After what felt like 74 years, RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 14 is finally over, and a new crowned queen, Willow Pill, has been added into the Drag Race pantheon. In the sweet, chocolatey path it left in its wake, a slew of brand-new iconic moments that will live forever have been burned in our minds, and now’s the prime time to celebrate the best ones. Here’s our list of what we think are the best moments of Drag Race Season 14:
15. Jorgeous, the Lip Sync Assassin
Not a lot of things get a Drag Race fan more excited than when they see a lip sync assassin absolutely DEMOLISH the dancefloor. This season’s delinquent dancing duo, Jasmine Kennedie and Jorgeous, lip synced a combined total of 11 TIMES (they even danced against each other during the season’s first double shantay, an unexpected Etta James performance)–and Jorgeous won four of her five duels.
Had her fighting spirit not waned down during her final lip sync against Daya Betty and DeJa Skye, we probably would have seen her in the finale despite her track record that left much to be desired.
14. Daya’s Villain Edit
Every season’s gotta have a villain (except for Season 12, I guess) that stirs the pot every once in a while to keep their competitors on edge, and this previous season saw finalist Daya Betty take the position as a no-nonsense, competitive punk queen ready to call out judges’ favoritisms or the insane amount of non-elimination episodes.
Daya clashed with design challenge winner, Jorgeous, and “little sister”, Jasmine Kennedie–we’ll get to her antics later–because of how she admittedly sees a younger (“but prettier”, she said in the reunion), more immature version of herself in the New York performer. A great deal of LOL-worthy one-liners were given to us all thanks to Daya wearing her heart on her sleeve (“I…am just as bad as Jasmine was this week?”).
13. The Ross Mathews Roast
After the infamous Nice Girls Roast from last year’s, it’s nice to experience a roast that’s relatively not cringey. Season 14’s Ross Mathews Roast put the hilarious co-judge on the spotlight for the top 7 to pick apart and destroy.
Lady Camden, Willow Pill, and challenge winner, Bosco, all delivered killer sets and memorable insults. Bosco’s jab at RuPaul being a vers–a hunter and gatherer, that is–and Willow calling Lady Camden a child of incest is still funny in a knee-slapping type of way to this day. Even the girls that bombed had their hilarious moments: DeJa walking off the stage after saying the next performer needs no introduction is unexpected and a huge sigh of relief for a two-minute set that had the word ‘bottom’ written all over it.
12. The Reading Challenge
Because if you can’t read your sisters, who can you read? In the grand tradition of Paris Is Burning, the library was once again opened for the girls to read each other to filth. Short and simple bangers like Willow’s “Serena ChaCha!” and Lady Camden’s “The tiniest little waist…of time!” jabs targeted towards Jorgeous obliterated the poor twink, but Bosco’s paragraph about RuPaul’s last will and Daya’s sock simile to DeJa Skye (calling her soft, supportive, and full of cum was nasty and we love it) were also the highlights of the mini challenge.
11. Angeria’s Ug-a-ly bitch moment
The Southern Belle from ATL proved to be a formidable frontrunner right off the start of the season. Placing on top for the first five weeks and winning two maxi challenges pretty much solidified her spot in the finale.
In episode 5, the queens had to create a fake series trailer in the Super Tease maxi challenge, and Angeria Paris VanMicheals earned her second win by elongating the word ‘ugly’ in a way no other insult comic ever has on the show. “You ug-a-ly bitch” has since been on every gay person’s vocabulary, and even miss VanMicheals herself gets stopped in the streets all the time by people asking her to call them ugly. She doesn’t mind, don’t worry.
10. Bosco’s Golden Bar
This season, every losing queen had one more chance to come back to the race: after losing their lip sync, they opened a RuPaul Chocolate Bar assigned to them to see if they get to slay another day. If it’s chocolate, it’s the end of the road for them, but if it’s the one gold bar, they’re brought back to the competition.
The new twist received polarizing reception from fans and critics alike, with some calling it a blatant riggory of the show’s format, while others received it as a welcome element to stop entertaining frontrunners from going home early (listen, Kornbread having to quit on Episode 5 was hell enough).
Fortunately for Bosco, who so marvelously flopped hard in the Moulin Ru Rusical, the “drag gods” didn’t want her to place seventh, so she managed to escape defeat in the hands of Jorgeous after they lip synced to Whitney Houston’s Heartbreak Hotel. And bless the “drag gods”! Bosco eventually won the Roast next episode AND made it to the finale with three wins on her belt, tying with Lady Camden for the most maxi challenge wins.
9. Jasmine Kennedie and all the drama
From her entrance all the way to her sashaying away in eighth place, Jasmine Kennedie was the undisputed drama queen of the season. She had an uncomfortable dynamic with Kornbread rooted on her talking too much, a loud and messy spat with straight bro Maddy Morphosis on Untucked, and a sibling rivalry with Daya Betty that climaxed to a very heated exchange of words in the reunion episode.
