RuPaul in her episode 4 runway dress.
The aftermath! After last week's RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars upset elimination of fan fave Team Latrila, the queens' cockles are up, and we think the TV Guide needs to recategorize this show from "reality" to "tragedrama." From jump, Team Yarlexis was salty for all the shade the ladies threw their way and seemed as determined as ever—but so did everyone else. Stakes is high. Be still our hearts.
This week was the "reading" mini-challenge, in which the queens have to tell their counterparts what time it is, and how they're failing. Usually the best part of Drag Race, the way it was configured this week illuminated the shortcomings of All-Stars. Rather than a regular read, the teams were compelled to cheer their disses in unison, which takes out the entire point of reading: timing and wit. In their efforts to distinguish All-Stars from the rest of the series (and not make the queens repeat stunts they've already done), the producers rearranged what makes the show great in the first place. Not that we're not living for All-Stars, because gag me with a silver stiletto, baby, but by the show's very nature it's hard to repeat contestants and yet not alter the basic structure.
RuPaul in her runway gown for episode 3.
Watching Nina Flowers and Tammie Brown go away on last week's RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars still smarts—especially Brown, the weirdo's Honey Boo Boo. As Alexis Mateo put it, "I'm gonna miss their crazy a****." But this competition is cutthroat, and there was a lesson in that: part of whittling it down to just one winner means that we're going to watch beloved contenders sashay away time and again. Take heed: the four teams left this week were stacked with faves. No cut would have been unpainful, and by the end of it, Twitter had turned into a wailing wall of heartbroken fans.
Team Yarlexis' butch look.
Plus, it was hard not to imagine how Team Brown Flowers would have handled this week's mini-challenge: to dress up giving "butch male realness" and take selfies with an archaic, unattached-to-a-phone, handheld digital camera. Given the number of side-eyes and sarcastic laughs, this was possibly one of the toughest pre-challenges in Drag Race history: Raven was all, "We have no idea how to be butch," and proceeded to take pics of herself looking exactly as she does out of drag, no broham attached. The shaded five-o-clock shadow she gave Jujubee with an eyeliner pencil was more butch-successful, even though Jujubee looked like a kid going as a hobo on Halloween. But nobody really nailed it like Team Yarlexis, who looked like a French Montana and Juelz Santana supergroup in a barrio/Prince close shave (Alexis) and bandana splash (Yara). You know Dipset's crew photo is in the dictionary next to "banjee," y'all.
RuPaul in her Stella McCartney-esque dress.
The last two days have been rough for the Eastern Seaboard and Caribbean—weathering Hurricane Sandy has been, and will be, devastating. But I'm a firm believer that light and humor is as important on the road to recovery as wearing the proper rain gear, so once my internet got turned back on and the lights stopped flickering, I went right back into Drag Race All-Stars for the levity, well wishes for everyone affected from Staten to Haiti still in my heart.
RuPaul in her show stopping neon runway ensemble.
Last night, Barack Obama shut down Mitt Romney with a RuPaul-worthy dig, wearing a Presidential tie and telling the governor "the '80s are calling, they want their foreign policy back." (Burn!) Meanwhile, a certain well-respected drag doyenne was lip-syncing for her life with half a boobplate bulbing out of an iridescent, Cher-invoking bodysuit, covered bodaciously with a silver pasty. So many bodies got read all over the cable-guide last night. But while the Presidential debates were giving their parade wave, the almost-most important American match up on television last night commenced for its debut. RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars, that behemoth catfight of quick wits and huge wigs, paired 12 of the most beloved drag queens from the first four seasons to weed out the best for the ultimate resurrection. If you watched it and DVR'd the debates for after, you're a true patriot. RuPaul's cackling laugh track is a goddamn national treasure—half Glinda, half Wicked—as American as a flag lapel pin the size of a cockatiel.