Last night, Logo aired the ostensible finale of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 4. All the promos kept referring to it not as the end but the "final 3," so I knew something was up. And so it was: instead of crowning America's next drag superstar at the end of the episode, Queen Ru declared that the victor will be announced during next week's reunion show. There was also a call to attempt to influence the judges' decision by tweeting your pick: Sharon Needles (DUH), Chad Michaels (a glamorous queen who amazingly transcends the cheek implants she had put in to impersonate Cher) and Phi Phi O'Hara (human cat piss).
As frustrating as it is to be left hanging, it's also perfectly characteristic of Drag Race to bait so openly. This show can get away with things others can't because it's so honest about them: RuPaul shilling his book Workin' It or cramming his music into every available second becomes not just product placement but a commentary on product placement with the addition of a knowing wink. Because the show is so open about artifice (RuPaul told me earlier this year that he's regularly fed lines via an earpiece), it becomes one of the most honest documents of reality that TV has ever seen. The emphasis on artificial realness couldn't be more appropriate for a drag-queen competition. We know this show is perfect. Do not question this show.
All this bid for next week's tune-in was missing was the actual cliff. Granted it may have been unnecessary, especially because all is supposed to be revealed regarding Willam's mysterious dismissal earlier this season. Can't wait for that, and I'd be watching anyway, but now I have something to truly look forward to. Score.