Collecting some of the fiercest winners in Drag Race’s herstory, many predicted that the seventh season of All Stars would be a franchise best. BREAKING NEWS: WE! WERE! CORRECT! Thanks to the unified charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent of former champions Jaida Essence Hall, Jinkx Monsoon, Monét X Change, Raja, Shea Couleé, Trinity the Tuck, Yvie Oddly and The Vivienne, All Stars 7 has been an absolute knockout. From SNL-worthy impersonations on the staple Snatch Game challenge to the electrifying lip-syncs, as well as runway presentations that would put the Met Gala to shame (to shame!), viewers have been constantly fed by some of the most accomplished performers the art-form of drag has to offer. As All Stars 7 comes to an end with the lip-sync showdown to end all lip-sync showdowns, we reflected on the past 11 weeks and collected each winners’ most sickening – and impactful – moments from the season.
Jaida Essence Hall
Standout moment: HER, JUST HER
Jaida demolished the competitive aspect of All Stars 7, conquering both sewing challenges over fashion powerhouses such as Raja and Shea Coulee. However, it was the star’s adorkable charm that continued to win her legions of fans across the world. Compared to season 12, which saw the “essence of beauty” laser-focused on snatching the crown, Jaida had one mission in mind, and that was to have fun. As a result, we had fun with her. From her so bad it’s motherfucking brilliant impersonation of Prince on Snatch Game, to her unconvincing plea to no longer face the Platinum Plunger and her crucial role in figuring out who “fucked Monet”, Jaida has brought so much joy to All Stars 7 and, honestly, it wouldn’t have been the same without her.
Standout moment: “Broom…”
For years, it was impossible to name the all-time best Snatch Game performance. The last 14 years of RuPaul’s Drag Race has boasted a plethora of iconic impersonations, from Alaska’s brassy portrayal of Mae West to BenDeLaCreme’s eerily accurate homage of Maggie Smith, as well as Bob the Drag Queen’s dual role as Carol Channing and Uzo Aduba and, of course, Jinkx Monsoon’s Oscar-worthy Little Edie. On All Stars 7, the latter shut that conversation down completely. As Judy Garland, viewers were unanimous in declaring her performance as the greatest impersonation in Drag Race herstory thanks to her priceless comebacks – “Well it was a set Ru, it – it wasn’t real” and “Broom” were ingenious – powerhouse vocals and perfect callback to season five veteran Dave, who was convinced he killed Judy. Ha! With the following response, “Dave, if you’re watching, you’re not responsible darling. You’re forgiven, yes,” have you ever seen Broom and Michelle Visage cackle quite like that? She even made the other queens break character. Can anyone do Snatch Game like Jinkx Monsoon?
Monét X Change
Standout moment: La Sonnambula
The 11th episode of All Stars 7 saw the eight winners compete in the ‘Drag Race Gives Back Variety Extravaganza,’ with several opting to showcase their vocals and original tracks, as well as their arsenal of flips, kicks and other tricks. Monét X Change, however, chose to utilise her degree at Westminster Choir College of Rider University with a breathtaking display of her operatic abilities. Performing a rendition of Vincenzo Bellini’s La Sonnambula – in a corset! – Monet delivered one of the most tremendous displays of raw talent ever on the main stage, leaving the panel stunned and The Vivienne blubbering in the process. Rightfully, the performance went viral on social media, with one fan proclaiming: “The way this is probably the best talent show performance ever, Monét did what needed to be done.”
Standout moment: THE RUNWAYS, MY GOD THE RUNWAYS
“Roger” (Jinkx Monsoon, 2022) memorably became the first high fashion representative of RuPaul’s Drag Race as she stomped down the season three runway week-after-week in mind-blowing ensembles, some of which still stand as the show’s all-time best. (Shoutout to her Marie Antoinette-inspired getup and fantasy hair extravaganza.) As the co-host of Fashion Photo RuView with Raven, where she ‘toots’ and ‘boots’ the looks of each queen’s runways, Raja faced enormous pressure to deliver; the sneak-peak of the premiere squashed any doubts, of course, which saw the drag veteran reimagine her “eye-iconic” season three entrance to wide acclaim. She maintained momentum throughout the course of the series with her tribute to The Golden Pagoda Yangon – which caused uproar online when she failed to win the challenge – and knitted reinvention of her original metallic bodysuit. While All Stars 7 has seen Raja further showcase her skillset, particularly in regards to comedy (she should’ve won Snatch Game!), she dominated the runways and cemented her status as Drag Race’s supreme fashion queen.
