RuPaul's Drag Race (AS9)

I still think that Shappira, while extremely competent and the one clearly with the most experience on her back, was not super exciting or different from previous winners/ fan favourites. The most arresting thing for me were her oversized outfits (the flower one? Insane!) but I got very few gag worthy moments from her. Bonus points for being literally the mother figure of most of the girls: therapist, seamstress, teacher, charity founder!
 
Call me a slur but I cried when Nymphia got emotional on the main stage during Ru's interview. After seeing her hold it together all season even through the book challenge it was a rare moment of genuine overwhelming emotion that didn't feel (too) set up.

While it used to frustrate the piss out of me when track record was thrown out the window I've grown to commend the queens who make it to the finale not as frontrunners and seize it in the eleventh hour. Willow is an example of a queen who wasn't necessarily the frontrunner but still made a very satisfying winner due to the edit. That's the only thing that I think let down Nymphia's win a bit, no fault of her own performance.
 
It's been said before, but the "track record" was really hard to go by since there were a good handful of instances where who the judges awarded was certainly ... questionable. Nymphia should have been top 2 or won the talent show, could have easily won the Doll challenge and the goth challenge, (and maybe even the makeover). Let's also not forget that Sapphira came out of the gate REALLY strong, but then it was another 7 weeks before she went on her winning streak at the tail end, so this idea that this season was always Sapphira's to lose and she had such a better track record is kind of just -- not true. The one thing she had over Nymphia that is unquestionable is her confidence and "winner" attitude. (Not in a cocky way.) She just exuded a confidence and professionalism and maturity that we love to see in a winner, where Nymphia's story (when she was allowed one from production) was being riddled with displaced anxiety or bananas. I feel like this was just another example of story editors and production doing such shit at predicting what audience response would be (it's the only conceivable reason they dragged Q's ass as far as they did.)
 
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To me, the choice to edit Nymphia down so weirdly is a testament to how tone-deaf they can be. The fandom has been clamoring for an east Asian winner for years and especially the past few months since Aurora Matrix lost. To give her the (justified) win while basically downplaying her performance the whole season is strange behavior and inevitably led to the reality the fandom faces now: getting what they want but in the shadow of a queen that the show set up to be the obvious winner and will now be considered robbed.

While it is ultimately up to the fandom to decide how they react and ideally view the situation logically, production knows they have a pretty hefty amount of control over the narrative and the Nymphia edit shows how out of touch they seem to be.

Not sure if I'm articulating what I'm trying to say well, but basically both of the top 2 absolutely deserved the win but it was clown behavior to only give a "winner edit" to one of them. It sort of reminds me of Brooke vs. Yvie on Season 11 where Brooke was, in my opinion, set up to be the winner before the finale lipsync and Yvie got a bit shafted in the edit.
 

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To me, the choice to edit Nymphia down so weirdly is a testament to how tone-deaf they can be. The fandom has been clamoring for an east Asian winner for years and especially the past few months since Aurora Matrix lost. To give her the (justified) win while basically downplaying her performance the whole season is strange behavior and inevitably led to the reality the fandom faces now: getting what they want but in the shadow of a queen that the show set up to be the obvious winner and will now be considered robbed.

While it is ultimately up to the fandom to decide how they react and ideally view the situation logically, production knows they have a pretty hefty amount of control over the narrative and the Nymphia edit shows how out of touch they seem to be.

Not sure if I'm articulating what I'm trying to say well, but basically both of the top 2 absolutely deserved the win but it was clown behavior to only give a "winner edit" to one of them. It sort of reminds me of Brooke vs. Yvie on Season 11 where Brooke was, in my opinion, set up to be the winner before the finale lipsync and Yvie got a bit shafted in the edit.

Just to be the devil's advocate for a bit, but if Sapphira had won, it would've been almost too predictable and Nymphia would have been called the robbed queen.

I don't disagree with you at all, but that just crossed my mind.
 
Just to be the devil's advocate for a bit, but if Sapphira had won, it would've been almost too predictable and Nymphia would have been called the robbed queen.

I don't disagree with you at all, but that just crossed my mind.

No yeah that's part of my point as well. Sapphira and Nymphia were arguably as neck and neck as, for example, Raja and Manila on Season 3. But the producers chose to air the show in a way that painted Sapphira as "clearly ahead" of everyone else.
 
