How are we feeling, ladies and ladies? Recovered from Season 12 yet? Ready for more Drag Race? This dolled-up rollercoaster ain’t stopping just yet. In fact… dare I say it… we may not have even reached the peak yet!
Remember rollercoasters? I miss going outside.
It’s time for the queens of All Stars 5 to make their entrance and get to wig-snatching!
Might as well start with my winner: Shea Couleé is here to once again grace our televisions with her flawlessness. Everyone was so sure Shea would be winning Season 9, including herself. But Sasha Velour‘s legendary rose petal reveal ended that real quick. It’s been a few years now, and Miss Couleé is ready to give this shindig another shot––lucky us!
Shea takes a spot at the werk room table and poses in her gorgeous Hawaiian print garment, ready for whoever’s coming in next.
Miz Cracker is the second queen in the room! The lady in turquoise is back for another chance at the crown. In Season 10, Cracker was a force to be reckoned with––but as time went on, it became clear that the white and salty gal was unwilling to open up or show vulnerability to the other queens or the judges. It got so bad that RuPaul herself lost her shit at poor Cracker before eliminating her.
Hopefully, the wafer queen is going to allow herself to be a little looser this time around. And hey, Shea’s competing this year, so Cracker can focus on just being likable since she won’t be winning!
Bam! It’s Alexis Mateo! These days, the Puerto Rican queen is most well-known for being Vanessa Vanjie Mateo‘s drag mom and gracing the world with that child’s delightful craziness. But if these younger fans think that’s all she’s got going for her, they are very very wrong. Alexis Mateo spent Season 3 proving time and again that she should not be underestimated. These other queens are in danger. Mama Mateo comes in guns blazing with this amazing description for herself: “It’s Alexis’s world and the rest is fucking parking.”
She ain’t a child no more! Blair St. Clair is that bitch who’s ditched the young Broadway ingenue act in the second season of her hit TV show and is now the experienced actress who sleeps with her director, smokes in her dressing room, and is ready to show the other girls how it’s really done.
Blair has fully revamped her drag style. She’s not about the dainty cuteness anymore. She’s a strong sexy woman now, and it shows in her lewk and in her newfound confidence. But Alexis Mateo chimes in: “She will crack under pressure, though.”
She’s here, ladies: Mariah Balenciaga a.k.a. Mariah Paris a.k.a. Mariah Successful (girl…) is here to get the fans re-acquainted with her. Mariah was always about the gorgeous, poised pageant style of drag, even back in Season 3. It’s been many years now, and I can’t wait to see what new tricks she has up her pleather sleeve.
That name is gonna be a handful, though.
Now for someone completely unexpected: India Ferrah is in the house! This gal came in 10th place on Season 3, a pretty poor placement on a pretty old season. But she’s here to show everyone who she’s become––and I for one am very much in love with this entrance lewk, so she’s off to a great start.
Mariah Balenciaga points out the matching colors between India’s outfit and Cracker’s. They’re very different garments, but… the hair and outfit colors are the same.
Awright, here comes the talent! Jujubee may not have won any challenges on Season 2 OR All Stars 1, but the gal made it to the top three both times despite that. That’s definitely nothing to sneeze at. This gal is quick, she is funny, and she is a fierce lip-sync assassin. She’s going to go very far, mark my words.
Still, one thing I am curious to see is whether she’s improved on her lewks. Aesthetic was never her strong suit.
She’s gonna give ’em more! Derrick Barry is back from Season 8. The queen struggled (a LOT) during her season to show what else she could do besides Britney Spears drag. This time, the girl is determined to show us she can do a lot more than that.
… While dressed as Britney for her entrance lewk and wearing a Britney top for her confessional lewk. Party.
Immediately, it becomes clear there’s some sort of set-up for a juicy storyline between Derrick and India Ferrah. Derrick makes it clear right away she is 0% interested in talking to India. The two of them definitely have some serious drama going.
