13th Aug2021

‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race All-Stars 6×09’ Review

by Rhys Payne

There has been a lot of discussions online about the differences between a normal series of Drag Race with the snatch game and Drag Race All-Stars seasons that have the snatch game of love. While I personally prefer the regular snatch game, I do believe that there needs to be a difference between the challenges on the normal and All-Star seasons. To match the step-up of overall drag quality and performance of the drag queens there needs to be something a little different about the challenges, especially the drag race challenge staples. I thought that it was fairly obvious as to which queens were at the bottom of last weeks episode due to the groups they appeared in. Both Pandora and Trinity were sandwiched between pairs of larger than life characters and so they stuck out like a sore thumb due to their reserved performances. After Ginger lip-synced against a returning Heidi N Closet, where the two performers gave two very contrasting performances to the song, it was revealed that Pandora Boxx would be leaving the completion. Based on track record, this means that both Ginger and Trinity are now the forerunners in this completion but also means that we are now down to the top 5 queens on Drag Race All-Stars 6.

This weeks episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race All-Stars 6 opened with a mini-challenge, where the queens were sat as if in a classroom and had to vote for each of their fellow queens in a series of categories. This challenge was somewhat similar about the voting mini-challenge in season two of Drag Race UK where Tia Kofi was famously dubbed ‘baroness basic’ with both mini-challenges being purely meant to drum up drama and tension within the queens. However, this challenge really amped up the dramatic elements when the final question was about who is more likely to go home next… At first, I thought this was very strange as it had been done before but without the schoolroom setting but I thought it was brilliant that there was a common theme that tied the whole episode together. The main challenge this week was to created a brand new character to join the Drag Tots, which is an animated series on Wow Presents+ where baby drag queens are voiced by some of the most iconic drag race queens from the show. The drag tots are a bunch of baby queens who are in the same class in school, so taking this idea and including it in the opening mini-challenge was fantastic to see. For the runway theme, the queens had to bring these fictional characters to life and perform their character monologues, telling the audience their story and who they are. The majority of the queens decided to take on preppy and friendly baby queens whereas I thought it was very clever for Eureka to create a villainous character – as not only does this make her stand out in the group but also she can play on the more dark elements for her divine performance last week in snatch game!

For the runway section on this episode, I have to give some props to Michelle Visage who looked incredible in a black dress complete with sparkly flames on her chest area which looked stunning! While we are talking about judges, the team behind this episode had managed to include animated characters from the Drag Tots (voiced by Bianca Del Rio and Latrice Royale) to be a part of the judging team and were joining in with the classic runway comments that the judges are known for which was brilliant! We have talked about the judges and now onto the actual queens… I enjoyed Trinity’s outfit this week, where she walked the runway in a wonderfully energetic furry pin cat outfit and tied this into the challenge as her character was a ‘catwalk’ coach – which I thought was super cute and clever! I thought that Ginger Minj looked incredibly stunning this week in a deep blue, sequin dress that she had flawlessly made in the werk room. I really loved the sequinned material she had used and while on the runway she did a wonderfully fun and over-the-top performance of her monologue, which is where I think Ginger shines the most. When Ra’jah walked the runway I was completely in awe and she looked out of this world in a completely purple ensemble. She has become known for her signature colour, which is purple, but had decorated it with googly-eyes – which again tied into the character she had created. Her outfit was amazing but I thought the highlight of her performance in this episode was when she said: “If someone tells you that your are off, best just tell them you just can’t hear my song” which is so powerful! Ra’jah was declared as the winner this week – which was deserved – but it means that every other queen in the competition is in the bottom and up for elimination. I have no idea who I would have voted for this week as everyone did fairly well, so I know that the queens would have found it insanely difficult!

What I thought was also brilliant in this episode is that Ra’jah’s lips-ync outfit still contained some callback to the outfit she created for the main challenge! It was revealed that this weeks lip-sync assassin is Kameron McMicheals, who is a queen that I really want to see more of and long for the day where she returns for All-Stars. Kameron’s outfit was also amazing – a light blue costume complete with gold accents all around! The other thing that has been discussed in the online communities numerous times is the idea that the winning queens may throw the lip-sync performance as it means that they are not the sole reason another queen is eliminated. While I’m not sure if this conspiracy theory is right or wrong, I do think that Ra’jah’s lip-sync earlier this season against Brooklyn Hytes was so much better and Kameron was the clear winner this time as she showed off some tricks and even had a reveal. It was then revealed that Eureka would be leaving the competition… but not yet! We have been endlessly waiting for the game within the game (that Ru Paul talks about every episode), so much so that there is now a series of memes that have been created online! We were told that all the eliminated queens will be returning next week for some sort of lip-syncing smackdown which I have to admit was done two seasons ago, so I hope there is another twist otherwise it will be very disappointing!

Overall, this was a clever episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race All-Stars with the mini, main and runway theme all being tied together, with the inclusion of the Drag Tots on the judging panel also being a nice touch. However, I thought that many of the queens missed the idea that these characters would be on the animated show and the lip-sync appeared very one-sided.

*** 3.5/5


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