A dull final challenge did nothing to shake up our ranks, though it did eject Kennedy from what looked like a surefire trip to number three. Here’s where we wind up, with the odds for each girl to take the win.
Here’s where I get to crow a bit – aside Fame’s strong showing in week one and brief Max insurgency, I’ve had Violet and Ginger pegged for the finals all season long, including last week. Furthermore, I’ve been obsessed with Violet since her nude walk of confidence down the runway on week one.
Now that they’ve reached their goals, what are the odds for their wins?
#1 Violet Chachki (avg 1.66, was #1, 1, 3, 1, 3, 2, 4, 1, 1, 1, 1)
Her odds? 8:5
I think everything will be coming up Violet in the finale. She is like an Adore Act / Courtney Delano mashup in many ways (except singing) – young and a little dumb but growing every week, plus fishy and high fashion yet not afraid to make a fool of herself. That’s a pretty compelling combo for Ru the starmaker, and Violet makes for a different kind of winner than we’ve had recently. When it comes down to it, she never left a detail unfinished this entire season – even her arguably weakest moment in the John Waters performance was controlled down to the thrusting choreography.
Why isn’t she a lock? This girl will go down as one of the most dominant queens in the history of the show, but so were the non-lip syncers Alaska and Courtney Act – and neither of them got the win. Sometimes dominant can be boring, and detailed runway looks aren’t everything. More than that, Violet showed a certain lack of imagination as a performer that doesn’t bode well for a champion. Also, there is the specter of Tyra Sanchez still haunting Ru – another fashion-forward and generally flawless young queen who fizzled after taking the crown.
#2 Ginger Minj (avg 1.9, was #2, 2, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4)
Her odds? 2:1
No one has ever walked in the Drag Race door as equipped for the win as Ginger except for perhaps the past two winners, Jinx Monsoon and Bianca Del Rio. Therein lies the problem. Ginger’s no Jinx – a magnetic star of Broadway caliber – and there’s a real risk is that she’s just Bianca Del Rio 2.0 – southern, red-headed, comfortable acting and proficient enough in dancing and singing, and wickedly funny. She might not be an insult comic, but that does sound a heck of a lot like The Return of Hurricane Bianca.
However, Ginger also has the big queen angle working for her as well as her unique “Glamour Toad” look, which was never same-y but always consistent. Its hard to imagine a big queen who will ever be a more beautiful woman and viable winner than Ginger.
Why isn’t she a lock? Ginger has some self-defeating tendencies when faced with a challenge. Her pagaent-centric vision of drag could be a little small-minded for Ru, as evidenced by the final boot of Kennedy. Plus, now that RuPaul has had the chance to see the entire series and fan reaction to it, this might not be the lady she wants to represent her brand for an entire year.
#3 Pearl (avg 6.33, was #4, 5, 6, 6, 5, 7, 8, 10, 9, 7, 6)
Her odds? 8:1
True to her namesake, Pearl is a rare jewel worked up from just a little piece of grit. The problem with that narrative is that Pearl isn’t all that rare or shiny. No final three queen has ever presented fashion as boring, repetitive, and just-plain-busted as Pearl, and finalists have seldom been so weak all across the board when it comes to talent. Yet, there’s no denying Pearl has a certain it factor, and it’s that factor that Mama Ru is so drawn to.
Can she really win? I can imagine some contexts where RuPaul decides neither of the other ladies represent the future of drag, but that involves a major roll of the dice that Pearl keeps growing and pushing the envelope. What’s the risk for Ru taking a chance on a queen on a positive trajectory and beloved by much of the audience? Potentially losing credibility with the hardcore fans of this show, who keep the buzz alive for the looky-loos who arrive each season. Yet, nothing could be worse for the show than this dud season as a whole, so why not end it on a cavalier note?