Drag Race: All Stars 6, Episode 11: An Escaping Sushi Roll

It was a big episode for corndogs!

Every season needs a Bad Vibes Episode, we all thought it was the American Horror Story parody episode and little did we know this one was just around the corner. Such sweet summer children we were.

A Choice.

After being left on a week-long cliff-hanger as to who would be brought back into the fold for the Semi-final Do-over and with the internet (possibly unexpectedly given previous sentiments) all clamouring for Silky Nutmeg Ganache to return after putting on one hell of a One Woman Comedy Tour, we end with a somewhat disappointing result of Eureka being declared the winner of probably the most mediocre of the episode’s lipsyncs and certainly the most tonally off

But you know at least Silky got called “Legendary” by RuPaul so she can put that on all of her gig posters – I know I would!

Are You Proud, Ma?

Seeing as though there’s now a manageable amount of Queens I suppose it makes sense that we’re back into the swing of the Mini Challenges and this week’s was just a sort of panicked pride themed photoshoot as they realised they desperately needed to pad out the runtime of the episode. And rather appropriately the challenge obviously has a corporate sponsor, it wouldn’t be Pride with out it

At least it’s not Listerine?
With the queens only having a matter of minutes to get into the Levi’s merch the results were obviously… nightmarish with Ginger as Raggedy Ann on a 3 day bender being the most unhinged

and Kylie being Kylie managed to somehow swerve disaster and looked more put together than anyone at a Pride Parade ever should

Nothing but respect for my Queen and Conqueror.
And while Kylie remained in her natural state, Ra’Jah threw out a dropped split for us

which I think more than makes up for the lukewarm snoozefest that was the Boom Clap lipsync (and let it be known that until my reread of this recap I did have that written down as Boom Bang a Bang so I feel like I have to formally apologise to Miss XCX.)
Oh and Eureka got her ass out

Nature is healing.

Tall Tales

For this week’s Maxi Challenge the queens had to put on their own version of the Vagina Monologues called the Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent Monologues which both was and was not a stand-up comedy challenge and also begs the question: How has it taken this long for them to think up this title? Which series producer has been slacking for TEN WHOLE YEARS?
The challenge mostly just differs from the usual out-of-the-bag-microwave-ready stand up challenge by requiring the queens to tell a single true story about an experience in their drag life.

It really was the perfect challenge for Eureka to return to given that she has charisma (and much more, given the story she told) coming out of the wazoo and with Eureka pretty obviously sitting pretty going in to this challenge, the pressure was really on Trinity who knew all too tell that she was, by the mathematics of the BenDeLaCreme All Stars Abacus, the weakest link despite having won 2 episodes – Drag Race Maths is not a perfected artform, clearly. Trinity was also a little stressed because 1 of her 3 bottom placements was in the first episode when she, despite being a verifiably good dancer and lipsyncer, decided the talent she was going to showcase was a comedy routine in which she ripped off her own comedy routine while looking like the lovechild of NeNe Leakes and Moira Rose

it was a unique approach if nothing else.
Despite the fact she was evidently in her feelings, a predicament that usually means a queen absolutely bombs the stand-up routine, she did incredibly well and looked the best she’s looked all season

which is saying something considering she has served some phenomenal looks, there’s just something about a finger wave and a sharp houndstooth suit that really does it for me.
Her story was about how she was catfished on a date once but subverted it all slightly by having it being a positive story about how the guy wanted to thank her for being open about her HIV status on her original season because he was having an incredibly hard time coming to terms with his diagnosis. It was a phenomenally well told story with a great emotional through line and was all topped off with a superb sucking up to Ru

I really cannot fathom how she didn’t win this challenge by a country mile or at least should have been declared safe and I am so disappointed how the result of the episode panned out for her, she really did deserve better.

