Sunday, January 28, 2018

RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Episode Recap: Season 3, Episode 1

So look.

I know I abandoned you all last year after just three episodes of Drag Race Season Nine.

That's not my fault - I went away on holiday for a whole month right in the middle, before Nina Bonina Brown got annoying and before Valentina turned into a screaming, Lovecraftian nightmare and well before Sasha Velour impressed everyone by pulling some pot pourri out of her bald cap, and I sure as hell wasn't going to sit around in New York blogging. There are plenty of unemployed millennials there doing that already.

I'm sorry.

I was going to go back and fill in the gaps at some point... but in the meantime...


Whoever this person is, they're very excited.

I've traditionally not recapped the All Stars seasons, so we're in uncharted territory here, people.

I wonder how it will go?

Ooh ooh ooh, I hope it starts off with some extended satire of a popular TV show that might have been topical six months ago when they filmed it but now feels a bit awkward!

Oh yes, just like that.

So while previous All Stars winners Chad and Alaska try to wring something funny out of a show about female oppression that everyone stopped talking about six months ago and is actually extra creepy and weird in the current post-Weinstein era, we head over to the Werq Room where our first queen is arriving...

...and it's season seven alumnus Trixie Mattel, who enters on roller skates, catches sight of her hideous floral bodysuit in a mirror and immediately dies of shame.

If you squint, she looks a bit like a haemorrhoid.

Oh well, RIP Trixie.

Next through the door is season six queen Milk, with a complicated look that can be best described as "Paris Hilton going to a fancy dress party as an 18th century prostitute mushroom":

That's hot.

Despite looking like a 90s socialite dressed up as a promiscuous fungus, or more likely because of it, Milk has apparently spent the last few years male modelling for high profile clients like [INSERT VERY IMPORTANT BRAND NAMES HERE].

After she drops so many names a producer has to come in and sweep them up, it seems likely that Milk is going to be the somewhat annoying "Fashion Is My Passion" contestant of this season.

But I'll forgive him because LOOK.

Next up is former Bland Canyon favourite Chi Chi De Vayne, who famously debuted on season eight wrapped in black trash bags.

Now a full two years later she shows how much her look has advanced by showing up in...

...yellow trash bags.

These ones are lemon scented though, so... you know.

Moving along to Thorgy Thor, who spent most of season eight complaining about Bob the Drag Queen. This is coincidentally what I did too, so naturally I love her.

Dressed in a red glitter wig, copper foil chemise and rainbow coloured high-waisted metallic pants that may or may not be connected to her neck, Thorgy looks like what you'd get if McDonald's re-opened Studio 54 as a family friendly venue and needed a new mascot.

Just don't ask to see her golden arches.

Suddenly there's a commotion in the Werq Room as a gaggle of nurses and paramedics gathers near the door with a wheelchair, a defibrillator and an oxygen mask in preparation for the next queen.

There's a loud beeping as an access ramp is wheeled into place, and everyone is briefed on emergency medical care for the aged.

Approximately three hours later Morgan McMichaels hobbles in from the car park on a walking frame.

Exclusive still from Mariah's World: season 37.

At 36 years old (shock horror, someone take her behind the barn and put her out of her misery already, does she even still have her own teeth etc) Morgan is certainly one of the more mature queens this season.

Thankfully she doesn't act like it.

Morgan is fierce, tough and deliciously bitchy, plus I gave her a dollar at Hamburger Mary's in WeHo two years ago while on holiday, which makes me practically her benefactor, so GO MORGAN, WIN THIS THING. Then pay me back.
Next through the door is Aja, who was only kicked off season nine like, five minutes ago, so clearly some sort of mistake has been made.

She was actually supposed to be starring in new reality show "Mall Stars", about OCD coupon clippers, but somehow the call dates got mixed up.

Quick, grab your eyeballs and try to stop them rolling back into your head, it's the sugar headache of season six - Ben De La Creme.

AKA Michelle Visage with more realistic boobs.

Describing herself as "terminally delightful", Ben's schtick is to be hyper positive, wide-eyed and sugary sweet at all times. It is exhausting.