Our next queen in the room is Mayhem Miller from Season 10! Mayhem is a famous and well-respected queen out in West Hollywood, but she completely failed to showcase her talents on her season and went home shockingly early. Nerves got the better of her, I think. This time, armed with some newfound confidence from her hilarious performance of “Drama” going viral last year, she’ll hopefully be able to make a better showing.
Now let’s see the talent, cyst!
Last but not least, all the way from Season Fucking One, it’s Ongina! Finally! Everyone’s been wondering when this gal would show up. The original bald queen is back with a vengeance, and she is serving a LEWK with this traditional Thai garment (I think). It’s a damn statement, alright.
It’s been a long, long time since Season 1, though, and so much has changed. It remains to be seen whether Ongina can keep up with the likes of these newer powerhouses.
This is our cast for this season––and girl, it is a strong one. RuPaul comes in to greet his All Stars and announce that this year, the rules have changed.
This season, it’s not just the top All Stars of each week who’ll get to decide who goes home. EVERYONE gets to vote for who should get the chop.
But before we continue, we have a special guest star here to introduce the annual reading mini-challenge: it’s Ricky Martin, bitch!
Ricky’s offensive lewk aside, it’s time for the queens to read each other! Yay. Let’s look at some highlights.
Jujubee has always been an expert in the art of shade. She goes for Mariah Balenciaga (“We have to change the name to ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race SOME Stars'”), Mayhem Miller (“Meh-hem Miller”), and Alexis Mateo (“Do they pay you in pounds?”). Consider me deceased.
Mariah Balenciaga addresses Shea Couleé and lets loose a bunch of rose petals.
Derrick Barry specifies her shade is not just shade with India Ferrah and goes for the jugular, insulting her teeth and her career. It is brutal.
Ongina tries to read people. Emphasis on “tries.” It’s all dreadful and not remotely funny.
Blair St. Clair tells Derrick Barry she can’t actually do Britney, reads Mariah’s career, and when addressing India Ferrah, pauses “so we all can Google who you are.”
Blair and Jujubee are co-winners of the reading challenge!
This week, for the maxi-challenge, the girls will be performing in a TV version of Drag Race’s Werq the World tour. So, basically, it’s the standard variety show. Werk.
As the girls are de-dragging, India Ferrah spills the tea to a couple of the girls about the drama between her and Derrick Barry. It all has to do with Derrick’s boo Nebraska Thunderfuck, who allegedly did a drag performance making fun of India a while back.
It only takes about a minute and a half for the drama to reach the rest of the room. Derrick and India quickly start arguing about it as they’re getting ready for the maxi-challenge. Derrick says India called Nebraska a “pig in a wig,” which India denies. Derrick decides to end India right then and there on episode 1, saying that she’s glad India’s here because it’s what she needs to feel validated.
Ru’s Lewk Ruview:
Hennie… I like the dress color but like… that’s about it. The dress is matronly and ill-fitting and the whole lewk is not very flattering. Boot.
Alexis Mateo kicks off the talent show with a fab dance number featuring the full range of her Puerto Rican spiciness. It’s fun, it’s energetic, and she peppers in some of her catchphrases. Ricky Martin is Puerto Rican, so he eats it up.
Shea Couleé takes a risk with something she’s not very experienced at––pole dancing. She performs to one of her own songs and while her moves aren’t particularly outstanding, she looks gorgeous and sells the performance. Also can we talk about those FUCKING SHOES.
Mayhem Miller looks great, but her live singing/rapping goes terribly wrong when she has to blast through the lyrics and enunciates basically 30% of the words. The whole thing is unintelligible. Cute!
Mariah Paris Balenciaga shuts everybody up with this incredible spoken word piece about racial injustice and discrimination, complete with banging drums and red paint that she smears on a window, the floor, and her white dress. It’s mind-blowing and so timely, though unfortunately the drums drown out her lyrics a little.