One of the biggest challenges in this particular task, and where Trinity particularly excelled, was trying to tell the story in a way that didn’t feel rehearsed to within an inch of its life and therefor coming off as a bit canned and, well, like a stand-up routine. Ginger particularly struggled with this and I think it was mostly just because Ginger kind of only has one brand of comedy and from the moment she started her story I genuinely felt like we’ve all heard her tell it before? Although really, it’s probably just because every queen when faced with the childhood photograph of themselves in the Faux Finale of each season immediately defaults to some sort of story about trying on their mothers shoes, so the tales are ten a penny at this point. That’s not to say it wasn’t a cute story and it’s always nice to hear a positive tale about a little gay boy who was allowed to wear a pair of women’s shoes. And Ginger did give it that fun self-deprecating edge that she’s so good at. And she looked really great while telling it all

given the theme of the runway, I’m not that surprised that the queens all brought it with their looks for the comedy challenge because Ra’Jah looked similarly good in her signature purple

Once again, Jan found DEAD.
Ra’Jah technically struggled the most during the challenge as she had one point during the introduction when she had a momentary brainfart and checked out for a couple of seconds but considering that she recovered incredibly well when compared to queens of the past, LEST WE FORGET

Blair St. Clair furiously scrabbling through her notebook while looking like orphan Annie having an anxiety dream has haunted me for every waking hour over the last year, so at least nobody that quite that bad, and none of them were reading off of a piece of paper, so it’s nice to see some sense of preparation.
Ra’jah spent quite a lot of time pondering whether telling a story about how her tuck came undone at her first show was going to be too much for the judges and then Eureka entered the chat like a wrecking ball with an incredibly long and all to in depth story about the time she shat herself at a show because she ate a corndog from a gas station which… isn’t the most unrelatable story in the world and I shall say no more on the subject. I think my favourite part of the whole thing though was that she told this story while dressed as a Playboy Bunny for no apparent reason other than it was an outfit she really wanted to use before the show ended

It is quite interesting as to how fast and loose the judges play with crassness on the show because Rock M. Sakura using a fart noise in her song verse and Etcetera Etcetera repeatedly saying “Piss” (an inherently funny word) are deemed to be “too much” and yet Eureka can tell you all about how she left a skidmark on a club’s stage and Ru and Michelle think it’s the funniest story they’ve ever heard? This is more about wanting them to admit that Rock and Etcetera were funny than to tell Eureka she was too much. #JusticeForPiss

And while the others all went big and bold or kind of pat stand-up with their tales, Kylie just perched herself elegantly on a stool (obviously glammed up a bit with a draped bandana, this is Kylie after all) while wearing a GREAT pair of shoes and told a nice story about her first time in drag

there was nothing overwhelmingly funny about it, it was just a nice human story about how her first time in drag was the first time she ever felt like she was celebrated for her femininity and she told it beautifully and I hope she has a strong future career as being one of those queens that gets invited to schools to read The Giving Tree to children.

Given the results of challenges in the same vein, this was an incredibly strong performance across the board, the only real awkwardness came from the utter lack of an audience and the editors seemingly refusing to edit out Carson Kressley breathing on his mic. And the fact nobody was reading off cue cards deserves a lot of praise, I wonder if they were told to prepare all of this prior to the show? Because the stories were all very polished.

Failing Upwards

The theme for this week’s runway was A Fashionable Fashion Fail, which feels a bit mean to do in the semi-final so that someone on the cusp of a possible crowning has to be eliminated in an outfit that purposefully looks like kind of a disaster. but I also imagine it’s a theme you have to do with only a handful of queens less we have Kimono-gate all over again but with a whole slew of dresses held up by safety pins or a whole lockdown’s worth of toilet paper stuck to the soles of some well-loved stilettoes. I’m mostly mad nobody wore a recreation of Bjork’s Swan Dress and performed a rambling screed about how it was good, actually.

Trinity was first out and when she initially hit the runway I immediately thought “Is the fail here meant to be that she looks like she stole this from Mollie Ringwald in the 80s?”

because I really liked it, the gloves have a lot of impact and the dress is perfectly fine.
The fail was however revealed to be a series of safety pins on the back

which works as both a dig at Milk on Trinity’s season for getting eliminated over a safety pin and as a nod to Versace’s iconic dress. I think it might have worked better with more of a contrasting colour on the safety pin, like imagine them in gold? It would have been much punchier but this still worked.

Ra’Jah was next and really going all out on the My Outfit Is Falling Apart angle so hers wasn’t as much about the fashion as it was about the ~Performance~

and I love that she included the fact her earring had fallen off given that it happened to her during her Werk Room entrance back in Season 11

and because I love a good gif moment, her look back down the runway as she walked towards the exit was, for some unknown reason, A Moment

can we get to the part where we crown her already? Or the part where I get mad because they don’t crown her?

