Symone, boy name Reggie Gavin, a drag queen from Conway, is America’s next drag superstar. More on Symone here from our conversation with her earlier this year.
Four queens (or top four “squirrel friends,” as RuPaul often addresses them) entered the finale: Symone, the Faulkner County queen who moved to L.A. as a part of fashion/culture/media braintrust House of Avalon — a self-described gay street gang of Arkansans living in Los Angeles; Rose, a stunningly polished dancer, actor and singer with a smile for days; Kandy Muse, a fearless, fiery Dominican/Brooklyn doll; Gottmik, a wildly talented fashion designer, makeup artist and self-fashioned comedian who was also the first trans man to compete in “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
The grand finale featured elaborate dance numbers; pageant-style one-on-one interviews with RuPaul; a reverent glance back at the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s; a tribute to a fallen queen, Chi Chi DeVayne; fierce lip sync challenges; video messages to the queens from back home; and a series of sparkling runway standoffs. Also, y’all, Sen. Cory Booker showed up on the JumboTron and gave a pep talk! It was wild.
And Symone charmed as ever. (It’s not just us, I promise! Ask Jezebel.)
Symone stunned in the black and white runway challenge, with a yards-wide regal dress and hair to the heavens. In the red challenge, she strutted decked out in a tiny little dress made of red acrylic fingernails, blonde pigtails swinging, then donned custom warrior armor in gold leaf against billowy white goddess garb.
Unlike past episodes, which involved challenges, confessionals and eliminations, the 13th season’s finale was a full-fledged ceremony, with a remote audience offsite at a “drag race drive in,” introduced in intermittent segments by host Jaida Essence Hall, who was the reigning “Drag Race” Season 12 winner.
Symone and Gottmik faced off in a preliminary lip sync to Britney Spears’ “Gimme More,” with Symone in a custom, monogrammed tracksuit that peeled down to mustard-colored skivvies and a structured wig that she removed halfway through to reveal yet another wig, even as Gottmik was unveiling mid-stage wardrobe notifications in tandem. Her final lip sync against Kandy Muse was a fireworks display of her personality (and her hair).
But who are we kidding? The crown was Symone’s all along.