All Stars 5, Episode 1 Recap: Clunky-Catchphrase

rupaul scandal

Well They’re back again! And in some cases they’re back back again! It’s a really great cast and I think having a split of newer and older queens is the best way to do it, All Stars 3 and 4 both felt far too weighted towards the newer members of the sisterhood and thankfully the seasons that did triple up don’t look like they’ll create an unholy RoLaskaTox 2.0, I can’t see CrAirHem or IndExAh becoming A Thing™.

Kicking off the season is Shea Coulee looking like she’s here to pick up the prize money and fly straight to the French Riviera:

Shea Coulee entrance

Something about matching your outfit to your luggage is fabulously extra and I can only aspire to it. She is joined by Miz Cracker and I’ll say it, her proportions always bother the Hell out of me and I can’t tell if it’s on purpose or not:

Cracker entrance

She and Shea have apparently being promising to work with one another which I entirely choose to read as Shea constantly dodging her calls. Cracker’s fellow season 10 sisters are Blair who is doing everything Ariel Versace wishes she was doing:

Blair st Clair entrance

And Mayhem Miller who, apparently at least smells nice:

mayhem miller entrance

It’s an entrance look (and an EXCELLENT wig) and I really don’t expect the height of fashion for it but when India Ferrah comes in looking like she’s changing a double bed duvet:

india ferrah duvet

And Ongina can be heard before she comes in like Monica Geller and her shell braids:

ongina entrance

(Which is a SERVE of an outfit btw) a red bodysuit kind of pales in comparison, which was a bit of a theme of the night for Mayhem sadly. Derrick is here repping Season 8 and wearing not one but two Britney outfits and vows she’s here to show us she is not Just Britney. No, she’s also Britney doing bad impersonations of other celebrities.

We have a few returners from the Hellscape that was All Stars 1 – Jujubee whomst I love and can do no wrong, just putting my bias out there right now. She informs us she has really stepped her pussy up and is now just The Pussy Staircase, which is the title of my favourite unreleased Joan Crawford movie. Alexis Mateo is also here and I would be much more excited for if she hadn’t spent the entire run up to All Stars Season 5 defending Sherry Pie on Facebook and only doubling down on it when she got called the fuck out for it.

Lastly from Season 3 we have Mariah Balenciaga AKA Mariah Paris, AKA Mariah Successful, AKA Mariah Clunky-Catchphrase showing up looking like a Jem and the Holograms rival:

Mariah Entrance

She’s insanely fabulous, smart, quick and we have no choice but to stan.

The first challenge, as is always the case with All Stars, is the reading challenge, which after the last couple of seasons and it’s just about entire cancellation in Season 12, is met with much trepidation. At least with Jujubee here to just bulldoze through everyone we were in safe hands and my God did she deliver “Mayhem Filler” and “Meh-hem Miller” were particularly good, everyone loves a double shot.

mayhem reading reaction

There is a lot of falling back on remarking on Alexis Mateo’s weight gain, but at least she seems to be perfectly at peace with it and the reads aren’t just people saying “backrolls?” for once. Alexis as a reader though isn’t… great, there’s a yikes eating disorder read on Blair, who has in fact gone through an eating disorder so it just sits a little off with me, but Blair gave as good as she got and fired right back and had some excellent reads of her own, I don’t know I really loved the joke about Mariah’s career only having movement because the earth has to spin on its axis.

Blair reading

Then we just have Derrick being mean to everyone and using this as a thin disguise to air all his and India’s dirty laundry about how India was apparently fired from Piranha, a Vegas night club, and replaced by Derrick’s drag boyfriend Nebraska. This might honestly be the best 1 Episode Villain Saga in the history of reality TV, God bless Derrick Barry. The best thing of it all was just Juju’s and Shea’s reactions to this impending implosion of egos:

jujubee reaction

In the words of Alexis Mateo, “they have brought the beef to the salad”  Is that a Puerto Rican saying? Ongina is also a massive flop and her tactic seems to be more about confusing everyone than just reading them, genuinely still wondering where her read on Shea was heading?

Juju remains the uncontested queen of the reading challenge

jujubee reading win

but still has to share this win with Blair, more so because I think she surprised everyone and has had such a confidence growth since season 10, can you imagine season 10 Blair trying to read? My God.