"I'm here to show you can win with kindness and integrity, rather than be a bitch," she says.

Cool story, babe.

Just as Morgan is about to accidentally swallow a nail in an effort not to bite Ben's head off, the plastic walls begin to shake again and in walks season seven queen Kennedy Davenport.

With tiny mirrors all over her face, chest and arms, she looks like the "after" picture in a sexual health brochure about the dangers of STDs from sleeping with disco balls.

She had a lot of time to reflect on this outfit.

Meanwhile, watching at home:

"Bitch stole my look!"

Meanwhile, watching at home:

"Nice try."

Next through the door is a giant box.

No, not that one.

This one.


It's such a mystery.

I can't contain my excitement.

Hurry. Open It. The suspense is killing me.

In a surprise akin to open a giant box on Drag Race and finding Shangela inside, they open the giant box and find Shangela inside.


Fun new drinking game: let's all take bets on how long it will take for Shangela to say "halleloo", and then whoever is the closest has to d...

I'm out.

Suddenly a siren blares and all the queens spin around wildly looking confused, as if this exact scenario hasn't happened dozens of times before.

"SHEERELLYDARNHEADHORSES!" shrieks RuPaul's voice over the PA system, which due to budget constraints this year is two coconut shells strung together with a piece of twine.

All the queens rush over to the old pizza box stuck to the ceiling they've agreed to pretend is a flatscreen TV this season while an underpaid producer reads out RuPaul's welcome message.

"This season is all about my comeback kids," he monotones.

"OMG the Comeback Kids? I've seen all their videos on Redtube!"

"Something something hall of fame, something something charisma uniqueness nerve and talent, blah blah henny hunty whatever."

Just then a low rumbling begins to emanate from beneath the floor, and the lights swing wildly from the ceiling as the walls start to shake (well, shake more than usual anyway).

Morgan rips off her fingernails in preparation to fight whatever's coming, while Chi Chi curls up into a ball next to the rubbish bins in the hopes she'll blend in. Kennedy tries to run but accidentally catches sight of herself in the mirror and is stunned into paralysis when the infinite reflection loop convinces her she's entered a parallel dimension.

The door at the top of the stairs slowly creaks open and...

Oh it's just that guy.

"Blah blah blah herstory, yada yada yada hall of fame, ra ra ra drag race," says the giant Twizzler.

Oh and also:

Have a tenth queen too.

Yes, surprise! There's one more queen on the block - season one winner Bebe Zahara Benet, looking like the lost sixth Braxton sister.

"Wait, what's happening? Who is it? I can't see shit."

With everyone assembled, it's time for the first mini challenge of the season - the READING CHALLENGE, where all the queens stand in a line and slag each other off in an effort to win RuPaul's approval.

It's a bit like American Idol except with insults instead of Whitney Houston songs, and RuPaul instead of Simon Cowell, and actually OK it's nothing like American Idol but you get it, right?

As per the usual tradition, I will be rating each queen's reads using the international standard shade measurement of Latrice Royales.

READING CHALLENGE in a nutshell:

Thorgy accuses Chi Chi of stealing her wallet and Aja of being a witch, and it's about as funny as it sounds.

Ie: Not at all.

Kennedy on Aja: "Welcome to the big leagues, where Charlotte Russe and Forever 21 won't cut it, little girl."

And on Ben: "Girl, where you been?"

Ben: "...Seattle."

It's possible Kennedy has suffered brain damage from the studio lights reflecting off her shoulders directly into her retinas.

Milk on Shangela: "I always thought her name was Angela, and people were just telling her to shut up."

I just... What?

Aja on Morgan: "I'd like to take the A out of your name and replace it with an O, because I'm pretty sure we'd all like you Mor-gone."

Seriously what is happening here this day?

Bebe on Thorgy: "Mother, she looks homeless."

UPDATE: Bebe comes from a galaxy far, far away, where homeless people apparently dress like extras from The Wiz.

Morgan on Chi Chi: "With that mouth you could put Black and Decker out of business, cos you got a mouth full of tools, honey."

Solid idea, failed execution.

Chi Chi on Milk: "Just like the drink, you give me the shits."

