It’s the finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars! This season went by too quickly for my taste but RuPaul is ready to crown a winner (and whatever Mama Ru wants, Mama Ru gets). I’m still feeling a little traumatized from Alaska Thunderfuck’s massive meltdown last week so I’m not sure if I’m looking forward to tonight’s episode or not. Will Alaska be forgiven her juvenile temper tantrum (and attempted bribery)? Should she be? She was already embroiled in a possibly disqualifying scandal when her ex-boyfriend publicly spoiled most of All Star’s highlights (Adore Delano quitting the show, Alyssa Edwards returning, the final three, etc). Production tends to take their non-disclosure agreements pretty seriously. There are no “you can tell your boyfriend” clauses so it was already iffy if they’d allow Alaska to win no matter how good she did. And last week just made it that much easier to take it away from her. Drag fandom has been pretty vocal all week demanding a Katya win. Now, I love me some Katya and I think she’s done amazing work in All Stars. She has grown so much since her season, all the while maintaining that special Katya quirk. While I always knew this season would come down to a battle between the Russian hooker and the alien from the Planet Glamtron, I really think Alaska out-All Starred Katya. Yes, I’m hopelessly biased. I’ve never hidden that. But it’s true. And I don’t want Katya to win because Alaska was disqualified. That wouldn’t be fair to Alaska or Katya. Oh well, at least we have a very deserving top three (yes, I see you Roxxxy Andrews but I stand by my top three).
Okay, enough of my inner turmoil. Let’s see how they fit a rapping/supergroup challenge, a crowning and a reunion in a one hour show. Bring me my All Stars! The girls look pretty shook up from Alyssa’s elimination. As they read Alyssa’s message on the mirror (“IMAGINE, CREATE & INSPIRE! ♥ you all! Always & Forever, Alyssa Edwards ALL STARS”), even Alaska admits that Roxxxy should have gone home. But Detox is truthful about her decision: she couldn’t eliminate her best friend. Katya reveals that she held Roxxxy’s lipstick. “And I’m gonna look you in the eye and say this so you know I mean it…” she promises as she pulls her wig down over her eyes. “I do not have a personal vendetta against you.” Katya always knows how to lighten the mood. She never planned to get rid of Alaska. She wanted the strongest girls in the final (which says a lot about her character). Then Detox brings up the elephant in the room: Alaska’s freak out. Alaska seems embarrassed but she has to face her actions. She was scared and she reacted poorly. It happened. With that the girls retreat to their corners to plan how to finally win this sucker.
Instead of RuPaul, Michelle Visage tells the girls about their final maxi-challenge: creating an All Star Supergroup. You know, because she was in that famous girl-group Seduction (track nine on the Bodyguard soundtrack). They have to create their own raps to one of RuPaul’s songs (naturally), record their lyrics with RuPaul collaborator AB Soto, and appear on RuPaul’s podcast What’s the Tee? Remember when RuPaul went on a rant about being a marketing genius during Drag Fish Tank? She wasn’t lying. After all of that RuPaul-i-ness, they’ll work with choreographer Travis Wall to create a “showstopping production number.” #DragRaceFinale. It’s gonna be a big one!
All of the girls seem pretty confident they’ll slay the competition. Roxxxy records first. She thinks she’s Nicki Minaj. She also rhymes here with here. AB Soto asks for more energy and sexiness. Roxxxy looks gutted by the criticism. Alaska joins RuPaul and Michelle for the podcast. She wants to use humor to break down gender barriers. It’s a lovely sentiment but Michelle isn’t letting her off so easy. She asks Alaska about her tantrum last week. Cue ominous music. Alaska apologizes for being a brat but Michelle just stares her down. Awkward! RuPaul asks about RoLaskaTox. This is not going the way Alaska was hoping. Katya is doing her rap in full Russian accent. She stumbles over some of the lines but it’s pretty clear she wrote hysterical lyrics. On the podcast, Detox tells RuPaul and Michelle that she’s so excited to be in the finale she’s pinching herself every day. RuPaul coyly asks, “And when you pinch yourself, can you feel it?” There’s a reason she’s the queen of queens (and it ain’t her Klein Epstein & Parker suits). RuPaul brings up RoLaskaTox again. Michelle gives stink eye. She made her thoughts clear in season five. Finally Ru mentions Detox’s amazing fashions. If nothing else, Detox knows she killed it on the runway. “I pissed all over that thing.” Yes, you did. In neon technicolor.
After her somewhat brutal podcast interview, Alaska lies on the couch wrapped in a fuzzy blanket. Self-care. It’s important. The rest of RoLaskaTox join her and start singing Katya’s praises. Then Alaska realizes something. “It just all is seeming very oddly, strangely familiar. The last time it was the three of us and a loveable weirdo, we all saw how that fucking worked out.” Dun dun dun. Alaska jumps up and starts pacing the room. Just like in season five, she’s realizing that RoLaskaTox could threaten her success and she can’t let that happen. Detox gets offended. ”Well, fuck you. I’m trying to win. We’re all trying to win. It’s not just about you, girl. Sorry.” Roxxxy doesn’t know what to do with herself. Mommy and Daddy are fighting. She goes to comfort Alaska and finally Alaska allows herself to be vulnerable. As much as she wants to distance herself from Roxxxy and Detox, she needs their support. Detox sees her pain and joins the group hug. Sisterhood in action. And so Alaska makes peace with RoLaskaTox. “I can’t live in regret. In life, really, the only thing you can do is take experiences that are embarrassing and turn them into the things that make you stronger. Trash into treasure, girl.”
