Drag Race: All Stars 7, Episode 4: Strudel Is Never Not Funny

This is only the 5th weirdest court case we’ve watched play out this month.

A preemptive apology for the CATS (2019) references, I’m still working through the trauma.

My favourite thing about the more recent Drag Race era, especially in the All Star seasons is that everyone now comes with statement Werk Room outfits and because of this you end up with absolute chaos like this, where everyone seems to be wearing clashing patterns and criminal shoes

It’s like the creations in a Sewing Bee transformation challnege got released into the wild 0 particular shout out to Yvie who just looks like the Simpsons cat meme I keep using

if I mention it enough, someone will eventually just cosplay it on the runway.

Home Improv-ment

This week’s Maxi Challenge was a team-based Improv Challenge set in a fairytale themed court, which did mean the queens had to be selected – I thought they might do a Tim Gunn Button Bag style selection to avoid having a Last Pick Queen, however Raja was chosen last and while that would usually lead to extremely contrived drama, it is simply never mentioned again. It’s almost as if someone always has to be a last choice and it’s not that big a deal?

Piggy in the Middle

The first team was Jinkx, Jaida, Monet and Yvie – the latter playing the role of the Big Bad Wolf and the other three all playing the roles of the The Little Pigs as a trio of feuding sisters.

It wasn’t much of a surprise that Jinkx was going to be extremely good in this challenge – I was however a little worried when she said she was going to be playing the role as a social media obsessed millennial because I feel like that’s a well that has truly run dry in terms of the humour that one can drawn from it. But I actually really loved her sort of porcine Caroline Calloway

I think what made it so good was that it was quite a subtle pastiche – she wasn’t decked out in a flower crown and waving a piece of avocado toast around. But that wasn’t even what made Jinkx so funny, it was all in her reaction to things other people said or did – she had a response to EVERYTHING but it never felt like she was stepping over anyone to get her line in – but it transcended into the divine when her ear fell off as she was speaking to Ru and she made it a part of the act while Jaida and Monet LOST IT

she never broke character but she made everyone else break character – and at various points you can DEFINITELY hear Monet chuckling at all of Jinkx’s jokes, and she definitely got Michelle too on a few occasions, particularly when she took her teeth out and Michelle looked genuinely taken aback by it

there was definitely a lot with Michelle that was pre-planned so it was very noticeable when some genuine improv happened, moreso with the second group than anything else.

Jinkx’s biggest scene partner was Yvie as the Big Bad Wolf who she was playing as an extension of her Sexy Boogieman from Snatch Game and very much giving everyone confusing thoughts

Yvie did end up taking part in both scenes, I think she definitely worked better in this one – the narrative was a lot simpler to follow and play with – also it was much easier to make pig puns, and we know how much Drag Race loves a pun. But her physicality was great, she really reminded me of Tex Avery’s Big Bad Wolf from the Red Hot Ridin’ Hood cartoon

and her little howl that sounded like Jaida’s Prince? I cracked up EVERY time she did it.

Jaida and Monet were both very much supporting roles – Monet didn’t have a great deal to do and I didn’t get much in the way of comedy from her except when she revealed her name was Hamela Anderson, but she came into the scene so late she didn’t have much time to get anything across – and I do think she was breaking character a lot so they didn’t have a lot of coverage from her. As for Jaida, she had some great background work – I love the moment she started taking a photo of RuPaul, who was dressed as a Keebler Elf with a pornographic empire

she really had the vapid Instagram model persona down very well but she wasn’t very good at “Yes, and-ing” – she frequently had moments where she clearly didn’t have a response to something so just said “no.” – but she delivered it like she was a character in Clueless so it at least always sounded quite funny but it did hamper the pace of the skit a few times.


I do think this was a little bit harder of a narrative to make work, it got a little muddy on occasions – I do still think that it was the funnier of the two skits, because it felt like everyone was delivering a really good performance. Shea’s Momma Bear was probably the weakest but I think she was the necessary “straight man” that a successful comedy sketch needs, and I did enjoy that she looked a bit like a Grizzly Bear doing Wilma Flintstone cosplay

