Symone Marko Monroe

If you haven’t been watching Arkansas native Symone on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and its behind-the-scenes companion show, “Untucked,” you might not understand what a difficult task it must have been for the show’s producers to pretend for a dozen episodes and counting that Symone hasn’t had it in the bag since Day One.

Mama RuPaul and judges Michelle Visage, Ross Matthews, Loni Love and Nicole Byer haven’t exactly tried to hide their adoration for the self-designated Ebony Enchantress, and can you blame them? Highlights of Symone’s performances have included, but are not limited to:

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Responding to a runway challenge “train” requirement with this gorgeous du-rag.

 

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Making the phrase “flag factory” into a Full-Fledged Thing. (Hey, Arkansas Flag and Banner, I can’t help but think this is a marketing match made in heaven!)

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A stunning fashion statement on the Black Lives Matter movement, around which last year’s protests happened concurrently with the filming of this season of “Drag Race.”

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This divine desert vision, part of a shoot “created with an iPhone and a 200 dolla drone.”

House of Avalon/Michael Brambila/Gigi Goode
Symone

Y’all, she’s got Ariana Grande in her fan club. Put simply, Symone, “boy name” Reggie Gavin, has had time to show she’s not only physically beautiful, but a thoughtful, artful queen whose intelligence, comedy chops and sweet warmth can be expressed within the same breath.

Perhaps even more telling is the way the queen handled her lowlights (like bombing on last week’s Nice Girls Roast) and the episode where the non-seamstress had to cobble together an outfit on set. Even after Friday night’s roast, though, Symone proved herself as a queen who knows her weaknesses as well as her strengths — and chooses to make art out of them. Exhibit A: Symone’s vulnerable Instagram post after a harrowing near-elimination, in which she set her location to “In My Head” and captured the inner voices she battles with under pressure.

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After lip-syncing for her life to Ariana Grande’s “No Tears Left to Cry,” Symone averted elimination last week. With an as-yet-unannounced number of episodes left, anything can happen, but put my money on the the queen from Conway.