Drag Race: All Stars 6, Episode 5: A Purple Hued Apocalypse

And thus, a supervillain is born.

Wanna see a theatre kid spiralling out for an hour? Well, we’ve got the perfect episode of television for you!

An Error of Jan-dgement

I can’t tell what would have been more deliciously awkward, if Jan had somehow won the lipsync while doing her impression of Linguo, the grammar correcting robot and Yara having to find out that every other queen voted to eliminate her or if actually, Jan’s wheels spinning while trying to justify her choice of A’keria was actually Peak Awkward

and so, The Great Undoing of Backpack Jan begins.
To be fair, A’keria did have the weaker track record (although I think the judges are sleeping on her tbh) and so starts the discussion of whether track record should play a part in the decisions made – it’s like BenDeLaCreme never sacrificed herself for the good of humanity. Luckily, most of this group seem to be in favour of just throwing caution to the wind and respecting a queen’s decision – the most vocal being Scarlet and her slowly migrating wig

she might have wanted to keep that to herself though seeing as though a track record vote could have been a hail Mary for her this episode.

Queens of the Round Table

For the Main Challenge this week the queens have to produce and host a round-table style chat show in groups of three with each group having to focus on either Sex, Motherhood or Body. The queens teamed up themselves with the groups being:

Ginger, Jan and Pandora.
Kylie, Scarlet and Ra’Jah.
Eureka, Trinity and A’keria

As for the issues, Scarlet and Ginger were both vying for the motherhood topic – Scarlet because she has two mothers and Ginger wants it because she’s having a baby via surrogate. I wish they could have just switched up the teams because I think Kylie or Ra’Jah could have done quite well in the Body team but alas it comes down to Rock, Paper, Scissors and Ginger was always going to lose against someone with monogrammed sunglasses

Scarlet is an absolute treasure.
And while this all went down, Eureka being a savvy queen just slipped in and snapped up Sex because she knew the judges would read her for being too predictable if she ended up doing Body, which in turn goes to Ginger, Jan and Pandora – the latter of which very much looks like she’d rather die than acknowledge she has a corporeal form

It’s a mood and I understand it.

Group Sex

Well, that subheading should at least boost my search result analytics a little bit.
This group was leagues ahead of the other two – both in their chemistry and their outfits, or at least A’keria’s outfit

Lowkey, it’s one of the best looks of the season, I’m obsessed with it! Not quite as enamoured by the weird bedazzled surgical gloves that Eureka was wearing

They’re certainly not suitable for a prostate exam.
We all knew Eureka would be phenomenal in this challenge – she excelled at the DragCon Q+A challenge on Season 10 after all and this was no different. I’m actually surprised by how much I’m enjoying Eureka this season, she’s kind of learned the art of being quiet on occasions, and not just because of the mouthguard

The group also generally had the most to talk about – Trinity was very warm and open about her HIV status and the stigma around it and I found A’keria’s journey of transition and detransition to be really interesting and I wish they had spent a little more time on it! And Eureka of course gave us this inspirational quote

Who amongst us isn’t?

Mother!

Scarlet’s bravado after winning the highly competitive game of Rock, Paper, Scissors didn’t last long as the group chose their roles with Kylie taking on the responsibilities of moderator and Scarlet having an internal crisis just about as soon as she practiced the opening bit

Kylie is just that little bit soft spoken and after her critique in the acting challenge, it made sense that Scarlet was a little apprehensive about the whole thing. There just could maybe have been a better way of sorting it out than having a weirdly cryptic discussion in a corner of the Werk Room while you shaved your face. And Kylie really had to be the moderator because Ra’Jah and Scarlet clearly had the most to talk about and she kind of just fell back onto the fact she has a very cute dog

as a transwoman myself, I would have liked to maybe hear something a little more from Kylie about the whole topic – this just felt a little like a copout and she had that very sweet moment with Ra’Jah about not letting your childhood traumas overrule your adult life. It was the only really *real* moment of the discussion because everything else felt distinctly wooden and rehearsed, not least of all the fact Scarlet basically revived her Mariah Carey televangelist

I can’t explain it exactly but they just felt like the same character.
I think the problem is Scarlet doesn’t realise how likeable and naturally funny she is – we’ve seen it in the candid Werk Room moments – and so she tends to hide behind this very stiff comedy persona and it works well for a parody acting challenge but less so for a challenge centred around exhibiting human behaviour, which really this whole group kind of lacked, it was like a group of aliens trying to understand the human race and all they had to watch was The View. But I did love Ra’Jah’s very serious “Nice.” when Scarlet told us that her mothers met at a yoga class

also a big fan of the Kelly Rowland vibe that Ra’Jah whole look gave me, now there’s a Snatch Game option!

