RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars take on everyone’s favorite sport: the halftime show

Ra'Jah O'Hara and Scarlet Envy in the workshop of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars.  Scarlet is dressed as Katy Perry's Left Shark.

Ra’Jah O’Hara, Scarlet Envy
Screenshot: Paramount +

With a solid cast and no clear favorite, what happens to All stars when everyone is doing a good job? Rigga Morris, what is it. Coming as in the wake of one of the best All stars episodes in years, “Halftime Headliners” was always likely to be a bit of a letdown. So, it’s no complete surprise that despite – or maybe because of – no one bombing, this season’s ersatz Rusical episode falls flat. It’s the Why it is surprising. It’s not because queens don’t serve, but because judgments and criticisms seem so arbitrary. Ru, Michelle, Carson, Jamal: all of you, were we watching the same show at halftime?

In “Halftime Headliners”, the queens are tasked with impersonating a legendary Super Bowl halftime MVP. But once they pick their fighter and put together a look, as they all did before they arrived, there is little left in their control. As is often the case with scripted and / or choreographic challenges, it all depends on the material provided to them. Does Ginger’s performance deserve to be placed at the bottom, or did she just get the most boring cover? Is the Madonna of Eureka excellent, or is it just that the vocal impression of the recording artist is so right? And when all the performance is good, how much should you consider the hardware?

Plots don’t help either *. Jan’s desire not to be Jan Safety and A’keria’s willingness to prove herself after a tough week is a manual, not just for this show, but for all reality shows. There are a couple of points of interest: Kylie’s choice to debut as a drag king, for example, might have been fascinating, had we heard more about her experience. The exception is the Trinity K. Bonet arc, at least for the first half of the episode. She is a) to break Beyoncé’s curse, and b) here to make friends **. Both good. And of course Yara is Yara. But otherwise? Not much the the.

When this is the case, hopefully the performance makes up for it. And they do, sort of. There are no disasters, and several highlights. Scarlet’s Left Shark Trail! A’keria’s ass! Ra’Jah shines while serving the classic Motown! The list goes on. But earn a Drag race challenge (or be robbed of a Drag race winning) is seldom the simple result of being good. Winning is on gay gasping (or bi shortness of breath, in my case). And I rarely gasp / breathe twice. Such reactions are of course very subjective, but for me:

  • The trail of A’keria.
  • Trinity’s performance.
  • End of list.

That’s not to say the others weren’t great. But in my eyes there was an obvious high (TKB) and an obvious low (Yara, honey, flourishes, do not mills.) Put almost anyone at the top with Trinity and that could be justified quite easily. Trinity, Jan, Eureka? Sure. Trinity, Pandora, Kylie? Sure. Trinity, Ra’Jah, A’keria? Absolutely. The same with Yara and the last three. Ginger and Jan? Sure. Eureka and Scarlet? Sure. You got the idea. But A’keria deep down? What?

The justifications just don’t make sense. “Fergie has no signature” is not a criticism of anyone except maybe Fergie and / or the one who mixed “Geronimo”. “Your prince was not big enough” only makes sense in a world where the choreographer, also judge, didn’t use repeat to tell the person playing Prince to call him back. “And I love Michelle, but ‘Madonna is my queen’ is neither a criticism, nor a reason to put someone on top.

Before the reviews, Ru takes a moment to congratulate the whole group. Normally this happens when everyone was great, and that’s Ru’s way of saying that finicky things will separate the top from the safe and the safe from the bottom. , have fun. ”How else can you explain the presence of A’keria – whose prince was at least as good as Madonna of Eureka, Steven Tyler of Kylie, and Katy Perry of Scarlet – in the last three? After this track?

A'Keria dressed as a blooming flower.  Not an exaggerated comparison - she literally opened her skirt.

Screenshot: Paramount +

Was I a producer / judge on Drag race, my first three would probably have been Trinity, Pandora and Ra’Jah, with a possible exchange of A’keria in the “mixed-but-we-wanted-to-talk” box, taking the place of one of the last two . The bottom is a harder call, aside from Yara. But like I said before almost any combo could work, was it justified by the judges in a way that makes sense.

It’s all the more frustrating as this confusion deflates a long-awaited victory for Jan, an excellent performer and savvy contender whose victory here looks less like a “Yes!” “And rather a” really? Okay, why not. It is not a victory that comes from his love for Gaga; it’s not due to his approach to the game; it is not his trail, which was beautiful but not a pitfall. This is because she is very good at what she does, but she is always good, and it’s neither better nor worse than an average week for our January. It is a victory, but not a triumph. And even though it’s much better than Jan of course, this is not a particularly satisfying story.

So Jan wins. Long overdue. But his most interesting moment isn’t his performance, nor his lip-syncing. This is the lipstick teaser. Jan tells us in a confessional that she chooses a person not based on what her heart tells her, but what she thinks the group consensus will be, possibly to avoid tension with another queen who might be in. able to pick out Jan’s lipstick soon. But we don’t see who it is. This isn’t the first time someone has chosen a lipstick based on their strategy over performance or motivation, but it’s also not about knocking out stronger competitors (or at least, she says it isn’t). And that’s an interesting wrinkle in an episode that could use crow’s feet.

Hey, at least we get the triumphant return of another lip-sync assassin. The chicken enters fierce, indeed. It’s not lip-syncing for the ages, but it’s entertaining, with Jessica Wild slipping a potential $ 20,000 tip under Jan’s nose with the power of her locks of hair. This victory, at least, is completely legitimate. Hopefully Jan’s next triumph – and there should be another one – will be just as justified and satisfying as Jessica’s.

* – Sometimes the best case scenario leads to a satisfying victory when the going is right. See: Tatianna winning for Britney vs. Carol Channing from Pandora in the first Snatch Game, any number of comedy challenges, whenever someone who doesn’t really sew wins a construction challenge. Carol of Pandora was better than Britney of Tati, but winning Tati was the best story.

** – This scene with Ra’Jah, A’keria and Trinity with an Eureka cameo was a highlight of the season and one of my favorite moments in the workshop in recent memory. After! Please!

Stray observations

  • Kate’s corner: “While I was disappointed that the Queens didn’t record their own vocals, they all did, further positioning season six as one of the best in the series. I wanted to celebrate the victory of Jan, but that challenge belonged to TKB. She killed like Beyonce and earned her second win. Either way, it’s great to see the Gaga and Beyonce curses lifted, or at least overcome. And let’s not overlook it. the track! These queens don’t mess with their thugs. I raise a very skeptical eyebrow on most judgments, but I agree with the elimination and the lip-syncing result, and I can’t wait to see this who will follow.
  • The rehearsal was a delight, thanks to Ginger’s absurd facial expressions and the group’s reaction to TKB. Butholes squeezing the seats!
  • Props to Yara for not only slipping into doing Shakira on her show, but also for naming the bar and the nights she performs in the said bar. Next level.
  • “Well, she’s dead, so no.”
  • “Your hips are moderately honest.”
  • Well done to the one who in the comments predicted the imminence Golden Child came back when I said “Jessica Wild on All Stars when?” in my first review. Either you have great instincts or you’re a Nancy Drew Reddit. Regardless, well done.
  • Speaking of Nancy Drewing it: Jessica pulls out the lipstick and it’s in a little beige sleeve, but when we see her putting the lipstick in her costume Not returned, there is no handle. So did she know it was Yara or not?
  • My gift for you of the week: I’m not sure why Kinja turns my perfectly usable GIFs into fuzzy messes, so here’s this week’s one, via Tweet:

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