‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 5’ episode 7 recap: The final four bring the laughs in a ‘Stand-Up Smackdown’ [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” continued the 5th installment of its “All Stars” spin off on July 10 with the queens joining RuPaul Charles and his family for “The Charles Family Backyard Ball.” In that sixth episode, the final 5 walked the catwalk twice: once as an invented friend/relative character arriving at the cookout and a second time in a garment made using backyard tools and items. Miz Cracker was declared the overall winner, her second time of the season, but lost the lip sync to secret assassin Roxxxy Andrews. Roxxxy’s victory meant that the losing queens’ vote would determine the episode’s outcome, a “sashay away” for Alexis Mateo.

This season, instead of two of queens performing lip syncs for their legacies, the week’s challenge winner will go up against a non-competing queen deemed a “lip sync assassin.” If the season 5 all-star wins, she gets a $10,000 tip and gets to decide who to boot. If she loses, the tip gets added to the jar for the following week and the rest of the queens will rule on the elimination from two choices selected as the bottom two from the judges panel.

In the June 5 premiere challenge winner India Ferrah battled season 11 winner Yvie Oddly to “Livin’ La Vida Loca.” Yvie won and the jury’s vote sent Derrick Barry home. In episode 2, Shea brought the house down in a lip sync to “Neutron Dance,” defeating assassin Alyssa Edwards. Shea’s sole vote sent Ongina home. Episode 3’s lip sync winner was the assassin, Monet X Change, and so the jury’s choice of Mariah Paris Balenciaga was sent home. In episode 4, Mayhem Miller was eliminated by Miz Cracker after she tied with Morgan McMichaels and in episode 5, Shea single-handedly eliminated India after defeating Vanessa Vanjie Mateo.

SEE: Where are the first 16 ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ winners now: Find out what happened to your favorites

Below, check out our minute-by-minute “RuPaul’s Drag Race” recap of All Stars 5, Episode 7 to find out what happened on Friday, July 17. Then be sure to sound off in the comments section about your favorite queens on VH1’s reality TV show, who annoys you the most, and who you think will ultimately join the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winners list.

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8:02 p.m. – It was a huge sigh of relief for Blair St. Blair following the elimination of Alexis because she knew that Cracker had considered her one of the bottom queens in the challenge. As friends, it would have been a full gag for Cracker to have eliminated Blair and that was felt when Cracker pretended like she considered it. Cracker hadn’t actually, and revealed that she also voted to eliminate Alexis. That being said, the pressure was on Blair to finally win a challenge since she’s the only one in the final four that doesn’t have one under her belt yet.

8:08 p.m. – The next morning Ru presented the girls with a challenge that would test all of their resolve: comedy. For the maxi challenge the queens would face off in a standup comedy smackdown, with the sole purpose of making Ru and the judges laugh. For Cracker this was a moment to shine because she is a comedy queen, but it sent shivers down the spines of both Blair and Shea.

8:18 p.m. – As the reigning challenge winner, Cracker got to determine the order in which the queens would perform and she made it clear that she was going to do everything she could to trip each of them up. In fact, she had a lot to say about why she was placing each queen in a position. As the other strong comedic force, Cracker put Juju first in the hopes that the audience wouldn’t be quite warmed up yet. Next she put Blair with the idea that following Juju might shake her nerves, and then set herself after Blair since if Blair fell flat then she’d have a swoop-in moment with low expectations. And then she placed Shea last to have the pressure of closing the show and a crowd that might think the only reason they liked her was because she was last. You could tell that this overthought strategy did rub the other girls the wrong way–indeed it was a lot of thinking for something that could just be as simple as laying out the lineup and moving on.

8:26 p.m. – Later that day the queens began rehearsing on stage with Ross Mathews and surprise guest judge Jane Krakowski. Juju was up first and was able to test out some jokes that made Ross and Jane laugh, but they also told her that while funny they might not work well for the task at hand. The good news was that Jane thought Juju’s spot at the beginning was actually an advantage because she’d get to set the tone for the night. Next was a screaming Blair, happy as heck to see Jane sitting there and as it turns out they’re mutual followers of each other on Instagram. Ross and Jane were impressed by how much material Blair came to rehearsal with, most of which were digs at Ross himself.

