Eight Thoughts About RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars: Season Three, Episode Three

We’ve done it. We’ve arrived at the point where All Stars 3 has come into it’s own – and we are in for a ride.

Not much to say but this season is now in prime position to be exemplary. Thank you, whoever. Thank you.

Spoilers, obviously. Proceed with caution.

8. Player VS. Player
The tone of this episode was very smartly specific, in a way that the show often fails at: it pinned players against each other in a way that actually is paying off and will continue to pay off. Usually, the show opening tease involves fake drama and misdirected energies that suppose that a fight will brew only for someone to talk about how they were bullied as a child and how important gay rights are. Non sequiturs of the reality variety, really, intended to hook viewers in. It’s a formality. But, in this episode, two tiffs emerged that are important to note. First, Shangela versus Ben. Yes, it has been noted and noted that Shangela is a deft player at this game. But you know who else is playing on the same field? Ben. Shangela pointed this out and she is exactly right. Ben isn’t playing a victim card but she is playing a separate game of amped up style plus niceties. It’s like she said in her initial entry: she is “here to show that you can win with kindness and integrity.” It’s seeming more and more likely that she will prevail. The second fight of note was Milk versus Kennedy. Milk was being such a bitch and, frankly quite rude to Kennedy. Yes, Kennedy’s taste may not be as elevated or as consistent but Milk was being unnecessarily antagonistic – and Kennedy rightfully bristled. Thus, a seed was so smartly planted. More on this throughout.

7. Typecasting Is Important Because…
Like the Divas challenge, Ru once again cast the show instead of leaving the queens to their own devices. This, producers, is important because all players can be their best selves. It also cuts out the bullshit of drama and actual drag performance can occur. Drama comes naturally! Trust that, fam. The one problem (“problem”): creating issues like Thorgy and Stevie. This week, that onus fell on Shangela and Chi Chi’s shoulders. Their part wasn’t as bad as Thorgy’s but it was a similar, stupid curve ball that begged the question of if the producers are just getting lazy because, as we all know, there are more reality types than were presented and more divas than were given time on the show. Don’t be lazy – and don’t set people up to fail, for fun.

6. …It’s More Entertainting
Here’s the reason why typecasting is important in this show: the queens actually make something entertaining to watch instead of a maddening mess where viewers are frustrated with how nothing pans out. Remember last season with the whole Nina and Blac Chyna drama? That could be avoided by simply making the most entertaining segment possible. In “The Bitchlor” (What a great challenge and name.), we got to see Ben and Kennedy wow amongst strong performances and standout moments from literally everyone. Even Milk’s bomb was somewhat fun! Do this more. Please.

5. LOL, Remember The Shade Tree?
I died when the Season 8 only Shade Tree, a stupid stunt by producers to introduce reality confessional moments a la The Real World, came up via a Chi Chi flashback. I think she was the only person who actually used The Shade Tree!! (My records indicate only Kim and Chi Chi used it.)

4. “My Dead Ass Shit Gonna Help Me Win This, Henny.”
A quote from Kennedy on her runway – and she was right. Her second wig was a bit “Eh.” but her final reveal was great. The entire runway was great, actually. Save for Milk (Girl, bye.), everyone did well. The fact that Aja and her devastating look ended up on the bottom was testament to that. Other thoughts: Trixie as Lady Bunny doing Naomi Smalls was genius; this was the best Chi Chi has ever looked; Shangela’s neon green Rick James was delicious; and Ben wowed with all her wows. It was all good.

3. Oh My Fucking God: Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman.
Um, whoever Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman is: he is a hunk and perfect. What a babe!!!! And he was a great judge and so great in the challenge. I have no idea who he is but I want to be in a throuple with him.


