After eight weeks of fierce competition, thousands of sequins and rhinestones, pounds of makeup and one giant cloud of hairspray, the winner of Tracks's Ultimate Queen All-Stars competition was crowned last Thursday night.
The finale kicked off with the Final Four queens — Arial StaxXx, Gia StaxXx, Kyile Vanderpump and Valerie Shearz — bringing their top-tier drag to the stage in front of a packed house that included mentors Felony Misdemeanor, Mariah Spanic and Victoria Sexton, and very special guest judge Venus Sexton.
The challenge for the final round was to perform an epic number — from makeup, outfit, dance and production — that was ready for the coveted Drag Nation stage, since a six-month stint in the show would be one of the prizes for the winner. First up were Valerie and Arial, whose performances kicked the show off in a big way. Then Kyile and Gia brought fringe and feather fantasies front and center.
Following that set and to amp up the finale, hosts Mia StaxXx and Yvie Oddly — along with all three mentors — showed off why they were fit to judge and MC the whole shebang by offering their own dazzling solo numbers.
Though it was not counted in the judging, all four contestants got to do a final number by themselves to show the crowd they had the stuff of a queen. All four of these were better than their earlier performances, showing a passion, creativity and verve that explained why these were the finalists.
As the last heel stomped off the stage, it was time for the big reveal of the night. The Final Four, mentors and hosts gathered on the stage, and after a tension-filled beat the winner was announced as...
... ARIAL STAXXX! The young queen seemed shocked but relieved, and excited to take the crown and begin her reign as the first Ultimate Queen All-Star in Tracks's history.
Watch for an interview with Arial later this week. Ultimate Queen — in its original non-All-Star format - will return next spring to coincide with the release of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 9, featuring a whole new set of queens competing for the 2017 title.
In the meantime, enjoy this collection of video clips and photos of the evening, complete with Arial's two winning performances, the mentors' and host's numbers, and much more: