(Warning: This post contains spoilers for Friday’s finale of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”)
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” crowned its Season 12 winner on Friday, capping off the season with a remotely filmed finale.
Crystal Methyd, Gigi Goode and Jaida Essence Hall were the three finalists vying for prize and the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar in a series of at-home lip syncs, testing their ability to put on a show under any circumstances. The queens were challenged to prepare three performances: a close-up lip sync using just their faces, a solo in the homes where they’re quarantined, and a final lip sync for the crown.
Ultimately, Jaida Essence Hall came out on top, besting the other two queens with her final performance of Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor” and walking away as the winner of Season 12.
Elsewhere in the finale, Heidi N Closet was named Season 12’s Miss Congeniality when last season’s recipient, Nina West, showed up to reveal the results of the cast vote. All the queens who participated in the virtual finale were also surprised with a $2,000 cash tip for their efforts.
The at-home finale put a cap on what was already an unusual season. A fourth queen, Sherry Pie, was also supposed to vie for the crown in the finale but was disqualified after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced earlier this year.
Back in March, five men came forward saying that Joey Gugliemelli (Sherry Pie’s non-drag name) had tricked them into recording “embarrassing audition tapes of themselves saying and doing degrading things” by posing as a casting director named Allison Mossie. At the time, all episodes except the finale and last week’s reunion had already been filmed and Sherry Pie’s place in the top four had been solidified, forcing the show to edit around a disqualified queen for an entire season.
The only reference to Sherry Pie in either the finale or the reunion was an oblique joke about the number of queens on the season in the reunion’s opening number.
Fans will (hopefully) get a more traditional season of “Drag Race” when the fifth All Stars installment premieres next Friday, June 5.
Watch Jaida Essence Hall react to winning the crown, above.