While everyone gets ready for the main challenge, which is yet again the variety show, the India vs Derrick drama simmers some more with Ongina being the very unsubtle drama sleuth for the producers, I do love that the main crux of the drama seems to be that India called Nebraska “a pig in a wig” which is such a meh insult but of course the thing that Derrick takes extreme exception with. But also Derrick came in fully knowing she was the villain and is actively aiming for Regina George, I’m just not sure Derrick knows that Regina George got hit by a bus.

But still we are treated to my favourite genre of Drag Race Art, queens fighting in half drag:

derrick makeupIndia makeupAlexis makeup

Onwards to the mainstage!

Can we call this a variety show? The only people really stepping out of singing and dancing were Derrick Berry’s 3 impressions of 15 people, one of which was Danny Devito pretending to be Miley Cyrus, Mayhem Miller playing Chubby Bunny and Mariah doing a spectacular piece of performance art on black history

mariah performance

Which was somehow only deemed “safe”? I will be mad about this for a while, especially seeing as the top three (India, Cracker and Alexis) all did nigh on the same high energy dance routine that referenced their previous experiences on the show, which weren’t even the most pandering performances considering Ongina did a whole Drag Race themed routine to RuPaul songs, which almost certainly kept her out of the bottom two because at least Mayhem and Derrick remembered what they were doing and didn’t resort to some Monique Heart cartwheels

ongina cartwheel

Personally my top three were probably Mariah, India and Shea – Shea’s was a little low energy but I just don’t know if there’s anyone as entrancing to watch just be sexy for a few minutes

shea pole dancing

Blair had a similar, lowkey vibe, it wasn’t nearly as successful as Shea, she seemed incredibly nervous and I’m still not sold on her look for it, but it might be because this is what every influencer looked like when Haus Labs released those filigree stencils

blair st clair performance

You’ve got to get a sponsorship somehow. She had every right to be nervous though because when Jujubee came out and sang, I remember her saying she could sing but then she ended up losing the singing challenge on her season so it was a good chance to redeem herself and Blair was SHOOK:

blair watching jujubee

She luckily relaxed because next was Derrick doing impressions and in the grand tradition of reality TV impressionists, telling us exactly who she was going to be impersonating before doing the impression. If you have to tell us, it’s not a great impression. Derrick of course gets called out by the judges for still looking like Britney Spears and Derrick doesn’t understand how wearing a flat blonde wig, a white dance outfit and early 2000s makeup makes him look like Britney.

derrick as brtiney

It’s SUCH a mystery.

The best part of the whole trainwreck though was India’s general confusion over the fact THIS is the person she’s feuding with?

India watching derrick

The existential crisis going on behind those eyes <3 as opposed to Derrick’s reaction to India’s winning performance:

derrick watching india

India’s ode to Mimi Imfurst wins and Ru unveils in the new lipsync rules in which we’re still doing the whole lipstick thing and queens-eliminating-queens, which I am VERY bored of, but this time the winner gets to choose a lipstick and the rest of the safe queens vote for which of the bottom queens they want to eliminate, in this case it’s Mayhem and Derrick. The winner must then face off against a LipSync assassin who carries the safe queens’ nomination and the winner then reveals their lipstick.

We have the usual backstage palaver of queens begging each other for the right to stay and India and Mayhem may have started an alliance, at least now the alliances kind of count for more, but I’m still not here for queens already mentioning track records, can someone please break BenDeLaCreme’s All Stars Abacus?

India finds herself facing off against Yvie Oddly to Ricky Martin’s Livin’ la Vida Loca, and for some reason she is dressed as a couch for the occasion:

india lipsync outfit

It’s not that much of a contest really, it’s hard to take your eyes off of Yvie contorting herself like a Stretch Armstrong that’s been in the clutches of Sid from Toy Story:

Yvie Oddly lipsync

There is thankfully a lack of contact between the two, unless you count Yvie just lobbing her sunglasses at India halfway through the lipsync, talk about throwing shade.

Yvie ends up winning and as such gets to reveal the safe queens’ vote, which is for Derrick – a disappointingly short villain arc and yet still accomplished more in it than Gia Gunn did in 3 episodes.

Because India lost, the prize money rolls over meaning next week’s lipsync is worth $20,000 – meanwhile on Drag Race UK we’re lipsyncing for a badge and a toffee penny if the floor manager is feeling particularly generous.


Mariah love

Mariah Balenciaga, AKA Mariah Paris, AKA Mariah Successful, AKA Mariah Clunky Catchphrase, AKA Mariah Valentine.

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