Standout moment: Janet Jackson-inspired realness
Stream Your Name! Do it. Now! Backed by a group of dancers, Shea provided viewers with the season’s most spectacular pop extravaganza in the variety show with an exhilarating, choreo-heavy routine of her sensual, Janet Jackson-inspired anthem. Like the contestants and panel stated, it didn’t feel like a talent show number. It felt like we were watching an industry veteran on a sold-out arena tour. Throughout Shea’s three season-stint, we’ve seen the All Stars 5 winner slay multiple performances: Category Is, Collide, Clap Back! and Titanic, but this was a whole ‘nother level. Give! This! Queen! A! Grammy! Oh, and do us a favour: stop bitching about her place in the final and STREAM YOUR NAME.
Trinity The Tuck
Standout moment: Realness of Fortune Ball
Although Trinity has her eye on the crown (and cash prize) at all times, she never sacrifices her morals to do so. We witnessed this in the fourth season of All Stars, where she refused to eliminate contestants who she deemed strong competition; later denouncing Monét and Naomi Smalls’ controversial decision to chop frontrunner Manila Luzon. In the third episode of All Stars 7, we saw this side to Trinity once more as she heavily assisted her competitors – particularly Jinkx – in constructing their garments for The Realness of Fortune Ball while still boasting enough time to concoct her stunning, red leather fantasy, which ultimately garnered the star her second consecutive challenge win. We live! While Trinity has, as per, slaughtered the competition – bringing her total challenge wins up to 11, more than any other contestant in herstory (!) – it was just so gorgeous to see her prove that, on RuPaul’s Drag Race, you can be kind and succeed. One more time: WE LIVE!
Standout moment: “My name is Helga and I am from Germany and I like to eat strudel”
For effortlessly switching accents from Scottish to German, The Vivienne deserves an Academy Award for Best Actress (or a Teen Choice Award, at the very least). The fourth episode memorably saw the contestants demonstrate their improv skills as they channelled fairytale characters in the Fairytale Justice courtroom. In her role as a compulsive lying Goldie Locks, Viv supplied us with hilarious comebacks such as, “My name is Helga and I am from Germany and I like to eat strudel,” “This is not my grandmother, she has no house, she’s homeless, so this story has many holes,” and “I’m Hansel and Gretel and it’s true to my character.” After being unfairly edited out of Snatch Game (we have absolutely no doubt in our minds that she slayed her impersonation of Catherine Tate’s Nan), seeing Viv fully showcase her skills as an actress and comedian felt so correct.
Standout moment: Opening up about her journey with Ehlers Danlos
Following on from her conversations about her health on season 11, Yvie Oddly continued to provide visibility for people around the world battling Ehlers Danlos, a degenerative condition that affects the body’s connective tissue and causes issues with mobility. In one of the most powerful moments of the season, Yvie admitted to RuPaul and Michelle Visage that it’s recently been more “difficult” to live with the illness as she feels herself “actively losing skills, and it’s getting hard to even stand up in heels”. Later, Yvie flexed the aforementioned skillset as she kicked, flipped and performed a back handspring – to uproarious reactions from the judges and her sisters – as a “call back” to the abilities she’s “losing”. Yvie’s vulnerability was met with praise on social media, with many commending her for, once again, raising awareness of those living with Ehlers Danlos. In a post-episode statement, Yvie told her fans: “To anyone who ever asks how my health is doing: it’s not good, it’s not getting better, and it’s not going to… but at least I am.”