Hello, hello, hello! Welcome to our weekly wrap-up of all things drag. On Friday, season eight of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars premiered, and in case you missed it, we’ve got a recap of both new episodes for you.
As always, the queens have lots to say about the new season’s queen-testants and we are here for it (especially because we get to see more of Jan, Miz Cracker, Bob, Monét, Trixie and Katya).
In addition, we have a new wig transformation from All Star Jaymes Mansfield, an in-depth chat with We’re Here’s Eureka O’Hara and more shenanigans from Willam. We have so much for you this week, so let’s bring it to the runway!
This week, we were treated to the first two episodes of season 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars and the queen-testants came in with guns a’ blazing! We get our reintroduction to the 12 queens vying for a spot in the Drag Race Hall of Fame. Check out the entrance looks of our all stars: Heidi N Closet, Mrs. Kasha Davis (celebrating seven years of sobriety), Naysha Lopez, Kahanna Montrese (arriving with an amazing glow-up), Kandy Muse, Darienne Lake (who has lost a lot of weight…like 200 pounds), Monica Beverly Hills, our favorite wig wizardess Jaymes Mansfield, Alexis Michelle, season two OG Jessica Wild, Jimbo, and Atlanta’s own LaLa Ri.
Ru enters the werk room and tells the queens that the “classic” All Stars rules are in effect, with the week’s winner facing off against a secret lip sync assassin. The lip sync winner reveals the lipstick of the eliminated queen and the queen who wins the whole shebang will score $200,000. Ru adds that there’s a new twist, a second way for the queens to win, but we’ll have to wait on that (unless you keep up with my Week in Drag posts!)
The season’s first mini-challenge is as far away from quick drag as it can be, but it was pretty amazing. The queens walked a mini runway in two looks – “famous then” and “famous now” in front of Ru, Michelle, Ross and Raven (who didn’t utter a word…not sure why she was even there. Don’t waste Raven like that.) For the “famous then” looks, Alexis, Kasha and Jimbo really understood the assignment, serving Norma Desmond, old school Hollywood glam and Jimbo’s (as always) over-the-top recreation of Marilyn Monroe’s Seven Year Itch look (I also have to give props to LaLa, who served 1960s Supremes glam.) Kandy served a cheeky nod to RuPaul’s Supermodel era, Monica and Jessica walked like Egyptians, Heidi was a living doll, Kahanna gave pure glam and Jaymes paid tribute to her Mexican roots.
As for “fashion now,” there wasn’t a bad look in the bunch. Alexis channeled Kim Kardashian’s Balenciaga Met Gala look, Kahanna paid tribute to Lil Nas X’s hot pink Grammys ensemble, Kandy was influenced by Chloe x Halle, Kasha brought back her “Momager” look, Naysha channeled Donatella Versace, Darienne donned green hair as a Billie Eilish tribute, Monica gave us Kim Petras, Jaymes was an adorable JoJo Siwa and Jessica served red Bad Bunny realness. Jimbo poked fun at social media influencers, and LaLa came out in a nude body suit as a “Ru-ly Fans” model.
The first main challenge tests the queens’ musical abilities as they form two groups to record new versions of the underground club hit “Money, Success, Fame, Glamour” by the Fabulous Pop Tarts – better known to Drag Race fans as World of Wonder’s Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey. The two teams are Alexis, Darienne, Heidi, Kahanna, Kandy and Naysha as the glam-rocking “Fame Tarts” and Jaymes, Jessica, Jimbo, LaLa, Monica and Kasha as the disco diva “Glitter Chicks”. The dolls have to write and record their own verses and put together their own choreography. Since we (seemingly as always of late) have a lot of queens, a lot of fashion, and not a lot of time, we skip the recording and head straight to the stage, where Heidi and Kandy squabble, and LaLa and Jessica work together to set up some sweet disco moves.
The performances are pretty much All Star caliber. Only a few queens seemed to lose their way on stage (Darienne, Monica, and Jaymes), but both ru-mixes were pretty solid, and everyone looked amazing.
On the runway, the theme was “Famous Forever,” and the queens delivered. Alexis looks radiant in a peach-hued velvet gown, Darienne paid tribute to Michelle in a glittery leopard print mermaid gown, Heidi gave us a pimped-out tribute to Chris Tucker’s Fifth Element character Ruby Rhod, and Kahanna rose from the season 11 ashes like a phoenix showgirl. Kandy was red from head to toe, Naysha wore a sparkly ice blue bodysuit, Jaymes gave us a “50s atomic look with a tacky twist,” and Jessica served rocker chick. Jimbo gave us “brains, body and booty” as only she could with a pink “brain” wig, LaLa shone in an elevated bodysuit, Monica looked lovely in purple fringe, and Kasha was also a vision in purple as a glam housewife.
Heidi, Kandy, Kasha, Jimbo, Jessica, and Naysha were deemed safe. The critiques of the remaining queens were overwhelmingly positive. Darienne’s Bille look was described by Michelle as “not drag enough,” and Monica looked “unsure” in her performance (oh, and the fabulous Idina Menzel was the episode’s guest judge, and she looked gorgeous.) In the end, Kahanna was deemed the winner, with Darienne and Monica landing in the bottom two. Kahanna had to face lip sync assassin Aja (a/k/a Kandy’s drag mother) and perform Beyoncé’s “Freakum Dress.”
