Tops and Bottoms: Season 13, Episode 13.

This season won’t die!

Middle

5. Rosé

Yeah I’m not playing nice anymore, Rosé is really lame.

There’s nothing else more I can make about Rosé, so I’ll go into my thoughts on her if she wins, which are not great. Like I’ve illustrated, Rosé is a character that you can not take unironically. She’s someone who, by personality, you want to see fail. Reality television has trained us to be so malicious, to see people like Rosé, who approaches Real Housewives levels of unawareness, and want to see them not work out. That’s fun. People may call it mean, and it is, but you’re going to be mean as a reality show fan. So with that in mind, it shouldn’t come as a shock that I don’t want to see her win. Rosé is a lot of things, but a good winner she’s not.

4. Gottmik

Look, we know why Gottmik is here. And as such, do we really need to talk about her chances of winning?

As much as it might be cruel to laugh at the expense of Rosé, I find it even crueler that the show has a cynical look at Gottmik. Gottmik’s chances of winning, especially with the lip sync format of the finale, are zero, and them dragging them this far feels pointless. You can say I’m being cynical by only judging Gottmik as a Inspirational contestant, but that’s why they’re here. The show’s use of her is even more cynical and bad faith than anything I’ve said about them.

God this season…

3. Kandy

It’s hard with Kandy. Unlike basically everyone else left, Kandy is definitely trying to shake up the cast somehow. Kandy is restless, you can see her vibrating in anticipation anytime she’s on screen, hoping and praying for someone to start some shit and for her to go in. But we’ve long since lost Tamisha, and there’s nothing left for Kandy to do. It’s unfortunate, because this need for others to get involved means Kandy is a reflection of her cast, and with how pathetic Season 13 has been, she was DOA.

And lol, as if Kandy would ever win. Not that Kandy isn’t talented and not that Kandy doesn’t try, she does, but this is Drag Race. Drag Race’s entire presentation is prejudice of people of color, people of lower class, and people that are heavyset. And Kandy is all three, at once, and unflinchingly. Kandy loves herself because of these things, which inherently makes her even more conspicuous and even easier to be hated by… those sorts of people.

Top

2. Symone

I guess I want Symone to win most, and I do like her, but man… I’m kinda over these types of winners?

Symone’s win feels almost pre-selected by birthright, someone who came in with a lot of expensive looks and connections who could easily slay because of those things. It’s unfair to say Symone lacks talent, but it’s undeniable that Symone got there from her vast connections and good pedigree. I’ll get into this more when I finish the season, but rest assured that not everything about Symone win, nor a theoretic Rosé win, sits right with me.

We’ve had a lot of winners of Symone’s type, including the very last one, Jaida. And they’ve never bothered me so much before, but now… thing are different. And it isn’t just Season 13, these issues are systemic and overarching. I don’t discredit Symone, but I wonder if her win would be possible without these specific conditions.

1. Olivia

If anyone got screwed over the most by the lack of drama, it’s Olivia. Olivia is exactly the kind of person you want on your show: someone whose mere presence just drives people up the wall, and it’s never absolutely clear how aware of this she is. At the start of the season I described Olivia as possible sociopath, someone whose social development was affected by growing up a heavy kid and thus has an antagonistic view of people, now placed into a show that rewards her over her more experienced peers. And early on, it does feel like the show wants to push some narrative that Olivia’s achievements, earned or not, make blood boil and hearts sink. In any kind of reality show, Olivia’s potential is obvious, and the show early on clearly had ideas for her.

And then they… didn’t.

It’s hard to say exactly why Olivia was given such a sudden stiff treatment by the show, but the most likely answer is that they gave up. Not on just Olivia, but the season. A lot of bad choices permeated the early season, like the obnoxiously long preamble and the way too early eliminations of Tamisha and Lala Ri, but probably the biggest factor was when Symone and Kandy were put in the bottom two and had to lip sync. The show knew that they wanted both to be in the top 4, and so saved both in one of the most transparent, easy to read moments of production interference. Instead of taking things as they were, the show rewrote the rules to suit its needs, and that action really makes it obvious the show just gave up.

Because of this sudden drop of giving a fuck, the show had no interest in developing either the characters nor their relationships. Outside of the makeover episode, this cast was so inert and uninterested in getting to know one another that this season could have been filmed from home. And Olivia, who’s a social character designed to be that agitator, was cast off by the show and eliminated as soon as they remembered she was still around. It’s beyond frustrating the show treats Olivia so bad, but the reason issue isn’t the treatment of Olivia, but the show’s lack of development. Olivia could have been so much better if the show wasn’t asleep behind the wheel.

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