Although, despite what her self-embraced title suggests, Jasmine is far from conceited and petty: she remains to be one of the most likable cast members of the season due to her jolly, not-taking-drama-ever-seriously attitude. It was clear that all the cattiness onscreen were there for the girls and gays to eat, and was left in the werkroom once the show was over (and that mug, mama! Come on now!).
8. The Lip Sync Smackdown
Right after the strong DragCon episode, you’d think that the comedy-heavy contestants this season would devour Snatch Game. We have Bosco, the great insult savant, Angeria, the naturally funny queen of charisma, and Lady Camden, the secretly shady lady leading the solidly funny pack.
Well, they did a full 180.
Forecasted by the prophet, Willow Pill (“There’s gonna be one challenge we’re all gonna bomb!”), this year’s Snatch Game was an absolute letdown. Save for DeJa Skye’s Lil’ Jon, every. Single. Queen. Bombed. And, as punishment, RuPaul announced that for the first time in herstory, all bottom 7 queens will participate in a Lip Sync LaLaPaRuZa Smackdown.
The tournament-style lip sync battle Ruvealed so much in one episode. Willow’s strategic plots, Lady Camden’s more emotional side, Jasmine and Angeria’s friendship, and Bosco’s inner saboteur added more layers to an already fleshed out cast of queens, but the highlight was definitely the lip syncs themselves. Records were broken as Jasmine Kennedie and Bosco tied for most lip syncs in a regular series episode, and for the first time in Drag Race herstory, all but one of the queens (Kornbread, due to her withdrawing) had to lip sync for their lives at some point in the competition (Season 13’s premiere lip syncs do not count because no one was sent home then).
The lip sync Smackdown was one of the best plot twists of the entire Drag Race franchise, and we expect to see more episodes dedicated to lip syncing like this in the future.
7. The Trantasy
Season 14 is the most trans-inclusive season in all of Drag Race, with Kerri Colby, Kornbread, Jasmine Kennedie, Bosco, and Willow Pill representing the T in LGBT. The sisterhood started with Kerri as the only out trans woman, but the other four ladies eventually came out in the middle of the show, prompting Colby to call the season “The Sisterhood of Traveling Estrogen”.
Jasmine Kennedie coming out in the Untucked episode of Daytona Wind was a tear-jerking moment that perfectly encapsulated why Drag Race is an important TV show in today’s political climate: trans people feel safe in their own skin when they are respected and represented. More importantly, trans people get to present their true selves when they are not reduced to token roles that dissect or ridicule them.
Outside the show itself, the Trantasy has also inspired a ton of memes, the most famous being Kerri Colby getting dubbed as Tranos, an intergalactic trans woman that “transifies” people with a snap of her finger. Colby loved the meme so much that she wore a Thanos-inspired look in the finale, complete with four infinity stones–one for each trans woman drag queen she HRT-ed throughout the season.
6. The Live Finale
Season 12 and 13 had to adjust because of COVID and film the finale without an audience (Season 12 didn’t even have the luxury of performing in a concert hall–the finalists filmed their final performances at home). Fortunately, this year’s pandemic status generally looks a little more fine than the last two years, and with that, Drag Race finally welcomed back the crowd during the coronation night.
The cheers from the crowd helped a lot in creating an uplifting, celebratory vibe for all five queens, and it was nice to see the finalists’ friends and families in the seats rooting for their loved ones. Drag Race alums like Jaymes Mansfield, Trinity K. Bonet, and Gigi Goode were also in attendance.
The eliminated queens also went onstage to perform Losing is the new Winning with the cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race Live! in Las Vegas, featuring Jaida Essence Hall, Naomi Small, and Kameron Michaels, among others.
5. Daytona Wind
It’s not often that a contestant gets her own episode–that is, an episode that zooms in on one particular drag queen and puts her in the best possible light.
In Daytona Wind, Lady Camden showcased her acting chops in the fart jokes-laden skit and somehow imbued a sense of sensible sophistication in between irreverent lines. Even with Bosco’s Reba McEntire-inspired buffoonery and Daya Betty and Willow’s dumb blonde bonanza, Camden ATE the entire challenge and left no crumbs.
The whole maxi challenge was so funny and perfectly done by the contestants that RuPaul decided there were no bottom queens. Lady Camden and Daya Betty were chosen to lip sync to Blondie’s One Way Or Another as the top two queens, and Camden proceeded to come out of her shell and serve smooth and campy moves, gracefully gliding all over the stage and earning her first win of the season.
This episode was just pure unadulterated fun, and to see Lady Camden in her element was such a treat, so much so that it’s now the highest-rated episode in all of Drag Race herstory on IMDb.
