Well guys, RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars Season 3 has wrapped up and it’s fair to say that this season was one hell of a rollercoaster… Sure there were a lot of highs but there were also some very bizarre, questionable and rage-inducing decisions and plot twists that really rattled the cages of a lot of fans.
If you’re not sure what I’m talking about; 1) You’ve been living under a rock and 2) *SPOILER ALERT* there are gonna be some big reveals! Where should I begin?
The Cast Of Queens
Now, when I saw the reveal of the cast of All Stars 3 way back when I like most other Drag Race fans, was eager to see which queens from yesteryear would be coming back in full force with the hopes of snatching the crown and a shot at “ru-demption”.
However, It’s fair to say that quite a few folks on the internet weren’t overly thrilled by the “caliber” of queens that had been selected. Mainly the fact that not a single queen had made it into the top 3 on their respective seasons (apart from Bebe, but we’ll get to her soon).
After the stellar season of All Stars 2 which really set the standard for the show, All Stars 3 came into town like that one drunk straight girl at the gay bar; more rowdy, pretty messy and somehow offends everyone.
Statistically it was the “weakest” season if you consider how each of the queens placed in their own seasons (I think Aja came 9th on her season). Now, I personally didn’t mind the casting, I felt it was pretty diverse unlike All Stars 2 which had half the contestants come from Season 5.
I was incredibly excited to see Bendelacreme as she was one of my favourites, equally, I was intrigued to see what Milk (also from Season 6) would bring to the table. We were blessed with a couple of the old era of Drag Race as well, Shangela and Morgan McMichaels made an excellent addition to the cast.
Bebe Zahara Benet
Then we were introduced to a 10th queen during the first episode. That queen was in fact Bebe Zahara Benet, the first ever winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Why on earth was a winner coming back for All Stars, this has pretty much ruined the chances of a “Winners Season” now that we’ve already seen her come back to show the world what she’s got which… wasn’t much.
Throughout the series, it’s seemed like Bebe could do no wrong. It was made quite clear that the show wanted to have Bebe in the finale, and of course they did, it would look bad on the show if she went home on week two despite being a winner. Not wanting to take chances, the show seemed to put her in the top for challenges that we, the viewer, would see as failures.
For example, winning the Andy Warhol challenge, her can wasn’t funny, decorative or pleasant and when Ru complimented her dress, she failed to mention that Aja helped her out, then subsequently sent her home. Shady lady.
During the Kitty Girl challenge, the queens were asked to create and sing/rap their own lyrics. Bebe made noises with no real skill and somehow won the challenge.
She wouldn’t’ even reveal who she sent home “in respect for Bendela” – a shoddy excuse in an attempt to keep her cards close to her chest. And if I have to hear “Cameroon” one more time I will weep… And you thought “Halleloo” was irritating.
Bendelacreme’s Shocking Departure
One of the real gags of the season has to be the noble sacrifice from Bendelacreme. All the way through the season she was slaying every single challenge, she lip synced for her legacy 5 times and in the end, she chose to send herself home instead of one of the other girls (Kennedy).
I don’t get shocked easily by the show anymore, sure, I still get entertained but sometimes it feels like the “shock moments” are incredibly manufactured now. Oh you’re eliminating 2 queens, cool, we’ve seen that before. You’re bring a queen back, “gasp”.
There has been a holy trinity for shocking elimination moments. The first was Willam’s disqualification. That had me shook to the core! The second was Valentina’s mask-gate scandal during a lip sync for your life. The third was Bendelacreme using white-out to change the name on a lipstick to her own. Gagged.
Clearly the bullshittery from the season got too much for Dela and she clearly didn’t want to be there anymore. The same thing happened with Adore Delano during All Stars 2.
And to be fair, that’s how a lot of the season felt, Dela and Shangela throughout the whole competition were the obvious frontrunners. They dominated each and every challenge, whether it be acting, dancing, comedy (maybe not costume design Shangela) and it almost felt too ‘real’ for the producers to have the duo battle against each other week after week after week.
Then when a plot twist that we’ve
never seen before brought all the eliminated queens back, Dela couldn’t get her head round the anger, venom and drama that came with it and I think that lead to her swift departure which left all the judges (including RuPaul) dumbfounded.
