After what has been probably the longest season of RuPaul’s Drag Race ever, we are finally close to the end. So I am here to make it clear that, in my opinion, the Season 13 crown should go to Symone. And before you tell me to sashay away, here’s why.
She has the most challenge wins.
It’s just math, the one with the most challenge wins should get the crown, and Symone did so with no fewer than four wins. But of course that would be predictable, and that is why no one who has scored four challenge wins has won the crown since Sharon Needles set the record (as Shea Couleé famously found out on the rose petal covered stage of Season 9’s finale). But that doesn’t mean that it can’t happen, as Symone also has the following points going for her.
She is a fully developed character.
More than the other three finalists, we can see how Symone literally becomes a different persona once in drag. We see how shy Reggie completely transforms into the sassy ‘Ebony Enchantress’ once the wig is on. Part of the lore of RuPaul’s Drag Race is the transformative power that drag has on the disenfranchised. And Symone is one of the best representatives of this quality in the show’s herstory.
She is THE Queen of the times.
With the current climate of equal representation in every aspect of entertainment and politics, Symone’s unapologetic celebration of African-American culture on the runway must have been such an empowering experience for marginalised Black people.
From her sassy Black lady character to natural-hair wigs such as bejeweled braids and afros, to her out-of-this-world fashion choices inspired by mundane items such as do-rags and hair beads that spell her name, and references to the Black Lives Matter movement, Symone’s fashion-forward reimagination of Black culture has been seen as no less than boundary breaking, even from (or especially by) other Black queens of past such as Bob. Some of these cultural references are probably lost outside of the US, but it is a real celebration of a community that is so often the target of political abuse.
She is an underdog with a limitless future.
I don’t know about you, but when I heard young Reggie describe his alter-ego as “Symone is the me that I didn’t allow myself to be as a kid” during the chat with Ru and Michelle, I almost had to reach for the tissues!
While Gottmik scores top marks in the area of personal development, Symone’s comes very close. Her struggle with loving herself, exemplified by her crying every time she talks about self-acceptance, is one that every bullied LGBT person can identify with.
With her consistently ingenious and stunning runway looks, entertaining drag character and affable personality, Symone has the world going for her. This polished at only 26! Who knows what the future has in store for her if given the platform of the crown?
All that being said… here’s why she might not win
If RPDR was purely about talent and ability, then Rosé and her ruffles would surely have it in the bag.
However it’s mix of reality TV and talent show, which means that contestants need to be watchable personalities offstage as well. This season’s top 4 run the spectrum, with Kandy scoring top marks in the reality department but also lipsyncing the most, while Rosé was a picture of the seasoned performer of stage and screeen (watch her stand up to a homophobic Simon Cowell on AGT along with last season’s Jan and Lagoona Bloo: https://youtu.be/VOuEJszUssY), but we didn’t learn much about her beyond her Scottish heritage in the reality parts of the show.
If the crown is not destined for Symone’s head, then the next best candidate would be Gottmik. Initially positioned as a look queen and makeup guru, Mik has stunned the judges and viewers on the runway and scored well in challenges that no one including herself expected her to do well in.
Her story is equally fascinating as a trans man who puts on dresses, wigs and pads to look like a woman. Cynics among us would also point out that the show might score woke points by crowning an out trans contestant.
Steven is a performance arts professional who wears many hats, mainly as a performer and teacher of vocal technique. Although not a queen himself, Steven enjoys every opportunity to prance around in glittery costumes onstage. He can be found on Facebook and Instagram.