‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars’ 6 episode 1 recap: Talent takes center stage in ‘All Star Variety Extravaganza’ premiere

To kick off the 6th season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars,” host RuPaul Charles warned us that there would be a “game with a game” and a “twist so twisted [the all stars] will never see it coming.” The premiere marked the show’s move to streaming on Paramount+ for the first time, delivering two episodes at once on Thursday, June 24th. In the premiere, the 13 queens enter the Werk Room for the first time and size up their competition before delivering the “T” in a talent showcase.

Below, check out our minute-by-minute recap of “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” season 6 episode 1 to find out which queen came out on top in the “All Star Variety Extravaganza” maxi challenge and who fell to the bottom straight out of the gate. After following along with our live updating blog,  be sure to sound off in the comments section with your reactions to the episode and then discuss who you think deserves to join the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winners list. All Stars 6 is airing this summer on Paramount+ with new episodes added to the streaming service every Thursday at 3 am ET.

00 min – As always, the season kicked off with the parade of entrances from the competing queens. First to march was A’Keria C. Davenport (season 11) in an all gold sparkling gown and matching mask. She was followed by Jiggly Caliente (season 4) who promises to have shed the insecurities of her original season and with the confidence that comes with her coming out as trans since then. The third entrance was Jan (season 12), famed for the face crack of losing the singing challenge she expected to easily win. This time Jan says she won’t be concerned with proving her worth to herself, but instead to the judges.

03 min – Next was Ra’Jah O’Hara (season 11) who admits that in her original season “was just a bitch” and that this time she’ll just be a “bad bitch.” Ginger Minj (season 7, All Stars 2) came in next wearing what can only be explained as an abstract frog costume covered in pink warts (she is the “glamour toad” after all). Walking in with a howl was Yara Sofia (season 3, All Stars 1) in a gold wolf costume, determined to show more than being funny and lovable.

06 min – The next batch of entrances began with Silky Nutmeg Ganache (season 11) in an hourglass blue tulle gown, proud of who she was in her original run, but disappointed in how she played it wrong. Next was Pandora Boxx (season 2, All Stars 1) in a beautifully shimmering lavender gown and Scarlet Envy (season 11) in an oversized tie-dye hat and matching gown.

10 min – In the last group of queens was Serena ChaCha (season 5) who acknowledges that her original season had some of the best queens ever on the show and that she was not ready for the challenge, Kylie Sonique Love (season 2) who was previously known as just Sonique, but has since transitioned and grew into a new drag identity for her second chance, and Trinity K. Bonet (season 6) who admits that she was caught off guard from the show originally, but believes herself ready for the critiques in order to change her narrative this time. Finally, Eureka (season 9, 10) waltzed in for her third time prepared to improve upon her two previous attempts at the crown.

14 min – When Ru finally joined the “reunion” it was to introduce the format of the season–each week each queen would get to vote in who gets the chop. But this time around she promised the “game within a game” and warned that it’ll be a “masterclass in survival.” With 13 girls already competing, the queens were frightened to hear that there was another queen to introduce, but instead it was a guest appearance by Miss Piggy by video to present the first mini challenge, “Reading Is Fundamental.”

18 min – During the shade-throwing challenge, Serena, Trinity, A’Keria, Silky and Sonique’s jokes didn’t really land while Ra’jah and Eureka got some deep digs on the other queens. Yara, Pandora and Ginger stood out as getting the biggest laughs from Ru and the others, but Jan may have taken her shade a little too far because the reactions screamed “harsh.” After all was said and done, Ru and Miss Piggy selected Ginger as the winner.

23 min – In order for Ru to see how the queens have grown since their original season, she challenged the queens to show off their best talents on the main stage. Before preparing, the queens derobed from their entrance looks and got settled among the group. Everyone agreed that the group was a very strong one, but Serena looked around and seemed nervous that she might again be outmatched by her competition.

