Is it just me, or have we been waiting for this RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars series forever?
It’s time to crown our latest All-Star – a queen to join the ranks of Chad Michaels, Alaska, Trixie Mattel, Trinity the Tuck and Monét X Change. This is a new season with new rules. As far as elimination goes, all of the queens now have the chance to vote for the bottom queen who deserves “the chop” – as Ru says, it’s a “Rumocracy.”
This week, we are reintroduced to the queens, they jump right into a classic challenge and show off their talents to a live audience. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from the premiere.
Editorial note: we are lacking in clips this week, as the show’s social media is committed to supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. They have posted some ways you can help support the cause, and I praise the show for doing this.
The Entrance Looks
Our new batch of All-Stars come into the werk room rocking some amazing looks. Welcome to Shea Couleé (season 9), Miz Cracker (season 10), Alexis Mateo (season 3, All-Stars 1), Blair St. Clair (season 10), Mariah Paris Balenciaga (season 3), India Ferrrah (season 3), Jujubee (season 2, All-Stars 1), Derrick Barry (season 8), Mayhem Miller (season 10) and Ongina (season 1). Some of the things we discover as the queens enter are that Derrick says she has moved on from only being a Britney Spears impersonator…while entering in Brit-Brit’s famous nude sparkly bodysuit, Blair St. Clair says she’s grown up (but still looks like a 12-year-old boy out of drag), there’s no love between India and Derrick and Ongina’s outfit apparently took up an entire suitcase.
The Library is Open
Ru enters the werk room in yet another amazing suit and introduces our first mini-challenge, the classic reading challenge. When Ru calls out “Oh, pit crew”, the luscious Ricky Martin enters, much to everyone’s delight (mine included).
Ricky reads Ru in Spanish, stating that Ru is so old that, when he started out, the Pride flag was black and white. It turned into a telenovela when Ricky was the recipient of a Ru slap, to which he retorted that he slaps like his abuela and then slaps Ru back. Escandalo!
When it comes to the reads (because reading is fundamental), Mayhem says Derrick is a “Lost Vegas showgirl” as she ponders how the hell she made it to the show. Derrick tells Mayhem she should switch from Miller to Coors Light, Jujubee called Mayhem “Mayhem Filler” and “Meh-hem Miller.”
Shea said Mariah looked like “if Will Smith had absorbed Jada Pinkett” and congratulated Ongina from taking a break from auditioning for All-Stars to finally show up on the show. India was not having Derrick’s taunts, especially when she told her that she thought she had retired but was just tired.
Poor Ongina just struggled (to her credit, there wasn’t a reading challenge on season one, so she was at a disadvantage here.) Ricky announces the winner, and it’s a tie between Jujubee and Blair St. Clair.
India vs. Derrick
The drama starts early this season, as we delve deeper into the rift between Derrick and India, our two Sin City queens. The story behind it is that India either quit or got fired from Vegas nightclub Piranha and Derrick’s boyfriend Nebraska (Alaska’s drag daughter) was cast in her place. India took to social media and called Nebraska “a pig in a wig.” Ouch.
Apparently, the two had blocked each other on social media, and Derrick told Jujubee that she felt India was two-faced and stated, “I don’t f**k with two-faced people.” This has already proven that it’s not going to be RuPaul’s Best Fried Race, hasn’t it?
Drag Queens’ Got Talent
The main challenge this week gives the queens a chance to showcase their talents in the Werk the World Talent Extravaganza and the results were much better than the last time we got to see a drag talent show.
Alexis kicked things off with a vibrant salsa number that had all of the judges (but especially Ricky) moving around in their seats. Shea did a seductive pole dance, lip-syncing to one of her songs. Mayhem gave us evil queen realness (with the help of some fantastically spooky contact lenses) and also lip-synced to one of her original songs.
Mariah channeled her inner Maya Angelou and came out in a flowing white dress and recited a very timely poem about the black experience while applying red paint to a pane of glass. Miz Cracker brought back Dr. Dill for a moment – revealing a cute pink leotard as she lip-synced to – wait for it – one of her own songs.
Not to be outdone, Blair is a vision in black and blue and is the only qwueen to sing her song (her own, of course) live. Ongina rides out on stage in a toy car and lip syncs and dances to a medley of RuPaul’s hits.
Derrick did impersonations. Well, she tried, but her Lady Bunny, Caitlyn Jenner, Madonna, Cher, Miley Cyrus and Celine Dion fell flat. Jujubee sang a lovely ballad and India did a fierce routine (complete with lots of “hairography”) lip syncing to a song called “Drag is Not a Contact Sport.” All in all, the queens rocked the challenge.
The New Rules
Prior to the judges’ critiques, Ru states that the All-Star rules have been suspended…forever! Eliminations are different this season in that there is one top all-star, not two. The top All-Star chooses the lipstick of the queen who she thinks should go home and all of the others vote, Survivor-style, for their choice of the bottom queen.
The top queen of the week will then face off against a secret lip-sync assassin. If the top all-star wins, her choice gets the chop, if the assassin wins, the queen voted by the others goes home. It’s a new twist, and I love it.
After the judges deliberate, Shea, Blair, Mariah and Jujubee are declared safe. Ricky told Mariah that he loved her performance and its “beautiful and important message”. Miz Cracker, Alexis and India got high marks, Ongina was told she kind of ran out of steam and Derrick and Mayhem ended up in the bottom.
India won the challenge and her prize was a trip to Iceland, that I hope she was able to take before all hell broke loose. And the queens have to choose between Derrick and Mayhem as the first queen to sashay away.
Lip Sync Assassin
India’s competitor is revealed and it’s season 11 champion Yvie Oddly. In honor of this week’s guest judge, the queens lip sync to “Livin’ La Vida Loca.” Yvie is all reveals backbends and typical Yvie craziness and India serves another fierce performance but, in the end Yvie is declared the winner. She takes out the lipstick and reveals that Derrick is the first to go home. Bye, bye, Britney. It’s sad that we didn’t get to see how she’s evolved, but someone has to go home first.
And with that, the first episode of All-Stars is in the books. Until next week, remember that if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an “amen”?
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