The event I feel like I’ve been waiting for all year has finally landed; the return of RuPaul’s Drag Race. But unlike the seasons before it the queens running for the title this season are All Stars – past womens on the show who’ve sashayed away, vying once more for The Crown. A collation of the best of the best (although some would argue to the contrary) is reason enough for me to give up existing outside of my RuPaul’s Drag Race bubble over the next six weeks, cancelling plans with people on a nightly basis unless they’re interested in partaking in a viewing of the latest episode. When Drag Race is on I live and breathe the show for its entire season, and hold onto the past episodes of the most recent season like they’re handwritten love-letters from an Ex. Returning home from work I immediately start playing the latest episodes of both Drag Race and the behind the scenes drama of Untucked (not simultaneously). By the third viewing I am discussing with either my amazing friend Michelle or the imaginary person that sits next to me the behavioral patterns of the girls and by the fifth viewing I can generally tell you what most of them are going to say next. This show is more than just The Greatest Television Program on the Planet. It’s so much more; the cult status of the show’s following is now up there with the likes of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent of the effortlessly stunning, flawless and Iconic RuPaul makes for radiant television and the girls competing themselves – whether you love them all or hate a couple – makes for furthermore flaw-free T.V.
Bolting home for a new season leaves me anxious. The minutes between leaving work and getting home are made up of me, lip synching for my life to “Glamazon” in the car as I drive dangerously, ready to snatch pedestrians who dare get in between me and Life. Once I’m inside the house and have thrown all of my belongings into a dark corner, I sit back, press play, and as that theme music blares through my Television speakers, I feel everything else disappear. What overdue phone bill? What friend nightmare? What even are problems when a new season of Drag Race starts? All I can think about is sequins, sewing machines and padding – as far as I’m concerned, when Drag Race is on, the only problem in life is waiting six more days for the next episode to air.
Glued to my TV, the rubbish of 9-to-5 fades away as the contestants begin to flutter in, the first being Miss Congeniality herself Pandora Boxx (S2), rocking a fitting outfit that even impressed next contestant Latrice Royale (S4), who was also voted Miss Congeniality of her season, and also too the great Yara Sofia (S3), who came storming in announcing she had come as Puerto Rico’s Jail Barbie, screaming louder than Charo within the first few minutes of the show. Shannel was one of my favourites from Season 1 and her theatrical outfit as she entered the workroom slayed my entire existence. Wiping the floor clean with the three before her, Shannel asks if the girls whether they like her couture. Brilliant television and we’re only a couple of single digit minutes in.
Raven‘s “cocktail dress” – as Pandora so lovingly put it – left little to the imagination but was a smidge of a let down, right? Don’t get me wrong she looked fierce as always but the outfit was not on level with the dragstravagance of everyone elses. Alexis Mateo from Season 3 sauntered on down next; admittedly I was not the biggest fan of her eye-piece. It just took too much attention off her costume and actually drowned her out, I definitely know Alexis is better than that and it’s as simple as ditching the face-patches yo. Seasoned professional and Series 4 favourite Chad Michaels sashayed on through the workroom next, wishing everyone a “Happy Hunger Games” before pulling some Sharon Needles comedy through an earring. I found it cute that Raven made mention of Chad perhaps being a little bitter about her Season 4 loss, particularly seeing as Season 4 was not that long ago, but moreso because it seems Raven’s forgotten the adorable message she left Miss Tyra Sanchez on the workroom mirror when she wasn’t crowned America’s Next Drag Superstar. To paraphrase, for those who don’t remember, it was something like “Keep reaching for the stars because you’ll never be one.” Cute!
Manila‘s picturesque outfit came complete with a cigarette wielding hand-headpiece, a stunning highlight of a look that was very quickly ruined with Manila talking and immediately laughing at the girls. All in jest, but it’s a testament to the kill-kill-kill attitude Manila has towards the competition, one that is further proved when Untucked airs – but we’ll get to that later.
Season 3′s Mimi Imfurt caused a rumble amongst the contestants when she revealed herself as the next competitor with Manila even joking her casting in the series was because “somebody needs to go home first.” Ouch! Nonetheless the call was swiftly overlooked as the earth trembled, lighting struck and the heavens opened up, shaking out the most angelic of all its Drag Queens.
LIVING LEGEND MISS NINA FLOWERS. Painted and hair TO THE NINES. Spilling hot tea all over myself in a shaking mess, I had no idea things were going to be getting SPICIER.
LIVING LEGEND MISS TAMMIE BROWN WALKS IN. I am actually writing the rest of this blog post to you from the grave because I am actually dead. BYE!
