'RuPaul's Drag Race' season finale and reunion recap: And the winner is...

RuPauls-Drag-Race-FinaleImage Credit: LogoAs I live-blogged the finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race last night on LogoTV.com, via my Twitter account, there was quite the debate raging: Who should effing win this big ol’ mess of a drag competition? (And I say “mess” with all the love in my heart.) Tyra, the fierce, Beyoncé-loving queen who had oft been called a “lazy bitch” by her competitors? Raven, the dark, trash-talking lady with pierced lips? Or Jujubee, the sweet gaysian glamazon with a heart of gold? There was no clear answer, as arguments from Team Tyra, Team Raven, and Team Jujubee abounded.

And despite the menagerie of reader/viewer thoughts in every different direction, I couldn’t decide myself who should walk away as America’s Next Drag Superstar. Thank goodness we had a wise mama like RuPaul who could make this difficult decision: The crown — literally, a huge, gaudy, diamond-encrusted monstrosity — eventually went to Tyra Sanchez, who I realized during the show’s retrospective moments largely dominated the competition for most of the season and deserved to win.

At the end of the day, I feel like the decision didn’t even really come down to what happened in last night’s season finale. Sure, Tyra rocked the runway in a change-em-up, cape-covered swimsuit that was beyond killer. And she took RuPaul’s Dynasty-esque slap like the best of them. But she won for bringing a level of poise and attitude to the runway not just last night but Every. Single. Week. Just remember that three-in-one country look, her out-of-control bridal look, and all her beeee-yond wigs — and so much more that I’m not going to list here! As I listened to the judges debate and, when RuPaul summed up why Tyra took the crown in the reunion special that aired after the finale episode — “That’s magic,” Ru said of Tyra’s diva-ish actions, “That’s magic s— right there” — it became so clear that Tyra was meant to be the winner of this competition all along.

RuPauls-Drag-Race-RuPaulImage Credit: RollingBlackouts/LogoBut at the same time, I have to give lots of kudos to both Raven, who appeared bitchy and fabulous in a dominatrix-esque black number, and Jujubee, who wowed with a glamorous, bubble-ish dress. Both of those queens werqed, too — and I have no doubt that they’ll go on to be stars in their own right now that the show is over, despite not having the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar title.

The episode itself, however, was still pure, delightful entertainment. “You stand on the shoulder pads of a dynasty of drag queens who have come here before you,” RuPaul said to open the episode, dripping with the requisite drama. “So forget about those bickering Real Housewives — they ain’t seen anything yet, as they go head-to-head with the realness that is about to explode as one queen survives the fight to be crowned America’s Next Drag Superstar!” Then: reflection-infused chats with RuPaul over a dinner of Tic Tacs; fight dance training with Ryan Heffington (loves this crazypants choreographer, all sequined shorts and all!), set to “Jealous of My Boogie”; and Dynasty-style slap fights with RuPaul. What more could a Drag Race fan really ask for? It was Christmas in April!

Well, in the drag world, there’s always more! Like Jujubee’s deliciously hideous  sequined ’80s look, despite her supposed unfamiliarity with the genre. All three of the queens, honestly, looked great as RuPaul laid it on them, both with her hand and withering lines like, “Snap out of it!” But I would have given that round to Jujubee, who the director called “a drag clown.” The following music-video fight between the ladies was perfect, too, but my only question is: Where’s the finished video? I want to see how it turned out!

After all that competition, when Tyra was finally announced as the winner, she collapsed and carried on like she couldn’t breathe. Which, at first, I wanted to write off as complete silliness. But then, after marinating on it a bit, especially with RuPaul’s words from the reunion special about Tyra’s “magic” ringing in my ears a couple of hours later, I realized that such a performance — and such passion for drag — is exactly why Tyra did win.  Which of the other queens would have taken the news of winning with such drama? None besides Tyra, that’s who.”For some reason, I forgot to breathe,” Tyra said, of her reaction. The moment, while truly genuine I think, harkened back to when Tyra gave her Diva Awards speech and said that she “didn’t even know she was nominated.” Well played, Tyra — well played.

Speaking of the reunion special, in many ways, I felt like it even topped the finale episode itself. Why? Largely because it brought all the queens back together to confront each other and mingle once again. Every queen offered up something entertaining or heartwarming: Shangela with her determination and “cornsage”; Nicole Paige Brooks with her sweetness about her son; Mystique with her explanations about those awful black pants that were key in her downfall, for instance.

