RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Rucap: This IS RuPaul’s Best Friend Race

This rucap has spoilers for episode four of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3 that are bigger than Mama Ru’s ass padding. You have been warned, kitty girl.

Welcome back, darlings! We’re into the absolute thick of All Stars 3, and the competition is fierce as hell, although the question remains – is this actually RuPaul’s Best Friend Race after all? Shit seriously goes down in the workroom, it’s the week we get treated to Snatch Game and we’re not quite sure if Shangela has actually ever watched Game Of Thrones.

Sit back and untuck, let’s get into episode four.

Oh btw, Season 10 of RuPaul’s Drag Race got announced this morning, which we are gagging for. So once the next All Star has been crowned, we’ll get to meet a whole swathe of new girls.

Courtney Fry: Hell yes it’s the best week of the competition – it’s SNATCH GAME! The week where each queen presents a super-concentrated parody of a famous person. Past faves of mine have been Adore Delano‘s depiction of Anna Nicole SmithBenDeLaCreme‘s phenomenal transformation into Dame Maggie Smith, and Bianca Del Rio as Judge Judy. I think Trixie Mattel has got a lot of guts putting her foot forward as RuPaul herself in this season’s snatch game. We’ve come to enjoy her quips and mannerisms of Mama Ru in UNHhhh with Katya, but will that transfer to Snatch Game? I’m worried as hell.

Alasdair Duncan: Before we get into the thick of our recap, I just want to repeat something that a lot of my friends have said this week – I am blown away by how well Aja is doing in All Stars, not only redeeming her shabby performance from Season 9, but really shining in the challenges and on the runway. I think the thing that really tipped me over the edge was this week, when she revealed that her dream Valentine’s Day date would be a walrus. At this point, I am an Aja Stan from Ajastan and I’m not even ashamed to admit it.

Courtney: One more thing, can we talk about how much Trixie has put herself into hot water with Shangela?

Alasdair: Oh yes indeed. For those who may have missed this week’s very Trixie-centric episode, she and Shangela got into a fairly awkward confrontation because, LONG STORY SHORT, somebody called Shangie a shady bitch, and she found out. Is ‘shady bitch’ even an insult on Drag Race? I doubt it, and I struggle to see why Shangie would be remotely offended. Still, it was a very strategic move of her to get up in a competitor’s face right before the biggest challenge of the season, because Trixie was RATTLED. That was probably the point, come to think of it.

Courtney: Okay, this Snatch Game. What a god damned mess.

Alasdair: This was without a doubt the worst Snatch Game I have seen in all 150 seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race. It happens every year, everyone knows it’s coming – you would think that these literal All Stars, most of whom have done it before, would at least try and work up a good celebrity impression beforehand.

Courtney: What even happened?! Trixie bombed hard, Bebe Zahara Benet fell out of character as Grace Jones so she could tell Trixie to shut up, Kennedy Davenport‘s Phaedra Parks did not do anything to help me understand who the fuck that even is.

Alasdair: Let’s talk about some of the good. Aja’s impression of Crystal Labeija was regal and stunning and she didn’t have a lot of jokes but she had the voice and the mannerisms just right. A lot of people are probably Googling this legendary queen today. BenDeLaCreme was also great as Paul Lynde – I have to admit, I had no idea who that was, but I feel like I know now, because DeLa’s performance was so well done. She was quippy and fast on her feet and interacted with the other queens and was generally a bright spot in this otherwise disappointing challenge. Shangela’s Jennifer Lewis had some good banter and a few solid laughs, but that’s all I remember about the character.

Courtney: I’m genuinely worried that Snatch Game might be a broken format.

Alasdair: It’s a tough challenge, and if you’re not a natural comedian, it would be really tough to improvise jokes on the fly, while in character as somebody else. Even if you are a natural comedian, you can still bomb it, as Trixie proved. I was disappointed that Chi Chi DeVayne chose to play Maya Angelou, and then didn’t even come prepared with a joke about why the caged bird sings. That’s the most obvious question you would get asked in that situation!