Body-ody-ody

This group had the greatest canyon of disparity between them because Ginger excelled as the moderator of the group – she was funny, quick and really managed to keep the conversation flowing in as organic a fashion as she could while trying to deal with Jan who is just so self-aware and META about the whole thing that she stopped coming across as a human and more like a robot that had watched every episode of Drag Race and was scripting the talk itself

and she is incredibly caught up in that critique of her needing to “give more funk” which she has wildly misinterpreted. It’s very Derrick Barry thinking Michelle Visage told her that she had no soul.
Jan wasn’t the only one feeling a little stilted – in fact the whole group felt a little rehearsed and like all of their jokes were premeditated, but that’s also kind of just Pandora’s whole schtick… I think? I hope she’s doing that on purpose at least…
I did really like their discussions though and think they could have delved a little more into the amount of issues there are surrounding the beauty standards that the queens are held to and who gets to call themselves a “Fashion Queen” or not.

A Pattern of Behaviour

The runway for this week was Clash of the Patterns – which some queens took more seriously in terms of clashes than others who just thought “I’ll wear some jazzy print and it’ll be fine?” and mostly it was, as was the case for Trinity and her regal, Black Panther inspired outfit

it’s a really beautiful garment – who doesn’t love a statement sleeve? I’d have maybe liked something a bit more on the bodice, even just some black stones to give it some texture. But I love the makeup, the glitter in her hair and the accessories are all pretty much perfect.

Eureka went quite an expected route and kind of just showed up in Elektra Shock’s tie dress

It’s fine – obviously it fits her perfectly, that’s Eureka’s greatest strength on the runway, you’ll never see her in a bad silhouette. The bust is the most interesting part for me – the patterns and colours are really beautiful. I don’t really understand the tumorous dishcloth shoulder but this is Eureka and there does always have to be at least one thing too many, and the blue wig is maybe not right for the dress? It’s giving me 90s video game character while the dress is just very pantomime.

A’keria had a much more different take on the pattern prompt

I adore this – the fact her corset and the ponytail are both made from tape measures? It’s just really cool – she’s been phenomenal on the runways. I would have maybe liked to see some grungier makeup and for her to just fully lean into the kind of club kid vibe the look had going.
Is it a bit similar to her botched plastic surgery facekini?

yeah, maybe? But it was a nice change of pace – both for this runway and A’keria’s All Stars looks.

As far as pure fashion goes, I think Ra’Jah had the best look of the night

I love it when a queen manages to truly excel in a runway while still wearing an outfit that you could still imagine being worn by a real person – although if someone out there is willing to dress up in A’keria’s nightmare mannequin outfit for a trip to Tesco, let me know!
It’s just a really beautiful mix of patterns and colours.

Kylie also looked very lovely

I’m 90% sure I’ve seen this dress on a red carpet before, and I’m almost entirely sure it was probably at the Country Music Awards – pink hat and all. I’m not wild about the whole look, something about it doesn’t have that effortless glam that Kylie often has, it feels particularly forced and contrived – but you know, I adored her long description about a bird and fish falling in love and making a home on her dress? WHERE IS THE BIRD PART KYLIE? SHOW ME THE BIRD. IT’S LEOPARD PRINT WITH HIP FINS.
I also love that Ru took the time to compliment her shoes and they’re just kind of very basic designer shoes

I guess anything to not talk about the pink hat, huh?

Scarlet’s was a strange affair for me, I really loved her hair and makeup, she suits the whole vintage aesthetic like an absolute dream

the dress is kind of just a little bit meh and relied entirely on you knowing that it was made from the love letters that her grandparents wrote – which is lovely and sweet for a sort of southern wedding dress, I just don’t know if it translated particularly well to this runway. AND WHERE WERE THE COMPLIMENTS FOR HER SHOES?

