When last we met, squirrelfriends, “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” had done us ill. Very, very ill, unless you happened to be an Alexis Mateo/Yara Sofia fan and you hated Latrice Royale or Manila Luzon. In which case, you are clearly insane.
This week, we join the girls in the workroom as they break down the last episode and I’m getting a “Yarlexis wins” edit. Which scares me. The girls don’t seem to be as upset about Latrila leaving as I am.
“I’m gonna miss Latrice. That’s about it,” Alexis says with a laugh.
Soon they’re given their mini-challenge, in which the teams have to dress as cheerleaders and come up with a mean-girls cheer routine to read their competitors. Having only 20 minutes to do their makeup affects some worse than others. Chad looks immaculate but her partner Shannel calls nothing to mind as much as a demented clown. Girl is busted.
The cheers are all just “meh” but Yarlexis wins it by calling Chad an “abuela.”
For the main challenge, the queens have to create a girl group and perform a RuPaul original on stage. They each have to add a celebrity (in one case, anyway) to make their duo a trio and they have one of three choices: Jillian Hervey (the daughter of Vanessa Williams), Kady Z (Pia Zadora’s daughter) and everyone’s favorite drag queen, Kelly Osbourne.
Yarlexis is teamed up with Kelly, Rujubee get Kady Z and Shad snag Jillian Hervey.
As rehearsals get under way, I am reminded of Season 1 of “Drag Race,” when a younger Shannel won my heart with her constant weird bossiness and complete inability to see when she was fudging up irrevocably. For most of All-Stars, I’d wondered where that Shannel had gone. Why was Shannel being so reasonable? So normal-ish?
Well, bitches, Crazy Shannel is back this episode and she starts off by telling two trained dancers how the entire routine will be choreographed. She ignores Chad’s side-eye and Jillian’s nervous glances to flail about in grand dame pantomime and order everyone around.
“I love that you’re not a dancer and you’re choreographing this bitch,” Chad says with a bitter smile.
Yarlexis seem to be killing it with Kelly Osbourne, whom they’re poisoning against the rest of the girls by saying that they’ve been read for their English skills.
Once Ru comes in for a checkup, she’s less impressed than I am with Shad’s moves and reads them a bit on their dancing. Yarlexis impress with their vogue-ing, and Rujubee reveal they might be a teeny, tiny bit behind on their planning.
The on-stage rehearsals go across with a mixed level of success. Yara decides rehearsals are actually more for “completely redoing every part of your performance” than they are for “practicing.” This, understandably makes Alexis nervous.
“This is the rehearsal,” Yara says. “This is the time to change everything.”
Rujubee seem to be solidifying their plan and Jujubee even manages to do it all in giant Lady Gaga heel-less hooves.
“I love working with Juju and Raven,” Kady says. Who wouldn’t!?
As Shad take the stage to work out their performance, Crazy Shannel decides to come out for some air. Bossy! Annoying! Pointing out weird things like someone’s leg kicking up too high!
“I just don’t want them to read me for your foot being in my face,” Crazy Shannel says as if it’s totally reasonable to take up time with that.
Aaaaaaaand now Shannel is worried that her face is turned away from the judges for 10 seconds.
Inwardly, I’m cosigning Chad’s massive eyeroll. Shannel! Girl! Get it together!
As the queens prep for the runway, we get some backstory about Kelly’s “bulldog” jaw, the challenges of ordering at the drivethru when you have an accent and Chad and Shannel’s five-year estrangement.
But, soon we’re off to the races, ladies! Joining Ru, Michelle Visage and Santino Rice on the main stage are Mary Wilson of the Supremes and Rosie Perez, who love the girl group performances.
Savage Sisters, Shad plus Jillian, get read a bit for Shannel’s outfit and for their decision to put Jillian in the middle. The choreography gets props, as does Jillian’s ass.
Fanny Shosa, Yarlexis plus Kelly, have a look that translates well to a group, and their lip syncs even won over Santino. On the minus side was the choreography technique, which was also a big drawback for V3, Rujubee plus Kady. Rosie loved Jujubee’s lip sync, but Ru called them out for stealing moves from the video they shot for season 2 of “Drag Race.” Santino hates the pantyhose Raven has on, and for once, I agree with a super-picky critique from Mr. Rice.