Finally. That's how it's done.

Trixie on Aja: "You're beautiful, you're gorgeous, you look like Seal."

On Milk: "You put a lot into this look. Like what, two per cent?"

On Shangela: "What about this season we put you in a box - because you're going to halle-lose."


Shangela on Ben: "It's nice to see you here. It's nice to see you anywhere seeing as you've been unemployed since season six."


Ben on Trixie: "I totally get your makeup, you're painting for the back of the room. Which makes sense, because that's where your audience collects if you remember to lock the door."


With Ben De La Creme declared the winner of the reading challenge, and almost everyone else declared borderline illiterate, everyone disperses to de-drag and gasbag.

A hot topic of discussion is the new All Stars elimination rules, which dictate that the winner of the lip sync can choose who to send home each week.

"I'm just going to send home the bitch that I think is the strongest," declares Morgan McMichaels.

"It isn't shady, it's honest. It's a game, you have to play it to win it."

You also have to shut the hell up about your strategy so you don't get sent home yourself, idiot.

If this were Game of Thrones, Morgan would be killed by a dragon in the first episode.


She can't breathe fire but she is scaly, so stay tuned.

Doobly doo music, wavy lines etc and it's the next day in the Werk Room.

"Zaddy's home!" announces Milk for the second time this episode in what is obviously an attempt to create a catchphrase and...

I still refuse to accept this as a thing.

Everyone is busy preparing for the week's maxi challenge - a "variety show" where each queen has to showcase a talent - and of course the impending elimination is front of mind.

"Right now you just don't know how it's gonna go," says Kennedy.

"You just gotta set guidelines, and then what if we set the guidelines and somebody steps outside of those guidelines?"

So many guidelines.

Meanwhile, watching at home:

She gets it.

Speaking of the variety show: I can't wait to see Thorgy's act, which is a one-woman recreation of The Never Ending Story told from the point of Falcor the Luckdragon:

In this version, she has to stop "The Nothing" taking over Kennedy's brain.

Meanwhile, can we please take a moment to discuss some of the queen's "talking heads" looks? We might as well do it now, it's not like anything interesting is happening.

Here's Ben De La Creme, who looks like The Little Prince in the middle of his eighth birthday party at Burger King:

Her upward inflection kicked in so hard it permanently broke her eyebrow.

Bebe is dressed like Grace Jones decided to become a ninja:

Either that, or a clown sideshow from a gothic amusement park.

And then there's Aja, who looks like Kirby the Nintendo cloud self-manifested as Paris Hilton's chihuahua with a BDSM fetish:

I literally have no idea what is happening here.

Is it time to go to the runway yet?

Oh, it is?



  • As part of the show's well-documented commitment to highlighting environmental issues, RuPaul arrives dressed as this red algal bloom threatening America's rock lobster population through the proliferation of paralytic shellfish toxins:

She's putting her best frond forward.

  • Carrying on the environmental theme is judge Michelle Visage, who has decided to highlight the plight of the Amazon by coming dressed as a tarantula being swallowed by an anaconda:
Her anaconda don't.

  • Also on the panel is special guest judge Vanessa Hudgens, who did her bit for today's climate change theme by not washing her hair:
Kidding. I LOVE her hair and want this entire look on me right now.

  • Carson Kressley and Ross Mathews are also there, but they're not wearing anything interesting so who cares.
  • "Ross, are you ready for a come back?" asks Ru.

    "A come back? That's two of my favourite things!" says Ross, and everyone laughs heartily despite the fact that there really isn't any joke there except for an awkward innuendo about ejaculation and you know what let's just move on.
  • This week's runway is actually a "variety show" presentation, meaning nine queens will come out lip syncing and death dropping, and Thorgy will play the violin.
  • First cab off the rank is Shangela, who thankfully has kept the "halleloos" to a minimum so far.
Well that didn't last long.

  • Flinging her gown off with a single "halleloo" Shangela takes us from church to the club, whipping her hair and high kicking all over the place in a glitter bodysuit and thigh high boots, finishing with a death drop. Using the international standard talent judging metric of Bianca Del Rios, I give her:
This is actually high praise.
  • Meanwhile, new drinking game! Take a shot every time Vanessa Hudgens is every straight girl in a gay bar ever.

