GAME OVER! The first winner of RuPaul’s All Stars Drag Race was revealed yesterday. Chad Michaels, the first runner-up in Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 4 won the crown giving Raven, Shannel and Jujubee ‘The Chop‘.
I can say that I am a ‘new fan’ of Rupaul’s Drag Race. My interest on the show started when Manila Luzon released ‘Hot Couture’. The show gave her the exposure she deserves and although she ended up as runner-up to fellow Heather and Gaysian Raja, you cannot deny the fact that her fanbase is huge and she got what it takes to last long in the biz.
Sahara Davenport, Manila Luzon’s boyfriend/girlfriend for six years passed away last October and I can imagine how tough that month is for her. Rupaul’s All Stars Drag Race was shot months ago, but the contestants are expected to promote the show around the US. Thanks to Manila’s strong family support, she was able to surpass the challenges coming her way.
I was intrigued upon watching the ‘Meet the Cast’ clips for the All Stars season. The returning beauties are all fierce and have different personalities. Some of them were loved (and hated) on the season they were in, and this serves as their ‘second chance’ to prove that they have what it takes to be America’s Next Drag Superstar.
Some of the fans of the show were surprised with the twist: The queens will compete in teams of two! America’s Next Drag Superstar needs to have Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent. This time, Synergy is added.
Obviously, most of the queens were disappointed with the twist. They brought their bags with much confidence in tow only to know that their fate on the competition depends on somebody else. It may have been challenging for the queens, but the pairings turned out to be cute later on (or at least in LATRILA and RUJUBEE’s case).
Pandora Boxx, who won the ‘Miss Congeniality’ in Season 2 was paired with Mimi Imfurst, a misunderstood queen from Season 3. The pairing is unusual and the two queens had no choice but to stick with each other. Tagged as ‘MANDORA‘, this duo got evicted on the first episode. I feel bad for the two girls because I want to get to know them more. Pandora Boxx released her new song and music video for ‘Nice Car (Shame on your P)‘, while Xelle (where Mimi Imfurst is one of the members) uploaded a sickening video for ‘Queen‘ ft. the All Stars drag queens plus Phi-Phi O’Hara and Jiggly Caliente #pinaydragqueensrepresent!
The next team is Brown Flowers. Nina Flowers is the runner-up from Season 1 and a lot of drag queens look up to her. Some even mentioned that Nina Flowers is their inspiration in auditioning for Rupaul’s Drag Race. Tammie Brown got eliminated early on from Season 1, but her unique drag style made the fans fall in love with her. While talking to some drag race fans, they were hoping that Yara Sofia and Nina Flowers would team up. Aside from the fact that they’re both from Puerto Rico, they’re also known for the outrageous outfits. Yara Sofia chose Nina Flowers on the first round, but Nina Flowers and Tammie Brown chose each other.
Admittedly, having Tammie Brown as a partner is one rollercoaster ride. She is weird in a good way. She appeared on two episodes, yet she managed to leave a number of quotable quotes. Like what Manila Luzon mentioned in one of her interviews, Nina Flowers is the nicest girl ever while Tammie Brown is not afraid to speak her mind. Some fans were disappointed when Team Brown Flowers were sent home on the second episode. I love Tammie Brown, but I also love my Latrila! After Brown Flowers got eliminated, I searched for Tammie Brown’s performances and I just love her! What a natural comedian and Nina Flowers is one talented DJ! I also love her remix for Manila Luzon’s Best XXXcessory. Werk!
Latrice Royale and Manila Luzon a.k.a. LATRILA gives you Thrilla, baby! Obviously, this is my favorite pair. Anything with Manila on it, I’ll love. This pairing is the most interesting in terms on how their personalities will jive as the show goes on. Among the drag tandems, they’re the only ones who didn’t really have a strong friendship foundation as they belong to different seasons and lived in different states. Latrice Royale earned a lot of fans due to her lovable personality in Season 4 and her life story is truly an inspiration. I had to do my own Season 4 marathon to figure out why everybody loves her. Now I know.
On the other hand, Manila Luzon can be annoying at times (according to Alexis Mateo lol) and he knows that. With her strong personality, you can either love or hate her. She can be ballsy in approaching stuff and she is truly competitive. I think Manila Luzon is one of the few drag queens who is being loved by kids and adults alike. This creative kiddo has too many ideas in her head and I love her projects particularly in the music and fashion part. The two won the first challenge with their Classy vs. Trashy photoshoot, but found themselves at the bottom two on the second and third episode.
I don’t really get why Rupaul doesn’t seem to like Manila when she tries to be funny. I do think her Asian Madonna impersonation is sickening. I also don’t feel that Latrila deserved to be at the bottom two on the third episode. Watching Manila Luzon lipsync for her life is always heartbreaking. Lipsyncing against Jujubee is even more emotional. I hated that episode.
