RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars 5 crowns a winner: See who won here
Warning: This post contains spoilers about Friday's RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars 5.
She’s long embodied the essence of expensive taste, but Shea Couleé is now $130,000 (and one glistening crown) richer after a stellar performance across the queerest pageant on TV.
Friday’s RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars 5 finale was just another day/another slay for the season 9 alum, who capped the episode by snatching the title over Jujubee and Miz Cracker with an incredible, robot-inspired lip-sync to Janelle Monáe’s “Make Me Feel” to take the biggest cash prize (following two prior lip-sync tips) in the show’s 11-year history.
Leading up to the fan favorite queen earning her place in the Drag Race Hall of Fame, Couleé aced her choreography in a musical production set to RuPaul’s single “Clap Back,” with strong performances from Jujubee and Cracker making Couleé’s bid for the crown a hard-fought but nonetheless deserving outcome for a battle waged against the strongest collective of finalists Drag Race has ever seen.
But it wasn’t just the glistening runways, expensive outfits, and showgirl excellence that ensured Couleé’s reign, it was the heart beating beneath the wigs and glittery nude-illusion bodysuits, as the 31-year-old opened up about past experiences with grief, self-confidence, and gritty ambition in pursuit of a championship she sought out for over three years following the personal trauma she endured after losing a sudden-death lip-sync battle against Sasha Velour (and her iconic rose petal wig reveal) on the season 9 finale.
“My drag in its purest form is a tribute to black women. Ru, I would be remiss if I did not tell you how much I appreciate you and everything that you’ve done,” Couleé told RuPaul through tears just before taking the crown, baring her soul in the same genuine fashion fans fell in love with in the first place. “I thank you for helping me make my dreams come true. I’ll never be able to repay you for that. But, if you give me your Venmo, I can send you some installments, and I will sure as hell try.”
Outside of Couleé’s win, highlights from the finale include:
- A pillow and “t----" fight at the beginning of the spisode that saw Jujubee clock Cracker with a pillow to the face and Couleé return the favor by slapping Juju with a prosthetic breast.
- All seven previously eliminated queens returning to the Werk Room behind a glory hole.
- Though it wasn’t 100 percent confirmed either way, Mayhem Miller’s version of the “Alexis and Mayhem campaigned against Shea” narrative essentially exposed that India Ferrah had exaggerated her initial claims.
- Mayhem then seemingly accidentally exposing that it was, in fact, she and India who had a pseudo-alliance pact, of sorts, to protect each other from elimination as the competition went on.
- Todrick Hall attempting to get the final three queens to learn choreography (Jujubee’s “What are the feet supposed to do?” question was instantly legendary).
- A final runway presentation that oozed elegance, including the best thing Jujubee has ever worn on Drag Race. Period.
- Miz Cracker’s powder-filled cone boobs that showed Asia O’Hara’s butterflies how to do a proper t---- reveal during a lip-sync.
Check EW.com on Saturday afternoon for our full winner interview with Couleé, and tune in for the next RuPaul’s Drag Race spin-off, RuPaul’s Drag Race: Vegas Revue, when it premieres Aug. 21 on VH1.
RuPaul — as host, mentor, and creative inspiration — decides who's in and who's out.