And there you have it, children. What we all suspected this entire season finally came to fruition: RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars Season 2 was simply a runway for Alaska’s inevitable victory.
This week’s finale was controversial and is already getting smeared on social media for making the “wrong choice.” Let’s unpack what took place so you can decide for yourself!
Alyssa Edwards was eliminated last week in a huge upset, which simply confirmed that Rolaskatox was clearly in effect, despite Roxxxy Andrews, Alaska Thunderfuck, and Detox claiming the contrary.
“It’s a controversial decision based on overall performance,” said Alaska of Alyssa’s premature departure. “Alyssa should have advanced to final four, not Roxxxy.” Easy for Alaska to say when Detox was the one doing the eliminating.
Comparatively, this made Katya special for a few reasons:
- She was the only queen left not part of the Rolaskatox triad.
- She was the only queen left who did not originally compete on Season 5.
- She was the only queen left who refused to bribe or accept bribes during All-Stars Season 2.
Katya revealed that, had she won the lip sync last week against Detox, she would have chosen Roxxxy to go home. She told Roxxxy, “I do not have a personal vendetta against you.” Roxxxy replied that she still wants to be here and is fighting for the crown, thanking Detox for keeping her in the competition. Detox then called Alaska out on her tantrum last week when she bribed Detox with $10,000 in PayPal cash. Alaska whined in reply, “I really wanted and needed to be in this final four. I need it.”
As the girls entered the workroom for this week’s new challenge, they were greeted by Michelle Visage rather than RuPaul. She informed them they’ve got a huge undertaking for their final challenge! They will be writing an original rap verse to Ru’s new (and surprisingly catchy) song, “Read U, Wrote U.” Then they’ll record that rap in a studio with sexy video musician AB Soto.
Between writing and recording, they’ll meet with Michelle and Ru to speak on their podcast, “What’s the Tee?” And after all that, the queens will learn choreography from “So You Think You Can Dance” legend Travis Wall. In the end, all 4 queens will lip sync to the song together in a huge group number, each rapping their own original verses.
And this—THIS—is the culmination of All-Stars Season 2: writing talent, runway fashion, painting skills, dance ability, stage presence, and overall creativity. An excellent finish to this long race!
Yes, Mr. Trump, We’re Recording
An experienced rapper already, Detox said she feels confident about this challenge, but Alaska and Roxxxy are eager to show the judges how they can bounce back from low moments. The queens each took alternating turns recording their raps with AB in the studio and sitting with Michelle and Ru for their podcast interviews.
The rap recordings were all a bit rocky to begin with, but with Mr. Soto’s coaching, each of them picked up steam and delivered something useable for the track.
The podcast discussions were where the real drama unfolded.
Alaska was first to join Ru and Michelle for the podcast, and the gloves were off. “You were in the bottom last challenge and I seem to detect a bit of a tantrum,” said Michelle. Alaska replied, “I’m sorry if I was a brat.” When Ru pointed out that Rolaskatox seems to be back in effect, Alaska attempted to shut it down. “Well we’re not actively practicing Rolaskatoxism.”
When Detox met with Michelle and Ru next, they all shared a laugh about Detox’s many plastic surgeries. Ru then cut to the chase and mentioned Rolaskatox again, but Detox said the group is only reunited “ish” this season. She deflected the question and instead focused on her passion for fashion, which she proved this season with some incredible looks.
“My podcast was consumed by Rolaskatox and my brattish behavior last week,” Alaska told Roxxxy and Detox—a.k.a. the other 2 members of ROLASKATOX. “It just all is seeming oddly, strangely familiar. The last time it was the 3 of us and a lovable weirdo, we all saw how that fucking worked out.” She was of course referring to Season 5 when Rolaskatox formed an alliance, but in the end lost the crown to Seattle celebrity Jinkx Monsoon.
Alaska’s comment spurred infighting among the group, with Detox replying, “I really deserve it too. And I’ve worked my ass off and I want to win just as much as you do.” She mentioned in her confessional that Alaska is in her own world, oblivious that 3 other queens want the crown just as badly, seeming to expect that she’ll be rewarded for a tantrum and a 10k bribe merely because she wants it and Alaska gets what she wants.
Roxxxy then pulled Alaska aside and encouraged her. Alaska broke down in tears. “You guys are my friends and I love you so much and I don’t want to feel like that is a disadvantage to us winning.” (… … “US!”) So what did Alaska do? Meditated on a couch. MEDITATED. This b-roll was played with audio from one of Alaska’s confessionals, giving us a canned feel-good speech about empowering yourself.
