By Contributing Writer The Lady Cocotte
Have you recovered from last week’s controversial elimination of Ginger Minj on RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars? Well, the contestants haven’t. Before Alyssa Edwards cleans Ginger’s message off the mirror (If men can look this good, there’s no excuse for ugly women! ♡ The Minj), she tries to justify her decision to the group. She chose Katya to stay based on her overall performance throughout the the competition and I think that’s a valid decision. Detox doesn’t approve. She planned to eliminate Katya according to the rules the queens agreed upon. Potato, potato. Alyssa played fair, she broke the rules. As someone with an inkling about how “reality” sausage is made, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is why Alyssa won the lip-sync in the first place (#DetoxWasRobbed). Katya feels uneasy that the other girls are angry she’s still there and Phi Phi O’Hara is fuming in the corner. Hang on squirrel friends, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!
This week’s maxi-challenge is Shequels, drag parodies of some of RuPaul’s favorite movies. The queens will be working in duos and Ru evilly leaves the pairings up to them. Alyssa excitedly gloms on to Alaska, who begrudgingly agrees. Katya looks to her right (Roxxxy Andrews), her left (Phi Phi) and grabs Detox before she can be stuck with either of them. Which leaves the weakest performers, Roxxxy and Phi Phi, working together. RuPaul casts Phi Phi and Roxxxy in “Showsquirrels,” Katya and Detox in “Velma & Weezy,” and Alaska and Alyssa in “Wha’ ha’ Happened to Baby JJ?” They have access to wigs, costumes and the pit crew for the challenge.
Katya and Detox have a ball with their script but unlike in her season, Detox isn’t just playing around, she’s working through the fun. I’m starting to like this new Detox. “Showsquirrels” contains the line “you’re just a tired ass showgirl…” and Phi Phi is feeling typecasted (sic). Initially, Roxxxy plans to play the mother and Phi Phi the daughter but in a moment of genius Phi Phi decides they should switch roles. Roxxxy isn’t very comfortable going out on a limb but this is All Stars, dammit, and Phi Phi sticks to her guns. Alaska is maniacal in the Bette Davis role in “Wha’ ha’ Happened to Baby JJ?” Alyssa is forced into the straight man position (pun intended). It’s a wise choice since Alaska is the show(wo)man in the group (let’s not talk about Alyssa in the telenovela of season five).
Little aside: Logo runs a sweet congratulations to RuPaul on her Emmy win. This is historical, y’all. I’m a little verklempt.
Katya and Detox head to the set to film “Velma & Weezy” with Todrick Hall and Michelle Visage. They’re made up as Thelma and Louise after they drive over the cliff. I assumed the Weezy in the title referred to Isabel Sanford’s character on the Jefferson’s but I guess that opens the door to blackface so they probably made the wiser decision. Katya is struggling with her lines. To pull herself out of her slump she asks what would Amy Sedaris do and I fall even farther in love with her. By the end Michelle and Todrick are very pleased. Alaska shows up in character to shoot “Wha’ ha’ Happened to Baby JJ?” Alaska is amazing (yes, I know I’m biased) but Alyssa needs work. And who doesn’t know the Camptown Races refrain is “doo dah?” Sheesh. The role switch in “Showsquirrels” is working for Phi Phi but Roxxxy is struggling. I think Roxxxy would’ve had a hard time with either role. And then she pronounces sash “shah.” At least her sequence dress looks pretty (Note to Tamara: in season five Roxxxy thought the plural of sequin was sequence so now that’s what we call it). Roxxxy has a touch of the Lydiot to her.
I’m really loving RuPaul’s runway looks this season. Tres chic! Judges Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley and Todrick Hall are joined by guest judge Nicole Scherzinger (formerly of the Pussycat Dolls). The runway category is Two Looks in One (inspired by Violet Chachki’s season seven quick change outfit).
Phi Phi starts out in a short blue regal number that she removes as a jacket and reveals a long yellow gown. I’m actually impressed. Roxxxy Andrews comes out in a flamenco-eque outfit that really looks like a piece of black fabric wrapped around her body with a belt. She pulls the fabric down and it’s actually the very wide bell bottoms of her red jumpsuit. It’s ugly but a pretty good quick change. Ooh, from the back it’s much better (I love some sexxxy Roxxxy). Katya has a short, sleeveless gold sequence gown that flips down to a long red velvet number. Kind of boring until she pulls her her bangs off to show the pentagram on her forehead. Detox looks like Elvira in a shorter dress until I realize what I thought was black beehive is actually a hood that reveals a bun with chopsticks. Her plain black dress flips down into a gown and then she removes the skirt and it’s a bathing suit. Detox is ruling the runway this season, fo sho. And that ass! Just because she got it at the doctor’s office doesn’t make it less impressive. Alyssa Edwards is wearing a poufy trash bag that falls down to show a long dress covered in cameras (like real, old school cameras). And then the flashes start going off! Alyssa is a trip. Alaska is covered is swaths of black fabric from head to toes. She spins to reveal Lil Poundcake from season five! I thought I was going to have to say something bad about Alaska for a minute but she seriously came through. “You’re not my real dad and you never will be!”