Can anyone really blame her for going? If I’m honest, I don’t. Sure, I’m gutted as she was my all time favourite and the star of the season but she showed them all what she can do. She doesn’t need $100,000, a plastic crown and a picture in a fictional hall of fame.
Now, this really got on my tits. Throughout the whole season, Shangela had proven to be a true force to be reckoned with and a stellar talent. If you ask me, Shangela is a true All Star. When she first appeared on Season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, she was a newcomer to the world of drag and she was full of energy and charisma.
Sadly she only made the first episode but she was back for Season 3 and she had already grown so much despite being called “Queen of the Boogers” by Season 3 winner Raja.
Her runway looks had drastically improved too, she walked out onto the runway in a giant inflatable ball for God sake!
By the time All Stars 3 had come around, Shangela had taken the world by storm, she tours with dancers, she’s appeared in numerous television shows as an actress and she’s become a trophy-snatching success story. Shangela, for me, is the real winner of All Stars 3 which brings me on to my next point.
The Voting System Was Rigga Morris!
Need I explain this part? This season had some shocking moments; Dela’s departure, the return of the eliminated queens as a rival band, Bebe turning up and Milk becoming delusional, I think we’d seen just about all we could take from the season.
But then Ru decided to throw in yet another twist… And this one was actually shocking. Not because it was good, but because it was utter bullshit!
Ru decided to bring back the eliminated queens again and give them all the power to decide who would become the final 2 queens to lip sync for their legacy.
Bendelacreme, Thorgy Thor, Milk, Aja, Morgan McMichaels and Chi Chi Devayne were all set the task of talking to each finalist to help aid their decisions and then they voted to see which queens would make the top 2.
Now, you don’t have to be a genius to see that this can have it’s advantages and disadvantages for certain contestants. Trixie Mattel who fell somewhere fairly middle of the pack for most of the season hasn’t sent anybody home so she had no grudges.
Bebe has already won a season so queens may not want to nominate her again and Shangela had sent home 3 queens who are more than likely all out for revenge!
So how does this system work? The queens were asked to pick 2 lipsticks. Their first choice receives 2 votes, their second choice receives 1 vote.
In fact, most queens voted for Kennedy as their first choice to WIN THE FUCKING SEASON?! You know, Kennedy who has been in the bottom more than any, only won 1 lip sync and doesn’t have a strong fan base? This season became RuPaul’s Charity Race.
As it happens, this theory seemed pretty much correct as Shangela only received 1 vote. No, seriously. Shangela who was the front runner for the competition got 1 poxy vote from the eliminated queens. The audience could see this was a joke, so much so that one person created a GoFundMe page for Shangela with the aim of raising $100,000 (the winners prize money) for her.
Kennedy made Top 2… Just let that sink in. Now, I have no beef with her, but come on, that is not really how a season should go down. If I’m being totally honest, I think this was a case of a lot of Bitter Betty’s not wanting to let Shangela win the crown because she sent them home.
The One Redeeming Feature
Now, it would be cruel to have had such a bitter rant about the season without actually talking about the positives. We saw some hilarious scenes in acting challenges, some utterly stunning runway looks and some phenomenal lip syncs so it’s not all doom and gloom. Hell, even with all the injustices of the finale came a great performance.
That, of course, was the Kitty Girl music video challenge which was, in all fairness, fucking epic! Kennedy absolutely slayed, Trixie served you her inner rap star, Shangela gave you professional Beyoncé and Bebe’s portion of the song contained some actual lyrics. Honestly, the whole 1-take music video was truly a work of genius and it really does go to show that these queens are all stars. So let’s not forget that.
In the end, we wound up with Trixie Mattel as the winner of All Stars 3. Fair enough, we can all move on with our lives. And That’s exactly how this season felt, it’s like a mild irritant that we’re just waiting to pass by before we can carry on with our lives.
It seems that even the producers of the show want to forget about this logistical nightmare before the torches and pitchforks get brought out by angry twinks and basic white girls everywhere riot.
That would explain the fact that All Stars 3 has just ended. Not even a reunion episode. Instead, we go straight into Season 10 without even a week’s space between one series ending and another starting and act like this was all a dream.
Here’s hoping RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10 can right some of the wrongs we have experienced with All Stars.