Previously on All Stars: The girls competed in a stand-up smackdown for a spot in the top three. Miz Cracker got strategic and it worked. Blair St. Clair went home after a beautiful run on the show. Also: India Ferrah made some enemies, Alexis Mateo was accused of campaigning against Shea Couleé, and some of the girls gave up and sent themselves home. Mmm, juicy tea!
Our incredibly fierce top three returns to the werk room and discusses recent developments, starting with the lipsticks in the big
pink furry box. There are two votes against Blair St. Clair… and one against Jujubee.
Juju’s been doing SO well, but now that it’s down to the nittiest of the grittiest, everything is a factor. Miz Cracker has three wins, Shea Couleé has two, and Jujubee only has one… and now she’s had a vote against her leading up to the finale. Sure, that vote was Blair’s and technically doesn’t count… But like, it still does.
Juju decides to break up the tension by starting a pillow fight. And so we’re treated to this incredibly dramatic montage of each of the top three girls in their confessionals stating why they deserve the crown… while they smack each other with pillows.
The dolls return to the werk room the next morning for a little kiki, but there’s something different… someone put a giant pink glory hole in the room.
Lo and behold––the eliminated girls are back!
RuPaul comes in to let the gals know the eliminated queens are mostly here to hash out all the drama. And also, to be backup dancers for the top three in the final challenge: a classic lip-sync performance featuring verses written and recorded by the finalists. And choreographed by the fearsome Todrick Hall.
Let’s get to these reunion shenanigans! And by that I mean it’s time for the top three to mostly watch the eliminated girls argue with each other.
We start things off in chronological order, addressing Derrick Barry‘s beef with India Ferrah. I was expecting more of an argument there, but the whole thing is immediately resolved with an apology from India.
Mariah Paris Balenciaga needs to vent too: she’s tired of bitches self-eliminating (and so am I!). It’s not cute that Ongina did that and it’s especially not cute that Mayhem Miller did it––considering Mariah was eliminated before Mayhem, against her will.
Mayhem explains she respected her improv scene partner, India, too much to let her be eliminated that week. But hey, let’s put that to the test: Alexis Mateo brings up the one thing we all wanted from this reunion––CampaignGate! India doubles down on the fact that Alexis and Mayhem were “campaigning” against Shea on week two.
When asked for more details, India finally clarifies: after the voting was done, India was asked by Alexis and Mayhem who she voted for. Like, when they were sitting on the side of the stage waiting for the top All Star and lip-sync assassin to do their thing. That ain’t campaigning though! Alexis rightfully points out that campaigning would’ve obviously had to have happened before the voting.
At this point, because Shea asks Mayhem why she chose her lipstick that week, the alliance between India and Mayhem from week one comes out: India had originally agreed to save Mayhem if Mayhem then promised she’d return the favor if the shoe were ever on the other foot. And boy, did that shoe end up in the bottom a lot.
… I think I lost myself in my own metaphor.
Either way, everyone seems totally shooketh by this news. AN ALLIANCE? On my reality competition show?! Unthinkable!
And that’s about it for the All Stars 5 mini-reunion!
There’s no time to film the girls recording their verses this week, so we’re jumping straight to dance rehearsal with Todrick Hall. You can tell he’s really trying to hold back and not be his usual bitchy self this year. Of course, Todrick trying not to teach choreography with tough love is like Santa trying not to be morbidly obese.
While the top three girls are struggling a bit left and right, Blair St. Clair is over there in the corner learning the whole choreography from her seat. You know, just in case one of them gets Showgirls’ed and has to be replaced.
Jujubee isn’t much of a dancer and is going to have trouble memorizing her bit. Miz Cracker has a relatively easy choreography––for her, anyway––and mostly sails through rehearsal. Shea Couleé, however, is a smooth criminal in the dance department and needs something a bit more challenging. So her solo routine is complicated AF. She mostly nails it, but does eventually falter a bit in rehearsal. Miss Todrique tried very hard, but she finally cracks and has to lecture Shea.
Honestly, a finale dance rehearsal without a bitchy Todrick Hall outburst isn’t a real finale dance rehearsal. We all secretly love your bitchy ass, Toddy.
Next up, the girls sit down with RuPaul and Michelle Visage for some podcast recording and sponsorship whoring. Jujubee talks about how she’s so much more focused now that she doesn’t drink anymore. It’s given her an entirely new perspective and completely changed her world.