Katya then got her chance at the podcast. Ru loved Katya’s mom (as did we all). “Thank god my dad is a sociopath to balance it out,” Katya joked. And when they discussed Katya overcoming her inner saboteur from Season 7, she expressed that she has worked hard to gain control over her anxiety. “I name that voice. I call her Brenda. And I say, ‘You know what, Brenda? Shut the fuck up.’”
To be honest, Roxxxy has taken advantage of this chance. While she certainly does not deserve to be in the Top 4 of All-Stars and should have been eliminated weeks ago (with Tatianna and Alyssa both outshining her this season), the eliminations were not her final decision. She simply lent her clothes to Alaska week after week to ingratiate herself and appeal to her potential eliminator—a move that an ambitious queen would do in the hopes of remaining in the game. The fault lies with Alaska and Detox, who chose to unjustly keep Roxxxy in the competition based on friendship rather than merit.
But the queens also discussed how Roxxxy is not on par with the rest. “What if Roxxxy Andrews wins?” said Alaska. Katya replied, “I feel like it would be an uproar.” Alaska then took this opportunity to talk about herself, describing how her perfectionism, passion, and drive have allowed her to win weekly challenge after weekly challenge, but these traits make her “look cutthroat and vicious,” not likeable.
When you’re right, you’re right, Alaska.
One, Two, Three and Four
Travis Wall worked with the queens individually for their solo dance performances, using backup dancers. “I love Alaska but we all know she can’t dance for shit,” said Detox. And girl it was true. Travis quickly learned he would have to rely heavily on the backup dancers to make Alaska look impressive.
Katya was also choreographed to rely on the dancers, but was able to do sequential splits all the livelong day. “Oh that feels so fucking sexy,” she says, asking to try the choreo again with Mark Kanemura, another “So You Think You Can Dance” alum who went on to become Lady Gaga’s backup dancer.
In the workroom, Katya told the queens she’s proud of making it this far with Rolaskatox, “because I haven’t had has as much experience as a professional post-Drag-Race girl.” “I feel good about how I’ve performed in this competition,” Alaska chimes in. “I’ve had moments of going a little crazy, and I apologize to you all for that.” Detox said she feels good too. “I feel like myself, which is the first time I’ve felt truly ‘me’ in a long time. And now I feel bad that I’m gonna have to crush your guys’ journey.”
Reading on the Runway
Ru kicked off this finale showdown in a yellow gown with an off-the-waist fabric cascade, joined by this season’s recurring judges, Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley, Todrick Hall, and Ross Mathews.
“Read U, Wrote U” began to play, and the queens took their places on the catwalk. Their group intro was executed well, then Alaska went first for her solo. Any parts of her body weren’t covered in black latex were painted in blue makeup, and while it wasn’t her best look, it was on-brand with Alaska’s image. Her dancing was a little frantic but she pulled it off decently.
Detox was next, walking on chairs in a white-belted black sequined dress and magenta ombre pigtails. The performance started off a little boring but picked up as it went on, easily charming and fun to see.
Katya’s choreo was absolutely stunning, highlighted by her impressive flexibility and her hilarious lyrics. Her backup dancers performed an intro reveal and an outro conceal using hand fans, making fans of us all.
Last was Roxxxy, whose lyrics poked fun at herself and made it known she had no expectation of actually winning even if she hoped she would. She tossed her hair in a Beyoncé-esque windblown moment, making eye-contact like a pro. One of her best Drag Race performances to date!
Then it was time for the runway:
- Alaska entered in a gold sequined gown with a black feather boa, oddly reminiscent of her white gown with black boa last week, and her black gown with white feather boa as Mae West during the Snatch Game. Though redundant, this look was absolutely glamorous with a peroxide blonde wig and soft Hollywood makeup.
- Detox graced the stage in a coral pink tulle dress, bedazzled at the bodice with crystals and accented by a matching fascinator in her hair. On par with her fashion sensibility all season, this was a look to be proud of.
- Katya was next, giving us a Victorian bustle silhouette with a modern cut and fabric choice. With a tight, geometric gold and black long-sleeved top, her bustled skirt popped with flair, showcasing her gorgeous makeup and hair.
- Roxxxy entered last with a nude, floor-length gemmed gown and opera-length gloves, accessorized with a matching headpiece and short lavender hair, all reminiscent of the 1920s with a contemporary edit. While the color choice was too close to her lip sync look just moments prior, it was a gorgeous ensemble.
The judges gave glowing feedback to all the queens based on their raps this week, the runway looks they served, and their performance throughout the entire competition. “Way to come back tonight,” Ross said of Alaska after her tantrum last week. “You’ve come a long way since auditioning for Season 1,” Michelle added.