8:30 p.m. – Cracker hit the rehearsal stage next to present her idea of doing a TED talk-like bit about the realities of being a drag queen. The problem there was that it was a lot of getting to a joke and not a punchline quick enough. Ross was worried that she’d be thinking too hard about what to do rather than just resting on her comedic talent and letting it come naturally. Shea arrived for rehearsal last, perhaps with the most nerves because she sees herself as a conversational funny girl rather than a planned one. Ross had the idea of Shea using her own experiences as the foundation for a set that would be unique to her, suggesting her tough lost to Sasha Velour in season 9.

SEE: ‘Drag Race’ winners rankings: All 17 ranked from worst to best

8:40 pm. – The next day, performance and elimination day, the queens came to the workroom to prepare their looks and to rehash how their coaching sessions went. Blair was surprisingly positive about her time with Ross and Jane, feeling super confident. Juju let Cracker know that Jane thought she was given a gift with her placement in the show and Blair said she thinks Cracker is underestimating her abilities to rise to the challenge. Shea, however, was very clear about how high her nerves were running and how scared she was to getting to the end of the season and failing to claim the crown.

8:49 p.m. – On the main stage, Ru was joined by Michelle Visage, Ross, Jane and second guest judge Sam Richardson. In the smackdown there was a splatter of applause for Juju’s set that was ultimately hit or miss with her jokes about plastic surgery falling the most flat. Blair followed with her confidence in tow and a lot of spunk, but that she was holding her notebook and awkwardly flipping the pages between jokes sucked all the energy out of her set. Cracker went through with her drag-specific jokes that worked really well to open her set in conjunction with her positive energy and perfect delivery. In Shea’s closing set she went for the roast format, but did include a fair share of jokes against herself and her loss to Sasha, following Ross’s advice.

8:57 p.m. – After the standup sets, the queens walked in a “Ahh Freak Out” category to show off their most freakish looks. Juju walked first in a monstrous set of limbs coming from everywhere, Blair had a fun polka dot and Cheshire Cat-like puffy look, Cracker went with a sexy but also ghoulish post-apocalyptic body suit and Shea had a puffy jacket with fluffy platform shoes and a pink body suit with harness set.

9:04 p.m. – The judges let Juju know that her set was a bit uneven given their expectations for her, but highlighted that she found her footing later in the set and looks really good on the runway to boot. For Blair, her freak garment was elevated and fashionable in the right way, but that served as a stark difference to her comedy that completely missed the mark as an in-person standup routine. In fact, Michelle thought a lot of her jokes were actually mean rather than funny. Sam thought that Cracker’s positive-roast jokes were manipulative, but in the right way and Jane loved Cracker’s set so much that she even suggested entering a throuple with Cracker and Ross. For Shea, they thought her runway look was pretty safe by Shea’s own standards even if it was a fun outfit. As for her set, the judges were impressed by how prepared she was and that she executed her vision pretty well.

9:08 p.m. – Based on the critiques, Ru announced that once again Cracker was the challenge winner, a season-leading third! That left the responsibility of potentially sending one of the other three home right before the finale.

9:14 p.m. – Despite their vulnerability, the bottom three queens were happy for Cracker and her success at a challenge she felt confident in. Blair knew that she choked, but she and Cracker both thought that the fair path forward wasn’t necessarily examining past wins on the season. Blair fought for her value in the competition, but Shea thought that even with track records and a poor performance in this challenge that Blair was the obvious choice to go.

9:20 p.m. – In order for Cracker to have the elimination decision for herself she’d have to compete against this week’s lip sync assassin first: Kennedy Davenport! Tonight the face off song was Reba McEntire‘s “Fancy,” a soft country ballad. By the nature of the song, it was a relatively low key performance and Cracker injected a ton of personality into it while Kennedy relied on some swinging of her elegant cape dress. Ultimately, Cracker was named the winner, earning a $20,000 cash prize and the right to determine who would move on to the grand finale with her. In the end, Cracker went in the right direction and revealed the elimination lipstick of Blair St. Clair.

NEXT TIME: It’s the grand finale which means the final three perform a remix of one of Ru’s songs in an all-out singing and dancing challenge to determine which queen will become the sixth all star to earn the crown.

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