30th Jun2020

‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race All-Stars 5×04’ Review

by Rhys Payne

The fourth episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race All-Stars starts with the queens talking about the elimination of Mariah Paris Balenciaga, who originally appeared on Season 3 of the original series. It is fantastic that Mariah was able to come back and show how far she has progressed and it gave her an opportunity to showcase her incredible make-up skills yet again. After they have got over the shock of Mariah’s elimination the discussion turned to who had voted for Shea (who was also in the bottom last week). This lead to a lot of drama as queens admitted to voting for her to go home and an episode-long feud to start between Shea and Alexis/Mayhem. As Shea is shown as being the fan-favourite to win and this idea of “I will vote for her as she voted for me” was played up, it was obvious who would end up on the bottom in this episode. While talking about Shea, I have to say that I am in love with her two-tone denim jacket that she frequently wears in her boy looks! I have been looking at a similar jacket on ASOS for a while and after seeing how good she looks in it, I want it even more!

This week’s Maxi challenge was titled SheMz which had the queens acting as celebrities that have been caught by a rogue cameraman. The groups were allocated by Ru herself which is very confusing. I don’t really know why Ru forms the groups and allocates the groups, but I have a feeling that is purely to create drama with Shea and Alexis being a duet for this challenge. I think I personally may have missed something about this challenge as I am not too familiar TMZ, which this challenge is clearly a parody of. This challenge started with the queens dressed in boy drag and acting butch in an attempt to portray straight acting lads, which contrasted the flamboyance of Carson Kreisler being the chief editor. This scene was somewhat comical but also unique as I have not seen a challenge which involves the queens being “lads” for a long time. You can tell the scenes in the challenge were all improvised and that some of the queens struggled in this challenge. Someone who didn’t struggle at all was Mrs Cracker, who’s quick-wit and comedic experience worked perfectly in this challenge – she even had Jujubee (who was in her team) laughing throughout! After last weeks incredible runway and this week’s excellent performance in the comedy challenge, it would appear that she is on an upwards trajectory in the overall competition. Many online Drag Race discussion sites have started an almost cancel Ross Matthews campaign where they use his comment on Shea’s outfit last episode looking crafty as the fuel of there outrage. However, I thought in this episode Ross worked very hard on the challenge being a rogue reporter as he kept the energy up but also provided many hilarious moments. He was a highlight in the challenge but didn’t appear as a judge in the episode which was very unusual.

I do feel as if these episodes fall into a very strict structure – which is preparation for the challenge, challenge, emotional moments and then runway. The emotional moment came this week where Blair St Clair and Mayhem Miller talked about how they both have had DUI’s in the past and how the regret those poor choices in their lives. Having super successful people talk about their mistakes obviously gives hope to any viewers who believe they are being held back due to poor life choices in their past, which is fantastic to watch! The special guest judge this week was Sarah Hyland who is most famous for appearing in Modern Family. She contributed some comical quips in the runway and possessed the energy fitting of a show about drag queens. A special mention has to go to her fabulous sequin jacket she wore for the duration of the show as it was incredible and is another piece of fashion from the show I would love to own!

The runway theme on All-Stars this week was “Camouflage” which didn’t particularly fit to the challenge in my opinion. Jujubee’s look this week was two-tone peach and camouflage jumpsuit/cape combination with the camo design on the inside of the outfit. She justified this outfit by saying she was camouflaging the camouflage which was very clever and made sense to the theme. Blair St Clair turned in an incredible look that was an ode to Mother Nature, while paying tribute to the Camo theme. This outfit was incredible to look at as it was so fantastical but also beautiful. My personal highlight this week was India Ferrah, who produced a Camo and black leather outfit that was very strong but her make-up and hair were incredible. The whole look had a massive sense of drama which is something I really enjoy.

The winner of this weeks episode was Mrs Cracker, which I think was rightfully deserved as she nailed the improvisation challenge. Her outfit for the lip-sync was debatably better than her runway outfit, as it was a stunning jewelled look which to me read as ice-inspired. It was revealed that this weeks lip-sync assassin was Morgan McMichaels who appeared in the third season of the regular Drag Race. The lip-sync was good but didn’t quite reach the standard set from the first two episodes. Uniquely, the two lip-sync competitors worked together to deliver the performance which is an interesting tactic when one queen will win and one will lose. Both queens performed in what I interpreted as “ice-inspired” looks, which were strange and didn’t particularly make sense with the song but this did add to the sense of unity between the performers. As I discussed previously, the lip-syncs are a competition between two performers where one queen will be chosen as the winner and one the loser but this episode turned even that on its head! The result of this lip sync was a tie (which in my opinion defeats the whole purpose of the secret lip-sync assassin but never mind) but this did create added drama as there was a possibility of both the queens going home, as both the most voted for queen and the winning queens vote could both lead to an elimination. However, both Cracker and Morgan voted to eliminate Mayhem Miller to go home and as it is written she had to leave.

This weeks episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race All-Stars had a challenge that only a few queens could shine in, with a few iconic looks in the runway challenge. The fall of Shea from her super dominating status does add a lot more drama and excitement to the show. I can’t wait for next weeks episode as it’s the snatch game!

**** 4/5

Ru Paul’s Drag Race All-Stars is available to watch on Netflix UK.

Trackbacks & Pings

  • Nerdly » ‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race All-Stars 5×05’ Review says:

    […] Last weeks episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race All-Stars: Season 5 saw the elimination of the meme queen herself Mayhem Miller who did appear to be struggling to match the creativity, uniqueness, nerve and talent of the other competitors but it was still a shame to see her leave. This started a discussion between the queens about whether or not a queen should vote for their own elimination. While I understand that voting for yourself does appear to be giving up, at the same time if you know you are the worst-performing queen in the line up then surely it’s within your power to admit that by voting yourself to go home. Also due to Mayhem’s elimination, it means we are now into the top six queens of All-Stars fifth season which means the audience are beginning to see the finale approach, which really helps to amp up the excitement for the rest of the season. […]