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And the Winner of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Season 9 Is…

'RuPaul's Drag Race'
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Valentina!

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Just kidding, although her smile is beautiful: Sasha Velour, shante, you stay.

After a long, grueling season full of tucks, tears, cheerleading mishaps and Lady Gaga, Miss Sasha Velour was officially crowned as the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 tonight (June 23), besting Shea Couleé, Peppermint and Trinity Taylor for the victory.

As opposed to Drag Race finales in recent herstory, there were a few firsts this evening: one being that the finale consisted of a top four, as opposed to a top three (Mama Ru just couldn’t choose!), and the other being a sudden death Lip Sync For Your Life “Smackdown for the Crown” challenge for the remaining queens, pitting them all against each other in pairs one final time to determine a winner. (And, as we quickly learned, it’s indeed possible to win four challenges in a season and still not win the whole thing due to the last-minute lip sync.)

After Trinity and Peppermint dueled to the sound of Britney‘s “Stronger,” allowing Peppermint to advance with a last minute wig snatching moment, Sasha and Shea — or SaShea, this season’s unofficial ship by the fans — battled it out to the sound of Whitney Houston‘s “So Emotional.”

Sasha ultimately advanced, thanks to a particuarly petal-ful performance. (Eh heh.)

Sasha Velour GIF
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Whitney also went through to the next round: in the final duel between the top two, Peppermint and Sasha, the girls lipped their faces off to the holy gay scripture: the Thunderpuss remix of “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay.” And that’s when Sasha took it all the way, resulting in Ru’s newest queen to add to her ever-expanding roster of winners.

Watch Sasha’s winning Smackdown rounds below, and check out reactions — both complimentary and shady — below. (And cheer up, runner-ups: there’s always All Stars Season 3.)

Congratulations, Madame Velour!

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