Queen JuJuBee must’ve gotten Raven’s memo about dressing down, even admitting to the other girls she felt like she worked in the mall compared to the others outfits. She made up for it though and left me not at ALL coping with her admision to loving LIVING LEGEND MISS TAMMIE BROWN, even going as far to say her lip maneuvers make her “queef.” And just on another note, I am still unhappy with the derp-face Manila pulled when LIVING LEGEND MISS TAMMIE BROWN WALKED IN. I don’t get it, Tammie is brilliant?! I really understand the aesthetic of Tammie and the way she carries on as well; it’s this vaudeville of classic Hollywood homages rolled into one. Brown really investigated the eras in which she pays homage to the most and I admire that aspect of her drag so much because it shows that, in order to get to where she wanted to be, she needed to do the research, watch the movies, fall in love with the era and school herself. There’s a true art to Tammie’s drag in the sense that it is not just about a look or a way she walks, it’s about everything. What she says, how she says it, how she reacts; how she works her sex appeal; everything about Tammie is on point, and she is more than a welcomed addition in this All Stars series, thank you Manila!
The twelve Queens barely got to kiki when a SheMail arrived on the screens. RuPaul then emerged to alert the goyullls they would be working together in teams; judged as a duo, critiqued as a duo and sent home as a duo if one and/or the other fucks up. At first I was upset, particularly as this meant we were in for a short season and I would have to return to a Drag Race-less bubble in just over a month, but also because I felt it was a little unfair. That said, if it weren’t for this particular rule we wouldn’t have such genius team names as we do. May I present to you, the All Stars cast of 2012.
Team Latrila (OKAY I NEED A LIE DOWN NOW I CANNOT)
Team Rujubee (R.I.P. ADEM WITH AN E)
Clearly, this is serious shit Ladies & Gentlemens, because now there are TEAM NAMES.
The task at hand for this week required the newly-formed duos to work on a magazine photoshoot spread, wielded and crafted by themselves. The main task involved working on an opposites-attract image, all whilst thundering black rain pelted down upon their faces. Here is Flawless Living Legend Tammie Brown being Flawless and Legendary before the shoot began.
And here she is after, being Flawless and Legendary.
Runway-wise, although Yarlexis’ look really was San Juan Romy & Michelle, I honestly felt Pandora and Mimi’s campy presentation trumped it. Yarlexis completely got confused with 80% of the brief behind the task and delivered probably the worst photos as. Chad and Shannel looked like they were ready for Prom: Beyond Thunderdome (ie: Fucking Amazing), but the best looks of the night were definitely Team Brown-Flowers and Team Latrila, the latter who came out as Dragytubbies, Manila completing the ensemble with her very own music video clip playing on her stomach. A stellar touch. Rujubee slayed as well and were in turn selected by Ru and the judges alongside Latrila as the week’s best players.
Speaking of the judges, it was lovely to see Rachel Hunter again. I distinctly remember disliking her through the 1990′s but I was genuinely thrilled to see her on that panel. Not as thrilled as I was by seeing LIVING LEGEND MICHELLE VISAGE.
The laugh that bellowed from Miss Michelle Visage as RuPaul basically floated across the runway is my new ringtone.
The lip-sync came down to Team Mandora versus Team Shad, with Mimi and Chad lip-syncing for their teams respectively. Here is a photo of Team Shad looking quite pleased with their decision.
After a battle to Paula Abdul‘s “Opposites Attract” (which Chad said was “not a duet” but so very clearly is), Team Mandora were asked to Sashay Away whilst Team Shad were asked to celebrate their triumph at the back of the stage with the other girls. As sad as I was to see Pandora and Mimi go (I was really rooting for Mimi and wanted her to do so well this time), I was relieved that two of my all-time favourites got to spend another week inside my Drag Race bubble. I also think that this pairing is that of legend too; and although I feel like this competition probably belongs to Rujubee, Team Shad and Team Latrila have a seriously strong chance as well because their duos really are dynamic together.
A lot of nutso went on during Untucked, with Willam from Season 4 appearing in the Gold Bar, brandishing a pink, furry box. I was disappointed, as I’m sure Willam was too, that Raven didn’t recreate this celebrated Hollywood movie scene with her as she opened the box and allowed Raven’s hand to creep in.
Willam announces to the four safe girls that they must play a round of KILL, MARRY OR FUCK. As Willam rattles off each All Stars name, Manila is quick to “kill” everyone (“Of course I’d kill Tammie Brown!”), showing off her competitive streak once more. Raven then proudly announces she would quite actually happily fuck Tammie Brown, an admission that is bizarrely met with a great deal of question amongst the other other queens. Needless to say, Raven was not in the slightest bit bothered that nobody else agreed with her.
But the real crazy emerged when everyone was shouting at Mimi Imfurst – and not because of the argument that was unfolding but rather because this is what Tammie Brown was doing whilst everyone else was arguing.
And here is Alexis’ reaction – whilst an argument specifically between HER AND MIMI is happening – to Tammie’s “I’M ACTING!!!” outburst.
The power of Living Legend Miss Tammie Brown.
All in all, a RuPer sized premiere for what is going to be the wildest 6 weeks of Television in years.
Watch RuPaul’s All Stars Drag Race, Mondays at 9/8c on Logo, or stream the episodes from the Logo website.