Folks, this season of All-Stars has been one of the best—if not the best—season of Drag Race to date. But this week’s episode took a hard turn, and got the flack on social media to prove it. Let’s dig in.
The queens entered the workroom after last week’s elimination and the return of not one but TWO queens: Tatianna and Alyssa Edwards. “We went from a Top 5 to a Top 6? That kind of sucks,” said Katya. But it sure spiced up the competition!
Last week’s big gasp moment was of course when Phi Phi refused to hug Alyssa goodbye. As the queens returned to the workroom this week, Phi Phi’s lipstick message on the mirror addressed this slight.
“I wanted to avoid hugs because of tears,” the message read. But Tatianna wasn’t feeling it. “Do I believe Phi Phi’s explanation for not hugging Alyssa? NO.”
Use That WoodWith a sing-song “Hello, hello, hello,” Ru entered the workroom and shared a secret. “All the biggest business deals are made on the golf course.” Thus she set up this week’s Mini Challenge: Butt Butt Golf.
Andrew Christian himself entered the workroom, followed by several of his beefiest models, all anonymously adorned in animal heads à la Eyes Wide Shut. The girls quickly got into tartan-heavy golf drag. “It’s Dinah Shore weekend on RuPaul’s Drag Race!” Ru exclaimed.
The goal of the game? Swing a weighted pendulum from your waist to croquet the ball through the models’ legs, then finish by clubbing the ball into a big pink hole. All the girls had fun swinging their “clubs” and bumping into the models’ ample packages, but it was Alaska who got the shortest time and won. The victory didn’t garner her immunity or decision power, but it won her $2,000 in tailored suits!
Ru then introduced the main event. “For this week’s Maxi Challenge, you need to create merchandise worthy of your All-Star brand, then shoot a commercial to sell the goods. Think Shark Tank, but fishier.”
Shark FodderAfter golf, the queens returned to the workroom to plan their products and marketing commercials.
Ru came in to see how the girls were doing, joined by Marcus Lemonis from CNBC’s The Profit. Marcus consulted with the ladies and gave them feedback on their products and pitches.
While he gave Roxxxy some critical feedback for her tacking glue concept, he praised her idea and urged her to sell her expertise, not just wig glue.
But Marcus leaned in on Katya real hard. Her product, “Katya’s Krisis Kontrol,”—yes, KKK—is “a body mist to ward off anxiety, fear, hallucinations, and ghosts.” The pitch is funny but Marcus replied, “I think you’re having a branding crisis.” “Well that’s very on-brand for me,” Katya retorted. But in the end Marcus suggested she scrap everything and start over.
Meanwhile, Tatianna received high praise for her T-spilling tea set, a collection of cups and a repurposed water jug with which to serve tea while gossiping. Tati pitched it solidly and Marcus was hooked. “The commercial was maybe the best presentation I’ve heard.”
As the queens got into character for their commercial shoots in the studio, Katya decided she didn’t have enough time to change her idea—and she still liked it—so she chose to stick with it. “I’m not going to panic, because I don’t do that anymore. It’s going to be okay.” Spoken like a true Krisis Kontroller.
Green Screen ShenanigansIt was time to hit the studio! Carson Kressley and Michelle Visage stood in as directors this week, coaching the girls while they described their vision for each commercial, acted, and ordered the Pit Crew to do their every bidding.
Katya started things off, took a rubber turkey breast from the prop pile, and told the judges she’ll be in a kitchen. She got to work selling that Krisis Kontrol in a thick Russian accent.
Detox was next, selling her Trash Talkin’ Trash Receptacle—also known as a garbage can in drag. She floundered at first but picked up steam as the shoot went on. Alaska got to work selling her Fashion Tape, dressed with a realistic breastplate and dusty makeup. She performed well, but Carson and Michelle were surprised she had 14 scenes she wanted to film. The directors urged her to prioritize and trim it down.
Next up: Alyssa’s energy drink, Drop Dead Gorgeous. She lacked energy at first, but picked it up with direction from Carson and Michelle. Roxxxy then sold her wig glue and had some funny bits, but as she removed one wig to reveal a second wig underneath, she struggled with her hidden hair’s wig line. (Looks like that glue didn’t do the trick after all.)
Tatianna was last, selling her “Spill The Tea with Tati” tea set. Her comedy verged on cheesy “dad humor” at first, but with coaching from the directors, she elevated the bitch factor.
