RuPaul's Drag Race Ru-cap Episode 9: 'The Realness'

So. It turns out we have fewer episodes this year because we’re also getting an All-Star season later in the year (and they can only afford for Ru for so many hours? Who can say?) Anyway, here we are at the final four, and can I just say what a lovely final four. Yes, I’ve been hella tough and kinda shady over the last nine weeks, but this is, without any doubt in my mind, the strongest cast the show has ever had. Even better, by weeding out Derrick Barry and Acid Betty we have zero ‘villains’ going into the final. This made it all the harder to see someone fall at the final hurdle. Whoever had gone home in this episode, it would have been with wistful regret. This year it’s also heartening that whoever wins, we’ll have the first winner of colour since Raja five years ago. About time too. As we’ve come to expect from the penultimate episode, the surviving queens – Kim Chi, Bob, Chi Chi and Naomi had to perform in a RuPaul pop video. Oddly, this year – as far as we know – there was no hilarious slapping action from Ru herself. If you’ve ever had a personal trainer (and this is Attitude magazine, so there's a high chance that if you don't, it's because you are one) you’ll know the excruciating abdominal agony of suspending your legs three inches off the floor, so I sympathised with the queens as they were forced to perform ‘floatography’ flat on their backs. For beefcake director Jayson Whitmore, who wouldn’t perform flat on their back etc. It was hard to call – each of the queens brought their A-Game to the table: Bob was funny; Kim was avant garde; Chi Chi danced and Naomi…had legs. At this stage, it was all down to the impassioned speeches each girl gave on the main stage. Let’s evaluate each queen – no grades this week, every queen earned an A. Kim Chi  Kim_Chi-510x550 As judge Ross Matthews pointed out, Kim Chi, if crowned, could represent the future of drag. All about THE LOOK, Kim Chi’s main stage is Instagram, but she has upped her performance level over the episodes, and done so with a smile on her face. Kim Chi is young, fun and full of crippling insecurity and that’s why we love her. I’m gonna call it. I think Kim is gonna snatch the crown this year. It’ll be an eleventh hour upset, but I think Ru’s eye is fixed firmly on the future and Kim Chi is that. Bob the Drag Queen bobo-1 I thought Bob had it in the bag, but now I’m not so sure. Ross, becoming the most accurate judge, pointed out that when you buy a ticket to a Bob show (which I have – I’ll be seeing her at the Two Brewers) you’re not there for slightly busted makeup and high street drag, you’re there because she will be hilarious. The difference between Bob and Bianca Del Rio (100 for that bizarre cameo), is that Bianca was also the most polished queen of her season. Bob is not. Still, in the bigger picture, whether she wins the crown or not, Bob is a star and we’ll be seeing an awful lot more of her. She could well join Adore Delano, Raven and Alaska at the ‘Runners-Up Who Actually Won Ball’. Naomi Smalls Naomi_Smalls-510x550 Realistically, it was always between Naomi and Chi Chi for rounding up in third place. Undeniably her Scarecrow drag two weeks ago was a marvel but even her ‘best drag’ for the final runway was…underwhelming. The judges rightly singled out her Gaga-inspired latex catsuit in the pop video for praise: she looked stunning and her vogueing was well, en vogue. I don’t think Naomi can win. Yes, Violet Chachki was as young when she won, but was also far more secure in her aesthetic. I did call Naomi as a finalist in week 1 (the bonus of having this column…my Cassandra-like drag oracle powers are now in black and white) but I don’t think she will snatch the crown. Post Drag Race, I think we’ll see Naomi storm the fashion world, a la Milk for Marc Jacobs. Gender is the final frontier and Naomi is a model. Chi Chi Devayne Chi_Chi_DeVayne-510x550-1 Poor sweet Chi Chi. To say I honestly thought she’d be out by week 3, look how far she’s come. There were better queens this season (Thorgy Thor, Acid Betty) but I loved watching Chi Chi battle and scrape her way through. I love me a scrappy queen and Chi Chi sunk her teeth into the competition and didn’t let go. She’s a survivor and can go home with her head held high. Next week: I assume we have a clip show re-cap before we see the ‘live’ final in a fortnight’s time. Also, will the final three get to have Tic-Tacs with Mama Ru? Words: Juno Dawson More stories: Brighton couple viciously assaulted in alleged gay hate crime Gay men who watch bareback porn more like to have risky sex, study finds