(There’s one more reason why we love this episode, but you’ll have to read a bit more to find out what it is!)
4. The top 5 solo performances
The top 5 were just so darn good that RuPaul couldn’t pick who to keep between the penultimate episode’s bottom two–Angeria Paris VanMicheals and Willow Pill–so she kept them both!
For the first time ever, the season finale had five finalists, and Angeria, Bosco, Daya Betty, Lady Camden, and Willow Pill were all given the chance to perform individual numbers in a brand-new finale format.
Angeria did a high-energy dance number with Check My Track Record, Bosco got naked and revealed a hell-inspired outfit while lip syncing to Devil, Daya Betty wowed the crowd with her eerie outfit and her introspective lyrics in the song, Fighter, Lady Camden showcased her ballet and dancing skills with I Fell Down (I Got Up), and Willow Pill served pure camp with I Hate People.
All five performances gave the finalists the chance to present their drag’s uniqueness and managed to encapsulate the spirit of their art in little over two minutes, and Lady Camden and Willow Pill were eventually chosen by Ru to lip sync for the crown.
The format is arguably better than the usual lip sync smackdown, where queens, more often than not, focus on bland mid-performance reveals that do not work because they try to one-up the iconic rose petals reveal by Season 9’s Sasha Velour. By letting them use the stage on their own, the performances hinge on who they are as a drag queen, not on who they’re dueling against.
3. Willow Pill’s talent show
As early as the first episode, Willow Pill has proven that she is a formidable queen. Her deceiving entrance outfit (“The fucking shirt says ‘ANGLE’”-Bosco) and the so-bad-it’s-good runway look clearly told us her story and immediately branded her as the weird yet calculating little muffin.
But none of those come close to the absolute mindfuck that was her talent show. Officially titled Self-Care in Quarantine, Willow took a bath onstage with wine, spaghetti, toast, AND the toaster in the water. To top it all off, Enya’s Only Time plays in the background as an additional layer of WTF-ery.
The bizarre show was a satirical take on unhelpful self-care guides on the Internet that took over the cybersphere during the pandemic, and although it was born out of Willow shooting the shit with her friends and making funny little home clips before Drag Race, it’s now become the show’s new-age era response to Tatianna’s Same Parts piece on All Stars 2. It was creative, original, and hilarious; a perfect introduction to what Miss Winner Pill was going to give to the gays the entire season.
2. The ShangRu-Las
Drag Race fans argue a lot about what the best girl group challenge performance is the best of all time. There’s the earworm UK Hun? by United Kingdolls, the golden standard, Read U Wrote U, and Season 12’s near-insurmountable I’m That Bitch, but we think all three of the fan faves have been overtaken by this season’s ShangRu-Las.
Composed of Bosco, Daya Betty, and Willow Pill, the ShangRu-Las created what is probably the tightest, funniest, most fleshed-out girl group song: Bad Boy Baby.
The 60s-inspired aesthetic of this season’s girl group challenge pushed the drag queens to employ a more reserved and demure approach to songwriting–except for The ShangRu-Las! The threesome took pride in the dark humor that embodies their drag and wrote a song about falling for a stalker that looks like their uncle. As if the absurdity of it all wasn’t enough, the titular bad boy gets run over by a truck by the end of the song, and all three of them talk about how hot he looks (His body is splattered on the asphalt!//Yeah, but it’s kinda hot//Like he dropped a hot bowl of spaghetti).
Mix the A+ songwriting with Bosco’s comedic timing, Willow’s cinched choreography, and Daya’s commanding charm, and we’ve got ourselves the latest it girls!
1. Lady Camden’s Chaps on the Runway
Of course, the number one spot HAS to be the reveal no one saw coming.
During the Daytona Wind maxi challenge, there was no doubt that Lady Camden was going to win, and so most Camden fans just sat back as they waited for her runway look for the week’s theme, Chaps on the Runway.
Camden stepped out from the corner in a cute black-and-white look wearing a short, voluminous white wig…and fell.
It took her an uncomfortable amount of time to brush herself off, get back up, and continue walking, and she understandably kept her head down while standing up and fixing her short hair hidden before her wig fell off…and stood up and struck a pose to reveal a Freddie Mercury-inspired look complete with slick, jet-black hair and a thick mustache that made everyone want to call her daddy.
This reveal is so iconic in that it wasn’t necessary as she was going to win the episode anyway, and nobody expected a reveal to come from someone that fell on stage. Cheers and screams from gay bars were heard all around the world, and everyone celebrated as the awakening of the Drag Race juggernaut that is Lady Camden began, premiering her role as a frontrunner (three wins!) in the competition.
What were YOUR favorite moments from Season 14? Let us know in the comments below!