RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10, Episode 14 Recap: Grand Finale
We are now entering the Age of Aquaria…
The day is finally here. After months of drama, and a never-ending stream of acting challenges, it is finally time to crown America’s Next Drag Superstar. We have been through a lot this season. We were touched by tragic backstories, and we as a collective, created a phenomenon out of one word, thanks to the first queen to go home this season. Season 10 had a lot of highs and lows, and we were here for all of it. Last week it was revealed that we would be getting a lip sync smack down for our finale with our top four competing against each other for the crown (much like what we saw in the season nine finale). Based on past finales, we also know we would be seeing short Q&A sessions with our top four, and a few funny fan questions delivered from past queens.
The finale opened with the queens from Season One, all looking sickening in gold, to honour the past 10 years of Drag Race. Then one by one, our Season 10 queens made their entrances starting with Vanjie, and ending with our top four. All of this year’s queens looked absolutely gorgeous. Monique Heart was in brown cow (stunning), Monét X Change wore a glamorous take of her episode one sponge dress, and The Vixen was back from her shocking absence during the reunion last week. Aquaria, Asia, Eureka, and Kameron were all wearing looks very different than anything we had seen them wear before. The game was on, and they were all ready to slay. Mama Ru obviously made an extravagant entrance in a rose gold fringe dress that sparkled with every step she took. There’s a reason she’s the Queen of Queens.
Aquaria is up first for the on stage interviews. When Ru asks what her thoughts are on never being in the bottom two, Aquaria says she’s never been into bottoming, iconic. The finale will be the first time we see Aquaria lip sync for her place in the competition, and if the American challenge from a few weeks ago was any indication on what kind of a performer she is, we are in for a treat. Aquaria reveals she thinks Asia would be the toughest to take down out of the remaining three based off drag experience alone. Ru then throws it to Aquaria’s support in the audience, her parents. Her mom reveals how Aquaria danced in The Nutcracker, and even throws a joke in there that makes Ru laugh. Ru, and Aquaria thank her parents for being so supportive of her drag career, and then Oprah appears on the screen to congratulate RuPaul on a successful 10 seasons of inclusive television. We love queens supporting queens. Speaking of inclusivity, Aquaria reminds Ru that she’s been watching the show since it started (and since she was in diapers, practically), and would use her crown to create opportunities for more inclusivity in the drag community, and all over the world.
Asia is up next, and Ru starts by introducing Asia’s support in the audience that includes her drag daughter, and boyfriend. Ru asks what his intentions are with her daughter, and it made for a really sweet moment. Asia made it clear that she was never here to tear anybody down, but rather build each other up, and prove herself to be the most qualified queen for the position of the winner. She delivers a heartwarming message to her parents who have both passed away, and says she “didn’t know how to be a man, until he dressed as a woman”. Ru apologized for accidentally slapping her in the mini challenge earlier this season, and offers the opportunity for Asia to get her revenge. After some consideration, Asia declines and finishes her segment with a statement. “Kindness is cool”, and we will never forget it.
Eureka is third and explains that the prize money would go a long way paying off her family’s debt, and helping with her mom’s medical bills. Her mom and twin sister are in the audience supporting her, and reveal that Eureka has always been “a little bit too much”. After playing a fan question game of kiss/marry/avoid with her other top queens, Eureka finishes with a message that we should all treat each other like family. Before finishing the segment, Ru tells her “You are never too much, you are EVERYTHING”. And in that moment, we all imagined The Vixen exiting the building.
Last but certainly not least was Kameron Micheals. After being obliterated by the other queens during the reunion, Kameron put on a brave face, and avoided any and all eye contact with Ru (that was kind of strange…no?). She had been the underestimated underdog all season, surviving three lip syncs, the first queen to ever do so, and still make it to the finale. Kameron’s best friend, and mother were in the audience supporting her. Kameron also received the only video message of the night from her grandmother. It was touching to see someone of an older generation embracing Drag Race. I can just imagine the viewing parties at that retirement centre. Do you think they all say Vanjie too?
