5 Awesome Things from RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 1 Episode 8: Grand Finale

RuPaul's Drag Race (Photo: Logo)
RuPaul's Drag Race (Photo: Logo)

This week’s episode of the Lost Season of RuPaul’s Drag Race features the coronation of America’s first Drag Superstar. Which cover girl put the bass in her walk?

This week’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race jumps directly into the final challenge of the season: co-star in RuPaul’s music video. My favorite part of this first season was how it was essentially a long-form advertisement for Ru’s album Champion (available on iTunes) and its first single “Cover Girl (Put the Bass in Your Walk).” The queens had to learn choreography, perform as a group and in solos in front of a green screen, and record self-written raps to mix into the track. After the final runway show and interviews, Rebecca Glasscock was unceremoniously dismissed in third place. That left Nina Flowers and Bebe Zahara Benet to battle it out in one final Lip Sync for Your Life. In the end, Bebe was named the winner.

That’s the short version of the story. Here’s the awesome version:

More like Re-bleck-a. Remember how outraged and scandalized we were when Rebecca made it into the final three? That seems so quaint in a post-Phi Phi, post-Roxxxy world, doesn’t it? Still, Rebecca was in way over her head in the final challenge. She could not pick up the choreography, her rap was terrible (more on that in a bit), she was late to the green screen and her wig was half off when she did show up, and she threw all the shade after the runway show. When she accidentally(?) called her competitors old, the pop-up graphics helpfully noted that Bebe is only two years older than Ms. Glasscock. Hehe.

Business Woman’s Special. Another tradition established in the final challenge: lunch with RuPaul. By the way, lunch is two tic tacs—and it’s considered polite to share. The queens get a chance to chat with RuPaul one-on-one about their hopes, dreams, and any dramatic backstories the show wasn’t able to shoehorn in any other way.

All’s Well that Cazwell. Assisting with the recording portion of the challenge was the rapper Cazwell. I’m not overly familiar with his work, but he is able to establish an instant rapport with the Nina and Bebe. Rebecca on the other hand…. So Rebecca shows up at the recording with the assignment of having 16 bars ready to go. She has eight, which she wants to speed-rap. After the first run-through, Cazwell tells her she has eight bars of nothing, but I’m not sure if he means the eight bars of dead air or the eight bars she brought to the table. The speed doesn’t help either as Rebecca’s tongue will not untie. What’s the one thing Ru has been telling you since day one: DON’T FUCK IT UP.

It Ain’t Easy Being Green-Screened. Bebe and Nina are consummate professionals at the video shoot. They hit their lines, they lip-sync their solos and the main track perfectly, and they follow director Mike Ruiz’s instructions to the T. When Rebecca eventually shows up, she’s all over the place. “Don’t lip sync if you don’t know the words,” Mike has to yell at one point. We then get a pop-up graphic with this tip: if you don’t know the words, just mouth “Watermelon, bubble gum.” I love tricks of the trade and that is my new favorite.

America’s Next Drag Superstar. Rebecca is a non-starter at this point, so let’s drop her from the conversation. Nina’s final look is a purple pantsuit with the sleeves and sideseams connected by flowing fabric, creating a gorgeous spectacle. Bebe’s gown shimmers red, white and blue and can only be described as a firecracker. The final lip sync performance is fantastic, with both queens playing off of each other and selling the song (available on iTunes). Although Nina is fabulous, I wish we got to see her perform more than just this one time. Bebe is named the winner and parade around in the most ridiculous tiara ever. The show has drifted away from the over-the-top pageantry, which is a shame.

Next week: the reunion. One of the best reality TV reunions ever.

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About Mike McComb 656 Articles
Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it "TV Camp." After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv