‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ episode 12 recap: Did Peppermint, Sasha, Shea or Trinity advance to the finale?

Friday night the last regular episode of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 9 aired leading up to the June 16 “Reunited” episode and the “Grand Finale” on June 23. Heading into the episode there were only four queens left trying to prove they have the most charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent: Peppermint from New York, Sasha Velour from Brooklyn, Shea Coulee from Chicago and Trinity Taylor from Orlando. So which of the four queens survived Episode 12, “Category Is,” and advanced to the finale? Read my recap below and then prepare yourself for a sickening two-week conclusion to Season 9.

At the top of the episode, series judge Michelle Visage arrived in the workroom to present the week’s challenge to the queens. The focus of the week was proving to RuPaul Charles that each of them had what it takes to follow in her footsteps by recording an original verse for and learning choreography to her new song “Category Is” with the help of Todrick Hall, guest starring on her podcast “RuPaul: What’s the Tea? with Michelle Visage” and then performing the song live on the main stage prior to the final runway presentation.

Later in the workroom the queens discussed who was best positioned to excel at this week’s challenge, deciding that Peppermint has the most experience and Trinity is the least comfortable singing and dancing. In the studio and on the rehearsal stage with Todrick, their suspicions came to fruition with Trinity struggling at first to find her voice and stick to the choreography. Sasha also struggled, but vowed to Todrick that she would rise to the challenge of meeting the quick dance moves he had prepared for her. Shea and Peppermint, on the other hand, had a firm grip over both their vocal performance and the choreography, improving their own confidence in the challenge while setting the bar even higher for the other queens.

In the end, when it came time to perform each queen pulled it together and put on an impressively clean show for Michelle, RuPaul, Carson Kressley and Ross Mathews. Following a final “eleganza extravaganza” themed runway, the panel asked the queens two questions: if they could speak to their younger selves what would they say and why do they deserve to make it to the Top 3? With tears flowing and compliments for everyone, Ru and the other judges commended each of the queens on their strengths as competitors throughout the season. Rather than announce a top and bottom set, Ru asked the queens to all prove one last time that they have what it takes by performing a four-person lip synch for your life. And in the season’s last shocking twist, Ru decided to eliminate no one, sending all four to the grand finale in two weeks.

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