This was, by far, the best episode of All Stars 5 to date.
Following the mixed reviews of last week’s SheMZ! maxi-challenge, and Ru’s decision to dish out a rare double shantay to challenge winner Miz Cracker and lip-sync assassin Morgan McMichaels, this episode of All Stars saw Drag Race back on top form with soon-to-be iconic performances and runaways, meme-able drama and scandalous confessions from the judging panel.
This week, the six remaining contestants played… the Snatch Game of Love! 13 Reasons Why star Tommy Dorfman and Canada’s Drag Race judge Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman followed in the footsteps of Gus Kenworthy and Keiynan Lonsdale as bachelor-esque contestants, asking the ‘celebrities’ a series of questions before selecting their perfect match.
Tommy’s team consisted of India Ferrah, Miz Cracker and Alexis Mateo. India, who has spent the past three consecutive weeks in the bottom, decided to “take a risk” with an unfortunate – and untimely – impersonation of controversial internet personality and makeup artist Jeffree Star. Yeah, yikes. Miz Cracker decided that the third time was the charm as she attempted to channel Lady Gaga, decked out in her legendary lilac gown from the 2019 Oscars, while Alexis Mateo ‘edutainted’ viewers as Puerto Rican astrologer and performer Walter Mercado. Alexis successfully wooed Tommy which Walter, and EVERYONE ELSE WHO WATCHED IT, saw coming.
In Jeffrey’s round, Blair St. Clair tried to channel the essence of Ellen DeGeneres while Jujubee attempted to outperform Chi Chi DeVayne and Valentina’s Snatch Game performances as Eartha Kitt, with Shea Couleé donning male drag as Tiffany Pollard’s ex, Flavor Flav; the grandfather of reality dating television. Blair? “White noise.” Juju and Shea? In the words of Drag Race season 12 winner, icon and legend, Jaida Essence Hall, “chile.” Do you think Drag Race producers would consider two consecutive double crownings? It was pure excellence. The show at its finest. A new peak for Snatch Game, maybe? Sadly, Jeffrey could only pick one, and he chose Shea. Well deserved.
The contestants then strutted down the runway in their finest Prom Queen Fantasy, where Tommy revealed that he used to “date” season seven winner Violet Chachki and RuPaul admitted that he and his husband “impersonated” Blair’s runway walk. The T was piping hot this episode! Cracker opted for “funny, pretty, stupid” as a prom queen with acne, Alexis served quinceañera-realness and India embodied Morticia Adams for a dark and busty ensemble that unintentionally resembled her runway from the iconic Mimi Imfurst lip-sync. Blair stunned with a gender-bent illusion in a tuxedo dress, Juju transformed into an 80s fashionista and Shea… lordt. Can we get another “chile” up in here? Breathtaking, honestly. The star paid homage to Carrie, but with a Sasha Velour, rose petal extravaganza-inspired twist.
“I just wanted to base a look around a moment, where I thought I was going to be queen of the prom,” explained Shea. “And it didn’t turn out like that for me. For the next year at meet and greets, fans would take off their hats and rose petals would fall out because I was the butt of this joke. I wanted to find an opportunity to reclaim my rose. I was really devastated, I’m not going to lie, and it took me being surrounded with people who love me and kept me inspired and pushed me to keep going. Those are the very people responsible for me standing here right now.”
Shea was later declared the top All Star of the week, meaning she’s RIGHTFULLY earned her place as the frontrunner for the crown with two wins. Shortly after, Ru threw another twist into the mix: “Starting today, there are no safe queens. If you’re not the top All Star, you are in the bottom.” This means queens such as Alexis and Juju – who triumphed in the challenge and would normally be ranked ‘high’ – could be “el chapo”. It creates drama, that’s for sure, but their track records are gonna look messy as hell from this point onward. We’re conflicted, to say the least.
In the werkroom, it got… messy. Drama, conflama, all that. After Shea hinted that she would eliminate Alexis from the competition because of their past beef, a desperate India took Shea to one side and claimed that Alexis and Mayhem asked her to pick Shea’s lipstick. Severe? Up? In? Here? Correct. Shea called out Alexis, who denied the whole thing and denounced her friendship with India. “India is the queen of stunts,” she said in her confessional. “She should have her own show in Vegas called ‘The Stunt Queen.’ This is the biggest shenanigan I’ve ever heard in my life.” Like Juju, we’re confused. “If India is lying, she would’ve been a better actor, which means she would’ve been better at Snatch Game. Is it Alexis? Is Alexis the villain?” asked Juju as she picked lipsticks. This season is too juicy!
Understandably, Shea’s decision was a toughy. Was she going to eliminate India, the queen with the Roxxxy Andrews-esque track record, or was she going to eliminate Alexis, a fierce competitor who lobbied for her to sashay away a few weeks back? Choices. Enter this week’s lip-sync assassin… Alexis’ drag daughter, Vanessa Vanjie Mateo (awkward). To the beat of Madonna’s Open Your Heart, Vanjie kicked and flipped, but it wasn’t enough to conquer over Shea, who oozed sex appeal with tight choreography. Ultimately, Shea opted to send India home, meaning Alexis gets the chance to shantay another day. Did she make the right decision? Or should she have chopped her All Stars rival when she had the chance? All in all, this will go down in HERstory as a perfect episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Next week, the queens will fire up the grill and join RuPaul’s family for the Charles Backyard Ball, where there will strut down in the runway in two sizzling looks. Bebe Rexha makes her judging debut, alongside RuPaul’s sisters Rozy and Renae.
The first five episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 5 are now available to stream in the UK on Netflix.