AwardsDaily TV’s RuPaul’s Drag Race aficionados debate who will win the Drag Race crown
The eighth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race comes to a close on Monday night, and the final three is arguably the most worthy trio the reality show has ever seen. There have been some rocky moments (that horrible Madonna-inspired runway that led to kimono-gate), but there shouldn’t be too many complaints as to who is up for the crown this season.
The final three queens represent three backgrounds and facets of drag performing, and RuPaul is going to have her work cut out for her this season. Megan, Jalal, and Joey make the case for comedian Bob the Drag Queen, artist Kim Chi, and model-in-the-making, Naomi Smalls. Who makes the best cast?
Bob deserves to be America’s Next Drag Superstar because she knows how to play the game. She branded herself with a signature catchphrase on day one (“Purse First!”) She is by far the most confident queen with the strongest sense of self-awareness in the competition without being arrogant. She excelled where it counted by winning the most challenges (the Empire acting challenge, Snatch Game, and Shady Politics) and showing class and stage presence under pressure when she had to lip sync for her life. When the rest of the competition took the easy route during the Madonna challenge by wearing a kimono Bob dressed in her infamous Boy Scout uniform. I fell in love with Bob a year ago when I ran across some of her videos on Youtube. In her lip sync performances she references Nene Leaks, Crazy Eyes, Celine Dion, Viola Davis, and even Brian De Palma’s 1973 film Sisters.
Once the show began I fell in love with her passion for performing and that she just seemed so grateful to be a part of her favorite show. Her strong personality made her come across as brass, but she is also humble. She is the perfect spokesperson for the LGBT community, having protested in drag on a weekly basis in Time Square until gay marriage was legal in all 50 states (even being arrested at one point). No other queen in the competition exhibits C.U.N.T. like Bob (remember her premiere look?). While the other two contenders are still developing as performers, I think Bob knows exactly what she would do with the title and would represent Ru, New York City, and World of Wonder proudly. #IMWITHBOB –Jalal
No one is as surprised by Naomi Smalls’ presence in the top three than me, and I mean that in the best way. Like most people, I had written off Naomi Smalls as a “glamour queen.” With her focus on fashion and posing prowess, Naomi might be the most model ready contestant that Drag Race has ever seen. She has consistently kept up with the pack right until the end, and she’s even won us over with her relationship with her mother.
Naomi made quite the impression with her first photograph. RuPaul never declared a winner of that mini challenge, but she had the most striking picture. She’s been able to keep up with the acting challenges (like in the Empire inspired skit), and she admits that she stumbled with this season’s maligned Snatch Game/Madonna runway challenge. That lip synch obviously shook her to the core, because she broke out of the middling middle to deliver some serious model realness on the runway after falling into the bottom two (That Wizard of Oz look? Book club couture? Yes, please!) It sometimes takes real balls to acknowledge your own mistakes. Naomi is easily the most confident on the runway this season, and it’s incredible watching her strut her stuff every week. Naomi exudes sex appeal.
Like Bob the Drag Queen, Naomi understands how important it is to learn from LGBT history. She is not just a pretty face. Naomi has a thirst for knowledge and pop culture that doesn’t twinkle in older contestants’ eyes. She wants to become better and become a well-rounded queen and performer. Can I point out that she’s only 21 years old? It also doesn’t hurt that she’s young and not a total jerk. She’e sweet and charming. Anyone who has that much ambition and determination is someone that Ru would consider a rightful heir to the RuPaul’s Drag Race throne. –Joey
Kim Chi has a familiar narrative of past RuPaul’s Drag Race winners like Jinkx Monsoon and Sharon Needles. She’s a misunderstood outsider (she hasn’t even come out to her family yet) who has a unique look (her paper outfit was runway-worthy). But she’s quieter than Monsoon and Needles. She’s a rarity on RuPaul’s Drag Race in that she rarely, if ever, has thrown actual shade.