The 90-minute premiere of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 4 premiered on Friday night, which saw 8 new contenders vying for the coveted AS crown and two returning ones who have competed in a previous season.
It began with the usual entrances, with Monique Heart sashaying in first with her GIF-worthy language like "brown cow stunning" being used again and again. This led to the other girls making their way back into the werk room up until Valentina's dramatic walk-in which seemed to have shifted the mood of some of them, noticeably Monet X Change.
Speaking of Monet, she seemed salty as hell in the beginning of the episode by calling out season 7 and season 9 as being two of the more "boring" ones from the show. After she mentioned how lackluster season 7 was, Jasmine Masters walked in, looking better than ever in a gorgeous floral-printed pantsuit.
The first 8 (Gia Gunn, Naomi Smalls, Trinity the Tuck and Farrah Moan included) wondered if it was only them this season as there were only 8 trophies on the wall. Then the alarm rang, RuPaul's "She already done had herses" played in the background and the girls moved to the other side of the werk room while awaiting the Emmy-winning host himself.
Then Ru walks in and reveals that its still the same All Stars voting process as it was in the past two seasons (for now). The top two queens lip sync for their legacy, where one of them then gets the power to send one of the bottom two or three home.
Ru introduces Latrice Royale and Manila Luzon shortly after into the competition, which completely freaks some of the queens out (as it should). They then do the iconic reading challenge, which was a big ole "meh" in my opinion but Latrice pulls it out in the end as she was able to expertly thrash the girls one by one.
The challenge this week, as it has been done in the past two seasons, is a variety show except this year its for our LGBTQ men and women in the armed forces.
A lot of what occurs between that reveal and the girls performances on the main stage is just chatter behind the scenes, where Gia is even shadier than she was during her original season. It was interesting to see her call out Trinity, who was doing a tucking tutorial on stage, for saying that her talent wasn't really her talent straight to her face. These two are some of the more confrontational queens from the show overall, and to watch them go toe to toe was interesting and I hope there's more of that as the season progresses.
Not so much talk about strategy this time around, which was a big conversation during AS2 and AS3. Something that sort of sets the tone for the end of the episode, however, is when Jasmine says she's winging her comedy routine and not preparing. Oh lord, Jasmine.
The variety show begins, with "extra special" guest judge Jenifer Lewis (I'm ecstatic). A good portion of the queens (Monet, Naomi, Latrice, Monique, Valentina) performed their own songs while doing something a bit different that wasn't just them dancing and what not. Latrice to me was the stand out from that pack, as she did a thrilling show with a larger than life flag to fit her larger than life persona.
I will say this though: for future All Stars seasons, please no more of you all doing something to your own track. It's not that interesting and it pales in comparison to what the other queens have done in the past that have won this challenge. Just some food for thought.
Some of the more fascinating choices for me was Manila's painting, which was only slightly problematic as the queens sitting to the side couldn't see what she was doing. Trinity's tucking tutorial was hilarious and proved how funny she is outside of fashionable.
As for Farrah, well… she tried. The former Las Vegas queen did a colorful burlesque number similar to previous variety show winners Roxxxy Andrews and BenDeLaCreme, except she didn't utilize the stage like they did. She fell hard after slipping on her jacket, which resulted in Farrah crying hysterically as the episode went on. Perhaps she'll surprise me at some point but for her to even admit that she was pre-maturely cast for season 9 makes me wonder how she even got on All Stars 4… which is only taking place less than two years after her initial season.
Jasmine bombs, because she didn't prepare. It's that simple. I like Jasmine, but you have a lot to prove coming onto All Stars after leaving on the 3rd episode in season 7. This is what you give the audience? Tsk tsk.
In the end, Monique and Trinity are the top two, and Farrah and Jasmine are in the bottom. Farrah cries, and Jasmine barely fights for herself to stay. Wow… send both home? Yes? Please?
Monique and Trinity perform to Mariah Carey's classic "Emotions", which was super funny as Monique's wig flies so high off her head that it gets on some piece of equipment and Trinity just gives hilarious face after face while fake belting Mariah's high notes.
Trinity wins the lip sync, and sends Jasmine home. There was no indication that she'll be brought back though, compared to the past two seasons.
Next week: group challenge! Stacy Layne Matthews! Farrah screwing up again! Monique getting mad! Can't wait. 🙂
This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.