RuPaul's Drag Race Season 13 Episode 16 Review: Grand Finale

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We have our winner! After nearly four months, America's Next Drag Superstar was crowned on RuPaul's Drag Race Season 13 Episode 16.

The battle was hard-fought between Gottmik, Symone, Rosé, and Kandy Muse in the Lip-Sync For The Crown.

In a crowning night filled with Britney Spears music, the queens worked the stage to deliver the results we've all been waiting for. Though, the outcome was all too predictable.

Grand Finale - Tall - RuPaul's Drag Race Season 13 Episode 16

Symone winning RuPaul's Drag Race Season 13 was a great decision because Symone dominated many of the challenges, burned up the runway with iconic looks, and left her mark in the competition. It's just a very expected decision based on the season's editing.

Right from the iconic lines on RuPaul's Drag Race Season 13 Episode 2, Symone had the game in the bag.

Sure, there were moments where she stumbled and landed in the bottom two, but there was no way Symone was going home. She became a frontrunner and favorite that wasn't going to be easily toppled, and her many challenge wins further sealed the placement in the finals.

RuPaul's Drag Race needs to improve its editing to allow a touch of surprise and uncertainty. Two queens seemed like frontrunners by the time we reached the finale (Symone and Gottmik), and once one of them got eliminated, it was a guarantee the other would win.

It didn't land the competition on a high note or give Symone the full bang her win rightfully deserved.

Symone Final Lip-Sync - RuPaul's Drag Race Season 13 Episode 16

The finale made a few new changes this year to accommodate the pandemic restrictions and social distancing.

Firstly, there was no audience at the theater; there was a separate Drag Race Drive-in of pre-recorded members watching from a different location. And none of the other eliminated queens were there to do their runway walks. They came in for the Miss Congeniality portion only.

I liked the updates because they tightened the grand finale and RuPaul jumped right into the action.

RuPaul: So, how’s it gonna feel to send those bitches home?
Gottmik: Correct!
[Everyone laughs]

Plus, more time was spent on the important segments and the fun nods thrown in.

Like, the performance of RuPaul's song with the backup dancers. We don't get RuPaul singing and dancing often; it's a moment we can all bask in and appreciate! And the heartwarming tribute to Chi Chi DeVayne featuring many of the past contestants speaking beautiful words.

Kandy Muse Final Lip-Sync - RuPaul's Drag Race Season 13 Episode 16

"Grand Finale" featured many great looks from the Top 4, as well as from the eliminated and returning queens.

The best (and favorite) looks of the night included Gottmik's black and white Hellraiser look, Rosé's My Fair Lady gown, Kandy Muse's red leather mini dress, Gottmik's evil queen, Rosé's emerald Scottish queen, and Symone's golden Medusa.

RuPaul: Who has the best “D”?
Heidi N Closet: Now that I’m here… L.A.!
[They both laugh]

I love a horror reference, so Gottmik's stunning Hellraiser look blew me away the second she walked onto the main stage. The same goes for her Evil Queen look; the design alone could make a perfect Disney character in a fairytale.

Both Rosé and Symone looked stunning in their tailored gowns; the Medusa and Scottish queens were opulent royalty that could be in a magazine. And Kandy Muse's red look was pure unabashedly Kandy that tied her story together.

When it came time for the Lip-Sync For The Crown performances, I wish the editors made it less obvious who won.

The clips were edited in such a way that they focused on the winning queen for the majority of the number. You could tell who won the lip-sync within the first 10-15 seconds of the song. The editors hammered it in that a queen was going to win.

For example, Kandy Muse vs. Rosé's lip-sync essentially removed Rosé from the performance. Beyond a few moments here and there, Kandy got the lion's share of the segment.

Symone vs. Gottmik's lip-sync was a little better, but the same issue persisted. Symone got longer extended cuts, and by the end of the song, all the clips focused on Symone. At least the Symone vs. Kandy Muse segment felt balanced with equal shares.

