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RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 14, Ep. 14 Recap: The Final Five Show Us Their “Catwalk”


With the extremely needed double sashay last week, we enter this week with a glorious final five. Regardless of any preferences one way or the other, the final five queens of Season 14 are all outstanding drag queens, who, if they win, deserve their spot at the top. If you’ve been watching this season up until now, then you know the final five queens are Willow Pill, Bosco, Lady Camden, Angeria Paris VanMichaels, and Daya Betty (<- in order of my preference for who wins).

The episode starts off with the queens lamenting the loss of DeJa and Jorgeous, with Willow noting the rarity of the double-sashay. Because of this, everyone is acutely aware of the fact that we are nearing the release of the major edge session I talked about last week. The queens play the inevitable game of “who do YOU think will be the final four?” which lends itself to the perfect amount of us seeing how well the queens can assess their competitors, as well as who is aiming to get into whose head with their answers.

Ru enters the Werkroom to let the gals know what the final challenge is, and as far as final challenges go I truly loved this one. Ru ruveals that she will be making a new music video (“Catwalk”) that pays homo homage to 1992’s “Too Funky” by gay icon George Michael. We see a softer Ru, which is par for the course at this stage in the game. She’s taken the queens under her wing, and these remaining five are the queens who have most-proved themselves ready to fly. It’s because these queens are all such outstanding performers that Ru feels comfortable to have all five of them star in her music video. I will say, if Ru wanted to brand herself even more than she already has, she should start having her new music videos be major drops where only the winning queen gets to co-star in it. But the five of them are going to be in Catwalk, and all five will play integral roles in the creation of it. Each queen has to write and record an original verse for the song, learn choreography, and each will, of course, design a gorgeous lewk. And their design won’t just be any ole designs…they’re going to be created by professional designers. I love this because we get to see what queens who are less adept at sewing can accomplish when their visions are brought to light by someone else.

When Ru leaves the queens to do their werk, all of their personalities take perfect form: Willow won’t share shit with anyone because she knows better, and Daya is a competitive bitch. We also see more of the friendship between Angeria and Willow, mainly in the form of Angeria acknowledging that Willow is the queen to beat this season (regardless of the fact that she has only one major win). The Angeria-Willow friendship we see blooming interested me, mainly because it made me miss Kornbread (my original fave at the start of the season), who had a notable bond with Willow. When Kornbread left the show, she shared on social media that she even got a tattoo of Willow on her thigh. Writing on IG, "@willowpillqueen in such a short time you’ve changed my outlook on life. I know we both hate being mushy queer folks but I want you to know I admire your resilience!"

If the Tic Tac Lunch each queen did with Ru and Michelle served any purpose, it was really to get us to love the queens even more than we already do. No more was this the case than with Daya. Daya has been a bit of a thorn for me this entire season, primarily because I think she was just too big of a bitch to the younger queens. But she never rose to the Roxxxy level of bullying, so even when she was annoying, I never had a full dislike of her. She talks about her struggles with diabetes, and we see her soften up just a bit while discussing it. Similarly, Willow delved deeper into her medical conditions, which we’ve known about since the first episodes. But hearing her expound on it made me love Willow even more than I already do. Her desire to use darkness to create beauty, and to choose life in the face of death, is an admirable goal for all of us.

We also learned more about Lady Camden, and how her brother died young and how that impacts her mental health. In this discussion, Ru does say something that I think is decidedly worth calling out. She essentially tells Lady Camden to just stop having anxiety. As anyone who has had anxiety or depression can tell you, it is not a light switch that you control. Depression is not the same as sadness; anxiety is not the same as being a little bit anxious. You can certainly advise someone to try to just push through and fake it, but telling someone to not have anxiety is never the correct advice. I wished the Tic Tac Lunch actually included tables and Tic Tacs, but whatevs. And on a lighter note, if you’ve never seen Ru’s 1993 mock commercial for her “Tic Tac Diet,” do yourself a favor and watch it now.

Ignoring for the fact that Ru and the producers leaned a bit too heavily on the idea of “girl groups” this season, the final product for "Catwalk" is overall a delight. This is especially true when we consider that two of the queens defied fate multiple times -- Daya was one of the first eliminations before being brought back, and Bosco revealed her Golden Ticket-wrapped chocolate bar in episode 12, keeping her in the competition, as well. Ru and the producers decided to place less focus on the actual challenge this episode, and instead leaned more heavily on honoring each girl’s uniqueness. They explore who the girls are, how they’ve grown, and they have them wax philosophical about themselves and the season. What we do see of this challenge is that Angeria struggles, which worries Willow (#Foreshadowing).

With the music video complete, the queens hit the runway under the theme of “You’re A Winner, Baby” to show off what each one thinks is their signature look. My favorite of the looks was probably Bosco’s. She looked like a cross between Marilyn Monroe and drag queens in the original Broadway production of La Cage Aux Folles (the source material for The Birdcage). She looked stunning, and she looked classic. I didn’t actually dislike any of the looks.

The criteria for the judges would be a three-fold assessment: how each queen performs in the challenge, what their overall arc has been this season, and, of course, their final runway lewk. But before they dive into the judging, Ru, Michelle, Ross, and Carson asked each girl to talk to their younger selves, an attempt to connect to the young queer kids watching around the world, as well as to bring in the viewers' own emotions into the picture even more. It was a sweet lil moment.

With the three criteria in mind, the bottom two are none other than Willow Pill and Angeria; Lady Camden takes the win. In any other season, I would have been worried that my favorite queen was in the bottom two for this episode. In any other season I would have been upset that my favorite queen LOST the final lip sync. But this season—as we know—nobody goes home ever. You could tell me that we have more queens now than we did at the beginning and I’d probably have to pause for a second to think about it, before realizing it was a joke. To the tune of Lady Gaga’s "Telephone", the two face off, and when the glitter settles Angeria is declared the winner. But, non-plot twist, Willow Pill will NOT be sent home. I’m thrilled by this, of course, but also…lol at this entire season.

The excitement of the finale is also now in full-swing, particularly with the recent revelation that not only is the main purse increasing from $100,000 to $150,000, but for the first time in Drag Race herstory, the runner-up will also win $50,000. The main purse increase is only the second increase in the show’s history, with the first being between seasons 3 and 4.

Tune in this Friday, April 15th, for the Season 14 Reunion, before the season finale premieres the following week on April 22nd. Who are you rooting for? Let us know!

Questions? Comments? Email [email protected].

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