They praised Detox’s performance as outstanding and praised her for her rap talent. Regarding Katya, Carson gushed, “Your performance tonight was genius. I love that you did a Russian rap. I think your sense of humor has been spectacular all season.”
Ru gave us a (crocodile?) teary moment by addressing the Top 4 queens. “I couldn’t be more proud to know that each of you are part of my legacy.” (Read: “this show is still about me.”) “I feel so confident to pass my torch onto the 4 of you. No matter what happens on this stage tonight, you are a star forever!”
It’s Up to the Judges
Before dismissing the girls, Ru asked the big question: “Why should you, and not your fellow All-Stars, be inducted into the Drag Race hall of fame?”
“Yes, I’ve thrown fits,” Alaska said. “I’ve thrown tantrums. Perhaps I’m just a RuPaul’s Drag Race obsessed superfan.” She then described past Drag Race moments. “Look into your hearts where you will find the only inductee into the RuPaul Drag Race hall of fame is I, Alaska, hallelu yas gawd okrrr!” By channeling Drag Race royalty like Shangela and Laganja Estranja, she made herself seem more likeable. Smart move, and cheap.
Detox was next. “I don’t want to throw these girls under the bus… BUT I will say I have shown such an amount of growth and maturity and humility that I just want to travel around the world and share that with everyone. I could be some kind of a beacon of hope for all those weirdos out there.”
“Charisma, uniqueness, nerve, talent,” said Katya in a thick Russian accent. “What do these qualities have in common? I don’t know, I’m not a scientist. I stand here a charismatic woman of grace and dignity,” she said, fondling her breastplate. She then cut the accent and became touchingly sentimental. “In Season 7, you let me show the world that I am good enough. And here, you let me believe it myself. And I can’t thank you enough for that. Like they say in Russia, [insert a long Russian phrase Katya said].” “What does that mean?” asked Ru. Katya replied, “I have a carburetor outside that I just have to do some work on.”
Roxxxy: “I came onto All-Stars to show to America and to myself that I can compete and do it the right way. I stand here so proud of myself. I can’t tell you not to crown one of these three girls because they are so phenomenal, but I want you to crown me.”
For the first time this season, the choice of elimination was up to the judges. Ru dismissed the girls, the judges recalled the queens’ best moments and their unique talents that got them this far, then welcomed the contestants back for the main event.
Lip Sync for Your LEGACY!
As all 4 queens returned, Ru read off the names of the Top 3:
Alaska… Detox… and… Katya.
This meant Roxxxy was eliminated just shy of the crown and ineligible to lip sync for her legacy. But this also meant the end of Rolaskatox this season, because Roxxxy was finally cut while Katya remained in the running for the crown. But don’t worry, Roxxxy, you’ve still made Drag Race herstory! You broke your OWN RECORD for the queen who landed in the BOTTOM the MOST, with 6 CONSECUTIVE TIMES.
Performing to “If I Were Your Woman” by Gladys Knight and The Pips, the queens emoted with passion and subtlety, sans gimmicky death drops or jaw-grinding lip sync styles that would normally get a laugh from the judges and ensure a victory in the past. No, this performance would be decided by vulnerability and soul.
Alaska, in an atypical move based on her humorous take on lip syncs all season, rose to that challenge and delivered a gripping performance. She smeared her own makeup reminiscent of a teary meltdown while Detox gave us soulful passion behind the lyrics. Katya took a different approach and delivered charismatic innocence, and while supremely authentic, didn’t upstage her competitors.
After such a beautiful performance, Ru named the winner…
… to the shock of absolutely no one on Earth.
Alaska Thunderfuck immediately broke down in tears, finally receiving the crown after 8 long episodes of contention and consistently high performance, bouncing back from last week’s inexcusable fit and LITERAL BRIBERY to remain in the competition.
Part of this win is a vindication and “rooting for the underdog” story, as Alaska, after overcoming substance abuse and a tumultuous relationship with Season 4 winner Sharon Needles, has constantly been in the shadow of her victorious ex-boyfriend. And just shy of winning Season 5, she lived the experience of making it to the Top 3 before, only for the dream to be dashed.
But after such bratty behavior, it’s hard to be fully happy for Alaska. Social media is already storming against her, stating that Katya should have been crowned instead after working so hard against a Rolaskatox-rigged game.
“Anus-thing is possible,” Alaska says as the season came to a close.
And if you’re Alaska Thunderfuck, it seems that just might be true, despite the controversy.
What do you think, kids? Did Alaska earn her win? Was she rewarded for bad behavior? Let us know on our Jetspace Magazine social channels or comment below with your thoughts!