RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Rucap: Once You Pop Art, You Can’t Stop

This rucap has spoilers for episode five of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3, so if you haven’t watched it yet, what the hell are you even doing here, Brenda?

This week, Courtney Fry is away because she gagged to death on Morgan McMichaels‘ most recent runway look. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you send donations to our charitable fund to teach Thorgy Thor how to read. Don’t worry, though, the other half of our regular rucapping team, Alasdair Duncan, is here to regale you with all the bad puns and rambling asides you can handle. If you really haven’t seen this week’s episode yet, you can keep up to date with All Stars 3 same-time as the U.S. over on Stan.

As of tonight, we’re five weeks into the competition, and we’re still no closer to learning whether or not Shangela has actually seen Game Of Thrones, or is just wildly making things up based off what she’s seen on Twitter. Honestly, nobody ever shuts the fuck up about Game Of Thrones, so it’s a real power move to just pretend you’ve seen it and start talking nonsense about it to see if anyone calls your bluff. If that’s what Shangela is doing with her constant Daenerys references this season, then I say just give her the crown right now.

With that, we’re off, and first thing this week is a mini-challenge, our first since episode one. The girls have to take photos in the style of pop art – for those of you who don’t know your queer history, that’s a form of artistic expression that was invented by Lady Gaga in 2013. ANYWAY, RuPaul arrives in the workroom dressed as Andy Warhol and announced that the girls will be getting their photos taken in the artist’s iconic style.

The queens turn out some pretty spectacular looks for such a short time – AjaBebeDeLaTrixie and Kennedy all look like they stepped right out of Andy Warhol’s glamorous 1970s milieu and Shangela is also present for the challenge. (I kid! I love her and hope she makes it far in the competition, and also, I don’t want to get hate mail from angry Shangela Stans).

Aja is crushing it with her redemptive performances this season, and the fantasy she’s serving of a sad, glamorous rich lady is sheer perfection. Bebe also looks like she stepped right off the dance floor at Studio 54, although Aja is the winner. Just a heads up, I will have a lot more to say about both Bebe and Aja later in the rucap, and some of it will contain swear words probably, so strap the fuck in, guys.

Before we get to the main challenge, a quick word on this week’s workroom skirmish between DeLa and Kennedy. It’s not as dramatic as last week’s confrontation between Trixie and Shangela, but goes to show that tempers are getting frayed as the number of queens gets less and less. In a discussion about elimination strategy, DeLa who has been in the top two every single week, is starting to fret about which of her sisters to send home, and how exactly to make that choice – do you base it off who did the worst that week, or who has performed at the most consistently safe level throughout?

It’s a fairly good question, but Kennedy’s having none of it, and snaps at DeLa, telling her to get out of her head. The other queens circle and try and get them to fight, like a pride of Michelle Visages on the Serengeti, circling a wounded Merle Ginsberg. Neither queen takes the bait, but the target on DeLa’s back is growing bigger every week, and if she somehow lands in the bottom two, one of these mercenary queens might well send her packing.

That said, it’s now time to talk about this week’s main challenge,which is going to be … a ball! Holy shit, this is going to be awesome, the queens are going to hand-make three looks, showing off their impressive sewing skills, and it’s going to blow a load of pure eleganza all over our faces and take the competition to the next level, right? RIGHT? Well, it turns out …. not so much. Half these girls don’t sew, not even Bebe (MORE ON THAT LATER), so a full-on sewing challenge won’t fly.

For this ball, the queens only have to serve two 1970s-inspired looks, and one of them is going to be an Andy Warhol-themed soup can. I mean, c’mon, RuPaul’s Drag Race, at what point did you decide it would be a good idea to make the top six queens COVER THEIR ENTIRE BODIES IN CARDBOARD CYLINDERS so that just their heads stick out? Somewhere, Bob Mackie is crying into his nine Primetime Emmy Awards for costume design. (BTW, I Googled Bob Mackie and it turns out he has won nine Primetime Emmy Awards for costume design).

ANY-FUCKIN-HOO. Cut to the runway, where the queens are wearing soup cans that represent their respective personalities. BenDeLaCreme’s ‘Cream de la Crème’ soup – “winner of literally everything” – almost makes this misbegotten runway worth it, just for that one gag about how she keeps landing in the top two. Aja’s candy-flavoured ‘Sugar Tits’ soup looks disgusting and I would probably eat it until I barfed. Kennedy’s ‘Grandma Kennedy’s Pot Licka’ Juice’ is also pretty great, and I’m feeling her old lady glasses. Look, I guess this wasn’t the worst idea for a runway but it seems a bit basic.

In previous seasons of Drag Race, Ru would have sashayed into the workroom at the eleventh hour to tell the girls “oh by the way, this week, you’ll also have to choreograph and perform a group dance number while on fire and suspended from a trapeze.” Not to diminish what these queens are doing, because they all look fabulous, but the level of challenge this episode just seems a little low for a season that is literally called All Stars.

The other runway look this week is 1970s disco-inspired couture, and look, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Trixie looks stunning in a pink-number that hugs her curves, while Kennedy is serving pure dance floor diva, and let’s be real here, should have been in the top two based on this look and this makeup.

Aja’s look, while glamorous as hell, skews more towards the ’60s than the 70s, and Shangela has literally just stuck a bunch of fake records to herself, in what Trixie calls out as possibly the worst runway look ever on Drag Race. The judges go nuts for Bebe’s sequined fringe dress, and when they ask if she made it herself, she says yes … WHICH IS WEIRD, IN THAT WE SAW AJA RENDERING SIGNIFICANT ASSISTANCE IN THE WORKROOM MINUTES BEFORE, but sure Bebe, you do you. The other queens share a look amongst themselves that suggests they’re a little skeptical about Bebe’s answer, but nobody calls her out, so who knows, maybe this is just edited to make her look shady, but still.

Trixie and Bebe are this week’s top two, which would seem to torpedo the theory that Bebe is some kind of mole who will sail safely through the competition and be revealed as a secret judge or something at the end. In the workroom, as the bottom two queens plead their cases – Shangela rattles off some almost-credible observations about Daenerys and alliances, while Aja laments that she was overconfident going into the challenge.

This week’s lip sync number is Diana Ross, which sits firmly in Bebe’s wheelhouse, and she does the Latrice Royale trick of standing quietly in the one place and performing with intensity as Trixie dances around her. It’s a gambit that pays off and when she pulls the lipstick out of her décolletage, she’s chosen to eliminate … Aja.

Look, this was a tough elimination, as Shangela, while clearly the worst queen this week, has been a consistent performer throughout the competition, and Aja, who has been killing it thus far, happened to have a below-average night. This elimination would suck either way but it’s infuriating that Bebe chose to snipe Aja after Aja gave so much assistance with that outfit the judges seemed to love so much.

The plucky, anime-loving Aja had low-key become my favourite this season, and it will suck to see her gone, but, TWIST, she may not be gone for long. In the closing minutes of this episode, Alaska and Chad, in their full Handmaid’s Tale regalia, lead three mysterious figures onto the stage, and one of them has tattoos that look a LOT like Aja’s. (The other two are probably Morgan and Chi Chi, right?).

Does this mean the eliminated queens are coming back for their ruvenge? Is there some other kind of high-level fuckery about to occur? I DON’T KNOW YOU GUYS, I HAVE NOT SEEN THE HANDMAID’S TALE SO I DO NOT KNOW WHAT ANY OF THIS “UNDER HIS EYE” STUFF MEANS, all I know is that I am probably going to go  practice my Alaska face in the mirror for the rest of the day, so I’ll see you all next week.