Miz Cracker is surprisingly vocal in her podcast, stating she thinks drag can bring people together instead of letting them hurt all by themselves. Drag is political, she says, because it can help people hate each other a little less.
Last but never least, Shea Couleé talks about feeling so guilty that she couldn’t win for her recently deceased relatives on her original season. But she’s been going to therapy and is learning to push back against the dark voices in her head––and fight harder for her dreams instead.
The next morning, the girls all get to get ready one last time before the end of the season. And sis, the exhaustion is setting in hard. Poor Cracker takes a second before putting on her makeup to… have a stroke?
Shea is feeling extra nervous about her super hard choreography, but she gets a little pep talk from Alexis Mateo, who proves there are no hard feelings anywhere here. Things don’t get sappy, but it’s nice to see the two girls being pals again.
Ru’s Last Lewk Ruview of the Year!
The hair’s a little classic, but I am loving this garment. The construction is beautiful, the shape is fantastic, and the fabric and colors are really lovely.
Let’s get to the main challenge performance! The ladies are singing and dancing to their own verses in Ru’s new song, “Clap Back.” Let’s see how they do.
Jujubee looks like a pop star and plays well with her many sexy backup dancers, but her lyrics aren’t the most inventive and, sadly, her energy is a little on the low side. Still, it’s a solid performance worthy of a top three queen.
Miz Cracker and her dancers have a cutesy aprons-and-bows housewife theme, and she tears off her skirt halfway through to reveal a tight tuck, Trinity-style. It’s just a shame the choreography for her verse is so basic, because I know she’s capable of more.
Speaking of choreography, Shea Couleé definitely does have the hardest one by far––it’s not even a contest. She twirls, she poses, she does an assisted flip from sitting on one guy’s shoulders to another guy’s… it’s madness. Also, she wisely chose to give her verse’s melody an Arabic-sounding vibe to match the song itself. Pure professional.
The sound mixing suffers from some unfortunate issues which make all the lyrics really hard to make out, and the eliminated queens could’ve had a bigger part in the performance… but overall, it’s still a really good number. Well done, ladies.
As a treat for our final episode, the last runway includes all the eliminated girls too!! Yay! Category is: “All Star Eleganza.” Love that everyone still gets to showcase their best lewks!
Derrick Barry is finally not giving us Britney! It only took an entire season! Okay, that’s not fair. Anyway, Miss Barry is serving Frozen realness in this glittery gown. The dress is beautiful, but I would’ve liked better accessorizing and maybe something a little more heightened in the hair department.
Ongina is serving an elevated version of her Season 1 reunion lewk, and she wore the same headpiece she did then. It’s a really clever idea, though the headpiece honestly doesn’t really match the rest. Still, I like it. The shape of the dress is very satisfying and looks really comfy.
Mariah Paris Balenciaga looks beautiful in this pageant gown made of glittery blue flower petals. Shea Couleé is shook. It’s a beautiful look, though I wish she could be a little more cinched. Also, I’m not in love with the hair. The makeup is flawless as usual though.
Mayhem Miller’s a refreshing change of pace from all the silver in the past few lewks. This gorgeous ruffly Cleopatra pantsuit fantasy is totally my thing, though I hate the way the super distracting fluff in the front is covering her chesticles. But that jewelry looks RIGHT.
India Ferrah looks SO good in this “Birth of Venus” meets J-Lo nude illusion fantasy. The makeup is gorgeous, the hair is so smooth and real-looking, and those TITTIES. It is bounce central up in here. Physicists hate her!
Alexis Mateo’s lewk is pretty great. The bedazzled gown and matching earrings are lovely, and I am totally loving this ingenious ruffly side-cape that blends into the gown. It’s a cleverly designed dress, and the hair and makeup are super pretty too.
Here’s where the really stunning lewks start: Blair St. Clair looks absolutely incredible in this high-fashion queen of diamonds accoutrement. The crown made of braided hair is genius, the soft pink fabric to offset the bedazzling is perfect, and as always, her makeup is so, go good. Amazing.
Jujubee has just shut her haters up once and for all with proof that she can do good runway lewks. I am eating my words, because this traditional Buddha-inspired bodysuit with a golden sun on her head is pure opulence. The orange sash trailing off her hip and shoulder pull the whole thing together wonderfully. Brava.
