GPCD Fan Pool: RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 6, E4

July 11, 2021

Four episodes in — roughly 1/3 of the season — what I’m loving about All Stars 6 is how strongly all the queens are performing, and how engaged they all are. They are all in this to win it, and that is making for a much more exciting season than the one before. Every episode has been a delight to watch — even if the challenges themselves aren’t amazing — and I can’t wait for next week’s as I type this.

This week we had the “All Stars 6 Hall of Fame Half-Time Show,” which was essentially a dancing/lipsynch challenge, and not a Rusical as I think many of us expected it to be. The queens did their routines to prerecorded tracks by other performers, remixing RuPaul songs in the styles of the actual Super Bowl halftime artists. Personally I think the challenge would have been more interesting if the queens had to record the tracks themselves, but I also understand that from a production standpoint, that would have been a mess. As it stands, the choreography by Jamal Sims was fairly challenging for several of the queens, even though almost all of them did a good job with it.

Fun fact: the queens were allowed to pre-select the halftime performers before they arrived for filming, so they all had their costumes and nobody complained about the artist they got. Let’s go over them one by one:

Ginger Minj as Fergie: I don’t know why Ginger picked Fergie. I don’t know why anyone would pick Fergie. I think Ginger did about as well as she could with arguably the weakest source material, but she still ended up Low in the challenge, in part because she wasn’t immediately recognizable as Fergie. Fergie herself could walk down the street right now and I don’t think I would immediately recognize her as Fergie. So…OK?

Eureka! as Madonna: Eureka! basically did a copy/paste of Madonna’s Super Bowl outfit and her routine referenced the movements from “Frozen.” I thought it was fine, but in my opinion one of the least exciting/interesting of the numbers. She was High, which surprised me. I would have put her as Safe.

Ra’jah O’Hara as Diana Ross: Ra’jah had Miss Ross’s movements and affectations down pat. We’ve had a few other queens impersonate Diana on this show, and Ra’jah was easily the best of them. Another very solid week for Ra’jah, who is making the most of this All Stars shot at redemption, even when she’s Safe. She’s had a flawless run so far.

Scarlet Envy as Katy Perry: Scarlet had good energy, but I thought relied too much on props. She had a Left Shark cover-up and then her Katy look underneath. It was very true to Katy’s original performance, but if you were looking at Scarlet just in her Katy Perry gig, I’m not sure you would immediately make the connection of who she was supposed to be. (She looked gorgeous though, is this the first time we’ve seen her in a dark wig?) Scarlet was, as usual, Safe. She’s also doing well this season but is not getting any recognition.

Kylie Sonique Love as Steven Tyler: Kylie fully transformed into the Aerosmith frontman and gave the same unhinged attitude and Gumby body movements. Really good performance from Kylie, and she too is seriously impressing this season, even though she ended up Safe.

Pandora Boxx as Carol Channing: I’ve seen people dismiss Pandora doing Carol Channing again but…who else would Pandora have done? She also worships Madonna, but it’s entirely possible that Eureka! had already called Madge. Pandora knows she can do Carol, and I thought she did as much as anyone could with the material assigned to Channing. I’m seeing people starting to turn on Pandora, saying she’s not doing enough. But this is a very strong field of queens. There’s no filler. She’s performing at the same level as most of them, and has course corrected on her biggest weakness from S2: her runways. I think she’s doing well, honestly.

Trinity K. Bonet as Beyonce: This was a very challenging assignment. Beyonce has been the fall of many queens on this show, and Trinity had been dismissed in Season 6 for stating that wanted to be Beyonce. But damn, Trinity killed this. Not only did she have the moves down, but she had the attitude — that is very hard to replicate. Trinity was High, and I think just shy of the win. If Trinity can continue to perform at the level she gave us this week and last week, she could come out of this season as a top-tier Ru Girl. A great rudemption so far for this queen.

Jan as Lady Gaga: All eyes were on Jan for this challenge, especially after her iconic Rusical performance in Season 12. Jan tore into the choreography and the impersonation of Gaga. If anything she overdid it, but can one ever really “overdo” Lady Gaga? She Who is Doing The Most? Jan did very well and had great energy. She also looked stunning in the Frill of It All runway, and finally, finally, Jan got her Win. Personally, I was happy for her. I thought this was neck and neck with her and TKB, but Jan had Trinity beat on the runway. It was satisfying to see her Safe curse broken. It has been disheartening to see the social media army attack her this week for any number of “sins,” such as not doing justice to Britney Spears in her lipsynch, daring to wear costumes designed by someone who is *phobic (take your pick), etc. She is the social media punching bag of the moment, and unfortunately it coincided with her Win. It must be exhausting, truly.

A’keria Channel Davenport as Prince: A’keria is, unfortunately, the sole remaining example of a queen performing worse this season than she did on her original season. I think part of that is how stacked this field is (and how weak S11 was overall), but also A’keria just not bringing it. The first issue was the look she served us as Prince. She had the bare ass, and it was indeed the colors Prince wore during his Super Bowl performance, but I still didn’t get Prince. The mannerisms weren’t right, the energy was low. Easily the weakest of the night for me. However, she was resplendent on the runway, and she clearly wants to be there.

Yara Sofia as Shakira: Yara was — by her own admission — amazing from the neck down. The belly dancing and the body were pure Shakira. But she had dead face and just wasn’t serving. Beyond that, Yara has had a real attitude all season. In my opinion, Yara has always had that attitude. I was dumbfounded when she won Miss Congeniality in Season 3 (it just showed you how vicious those queens were), and she had the same chip on her shoulder in AS1. I get Yara’s point that she does not want to beg to stay in the competition, that she should continue based on her abilities alone. But when your continued place on this show hinges on getting your fellow competitors to, essentially, root for you? You have to give them more than that.

And that’s not what happened, because when Jan went up against lipsynch assassin Jessica Wild* to Britney Spears’ “Womanizer,” Jan got — frankly — creamed, and Jessica pulled the lipstick for the queen eliminated by competitor vote. It was Yara. She did not deal with the cut particularly well, no surprise there. I think Yara makes for great television. She is chaos personified, and she’s a hell of a queen. But I imagine she must be draining to be around for any great length of time.

*Jessica did well in that lipsynch. Lots of hairflipping, very sexy, very Britney. At times it verged on comedy, but it was a good showing for someone who lipsynched EXACTLY ONCE on this show, more than a DECADE ago, and LOST. My suspicion is that Jessica was a very late cut from the cast of this season — she was heavily rumored for weeks — and the producers wanted to give her an opportunity to get some exposure to the new crop of fans. I think that’s great, and Jessica did the most with the opportunity. I would love to see her on a future All Stars season. (We should also acknowledge how stacked that Season 2 cast was — All Stars has already cast Raven, Juju, Tatianna, Pandora, Kylie, Morgan, and Shangela. We have lost dear Sahara, but I think the only queens to not return from that season at this point are Mystique and Nicole Paige Brooks. Tyra is…a whole other situation.)

How are you doing in our little pool? The spreadsheets should be fully updated. Remember that we WILL do a swap around Snatch Game, which I believe is 2 episodes away that this point.

Next: Pink Table Talk, as the queens give us their best Jaida Plinko Smith and talk about…gross…feelings.

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