Four queens are left to fight for the crown. Before someone got the title, they had to put their skills to the test in the landmark lip-sync Maxi Challenge.
Sing, dance, and personality. The final challenge of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 13 Episode 14 showcased which queens have stage presence and how badly they want to win.
This challenge was not the one to mess up. Though, the round was all filler as it was (another) non-elimination stage.
"Gettin' Lucky!" didn't have the same firepower that previous Top 4/Top 5 rounds have had in Drag Race herstory.
Be it the lackluster Maxi Challenge, the obvious editing tricks, and the expected results of it being non-elimination, there wasn't anything that captivated us compared to previous weeks. The events were fun and lighthearted, but nothing from this stage impacted the overall story of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 13.
The Top 4 as a whole were already strong competitors who had shown their strengths and skills. We didn't need RuPaul's Drag Race Season 13 Episode 14 to prove that again.
Part of the main issue also was that the season has dragged on for too long. With so many non-elimination legs, having another one just extended the competition further and made the pacing even more exhausting.
Contributing to the lackluster vibe was the performance of "Lucky." The queens gave it their all, but the number paled in comparison to previous years due to its simple and heavily edited segment.
Why did the editing hide so much of the queens dancing and performing?
Only Gottmik and Rosé had a decent amount of screentime that showcased their dance moves. However, even then, the clips kept moving around or were intercut with animations/RuPaul segments. You couldn't tell if the queens choreographed steps to achieve.
Kandy Muse: Oh, she’s a rapstress?
Rosé: You know, I do rap sometimes.
Kandy Muse: I’ve never heard you do that back in New York.
Rosé: Well, you’re gonna discover I can rap!
And the imbalance of the queens' choreography became very evident (yet again)! Some queens had full choreographed numbers, while others only had to sit on the furniture and walk around.
The dance number was simple, yet was looked messy overall.
Gottmik improved greatly during her dance number. She added flair, fire, and personality behind all the steps; she got into the rhythm and felt the lyrics.
Whatever spark Jamal Sims inspired in her, she needs to carry that energy into the real world!
America’s gonna think I’m psycho because I’m obsessed with Jamal. But I’m obsessed with Jamal!Gottmik
Gottmik had a strong week between the runway outfit, the performance, and their conversation with RuPaul and Michelle Visage during the interview segment. Based on that interview alone, Gottmik will be a top contender for the crown (or a shot for the RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars crown).
The judges loved Gottmik, and they channeled plenty of positivity and laughter during every conversation. Gottmik got the most genuine response from the judges, so that's a great sign of future success.
Kandy Muse had the charisma and nerve during the lip-sync of "Lucky."
She served attitude and brought flair in her verse. However, Kandy suffered from the editing issue mentioned above because her routine seemed simple and edited.
Did she have any choreography during her solo? The few bits that weren't in the moving transition clips didn't seem like it, and she had a bench that took up much of her focus.
Her interview with Michelle and RuPaul showcased plenty of personality; she's got a knack for being a character. The judges love her on camera, so we'll definitely see her again in the future if things don't work out for her in this competition.
Rosé nailed the Maxi Challenge. She had all the steps down, partly because of her dance training and because she had the most difficult choreography!
Why does RuPaul's Drag Race constantly give the most experienced dancers the hardest choreography and then compare them to the rest of the queens?
Her number looked flawless, and the judges liked her, but there was a tinge of perfectionism that couldn't be avoided.
As much as I love these bitches, athletes don’t go to the Olympics to make friendship bracelets. I’m ready to take these bitches down. Love them so much.Rosé
And there was a very noticeable tone between the judges/Rosé compared to the judges/other queens. The judges seemed more excited by the other queens while they've come to expect the professionalism from Rosé and that she will always bring it in the competition.
Rosé has had a strong performance, but it wouldn't be surprising if that tone ultimately doesn't get her the crown.
Symone had the natural star power, but her performance during "Lucky" was the weakest out of the Top 4.
She had the least amount of dance moves, and most of her solo routine played off of her laying down on a beach chair. I would've loved to have seen more clips of her dancing because it would've given a more accurate picture of her performance.
Sure, the moving transitions had some dance moves, but they kept shifting around and didn't highlight the steps. The segment didn't spotlight Symone to her benefit.
Symone: Oh s***, what did I win?! I won…
Kandy Muse: Just say four…
Symone: Just four. Just four lovely challenges.
On the other hand, her narrative throughout RuPaul's Drag Race Season 13 Episode 14 elevated and cemented her as the clear frontrunner. She was already the frontrunner very early on, but the editing of her vulnerability, her touching speech to her younger self, and her chat with RuPaul/Michelle set up the arc that could claim the crown.
The judges loved everything about Symone, so we might need to pencil her in for that final two lip-sync.
The runway category of "Drag Excellence" was a nice selection of ensembles. However, the queens have shown stronger looks in past rounds.
Gottmik and Symone had the two best outfits. Gottmik's black and white polka dot gown was a beautifully chic and abstract dress that seemed like a piece of art. Cruella de Vil would've loved to own that!
On the other hand, Symone looked flawless in her purple gown; she exuded opulence and glamor.
Rosé's dress was good, but it didn't look properly fitted; it came across as a tad bulky with too much fabric. She looked elegant and served the category; however, the red tartan gown wasn't her strongest look.
Kandy Muse's dress must've been an ensemble from an unused runway. The mesh material was too specific to be categorized for a "Drag Excellence" runway; she had this in her rack and tried to make it work. The outfit looked nice, but it was out of place.
With all four queens heading to the finale, this means the Lip-Sync For The Crown is returning!
It'll be a complete bracket of four queens battling head-to-head for the crown. The judges have a good idea of how the queens perform in lip-syncs, so the race could be a tight fight to the finish.
The big question is whether it will be virtual again, like on RuPaul's Drag Race Season 12 Episode 14, or if it will be in-person?
That outcome could change everything because the virtual competition had more creativity and edits, while an in-person finale relies solely on the lip-sync. The style might decide who becomes America's Next Drag Superstar.
Last Thoughts From The Werk Room:
No more split-screen lip-syncs! It's too hard to follow, and it looks messy. The "I Learned From The Best" by Whitney Houston lip-sync didn't have its justice.
The queens speaking to their younger selves was so emotional and touching. How could you not tear up or be somewhat sentimental by the end?
- The Top 4 have become such close friends. The competition has become RuPaul's Best Friend Race.
Now, over to you, Drag Race fans!
What did you think of "Gettin' Lucky!"?
Which queen do you think shined brightest during the song? Who had the best moves? Which queen do you think will take the crown?
Share your thoughts below!
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.