Entertainment » Television

RuPaul’s Drag Race :: The Race to the End!

by JC Alvarez
Wednesday May 2, 2012
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On Monday night, fans waiting to exhale let out a breath when the latest drag superstar won the crown on "RuPaul’s Drag Race." As the show careened into the finish line, New York City’s XL @ The OUT Urban Resort, hosted the three winning finalists and the court of "Season 4" which proved the most entertaining and competitive season yet, and also the show’s most controversial. Screaming into the Top three winner’s circle were this season’s undisputed favorites Sharon Needles, Chad Michaels and Phi Phi O’Hara. Top honors went to the new Queen of the Night(crawlers), Sharon Needles.

"Other drag queens thought I wouldn’t get this far," admitted Sharon Needles, who had been branded edgier or freakish in comparison to the more glamorous girls. To which Sharon rebuked : "We’re a room full of men wearing teenage girl clothes. How am I the weird one? " Sharon Needles look is, of course, a drag-style that has always been much more the popularized extreme of the New York City club-kid scene. "I wouldn’t call my look ’goth’ - it’s more macabre. There’s a very dark and Satanic sense to fashion in New York right now." And "Little Needles" everywhere have a new inspiration in this year’s crowned supermodel drag queen of the world - which has broken the mold forever.


Queens of the Crop...

At the event celebrating the coronation and show reunion, the enigmatic cast still emerged as the hit Logo reality competition series’ most engaging and charismatic cast yet. Chad Michaels who immediately elevated the game to new levels this season, brought the most performance experience and credibility to this season’s assortment.

"I have been anticipating this for nine months," admitted Chad Michaels one of the top three finalists. "So you can imagine...I’m about to explode!" Amid the competitors Chad Michaels easily emerged as one of the most polished and experienced queens, and very much felt that she was often being prepared to lip-sync for her life. "My thing has always been that anybody, at any given time can fuck up and get sent home - and I still suffer from many insecurities." A likely strategy that edged Chad right to the top. "You have got to foster your inner child...after all, we’re playing dress up for a living."

Latrice Royale who took home honors for "Miss Congeniality" on the Reunited stage also announced she would be joining the cast of "RuPaul’s Drag U" this summer. "I’m from the old school," said Latrice Royale. "I had really powerful drag influences, but it’s always about being real and true to yourself." Latrice revealed the most of her own intricate and complicated backstory this season, including some time she spent behind bars, but feels it prepared her to be a winner today. "I could share - cause I’ve been there." And she’s very much prepared to share a piece of Latrice with the incoming class on "Drag U."


Most Likely to Succeed...

All the queens this season had amazing moments and contributions that really took RuPaul’s drag search to new heights. Madame LaQueer didn’t take this opportunity in the spotlight lightly. "We’re the top 13 drag queens in America and we need to represent," a sentiment concurred by New York’s own competing queen Milan, who enjoyed the camaraderie built among the cast. "There’s always room to grow and learn from these girls; you should never feel that you know everything."

The season’s most controversial personality label queen, Wilam finally revealed why she was booted off the show. "I had an abortion," she told us, "and RuPaul wanted the stem cells." We learned that in fact Wilam was having conjugal visits from her boyfriend, and that goes against the terms of the contract of participation in the contest. "I treated it like any other gig on television," a medium that seems to have been built especially for this particular drag personality. So you can bet we haven’t seen the last of Wilam yet.


Honorable Mention...

There was no love lost among the cast for second finalist Phi Phi O’Hara who admittedly committed to being: "In it to win it." From the onset Phi Phi played the game at every angle and even conspired against contestants albeit similarly channeling "Survivor." "This is a competition," she said. "People lose sight of that. We can all be best friends after the show, but right now I want to win it all." Unfortunately neither Phi Phi O’Hara or Chad Michaels took the reigning title, finally and dramatically chosen by the Supermodel of the World RuPaul herself.

Keeping the winner a secret was no small feat and extreme measures were taken, especially after last year’s unfortunate leak that revealed the final payoff. Show producers and RuPaul were pulling no punches in their effort to make certain that this season would not be a repeat of those unfortunate circumstances.

Along with the crown and honor of being "RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 4" winner Sharon Needles will go on to headline the national tour hitting every major market on the map, sponsored by Absolut Vodka, and includes a prize package this year of $100,000. That’s enough to encourage any ambitious queen to grab them heels and get in-line - "RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5" is already looking for the next drag superstar, so you’d better werk!


Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".

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