  • Moving on to Bebe Zahara Benet who embraces her Cameroonian roots by staging a one-woman tribute to The Lion King as performed by Tina Turner on meth.
"Psst - when does Simba come on?"
"Shut up, she's about to do Proud Mary."

  • Bianca?

  • Oh, and:
You know what to do.

  • Hopefully those two drinks have kicked in because here comes Thorgy Thor and her violin, both of whom are under the mistaken belief that anyone wants to see actual "talent". We don't, we just want you to look good and be funny.
Unless that violin can take its wig off to reveal another wig underneath, I'm not interested.

  • Bianca, what's the verdict?
More  like Thorgy Bore.

  • Next on stage is Aja, who starts by dramatically drawing a ninja sword and then... throwing it away. Cool move. Perhaps she was going to behead Michelle Visage but then saw her outfit and realised she was suffering enough.
  • Anyway Aja whips off her outfit to reveal another outfit, and then whips that off to reveal another outfit, which frankly shows more layers than anyone thought she had in the first place, and then this happens:
And the award for best use of a box on the runway goes to...

  • Over to you, Bianca:
She's good, but she's not THAT good.

  • Then just as everyone is putting their fans and smelling salts away and picking themselves up off the ground while sighing about the vapours, Kennedy Davenport comes along and does this:


  • Holy shit. Thoughts, Bianca?

Damn straight.

  • Next on stage is Ben De La Creme with a one-woman presentation entitled "Michelle Visage on a Tuesday Night":


  • Meanwhile, over on the judges' desk:

Outside: "Ha ha that's hilarious!"
Inside: "I've got to stick some tape over my webcam."

  • What do you reckon, Bianca?

  • Moving on to Chi Chi, who storms in looking like a car wash brush that broke off mid-cycle and went spinning out of control across a highway.

TFW you try to scratch your bum in public by using your own butt cheeks.

  • EXCLUSIVE: Behind the scenes footage of Chi Chi's rehearsal:

So graceful.

  • The rest of the performance continues in much the same way, with Chi Chi stomping around the stage in ballet flats waggling her baton, and I can't help but think if she'd waggled her other baton she might be more entertaining.
  • Have you ever had a five year old demand "WATCH ME DANCE" and then had to sit there being encouraging while they clearly just make random shit up on the spot? It's like that.
  • Naturally, the crowd goes wild.
Who says you need choreography?

  • Over to you, Bianca:

  • Next up is Morgan McMichaels who comes out in a bejewelled bodysuit and yells "WELCOME TO THE LEGENDARY PARTY!". It's not clear what party she's referring to; maybe the GOP because none of her words make sense and she looks crazy.
"Step your pussy up! But not so much that it qualifies for universal healthcare!"

  • Spoiler alert: it isn't great. Bianca?
Yeahhhhhh nah.

  • Meanwhile, how's your drink looking?

Fill 'er up.

  • Moving on to Trixie Mattel, one of this season's funniest queens, who takes to the stage with an autoharp to sing a pretty little country song with no jokes in it whatsoever.

Wait, is the wig the joke?

  • Yes it's a nice song, and she's very musically talented, but... you know.

Me waiting for the jokes.

  • So Bianca, what do you think of that musical shot of valium?


  • Not a moment too soon we reach the end, although any hopes of a show-stopping finale are dashed when Milk crawls out in a nude bodystocking shrieking "touch the fashion change your life" and it becomes clear we're all about to get a musical lecture about how trendy she is.

Actually Milk can you just... maybe... step to the side a bit... a little bit more...

  • Her act consists of saying the word "fashion" while sticking cardboard dresses to her front, which is about as exciting as it sounds.

    Meanwhile, watching at home:

"Come back when you can turn yourself into a piece of fruit using only an old Kleenex box."

  • So Bianca, what's the verdict?
Nina agrees.

With the "variety show" finally over, having redefined the concept of "variety" as "a few lip syncs and bad dancing", it's time for the judging.