We jump right back to dancey lip-sync performances with Miz Cracker’s fun and silly number. She’s peppy, she does a jumping death drop (!), and does a really good job––though her makeup is awfully pale in my opinion.
Blair St. Clair does a much better job at the live vocalizing than Mayhem with this gorgeous ballad. She also executes a flawless ponytail flip and looks amazing the whole time.
Ongina’s doing some kind of weird half-baked performance to a medley of Ru’s songs, coming out of a toy car and doing two outfit reveals. The idea is cute but the dancing is very ho-hum and she’s not even trying to lip-sync. Honey, you see that stop sign behind you? Maybe do that.
Derrick Barry comes out looking like Britney (again) and does a bunch of quick-fire celebrity impressions in an attempt to show she doesn’t just do Britney. It’s not great at all. She gets points for not trying to do a dancey lip-sync performance like everybody else, but if she wanted to show something other than Britney… why not just… not look like Britney?
Speaking of always looking the same, Jujubee is still wearing her entrance lewk wig, which is an interesting choice. She’s doing a singing number, except unlike Blair, it sort of sounds like she’s lip-syncing? Still, it’s a lovely song and those vocals are hers whether or not they’re live, so, not bad.
India Ferrah has a sassy self-referential dance number that feels and looks a lot like Morgan McMichaels‘s from All Stars 3… except this one is really good. She does all kinds of crazy tricks and it’s honestly unbelievable that her wig stays on throughout. Brava, lady.
With the live audience gone and everyone back on the main stage, RuPaul reveals the full scope of the new All Stars rules. There will only be one top All Star each week, and this queen will compete against a guest lip-sync assassin! If the top All Star wins, she gets to pick who goes home out of the bottom girls. If the lip-sync assassin wins, the other queens’ votes will be tallied to determine who gets eliminated.
Shea Couleé, Mariah Paris Balenciaga, Blair St. Clair, and Jujubee are safe. Mariah, SAFE? Unacceptable. Ricky Martin saves the day by interrupting and thanking Mariah for her powerful message.
Miz Cracker, Alexis Mateo, and India Ferrah get high marks for their fun, energetic performances. Ricky Martin almost hurts himself trying to imitate India’s crazy hairography and Carson Kressley jumps at the chance to massage his neck.
Derrick Barry got lost in her impressions, Mayhem Miller’s enunciation ruined her number, and Ongina was very obviously nervous as hell. But shockingly, Ongina is declared safe while Derrick and Mayhem officially place in the bottom two. India Ferrah is the week’s top All Star!
Untucked is back on this season of All Stars! Yay for more content, I say. The safe queens kiki in the werk room, where Blair and Shea both talk about how they used to be young gay kids watching Jujubee and Mariah, respectively, on their screens with awe. And now they’re all competing on the same season together, which is so surreal (and is probably making Juju and Mariah feel really old).
Blair realizes the safe girls need to vote for who goes home without having been there for the judges’ critiques. That’s a whole extra layer of difficulty.
The Derrick and India drama comes up again and as the queens try to wrap their heads around it, Shea realizes India is likely going to have the opportunity to get rid of her archnemesis tonight.
Blair comes to some crazy epiphany too and declares that they must be going to voting polls to cast their votes.
The top and bottom girls return, and Ongina admits she completely got in her head and felt super nervous during her performance. The other girls noticed.
Let’s get to the juicy bits: India takes Derrick aside to have their lil’ one-on-one, which obviously reeks of fakeness. India tries to be professional and cordial, which feels fake; and Derrick congratulates India for her win, which… also fake.
After Mayhem pleads her case to the rest of the queens, Derrick goes over to do the same. And she does that by saying “I could’ve slayed it as Britney and won.”
The girls bring up the fact that she still looks like Britney. In her confessional, Derrick gets teary-eyed, expressing there’s no real escaping the Britney resemblance. People are always telling her they want to see her do something else, even though this IS the something else.