Miz Cracker is digging into her heritage by serving this incredible homage to Russian royalty while remaining quintessentially Cracker with the pink. It’s beautifully detailed, the poofy sleeves complement the thicker fabric from the rest of the gown really nicely, and the river of pearls coming down from her headpiece is the perfect final touch.
Shea Couleé is wearing a heightened version of her mom’s prom dress based on an old picture from the ’60s. The gown is gloriously poofy and comes with giant matching sleeves and huge bows on her back and on top of her perfectly coiffed beehive. It’s not what I expected for a finale extravaganza lewk from Shea, but I love it anyway.
It’s time for the critiques, and hennie, grab some tissues. Jujubee is up first, and she talks about how there wasn’t anyone like her on TV when she was first on Drag Race. Juju had to become the TV representation she needed for herself, which is amazing.
Miz Cracker talks about wanting to do some research on her Russian Jewish heritage after Season 10, and finding things like this garment’s inspiration among that rich history. She recounts how her mother would take her to the museum as a kid, let her pick something she really loved, and then challenge her to make her own version of it from whatever they had at home. And then, the impossible happens: Miz Cracker cries on the main stage!
It only took two seasons, but Cracker finally accomplished what RuPaul wanted––crying in public! I’m proud of her. And on a more serious note, it’s amazing how much this gal has accomplished this season. Winner, winner, saltine dinner.
Shea Couleé talks about that old picture of her mom in this big pink dress, which inspired this finale lewk. Shea’s drag as a whole is an ode to black women, from her mom to RuPaul herself. Shea takes a moment to thank Ru for her role in paving the way for people like Shea to take the spotlight.
Ru praises all the girls––including the eliminated cysts––on providing that representation that Juju spoke of for all the kids around the world who are trying to figure themselves out and who need these dolls to inspire them. When they return to the werk room to untuck, the girls all marvel over the incredible bond they’ve formed and the magic the ten of them have created together.
India Ferrah takes this opportunity to apologize to Alexis Mateo. She’s not necessarily taking back what she said, because she still believes she wasn’t entirely wrong––but she apologizes for hurting Alexis and her reputation in this competition. It’s not perfect, but it’s an olive branch. And sometimes that’s enough.
Meanwhile, Derrick Barry accidentally rips her wig tape and needs to change her hairstyle on the fly to cover it up.
The eliminated queens wonder if this is gonna turn into another All Stars 3 situation where they have to vote for the top two again (hell naw!). Mariah Paris Balenciaga is not okay with that––mostly because she’s mentally wiped. “My mind is a fishbowl with nothing in it but pebbles and vodka,” she admits.
Before the winner of All Stars 5 can be crowned, the queens will need to perform in one last lip-sync for the crown. But first, a video message from our All Stars 4 co-winners, Monét X Change and Trinity The Tuck, serving a fabulous homage to To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar!
Our final lip-sync song of the season is “Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monae, which I LOVE.
Jujubee looks great in this golden number, serves pure femme fatale on a stick, and does a lot of sexy rolling around on the floor. It’s a great performance, though her super long fringe gets tangled up around her a bit.
Miz Cracker’s lewk is a tad on the basic side, unfortunately, but the Madonna tribute she’s delivering with her cone bra is cute. And then she pops off the ends to reveal a glitter shower. C’mon, glitter tits!
Shea Couleé is serving a whole different kind of performance, dancing like a sexy malfunctioning android throughout the number––Westworld realness. It’s a really controlled lip-sync and she actually kills it, even though doing the robot is not quite what I had in mind for a lip-sync for the crown. Regardless, she looks incredible.
And the winner is…
Let me preface this by saying I love love LOVE Sasha Velour and think she absolutely deserved her win (go back and read my Season 9 recaps if you don’t believe me!). But with Shea winning here on All Stars 5, it feels as if someone got in their DeLorean (you know, the ancient dildo) and traveled back in time to fix something that had gone horribly wrong in the past. Shea Couleé is our newly crowned queen and order has been restored. Everything feels right again in the world.
Well, you know, except for the pandemic and the government and everything else, but it’s okay, because Shea Couleé won! In her final confessional, she talks about how All Stars gave her her joy back, and you know what? It did that for me too.
A big thank you to Drag Race and the queens of All Stars 5 for making this a fantastic season full of talent and entertainment. And thank YOU for reading along! Hope to see y’all again next year for more shenanigans!