“RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” made its triumphant return Thursday night on VH1 with the debut of its third cycle. Nine former queens, all fan favorites, came back for the chance of entering the Drag Race Hall of Fame. Based on Gold Derby’s early predictions, Season 2 standout Morgan McMichaels had the best odds (15/8) of being eliminated first, while Season 7’s Trixie Mattel had leading 1/3 odds to win the competition. How did our predictions fare in the season premiere?
Below, check out our minute-by-minute “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” recap of Season 3, Episode 1, titled “All-Star Variety Show,” to find out what happened Thursday night. Then be sure to sound off in the comments section about your favorite queens, and who you think will join the list of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winners.
7:59 p.m. – The last time “RuPaul’s Drag Race” hosted an All Stars season was back in the fall of 2016, when Alaska was named the champion against runners-up Detox and Katya. Which current returning queen has the best shot of following in Alaska’s high heels? We’re about to find out, as the new season begins in three … two … one …
8:00 p.m. – OMG! A cameo intro by previous All Stars winners Chad Michaels and Alaska! This season is already iconic. Fasten your seatbelts, girls!
8:01: p.m. – During the annual introductions–a runway of sorts into the workroom–the girls re-introduce themselves to each other and learn which queens they’ll be competing against for the upcoming season. Of course, as All Stars, all the girls are familiar with one another already and many have interactions outside of the show since they’ve appeared on their original seasons. As expected, they have a lot of shade to throw each other’s way!
8:13 p.m. – After introductions, RuPaul Charles arrived in the workroom to say “hello hello hello” and to present the first mini challenge of the season. Or so we thought. Instead, Ru said she has one more queen she’d like to bring into the competition. But before that… a commercial!
8:19 p.m. – And that queen is… BeBe Zahara Benet, winner of the first season! Legendary. And all the other girls are intimidated, naturally. The funniest part of Ru’s introduction of BeBe? Acknowledging the season 1 filter! True fans know what I mean.
8:21 p.m. – The other bit of news Ru has for the girls is that the queens themselves will be deciding who goes home. Each week, the top two queens will “lip sync for their legacy” and the winner of that lip sync will decide which of the other queens goes home. These are the same rules that All Stars 2 operated under.
8:23 p.m. – For the first mini challenge, Ru opened the library for the traditional “Reading Is Fundamental” challenge of reading their competition for filth! And after all the dust settled, the winner was BenDeLaCreme!
8:28 p.m. – For the maxi challenge, the girls are asked to prove that their “charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent is bigger, fresher and better than ever” by performing in a variety show in front of a live studio audience. Again, the two best performers as decided by the judges will lip sync for a chance to eliminate the queen of their choice.
8:30 p.m. – During preparation for the challenge, Morgan may have put her foot in her mouth by confessing to Trixie Mattel and BenDeLaCreme that if she wins the lip sync her strategy will be to eliminate the strongest competition as soon as possible. The girls are obviously put off by this and wonder whether or not Morgan is someone that deserves to stick around very long if she’s going to play so competitively.
8:38 p.m. – While applying makeup, the girls discuss their pasts and hopes for this season. BenDeLaCreme wants to prove that she’s become a more confident performer and Aja hopes to show that even though her original season had just recently wrapped that even in that short amount of time she, too, has improved the quality of her drag.
8:44 p.m. – The judges for this week’s challenge are series regulars Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley and Ross Mathews as well as the special guest Vanessa Hudgens. In the first round of variety show performances Shangela, BeBe and Aja all performed lip syncs with choreography to their own songs while Thorgy Thor went in a different direction and played the violin and then did some cartwheels.
8:55 p.m. – Continuing with the performances: Kennedy Davenport served up a high energy dance showcase, BenDeLaCreme delivered a campy comedy burlesque dance, Chi Chi DeVayne gave us a baton jazz performance, Morgan and Milk returned us to the lip syncs of their own songs and Trixie played an instrument and sang live.
9:05 p.m. – The judges asked Shangela, Thorgy, Aja, Ben, Chi Chi and Morgan to remain on the stage for critiques. Of all the girls, Chi Chi and Morgan received the toughest critiques–Chi Chi was clocked for her dance flats and her overall look and performance were underwhelming and Morgan, though the judges loved her outfit, was told she was too nervous and the judges pointed out that she looked at the other girls rather than the audience.
9:10 p.m. – Based on those critiques, BenDeLaCreme and Aja were named the challenge winners and were asked to perform for their legacy. Thorgy and Shangela were called safe, leaving Chi Chi and Morgan in the bottom two, vulnerable to be eliminated by whichever queen wins the lip sync.
9:15 p.m. – Backstage, the girls discuss the elimination aspect of the game and what kind of strategies they’ll each employ. One of the biggest discussions was whether not judges’ critiques, prior performance or only current challenge performance should be determining factors. Needless to say, everyone had very different opinions.
9:24 p.m. – For the lip sync, Ben and Aja performed to “Anaconda” by Nicki Minaj and their shows couldn’t have been more different. While Aja went more traditional, performing with the seriousness that Nicki herself might have, with killer dance moves, Ben went full-tilt comedy queen and sent the judges into stitches! With that, Ru declared Ben the winner!
9:27 p.m. – With Chi Chi and Morgan before her, Ben presented the lipstick of the queen that was her choice to be eliminated and in the end she chose the girl that was forth right in declaring that she’d play an aggressive game, Morgan!
9:29 p.m. – But during Morgan’s goodbye message, Ru sent her a video message suggesting that she might have a chance to re-enter the competition and in the blink of an eye, Chad and Alaska were behind her in the same Handmaid’s Tale outfits they wore in the episode intro! I’m screaming! Can’t wait to see how this develops next episode.
Here are the answers to Gold Derby’s contest questions for “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” Season 3, Episode 1:
Who will be eliminated? Morgan McMichaels
Who will win the mini challenge? BenDeLaCreme
Who will win the main challenge? BenDeLaCreme and Aja
Who will win the lip sync? BenDeLaCreme
Will anybody quit the competition? No
Be sure to make your predictions so that the contestants can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs on VH1. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.