I do think she struggled a little bit because The Vivienne, while delivering a truly sublime performance, did frequently shoot down Shea’s character developments so it got to the end and I didn’t quite know whose Shea’s character was actually meant to be: Was she an affluent housewife? Or was she just pretending to be an affluent housewife to impress the neighbours? It just never really amounted to anything or ended up mattering. But she had some good responses and remained present throughout – I particularly loved her exasperated “SHE EVEN LIES ABOUT CHEESE!” when The Vivienne mixed up Swiss and German Cheese

but it was a wonder that anyone survived this sketch considering that The Vivienne pretty much bulldozed through it with what I think might be the best performance in a Drag Race improv challenge (outside of Snatch Game, obviously) – sure a lot of it hinged on her accentwork but I adored the nonsense of it all, especially when she got really META with the whole thing

that sort of humour really appeals to me, as did her scattering the breadcrumbs because “it is true to my character” – I thought she perfectly handled what could have easily been quite a chaotic narrative, and obviously it did help that she could make up ANYTHING and it would fly because she was a compulsive liar and she also had an abundance of props to lean in on

and as someone who has been OBSESSED with this scene from Courage The Cowardly Dog, strudel is never not funny

I have been unable to pronounce “strudel” any other way for 22 years now.

Raja was playing the role of Granny and was very much just dressing up as Iris Apfel – I wouldn’t be shocked to find out that they know another, and it made a nice change to the usual old lady looks we tend to see a lot of

the humour however, wasn’t much beyond your typical old lady performance but something about it really tickled Michelle, who frequently had to stop and catch herself every time Raja spoke – and to be fair she did give us this iconically unhinged line

and then there was Trinity who was playing another Witch, and had just been dressed as Michelle which is when the preparedness of the whole thing became a little less improv-y for me

you could tell Michelle really loved Trinity’s character and them being dressed the same did give them a fair bit to play off of and interact with one another over – but to me, the funniest part of Trinity’s whole performance was the fact she exited and entered every scene like she was doing a Week 2 Paso Doble on Strictly Come Dancing – it was a bold choice, I’m not entirely sure why she did it but I loved it!

and then of course the moment she tried to dramatically open the doors but didn’t realise they opened the other way

She’s no Gia Gunn, that’s for sure. And I think that’s kind of what made this improv challenge so good – the queens didn’t have that axe hanging over their head if they made a mistake so it was easier to roll with any slight hiccups rather than seeing it as something that was going to land you in the bottom and thus eliminated.


This week’s runway theme was Spikes which surprisingly resulted in not all that many punk inspired looks, and Ru was very much getting as far away from the theme as possible

I do really like this, the makeup feels a little too subtle for the whole thing though, but it very much feels like an outfit that Sasha Velour would wear for her stage show.
Also on judging duty this week was Jeffery Bower Chapman who has finally worked through the emotional trauma of Canada’s Drag Race Season 1, and the show could trust him not to tell a queen to put makeup on their ass because there are to be ZERO negative critiques this season

that is the only image of Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman that I choose to have on file.
And then Bunny from The Powerpuff Girls was here too for some reason

sorry, that was really rude but it’s all I could see.

One of my favourite things in Drag Race is seeing the queen doing their makeup in the pre-runway Werk Room segment and trying to work out what the theme was going to be, not that I ever can but I was particularly stumped this time because as everyone else did fairly neutral looks, Jaida was just painting herself like Mister Mistoffelees in Cats

but it really REALLY worked with her very Grace Jones inspired look

she looks like an 80s hip hop star as rendered by Yukito Kishiro, it’s just a really stunningly effective look and I love how proud of herself she was about turning the earrings upside down, which does add to the overall 80s vision of the future vibe of the look.

I’m always going to be curious to see how Jinkx approaches runway themes, especially something like Spikes which is inevitably a prompt to bring something edgy and cool – but of course she would show up dressed as a porcupine going to a high society dinner

I really wasted my Miss Tiggy Winkle reference on her pleather look, huh?
I do however maybe wish the spines were slightly grander – she’s obviously taking reference from a North American Porcupine which are mostly brown, but I think going with a black and white Crested Porcupine as inspiration might have resulted in a more impactful look, but I really loved her makeup and the fact she had done her liner in such a way that it also looked like spikes

I think I always prefer Jinkx’s smaller details to her overall looks.

Monet was certainly leaning into the Punk aesthetic with her deconstructed suit that had a very Galiano vibe to it

I think I would have preferred it if the suit had just been in that black and rust-colour pinstripe but I LOVE the shape of the whole thing. I do wish she had spiked up her shoes to match everything else because right now they’re looking a little too clean to fit in with the whole Punk look – also change the shoe laces, or incorporate more yellow into the overall look because my eyes did tend to be drawn to her feet as a result of them being so stark. The suit in a yellow pinstripe? YES PLEASE.

