For this season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars,” RuPaul Charles brought back eight crowned queens to compete again for the chance to be named “Queen of All Queens,” earn a second crown, and take home a cash prize of $200,000. In episode 1 and episode 2 we were re-introduced to Shea Couleé, Jaida Essence Hall, Yvie Oddly, Trinity the Tuck, Monét X Change, Jinkx Monsoon, Raja, and The Vivienne, as well as this season’s new twist: the Platinum Plunger. The plunger serves as a “block” to one of the queens in the next week’s challenge, handed down from the winner of that week’s lip sync winner. In the first week, Shea won and gave Trinity the block, but then Jinkx won next and blocked Shea. In episode 3, Jaida earned this power and blocked Jinkx.
In addition, each week the top two performers earn a “Legendary Legend Star” which must be collected throughout the season in order to make the final four. The blocked queen cannot earn a Legendary Legend Star in the next challenge. So far, Shea, Jinkx, Monét, Jaida and Trinity hold one star each, and Trinity is the only one to be successfully blocked.
In this week’s episode 4, titled “Fairytale Justice,” the eight queens get their day in court in an improv challenge as classic fairytale characters with an axe to grind. Which queens earned the week’s Legendary Legend Stars and which of the top two got to block another queen for next week? Check out our recap of the episode below:
Upon return to the Werk Room following Jaida’s blocking of Jinkx, Jaida explained that she heard and believed what Jinkx said about herself — that the ball would be her only weakness in the competition. Jinkx didn’t take it personally and said she won’t hold it against her “unless [she] wins next week.” She also continued the lie that the plunger holds a secret power that the non-blocked queens don’t know about. Jaida’s win left Raja, Viv and Yvie as the only queens without a Legendary Legend Star.
The next morning Jaida thought it would be cute to highlight that Monét is the only queen with a Star that hasn’t been blocked, but Trinity was quick to point out that Jaida also has a Star and hasn’t been blocked, too. The running strategy in the room seemed to remain that queens with Stars were the prime target for blocking so both Jaida and Monét would be expecting one this week.
Ru joined the girls to announce their next challenge: improv! They’d be acting their way through the fairytale court TV show in two teams determined by last week’s winners Jaida and Trinity. Jaida chose Jinkx, Monét and Yvie on the case “Blow the House Down Boots” about the three little pig sisters and the Big Bad Wolf. Trinity chose Shea, Viv, and Raja on the case “She Already Done Had Herses” about Goldilocks who has boundary issues.
During brainstorming and planning sessions, Yvie volunteered to take on the lead role of the Big Bad Wolf and considered playing him as an extension of her Snatch Game character of the sexualized Boogeyman. That left the other three as the pig sisters — Jaida took on Twigley the fashion model, Monét chose Hamela the surprise witness and Jinkx wanted to do Spare Rib as a social media-focused Instagram model. On the other team, Raja felt she’d need to take on Grandma Hood in her goal of winning a Star, but the other three were split between their choices. They decided that Trinity should take on the witch witness, Shea should do Mama Bear, and Viv had big plans for a crazed out version of Goldilocks with different personalities and voices.
In the courtroom, Michelle Visage presided as the witch judge. The day started with Jaida’s group presenting their case. Right away it was clear that the queens were well-prepared and rehearsed for their roles — both Jinkx and Yvie were in character as fully formed fairytale concepts and excellent makeup. Overall in this group, what stood out was Yvie’s physicality, Jinkx’s quick-wit at improv, Jaida’s commitment to character, and Monét’s poorly applied pig snout prosthetic. In the second group, Shea made the most of a prim and proper bear, Raja brought originality to her grandma, and Trinity showed she can let loose and have fun, but Viv was most impressive with her variety of voices and ability to give one character such depth.
After their performances and prior to the runway, Viv was feeling confident and was boosted by her teammates who expressed how impressed they were with her work. While Viv was expecting to finally earn a Legendary Legend Star, Jaida grew concern over being blocked once the queens realized that the pattern so far has been to block the queen that had the power to block the previous week.
On the runway, Ru was joined by Michelle, as well as series judge Ross Mathews and special guest Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman. This week the queens walked in a “Spikes on the Runway” category with Jaida creating Grace Jones vibes, Jinkx doing a take on a porcupine, Monét going punk in black leather, Yvie as a neon green scorpion alien thing, Trinity creatively as a vampire with a wooden spike through her heart, Viv in a pale blue with golden spikes number, Raja in a shining fantasy-inspired warrior outfit, and Shea an iridescent purple galactic fairy concept.
In their critiques, the judges highlighted Jaida’s beautiful makeup in the challenge and on the runway, Jinkx’s talent as an improv comic and ability to turn every runway category through her point of view, and Monét’s strength of presence when she’s on stage. The judges were excited by Yvie’s runway concept and how committed she was as the Big Bad Wolf. They thought that Trinity had the smartest interpretation of the runway prompt and Ru noted how fun it’s been seeing Trinity continue to let her guard down in comedic situations. When it came to Shea’s runway look, the judges weren’t sure what it was, but they liked it and gave her credit for having one of the toughest characters to portray in the challenge. Jeffrey told Viv that her runway look might be one of his favorite ever and Ru said it’s instantly iconic, but the stress was definitely on how brilliant she was an actress. Ross thought that Raja’s body language as a grandma was what sold it and Ru called it “fully realized.”
After deliberating some more, Ru brought the queens out to deliver the verdict. This week’s top two was Viv and Jinkx! Because Jinkx was blocked by Jaida last week, only Viv earned a Legendary Legend Star this week. When Ru asked the others to exit the stage for the lip sync, Raja asked “Are you sure?” suggesting that yet again she just missed the top spot after being in contention every other week.
In the lip sync to Whitney Houston’s “Love Will Save the Day,” Jinkx presented her standard routine of comedic interpretations of the song lyrics while Viv utilized the stage and her costume to full effect. Viv even incorporated a prop gag by reaching for a toy xylophone from Jaida to play during a music break in the song and then capped her tricks off with a knee-drop. Ultimately, Ru declared Viv the winner of the $10,000 cash tip and gave her the ability to block another queen with the Platinum Plunger. Viv was not shy about hurting anyone’s feelings and decided to break precedent, slightly, by not giving it to last week’s winner Jaida and instead choosing to hand it to Monét.
Do you think Viv deserved to win in episode 4, and was Monét the right queen to block? Sound off on that and other topics of the season in the comments below and with other fans in our reality TV forum. Also be sure to make your predictions to influence our reality TV racetrack odds.