Seven Thoughts About RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars: Season Two, Episode Four

What is there to say about this week’s episode? Mostly that it’s extremely impressive that the queens are able to outdo themselves after four episodes.

I’m worried they’re going to lose steam very soon! However, they’re pros—and that’s why we love them. Let’s unpack what happened.

And of course: spoilers ahead. Get last week’s recap here.

7. “Going against the judges.”
You knew the episode was going to start off with Phi Phi grinding her ax about that stupid rule they made up, where they’d eliminate according to the judges. This is some Foucault bullshit: these arbitrary rules that they made up are only being enforced because…they made them up. It’s ridiculous. Understandable, sure, but Alyssa choosing to go against the judges is her prerogative because she was given the power to choose. Tyrannical and insane, yes, but that was her decision. Moreover, this “going against the judges” storyline came to a head in two more ways: Alyssa was force fed her own medicine by the end of the episode and she also revealed her lack of skill as a player by keeping the stronger contestant. Alyssa keeping Katya is sweet and correct because Katya is sweet and correct; however, it’s a very unwise move as a player. Katya is a force. Ginger? She was hot air, blowing around various parts of the set. To put Katya over Ginger was a severe lapse in judgement because it kept the competition harder for Alyssa to keep up with. It also set her up for this entire “going against the judges” narrative.

6. The best thing about Phi Phi is her boy-drag hair.
God, Phi Phi is a nightmare. She is unchanged and the same showboating monster that we hate her to be. She’s the perfect villainess! Talented? Fuck no. Good boy-drag hair? Absolutely. Her being paired (Or self-paired?) with Roxxxy also revealed something surprising: Roxxxy this season is a sheep, a lamb being led to the slaughter over and over again by self-doubt. She wasn’t this questionable last time! But she was as dumb, as the shawl / sash scene proved. What a sequence!

5. BABY JJ!!
This entire challenge was a gem but, of course, Alaska as “Baby JJ” was the most inspired performance of the series. Period. It was a perfect pairing of aesthetics not to mention a great stage for Big Freedia and Porkchop to show up. None of the other queens could have carried on with Big Freedia as Alaska did. Clearly, the producers assigned these roles knowing who could rise to the occasion and, of course, Alaska flew…as Alyssa “who-aah’d” toward the inevitable.

4. A thirty minute finale.
The show is a solid fifty minutes long and, as we see more and more of in the show, the runway isn’t a quick third act but the show: the runway started with over thirty minutes left in the episode. That keeps happening every week and you realize that what happens on stage is the main event, structurally. This week that was sort of true as it was for everyone to view the film. Honestly, I was expecting a bit more of a bitch fest and people throwing each other under glitter buses—but that didn’t happen. It was remarkably tame save for Michelle’s appropriate savagery, dragging the judges for not dragging Alyssa. She is right. Good on her for holding both judges and queens accountable.

3. A fantastic runway.
This was a runway only seasoned queens could afford to do. Everyone did a fantastic job! Even Alyssa’s hack dress was a hoot, given old lady quips like, “I was taking selfies to a whole new level.” With that, Alyssa peaked and tumbled off. Other noteables were Alaska’s digging into the canon to let Lil Poundcake live again paired with Katya’s brilliant demon wife. No, Katya’s wasn’t a show stopper but the concept was perfect. Excuse? Kind of—but I’ll take character over convertible. Right, Phi Phi?

2. Alaska and…Phi Phi?
Really. Phi Phi won the challenge? Really. This was like the return of Project Runway this week as well, where I called the bottom three only for…them all to make it into the top and I felt like the judges were all trolling me, which they are because this is a means to give a bone to bottom bitches to pep them up before cutting them out. Phi Phi isn’t going to win but she is going to stick around until the end. She performed okay this week and in the challenge but this mostly was a story produced moment to give a win so that she “finally had one.” She was never going to take the prize over Alaska, though. Poundcake and Baby JJ? Nice try, tired ass show girl.

1. Category is: cliffhanger.
The question: what are the old queens going to be doing? If I recall correctly—And I do not.—they’re coming back for a chance to compete again, no? I thought that’s what was promised them. However, it seems more likely that the roles are going to reverse to a Survivor jury, where you are judged by your past judging. We’ll find out this week.

1.5. How much were you gagging over Phi Phi’s final read of Alyssa…to Alyssa?
Like. That is perfect, bitchy producing taken to an entirely different universe.

OK! Here we go, to gaze into the future of…who knows!

10. Coco Montrese
9. Adore Delano
8. Tatianna
7. Ginger Minj
6. Alyssa Edwards (Down three and out. This was a surprise! But not really. Michelle was right. She went further than my initial prediction but halfway is about the right time for Alyssa to go to bed.)
5. Phi Phi O’Hara (Up one but, technically, maintained. UGH. She might be the most villainous reality TV character ever, which is a feat because there is so much evil reality television. Her character is only compounded by her couch producing herself, calling out “what was edited.” Girl. You said and did all of this. Don’t take the upside down cross you built and flip it over to carry to calvary. You did that to you two seasons over, creating drama to create a cult of sympathy. Fuck you, girl.)
4. Roxxxy Andrews (Up one but, technically, maintained. Bueller? Bueller?)
3. Detox (Maintained. Same with Roxxxy. However, died over her calling Phi Phi out for playing it so bitchy. Yet, Phi Phi and Alaska did pick the same person…which is somewhat problematic? I thought Alaska was above the stupid rules that were made up. Then again, she could be playing this game too well.)
2. Katya (Maintained. I’m fearing a fall around now. She’s riding on good talent—but that talent is wobbly. Who else could be a suitable runner up? Everyone else is severely fine!)
1. Alaska Thunderfuck (Maintained. There is no way she will not win. It’s so clear that she was basically produced around to excel.)

Thoughts? This show is great! My faith is restored in America’s favorite empty calorie television format!

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