RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race: All Stars Supergroup
October 15, 2016 11:44 AM - Season 2, Episode 8 - Subscribe

The final four face off, first writing a rap verse and then performing to RuPaul's new single, "Read U Wrote U." One is dropped, and the final three lip sync for their legacies, tell Ru why they deserve to be crowned the new All Stars Queen, and then there can be only one.
posted by filthy light thief (9 comments total)
#TeamKatya until the end. I mis-read A.V. Club's write-up as Drag Race All Stars closes out a fantastic season without a satisfying crowning.

My wife had read the headline Drag Race Winner Alaska Advocates for Equal Pay in New Video: 'No Seriously, What the Fuck?' on Jezebel's The Muse before we saw the episode, so it was spoiled for us, which might have been for the best. Alaska came off less spirited and impressive for us than Katya, plus the return of RoLaskaTox, not that we thought Alyssa would have been the winner.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:52 AM on October 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

Would've been fun to see a Katya upset, but, even though Alaska's obvious winner-edit has made this season a bit of a yawn, Alaska did deliver on a lot of the challenges (not as many as she actually won, mind you).

This Total Rucall clip sums up the season: "Shirtless men, pig masks, animal masks, astroturf, took too long, edited down, golf in, advertisers, tug-of-war between respectability and compromise, selling out, underwear, Andrew Christian, blah blah blah, who cares, Alaska won."

But really though, boring-ness of Alaska's inevitable win aside: this season was chock full of goodies. THE SAME PARTS. That Tati/Alyssa lip sync still gives me life. The Rolaskatox stuff was boring (and Roxxxy stuck around for way too long), but the twist got compelling once the queens stopped playing nice. Really fun to see Katya come into her own, and also so much fun with Alyssa.

CAN YOU IMAGINE if, as I'm hoping the producers imagined, Alyssa and Adore had been in the top four (along with, say, Alaska and Katya)? That all-rap-all-dance challenge was 👏 made 👏 for 👏 them!
posted by Zephyrial at 1:54 PM on October 15, 2016 [6 favorites]

I was cheering for Alaska from the beginning, but I appreciate that this season made me want to see more of ALL the queens, which is pretty unusual. I especially feel that way about Katya and Tatianna since I hadn't seen their seasons. Detox and Alyssa made much more of a positive impression this time around, too.

I hope someone around Roxxxy talks to her about the way she puts herself down before anyone gets a chance to. Both her song and her speech were all about the things she did poorly on. Jeez, girl, give everyone the opportunity to remember your runway energy, your celebration of curves, and the powerful loyalty you inspire in your friends. Listening to her words, you'd think she lost every challenge.
posted by tchemgrrl at 9:35 AM on October 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Alaska' win was anti-climatic because it was apparent early on that RuPaul favored her. The hope Katya fans held onto made this a mini version of the Democrat primary. It doesn't matter how much enthusiasm you have for your quirky little Communist kids, the contest was rigged from the beginning. You think it will matter that the winner broke the rules? Oh dear, I can only feel sorry for how naive you are.

I mean, I think Alaska was worthy of winning. But I wish the producers didn't kneecap Katya over and over to get there. The WoW producers tried to sell Alaska as having Bianca or Bob level dominance over the competition, but there were too many cracks in the editing to believe that completely. Hire Mark Burnett or Andy Cohen if you want to do that.

Regardless, this was an entertaining episode, though rushed. LOL at RuPaul throwing shade at PhiPhi in the podcast scenes. And LOL at Ru wanting us to think she does her podcast in full drag.
posted by riruro at 12:11 PM on October 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

I felt like Ru probably didn't have to eliminate Roxxxy before the final lipsync. Let her feel her oats, we all know she ain't winning.