But Sonique dropped the biggest bombshell that I certainly didn’t see coming: “I’m a woman,” she revealed. “I’m not a boy who dresses up.” When you consider that this show is largely just entertainment, it’s moments like these, however — and for instance, last season’s episode where Ongina revealed that she was living with HIV — that make you realize how deep this show really goes. “There’s a line between drag and transgender,” RuPaul said, in a truly heartfelt, teaching moment. “I’m so happy and proud of you for being so courageous.” It’s courageous that these oftentimes struggling people put all this out there on television, period, and especially so in Sonique’s case.

The rest of the ladies brought bits of weight/delight to the Reunited hour, too: Morgan with her admission that she and Mystique are actually friends; Sahara Davenport with her revelations about how her being on the show has touched the lives of young gays; Jessica Wild with her continued determination to master English. And, of course, Pandora Boxx — my fave! — with her revelations about how she literally helped saved someone’s life by talking about her own suicide attempts on the show and her reconciliation with her father before he died: “That’s the call that I waited my entire life to hear,” she said. (Where’s my hankie?) And that outfit Pandora was wearing — don’t even get me started! Between the tire in her hair, cars on her lapel, and checkered-print of the top — like Rachel Zoe, I die! This is one freaking funny queen. Someone hire her for her own show! Now! (Her winning the award for most congenial was so well deserved! Sort of made up for when she was booted during what I had deemed “the season’s most controversial elimination,” which actually got Entertainment Weekly name-checked during the reunion. Wheee!)

But there was more! Tatianna with her own determination that she should be taken serious as a drag queen: “As long as I have a d— between my legs and a wig on my head, I’m a drag queen!” Jujubee with her message for her mother: “Thank you for giving me life.” Raven with her continued bitchiness and humor: “We are making a reality show — don’t sit here and act like we’re filming an episode of 7th Heaven,” she yelled during the protracted battles with Tatianna. And Tyra with her apologies for being beastly during much of the show — and her own humor. “I even got my own voice deepened,” she joked, “They can do that! It gets deeper and deeper everyday!” I think Tyra showed a totally different, softer side to herself last night.

Overall, season two of Drag Race went out on an extremely high, dragtacular note. This, I decree, was a second season of a show that was completely successful, which is quite the feat when you consider that so many sophomore seasons of shows fall flat. It was an “eleganza extravaganza,” if you will!

Do you agree that the season was great and finished on point? Are you still fuming over Tyra’s big win—or simply reveling in all the delights of the two-plus hours of Drag Race deliciousness last night? Were you on Team Raven or Team Jujubee? Tell me all about it in the comments below!

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

More on RuPaul and ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ on EW.com:
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ recap: Top moments from last night’s clip show
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ recap: ‘And then there were three…’
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ recap: Drag mamas, Cloris Leachman, and the season’s most controversial elimination!
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ recap: The queens throw shade and shill books
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ recap: Is Pandora Boxx the ‘Susan Lucci of this competition’?
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ recap: It’s either Team Tyra or Team Tatianna
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ recap: The queens drag out smashing versions of Carol Channing and Britney Spears
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ recap: See who did her last splits

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ recap: Talent wins over charisma this week
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race': Werq it out with the Dragulator!

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ premiere recap: Should Mystique Summers Madison have sashayed away instead?

‘Workin’ It’ with RuPaul: Eight essential bon mots from the drag legend’s new book
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Exclusive: Meet the season 2 cast and watch them werq!
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race': LOGO greenlights season 2
RuPaul on ‘Drag Race': Five rules for a killer comeback
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ on the Must List
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race': Winner Bebe Zahara Benet gets the documentary treatment!
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Exclusive: Meet season 2’s first queen, Jessica Wild
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race': Nine suggestions for staying fresh in season 2
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ casting begins: What’s your audition song?

Comments (107 total) Add your comment
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  • jdtv1313

    I was part of Team Raven, but she will be fine even though she didn’t win. She was like another Chanel. Tyra seemed to want it more in terms of the prizes. Raven seemed more like ‘I want the fame’…which she ended up getting. It was surprising to see how chummy the two of them became when it was not that way in the beginning. It was a fun season…better than watching AI.

    • TCinNJ

      I didn’t like Raven at first, but by the end I wanted her to win. Tyra, although beautiful, was way too monotone,unable to speak properly, and way to much about Beyonce. I was also getting tired of her playing the “my son” story. In retrospect, it was clear Tyra would win – I think she got through many of the challenges too easily.