After the question period there were more tributes to the past 10 seasons of the show. There was an overwhelming message of togetherness, and celebrating our differences. The Season 10 queens then joined the Season One queens for a celebratory lip sync of a RuPaul medley before we would see the final four show-down in a lip sync battle. Once the medley finishes, our top four walk out in what are very clearly “reveal outfits” for their final performances. Ru would spin the wheel to see who would be competing first. The arrow lands on Kameron, and she choses Asia as her battle partner. Asia then gets to choose from two mystery boxes of Janet Jackson songs for the lip sync.
Kameron and Asia battle it out to Janet’s “Nasty.” As predicted, both of their costumes had reveal elements to them. Kameron shed a bulky kimono to reveal a sparkling corset, and thigh high boots, while Asia struggled with LIVE BUTTERFLIES (hardly) coming out of her wrists and boobs. It’s too bad the (poor) decision to use live butterflies were made, because it totally took Asia out of the performance and we all know she can turn a lip sync. This was maybe the most shocking twist of the finale thus far, as seen on Monique Heart’s face in the audience. Kameron understandably won the battle and would be moving on to the final, sending Asia packing.
Battle number two was shaping up to be interesting, as many thought Aquaria and Eureka would likely be the last two standing. The two lip-synced to Janet Jackson’s “If,” and we were met with even more reveals. Aquaria revealed her outfit at the very beginning of the lip sync and gave it her all with performing for the rest of the song. On the other hand, Eureka pulled a reveal, after reveal, after another reveal, and it kind of lost its novelty. No tea, no shade, no pink lemonade, but Eureka was also just kind of walking around the stage, while Aquaria was literally doing the most. We all expected Aquaria to move onto the next round, but SURPRISE, shantay, they both stay. So now there’s a final three.
In between the lip sync battle, and crowning the winner, Miss Congeniality must be announced. OG M.C Nina Flowers enters the stage, and after some witty banter with Ru, it’s announced that there was some breech with the fan voting, and unlike the (ahem, Presidential election) Ru was going to make it right and do something about it. The fix was to have the Season 10 queens vote for whom they thought would make the best Miss Congeniality. Great, I can’t believe I wasted 10 minutes voting for Blair St. Clair with 4 different Internet browsers. Live from a pre-recorded video all the way from Berlin, last season’s Miss Congeniality, Fan Favourite, Valentina announced Monét X Change as this year’s winner. A well-deserved win for Monét and her season long sponge bit.
It was finally time to crown the winner. Reigning Queen Sasha Velour took the stage to assist Ru with crowning the winner, after talking about how special the last year of her life had been. The top three have to do one last lip sync for the crown. Making their entrances again, in even more outfits Kameron, Aquaria, and Eureka took the stage. As the top three performed to the sweet sound of Ariana Grande/Jessie J/Nicki Minaj’s “Bang Bang” it was still anybody’s game. Eureka had a few corset reveals that read “THE BIG GIRL WINS”, Kameron tore off her long skirt to reveal a shorter one, and Aquaria was werking it with some confetti cannon props.
After a high-energy performance, none other than our little prodigy Aquaria was announced as the Queen of Season 10! She has been turning lewks since the moment she walked into the werk room in episode one, so this came as an absolutely well-deserved win. We are so proud, and can’t wait to see what the Age of Aquaria brings us.
What Season 10 was missing:
Sewing challenges, video messages from celebs during the finale, and gag worthy twists.
What Season 10 got right:
Opening up conversation about race issues within the drag community, and using it to start a bigger conversation.
What we could see next season:
Miz Cracker comes back to avenge her elimination, and ends up winning Season 11… One can dream.
MISSED A WEEK?
Read our RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10 recaps right here!
Want more Aquaria?
We chatted with the Queen before her appearance at the Green Space Festival’s launch party in Toronto. Read our interview with Aquaria right here!
BIANCE GUZZO is a 23-year-old writer based out of the GTA. She spends her free time watching Trixie Mattel makeup tutorials, though she still has yet to nail the look.