“I’ll have you all screaming Crystal Methyyyyyd!”
But with three fierce competitors still in the race to become America’s next drag superstar (remember that Sherry Pie is disqualified (in case you could forget)), what are Crystal’s chances of snatching the crown?
Well, among charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent (the four sacred pillars of drag stardom), I have always felt that uniqueness was slightly more important than the other three. At least, it seems to be the tie-breaker when there are multiple deserving queens in the finale on any given season.
Take Season 4, for example, where this pattern started. Chad Michaels, one of the show’s most polished and professional queens up to that point in the show, lost the crown to Sharon Needles, a more audacious and unconventional queen who took Halloween and made it fashion.
Season 5’s finale played out similarly, with quirky Jinkx Monsoon beating out the iconic Alaska for the crown, despite Alaska’s achievement of never falling into the bottom two that season.
In Season 9, Shea Coulee tied a record for most challenge wins in a single season (four), but lost to gender-bending Sasha Velour in the final moments of the show. (#IGetSoEmotionalBaby #RosePetals)
In Season 11, Yvie Oddly and Brooke Lynn Hytes were practically tied by the time the finale came. But Yvie, with her wacky-yet-fierce conceptual drag, beat Brooke in the end. (One of my close friends compared Crystal and Gigi to Yvie and Brooke, and I think that’s the best parallel actually.)
Through the years, we have seen unconventional queens snatch the crown from equally-deserving queens who didn’t quite push the envelope as far as them. In the seasons mentioned above, the runners-up went on to either (A) win a season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars and/or (B) have very successful careers outside of the show.
The point here: when it comes time to crown a winner each season, Ru does not shy away from celebrating unorthodox, boundary-pushing, just-plain-weird queens. In fact, he tends to lean into it.
For this reason, I think Crystal Methyd stands a great chance at winning Drag Race Season 12.
Another big plus in Crystal’s column? Sis has the best trajectory at this point in the show. She has been praised the last five weeks in a row, and finally pulled off a challenge win in episode 11. Her strongest competitors are Gigi and Jaida, but both of these queens have shown cracks in their polish over the last few episodes. Although she only has one challenge win so far, I could absolutely see her slaying one more challenge and finishing the season in a very strong position that Ru would have no choice but to stan.
If nothing else, Crystal’s El DeBarge hair has mesmerized RuPaul, and that could be just the edge she needs to beat out her fierce competition.
I still see Gigi as the most likely winner of this season, but Crystal is a very close second. Given the Miss ‘Rona situation and the impossibility of a live finale lip-sync battle, who knows how Ru will pick a winner this year?