We don’t get a break! With “All Stars 3” all wrapped up and season 10 underway, let’s take a look at the past two weeks of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (2009–).
“All Stars 3” Finale: It was a rough one. The Drag Race world was in shambles after the shocking conclusion of the third season of “All Stars.” All expectations were tossed in the bin when the top two were determined by a jury of this season’s eliminated queens. With all the losers (one self-imposed) back on set, all of the elimination drama from episodes past came roaring back to center stage. After a one-take choreography challenge to Rupaul’s “Kitty Girl,” Bebe, Trixie, Kennedy and Shangela served their best extravaganza eleganza on the runway, with the real standout being Shangie’s floor-length silver gown. Next came the “Jury of Their Queers” to determine the top two queens to lip sync for the crown. Unfortunately, the law was anything but impartial. The eliminated queens, posing intimidatingly on a sofa in the work room, seemed to care about two things: honesty and queens’ success before “All Stars.” Bebe was out of the running after refusing to reveal which queens she would have chosen to eliminate and revive after DeLa’s shocking exit, so the decision came down to Kennedy, Trixie and Shangela. In a bizarre turn of events, the jury of eliminated queens settled on Trixie and Kennedy, snubbing Shangela — the queen with the best run on “All Stars” by far — of a chance at the Drag Race Hall of Fame.
After a finale that felt eerily similar to the 2016 election, we’re all still confused, and many of us were too disappointed to really celebrate the coronation of Trixie Mattel — a beloved queen whose run on “All Stars” was good but not show-stopping. Is the “All Stars” model broken when a queen who clearly deserved to be at least in the top two is left behind because of personal allegiances and personal drama? Anyway, we’ll always look back at Shangela’s gag-worthy looks of “All Stars 3” — the Beyoncé baby bump, her corn gown — with misty eyes and quietly celebrate the queen who was robbed of the title.
Well, we have season 10 to focus all of our attention on now, and now that each episode is 90 minutes followed by 30 minutes of Untucked, we have a lot to take in. With the premiere last Thursday night, controversially only a week after the “All Stars” fallout, let’s chat about some early favorites.
Miz Cracker: The queen from Harlem and “Jewish Barbie on Bath Salts” stunned as soon as she strutted into the newly redesigned work room in a gorgeous, glittery blue gown, a “grapefruit” shaped blonde wig and proclaimed, “OKAY. IT’S TIME FOR DINNER!” Adding to the hype around Miz Cracker, the drag daughter of season eight winner Bob the Drag Queen, is her rivalry with fan favorite Aquaria. The producers have already set up hostilities between the two New York queens, including some drama over eerily similar eyeshadow for the “Drag on a Dime” runway look, so viewers should expect more tea in the coming episodes. In the meantime, Miz Cracker delivered an Upper East Side widowed heiress look with a 1940s peplum jacket constructed out of shower curtains and broad-brimmed hats. She narrowly missed winning the challenge to SoCal’s Mayhem Miller, who stunned in a black gown made of trash bags and rubber gloves. Still, Miz Cracker garnered praise from guest judge Christina Aguilera and has established herself as a strong competitor out of the gate.
Monét X Change: Another one of this season’s five queens from New York, Monét wowed early on by snatching the runway mini-challenge, a runway challenge surrounded on all sides by queens of seasons past. Monét swept, literally, with a broom, through the workroom entrance and continued to dazzle in the mainstage challenge, crafting a gown out of yellow and green sponges and heavy black eyeshadow painted across her brow. She missed landing in the top of the pack, but she’s shown a level of talent and humor that is sure to carry her through the next few weeks of the competition.
Blair St. Clair: The 22-year-old Indianapolis queen and, as Aquaria called her, a puppy-faced “boy scout” out of drag, surprised the most Thursday night. Breaking out of the Broadway niche she carved herself early on, she crafted an artsy, sci-fi-esque black and silver gown made of trash bags and windshield sun shades, which almost put her in the same stylistic camp as season seven’s Pearl. If Blair can keep showing that she’s got more in the toolkit than the aesthetic of theatrical divas who inspired her, she’ll be a strong contender against the New York queens who have owned the show so far.
We have a talented group of queens to keep our eyes on in the coming weeks, and with the popular Vanessa Vanjie Mateo booted out of the running, season 10 has already become cutthroat. Let’s report back in two weeks, when the drama has escalated and we’re down to 11 queens.