“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Episode 1416 Recap: Shoutout to Kornbread’s Ankle

This is a recap of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 14 finale. Spoilers below.

Good things come to those who wait! The never-ending season has come to an end and the rightful winner has been crowned.

We’re in Vegas, baby! The season 14 queens all walk out and the looks are elevated. Since there’s a top FIVE we need to hurry up and get to them but obviously I need to share the other trans queens’ looks. Kornbread is dressed as Beauty AND the Beast — full beast face but Belle’s yellow dress and a giant red rose. Kerri is Tranos!! The meme come to life — Kerri is there to celebrate all the trans girl infinity stones she’s collected. And Jasmine’s high concept is just “hi I’m on HRT looking pretty with a big blonde wig and shiny dress.”

Now onto our top five. Angeria is in a truly remarkable blue showgirl dress with a gigantic feather back. Bosco is dressed as demon Lilith with red hair — face credited on Instagram to estrogen, filler, and laser hair removal. Daya is also an elevated showgirls with thigh high boots and lots and lots of purple feathers. Camden is a horse carriage which is a fun idea but the wheels are the wrong way?? And, finally, is what I first interpreted as a slutty lobster but is actually inspired by animes like Kill la Kill and Demon Slayer — sorry I’m not an anime trans but I’d become one for Willow !!

The next order of business is Michelle coming out dancing to “I’m That Bitch.” She’s there to give Ru the key to the city of Clark County — Vegas — and to announce that April 22nd is now officially RuPaul Day. Ru says the last time she was given a key it had cocaine on it.

We begin the individual queen introductions and performances with Angeria. Her intro is so charming and reminded me why I love her! Like seasons seven and eight, the queens will be lip syncing to original songs written for them — sung by someone else. Angeria’s is called “Check My Track Record” and while Angeria is always fun to watch, I did feel like this song was a little unspecific for her. Afterward, when Ru is asking her questions is when she really shines. She is a pageant queen after all. Also shining? Angeria’s parents! Her dad especially is so sweet as he answers Ru’s questions and offers support. They seem really genuine and it’s lovely to witness.

Next we have Bosco who is in her intro as a lifeguard along a Vegas pool. I desperately wanted to be there and pull a stunt like in The Sandlot with Wendy Peffercorn — but with better consent. She says that when she got on the show she wanted to prove she was a great drag queen but eventually her goal shifted to just showing off that she’s hot. She succeeded!! Her song is called “Devil” and she comes out looking like an angel. Her wings end up being backup dancers and then she’s revealed to be dressed in a demon outfit teeth and all. It’s good but it should’ve been longer! During her interview, Bosco talks about her affinity for villains and then Ru turns to Bosco’s boyfriend — who is trans! — and fellow drag queen Lucy Lips. It feels like Lucy is doing an audition and I wish her the best. Ru then asks Bosco another question and as she stutters she says, “The estrogen is slapping right now!” and then dabs. Cut to Gigi Goode laughing in the crowd.

Daya’s intro is very Daya as she talks about clawing her way back to the top and saying it like it is. Her song is called “Fighter” and she comes out dressed as the dragonfly she consumed. The performance is good! While I think Angeria had the best entrance look and the second best pageant answers, a fun thing about this episode is I do think these performances are each better than the last. Daya’s answers are boring though as she talks about being raised in an outspoken household and being bald. She’s joined by her boyfriend and fellow Crystal family member Lux Methyd. She impresses less than Lucy Lips.

In Camden’s intro, she says that now she feels like Rockstar when before she felt like a little mouse. Her song is called “I Fell Down (But I Got Up)” and it’s very Queen and very good. There’s a very good wig reveal and some even better dancing. Her mom and drag mom are both there, and her mom is wearing a shiny hat and looks like the most British person ever. Camden’s pageant answers are just pretty good but her performance was truly so excellent for the first time all season I was hoping she’d be top two.

Last, but certainly not least, Willow Pill. In her intro video she’s dressed like a dude from the 70s and she talks about wanting to represent people with disabilities and people dealing with illness. Her song is called “I Hate People” and is so funny and so Willow. She looks like a flower and then the front of her petals are removed to reveal two more Willow heads on each side. Then at the end another face is revealed on her crotch. It’s brilliant! It’s drag! I love her! And I love her even more once Ru starts on his bullshit again saying, “Your resilience has been so inspiring, how are you doing?” and she replies, “I don’t think that’s any of your business.” She plays it as a joke but it’s also a really sharp reply and have I mentioned I love her? Well she says the heads are named Carson and Ross and then she reveals the crotch one again and calls her Michelle. Willow’s mom and sister are there and her sister talks about shopping with Willow for her first drag look at Forever 21 — not H&M. Ru’s last question for Willow is how she’d describe drag to aliens. She replies, “Mental illness and rhinestones.”

