On Thursday (May 30), season 11 of RuPaul’s Drag Race will come to an end, as the top four queens — A’Keria C. Davenport, Brooke Lynn Hytes, Silky Nutmeg Ganache and Yvie Oddly — face off in a series of epic lip syncs to snatch the crown and the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar.
Heading into the deathmatch, Brooke Lynn has the mathematical advantage with three main challenge wins, while A’Keria and Silky are tied at two, and Yvie is the underdog with one.
But we’re not here to talk stats; the Lip Sync for the Crown method has proved in the past that challenge wins do not guarantee a winning slot for our queens (see: Sasha Velour’s stunning rose petal reveal). So we asked Billboard’s staff (and a few staffers from our sister publications The Hollywood Reporter and Vibe) the simple question: who should win season 11 of RuPaul’s Drag Race?
Check out their picks below.
“As season 11 of Drag Race comes to a close, I find myself rooting for the oddball: Yvie Oddly. Sure, she might have the fewest wins amongst the remaining four contestants, but as we saw with Nina West (I’m still mourning that elimination), anything is possible and the amount of wins you have under your belt doesn’t really mean anything when it comes to elimination time. What I love the most about drag is that it always keeps me guessing, and with Yvie, I get just that. Week after week, she creatively kills it on the runway: from that (literal) head-to-toe pink jellyfish transformation to her ‘Digital Lion’ zodiac interpretation to her swamp creature face-kini ensemble, when it comes to serving a look, she’s a winner in my book. Up until last week’s final challenge, I was torn between Brooke Lynn Hytes and Yivie (I still adore Brooke Lynn and would be equally chuffed to see her snatch the crown). But after seeing Yvie contort herself like Regan MacNeil as she slayed her “Queens Everywhere” rap, I’m all in on Yvie.” — Rebecca Schiller, web content manager
“I’m smitten with Yvie Oddly. Of the top 4, she best embodies the ‘America’s Next Drag Superstar’ title. Her style of drag is the most unique this season.” — Jennifer Arnow, associate photo editor
“While I have an inkling that the crown is going to either Yvie or Brooke Lynn, I am a HUGE fan of A’Keria C. Davenport and would love to see her win. Not only is she poised with pageant-like grace, the good sis consistently turns out looks on the runway and has proven to have incredible comedic timing. I saw the first spark of a champion in her during the ‘Good God Girl Get Out’ challenge, and I’ve noticed more and more with each challenge that she is strongest when she is uninhibited and campy. Get you a girl who can do both, and give the crown to Ms. A’Keria!” — J’na Jefferson, staff writer, Vibe.com
“A Haiku for Yvie Oddly: Doesn’t suffer fools/ Leaves us gagged with every lewk/ Dino chic henny.” — Joe Lynch, deputy editor, digital
“Yvie Oddly definitely deserves the crown. She’s so different than any other past winner, and she has been pretty consistent all season. And when she has fallen short, she’s the first to acknowledge that. Also, she’s proven herself to be a lip sync assassin and that’s really what it comes down to in the finale.” — Evan Real, associate editor, The Hollywood Reporter
“I’m rooting for Yvie Oddly! I think she can really blossom and elevate her drag if given the resources. She’s the only queen that I can never guess what her runway look is going to be every week, so I would definitely look forward to seeing what she does after taking home the crown. Other queens (ahem, Silky) have commented on Yvie’s outfits being cheap or costume-y, but come on, she’s from Colorado. What’s in Colorado, other than legal weed and skiing? Think of what she can make with $100,000 dollas!” — Samantha Xu, photo editor
“Going into the finale, I find myself torn between the two superstars of this season, Brooke Lynn and Yvie. Both of these queens have showed up this season ready to play the game and earn their thier title as America’s Next Drag Superstar. For now, I’m giving the edge to the Queen of the North, Ms. Brooke Lynn Hytes. Every episode, this queen has served the freshest, most polished looks on the runway, along with consistently excelling in the maxi challenges (with the exception of her rough Celine Dion impression in Snatch Game). While I will be thrilled if the season’s oddball Ms. Oddly takes home the title, I’m rooting for this Level 4 Vegan to snatch the crown.” — Stephen Daw, staff writer