And then there Jan, sweet, poor Jan

first of all, the bags cannot count as the clashing patterns, that is a COP OUT! Second of all, the outfit just makes no sense, I am baffled by the suspenders which look like they came straight out of a MySpace profile photo. The dress itself is very cute, it reminds me a lot of Prabal Gurung’s early work that everyone kept wearing in 2012, and the heart printed wig is really, really cute

there’s just something about Jan though, I desperately want to like her, she seems really sweet but there’s such an artifice to her that it’s very hard to be a fan of her.

Ginger definitely had one of my favourite garments of the week, it was just delightfully silly

there’s something very Hyacinth Bucket about it which I will always appreciate – I’m still waiting on someone on Drag Race UK to do Patricia Routledge for Snatch Game, I think it would KILL.

And lastly we have Pandora Boxx in some lukewarm Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas cosplay

if you’re going to do Sally, you’ve kind of got to go all out – paint on the stitches, paint your skin because right now, it just looks like someone made a dress out of several circus tents, which certainly fulfilled the prompt, I just don’t think it’s particularly fashionable.

A Patterned Runway Ranking

  1. Ra’Jah’s Patterned Pants
  2. Ginger’s Very Loud Safari Trip
  3. Trinity’s Wakanda Fish Is That?
  4. A Deconstructed A’keria
  5. Kylie’s Weird Animal Love Story
  6. The Scarlet Letters
  7. Eureka’s Tie Rack
  8. Jan’s Thing Is Purple
  9. Pandora Boxx’s Half Cooked Cosplay

The judging for this episode was a little weird because the top group are Eureka, A’keria and Trinity, which is correct but somehow none of them win despite the fact that it should have been given to A’keria and I will die on this hill! Instead the win is lobbed to Ginger Minj while both of her team mates find themselves pretty much sitting at the bottom of the pile, although Pandora is spared potential elimination. Jan isn’t quite so lucky and has to endure another round of herself being called phoney and unsettling

I get that we as a society need to break the spirits of the theatre kids, but maybe we could be a little more gentle? This is ROUGH and if Jan decides to become a supervillain and plunge the world into a purple hued apocalypse, I’m not sure I would blame her at this point.
Also in the bottom are Kylie and Scarlet, the former for being too soft spoken and the latter for making RuPaul feel slightly uncomfortable. It’s amazing to me the things that RuPaul will find disconcerting and the things she will forgive on international television…

Nothing But Mayhem

I love that we’ve finally had a lipsync assassin fake out but I am slightly sad we didn’t get to see Bianca del Rio trying to do a Lizzo lipsync dressed like Norma Desmond

but it was a fun bit – the lipsync assassin reveals have all been great this year, Paramount is having a lot more fun with the show than VH1 ever does. Of course the real lipsync assassin was Mayehm Miller who came out dressed like Orvill Peck at a new year’s party

I really love Mayhem and I just can’t get enough of this outfit

it’s gorgeous!
And Ginger was in a cute little number too

you can never really go wrong with fringe in a lipsync now can you?

I had thought that Mayhem would just boss out this lipsync and leave Ginger for dust – it’s easy to forget that Ginger lipsynced twice on her season and won both of them because who amongst us can actually manage to rewatch Season 7? It’s a great choice for a comedic lipsync and both of them pretty much had the same angle and I will never get bored of the bit where Ginger lies on the floor and Mayhem stalks around her

and both of them had the lipsync DOWN which maybe isn’t that hard because it’s mostly just Lizza saying “Where the hell is my phone?” but the fact it’s such a just… spoken? song made it all look much more impressive. Really it could have been given to either of them, although I thought Mayhem was getting the win just for the final pose alone

AND if she had gotten the win we’d know what would happen in the instance of a tie because both Scarlet and Jan had 4 votes each – Kylie not even being considered a potential eliminee, we love to see it!
However the winner was Ginger, which was more than fair, and that’s a $30,000 windfall for her! Of which she promised to give $2500 to each of her team mates which instantly told you that there was no chance she’d eliminate Jan and it’s unfortunately Scarlet who gets the chop

She was devastated and I think fairly so, to me it was Jan’s time to go – she got her win, her whole narrative arc was pretty much done off the back of that whereas I think Scarlet has much more to offer the competition – sadly what’s done is done.
Meanwhile, Jan’s soul has just vacated her own body

I imagine we’re in for an episode of hell next week.

And so, 8 All Star queens remain

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