Pants! Pants, I Said!Ru took to the runway with a sheer black-lace-on-nude gown. Judges included the usual Michelle Visage, Todrick Hall—who we learn will be starring in Kinky Boots!—Carson Kressley, and the fucking best TV talk show host ever, the hilarious Graham Norton.
Runway category is: pants!
- Roxxxy: billowing flower-child top with 70’s bellbottoms and big disco hair. Not a showstopper but executed well.
- Katya: stunning brown-and-grey 80s jumpsuit with neon yellow heels and an asymmetrical platinum blond bob. Absolutely gorgeous.
- Alyssa: black high-waist slacks, a glistening black bra, black fur, and auburn hair for the children.
- Detox: white capri pants, a sleek red-and-white bodice, a white beret, and straight cherry-red hair. Another fashion victory for Detox.
- Alaska: star-spangled high-waist pants with red fringe, red suspenders over a bedazzled white tank top, and kinky blond hair (with a secret underneath—but we’ll get to that later).
- Tatianna: T-Boz for days! Baggy black silk pajama pants sagging over white boxers, a black bra beneath an open, sheer black jersey, the perfect T-Boz wig with gold hoops, and all the best TLC choreography you practiced in the mirror as a child.
Chins Up, Boobs Out. It’s ShowtimeNext, it was time to play the queens’ commercials and hear the judges’ feedback.
Roxxxy’s wig glue and Wig Tricks Instructional DVD commercial included hilarious “have you ever” moments, like losing your wig while “making whoopee” or dancing, filmed in the classic infomercial style where white people can’t pour milk or open cabinets without fucking it up. Michelle immediately critiqued the commercial for including too many of these cutaways, making it less funny. “But I love this bell bottom look you’ve got going on,” said Todrick.
“Riddled with anxiety?” Katya’s commercial started out. “Crippled under the burden of existential pain? When I’m not struggling with my weight or worried about my wrinkles, I’m bombarded with a cacophony of voices in my head telling me ‘You’re Not Good Enough!’” Cut to Katya’s Russian housewife character possessed by demons, followed by b-roll of her using Krisis Kontrol body spray and laying catatonic in places like the beach and China’s Great Wall. “So go ahead. Kontrol yourself.” Right off the bat, Graham Norton (comedy LEGEND), tooted the commercial as “pure genius.” Carson loved it too. “Everything you did, your commercial, your runway, all on brand.”
Alyssa’s Drop Dead Gorgeous product bit had funny clips of our favorite pageant queen dancing, kicking, and celebrating with fireworks after enjoying her DDG. But Graham didn’t understand some of the choices. “Why were you in front of the White House?” he asked. “Americans have been asking me, what has been your secret? So this was me in a press conference,” she responded. Carson: “I thought it was because you were the president of the company.” Alyssa didn’t drop a beat. “Oh, that too.”
Detox’s Trash Talkin’ Trash Receptacle commercial included her famous catchphrases ventriloquized through her garbage can character. “I’ve had it. Officially.” “Wash your fuckin’ hands.” “I can’t feel my face.” Detox sold it as, “It’s made of 100% recycled plastic. More plastic than me!” Graham loved the look on the runway. “Very continental.” But on the product, he said, “It’s so ugly. I know it’s just a prototype, but it’s a horrible prototype.”
Next was Alaska’s Fashion Tape, done in the overshadowed, over-sexed style of 90s fashion commercials. “It makes you beautiful, it makes you fashionable, and it costs lots and lots of money.” “It comes in 3 unique shades: Stunning, Fierce, and Yellow. With Alaska Thunderfun Fashion Tape, anus-thing is possible.” Graham loved it, and even Michelle praised Alaska’s directorial choices. “You had so much to get through, but you were able to change it up quick.” The judges also praised her ironic patriot look.That left Tatianna’s commercial. Based on the praise she received from Marcus and the laughs she got while filming with Carson and Michelle, we expected this commercial to win it all. But compared to the rest of the queens, it fell flat. “You were really charming,” said Carson, “but what you didn’t do was feature the product.” Graham: “I feel like maybe you didn’t get all the way there.” But Michelle and Ru—as well as I and any other 90s hip hop fan— were LIVING for that T-Boz homage on the runway.
