[Review] "Dragula" Season 3, Episode 10: Grand Finale

Our cold open this week sees the Boulets join former "Dragula" champions Biqtch Puddin and Vander von Odd in a witch’s circle, calling upon the guardians to help them create another member of the winner’s circle. While it is mildly disappointing not seeing the would-be death scenes of our finalists, as has been the case the last two seasons, this was a very cool opener, and set the tone for this epic finale.

In the boudoir, before delivery of the challenge, each performer gets their moment to speak. Dollya talks about her refusal to be vulnerable. She admires the label of “bitch” that many have given her, and says that if being honest and transparent makes her a bitch, so be it. Priscilla feels like she is the underdog of the finalists, but that won’t deter her from making her mark. Landon feels the pressure of trying to make a mark as a king in a queen-dominated medium, but he is ready to take up the mantle.

The final challenge is as it has been. Three floor show performances, each displaying a tenet of "Dragula", in a grand showcase of the macabre. Back in the boudoir, the first topic of conversation is the lack of votes of confidence among the departed during the Last Supper. While it did upset her that even her friends Maddelynn Hatter and Evah Destruction didn’t vote for her, she also decided that she doesn’t need the validation of others.

That in mind, for her floor show performances, she intends to distort the idea of pretty, and even has a special treat for those who claim she is living in the shadow of her drag mother, last season’s Victoria Elizabeth Black. Landon’s looks will incorporate a raining effect in the Glamour portion, and some “dirty work” that will encompass his Filth performance. Priscilla is making her looks personal and biographical, with her addiction troubles at the forefront.

To wrap up part one of the boudoir, each performer talks about what this means to them. Landon discusses his battle with cancer, and how he took strength and inspiration from his mother, who he lost to breast cancer, and his wife, who he met weeks before his diagnosis. Priscilla proudly proclaims that drag is her addiction now, and how it has helped her in her recovery. Dollya talks about the two and a half year journey she has taken to get here, and how it will finally pay off when the crown is on her head.

When the final three return to the boudoir, it seems like everyone had to make adjustments from the original intentions, due to that damned old Murphy’s Law. Landon is seen airbrushing his Tin Man look, as he discusses the need to use costumes to create the illusion as a “curvy king.” Priscilla is working on her glamour look, taking inspiration from Marilyn Monroe. Dollya has been stoning the hell out of some appliques, as well as crafting a skin dress, the original incarnation of which shrunk to the point where it would not get the job done.

Priscilla asks Landon about a recent Instagram post, in which Landon seems to allude to his cancer returning, and he confirms that this was the case. He underwent surgery that ran the risk of taking enough of his tongue to leave him unable to speak or eat properly ever again. As such, he recorded videos for his fans, his family, and his wife, as a failsafe in case the worst happened. Fortunately, the surgery was a success, and the king’s tongue was left intact.

Before the final floor show of the season, we see a highlight package of the finalist’s audition tapes, and with those a unique perspective on the final three. We see Landon’s work of public protest in drag. We see Dollya’s diversion of beauty. We see Priscilla’s commitment to the art and the character. We see what brought these three to the dance, and for perhaps the first time in the show’s existence, it really feels like it’s anyone’s game to win.

Glamour is the first category, and Dollya is first out with a monochrome look that is sparkling. Landon is stoned for the gods in what he perceives as a rain illusion that elicits a verbal wow from the viewer. Priscilla is opulent with an opioid twist, and it is that vulnerability in the vivaciousness that wins me over.

Filth is next, and oh boy, do we go places with this category. Priscilla is trashy, disgusting, and frankly makes Biqtch Puddin’s Filth look from last season look polished. If she didn’t make a stagehand gag, I’ll be shocked. Landon went for a disgusting, seedy incel type that went for a new level and breed of filth that I don’t think anyone would have expected from anyone, much less Landon. Dollya’s Baba Yaga impression went for gory and vicious quick, but the taboo of murdering an infant is filthy enough to justify it in this category.

Horror closes out the show, as Priscilla gives us full succubus with a dirty edge, that dangerous and desirable demoness. Victoria literally sheds the skin of her drag mother Victoria Black in a disturbing take. Landon closes out this finale with a Tin Man murderer, complete with rust, blood splatter, and an all-around maniacy that captivates as well as it chills.

Judgment comes in a montage of the floor show. Dollya blended sex and violence through all of her performances. Priscilla celebrated messiness and perversion throughout her shows. Landon went for power in depravity.

And the winner is… Landon Cider! Somehow, I couldn’t deny the LA king, but this floor show was an assault on the senses in the best way possible. Landon etches his name in "Dragula" history as the first king of the crowned, and he has accomplished the mission he set out on in episode one, to prove that kings can reign just as fiercely as queens.

Hail to the king, baby.


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