RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race: All Star Talent Show Extravaganza
August 26, 2016 5:27 PM - Season 2, Episode 1 - Subscribe

10 Queens return to compete for $100,000 and a place in the Drag Race Hall of Fame. The first test is to compete in a drag talent show. With guest judge Raven-Symoné. (synopsis from
posted by duffell (17 comments total)
Initial feelings on the queens: SO SO EXCITED about seeing Katya, Adore, Alyssa, Alaska, and Ginger compete. Kinda meh on Coco, but SUPER stoked to see her lipsync, if she gets the chance, because that is one area where she excels. Roxxxy and Detox? Double meh and triple meh, respectively. (Never saw Phi Phi and Tatianna's seasons, so I have no preconceived notions there.)

Talent show reactions:
  • Adore: unsurprisingly, loved it. LURVED it. LORVED it.
  • Alyssa has REALLY upped her game since her season aired. Much more confidence and polish. I remember her being the unknowing butt of the joke on more than one occasion, but she's taking it all in stride now. That was a fun little bit.
  • I really don't know why, but I just find myself yawning through every.thing.detox.does. Twerking and writhing on the stage with neon paint? ok whatevs. meh, muh, muhhhhhrrrrrr. mugh.
  • I wanted to like Coco's thing, I really did, but I just didn't get what she was shooting for. Over mah head.
  • Totally love Ginger Minj, but having seen fireworks from her in the past, that stage performance wasn't as exciting as I'd hoped. Another data point: my 4-month-old daughter appeared to love her song. Lots of happy squeals.
  • I don't think Phi Phi's singing was an unmitigated disaster. Not unmitigated. Definitely a disaster, though. (Then again, my daughter squealed again. Maybe she just likes singing.)
  • OK, I MAY VERY WELL BE A ROXXXY CONVERT. That was fucking fabulous.
  • I really like Alaska (especially without Rolaskatox), and I think the main reason I wasn't that hot on her during her own season was because I was so pro-Jinkx. She is just pure fun. Totally delightful to watch.
  • Fucking spoken word? What, Tatianna? No. No. Not even in jest. What the fuck is this? Stop. STAHHHHP. (OK, but the last few moments did make me laugh. Damn it.)
I completely understand how Roxxxy and Alaska got into the top 3 of this challenge. A little baffled by Tatianna, but I'm not mad at the judges for their choice. I'm totally not down for Adore being on the bottom, though! (The baby was vocalizing loudly and expressively, especially throughout Roxxxy and Tatianna's deliberations, so clearly she had opinions.)

Lipsync: Roxxxy by a mile. She was amazing. Tatianna, flapping your arms around faster and furiouser does not make for better dancing.

POSTSCRIPT: Guys, remember Pearl? Just... I'm really glad she's not here.
posted by duffell at 6:26 PM on August 26, 2016

Tatianna, flapping your arms around faster and furiouser does not make for better dancing.

The room I was in was more predisposed to like her than Roxxxy, but we all agreed that you really have to read/embody the energy of the song to win the lip sync... and "Shake It Off" is not sexy. Much like how I disliked Pearl, but I have to concede that she was able to channel Debbie Harry's icy cool when it counted.
posted by psoas at 9:47 PM on August 26, 2016

At the risk of overusing a slightly appropriated term, "YAAAAAAAAAASSSSS!" I am so here for All Stars 2. I am excited. I can't think of another set of all-stars I would have wanted, and I'm especially excited to see Tatianna, as someone who was really pulling for her in her season.

I love the "lip-sync for your legacy," because these ladies really need the money, so it makes returning worthwhile for everyone. (A much better twist than All Stars 1 "teams.") I'm only sorry that Pandora Boxx couldn't come back for this one.

Overall, I think Coco was the right choice to go. Her library reading was sad, and her performance was mystifying, especially for someone we know can turn it out. If she had only lipsynced--which is her great talent--she'd still be here.