  • Everyone says Thorgy's look is very chic, a bit Liza Minelli, a bit Halsten.
I was thinking more "Plucka Duck" myself.
  • Michelle reads Chi Chi for wearing flats instead of heels, and Carson leaps to her defence saying "You have to wear those shoes for what you were doing."
Oh really.

Is that so, Carson?

  • "It was down here, when the rest of the girls were taking it up there," Michelle says, and I'm not sure that she should be sharing such personal information to be honest.
  • Over in the corner where she's ordering her third espresso martini Vanessa Hudgens exclaims "I'm so into vogueing right now!"

With everyone in agreement that all the queens were a bit crap, Aja and Ben are named the winners, each receiving a packet of bobby pins, a two-for-one drink coupon for the Shady Lady Tavern in Dayton, Ohio (expiry December 2016) an a can of Diet Coke that RuPaul looked at once.

But for every two winners there must be two losers, and because we can't vote for Vanessa Hudgens this week it's Chi Chi "Scuffed Ballet Flats" De Vayne and Morgan "Lame-o Lip Sync" McMichaels who are up for elimination.

So who goes home? That's up to Aja and Ben to decide - through the power of LIP SYNC. And a whole lot of blah-blahing backstage about how they're going to vote.

I wonder how Morgan is feeling right now.

It's not shady, it's honest.

"It's hard for me to think about - if you stay, will you knock me out?" Ben says to Morgan.

"Straight up honesty, I would send the stronger girl home, but if you want to go by what the judges said - they read Chi Chi's hair, her shoes and her all-round appearance, and they just picked on my lack of effervescence," says Morgan, instantly creating a Drag Race Brainteaser of epic proportions.

Basically - Morgan thinks the strongest player should be eliminated, and the judges seemed to think Morgan was stronger than Chi Chi, so... er... eliminate Chi Chi?


"I've had Morgan force feed me vodka in a bar - I know she can give so much more than that," exclaims Aja, who apparently judges people's talent by their potential alcoholism. It's a pity Sharon Needles isn't here, Aja would probably hand her the crown.

"My decision is really based on who really fell, and who fell the hardest," she explains.

I think we all know the answer to that.

Meanwhile on stage Vanessa Hudgens is dancing on stage next to an actual porkchop in an extended joke that is absolutely not worth anyone's time. If they're going to do this every week I think we can safely declare this to be the regular toilet break portion of the show.

Anyway it's time for Ben and Aja's lip sync which this week is to Nicki Minaj's Anaconda.

TFW your outfit matches the song.

The music starts, they lip sync it, no one jumps off a box or cartwheels onto a box or takes off their wig, and sadly no one shows their anaconda.

TFW you can't find your fat ass big bitches in the club.

In the end though, RuPaul's anaconda only wants one - and it's Ben De La Creme.

Her multiple nipple tassels quivering, Ben steps forward to reveal who she has chosen to send home - and in an earth shattering surprise, it's Morgan McMichaels.

"Wait, does this mean I was the strongest? Or...?"

Well there you go, that's it. Thanks a lot Ben, you just eliminated the bitchiest contestant, so there goes all our drama for this season.

But wait, what's this?

Oh great, looks like this gag is continuing into episode two...

OK we're done here. Go on and READ EPISODE TWO.


  1. Look, I'm just gonna be honest: I wasn't feeling this one. And I feel bad because I've LOVED your previous recaps. Your Season 6 and 7 recaps are HILARIOUS! But... I don't know, ever since the "snatch game" episode of Season 8, it just feels like you've become more and more bitter and mean-spirited in your reviews, like you're not enjoying what you're doing. Obviously that's not the case, but that's the perception I've gotten. And that's especially true for this episode.

    As I said, I feel so terrible since everyone on Reddit is saying that this recap was hilarious and it made their day and.... the feeling's not mutual. Sorry. Basically the vibe I got from this blog post, was that you were so unimpressed with everything that happened on this episode and I have no idea why; I thought the episode was great. I thought the Chad and Alaska skit was fun, I LOVE the whole cast, most of the reads were good, the talent show was great minus Milk, Morgan and Chi Chi, the Judge's cutaways were cute (I CACKLED on initial viewing), as they were on AS2; I don't know how you could be so bitter and meh by it all. And gurl, you're sleeping on Thorgy's, Trixie's and Bebe's performances. Especially Bebe's. I know my bias is showing but GOD I FUCKING LOVE BEBE! She could win the crown for a second time in a row and I would NOT be mad about it!

