Sashay Away: RPDR season finale makes herstory

By Laney Konz, Staff Writer

When life is a drag, nothing spruces up a monotonous day like watching energizing lip syncs, bold death drops and sickening artistry and visuals all in one. Luckily, RuPaul’s Drag Race premiered another finale last Friday that encompasses all of the above. 

On April 14, RuPaul crowned Sasha Colby as America’s next reigning drag superstar, adding her to a long line of drag royalty and making her a standout in Drag Race history — or, rather, — herstory.

After a season full of letting loose, trotting and walking ducks, the anticipation leading up to the finale was both taut and boisterous. The finalists of season 15 were Sasha Colby, Anetra, Luxx Noir London and Mistress Isabelle Brooks. 

During the season, Luxx and Mistress received a lot of backlash from Drag Race fans for their outspokenness. Both Luxx and Mistress had gone heel-to-heel with contestant Loosey LaDuca on numerous occasions, calling her out for not being transparent and fake. However, fans felt that they were being harsh on Loosey and quickly fled to social media to sound off about their feelings.

This isn’t a unique occurrence for Drag Race — oftentimes, one or two queens will receive what many call “a bad edit,” despite RuPaul’s insistence that the show is never misrepresentative of the truth. Queens of color have historically been on the receiving end of the majority of this hate. 

Each finalist performed a routine to a personalized song during the finale written and recorded for each of their drag personas. Luxx performed a vogueing, fashionista piece that reflected her keen eye for aesthetics; Mistress performed a routine that nodded to her catchphrase that “drag delusion” had infected the cast of season 15; Anetra lip synced to a song paying homage to her journey as a drag artist and person; and Sasha honed in on her extensive repertoire. 

This exciting series of lip syncs was followed by the crowning of season 15’s Miss Congeniality, Malaysia Babydoll Foxx. Miss Congeniality is the award given to the kindest queen on set, as voted by the rest of the cast.

The Lip Sync for the Crown was between Sasha Colby and Anetra to “Knock on Wood” by Amii Stewart. Anetra had proven herself time and time again as a lip-sync assassin during the season. Her iconic duck walk move — which was inspired by the Ballroom Scene — and her high energy dynamics as a performer earned her a lot of credit from both the cast and the judges’ panel. It was no surprise to fans, then, that the final lip-sync was going to be one to remember.

Anetra shined through during the lip-sync with her raw emotion and pull-away heart attachment on her catsuit, which embodied her ability to tug at the heart strings of fans and the judges. 

However, Sasha Colby’s several Ruveals, intense energy and polished performance ultimately sealed the deal, wrapping up her four-win season with the crown and the $200,000 cash prize.

Amidst the ongoing, persistent attacks on the drag and transgender communities in the U.S., the finale of season 15 held extreme weight with audiences, especially as the show’s popularity and outreach grows. 

Sasha Colby not only made herstory as the first Native Hawaiian to win Drag Race, but she also joins three other queens as the only transgender contestants to win the show. 

The message being projected by crowning Sasha Colby has been seen as one of support and celebration of the trans community.

In her final speech, Sasha Colby dedicated her win to the trans community.

“This goes to every trans person past, present and future,” she said.Combined with the show’s segment rallying behind drag artists and the LGBTQ+ community, the season 15 finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race sends a message that the fight for equality will not be abated.