Both queens gave their all, but Aja won and had the responsibility of revealing that the other queens chose Monica as the queen to sashay away this week. But not to worry, Monica is still in the running for “Queen of the Fame Games”…as Ru said, there’s another way to win. Each eliminated queen will showcase unaired looks on Untucked and social and fans will vote for the winner at the season’s end. I am really glad we will get to see more of Monica, as I was really excited to see her on the runway again. And hey, you can watch the whole episode right here:
But wait…there’s more! On the second episode, the queens showcased their comedy prowess on “RDR Live”, performing live comedy sketches in front of Ru, Michelle, Carson, and guest judge Robin Thede from A Black Lady Sketch Show. The queens are coached by Bobby Moynihan from SNL (he was one of my faves…especially his “Drunk Uncle” –, and he also appeared in Nina West’s “Lisa Frankenstein” video, so he’s good people.) The queens get to choose their parts and, as always, some drama ensues.
Alexis and Darienne immediately latch onto the roles of two Michelle Visage-loving Jersey Girls, and Jimbo and Jessica sign up for the “McCall Girls Landscaping” faux ad. Kandy feels she would make the best host and deliver the opening monologue (and, surprisingly, she gets no pushback from the others.) Now enters the drama. Naysha and Heidi want to anchor the QNN news segment (LaLa snatched the co-anchor position without a fight). Naysha relents and takes the role of a doctor for the CDC (Center for Drag Control) sketch along with Jaymes, Heidi, and LaLa.
The “RDR Live” challenge ended up being at least as amusing as a real episode of SNL. The CDC sketch was the cold open, and Jaymes proved her comedy chops in a small role while Heidi and LaLa mugged it up (which was, admittedly, pretty funny.) Naysha made “choices” (as Tatianna would say) in her doctor role and ended up being the weak link in the sketch. Kandy did a good job at the monologue (with an assist from Kasha), and Jessica and Jimbo played quite well off each other (and really bimbo-ed it up) for their innuendo-filled ad. Heidi and LaLa gave Colin Jost and Michael Che a run for their money and poked fun at each other in a solid news segment, and Kahanna played an alluring kitty (I don’t care if some of her jokes didn’t land because she looked fabulous.) Lastly, the “House of Love” sketch with Darienne and Alexis felt very SNL, with a cameo from Michelle and a memorable catchphrase (“I love it! Do you love it?”)
The runway theme was “Net Gala.” In the interest of trying to keep this post short (too late for that, am I right?), the queens served some stunning looks. Kasha and Jessica both brought butterflies to the runway, Darienne had a beautiful basketball gown with a net accessory, Jaymes gave us a netted pastel-hued beehive, Jimbo served influencer realness with a stunning look surrounded by mobile phones, and Alexis looked amazing in a nude and black structured gown (but all of the dolls deserved kudos.)
After the judges’ critiques, Jimbo was declared the winner, and Kahanna and Naysha found themselves in the bottom two. Jimbo faced her UK vs. the World rival Pangina Heals in an epic lip sync to Cyndi Lauper’s “She Bop.” Pangina wins and reveals that the other queens voted to keep Kahanna in the game, meaning it’s time to say goodbye to Naysha. Next week, it’s time for the fashion-filled ball, and I can’t wait to see how that turns out.
Last Sunday’s “Drag Isn’t Dangerous” telethon raised $523,000 during its 5-hour live-streaming broadcast. The telethon, co-hosted by Peppermint and Justin Martindale, featured performances from many of your Drag Race faves, including Bob the Drag Queen, Alaska and Trixie Mattel. Donations to this important cause are still welcome on the event’s GoFundMe.
Bob and Monét discuss the All Stars 8 promo and entrance looks and talk about the new season on “Sibling Watchery.”
Jaymes Mansfield takes us along to experience AS8 press week and the queens’ Empire State Building photo shoot.
Trixie kikis with Jaida Essence Hall. That’s it; that’s the post. (It’s a fun video, and I would love to be invited to any future kikis.)
Trixie and Katya discuss all things All Stars on their Bald & Beautiful” podcast.
Jan and Miz Cracker weigh in on AS8, discussing their favorite queens and the best glow-ups (Monica, Darienne and Kahanna in my book) on “Unpacked”.
Sasha Velour (wearing the most fabulous pair of boots ever) takes Cosmo’s “Expensive Taste Test”. Can she discern which perfume, peanut butter, silk nightie, tiara, pen and glove is the most expensive? Watch and play along.
The lovely performer and trans activist Carmen Carrera is Delta Work’s guest on this week’s episode of “Very Delta.”
Look at Laganja coming for my dream gig! She interviews the legendary Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen about their new flick Book Club 2.
Laganja takes us to Trixie Cosmetic HQ to film TikToks for their new makeup collab (I wish I looked good in green eyeshadow.)
Willam takes us behind the scenes at the Hater’s Roast – and she’s got jokes.
I am so excited that I am going to see Eureka O’Hara in June, so I was glad to see this interview pop up this week. Watch as she discusses Drag Race, We’re Here, addictions and her detransition from her Nevada home.
Jaymes Mansfield recreates actress Veronica Lake’s trademark peek-a-boo look on the latest “Iconic Blondes.”
My hobby is doing this…what’s yours? Trixie and Katya talk about what they do in their free time and all things hobbies on “UNHhhh.”
Mo Heart talks fashion with Ava Max on “The Walk In.”
Bob and Monét are back with more helpful advice, including how to get a close shave, how to be ready for “action” and how to let someone down nicely on “Sibling Advicery.” (And don’t miss Bob’s quite accurate impersonation of Judge Joe Brown.)
And that’s it for this week. I am leaving you with a plea to tune in to Drag Race España season 3 because these queens are giving me life. Check out Clover Bish and Kelly Roller’s lip sync and, until we meet again, stay safe, stay healthy, support the queens and say LOVE!