Things are going considerably better on the other side of the room, where Mayhem and India agree to a mutual alliance: India will save Mayhem as long as Mayhem agrees to return the favor when the roles are swapped.
Cracker admits in private to a couple of the girls that she feels Ongina deserved to be in the bottom more than Derrick or Mayhem––and that she would’ve voted her out if she had the chance.
So as it turns out, the girls aren’t going to vote at polling booths… they’re doing it in the bathroom.
Everyone votes for Derrick, except for…
The girls return to the main stage, where this week’s lip-sync assassin is revealed: it’s Yvie Oddly!
India Ferrah will lip-sync against Yvie to Ricky Martin’s song “Livin’ La Vida Loca.” This gon’ be good.
Yvie fully murders the song as can be expected from an assassin. She has an outfit reveal, a wig reveal, a MAKEUP reveal. And she does all the usual crazy twists and turns and flips and kicks that she’s known for. It is a murder.
But don’t count India out! Miss Ferrah has no hope of defeating Yvie but she does actually stand her ground, pulling off an amazing sliding flip move that stops right on top of Yvie. Amazing.
At the end of the day, Yvie Oddly is still the deserving winner of the lip-sync. Interestingly, that means the $10,000 cash tip for winning the lip-sync will carry over to next week. But the queen who’s going home is…
Thus, poor Derrick Barry leaves on day one, after failing to showcase what else she could do besides Britney. It’s really unfortunate, as I was rooting for her to succeed at showing us something different at least. But that’s the way the cookie crumbles, hennie.
Now let’s do a run-down!
Alexis Mateo – Alexis Mateo is easy to underestimate, but mawma, she is a force to be reckoned with, even so many years after her original season. Alexis is fun, she’s quick, she’s polished, and she doesn’t let the language barrier get in her way. She’s going to go far.
Shea Couleé – Miss Couleé is the freaking embodiment of talent and obviously deserves this crown, but her performance this week was actually a bit average. It’s interesting that she chose to do something she’d never really done before––that usually leads to a queen’s downfall. Still, I have faith she’ll pull through.
Mayhem Miller – Poor Mayhem is still trying to redeem herself from her season and is still not getting there. She’s a likable gal, so I do hope she manages to do well at least once before she gets the boot.
Mariah Paris Balenciaga – Mariah’s incredible number may not have landed with most of the judges, but I thought she was amazing. Now, it remains to be seen whether she’s able to let go of that poised, always-serious persona and go balls to the wall in a comedy challenge. I look forward to seeing what she has to offer.
Miz Cracker – Cracker’s a strong performer, as made clear with her act tonight. Her one issue in her original season was not being vulnerable enough, and I really hope she allows that to happen this year. All Stars is always very stressful anyway, so odds are she’ll get a chance to break down sooner or later. And I hate that I’m wishing for that, but it’s what Ru wants, so…
Blair St. Clair – Blair shocked me with how much she’s grown and changed in so little time. She’s got such a different aesthetic and a renewed confidence that’s really admirable. I thought Blair might pull a Farrah Moan and not measure up to the competition, but so far, she’s doing a great job. I’m rooting for her to go far.
Ongina – Oof. Girl, Ongina tanked HARD this week. The girl is understandably overwhelmed––she hasn’t been on this show in over a decade! Season 1 was such a different beast, and probably a much easier competition too. If she doesn’t pull herself together stat, Ongina’s a goner.
Jujubee – Juju is a powerhouse, and she’s got the confidence to match. One thing I am worried about is she already seems to be jumping into some scheming with elimination strategies. As Shangela could attest, that might come back to bite her in the padding once her ass is on the line.
India Ferrah – I’m so happy for India. She came into this season as the biggest unknown and totally killed it week one. Of course, now there’s a chance she’s already peaked and it’s all downhill from here, but let’s not be too negative. She might continue to do well!
How awesome was this premiere? See y’all next week for episode 2!