I was rooting for Katya but to be honest, she'll probably come out just fine as a runner-up, and not having eliminated anyone mans she doesn't get quite the backlash that Alaska got from the fanbase.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 12:42 PM on October 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeah, the Alaska backlash is intense. It's unfortunate because I think she did ultimately deserve the win, certainly as much as Katya would have. But Alaska was the obvious teacher's pet, and then also didn't deliver any of the likable wittiness and vulnerability she was known for on S5 to balance out her more neurotic side. That ended up undermining her, and culminating in one of the fucking weirdest winner's edits ever on RPDR. I think Alaska was focused on "the game" to the exclusion of the off-season, whereas, e.g., Katya and Detox were playing both (and Roxxxy was mostly playing the off-season).

I was completely over-analyzing about what caused the difference between S5 Alaska and AS2 Alaska, and because of course I've never even met her IRL, the following might totally be fan fiction, but... reading between the lines of some between-season stuff (like the Michelle roast), I think Michelle Visage and Alaska had developed a particular bond on BOTS and that Michelle had played a particular role in helping Alaska get sober and focused. She had also expressed several times that she was really proud of the way Alaska got out of Sharon's shadow (and I think there was also some personal concern about Sharon not being a great influence on Alaska). So I suspect that in AS2, there was supposed to be this narrative, that through the psychospiritual guidance of Michelle and Ru, Alaska would come back having shed (lol sneks) her old self-destructive tendencies, and her tendency to put relationships with others over her own success (an arc on S5, but related to her relationship with Sharon also), being free to completely dominate the competition as a force in her own right. It would also kind of explain why the judges felt so partial to her and why they were pushing her so hard this season: in a way, the new and improved Alaska was kind of their "project."

But I think Alaska came in so deadly determined to prove that she was serious and that she could stand alone -- without Sharon, or the AAA girls, or Rotox -- that she overcompensated, coming across as cold and distant. And not only wanting to please the judges for in-show but also out-of-show reasons, combined with wrapping so much of her new identity as a stand-alone being in her work, left her especially vulnerable to the prospect of that work going sour (being in the bottom 3, realizing she could get a villain edit as HBIC of Rolaskatox v2.0). In contrast, most of the other successful contestants actually kind of loosened up from their seasons, Katya being the obvious exemplar, and I don't think anyone else had such an intense personal connection to the people behind the show -- except maybe Adore! Probably it's a reach to read AS2 as kind of a cautionary tale about having your identity become too enmeshed with your work and your bosses, but I think the producers might have been giving us a little of that towards the end.
posted by en forme de poire at 5:43 PM on October 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

OK all that said, this final supergroup was fan-fucking-tastic. Basically all of the top 3 turned it out -- Roxxxy didn't quite get there, but on a regular season it would have probably been a "safe" performance. (And lol at the "seeing you in the bottom 2" callback.)

Overall, AS2 was pretty different from what I expected. When I saw the cast I was thinking, man, this is S5-heavy but the workroom banter is going to be amazing -- Alaska and Detox's quips were one of the high points of their season, and here we got to also add Katya, Adore, and Tatianna. And then not only did we barely get any workroom footage, the mood was a lot more somber because of the deliberations, plus Adore bounced completely and Alaska's attitude was completely different. But it was still one of the best RPDR seasons: the shift in format, the Ruvenge twist, Nice Roxxxy, Tatianna's spoken word, Phi Phi's meltdown, Detox and Tatianna's talking heads, Alyssa as the Chaotic Good elder stateswoman, and more fucking Katya (and Katya making it to top 3!), etc. I only wish the queens from All Stars 1 had gotten something this good (and that people would stop being jerks to the queens on social media).
posted by en forme de poire at 6:05 PM on October 16, 2016 [3 favorites]

Alaska talks to the A.V. Club! Choice quote:
I wish that the people who spend so much time and energy putting snake emojis on my page—I’m sure they’re young people, and I would like to see them channel their energy into things that actually matter, like Black Lives Matter, like getting women paid an equal wage, like making sure Donald Trump does not get elected.
posted by psoas at 4:32 PM on October 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

Yay, he called me young!

(Just kidding)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:44 AM on October 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

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