RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars: The Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent Monologues

Posted on August 27, 2021

We’re at the point in any All-Stars season where the remaining queens are so good that a fairly goofy (but TOTALLY Drag Race) challenge resulted in a bunch of performances about which there was very little to critique. These bitches are polished and if you ask them to write some heartfelt monologue (which is not a phrase we tend to think of when we think of drag, but whatever), you better believe they’re going to plant their feet and give it their best shot. When this season’s All-Star cast was announced, there was a fairly common sentiment (expressed by us as well), that this wasn’t exactly the most impressive grouping of queens an All-Star season had ever seen. That probably remains true, but we think when the dust settled on this episode, the remaining queens were inarguably talented, high-level drag artists.

But first, some business needed to be attended to:

It must have sucked for Silky to spend all those weeks slaying her competitors only to be slain just as the finish line was in front of her. But we didn’t think there was any question that Eureka won that lip sync and it makes a certain sort of ironic coda to Silky’s whole journey that what ultimately tripped her up was one of the gimmicks that had helped her in the competition up to that point. She got her heel stuck in her jumpsuit and never quite pulled it off effectively. Not that it probably matters. Eureka more than proved this episode that she is an extremely polished and professional queen.

Trinity already made her feelings known last week, but we think Eureka smoking out Silky at the last minute made it nearly impossible for her to completely accept the results. She might have had an easier time with it if she’d watched Silky bury all her competitors and saunter back into the Werk room, but that’s not how it shook out. And we have to be blunt here: we think the reason she was so sulky about it was because she knew Eureka is better than her in the competition.

 

Anyway, the mini-challenge was sponsored by Levis, because that’s why Marsha P. Johnson threw her shot glass at Stonewall. Whatever. These shows are expensive and they have to recoup the costs where they can. Besides, the results were kind of cute:

 

Kylie won herself $5,000 worth of Levis, probably because she put together the cutest outfit.

Anyway, the queens were asked to bare their souls for like the fifth time this season, in a series of spoken-word storytelling performances.

 

Trinity’s monologue was touching and had a point worth making, but she fumbled her way through it and sometimes she seemed more concerned with being funny, which wasn’t necessarily required.

 

Kylie Sonique once again shows her hidden depths of talent. She’s a born storyteller who can turn a phrase without even thinking about it too much. She was charming and her monologue was poignant.

 

We agreed with the judges that sometimes Ginger is so smooth onstage that it doesn’t always come off as genuine. The reason Dolly Parton is such a superstar is because despite all the artifice in her presentation, she’s able to get any audience member to think she’s talking or singing just to them. Ginger is an amazing queen and we’ve been rooting for her all the way through this season but she could do with a little sincerity in her act. Having said that, it was a very cute story.

 

Ra’Jah did okay for herself with a pretty decent monologue, but she struggled a couple of times.

 

But we think Eureka really nailed this one. She’s got that same level of performing polish that Ginger has (which makes sense given their dueling IMDB listings) but this time, she was able to bridge that sincerity gap that Ginger sometimes struggles with. While we can’t say we loved her story, the monologue was perfectly delivered and her drag looked amazing.

 

The category was fashion fails and it was kind of interesting how the girls interpreted.

 

Trinity left nothing to chance and kept her “fail” fairly well hidden. This is gorgeous pageant drag but it was clear the judges were looking for something with a little wit and creativity to it. Ra’Jah’s dressing-room drag was clever and really well-executed. Her hair and face looked gorgeous.

 

Like Trinity, Kylie Sonique was not going to come out looking like shit, even if the challenge called for it. This was cute, but it sort of skirted around what the category was really asking for. We don’t know if she’s been picking up tricks from the other girls but her face and wigs have been improving over time.

 

Ginger served up her usual brand of well-prepared wit. We don’t love the dress, but the whole concept was perfect.

 

Eureka is at her best when she really leans into the Divine of her drag.  She can make sloppiness look glamorous; made firt look like glitter. That’s her drag sweet spot and it’s why a story about shitting herself on stage got her the first win of her season. This was a really fun and well executed look.

Jaida Essence Hall returned to the main stage to hash out Good Golly Miss Molly with Eureka, making for one of the best face-offs of the season. Each of these queens was perfectly suited to the song in very different ways and they each approached it in the best way for themselves. Jaida went for the dance moves and Eureka went for the comedy. Personally, we probably would have given this to Eureka, but we think we’d have rather it gone to Jaida against our judgment than have Ru declare a tie.

 

But when there’s drama to be mined or a knife to be twisted, you can bet Drag Race will do what it can to ramp things up. Declaring a tie meant the possibility of two queens going home, but to no one’s surprise, least of all hers, both lipsticks had Trinity’s name on them.

 

We hope she came away from this proud of her achievements and with skyrocketing booking rates in the face of high demand. She deserves it. But looking at that collection of five queens, there was no question that she’s the weakest one remaining.

 

 

Legendary Children: The First Decade of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Last Century of Queer Life, a New York Times “New and Notable” pick, praised by The Washington Post “because the world needs authenticity in its stories,” and chosen as one of the Best Books of 2020 by NPR is on sale wherever fine books are sold!

 

 

[Photo Credit: Paramount Plus via Tom and Lorenzo]

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