Then we get to watch the Shequels. In “Showsquirrels,” Nomi Malone (now called Mama Ver-sayce due to copyright issues) is all grown up and her daughter is trying to make it on the pageant scene. Big Freedia makes a cameo as a stagehand which is bizarre but makes me happy nonetheless. Phi Phi’s swinging old lady tits are great but the acting leaves something to be desired. Okay, Phi Phi is kind of bringing it but Roxxxy looks and sounds like she did in season five’s telenovelas (which ain’t great). The judges are cracking up so that’s something, I guess. “Velma & Weezy” takes place after the girls drive into the Grand Canyon. “They may be dead but they’re still best friends.” Zombie Katya and Detox are hysterical even though they’re not being as zany as I expected. I’m really impressed that they’re playing it straight and just letting the situation be ridiculous. Even as they rip each other’s arms off you can still feel the love. The movie ends with the line, “if you can’t eat your friends, who can you eat?” Typical Hollywood happy ending. “Wha’ ha’ Happened to Baby JJ?” takes place fifty years after Baby JJ tried to unsuccessfully kill her sister Bland on the beach. Now they live together in an old age home. Alaska rides in on a Rascal and I’m already laughing. She’s obviously seen the original many times because she has that face down. Even the “beep, beep, beep” as her Rascal backs up is scary. Alyssa just isn’t any good. It’s too bad. When JJ pulls off the lid to show Bland her dinner Porkchop Parker’s head is on the plate. Now that’s a good use of a cameo. And then Big Freedia enters as a nurse. Alrighty then. She picks Bland up off the ground and JJ uses it as an opportunity to slap her sister again. Cue Camptown Races and fade out.
At judging, Carson Kressley acknowledges that neither of Phi Phi’s looks were outstanding but the way they converted was really smart. As we all know, Michelle’s favorite movie is Showgirls, and she was really proud of Phi Phi’s performance. Nicole Scherzinger loves Roxxxy’s jumpsuit but Michelle and Todrick both think she didn’t live up to Phi Phi in the Shequel. Carson isn’t impressed with Katya’s runway looks but likes the humor behind it. While Michelle thinks she was too caught up in her head in the beginning of her shoot Todrick applauds her for being able to move past it with their direction. He says it’s his favorite of the three scenes. Phi Phi looks scared, as she should. Todrick acknowledges that Detox was fully committed in the movie. Carson thinks her runway look, “Miss Peking Tuck,” wasn’t much of transition but a great look regardless. Michelle tells Alyssa that her performance needed “a lot of work.” Yikes. Carson doesn’t care, he thought she was hysterical. Phi Phi looks nervous again. Yep girl, you’re on the bottom. Deal with it. Todrick wasn’t impressed with her runway reveal but the look was everything. Michelle jumps in to add that, at this point, little things matter. Once again, Carson doesn’t care. He loves the look. Michelle isn’t done. “But we shouldn’t give you passes. Because we’ve all been guilty of going, ‘she’s so funny, that don’t even matter.’ Oh, but it does.” Amen. Michelle calls Alaska’s Lil Poundcake, “brilliant.” Nicole Scherzinger calls her the Dustin Hoffman of queens. Michelle just gushes about her performance. When RuPaul asks Alaska if she wants to add anything she says, “You’re not my real mom and you never will be.” So there.
Top queens: Phi Phi O’Hara and Alaska
Bottom queens: Roxxxy Andrews, Katya and Alyssa Edwards
I’m stunned. I thought the top would be Detox and Alaska and the bottom would be Roxxxy and Phi Phi. I call producer interference on this one. Katya thinks she should be safe based on her performance (she should) but doesn’t know how the other girls feel. Are they going to eliminate her to make up for last week? Phi Phi claims she’s going to choose based on the judges’ critique but that it’s really close this week. Is it really? Isn’t it pretty clear that Roxxxy should leave? I know Alyssa got a little grilled by Michelle but if Phi Phi eliminates her it’s totally personal, no matter what she says. Roxxxy jumps in to point out that Alyssa got the harshest critique. Alyssa thinks they actually liked a lot of what she did and adds that Roxxxy has been on the bottom twice. Roxxxy throws Katya under the bus as being on the bottom twice too. Nice. Phi Phi doesn’t think she needs to do one-on-ones this week. Katya makes a great case for herself to Alaska. And she’s right. She shouldn’t even be on the bottom. Alyssa acknowledges that she wasn’t great this week but runs down a list of her achievements over the whole season for Alaska. Roxxxy is kind of playing the emotional card with Alaska. I know it worked last time but hopefully Alaska won’t fall for it this time. RoLaskaTox is dead. Bury it. Alaska borrows a top from Roxxxy to wear in the lip-sync. Roxxxy thinks she’s totally safe. Detox thinks Phi Phi not doing one-on-ones is rude. She even calls her a snarky, bitchy monster (behind her back, naturally).
LIP-SYNC FOR YOUR LEGACY
Alaska and Phi Phi O’Hara perform Got To Be Real by Cheryl Lynn. Alaska is performing as Lil Poundcake, literally. She’s nasty, mean and amazing. Phi Phi is smooth. She’s a great performer so I wouldn’t expect anything less from her. It’s just kind of boring next to Lil Poundcake. And then they’re dancing together. You can tell they’re All Stars when they’re able to play off of each other instead of getting freaked out. RuPaul is having a hard time keeping her eyes off of Alaska (but she trying, for fairness sake). Alaska wins. She eliminates Roxxxy Andrews. Wait! Rewind. I wrote that before it happened. She actually eliminated Alyssa Edwards. Shocker.
Phi Phi also chose Alyssa to leave but that was expected. What wasn’t as expected is the anti-Alyssa tirade Phi Phi goes on moments after she walks out the door. Geez, give the girl a minute to pack before you dig her grave. And then the four eliminated castmates appear in the mirror. No one knows what to make of that. Is someone coming back next week? Already?
My DVR cut off before the preview but the upcoming episode is titled, “Revenge of the Queens.” Apparently, the girls perform stand-up comedy for “judgemental drag queens.” Hmmm.
And check out RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Behind the Scenes below, here at TamaraTattles!