I’m just glad that as a revenge, Latrice and Manila released ‘The Chop’. Just pose, turn, flaunt! I think this is the most memorable contribution of any drag queen to All Stars. It even reached #24 at the iTunes Dance Chart!
Team Yarlexis got The Chop on the next episode. Puerto Rican Drag Queens Yara Sofia and Alexis Mateo did well in Season 3. Yara Sofia is known for her out-of-this-world outfit creations, sexiness (hot as a man, hot as a woman!) and positive aura. The fans were surprised when she ‘gave up’ to reach the Top 3. Meanwhile, Alexis Mateo audition thrice before she got accepted in Rupaul’s Drag Race. Some were saying that they didn’t think Alexis will last that long in the contest, but she did! As a pageant queen, her outfits and presentations are well-polished. She is also a nice friend and helped those who are in need. Some were saying that Yara is carrying Alexis, but nah. Both queens are great in their own ways.
So the final four Team is composed of RuJubee (Raven and Jujubee) and Shad (Shannel and Chad Michaels).
RuJubee’s (Raven and Jujubee) friendship started when they competed at the second season and eventually became Drag Professors at Rupaul’s Drag U. Clearly, these two are fan favorites. We can say that Raven and Jujubee have a lot of common characteristics, yet they’re also different. I can say that Raven can be a strict professor in Drag U while Jujubee is a sweeter version. They utter the best lines. Raven might offend the other viewers, while Jujubee is more cute and lovable.
On the 5th episode, RuJubee had to Lipsync for their lives against each other. That is a heartbreaking lipsync. Raven even revealed that Jujubee is her bestfriend. Jujubee also mentioned at the finale episode that she truly treasures her time with Raven since she grew up with people who kept on leaving her. ‘We are bonded for life’. Love these girls!
Now let’s proceed to TEAM SHAD (Shannel and Chad Michaels). Shannel, the original ‘body beautiful’ from Season 1 almost made it to the top 3, but she gave up much to the disappointment of the fans. I haven’t seen Season 1, but some were saying that Shannel is one brave drag queen. Her costumes are outrageous and she does her best in all tasks assigned to her. Meanwhile, Chad Michaels ended up as runner-up to Sharon Needles in Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 4. Some were saying that if the public voting is not counted, Chad Michaels should’ve won the crown. Even if SHAD belonged to different seasons, they chose each other as teammates.
I was interested to know the background of Shannel and Chad Michael’s friendship. Both are known for being polished and perfect. They represent a certain era of drag that works to their advantage. On the 4th episode, it was revealed that Shannel and Chad were actually workmates way back and they’ve known each other for fifteen years. The two revealed that their friendship had gone through some challenges in the past. There was a time when they didn’t talk to each other for years. When Shannel’s mom passed away in 2009, Chad decided to reach out. I admire them more after watching this touching episode.
CHAD MICHAELS WON and I do think she deserves it. Ok, I love Jujubee more, but this is All Stars. The Top 4 were deserving. Manila Luzon is my favorite drag queen ever and I just figured out that getting ‘The Chop’ on the third episode is a blessing in disguise. Aside from the fact that she released a new single with Latrice Royale, I hope she spent more time with Sahara Davenport. Also, it will be heartbreaking to see her lipsync for her life to get the crown and lose to any of the queens. I remember when Manila and Raja battled out in Season 3 by lipsyncing Rupaul’s Champion. When she lost, she cried and honestly revealed that she’s a bit sad because she did everything she can to win. Knowing how competitive and determined Manila Luzon is, fanilas end up crying watching her leave. Don’t worry, you have your own crown already HAHA
What if it was Chad Michaels had to lipsync against Manila Luzon instead of Raven and the Asian Glamasaurus lost to the Drag Cougar? Will Manila say “I’m first runner-up, so if Chad Michaels dies of old age then maybe I’ll get the crown”? (Hello, Raja!)
Congdragulations to Chad Michaels! Although the Rupaul’s All Stars Drag Race pairing is partly disappointing, I still want to thank LogoTV and Rupaul for bringing back the queens. I appreciate these queens the more I get to know them.
Rupaul’s All Stars Drag Race Season 5 will premiere early next year and as of writing, I find Detox, Ivy Winters and Vivienne Pinay inetresting. Yes, another Filipina Drag Queen! Bongga talaga ang mga ateh!
Special thanks to the talented Rupaul’s Drag Race fans at Tumblr for the images and gifs!
Are you a fan of Rupaul’s Drag Race? Mind to share who are your favorite Drag Queens?