      • Nacola

        I don’t think she played the son card alot at all. She barely spoke of him until last night. Like who knew she was sleeping on her Drag Mother’s floor?? She did not play the sympathy card at all none of them did.

    • tigger851

      I’m Team Raven also, and I loved how she changed her look every week, had a different wig every week and she knew how to make up her Drag mother and she was soooo pretty! I wish she would’ve won but Tyra worked for it too. I was so happy when Tati got the boot. She needs to be knocked off her high horse and just keep doing Britney because that is all she’s good at….

    • Michael

      I appreciated Raven as a drag star. She really embodied everything that I’ve always considered to be drag. It was very hard to like him as a human being. There’s a line between sass/bitchiness and cruelty. Juju walked that line beautifully. Raven constantly crossed it. I’m not terribly upset that she lost.

    • besimon

      Team Raven. I thought Raven fit what Ru listed as the qualities they were looking for, one being diversity. Tyra was not as diverse as Raven or Juju. But Tyra can sure lip sync. Loved the finale.

    • John K.

      I was Team Juju and Team Raven but it broke my heart when Tyra shared she was sleeping on her drag mother’s couch and all she wanted was to take care of her son.

      Any one of the final three winning would have been fine with me.

      And the best part of the Reunion show was when Tati said, “Yes, I know I’m the Rebecca”. Niiice.

      • Ramury

        Yeah, the “Rebecca” comment made me laugh

  • jdtv1313

    BTW…RuPaul’s Drag U starts in the summer. Logo is going to end up letting Ru create all these Drag shows like VH1 did with Rock of and Flavor of and Charm School…LOL. They found their nitch!

  • ATLgroove

    I feel as if Raven was given a free pass to the finale for being the “villain” of the cast.

    • Tlynn

      I would agree, but you have to admit she had style. I hate to admit it but she and Tyra (not my favorite either) were extremely stylish.

  • winston

    Team Raven all the way. Loved her from the beginning to the end. I can not wait until this summer for the new show. I knew they would give it to Tyra. Raven was the whole package. I too would love to see the video.

  • Adwina Lambert

    why was i not invited as a mentor in this show? teehee

    • Olivia

      Or why wasn’t I invited to be a drag daughter! Dress me up chicas

  • Lisa

    I thought part of being a good drag queen was being likable. Tyra has the personality of a pet rock, and just isn’t very likable. I was most disappointed.

    • Kurt

      I’ve seen plenty of drag queens rule their roost without being likable. Entertaining is always more important, and Tyra’s looks always entertained.
      The actual winner is not really important on this show — it’s all RuPaul’s whim — but being likable is purely a television conceit and has nothing with being a good drag queen.

      • Blame Leno

        Kurt, I agree. It’s definitely not about being “nice”, which is why I would have been fine with Raven or Tyra winning although I LOVED JuJu. Tyra killed that lip sync at the end. I knew in that moment she’d one. It’s about how bad you want it.

  • Alex

    The whole night was over the top fabulous! I figured Tyra would win and she did deserve it with her consistently great runway performances all season, and she is genuinely funny, too. I still love Raven and Jujubee – two fierce and funny queens. The trashtalking during “Untucked” was vintage, too. Raven, Raven, Raven – you just keep going there (no it ain’t 7th Heaven!)

    As for the reunion special, it was fun to watch a very articulate Tati get up in everyones face, especially Raven. Hug it out bitches, indeed! Sonique is a pretty woman. Yay for Pandora Boxx, America’s sweetheart.

    I can’t wait to see the summer show. I’m going into a painful withdrawal already. LOVE.THIS.SHOW.

  • Tina

    Although I found some of the “uplift” of the reunion show to be forced (as every other queen was encouraged to tell a story of courage and their ability to inspire), it was a fabulous show overall. Tyra’s explanation for her behavior was quite revealing and made her exploits easily forgivable. I also like the way that Ru brought the girls out in clusters so that we could get a chance each one speak (however briefly). The producers of Project Runway need to take a look at this show! (I still can’t figure out why the PR reunion show as only 30 minutes and included all the designers and models, half of whom we never heard a single peep. How pointless was that!)