2. Two New Characters Emerge
One of my biggest takeaway this episode was that two new reality show characters emerged. First, Milk brought us the “Beyond Delusional” someone. Yes, there is always a delusional queen a la Serena Cha Cha and Kimora Blac; however, the shade of delusion that Milk toted around was something so stinging, so entitled, a sort of emblem of a millennial child who had been rewarded all their life for good grades and for simply being white and of a certain socioeconomic position. Thus, a small failure as getting dinged on a reality show seems impossible to comprehend. Why? Because they have always been “perfect.” It was an insane, white delusion that was so shocking and so gross. Second, Chi Chi gave us the “I’m Underbaked.” someone. Yes, there have been the “I don’t want to be here.” girls like Adore Delano last All Stars and the “I’m not good enough.” queens like Jaymes Mansfield last season. But Chi Chi? Her admission to Ben that she shouldn’t have even accepted the invitation was brand new. She didn’t self-delete and basically admitted she won’t win and doesn’t really even plan to win: she just wants to grow. That, friends, was new – and so painfully vulnerable. I love Chi Chi so much.

1. Kennedy, The Murderer Of Lipsyncs – And The Best Produced Storyline Ever
Kennedy, who we all wish Chi Chi was, murdered this episode. She slit its throat. She ate the corpse. She killed. As Trixie mentioned in the not-Untucked, it left us “so fucking gagged’t.” This was one of the best produced storylines of the series too because it seemed so unlikely that Kennedy would win after a pair of OK to subpar performances. Then this week? She saw the bar and blasted off to another universe because someone like Milk tried her. Then, accordingly, she pulled off top two and, from the moment she stepped in the workroom for deliberation, we knew what was going to happen. That was just delicious. She also didn’t win with some OK lipsync but perhaps one of the show’s most moving and wowing performances. Ben went for high octane but Kennedy channeled something so much better, a restrained and emotional lipsync to a noted “dance” oriented track. Kennedy is a physical queen which is what makes this all the more impressive. She didn’t rely on tricks, she didn’t rely on gags: she went with talent to kill Milk, to put salt in her fucking wound to show that fancy dresses do not make a queen talented. It was so rewarding – and put Kennedy in a sort of new realm of icon. Well done, producers. You turned it out almost as much as Kennedy did. Way to step your pussies up.

I’m aglow from this episode. It gave us everything.

It also shook up my standings!

10. Morgan McMichaels
9. Thorgy Thor (Still mad she gone. Also: her departing line was maybe the best reaction on the show, ever.)
8. Milk (Maintained – and out. What did we expect? Fuck Milk. Also LOL and HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA because her boy Marc Jacobs is judging next episode. Poetic justic.)
7. Bebe Zahara Benet (Maintained. Spy. Moving on.)
6. Chi Chi (Maintained. Sorry, bb. You probably out next.)
5. Trixie (Maintained. Unfortunately for Trixie, there is no growth here: she is just going to be Trixie. That, sadly, doesn’t make her a winner since that didn’t work last time – twice.)
4. Aja (Down one. She’s a contender! She’s this season’s Tatiana though: the breakout but not the winner.)
3. Kennedy Davenport (Up one. Inching to the top. I want her to win but she has a tough top two to crack.)
2. Shangela (Down one. Just a formality. Shangela is a better player but…)
1. Ben De La Creme (Up One. Here’s the thing with Ben: she’s a player and she has a past. She and Alaska have the same storyline that are, funny enough, intertwined. Alaska joined the show the season after Sharon Needles, her boyfriend at the time who took the crown and changed the show forever. Alaska was the frontrunner her season but did not win for two reasons: Jinkx Monsoon was the favorite and “underdog” in addition to it being too same-same for Alaska to win right after Sharon. Insider, trading. In the following season, Jinkx’s friend Ben De La Creme was in the cast – and did not win despite being a very strong player. This seems to be history repeating itself, that Alaska won as a formality she earned, something that was made clear by the deleted scene of her schooling Milk in such a diplomatic way: I am a threat but you do not know it. That is the power of Ben. I’ve shifted my bet and am fairly confident she will succeed.)

Thoughts? Has your ranking shifted?

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