This was a category practically made for Yvie, and while I thought she would lean in really hard to the punk vibe and come out in something reminiscent of Willow Pill’s Shoulder Pad look, I can’t say I’m all that surprised that she instead came out dressed like an Acklay from Star Wars dressed in The Vixen’s promo outfit

On a scale from a gentle simmer to a roiling boil, how furious do we think Violet Chachki is going to be that she didn’t get to be the first queen to fear the ballet fetish heels on the runway?
I really like this look, I do feel like there could have maybe been a few more spikes and just a smattering of stones to give the bodysuit a little more life and interest though.

Trinity had a really creative take on the prompt with her staked vampire look

I do really love this, it’s got a real 50s B-movie vampire quality to it, I kind of wish there was a little more of a gown to it, I think the big collar piece probably looks better in a photoshoot than it does on the runway and I would have liked more of the focus to be on the skirt because it had a really cool looking stained glass pattern on it

also, to be petty, the candles should have been red but I loved that she had a choker and a bracelet that matched the wooden stake.

The Vivienne took a very fetishy approach to the whole thing with her latex and spiked look and made sure to namedrop Vivienne Westwood despite the look not looking even remotely Westwood-esque

and in the grand tradition of Limp Drama, Bjork’s makeup artist and rumoured contestant on Drag Race Germany, Hungry has kicked up something of a fuss because she once wore a very similar outfit. Except both outfits are from the same designer who specialises in this kind of look, so it’s like a queen complaining whenever someone wears one of Abraham Levy’s holographic corsets which are two a penny on Drag Race at this point.

Raja’s look was really hard to get a screenshot of because she was wearing such reflective materials that she sort of got lost in the background in a lot of them

it’s not as spiked as it possibly could be, and as much as the inspiration is very much the Mattel funded cartoons of the 80s like She-ra and Heman, this is very much giving me Robin Hood: Men in Tights

which I think is equally as good.

And lastly we have Shea who… I’m honestly still confused

I adore the hair and makeup, the wig is very Japanese pop punk to me, you could’ve put it on any member of Hangry & Angry and it would fit right in

The dress… I just think a hobble dress is not one for the runway, as much as I enjoy watching Shea waddle down the runway like a wind-up penguin toy from a Happy Meal. The look just fell a little short of Shea’s usual level.

An Spikes on The Runway Look Ranking

  1. Battle Angel: Jaida
  2. Monet’s Punk Phase
  3. An Acklay in Drag
  4. Trinity The Staked
  5. IsSheHungry For Attention?
  6. Miss Tiggy Winkle’s Evil Twin
  7. Raja’s Everlast Pants
  8. Whatever It Was Shea Coulee Was Doing

The judging for this week was a little weird – I absolutely agree that Jinkx and The Vivienne were the standout winners, with Yvie only narrowly missing the win but they did really gas up The Vivienne’s runway look, which I did like (there were no bad looks this week) but it really felt like they were overcompensating for a lacklustre performance, which definitely wasn’t the case – I’m just not sure if I would call it a look that I’ll never forget.

Houston, We Have a Problem

Allegedly, coming in to the season the queens were not aware that they were going to generally be expected to change for the lipsyncs (have they never watched the show?) and by the end of the series, apparently their lipsync outfits are pure chaos – which does maybe explain why Jinkx wore a dress that looks distinctly like she slipped a production runner $50 to go and grab something from the nearest outlet mall

meanwhile The Vivienne was off to a significant headstart with her fringed number

and her lead only continued to grow as she interacted with the judges a lot and had the moment with her little xylophone what for some reason she brought along to Drag Race?

meanwhile Jinkx… danced like King Kong as The Mother of the Bride

a bold choice that simply did not pay off and The Vivienne was very fairly declared the winner and The Blockening finally caught up to Monet

which is a real shame for Monet because next week is a comedy stand-up challenge that I’m sure she’ll probably be a top for, but things are looking good for Jinkx to become the first queen with 2 stars.

And if you’ve enjoyed reading this recap of All Stars 7 and would like to support the blog, you can leave a small tip via my Ko-fi account HERE. A HUGE thank you to everyone that has tipped me so far, it helps out a lot!

Leave a Reply