Kandy Muse Counting Wins - RuPaul's Drag Race Season 13 Episode 14

Speaking of the lip-syncs, Kandy Muse dominated the "Work Bitch" by Britney Spears lip-sync against Rosé.

Why didn't Rosé push harder on stage? She gave a good number that involved walking around and serving looks; it was nice but average.

RuPaul: Now, I love your Scottish brogue. I can say only one thing with a Scottish accent, it’s “Lawrence Chaney!” Can you teach me how to say something else with a Scottish brogue?
Rosé: Yeah, here’s one … “Ellie Diamond!”
[RuPaul laughs hard]

Kandy Muse, on the other hand, served fire, attitude, and fierce looks. Kandy knew she had to give it her all to get the finale spot, and part of that involved kicks and connecting with the song.

Rosé didn't match the same energy as Kandy Muse, who had proven to be a tough lip-sync competitor.

Rose Counting Wins - RuPaul's Drag Race Season 13 Episode 14

The "Gimme More" lip-sync of Symone vs. Gottmik was the most exciting lip-sync of the night.

Both queens embraced the sexy tone of the song to serve sensual numbers. Outfit reveals, splits, seductive looks, smooth moves ... the queens brought it all to fight for that last spot.

Granted, the editing gave it away who would win the lip-sync, but the moments delivered by both queens were exciting and fun. "Gimme More" was the perfect song to give to two powerful and confident queens like Symone and Gottmik.

It's a shame we didn't get them in the Final 2 battling it out like this.

Gottmik Counting Wins - RuPaul's Drag Race Season 13 Episode 14

Symone vs. Kandy Muse in the Final 2 had an obvious outcome.

Based on the stats entering "Grand Finale," Kandy wasn't going to win. She had the worst track record from the competition, her looks didn't compare to Symone, and she had been technically eliminated once before on RuPaul's Drag Race Season 13 Episode 8. The writing was on the wall early into the finale.

And remember, it ain’t over until you lip-synced from your living room! Just ask me.

Jaida Essence Hall

The performance energy of "Till The World Ends" by Britney Spears had that expectation. Both queens served face and some energetic moves, but it was an average lip-sync overall.

Even streamers exploding from Symone's wig couldn't make this an iconic finale lip-sync.

The final number was an average lip-sync to cap off an otherwise enjoyable and average season. Thankfully, we had Lala Ri's surprising Miss Congeniality win that gave us all the shock and anticipation we needed for a finale. (Did anyone expect that?!)

Symone Outfit Reveal - RuPaul's Drag Race Season 13 Episode 16

Last Thoughts From The Werk Room:

  • A full night of only Britney Spears songs? Sign me up!
     
  • Jaida Essence Hall is a great past winner. She always has a lot of fun and has the most engaging personality whenever she's on camera.
     
  • If only we could've gotten the Kandy Muse vs. Tamisha Iman long-awaited confrontation during the reunion on RuPaul's Drag Race Season 13 Episode 15. They would've been able to air out their grievances.
     
  • RuPaul LOVES Gottmik! They will definitely work together again in the future.
New Year, New Ru - Tall - RuPaul's Drag Race Season 13 Episode 16

Now, over to you, Drag Race fans!

What did you think of "Grand Finale"?

Are you happy with the winner? What was the best lip-sync of the finale? Which finale look did you love most?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Grand Finale - Season 13 Review

Editor Rating: 3.3 / 5.0
  • 3.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.1 / 5.0 (11 Votes)

Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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RuPaul's Drag Race Season 13 Episode 16 Quotes

RuPaul: Who has the best “D”?
Heidi N Closet: Now that I’m here… L.A.!
[They both laugh]

RuPaul: Now, I love your Scottish brogue. I can say only one thing with a Scottish accent, it’s “Lawrence Chaney!” Can you teach me how to say something else with a Scottish brogue?
Rosé: Yeah, here’s one … “Ellie Diamond!”
[RuPaul laughs hard]