It’s the best time of year: All Stars Season! We’re three episodes in, and with Thorgy and Milk (mercifully) gone — oh, and Morgan too — it’s time to look back at this season’s most iconic moments so far.
Shangela’s corn outfit: Well, Halleloo! Ever since Shangela emerged from a bright blue Tiffany box for the season’s workroom entrance, she’s been sailing gracefully through the competition with positive critiques from the judges. After her over-the-top diva impersonation of Mariah for the second episode’s challenge, the Daenerys Targaryen of drag struggled to shine in comparison to DeLa and Kennedy in the third episode’s Bachelor spoof, the B*tchelor. But Shangela redefined the vegetable kingdom Thursday night with her stunning, leafy, corn-inspired gown. The category was “Wings on Wigs on Wigs” (see: Roxxxy Andrews’ season five lip sync to “Whip my Hair”), so, obviously, Shangela ripped off her Miss Chiquita-esque headpiece to reveal a bright green wig studded with popcorn. I recommend that everyone take a look at Kim Chi’s Twitter page to see the popcorn wig transplanted onto all of her season eight runway looks.
BenDeLaCreme’s well… everything: We’re three episodes in, and the Seattle native is a three-time winner. DeLa has been a fan favorite since her successful, although pretty tame, run on season six, but who imagined she would slay the competition as effortlessly as she has? DeLa has had everyone in this reviewer’s living room screaming all season, whether it was her campy Julie Andrews rendition for Diva week or her hysterical “cougar” character for the B*tchelor. It was cackle-worthy when she stumbled out of the limo with a short, blonde “Can I Speak to the Manager” wig, a gargantuan breast plate and a tiny, tight pink dress that matched the martini sloshing in her hand. Bebe Zahara Benet’s virgin impersonation tanked in comparison to DeLa’s raunchy and way-too-vivid flirting with B*tchelor guest star Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman. Her lip sync of “Anaconda” against Aja in the first episode was so good that her lackluster performance of “Green Light” is completely forgivable. It’s almost like she’s gotten bored of winning? Trixie tweeted it best: Everyone’s favorite TV show right now is “BenDeLaCreme’s Drag Race.”
Aja’s death drop: Starting with her Olympic-tier death leap during the first episode’s variety show main stage challenge, Aja has been a standout queen this season. “Is she gonna jump from there?” has become the meme of the season, and her leap might be the most iconic death drop since Laganja’s season six workroom entrance. She ended up in the bottom three because of her dull impersonation of “the needy girl” on the B*tchelor, but her stunning anime-inspired runway look during the third episode kept her in the competition. After her astounding lip sync of “Anaconda” (2014) against DeLa, joining the jump split Hall of Fame alongside Kennedy and Katya’s lip sync of “Roar” (2013) and many others, there are high expectations for Aja going forward.
Kennedy’s moment of revenge: Most “Drag Race” viewers were definitely glad to see Milk go. Her whiny fit in episode two in response to being ruled safe, instead of being in the top three, reeked of entitlement, especially given that her Celine Dion look, well, didn’t really look like the French Canadian chanteuse. Then, she completely dismissed Kennedy Davenport’s drag after Thorgy’s elimination, telling her that her drag wasn’t at the “all star level.” But Kennedy’s bird-to-egg couture was real artistry, and her towering headpiece during the first episode’s workroom entrance was certainly memorable. The Dancing Diva of Dallas has proven over and over that she’s more than just a pageant girl, which is why it felt so good when Kennedy won her lip sync against DeLa and eliminated Milk from the competition. Backstage smack talk is the best, but you have to have the talent to back it up, and clearly Milk miscalculated the strength of her drag.
What to look forward to:
Snatch game: Snatch game is coming back this week, and we’re all looking forward to what this cast of queens can bring to what is arguably Drag Race’s most important mainstage challenge. Kennedy is set to be a strong contender on the celebrity impersonation game, since her season seven appearance as Little Richard was one of the best in the show’s herstory. And then there’s DeLa, whose season six take on Maggie Smith was the Downton Abbey (2010–2015) impersonation we never knew we needed. Maybe one of the queens would like to take on one of the wacky characters we have in the executive branch right now?
More from Chi Chi and Trixie: Trixie is easily this season’s fan favorite, but the Queen of Wisconsin’s performances during these three episodes haven’t lived up to the hype. Her Lady Bunny-inspired runway look for Wigs on Wigs on Wigs was phenomenal, and her Ja’mie-inspired “fake b****” character on the B*tchelor was spot on, but Trixie has played it too safe so far this season. As she said, in the “four fake brick walls” of the workroom, “you’re garbage until proven otherwise,” and we’re all excited to see how Trixie is going to step it up going forward. And then there’s Chi Chi DeVayne, the self-proclaimed bayou princess, but much like with her run on season eight, this season needs more from the Louisiana queen. She definitely didn’t shine as Shangela’s polyamorous counterpart in the B*tchelor, but she was a disco-inspired goddess on the runway right afterwards. There’s a good chance that Chi Chi will really own the snatch game, since her impersonation of Eartha Kitt on season eight was so hysterical.
Nancy Pelosi: Congresswoman Pelosi, coming off last week’s eight-hour filibuster to extend a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, is set to be a guest judge sometime this season. This might just be a stale Democratic politician trying to hit it off with a young, queer audience, but it’s hard not being excited about such a high-profile figure seated next to Ru and Michelle at the judge’s table.
“RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on VH1.