If I can say one more thing about Snatch Game before we move on, I feel like Trixie gave it a good try with that RuPaul impression – she had speech patterns and janky mannerisms down, but the punch lines didn’t really land. I think that her joke about a half a hotdog from the back of RuPaul’s car would have killed it on an episode of UNHhhh, because Katya would have cackle-laughed at it then moved on to something else. Trixie came into this season as the odds-on favourite but she has yet to win a challenge. I hope that this Snatch Game disaster is a turning point for her.

Courtney: I feel like this was one of those episodes that was super over-produced and very rushed over to get to the ~shock twist ending~ that not only floors the girls but also attempts to speed the actual show along.

Alasdair: Right? When Snatch Game ended after what felt like about a minute and a half, I turned to my boyfriend and said “is that it?!” Then came the blink-and-you’ll-miss it runway – these queens put hours into their looks, so it feels rude to give them just seconds of screen time. What can we even say about this flower power-themed runway? Chi Chi’s look is pure southern belle fantasy, and it’s as stunning as she’s looked all season, but it may not be enough to save her after that terrible Maya Angelou impression.

Kennedy has yet again chosen to festoon her body with more lots of decoration. This time it’s sunflowers. She may be trying to camouflage herself after that flat Phaedra Parks performance. Trixie is cute a button with her parasol and is serving some hot pink Adelaid Adams realness, like she just got back from the windy city and it was full of Harajuku girls. She’s very obviously terrified, though, because she knows she’s going to be in the bottom. Shangela’s runway look is a riff on Beyoncé‘s floral pregnancy photoshoot, which is an iconic move, and it’s very obvious that she and DeLa are going to be the winners.

Just one gripe though. When contemplating who she’ll send home, Shangela keeps talking about who her “allies” are in the competition. That’s a fair enough way to play the game, but it exposes the big flaw in the All Stars formula: When the queens are given the power to send each-other home, they’re obviously going to pick their friends to stick around, and eliminate the girls they think are threatening. That’s why Roxxxy made it to the top four in All Stars 2 while Tatianna was sent home. We’ve probably missed out on a whole season of strong Morgan McMichaels performances because she got strategically eliminated in episode one. I mean, look at her Joan Collins look …

Courtney: DeLa and Shangie both winning the lip-sync (which I don’t think was a good option because it’s not like both of their performances were groundbreaking tbh) meant that they both got to send someone home. By pure fucking luck it was Chi Chi DeVayne, who had previously told DeLa that she was ready to go.

Alasdair: The one genuinely surprising moment of this whole episode was when Shangela built us all up to think she was giving Trixie the chop before turning around and eliminating Chi Chi. She definitely had Trixie fooled.

Courtney: I feel like Shangie was directing this whole episode, from “discovering” the note from Thorgy Thor on the wall in Trixie’s station (which I didn’t see there at the start when they were changing out of last week’s runway looks), to breaking the fourth wall and accusing the UNHhhh fans for making Trixie believe she could do a good RuPaul, to fooling Trixie into thinking that she was going home right to the very last second, it was very much focusing right in on Shangela’s whole Danaerys Targaryen thing, which doesn’t really make much sense half the time.

Alasdair: I have a theory that Shangela has never actually seen Game Of Thrones. She’ll eventually own up to this fact, like when Jena Maroney revealed that she’d never actually met Mickey Rourke or spent any time on his sex grill. It will be the face crack of the decade.

Courtney: And would you see who flew through as safe again? Bebe, of course. The theory prevails!

Alasdair: Fine, I guess I’ll give you that one.

With only three episodes to go, we’re down to the pointy end of the competition, with Shangela and BenDeLaCreme as the clear front-runners. DeLa has been in the top two four challenges in a row, which seems like it would be more than enough to snatch the crown at this point, but I wouldn’t rule out Shangie just yet.

Keep up to date with All Stars 3 same-time as the U.S. over on Stan.