After all commercials were viewed and runway looks critiqued, Ru named the lineup for this week’s performance. Alaska and Katya were named the top queens! They each won a custom wig wardrobe from Weavin’ Steven. Additionally, both of their products will be available at the next DragCon, so you too can snatch that body with Fashion Tape and overcome your demons with Krisis Kontrol!
Detox and Alyssa were both deemed safe. That left only 2 in the bottom: Roxxxy (again) and Tatianna.
DeliberationThe queens were excused to deliberate while Ru and the judges practiced “skeet shooting.” No, it’s not what you think it is. But don’t Google it at work.
“This is bizarre because this is the same exact top 2 and bottom 2 as the Snatch Game episode,” Katya observed. “Let’s just hope it doesn’t go the same way it did the last time around,” said Tati, who was sent home the last time she was in the bottom with Roxxxy.
For some reason, Alaska pulled Detox aside to chat. (I for one am glad, since Detox has gotten approximately 3 seconds of air time this whole season.) She weighed the decision with Detox, saying, “I don’t want to see my sister [Roxxxy] go home, but then again she’s been in the bottom the most. But Tatianna hasn’t been here.” The quandary being, does one eliminate the queen who has circled the drain all season, or the queen who slipped down the drain in Episode 2 but bubbled back into the competition and shot up to the top last week?
Katya pulled Tatianna aside, and Tati conveyed her drive to remain in the competition. “I’ve been given a second chance and I want to fucking be here.”
But when Roxxxy spoke to Katya, it was a different tactic. “What I’ve been doing has been landing in the bottom,” Roxxxy said. “If you decide me, no T. If you decide to keep me, no T. I don’t care either way. I’ve been in the bottom 4 times.”
Both queens communicated the same messages to Alaska when she met with them separately. “I clawed my way back in here,” Tati told Alaska. “That’s a huge fucking deal. So I’m not gonna say, ‘Yeah whatever happens, happens.’ To you, I say, ‘Keep a bitch.’”
SO HERE’S WHAT WE’VE GOT: Tatianna, the phoenix risen from the ashes and slaying a comedy challenge with Detox last week, then giving one of Drag Race’s best celebrity impressions on the runway, with a so-so commercial, who wants more than anything to remain in the competition. Her opponent? A ho-hum commercial actress who consistently bombs week after week, delivering a forgettable runway look, basically telling her would-be eliminators, “I kinda deserve to go home and I’m okay with that.”
BombshellKatya changed her outfit from 80s model to 90s grunge, and she and Alaska lip sync to “Cherry Bomb” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. It was a good one this week! Katya jumped into the splits, Alaska licked Katya’s face, Katya played air guitar on her own leg, and Alaska unraveled a giant American flag from under her wig, waving it across the catwalk. While Katya delivered a solid grunge performance with equal parts rock and whimsy, Alaska stole Ru’s heart with a new gimmick and 100% comedy.
Unsurprisingly, Ru named Alaska the winner. Again. “The second time losing the lip sync to Alaska. It sucks,” said Katya.
Then, it was elimination time. Tati and Roxxxy joined Alaska onstage, and Alaska gave her decision. “One of these queens week after week has brought a level of prestige and beauty and excellence to this runway and to the art form of drag. And one of these queens is the queen who lent me this very shirt that I’m wearing tonight. So based on that, I’ve decided to eliminate Tatianna.”
This is the moment you yell at your screen and shout, “WHAT?” That’s right, kids. Alaska, who alleged that the former “Rolaskatox” alliance is not in effect, has once again kept Roxxxy in the competition when she deserved to go home. Why? Because Roxxxy lent her a fucking shirt.
To quote Detox’s Trash Talkin’ Trash Receptacle: I have had it. Officially.
Tatianna, eliminated by Alaska for the second time this season, exited with grace and good spirits, leaving the queens with a perfect T-Boz dance out circa TLC’s “Creep” video. “I think I showed a lot while I was here. I got to introduce myself to people who didn’t know who Tatianna was, and I got to impress the people who have been my supporters from the jump. And that I’m very proud of.”
Anyone else beginning to think this whole season is just a rigged runway for Alaska’s eventual win? Or will we see an upset next week? Tune in to see what happens next on Drag Race All-Stars Season 2, and catch an all new Ry’s Ru-minations on Jetspace afterward!