05th Jul2022

‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race All-Stars 7×07’ Review

by Rhys Payne

I have to admit that I am not the biggest fan of the legendary legend stars (which are essentially glorified badges) that are awarded to the best performing queens from each episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race All-Stars. I understand that these are simply a placeholder to identify the top four queens in the finale, but I think there could have been a much more glamorous way to keep track of each queens progress. Despite this inclusion allowing the merchandise team on Drag Race to logically create another form of income for the show (via the sale of legendary legends badges), I think the badges are too similar to the incredible frustrating badges used in Drag Race UK. However, these badges have allowed for the audience to get a much more in-depth understanding of the strategies each of the queens is employing and shines a light on the politics of reality TV shows which we haven’t really seen before! The winning queen of each episode has to carefully consider which one of their peers is doing the best at the point or could earn a star next week while also trying to maintain any existing friendships which I know I would struggle with if I was in the queen’s shoes!

The added twist in the week before last episode was that two best queens, namely Jinkx and Raja, were gifted an extra star each for them to gift to whichever queen they would like! I personally think that Raja had the right idea of gifting Eyvie Oddly her extra badge as she was the only queen who had not won a badge yet. Jinkx however decided to give her badge to Jaida as she had been so helpful to everyone in the werk room. After the gifting of the badges ceremony had commenced we quickly learnt about a sudden change in Vivienne’s attitude. She was rather upset that the queens had decided what teams they wanted to be in for the Y2K girl group challenge without her input and seemed to bring up her frustration at any moment she could. However, this change in attitude seemed to work out well for Vivienne as she showcased an incredible Dolly Parton-inspired look on the runway which landed her in the top alongside Eyvie Oddly. After a very character-based lip-sync, Vivienne was declared as the winner of the episode and then she shockingly decided to block her on-screen rival Jinkx despite being in the same team for this week’s challenge!

Quite surprisingly, episode seven of Ru Paul’s Drag Race All-Stars brought with it yet another design challenge. The queens were tasked to create a “legendary legends” look which is a homage to one of Ru Paul’s most iconic looks throughout the years. It was explained that the queens must not simply recreate the look but its was instead an interpretation with a very clear reference point. The outfits were to be made of traditional materials (which is unusual for a Drag Race challenge!) which usually would be a nightmare for Jinkx but as she was blocked there was no way she could win even if she created the best look (which was highly doubtful anyway!) I think Jinkx used this time to simply have fun in the werk room and when she realised that the outfit she had made was drastically too small for her, she had what can only be described as a breakdown which ended with her perched on a workbench being spanked by Eyvie which was equal parts hilarious and equal parts insane! Going into this season I was not aware of how much of a talented sewer Trinity the Tuck was! She was not only able to create an incredible look but also was able to give a helping hand to both Monet X-Change and the trained costume designer Shea Coulee.

The Vivienne was first up to re-interpret Ru Paul’s look during the DEPSY awards during season seven. I thought that Viv looked incredible in the gold asymmetric dress with her make-up being absolutely flawless. This was probably the most accurate re-creation of the original look and looked incredible on her but I suppose the theme was to re-imagine the look rather than remake it. Trinity was giving the adorable blue outfit that Ru wore during the promo video for season eight. Trinity reimagined the outfit as a gorgeous baby blue gown complete with a bow on the back with the entire outfit being stoned perfectly. She also managed to create elbow-length gloves that were made of exactly the same material as her gown which helped to create a very cohesive look! This classic Hollywood glamour style look was pure beauty and her blonde hair worked perfectly with this style of outfit! I have to admit that I didn’t really understand Raja’s reimagining of Ru’s “born naked” look. She had this wonderfully punk-ish side ponytail with an outfit that was very busy in the top half but very basic in the bottom. The best look of this runway category would have to be Jaida who managed to showcase an outfit that was both a homage to Ru Paul and Dianna Ross at the same time! She had created a gold sequin jumpsuit that sparkles perfectly under the lights on the runway which was extremely classy but still showcased her incredible body. This disco-inspired look was completed with the most fabulous massive hair that truly was the icing on the wonderful cake! The look was so well constructed that it could have been easily made by a professional outside of the werk room which really is a testimony of how talented Jaida Is! Monet had created a neon paint-splattered face-kini that showed influences of the Klub Kid movement! She had managed to match the hat, corset and shoes in a fabric that contrasted the rest of the outfit perfectly, the two designs really shouldn’t have worked next to each other but it looked absolutely amazing!

It was announced that the top two of this episode were Jaida and Trinity (who were also in the top on the last design challenge episode) which means that Jaida is now in the lead with the most legendary legend badges! The highlight of this lip-sync was Jaida performing her iconic running split that I could never, ever imagine doing myself and Trinity performing the cursed knee slide directly into Jaida where she began to thrust her head into the backside of a confused Jaida! Ru Paul declared that Trinity was the winner of the lip-sync and so she gets the magic power of choosing who would be blocked in the next episode. She decided to block none other than Eyvie Oddly, which was clearly a clever decision as she is currently in the top three winning queens on this season (alongside Jaida and Jinkx!)

Overall, every queen showcased their sewing talents while paying homage to some of Ru Paul’s most iconic looks throughout the show. The episode showed Trinity in a much more caring and compassionate light while at the same time shining a light on the strategies that the queens are using to end up in the top four!

**** 4/5


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