Frayed or Fab? 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season Recap: Symone

by Matthew Wexler

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday April 12, 2021

Symone owned the runway this season, using it to her advantage to display high fashion, advocate for social justice, and embrace her cultural identity. Emotions occasionally got the best of her, but she's made it to the finale — but can she win?

Episode 1

Symone's Gisele-inspired Polaroid mini (designed by Michael Brambila) paid homage to the original but lacked reinvention. VERDICT: FRAYED

Episode 2

Symone was ready to fight for the crown in lamé-inspired boxing gear. "I wanted to show there is a brain behind the beauty," said Symone of her Rocky-inspired lame. We counted to 10 and still couldn't get our jaws off the floor. Verdict: FAB

Since the contestants were split into two groups, Symone didn't compete in Episode 3.

Episode 4

"It is unapologetic and that is very Symone," said the drag queen of her do-rag train that referenced Black culture. An oversized jumpsuit with an embellished hem and revealing corset sealed the deal. Verdict: FAB

Episode 5

In a stylized tribute to Diana Ross, Symone inflated her silhouette to epic proportions.

Episode 6

"I'm giving you 'Black hair is a revolution!' exclaimed Symone of her little black dress, inspired by RuPaul's music video, "Back to My Roots". Made entirely of braiding hair, Symone continues to make a statement both on and off the runway. Verdict: FAB.

Episode 7

"Glamazonian Zulu African Warrior" is how Symone described her beaded creation, which dripped with sensuality and empowerment. Symone's Instagram post reveals that she often works with a limited budget, and all images and video are created on an iPhone, encouraging young queens in-the-making to find creativity regardless of their resources. Verdict: FAB

Episode 8

If there's anyone who knows how to work the runway, it's Symone, but this week felt like more of the same with a minimalist ensemble of yellow garters, suspenders and thigh-high boots. "I look like Big Bird went to the hood and got transformed into a pimp," said Symone of her outfit. Verdict: FRAYED

Episode 9

This week, Symone used the runway for activism, majestically walking the runway in a sculptural white gown. When she turned upstage, the back of her garment revealed two gunshot wounds, with the back of her fascinator reading, 'Say Their Names.' "It is not a moment; it is a movement," said Symone. "We need to continue to say their names." In collaboration with the House of Avalon and director Gilbert Trejo, Symone created a short film to honor their names and advocate for change. Verdict: FAB

Breonna Taylor

George Floyd

Brayla Stone

Trayvon Martin

Tony McDade

Nina Pope

Monika Diamond

Episode 10: The queens stepped into the stockings of their competitors in meta-makeovers, so there was no final runway challenge.

Episode 11

While Kandy Muse might be the beast you want to keep under the bed, Symone strutted with sexy confidence, sporting a big bootie foxtail, cropped denim shorts and gold chain. It takes a village to pull together a brand, and if you're wondering who's in Symone's (along with Gottmik, Todrick Hall and others), check out Marco Morante. Verdict: FAB

Episode 12

Symone Stumbles — "You were overthinking it," said Michelle Visage of Symone's awkward attempts at roasting past Miss Congenialities. A few punch lines landed, and, per usual, Symone looked utterly gorgeous in a gold lame gown and matching opera gloves. But, unlike the title character's death aria in Bizet's "Carmen," Symone didn't kill it. Verdict: FRAYED

Episode 13

Symone stepped into the pocket of this week's runway challenge, wearing a head-to-toe denim pocket and crimped ombre rocker wig, "paying homage to the emo kids I hung with in high school." Verdict: FAB

Episode 14

"Ya wanna, wanna piece of me IM THE MOTHERTUCKIN EBONY ENCHANTRESS!!" wrote Symone in her Instagram post. The regal purple gown featured billowing, dramatic sleeves, accented by a bejeweled, cornrow-braided wig, which paid tribute to Symone's Black heritage — a powerfully recurring theme throughout the season. Verdict: FAB

Matthew Wexler is EDGE's Senior Editor, Features & Branded Content. More of his writing can be found at Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @wexlerwrites.