It’s down to the final four on season 13 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” but before the grand finalists can be decided RuPaul Charles tests the queens one last time. Rosé, Gottmik, Kandy Muse, and Symone couldn’t be any different from one another, but each has notched at least one maxi challenge win this season and all of them have earned their fair share of praise from the judges. So, will the decision of who makes it to “The Grand Finale” just come down to luck?
Below, check out our minute-by-minute “RuPaul’s Drag Race” recap of episode 14 to watch the finale four write and perform their own remix of Ru’s new song “Lucky.” After following along with our live updating blog, be sure to sound off in the comments section with your reactions to VH1’s reality TV show and then resume discussing who you think will ultimately join the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winners list.
8:01 p.m. – With Olivia Lux‘s elimination, the feeling in the werk room is that it was her time to go and that the right queens had made it to the final four. That being said, the queens themselves were still unclear about how many of them would actually make it to the finale. At this point, the weight of their individual challenge wins felt like an even playing field and that all of them would be deserving of a spot.
8:05 p.m. – For this week’s challenge, Ru asked that they prove they have the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent by writing and then dancing to their own verses for a remix of her new song “Lucky.” In preparation for their challenge they would once again work with choreographer Jamal Sims and then guest appear on Ru’s podcast with Michelle Visage, “Inside Drag Race.”
8:08 p.m. – While brainstorming and writing the lyrics to their verses, Gottmik realized that her genuine pride for making it this far in the competition was turning her into the kind of softie that wanted to sing about positivity and inspiring people. Rosé was more consciously concerned with showing a new aspect of her talent and so she wrote a rap verse into her part of the song rather than relying on her singing voice. Kandy was keenly aware that in the past challenges like this one were where she slipped up and found herself in the bottom two, so she knew that she really had to step up her game this time.
8:16 p.m. – Gottmik was the first to sit down for “Inside Drag Race,” getting the chance to explain her transition journey, including having used her “old first name” as part of her drag name, as well as the many ways the show has allowed so much growth in her expansion beyond being a visual artist. Always praised for her perfection, Rosé opened up about how drag gave her the room to breathe and explore her creativity that working in theater in her male self never allowed. As expected, Kandy had Michelle and Ru rolling with laughter throughout their conversation, showcasing a humility and sensitivity that doesn’t always come across in her willingness to be argumentative in the werk room. Of all the girls, Symone’s breakthrough this season was the most emotionally-charged, explaining to Ru that her shyness in coming from a small town and being told she won’t succeed for so long has developed an insecurity that is only released when she turns the corner as Symone.
8:33 p.m. – Before their choreography lessons, Jamal made it clear to the queens that he would be harder on them now then he ever was before. While they all weren’t as immediately on point as Rosé is, it was clear that they’ve all become so much more comfortable on stage and learning dance moves. The other good thing was that Jamal came to the sessions knowing the best way that the queens can learn and working with them in that way — with Gottmik, for example, he knew that she’d respond to hearing the lyrics and dancing to them rather than learning counts.
8:42 p.m. – Ahead of their final runway, the queens got ready in front of the mirrors for the last time with each other. Looking back, they discussed their first impressions of each other like Gottmik’s confusion that Rosé was calling herself a comedy queen or Symone’s clocking of Kandy as the loud one and then being shocked to find out she’s more sensitive than that.
8:52 p.m. – In the world premiere of “Lucky,” the queens each had their own stage to perform on for their verse: Gottmik sexed it up showing off curves and bringing back her white clown makeup, Kandy kept it “hood to Hollywood” in a yellow street scene, Rosé stayed pink in a musical theater-inspired moment that she executed to perfection, and Symone created another instantly iconic vocal inflection on her verse. The number closed with them all together for a simple group dance. Overall it was a well-executed performance of a fun song from each of them with none really standing out from the others.
8:55 p.m. – In the “Drag Excellence” runway category, Gottmik opened in a gorgeous white gown with black polka dots and peek-a-boo cutouts that was matched by a quirky poofed wig and makeup that was half signature clown and half natural beauty. Kandy came next in a fun and brightly colored street outfit, stressing that she’s not the type of queen to put on eleganza just for the finale because she rather remain true to herself. Rosé returned to her heritage once again in a full tartan print gown and an oversized ginger wig. Symone closed the show in an interesting purple gown that had sleeves so large and perfectly placed that when her arms were down they became part of the gown.
9:03 p.m. – On the judges panel this week with Ru and Michelle were Carson Kressley and Ross Mathews. For Gottmik’s final critique the judges highlighted her ability to be both glamorous and cheeky on the runway. In “Lucky” they were convinced of her positive attitude and that her journey over the course of the season is the biggest leap of everyone. When it came to Kandy, the judges felt that she’s always authentic to herself and impressed by her ability to falter one week and then rebound so well in the following week. Rosé was once again complimented for being professional and polished at all times and congratulated for finally finding a way to let her walls down and be vulnerable and fun in the challenges. Symone’s consistently great runway looks were a highlight for the judges and they called her a charismatic performer.
9:24 p.m. – After further deliberation, but before Ru could make a final decision, the final four were all asked to lip sync for their life. Surprisingly they wouldn’t do it together, but instead one at a time to the same song, a remix of Whitney Houston‘s “I Learned from the Best.” In the performances (which were split screened and cut with each other), each queen showed off their performing style that we’ve learned of them throughout the season: Symone kept it dramatic and actressy, Rosé looked for beats in the song to create humorous moments, Kandy brought passion and overexaggerated arm movements, and Gottmik remained composed and fashionable. In the end, it was much to close of a contest for Ru to make any other decision than to keep all four of the queens in the competition for a grand finale of four!
NEXT WEEK: All the girls meet for a virtual reunion special before “The Grand Finale” in two weeks.