‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Season 16 Finale: And the Winner Is…

Nymphia Wind, Plane Jane and Sapphira Cristál compete for the title of America’s next drag superstar

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"RuPaul's Drag Race" Season 16 finalists Nymphia Wind (left), Plane Jane and Sapphira Cristál. (MTV)

Note: The following story contains spoilers from the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 16 finale.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” just crowned America’s latest drag superstar.

The sickening Season 16 finale followed as all of this year’s competing queens returned to watch Nymphia Wind, Plane Jane and Sapphira Cristál compete for the coveted title — with Wind coming out as the winner following a dazzling lip-synch for the crown to Kylie Minogue’s hit single “Padam.” This win marks the second time an Asian drag queen has won the competition series.

Wind walked away with a one-year supply of Anastasia Beverly Hills Cosmetics and cash prize of $200,000. The runner-up did not leave the floor empty-handed, walking away with a $25,000 cash tip. Jane, a polarizing competitor who was both loved and labeled a villain this season, landed in third place and left with another $25,000 prize.

The MTV series also had a first in the Miss Congeniality category this year, honoring both Cristál and Xunami Muse with the title. The tie marked the first time two queens have been voted by their peers to win, with both walking away with a $10,000 cash prize. The show also surprised the other contestants this season with a special $2,000 cash prize each “for slaying all season.”

The show — hosted by RuPaul Charles alongside judges Michelle Visage, Ross Matthews and Carson Kressley — also paid tribute to queer icon Cassandra Peterson, also known as Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, with the Giving Us Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the LGBTQ+ community and past appearances on the celebrated reality series.

The finale featured the top three queens performing lip-synchs to original songs, before the final two competed in one last lip-synch for the crown. The final installment also featured a special ode to the mothers and mother figures of the participating queens, spotlighting how their support allowed them to flourish into the performers they are today.

Fans also got one final showcase from Season 15 winner and fan-favorite Sasha Colby, performing a lip-synch to Megan Thee Stallion’s hit song “Her,” before crowning this year’s winner.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” airs Fridays on MTV.

Comments

3 responses to “‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Season 16 Finale: And the Winner Is…”

  1. Prudence Yost Avatar

    You’ve made a complex topic incredibly accessible, thank you.

  2. Carlotta Hamill Avatar

    This was not only informative but also incredibly motivating.

  3. Justus Kutch Avatar

    This story was deeply moving, thank you for sharing.

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