They're back, back, back, back again! The queens of RuPaul's Drag Race have returned to the Werk Room on RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Season 6 Episode 1 for another chance at the crown.
Winning a spot in the Drag Race Hall of Fame is a worthy prize these queens will fight tooth and nail for. (Though, no manicures will be chipped in the process.)
RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars is a different game with different rules, but based on "All Star Variety Extravaganza," a lot of it was very much the same.
The premiere of an All Stars season has followed the same format since RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Season 2.
Firstly, the queens will walk into the Werk Room and dish a pre-planned line. There will be a "Reading Is Fundamental" Mini Challenge, followed by a talent show, Maxi Challenge. Lastly, there will be a Lip-Sync For Your Legacy performance where the winner reveals which queen gets eliminated.
There's nothing wrong with certain rounds following a pre-planned template. Like, we expect Snatch Game every season and get excited every time it appears.
Don’t get it twisted, this season of All Stars will be a game within a game. And a master class of survival. Rawr!RuPaul
The problem here, however, is that it's the sixth edition of an All Stars cycle.
The queens fully expected how to play this round, and in some cases, only played safe so they wouldn't be eliminated. The series needs to keep these queens on their toes, or else it will become stale and boring. We don't want another case of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Season 5.
From the entrance looks, A'keria C. Davenport, Jan, Ra'Jah O'Hara, Yara Sofia, Kylie Sonique Love, and Trinity K. Bonet. had the strongest ensembles. These six came ready to slay right out of the gate.
A'keria looked stunning in gold! She should utilize this color again in the future. The same goes for Jan in her iridescent violet bodysuit. The outfit was both fashionable and ready for a performance.
Animals inspired Yara and Kylie with their looks, but where they stood out stronger than Ginger Minj's frog, the looks were chic and elevated their style. Yara emphasized her humor while Kyle cemented her status as the bombshell.
Ra'Jah O'Hara and Trinity K. Bonet, on the other hand, had looks that emphasized their competitive sides. Trinity defined eleganza with her high-fashion ensemble while Ra'Jah shined with a look ready to claim her status as a lip-sync assassin.
The variety show was a pretty average showcase, especially when compared to previous editions. What brought down the Maxi Challenge was that there wasn't much variety in the variety show.
Many of the queens stuck to the same talent: lip-syncing to one of their original songs.
Silky Nutmeg Ganache: I just want to say that I’m so glad that we got the girls this season. That means a lot to me.
Kylie Sonique Love: We’ve always had the girls.
Silky Nutmeg Ganache: Okaaaay!
This is a viable talent since the queens showcase what they've done in the real world, and they get to promote their songs. But, with a majority of the queens doing something involving songs/music (10 out of a cast of 13), everything stayed repetitive.
Did we really need so many lip-sync numbers? Do the queens have any other talents to show?
Next season should enforce a twist that changes things up, especially since RuPaul and the team have shown favoritism to a certain talent. (We'll get into this later on.)
At least Jan and Silky changed up the songs by singing live. Silky sounded so serenely with the gospel track while Jan blew everyone away with her high-notes.
If Jan loses another musical/singing challenge, there is shadiness afoot.
Pandora Boxx and Yara Sofia were the two queens who killed it from the collective "lip-syncing my song" group. They injected plenty of humor and embraced their characters as quirky comedy queens to get all the laughs.
Plus, the extra touches of Pandora doing the tech skip and Yara revealing the rubber breasts were the types of moments that win RuPaul over. RuPaul LOVES anything flashy with a high-energy lip-sync number; those are always guaranteed to land a queen in the top.
It's a shame that the off-beat talents don't get the recognition they deserve.
Ra'Jah O'Hara landing a spot in the top was the perfect call because their talent was unexpected, suspenseful, and it delivered a magical moment with the reveal. Walking out in the shiny dress had everyone's jaws on the floor; the outfit looked that amazing.
Scarlet Envy, on the other hand, should've been in the Top 3.
Her bubble burlesque was sexy, mesmerizing, and funny. The bubble bar surprise got plenty of laughs, and all the judges looked awestruck when she waved the giant bubble in the air.
Shockingly, she was only safe. I would've ranked her performance higher than Pandora's song.
Contrasting the tops, Trinity K. Bonet rightfully earned her spot at the bottom two. Was hers the most awkward out of the comedy eliminations (Jasmine Masters and Derrick Barry)?
Trinity needed to take a breath, remember her jokes, and deliver a punchline. Instead, she didn't have a moment where she shined or got laughs.
Ginger Minj: Silky…
Silky Nutmeg Ganache: Don’t do me in, bitch.
Ginger Minj: She was in such a hurry to get here, she put her ass on backwards today.
[All the queens love]
Serena ChaCha's lip-sync number was fine in the grand scheme. The wigs on stage made no sense, except that her song was also about wigs.
If she had included more dancing, RuPaul might've kept her safe. However, I have a feeling RuPaul and the team had already mentally assumed Serena would be the first boot. She had the makings of being a filler contestant.
The biggest surprise was that Jiggly Caliente wasn't at the bottom. Her lip-sync number was messy, she lacked energy, and her wig was sliding off. Serena's performance was much better than Jiggly's from an overall aesthetic.
Yara as the winner of the Maxi Challenge, made sense since her lip-sync blew everyone away. And, her quirky campy attitude made everyone laugh, which helped her number even more.
For the "Uptown Funk" lip-sync against the lip-sync assassin (Coco Montrese from RuPaul's Drag Race Season 5), Coco slayed the song against Yara.
RuPaul: Well, maybe you can help me with today’s Mini Challenge?
Miss Piggy: Moi? Help?! After I had to wait all these years for you to ask me to be on your show?
[All the queens laugh]
Miss Piggy: I’d love to!
Yara started the number strong and matched the energy to the song. But, Coco's lip-sync built with the momentum and had levels to it. Once the song reached its high points, Coco kicked it into gear and turned it out.
Plus, her subtle moves, in the beginning, had the judges focus on her lip-syncing. Unfortunately, Yara relied too much on her fake bouncing breasts; those assets couldn't help in both lip-syncs.
Serena ChaCha being the first queen to get the chop, was expected.
Serena had the lowest number of appearances (she got eliminated second on RuPaul's Drag Race Season 5), and her storyline wasn't defined. Her mission to get redemption and prove her worth as a drag queen got wrapped up in one round.
And, she foreshadowed losing to a juggernaut contestant like Coco Montrese, who was on her original season.
It's a shame Serena didn't get to show more, but someone had to be the first to go. Unfortunately, it was the most obvious first boot.
Last Thoughts From The Werk Room:
Miss Piggy is an icon, she is a legend, and she is the moment. Every scene was better than the last.
The Reading Is Fundamental challenge had a few good zingers. There wasn't anything that blew everyone away.
How Silky carried that glass of milk in her bra is a trick I will never know.
- Kylie Sonique Love came ready to slay. She is on a mission with her outfits.
Now, over to you, Drag Race fans!
What did you think of "All Star Variety Extravaganza"?
Which talent performance was your favorite? Did you agree that Coco Montrese won the lip-sync? Would you have sent Serena ChaCha home?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.