  • Mr. FAMU

    Say what you want about Tyra but she is a Drag Queen and although a young one knows all the tricks and trades of the business. She has definitely been school well by her drag mother. Yeah her voice is deep, yeah she was bitchy, but she was consistent and consistently good. From her evening gowns, to her sportswear, to her wedding gown, she always brought it. I can’t wait for Season 3!

    • denise randall

      I was so proud that tyra won.She deserved to win. She also was judged wrongly, She went thru the whole season without singing for her life.

  • NICO

    I think that this show is AMAZING and i just love Ru! I think logo really found something successful here, and they should push it as far as they can! Tyra was the best player of the year, with lots of amazing looks, and a dash of the bitch in her, a la survivor, so good for her!

  • jeff

    i loved this show… i got the chance to watch the first season and this one as well.. i’m happy with the final 3… and even more so am happy that Tyra won it… if it was Raven, then i would have threw up… she was a villainess and yes she had her moments.. but really Ru was spot on when she chose Tyra.. If Raven wanted it, she would have done a lot more extra on that lip synch challenge being that she’s been in that position before.. just standing on the stage, i would have just cut that number and sent RAven home already.. so yay!!!!!! TYRA! YOU GO GIRL.. although i do gotta say that being a wannabe Beyonce is getting old.. though..

  • jeff

    p.s. i do agree.. where’s the finished video?

  • Belle

    Yes, I am fuming over Tyra’s win. I’m sorry but the Next Draq Queen should have an IQ higher than her age (yes, I’m talking to you Miss Tyra). How can you do drag and not know about Bollywood or the ladies of the 80s shoulder pads of Dynasty, etc? At least Raven, knew her history. I wanted Juju to win not because I thought she was the best out of the 12, but Tyra has no charisma and Raven has that b*tchness but she did grow on me though. Actually Raven is Alexis Carrington and she plays that role very well indeed. I will say this when Juju was saying Tyra has uniqueness, nerve, and talent but no charisma and called her a UNT I nearly died laughing! Why? Because someone on this blog once said the meaning of those 4 little words. Onto season 3 and Drag U this summer. I think I saw Miss Nina, Shannel & Ongina. I’m dying to see Shannel & Raven tussle.

    • Frankie

      I loved that too when JujuBee said “she’s just unt.” I would have rather seen Raven or Jujubee win. I just liked them more, but Tyra was very creative with her fashion and grew to be more personable.

    • Bobby’s Robot

      Agree with you, Belle – Tyra is so obsessed with Beyonce that she has no other points of reference.

    • Tlynn

      I wanted JuJu to win also. She was personable and bubbly, not unlike RuPaul him/herself. I think JuJu is going to be the true star! Tyra just won the prizes!!!

      • lovesurvivor

        I get why Tyra won, but I would never want to be stuck having to have a conversation with her. I loved JuJu’s personality and she seems like the most fun to hang out with out of the top 3. Both winners now have been rather boring personality-wise.

  • Aiek

    I was so upset last night. Tyra winning hit me out of no where. I’ve been Team Jujubee since day one and I thought for sure, no doubts, that the final lipsynch would be between her and Raven. I thought Raven was going to win, but Jujubee was certainly going to be giving her a run for her money…

    When they started critiquing Jujubee so harshly-! That was the first time I’ve ever thought the judges were completely and totally WRONG. I will stick by my feelings until the end of time…I thought Tyra was going to be the Rebecca of this season, just in the final three to piss us off and because she’s pretty. I don’t care if she has a son or if she ‘prayed up’ every night. It’s ridiculous that she won when both Raven and Jujubee were so talented, so charming, so pretty, and so wonderful. I just really can’t even believe Tyra won, I’m just kind of waiting for someone to yell ‘Just kidding!’ and show who really won. Until then, I’m going to be upset.

    The reunion special was nice, though. I loved Pandora when she said ‘Oh I was the one who keyed your car. I feel much better now!’ I hope she knows how much all the fans loved her. And the hug between Tati and Raven was heartwarming. Morgon was hilarious. And Shangela was so charming, I wish she could’ve stayed longer. I can not wait until Drag U. Like Jdtv1313 said, they’re just going to be giving RuPaul show after show…She can do no wrong! …Except make Tyra the winner, of course.

  • Scott

    My fave was Pandora Boxx..so I really didn’t care who won. But of the last 3 I think the right Queen won. She was without question the most beautiful. and for me she has the funniest moment all season when she made her acceptance speach and said “WoW..I didn’t even know I was nominated”. Made me laugh so hard I re-watched that one moment over and over :)

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