This is the episode I had been waiting for, and dreading. Who would make it to the final three? I've been preoccupied with that question all season, and we finally got our answer, with a few swerves along the way. Despite her uproariously funny puppet performance, Alaska seemed destined to go. She stumbled through the most basic of choreography for the girls' routine, and her candy couture dress was literally falling apart as she prepped for the runway. From the season's start, I've had the nagging worry that Alaska wouldn't make it to the end, given all the early comparisons of her with Sharon Needles, and then increasingly Jinkx! Surely Ru wouldn't have two "funny queens" in her final three!?
But this season has had a lot of unexpected turns from the beginning--starting with the cast of queens. From its onset, I've been struck by this season's focus on performers and comedy queens. Yeah, obviously you've got Jinkx as a triple threat, Alaska's subversive humor, and Detox's unique brand of lip sync. But remember Ivy's wild assortment of circus skills and Alyssa's impressive dancing background? She didn't stick around long enough to show it, but Honey Mahogany is a fantastic singer, too. This ensemble was loaded with talent above and beyond the expected for a drag show.
Roxxxy claimed that Jinkx made it this far entirely on luck, that the challenges seemed custom built for a queen with her talents. But girl, there's no luck in reality TV. This season has been all about performance--singing, dancing, comedy, comedy, comedy. It wasn't luck, it was a clear shift on the part of Ru and the production team. All that being said, I don't know what it all means--does Ru want a queen who can do it all, or have all these performance challenges been strung together just because they make for the best TV?
It's the answer to that question that will determine the winner of this Race.
Roxxxy would have rocked this show in its earlier seasons. She's gorgeous, stylish, and brings a boatload of energy and enthusiasm to every challenge. Facing off against previous winners like Bebe or Tyra Sanchez, Roxxxy probably could have snatched the crown from either one of them. But in Season 5? I'm not sure. Given the shift in this show's priorities, I don't know if she's a viable contender. But on the other hand, I could see how RuPaul wouldn't want to set the precedent of consistently rewarding the campy/comedy/edgy queens, and so she might pick a queen like Roxxxy who embodies the highest ideals of glamour and polish in drag.
In any other season, Detox would have stood out from the pack--and she did in the early episodes! I thought she was the clear frontrunner, given her fierce combination of style, skills, and stunningly distinctive looks. She's a magnificent queen, and well-rounded, but she had a hard time standing out in later challenges. When it came to acting and singing, Jinkx had an edge. In comedy challenges, it was hard to top Alaska's razor sharp wit. I love Detox's edgy outfits and expressive physical comedy, and I'm glad she made it so far into this competition.
I don't know if it was luck, or a thread of fate woven by Ru and her production team, but Jinkx was certainly fortunate to face off against Detox performing one of the most eccentric (and delightful) song selections in Drag Race herstory. Like she said, the song was perfectly suited to Jinkx's love of schtick, and she channeled its quirky charms through every inch of her being. Jinkx had clearly thought out the whole number, bringing distinctive choreography and character to it, and she justified her place in the final three.
Do you think it'll come down to Jinkx and Alaska? What a lip sync that would be! Throughout the season's second half, Jinkx has emerged as the fan-favorite to win, but Alaska has really picked up steam in just the last few weeks. And she's the one queen who can reliably crack up Ru in the workroom. So, it's anybody's game! And it should be a hell of a show.
I don't know if we get the clip show next, or what, but during the "recap week," I'm hoping to draw some of the best queens and outfits I missed earlier in the season, so share your suggestions below. And yes, finally: ALYSSA.