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. Over the last four weeks we’ve reacclimatized ourselves to the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talents of Shea Couleé, Jaida Essence Hall, Yvie Oddly, Trinity the Tuck, Monét X Change, Jinkx Monsoon, Raja, and The Vivienne and were introduced to new twists: the Platinum Plunger and Legendary Legend Stars.
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. The winner is determined by a Lip Sync for the Win between the top two performers in the maxi challenge, each of whom receive a Legendary Legend Star needed to advance to the finale. 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 and in episode 4, Viv earned the right to bestow the block on Monét. By the end of episode 5, Jinkx became the first queen to win a second time and blocked Viv.
So far, Jinkx is in the lead with two stars while Shea, Raja, Monét, Jaida, Viv and Trinity hold one star each. In this week’s episode 6, titled “Total Ru-quest Live,” Jinkx and Raja both get to bestow a Legendary Legend Star upon one other queen of their choice. Which queens queens do they gift with the charity stars and how does this impact the competition? Check out our recap of the episode below:
Congratulations were finally in order for Raja with her first star in her pocket, but all eyes were on two-time earner Jinkx and her revenge-block of Viv. All said and done, Viv said that she was expected the block, but Jinkx added that it “could be that,” but acknowledged Viv’s upward trajectory in the competition and that she was very close to being a winner this week. The other issue at hand was the decision about who will receive the second stars. Jinkx said that she’s considering friendships as well as who she wants to see (or not see) at the finale. Raja told Jinkx privately that she’s concerned about potentially giving a star to the queen that wins the next challenge, putting a third star in their hands.
The star decision was held off until the following morning when Ru arrived in the Werk Room. Raja went the expected route of giving a star to the only queen without one so far, Yvie. That left Jinkx in the position of giving a second star to someone and she chose Jaida, seemingly with the guess that she’s the least likely to win the next challenge.
With business all in order, Ru presented their next maxi challenge: a “Y2K girl group fantasy” challenge inspired by Total Request Live from the early 2000s. In two groups of four, the queens would write, record and perform the songs “2-gether 4-ever” and “Titanic” in two musical groups.
Left with their own decision of how to divide into the groups, some of the queens wanted to just split evenly down the line, but Viv was not too happy about half the group doing that for the whole cast. She voiced her opinion that Raja, Trinity, Shea and Monét’s decision was clumping the rest of them together by default, but even after an attempt to re-sort the groups by song interest the groups remained the same: Raja’s team would do “Titanic” and Viv’s team would do “2-gether 4-ever.”
During the brainstorm session, Raja offered her group the idea of going by “M.S.T.R.,” a play on their initials with the added note that maybe they were once M.S.T.R.Y. but they had a fifth member (the Y) leave. Interestingly, the other group was formulating a plan of being “the other girls” that were kicked out of their original girl group. With their more humorous approach, Yvie wanted to be a robot that was manufactured to be in a girl group, and then Jaida would be a very bad rapper, Jinkx would be an old lady, and Viv would be a token British girl. Their goal was being ridiculous and stupid on purpose because they knew how serious and literal the other group was going to take the challenge.
During the recording session with Leland and Freddy Scott, the queens did their best to channel inspiration from pop stars from the era. As expected, Raja’s group formed new versions of actual singers while Viv’s group went full tilt in the direction of their original character creations, including a verse about “poop and love” from Jaida. Despite not being a choreographer, Jaida took the lead on dance decisions for her group and as they struggled through their steps both Shea and Monét had snarky comments to make about their progress. They mostly had to eat their words by the time it got to their own session and it became clear how hard it was for Raja and Trinity to keep up with the pace of what Shea and Monét wanted to accomplish with their own moves.
Later, on the main stage, Ru was joined by series judges Michelle Visage, Ross Mathews and this week’s special guest judge Tove Lo. Ross actually stood in as “Carson Gayly” to host the throwback version of TRL, kicking off the show by introducing M.S.T.R. and their performance of “Titanic.” They looked like a proper girl group in matching black and silver outfit and their choreography hit the mark as well, if not taking the challenge too overly serious. Next was The Other Girls with “2-gether 4-ever.” They wore pink and purple outfits that were less matchy-matchy, but their comedic elements stuck better than the other group and you could tell the judges were finding the song more catchy.
Following the performances, the queens walked the runway in the “Night of 1000 Dolly Partons” category. Monét opened in a quilted trench coat gown of many colors, followed by Trinity in a classic yellow and rhinestones look with a true-to-life Dolly wig, Shea in a black leather fringe suit for a “biker Dolly” concept, and Raja in a silver gown inspired by one actually worn by Dolly. Viv wore baby blue again in a classic gown look, Jaida arrived in a yellow fringe dress, Jinkx took inspiration from a white dress with red fringe, and Yvie kept it weird by choosing a white lace jumpsuit look.
When it came to critiques, the judges liked Monét’s comfortability performing on stage, appreciated the way Trinity wove a storyline into her lyrics, called Shea a true pop star that owned the stage, and thought Raja as the member that stands out as a little off in the group made sense. In the other group, they really loved Viv’s lyrics and were impressed at how much like Dolly she looked, found Jaida’s approach to the song hilarious, thought Jinkx’s approach to the group made sense for her drag style, and understood Yvie’s robot character and had one of their favorite Dolly choices. During private deliberation, the judges seemed to think that Shea and Viv had some of the best lyrics of the bunch as well as having two of the strongest looks on the runway because of their interpretations. Tove called Yvie’s approach to the challenge “genius” and Michelle called it a “very strong night” for her.
Based on those critiques, the judges declared Vivienne and Yvie this week’s winners. Because of Viv’s block, this was a one star week with Yvie getting her second. To determine which of the two would get to block another queen, they faced off to Dolly’s song “Why’d You Come in Here Looking Like That.” For the performance, Yvie had transitioned to an overall look that gave her more mobility on stage, setting her apart from Viv who delivered a more traditional glamour Dolly rendition of the song. Yvie’s strong point was a high kicking click of the heels, but Ru determined that Viv was the better of the two. With the power back in her hands, Viv had the chance to go “tit for tat” with her own bit of revenge by handing the Platinum Plunger to Jinkx.
Do you think Viv deserved to win in episode 6, and was Jinkx 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.