I also agree with the top: Roxxxy Andrews is apparently a powerhouse when she's not hating Jinkx Monsoon all the time, and Tatianna came through with the power of surprise. When you hear "drag spoken word," you think "disaster," but she made it work, and then she made it funny. Where I disagree greatly is with Adore. I thought her singing was fantastic, I thought her song was great, and I thought this was a talent show--meaning talent first, drag-style second (not that I thought Adore looked bad, I loved her purple hair). Michelle was just being unnecessarily harsh out of the gate. I mean, she warned us, but warning that a bear attack is imminent does not make that bite hurt any less. Also, I thought Raven-Symoné was just unnecessary. (Symon-yay? Wha...? More like Symon-BOO.) She had a lot to say about talent and style for a person with neither. Sorry. Sorry. I like a fun guest judge who brings more positive than negative to the proceedings, even when being critical.

So! The double-twist of the queens eliminating themselves: Do I believe that people are going to stick to merit after Week 3? NO. Especially with 4 girls (now 3) from the same season. Tatianna may have sounded cold to some people, but I think she was smart, especially since she's going to have to get by more on alliances than faith in her competitors' better angels.

In the weeks to come, I'm as concerned about Adore's emotional well-being as who wins what challenges. I hope she either starts cleaning up or gets out before I have to see her cry again. Her hurt really broke my heart.

Oh! And I'm very curious about this revenge thing, and a little afraid, because Coco is definitely the one to go to the jugular... did you see her scary eyes? I saw them.
posted by CatastropheWaitress at 7:22 AM on August 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

I too loved Adore's song and didn't think she should have been in the bottom. I hope she has a much better showing next week!
posted by SisterHavana at 3:26 PM on August 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

I follow the Reddit sub for RPDR and there have been some leaked spoilers - no way of knowing if they are true or not but they did have Coco going home first, so I guess we shall see!

Great first episode, really feels like the old days before everyone was a look queen. The talent show was a great idea, and one I wouldn't be mad at them for doing every season.

If they'd had the talent show previously they might have had Ivy Winters doing her knife throwIng or Violet doing her aerial silks. Much more exciting than a fashion show and lets the quirky girls shine.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 12:44 PM on August 28, 2016 [4 favorites]

I don't remember Roxxy Andrews much from her season. I know she made the top 3, but enjoyed Jinkx and Alaska more. She got the villain edit that season, didn't she? No matter. She definitely deserved that win.

Adore, I think, is going to get the Pandora Boxx treatment in that she'll never be able to please the judges. Michelle was critical of her in season 6 too, but Adore had enough personality to push on. I don't know if that will work now when the competition is stronger.

Alyssa has been great in her WoW videos, so I was not surprised that she's better now than in season 5. Now that I think about it, her videos started pretty soon after that season ended, so the producers knew it too.

Tatianna is the most interesting contestant for me because of how long its been since her season. Her performance was out of left field but showed that she won't just rely on her sexy body this time.

Finally, there is a $10,000 per episode prize, and the producers were able to license Taylor Swift? Logo finally gave this show a real budget!
posted by riruro at 9:34 PM on August 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

God I fucking loved this. A few bullet points:
  • fuck yes reading challenge right out of the gate; the pace in general is great this season and based on the previews from next week it's only going to continue (being vague as to not spoil)
  • one of the things I'm actually the most pumped about is the workroom banter; IMHO S5 was the best season for that (largely bc of Alaska, Detox, and Alyssa) and this looks like it'll be even better with the addition of ppl like Katya, Adore, Ginger, et al
  • Alyssa: the freaking puppet, even just calling it "variety" to begin with -- so Alyssa.
  • Detox and Katya's talking heads are everything, just as I expected; I died at "I'm here to prove I've turned into a total fucking monster" and at Detox's mostly wordless reactions to the other queens' performances (the fucking lighter, ahaha)
  • Alaska is "doing Alaska" really hard right now; I know she's really playing to win this time around, but I'm hoping she'll loosen up with it just a smidge. Right now she felt a little distant and of course part of the fun with her is watching her interact with everyone else. Her bonus reads online were deadly, though.
  • Roxxxy's burlesque was witty and beautiful, totally prepared to come around on her this season
  • Okay so the time has come to talk about how much I love Tatianna. I just find her feisty energy so likable and I feel like she has an interesting, unusual mixture of talents for the show. Her spoken word Sinfest-realness really captured her appeal, in a way: sexy, funny, high-femme yet aggressive, and surprisingly unfiltered. And while Roxxxy may have edged her out in the LSFYL, she turned it there as well; the bar I was in was going nuts for her moves, which have clearly been "leveled up" along with her outfits. So excited to see her again, esp now that she's grown into herself a little more than in S2. Femme-realness queens of future seasons, this is the standard to which you will be judged.
  • Holy shit, Phi Phi learned how to read!
  • Holy shit, Phi Phi did not learn how to sing!
  • *ugly crying* leeeeave Adoooore alloooooone
  • I thought Adore's intro look was amazing; I wish the judges had gotten to see that one because it was fantastically detailed and would have totally put the stupid "Adore is lazy" critique to bed
  • I saw some spoilers on Reddit a while ago and I really wish I hadn't -- yet somehow, the "revenge" twist at the end was not part of them! That was a treat!

