Hieeee! Are you ready for the new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars? I hope so because it starts this Thursday! Last week I talked about the not so successful herstory of All Stars 1. Well, RuPaul has made some big changes this season. The team aspect is gone (thank goodness) but more importantly, so is the lip-synch for your life. What? The final two lip-synching for their life is practically a national treasure. How will RuPaul decide who to eliminate? He won’t. What?! That’s even more shocking than losing the lip-synch. Sure, the other judges give their opinions but RuPaul always makes the final decision. Instead, this season, the top two will lip-synch for their legacy and the winner will choose who to eliminate. Yowza! That’s a lot of power. Some people worry that things will get cutthroat and strong queens will get eliminated because they’re seen as big competition. Others point out that Drag Race isn’t Survivor; the girls want to win by beating the best. Either way, it’s sure to bring lots of drama. Just the way RuPaul likes it…
The All Star 2 cast is heavy with season five girls but I’m okay with that since it’s one of my favorites. It will be interesting to see the reunion of RoLaskaTox (Roxxxy Andrews, Alaska Thunderfuck and Detox) after three years apart. Will they still be a clique or have they formed closer bonds with other girls on the tour circuit? Are Alyssa Edwards and Coco Montrese still frenemies or have they healed their wounds? Tatianna and Phi Phi O’Hara are the only girls representing the early seasons which means they’ve had the most time to polish their acts. Adore Delano has been busy performing her own songs. Will she transition back to lip-syncing? Season seven fan favorites Katya and Ginger Minj are the “newbies” but I have a feeling they’re ready for the competition. One thing I can promise you is this cast is going to bring it. These girls have been performing non-stop since their seasons aired. It’s going to be an amazing show. I hope. After the break we’ll take a look at the rest of the returning contestants and how they’ve spent their time since appearing on RuPaul’s Drag Race (if you haven’t read part one, you can catch up here).
Ginger Minj (Season 7)
Ginger Minj, the self-described Glamour Toad, went into season seven as the front runner. Not only was she a pageant queen, she was also an experienced comedian. Her skills and talent seemed practically tailor-made for the Drag Race challenges. I mean, who can forget her Adele in Snatch Game? Brilliant. Ginger was the first big girl with a real chance to take the crown. But, as a founding member of the Bitter Old Lady Brigade, Ginger just didn’t understand the “new” drag represented by Violet Chachki and Pearl. All she saw was their emphasis on a “look” so she didn’t learn anything from them. I think that held her back from growing in the competition. She ultimately lost out to Violet Chachki in an upset that some felt was controversial. After Drag Race, Ginger continued to perform all over. She famously took on the role of Dr Frankenfurter in a stage production of Rocky Horror Picture Show to rave reviews. She also released an album but unlike many of her Drag Race compatriots, Ginger can actually sing!
Katya (Season 7)
Yekaterina Petrovna Zamolodchikova, otherwise known as Katya, is just your average run-of-the-mill Russian bisexual transvestite hooker. While she didn’t make a big splash at first, over time her kooky humor and self-deprecating manner stole fans hearts. Newly sober, Katya often questioned her choices and talent but the judges didn’t share her uncertainty. She was only in the bottom two once before her elimination in episode 11. Katya was not only named Miss Congeniality but when RuPaul was ready to announce the winner of season seven he called Katya onstage. Katya gave her trademark confused look and the crowd went wild. Unfortunately, RuPaul was just playing a joke but it showed her awareness of Katya’s wild popularity. Katya has been traveling the Drag Race circuit since season seven ended. Watching herself on the show and seeing how strongly fans feel about her has helped Katya build her confidence. She’s still Katya, just a stronger version. Not only does she have a WOWPresents web series with fellow season seven alum Trixie Mattel but she’s very active on her own Youtube page. While she almost exclusively performs as Katya, I highly recommend her Irregardlessly Trish series about a sober-ish Bostonian that cuts hair out of her mother’s garage (whateva).
Phi Phi O’Hara (Season 4)
Phi Phi O’Hara didn’t realize that she was the villain of season four. She considered herself a polished queen that had the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent to win the competition. Sharon Needles “alternative” drag offended her to the core and she never held back her opinions. Things might have gone differently for her if Sharon hadn’t been such a superstar, or if Phi Phi actually had the talent to back up her attitude. But that attitude did create some exciting drama, including famously telling Sharon Needles to “go back to Party City where you belong.” As you can tell, I couldn’t stand her. But that all changed once I saw her perform. Instead of letting the negative Drag Race feedback tear her down, Phi Phi polished her look and performance. Let me tell you, she really turned things around. Her performances are funny, sharp and dynamic. Her looks are beyond the beyond. She even did a new (amazing) drag look a day for a year (365 Days of Drag). Phi Phi also lowered her defenses and showed the world the good person she truly is. I’ve never seen such a stunning drag redemption and I look forward to seeing what she brings to All Stars 2.
Roxxxy Andrews (Season 5)
I’ve always had a soft spot for Roxxxy Andrews. She was a “thick and juicy” girl who was mid-weight loss and getting to know her new body. She consistently brought amazing looks to the runway. And she single-handedly modified the “never remove your wig while performing” rule to “unless you’re wearing another wig underneath.” But apparently not many people shared my opinion. Unbeknownst to me, the internet hated Roxxxy. Granted, she was a vocal member of RoLaskaTox (along with All Stars 2 castmates Alaska Thunderfuck and Detox). And she was somewhat of a drag snob who thought that comedy was an insult to drag. But her biggest offense was repeated attacks on future winner Jinkx Monsoon. Jinkx was able to forgive the third place winner and hopefully All Stars 2 fans will as well. Roxxxy has continued to lose weight and these days she’s looking a little waifish. She’s been performing steady since season five wrapped and has undoubtedly honed her craft. It was rumored that she was at Pulse Nightclub the night of the tragedy but, although she was visiting Tampa at the time, she wasn’t there.
Tatianna (Season 2)
Tatianna? Tatianna? Ok. Tatianna. You’ll have to excuse me if my memory doesn’t go back all the way to season two. I mean, Michelle Visage wasn’t even a judge back then. But all jokes aside, it’s nice to see a girl from such an early season representing All Stars 2. I’m just going to have to rely on wikipedia a bit for this one. Tatianna was the fishy queen of season two. She was the prettiest and she knew it. Unfortunately, her looks left a lot to be desired. While she tried to deny that she was the Rebecca Glasscock of the group, she was the Rebecca Glasscock of the group. She’s probably most remembered for her feuds with future winner Tyra Sanchez. Season five even memorialized Tatianna in a wedding dress screaming at Tyra, “And I don’t like you! Happy? I don’t like you!” in the Lip-Synch Extravaganza Eleganza maxi-challenge. Although I’ve never seen Tatianna perform live she often pops up on social media so I know she’s been active on the club scene. It will be interesting to see a more mature Tati and what she brings to drag now.
So that’s the whole cast (warts and all). Set your DVR for All Stars 2 on Thursday, August 25 at 8pm on Logo (unless you live in Utah in which case you’re shit outta luck). And be sure to come back to TamaraTattles.com for recaps and updates. Byeeee!