girls in the running moving on to the finale.
Despite the fact all the dolls were kept in place, I had already gotten busy in the kitchen, so tapped Mistress on the shoulder and told her that I’d like to pre-emptively celebrate her run in the competition. And given the number of wins was the fairest way to decide who would be first, she was the first I’d be catching up with. While she questioned whether that meant I didn’t think she would win, I pulled her in for a massive hug to stop her questioning, instead getting her to focus on how good her run was. As despite only getting one win, there is no denying how good she has been each and every week. Which alone makes her more than worthy of a shot at the crown and a piping hot batch of Mistress Isamaple Crookies.
These cookies are the perfect little snack – Halloween decorations, or not. The delicate flavour of the maple works perfectly with the crunchy cookies to provide the ultimate all rounder snack. Perfect for celebrating a queen that is good at nearly everything.
Mistress Isamaple Crookies
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt, plus a pinch for icing
150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
200g muscovado sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
160ml maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
115g icing sugar
any sprinkles you feel inspired by, for decoratin’
Sift the flour, cinnamon and baking soda into a bowl, and add the salt. Meaning in a stand mixer, cream 120g of butter and the muscovado sugar on medium for a couple of minutes, or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides, add the egg and mix for a further minute on low. With the mixer running, add half the maple syrup and vanilla extract, mixing until just combined. Remove from the stand mixer and fold through the dry ingredients and pecans before returning to the mixer and beating for a minute or so, until well combined. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling wrap and transfer to the fridge to chill for a couple of hours.
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two baking sheets.
Once the dough is chill, using an ice cream scoop, roll out 1-2 tablespoon balls of dough and pop on a baking sheet, allowing plenty of room for spread. Once all rolled out, pop the sheets in the oven and allow to bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cookies get chill, pop the remaining butter and maple syrup in a small saucepan and whisk over a low heat until combined. Whisk in the icing sugar and a pinch of salt and stir until it has come together again. Drizzle the warm glaze over the cookies, add sprinkles for fun and allow to set for five minutes before devouring. Like a winner.
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