Kylie was next and had a fun, novel take on it with her mustard and ketchup splattered diner worker outfit

as with a lot of the others, it’s not really “fashionable” but it is cute and campy and the cheeky wink of her whipping a corndog out from under skirt really tickled me

and might explain why Eureka had the shits.

And Ginger once again did what Ginger does best, look like a nice Southern lady while very much firing on all comedic cylinders

it was really cute and the little details of the burn mark on her neck, dress and hand were what really sold the look – and it was nice that someone’s smoking prop actually worked on the runway so that we didn’t have another My Pie Should Have Smoked conspiracy theory from the Naomi Smalls fans of the world.

And lastly we have Eureka doing literally everything that nobody else had done including (but not limited to) toilet paper on the shoe, a dress tucked into her underwear, being sweaty and moulting all while looking like Super Saiyan Elsa

it’s certainly a lot of a look but if anyone can carry it off it’s Eureka with a desperate need to win an episode.

A Fashionable Fashion Fail Runway Ranking

  1. Trinity K Bonet in Versays
  2. Eureka and The Kitchen Sink of Fashion Fails
  3. Kylie Goes to Good Burger
  4. Ginger Minj Goes to the Burn Unit
  5. Ra’Jah in Half a Dress

As I’ve said it was a pretty solid episode across the board, I am still firmly of the opinion that Trinity should have actually won this episode but that would have made the outcome of it all a little to obvious so I can see why they just slung the win Eureka’s way, she was a solid Number Two – that is the best joke I’ve ever done on this blog, do I retire now? Can’t help but feel that I peaked.
This does of course mean that everyone else was in the bottom 2 and we were going through with the lipsync as more of a formality than any actual suspense because the writing was on the wall for Trinity.

Golly Gee, What a Surprise…

I’m at least 80% certain that Eureka was waiting to use this ugly funereal clown outfit for the stand-up challenge that never was

Eureka’s fashion choices fascinate me because most of the time she’ll knock it out of the park and look absolutely phenomenal and then there’s other times when… well, this happens. I was also a little bit hoping that the lipsync was going to be Send In The Clowns because I have no doubt in my mind that Eureka would dress as a clown for that performance, but then in came Jaida Essence Hall looking an absolute dream in the swishiest harem pant jumpsuit you could imagine

It’s perfect, I have no notes. I can’t wait for Jaida to win the All Winners season that is apparently in the works and that Violet Chachki will absolutley say “no” to every time they ask her if she wants to be on it.

The lipsync was to Little Richard’s Good Golly Miss Molly, which very much felt more tailormade for Jaida than it does Eureka and I certainly think Jaida gave the more polished lipsync – she was funny, energetic and hey, the jumpsuit just looked really fucking great when she danced in it. Meanwhile, Eureka after revealing a clown nose in the first few seconds of the song

and subsequently realising it wasn’t getting nearly enough laughs, ripped it off to go from one ugly demi-clown outfit to one ugly full clown outfit

thus proving it was the ruffles that were the menace here.
And while Jaida gave it all some vintage 50s rock and roll energy, Eureka pulled out her classic drag moves including a drop into the splits and… rolling across the stage like an escaping sushi roll

I’m not going to say Eureka’s lipsync was bad, I think I just much preferred Jaida’s and the fact her wig was slowly developing its own consciousness throughout the lipsync and making her look like a very irate cockatiel

I think she won, but if they had declared Jaida the solo winner they would have had $20k lying around that they somehow hadn’t managed to give to Ginger and her current $60k of total earnings and so BOTH Jaida and Eureka are declared winners meaning both lipsticks get pulled. I don’t for a second believe they would ever have risked a double elimination at this point so the moment this was declared it was fairly obvious that it would be Trinity that’d get the chop and sure enough

I’m gutted for her, especially after she had such a strong episode which she could have easily been declared the winner of AND I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY SHE WASN’T! And knowing that the finale is obviously going to be another solo verse in a RuPaul song that she would have eaten alive is even more annoying.

And so, we have our brand new Top Four

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