'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 3' Recap: A Night of Meh with a Satisfying End
RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 3 has finally arrived. After word broke out months ago about the newest season of RPDR girls competing once again for the All Stars crown, the drag race world has been giddy with anticipation over if this season can truly live up to just how incredible season 2 of the show was (not season 1. Never season 1).
The show premiered last night with a 90 minute episode that sort of begs the question over if this will be a great season or not. It's still too early to tell. However, there were some telling moments in the first episode that could make the drama for this season exceptionally juicy, in a way that season 2 of All Stars actually wasn't.
So, as usual, the premiere starts out with the girls entering the werk room. Nothing too surprising or funny. Not that much of a shock that Trixie Mattel was first to enter the room (I feel some major foreshadowing coming). The only thing to really take from the entrances was how freaking shady Milk has become over the past couple of years. Not sure if that's a really good look on her.
Then, Ru enters, and we all know what's coming: who is the 10th queen? Rumors were circulating for months that it could be a myriad of people, but when Ru started saying words like "OG", I knew who was walking through the door. Season one winner Bebe Zahara Benet.
Now, here's the thing about bringing a winner back in a season designed for the "comeback queens." It sort of doesn't make sense. Yes, they can use the analogy that Bebe's season was so archaically long ago, that it would bring her a new generation of RPDR fans, similarly how Tatianna got hers, but in this very hodgepodge lineup of RPDR girls, Bebe just doesn't seem to fit. However, girl can paint and her mug looks beyond sickening. There's no taking away from that.
Then, they do the reading challenge which is incredibly watered down from what the All Stars 2 girls brought. (I sound like I'm being beyond critical, but hang in there). There were some great zingers in there, however, such as "Aja: you're beautiful, you're gorgeous, you look like Seal," and my personal favorite "Shangela: I always thought her name was Angela and people were just telling her to shut up.” Ha!
BenDeLaCreme wins, which doesn't really mean anything at this stage in the game. Then, they find out that the first challenge is once again a variety show, which makes me wonder what these girls will actually do. They all talk about performing to recorded songs of their own, which is all and fun, but then I quickly realize that a lot of these girls are dancers, so we may have a lot of repeat offenders tonight.
They are also sticking to the format of the top two lip syncing for the win, and then one of them sends one of the bottom two home. Here's why that format will work this time around. This cast isn't the majority of season 5 like last cast was, which I found to be ridiculously one-sided and part of what made the end of the season so frustrating as Detox and Alaska kept saving Roxxxy even though we all knew she didn't belong there. This group of girls don't really seem to have either super close relationships or major beefs with one another, which makes the eliminations that much interesting in terms of scheming and plotting.
Morgan McMichaels, who I was never a fan of in her original season, of course decides to open her big mouth up again and say that she would send the strongest queen home if she had the opportunity to. Ah, the foreshadowing.
So the variety show happens, and the ones that stand out are truly the ones who don't dance. Trixie did a fantastic song of hers, Thorgy was great on the violin (but could've been more interactive), Milk did her own song of sorts very reminiscent of Tati's "The Same Parts" and BenDeLaCreme did a hilarious dance where she keeps revealing a different set of nipple tassels (SP?). Bebe's "The Lion King-esque" performance was quite good as well.
As for the others, meh. Shangela, Aja, Kennedy, Chi Chi and Morgan kind of all did the same thing, just at different speeds per se. Morgan bored the hell out of me and kept looking at the other queens. What are you doing girl? Look into the audience. I loved and love Chi Chi, but I didn't understand the outfit or what she was trying to do. Aja gets points for almost breaking her back with that jump and that's why she made it to the top. For the life of me, I don't get Kennedy in terms of her mean spirited personality and drag looks that are more 1991 than 2018. I'm still to this day trying to find something likable about her.
Vanessa Hudgens is the guest judge, and looks absolutely smashing. Ross and Carson are back too. After the judging, Aja and Ben turn out to be top two, and Chi Chi and Morgan get bottom two. Agreeable for the most part, however I think Trixie should've been in the top instead of Aja, but I don't want to come off like I'm all about Trixie just yet.
Then, the girls discuss how they want to play it this season, in terms of how to send people home which never really goes the way it should as Shangela points out (group consensus). Ben makes the smartest point in the evening to Morgan, saying that if she saves her, will she try to eliminate her the next episode as she claimed earlier on that she would send the strongest competition home?
Then, Aja and Ben lip sync to Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda", with both doing very well. Ben's rendition works in this case, as the song is full of comedy and she uses that to her advantage. Ben FTW here. Because of Morgan's mouth, she gets sent home, and I'm elated. Her bad energy would've been toxic after a while as it was on her season. Sorry, not sorry.
Notes from Episode 1:
Chad and Alaska doing their rendition of Handmaid's Tale was just amazing.
The Porkchop vs. Vanessa Hudgens lip sync (an actual pork chop, not Victoria "Porkchop" Parker) was absolutely hysterical,
Ru's makeup and outfit looked absolutely flawless. I see you, Raven!
Shangela needs to never come out of a box ever again.
“I’ve just been sleeping in it and spooning my Miss Congeniality sash and weeping into my Overstock gift certificate over the last four years," Ben said about the same dress she wore at the S6 reunion. Hehe.
Jason Carter. Nothing else needs to be said.
What did you think of the first episode?