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To me, the choice to edit Nymphia down so weirdly is a testament to how tone-deaf they can be. The fandom has been clamoring for an east Asian winner for years and especially the past few months since Aurora Matrix lost.
This is so besides your point, but I really doubt the editors care about what happens on Canada's Drag Race, nor the audience at large. I don't think that would come into play at all.
 
In my eyes, it all came down to the social media response to Nymphia over Sapphira that had them choose her. It was really that close. And if Sapphira had won, it would be just as justified.
It's just kind of a rare occasion this show doesn't forcefully push a narrative driving towards a clear winner - especially by about halfway through the season. It was really a toss up right until the end.
 
The strangest thing is that they obviously had the finale filmed and in the bag since at least August 2023, knowing Nymphia killed the lipsync and Sapphira kinda floundered... Why wouldn't they do their best to make Nymphia the obvious winner, or at least a viable winner before she got her 3rd challenge win? The show was so heavily focused on Plane and Morphine to a lesser extent when they knew the Top 2 the entire time.

I do think that Nymphia probably didn't offer a lot of vulnerability, kind of like Alaska on All Stars 2, but even when you look at the amount of confessionals, she is down there with eliminated queens despite being there for every single episode.



Whereas with Season 15 the Top 4 were all present in the Top 5 final ranking for confessionals (Mistress 1st, Luxx 2nd, Sasha 4th & Anetra 5th). I say all of this to say... Morphine was robbed! Give her the crown!
 
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The strangest thing is that they obviously had the finale filmed and in the bag since at least August 2023, knowing Nymphia killed the lipsync and Sapphira kinda floundered... Why wouldn't they do their best to make Nymphia the obvious winner, or at least a viable winner before she got her 3rd challenge win? The show was so heavily focused on Plane and Morphine to a lesser extent when they knew the Top 2 the entire time.

I do think that Nymphia probably didn't offer a lot of vulnerability, kind of like Alaska on All Stars 2, but even when you look at the amount of confessionals, she is down there with eliminated queens despite being there for every single episode.



Whereas with Season 15 the Top 4 were all present in the Top 5 final ranking for confessionals (Mistress 1st, Luxx 2nd, Sasha 4th & Anetra 5th). I say all of this to say... Morphine was robbed! Give her the crown!

Who the fuck counts these things up? Is this a prison job because who in their right mind (I guess not a lot of the fanbase) goes to the effort to do this in their free time?
 
I think they didn't feature Nymphia heavily just because she didn't provide strong-enough material.
They had amazing narrators between Morphine and Plane (and Dawn), so Nymphia probably hasn't delivered on the same level they did.

I think her win is very deserved and I'm happy for her, but I'm sure Nymphia's arch developed hurriedly in the last 2 episodes for a reason. This show is known for ham-fisted over-producing, so the fact they didn't do this with her is very telling.
 
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Editing is hard enough as it is and I'm fine with the editors just... using that week's material without an alterior motive.

Nymphia won the season when she did the book cover. I knew as soon as they pivoted to personal affection (Plane got called out for having none and Saphirra was bizarrely reduced to her feet) that's where they were going.

Honestly we're on over 20 seasons worth of editing pattern behaviour so... bring in the consultants or something. The only time I've ever really questioned the edit was UKS2 when Bimini didn't win which I guess is how a lot of you see this one!
 
So you want the editing to be more manipulative? You want it all to be more predictable?
It doesn’t need to be either, but the way it was this season left Nymphia’s win feeling much less satisfying. Similar to Sasha Velour, who obviously deserved the win based on the final lipsync, we weren’t really introduced to her as a true competitor throughout the season’s run. So having Shea & Trinity with fully fleshed out arcs and great portrayals lose out at the end to a wildcard who flew under the radar was a bit jarring. And even that is more easily forgiven as the finale was filmed a week after the Top 4 was confirmed, so they weren’t even sure if Sasha or Peppermint could win by that point as both their eliminations were filmed for a possible Top 3.
Obviously the Nymphia case isn’t that dramatic, she still had her first 3 competitive episodes where she was clearly the front runner. It was just the mid season where she kinda faded away, even when she did well it didn’t feel like she was being pushed as much as she could be. It’s no detriment to her, it just paints a picture that the more deserving queen didn’t win, which isn’t true. Nymphia is deserving, we just had to figure it out ourselves rather than relying on what she did on the show.
 
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