Away from all the drama, Katya is visiting RuPaul’s podcast. They all gush over her mom. I think she should be All Stars Miss Congeniality. #Vote4KatyasMom. “Thank god my dad is a sociopath,” Katya deadpans. “So there’s balance.” Katya talks about reeling in the crazy. She calls the voice in her head Brenda and tells her to shut the fuck up. Seriously, Brenda. Stop being such a bitch! RuPaul adds that you need to create another voice to counteract that voice. Katya calls him Carl. “Wait a minute, it’s not hot Carl, is it?” RuPaul asks. I could listen to them do this all day. Alaska seems in a much better place after her RoLaskaTox intervention. She brings it to the recording with AB Soto. When Roxxxy sits down for the podcast, RuPaul brings up her displeasure with how she came off during season five. “Cuz all these bitches wanna say, ‘oh, I was edited in-favorably.’ No bitch, you said it, you did it, that’s how it was.” And production continues to vilify Phi Phi O’Hara.
While Roxxxy is gone the other girls discuss who will win. They all count their wins and losses (Katya won 3 and was in the bottom twice, Detox won 3 and was in the bottom once, Alaska won 4 and was in the bottom once). “But it’s not going to be a math equation,” Katya reminds them. Alaska brings up that although she’s won the most times, “I’ve been very focused. And I’ve been very driven. But those aren’t likable qualities.” AB Soto tells us that Detox is the strongest queen he’s recorded today. She knows she’s the only thing that could get in her way and she’s not going to let that happen. And then it’s time for choreography. Alaska is pumped. She shows up for rehearsal in thigh high boots and a ponytail. Even so, choreographer Travis Wall says she looks like a chicken. Well, it is her signature move. The choreography looks challenging. Everyone is stumbling a bit until it’s Katya’s turn. She kills it and RoLaskaTox sits on the sidelines trembling in fear. This might be a blowout.
RuPaul is a vision in lemon chiffon. Since it’s the finale, the judging panel is just family: Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley, Todrick Hall and Ross Matthews.
The Supergroup performs RuPaul’s Read U Wrote U. Alaska is a blue alien. Her rap includes a shoutout to Porkchop so I’m happy. Her rap is great and her dancing isn’t totally terrible. Detox is channeling Erika Jayne and I’m dying. She does fabulous and the judges are howling. Katya’s rap is the best and so is her dancing. I take it back. If she wins it will be because she earned it (which is all I ever wanted for her). Roxxxy is also there.
The runway category is All Star Glam-O-Rama. Alaska is old school glam-our in gold sequence and a platinum blonde wig. She’s successfully showing us that she’s more than just a comedy queen. Brava. Detox also proves she can do traditional glamor (with a twist) in a pink tutu gown and blonde bob. Think french couture, not Carrie Bradshaw. I’ve loved most of her looks this season but she’s never looked so lovely. Katya made an interesting choice. She’s all covered up with long sleeves and a hoop-ish skirt. I like it but it’s somewhat reminiscent of her alien look, which the judges didn’t like at all. Roxxxy is also there. Carson calls Alaska’s hair and makeup flawless. Ross likes her rap lyrics best tonight and appreciates how she bounced back from last week’s distator. Michelle says Detox’s rap delivery was outstanding and Carson praises her chair-ography. Ross says she’s living his ballerina fantasy on the runway. They all love Katya’s rap. Michelle tells her that “insanity is part of why we love Katya but it doesn’t justify this skirt.” Oops! They also talk to Roxxxy.
Then RuPaul asks why they (and not their fellow All Stars) should win. Alaska gives a hysterical performance about being an obsessed Drag Race fan. She cites iconic events and quotes. I mean, she has been auditioning since season one, after all. “For it is my fanatical devotion and undying love and respect for the world that RuPaul has created here that puts me wig, head and shoulders above any competitor. Look into your hearts where you will find that the only inductee into the RuPaul’s Drag Race Hall of Fame is Alaska. Halleloo, yes god, o’kurrrrr, tongue pop!” She cracks up the judges and the other queens alike. My Lasky is back. Detox talks about how magical the whole experience has been. She wants to be a beacon of hope for all those weirdos out there. Katya does her Russian shtick for a while, getting laughs. But then she breaks into her true self. “In season seven you let me show the world that I’m good enough. And here you let me believe it myself. And I can’t thank you enough for that.” Yeah, she got me teary. Roxxxy was also there.
For the first time all season, the judges deliberate. Todrick brings up that Alaska has slayed every single week. RuPaul cites her hysterical Snatch Game and Carson thinks her Bette Davis was off the chart. Michelle brings up her tantrum. Even so, Carson thinks she should still get a 98 out of 100. Ross calls her the complete package and says she’s ready for it. Carson acknowledges that Detox blew everyone out of the water on the runway week after week. RuPaul could see Detox as the creative director of a fashion house. RuPaul notes the huge difference in Katya from season seven to All Stars. Michelle loves how zany she is and Carson points out that it’s a smart sense of humor. Ross sees endless potential. Blah blah blah, Roxxxy Andrews.
LIP-SYNC FOR YOUR LEGACY
Through deliberations, three girls have won the right to lip-sync for their legacy. Gee, I wonder who it will be? Alaska, Detox and Katya perform If I were Your Woman by Gladys Knight and the Pips. I’m getting chills. These are three amazing performers. Detox is going soft and gentle. None of the typical Detox mouth moves or anything. She’s feeling it. She’s living it. Katya is taking us to church. So much force inside that little body. Alaska is smearing her makeup but not in the ripping your wig off way. It’s actually beautiful and moving. No one is doing big jumps or splits but they’re all transporting me. This is a truly worthy top three.
And the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars is… Alaska!
Exciting news: In two weeks (on October 27 to be exact) we get our reunion! And it looks wild…
Sorry, I didn’t think there was a Behind the Scenes since it was the finale. Here ya go!