27 min – The next day the queens assembled their plans for the upcoming variety show. Trinity realized that in the past queens attempting comedy in this challenge have gone home, but she was determined she could break that curse this year. The prospect of voting each other out prompted a discussion about strategy and alliances based on seasons and past relationships, but all seemed to agree that they’d vote as fairly as possible.

30 min – Joining Ru on the judges panel for the “All Stars Star-Studded Variety Extravaganza” was series regulars Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley and Ross Mathews. First to perform was Jan with a rock song vocal that announced her high energy performance quality, followed by Pandora who also sang, but with more of a speak-singing track than Jan’s vocal and humorous antics built in to her routine. Jiggy lip-synched her own unique track and danced to hair-whipping hip hop choreography, Kylie performed a cabaret-style song in a sexy gold gown, and Ra’Jah sewed and put on an entire dress live on stage in a minute. A’Keria brought the dancing back to the stage with a pop-rap track with enough confidence to fill an ocean, but Trinity brought the energy back down as she stumbled through her bomb of a comedy set.

38 min – Eureka performed a sentimental ballad that she dedicated to her mom while projecting images on her billowing white gown, Scarlet created bubble tricks using her body and a large hoop, and Silky played the piano and sang live. Serena went for choreo and lip synching to a song about wigs, Ginger did the same in an original track about herself and candy, and Yara closed out the show with yet another dance-centric performance though she brought the laughs with an outrageous chest plate with jiggling breasts.

44 min – Prior to critiques, Ru explained the rules for the season: each week the judges will select the top all star and that queen will choose one queen she thinks should go home. The rest of the queens are left to cast a vote for a second queen to join them in the bottom while the top queen will lip sync for her legacy against a secret lip sync assassin. If the top all star wins that lip sync, she earns $10,000 and the bottom queen she chose will be eliminated. If the assassin wins, the queen the group selected will be eliminated instead. For this first judgment, Ru decided that the tops and bottoms were Silky, Trinity, Ra’Jah, Yara, Pandora and Serena.

45 min – The judges thought that Silky started off really well, but the energy of her performance waned as it went on despite her proving that she can play the piano. Trinity was complimented for looking great on the stage, but her confidence fell apart when she stumbled on her set. The judges thought Ra’Jah was very impressive for doing what she did in a minute and Ross thought it was smart that she hid the metallic side of the fabric so that there was a reveal once she put it on. Yara earned high marks for leaving the whole panel in stitches through her performance and they thought Pandora’s ridiculousness was just as funny and entertaining. Though the judges liked that Serena’s idea of singing about wigs was good, the number itself just didn’t live up to the idea or look of what she did. Ultimately, Ru’s decision was that Yara outperformed the rest and was named the top performer of the week. After declaring Silky, Pandora and Ra’Jah safe, Ru announced that Serena and Trinity were the bottom two vulnerable to elimination.

50 min – Backstage, Yara was thrilled to be the first maxi challenge winner, but nervous that she’d have to make her own decision between the bottom two. In her pitch, Serena told Yara that she’s in the competition to fight and deserves to stay. Trinity told the other queens that she simply just bombed, worried that she had no connection with none of them outside of the show. She pleaded that she’s grown a lot and promises to prove that. In the voting booth we saw the queens debate their choice, but which lipstick any of them actually chose for was not yet revealed.

54 min – On the main stage, the lip sync assassin was revealed to be Coco Montrese, adorned in a silver tinsel dress and matching wig and prepared to go head to head with Yara to “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars. Keeping her enormous chest plate on, Yara had no choice but to bring comedy to the lip sync while Coco went for sex appeal and choreo complete with a reveal to a body suit under her dress. After the dance-focused lip sync, Coco was chosen as the winner, rolling over the 10K to next week’s lip sync pot and requiring Coco to reveal the queen the safe queens voted for elimination. The first queen chopped from All Stars 6 was Serena ChaCha. As she exited the stage, Serena expressed her pride in showing up to compete among all stars and proving that she has a spot in Drag Race royalty.

60 min – An hour later, as Serena packed her things to leave, Ru came on the screen to tell her that the “game within the game” means it isn’t quite over for her yet.

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