Friday’s reveal of the line-up for “RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars” season four, scheduled to begin airing on Dec. 14, set off a wave of giddiness throughout the pop culture circuit. In an hour-plus special, last season’s winner, Trixie Mattel, along with fan-favorite queens from season two, Katya and Detox, announced the 10 queens who will return to the work room to vie for their place in the Drag Race Hall of Fame, serving an exquisite silver-white ensemble of looks along with their reveal. After Trixie Mattel’s jaw-dropping and hotly-debated triumph in the finale of “All Stars” season three this spring, the stakes for the fourth installment of “All Stars” are higher than ever.
True to “All Stars” form, there are no clear frontrunners among the seasoned cast. The return of many of the originators of the best runway looks, performances and drama of seasons past has assured fans that the upcoming season will deliver some of the most iconic moments everyone has come to expect from television’s most “sickening” reality show.
“All Stars” season four will see the return of “Drag Race” season four Miss Congeniality and All Stars-veteran Latrice Royale. Hailing from Hollywood Beach, Fla., Latrice Royale’s self-described “chunky, yet funky” drag has won her legions of fans with her whimsical and fierce style. Manila Luzon, a Los Angeles-based queen out of season three, also returns to “Drag Race” for the first time since her and Latrice Royale’s double elimination from “All Stars” season one. Manila Luzon’s ethereal looks and boundless creativity will also prove difficult to beat.
Season nine claims the highest representation in “All Stars” season four, with three queens returning from the competition in which Sasha Velour snatched the crown. Trinity The Tuck, formerly Trinity Taylor, returns, as do her slick, daring runway get-ups and plastic couture aura. Farrah Moan and her ditzy girl-next-door drag also appear, doubtlessly seeking to claim a more forceful personal presence after charges that she lacked a distinct persona in her original run. The brunette bombshell that is Valentina will also make an appearance in her bid for redemption after her elimination after an infamous masked lip-sync moment.
Out of season six, the spunky Gia Gunn, hailing from the house of Alyssa Edwards, will be returning to the “Drag Race” main stage for the first time since she came out as a transgender woman in April 2017. Gia Gunn’s presence will be a story to watch this season after she — and many others — criticized RuPaul’s transphobic comments earlier this year.
Two queens out of season 10 — Monhave made the brief turnaround from this spring’s competition t X Change and Monique Heart — . Monfamously sewed a dress of sponges last season, looks to improve upon her sixth-place finish. Monique t X Change, the Bronx queen who Heart, who finished eighth, returns after causing an uproar when she failed to memorize the lyrics to Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Cut to the Feeling” (2017) — a popular gay anthem — in her ill-fated lip sync battle with The Vixen.
Rounding out the field will be season seven’s Jasmine Masters and her iconic ‘jush,’ and season eight’s Naomi Smalls and her legendary legs. Jasmine Masters won numerous fans in her original appearance for her witty quips and countless meme-worthy moments, even inspiring a Snatch Game impersonation by Nina Bonina Brown in season nine. After an unlikely runner-up finish in season eight that saw her transform from timid to tenacious, Naomi Smalls will surely bank on her sultry runway looks and her improved total-package slaying abilities to carry her all the way to the crown.
The lineup of celebrity guest judges also includes a cross-section of marquee names. “Grey’s Anatomy” (2005–) star Ellen Pompeo will strut down RuPaul’s runway, as will other names that include Yvette Nicole Brown of “Community” (2009–2015), Olympic snowboarder Gus Kenworthy, superstar musician Rita Ora, artist and model Frances Bean Cobain (daughter of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love) and actor Keiynan Lonsdale of “Love, Simon.”