posted by en forme de poire at 3:47 AM on August 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

Roxxy is certainly bringing it well this season, but I think her redemption arc is just a little forced in the show. Her burlesque was fine, I guess, but that's kind of her thing? I mean, I always just see her as a discount Channel, because I like juggling, I think. (And I have a HUGE CRUSH on Channel.)

I'm probably the only RPDR fan who doesn't like Adore's singing. She always sounds like what Danny is to me...a former American Idol contestant. Way too wobbly and a really weak voice for what she's singing, and her songs are a little bit...light? Especially for someone who idolizes punk rock. Michelle really ripped into her, though, which I thought was a bit unwarranted.

I loved Tatianna. I loved her in her own season, so I love her now.

Katya and Alaska are always #1 in my heart, so I love seeing them, of course. They didn't do anything spectacular yet, but I have hopes.

PhiPhi, I've grown to love through Instagram and YouTube, so I hope she steps it up a bit.
posted by xingcat at 7:14 AM on August 30, 2016

I like Phi Phi now. I really appreciated the video she made about her time in jail and her 365DoD stuff has been really good. But holy hell was her singing bad, straight up Dunning-Kruger "unconscious incompetence"-style. It's even more crazy after watching her walkthrough with Ru where she says she doesn't want to be like all those queens who have to rely on autotune, even though the single she was performing clearly relies on studio wizardry.
posted by en forme de poire at 4:45 PM on August 30, 2016

(But credit where credit's due, coming for Tatianna with the wristband line was savage, and her delivery was perfect.)
posted by en forme de poire at 4:46 PM on August 30, 2016

I'm so excited for this season!! I was very worried that Phi Phi wouldn't get a chance to really show how she'd changed, so I'm glad she's sticking around. And I'm excited for whatever "lip-syncing for your revenge" is because (as duffell said) Coco slays lip syncs.

Also, does anyone know what happened with Santino? I do really like Todrick Hall (the new judge), at least from his appearance on Ru's podcast. His mother drove him an hour and 45 minutes one-way every day to take dance lessons! I have no idea if he'll be a good judge or not, but he just seems like such a wonderful human being.
posted by joan cusack the second at 8:56 AM on August 31, 2016 [1 favorite]

Santino went kind of batshit crazy. If you check his twitter it's full of rants in all caps (which is not shouting, we're just conditioned to think it's shouting, open your mind sheeple, etc.) and I think it was determined he would be a liability to the brand.

Santino's Bizarre Twitter Adventures
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 9:41 AM on August 31, 2016 [2 favorites]

Huh. That Twitter feed is half standard celebrity milquetoast sentiment, half Dr. Bronner.
posted by duffell at 10:06 AM on August 31, 2016 [4 favorites]

Santino has been on that Dr. Bronner tip for a while (warning: shirtless Santino, mason jars, a juice that contains both pineapple and raw garlic and is billed as a "Flu Shot").
posted by en forme de poire at 12:23 PM on August 31, 2016 [1 favorite]

Santino has been on that Dr. Bronner tip for a while

Holy moly, if you had told me 10 years ago that Santino would have gone from Project Runway villain to "judge on a reality show about drag (and it's really good!)" to, uh, Jim Norton cosplay (I guess?), I would've stared uncomprehendingly and backed away slowly. But this. THIS. Yikes.
posted by psoas at 3:24 PM on August 31, 2016 [3 favorites]

The only question that matters is: What happened to Andre?
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 12:51 PM on September 1, 2016 [4 favorites]

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