“RuPaul’s Drag Race” crowned the winner of Season 10 on Thursday, bestowing Aquaria the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar.
Thursday’s grand finale brought back last season’s “Lip Sync for the Crown” format, in which the top four queens — Aquaria, Eureka O’Hara, Asia O’Hara and Kameron Michaels — competed for the crown in a tournament-style series of lip sync battles.
A shocking butterfly blunder by Asia, a fan-favorite throughout the season, sent her out early and Kameron Michaels to the final round, but Aquaria and Eureka both turned out such explosive performances in their head-to-head battle to Janet Jackson’s “If” that RuPaul couldn’t eliminate either of them.
It was in the final performance to “Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj that Aquaria secured her place as the season’s clear winner, deftly handling the crowded stage and smartly utilizing props to deliver a dynamic performance that stole the show.
At 21 and the youngest contestant on the season, Aquaria (real name Giovanni Palandrani) was already a social media sensation before her stint on “Drag Race.” But with a national audience, she quickly became known for her impeccable makeup, keen fashion sense and occasionally tone-deaf expressions of self-confidence.
By the time RuPaul proclaimed her one of the five most fashionable queens to ever grace the show, it was clear Aquaria, despite her relative inexperience and the fact that her lip sync skills had never been tested on the “Drag Race” stage, would go down as one of the best contestants in the show’s history.
Elsewhere in the finale, the roster of Season 1 queens were brought back to celebrate the show’s 10-season anniversary, Oprah Winfrey dropped by to cheer “Drag Race’s” legacy of inclusivity, and Monet X Change was named Miss Congeniality, as chosen by her fellow contestants.