Next, the queens from Drag Race Live perform a number called “Losing is the New Winning” which starts with Jaida, who might actually say that winning is the winning. Then there’s a tribute to Hot Chocolate, a famous Vegas queen. Finally, it’s time for Ru to announce the top two queens. Continuing the Vegas theme, it’s revealed on two slot machines. First queen: Camden. Second queen: Willow. They’re told to go backstage to prepare for the lip sync and the other three queens are thanked.

Symone is back!!!!!!! She’s wearing a crop top and ripped jeans, but in the fashion Symone sort of way. Even a year later I maintain that Symone is one of the best queens to ever appear on the show. She introduces LaLa Ri who looks gorgeous in an outfit I don’t know how to describe — it’s like these gold pieces are orbiting around her? She announces Miss Congeniality and the winner is… Kornbread! Obviously, I’m not going to complain about Kornbread winning anything, but I do think this should’ve gone to narrator of the season, Thanos herself, Kerri Colby. But if Kerri were to lose to anyone I’m happy it’s Kornbread.

It’s final lip sync time. Camden comes out in a British crown and little white dress with poofy sleeves. Willow comes out in a suit that would make David Byrne jealous — in fact, it’s so big that it appears as if Willow is only wearing the top half and Willow has to use fake arms. Ru announces that the winner will get $150k and second place will get $50k. All of the effects and graphics are overwhelming. Vegas + reality TV finale + RuPaul = insanity.

They’re performing Cher’s cover of ABBA’s “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight).” This is such an excellent lip sync!! Both queens are so different and lean into their strengths. Camden dancing, Willow camping it up. Willow’s first reveal brings her from the top half of the suit to the pants. Camden does another trip reveal to a red corset. Then Willow does another reveal to a violet corset. Not only are they now matching but they start to dance together. They even seem close to kissing! Then Willow does a somersault and the song ends. And they really do kiss on the lips! It’s not a make out but I’ll take it.

Because both queens did so well and both queens are winning money, there isn’t much suspense. But I still shrieked when RuPaul announces that the winner is… Willow Pill! Always ready with a joke, Willow thanks Kornbread’s ankle.

And that’s the season! Congratulations to Willow Pill and congratulations to me for having my favorite win the second year in a row.


Teleport Us to Mars!! Here Are Some Random Thoughts:

+ It is so cute seeing Ru and Michelle stand next to each other on stage with their massive height difference.

+ Bosco and Camden both dabbed while giving their pageant answers. Big year for dabbing.

+ When Ru announces that all the losing queens will get $2,000 — which they deserve because being on the show is expensive!! — Jasmine shouts, “I finally won something!” Babe, what you won is being hot and trans.

+ This week’s dispatch from Drag Race scholar Gaby Dunn is the observation that in some ways this top two was a repeat of season 11: the ballerina vs. the weirdo. The weirdo always wins!!

+ I’m obsessed with the special preview for All Stars 7. I am so excited to have Jinkx Monsoon back on TV and so excited for the whole cast and so excited for Naomi Campbell. I’m less enthused about the Nancy Pelosi jump scare.

+ Speaking of All Stars 7, I will not be recapping it because the Paramount Plus release schedule is too weird. But I will be watching and I’m sure I’ll be sharing plenty of thoughts on Twitter dot com.

+ Thank you for reading my recaps this season! Truly such a blast to watch and write about a season with so many trans queens and so many hot queens. Coincidence? Absolutely not.

+ Remember to support your local queens!!


We keep Autostraddle majority free-to-read, but it isn't free to create! We need YOU to sign up for A+ to help keep this indie queer media site funded. A+ membership starts at just $4/month or $30/year. If you can, will you join?

Join A+

Drew Gregory

Drew is an LA-based writer, filmmaker, and theatremaker. Her writing can be found at Bright Wall/Dark Room, Cosmopolitan UK, Thrillist, I Heart Female Directors, and, of course, Autostraddle. She is currently working on a million film and TV projects mostly about trans lesbians. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @draw_gregory.

Drew has written 268 articles for us.

8 Comments

  1. So fun and satisfying to me as a big Willow fan from “go”! Thanks to Drew and Autostraddle for providing the most insightful and constructive Drag Race takes I know of. The support and art of drag performers in my area was really vital to me when I was a baby queer, and it means a lot that y’all challenge the narrative that drag is predominantly for and by cis men.

  2. Thank you for another rollicking season of recaps! ALL HAIL WILLOW PILL AND HER BOUNDARIES ABOUT HER HEALLLLLLTH WOO

    What a weird long season. By the end Jorgeous was almost my fave just because she was so obviously tired. Love a well-rested icon.

  3. A friend of mine pointed out that “I don’t think that’s any of your business” was a reference to an appearance Ru made on the Graham Norton show where he talked about telling the girls to keep certain phrases up your sleeve because they are applicable in any situation. So not only did Willow set a boundary with Ru about trauma talk, she quoted his own line back to him.

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!