    Look overall, there were some moments in here, but unfortunately I feel like there's been too much snark and negativity weighing down your recent recaps. I just would like to some more positivity in there so I know this is done out of love. Again, I'm so sorry for not loving this review but... it just fell flat for me; flat as Chi Chi's Jazz flats.

    HOWEVER, on a positive note, I love the gif you made for Ben's performance; that was legitimately hilarious and hypnotic.

    1. I just found this recap to be kind of dull. I laughed maybe once. And it was also a little short. Which I guess was fine this week since it was so boring.

  2. Completely disagree. Stick to your humor, it's fab. No need to censor.

  3. I gotta agree with the previous poster harping on your negativity. Not that I want more positivity, don't feed me bullshit. Don't censor, that's boring and misses the point. It's just that your more recaps now sound like they're coming from an edgelord teenage white girl who just writes everything as negatively as they can without thought, and hope that one of the jokes stick. It's like you're missing the show and just seeing "oh hey a joke opportunity" without there being any continuity from seasons past (i mean it IS all stars) or actual content in the jokes. Where are the jokes tailored to each moment, each queen? It just looks like a bunch of runoff negative jokes that you inserted each queen's name into.

    1. Yes exactly!!!! I hate it when I notice something funny in a show and the recapper just glosses over it. She was obviously either in a rush or not feeling it. Which is unfortunate.

  4. this review is truly not funny :/

  5. You’re hilarious. Don’t listen to these pearl-clutching clowns.

  6. Eh, some of this was okay, but mostly your reviews haven't been great since season 8.

  7. I loved it. It made me laugh. For those that think its too negative I just think of the Morgan McMichaels Kumbaya comment. We can't all hold hands and breastfeed one another. I enjoyed it.

  8. I thought this was hilarious!!!!!! I love your reviews i eagerly anticipate them each week.....i always go back and read the whole season at the end they are just so funny....i hope that those of us that enjoy your recaps are enough for you to continue them

  9. Loved it! Not as great as your others, but like you said it's your first time doing an All-Stars season; the calibre is generally higher so there's less overtly obvious prompts to pick up on.

    Still laughed hard though! Keep going :D

  10. Hey previous commenters, why you mad though? Take your eyeballs elsewhere if you don't like these recaps. Bland canyon is writing these out of the goodness of her bitter heart. I don't see her collecting tips for this gig. She just gave us "18th century prostitute mushroom" so she's basically winning at life.

  11. That last screencap: Mood is the fabric sponsor. Do we get to hear the contestants say, "Thank you, Mood," during the make-your-costume-during-the-episode challenge? Will Tim Gunn and Heidi pop out for a crossover?

  12. The audacity for some people to complain about and then offer writing TIPS on free content...There are a few Latrice gifs that would sum up my feelings.

  13. Keep it up girl! I have been waiting so long for you to come back. My husband doesn't approve of this show so reading your recaps are the only way I can stay in the loop!

    BTW, I thought this was just as hilarious as your other recaps. The part about Chi Chi's performance cracked me up!

  14. Chad looks ROUGH in the intro. Girl, you look like the Joker mated with Swiss Miss.

    1. Also. I WAS SO DISAPPOINTED IN MILK. She was being such a catty bitch and I didn't like it.

  15. Love this All Stars Recap! So funny. Highlights were ‘Promiscuous Mushroom’ and the entire section on Chi Chi’s performance.

  16. OMG this was brilliant. So glad to have you back! It's the highlight of the season!

  17. Welcome back! We've missed you.

  18. One small complaint...The Handmaid's Tale was published in 1985 and has remained topical ever since. Yes, it was a popular TV show that aired about six months ago, but that actually increases it's cultural significance rather than vice versa. That's also why Drag Race's use of it as satire is kind of brilliant.

    1. It's not that serious, Jaremi