The season finale of the “Olympics of Drag” (and the highlight of my week) aired last night. It was down to the final three queens: Alexis Mateo, Raja, and Manila Luzon, including two Asian Americans (Manila and Raja). Although honestly, while I was rooting for Raja and Manila at the start of the season, I switched my vote to Alexis Mateo.
Alexis, in addition to being ridiculously talented and funny (“The bigger the the hair the closer to god”) — is just so frickin genuine, positive, and sweet. With the best catchphrase ever: “BAM!”
And I know we’re talking about drag queens here, but Raja and Manila were on a serious Mean Girls tip. While the pair were obviously fierce, gifted, and glamorous, they were not very nice people. They called the other contestants “boogers” and generally acted like high school snobs, dubbing themselves “The Heathers”.
1st runner-up Manila had some awesome conceptual outfits (Big Bird, pineapple) and can lip sync the hell out of a number, but her reliance on an Asian shtick and pidgin accents got tiresome.
Raja, a self-professed “runway girl” — definitely OWNS the catwalk and had a innovative take on the challenges, but I personally prefer the kind of drag that’s not about who can look the most gorgeous or most high fashion, but who can genderfuck, provoke, and entertain your ass off. But maybe Drag Race is proving to just not be the forum for this type of campy and subversive drag (i.e. it ain’t no Starrbooty).
In any case, while not my first pick, Raja is indeed an all-around Badass, and says she wants to use her win as an example for kids that have felt like social misfits. Yes, Ma’am! Chanté!