Shantay to slay: Week 1 of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars’ bring new rules, snatched wigs

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The COVID-19 pandemic may have halted the release of a variety of shows, but it certainly hasn’t postponed sickening new “RuPaul’s Drag Race” content. Only one week after the season 11 finale of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” fans were elated to see that the fifth season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” was about to make “herstory.” 

“All Stars 5” comes back with 10 of the most iconic faces in drag: Shea Couleé (season nine), Miz Cracker (season 10), Alexis Mateo (season three, “All Stars 1”), Blair St. Clair (season 10), Mariah Balenciaga (season three), India Ferrah (season three), Jujubee (season two, “All Stars 1”), Derrick Barry (season eight), Mayhem Miller (season 10) and Ongina (season one). 

The queens come in looking snatched and ready to slay, but tensions grow during their mini reading challenge. Some do better than others — Ongina struggles so much “the crickets aren’t even laughing.” This quick introduction is lighthearted and fun, but Derrick and India’s underlying drama drags down the challenge’s vibe. Guest judge Ricky Martin ultimately declares  Blair and Jujubee the winners, granting them each a $2,000 prize. 

As each queen focuses on beating their faces and preparing to serve in the Werq the World talent show, the tea between India and Derrick is piping hot in the Werk Room. Bringing back their long Las Vegas history, India calls out Derrick for drama at home, but Derrick comes back with fighting words, claiming India had called her boyfriend “a pig in a wig.” The feud simmers as Derrick tells India she doesn’t “f with two-faced people,” leaving the rest of the fight for the main stage. 

The performances come out with top-notch flavor and realness. Most notably, Shea stuns with her pole-dancing technique, Miz death drops for the gods and India serves a sharp, high energy number complete with one of the most enthusiastic somersaults that’s ever hit the main stage. 

Though the queens feel ready to face the judges, Ru shocks everyone with a major twist to the competition. Unlike past seasons, this season will only have one winner each challenge who will have to face a mystery lip-sync assassin and lip-sync for their legacy. If the lip-sync assassin wins the battle, the group of queens will get to decide who goes home out of the judge’s bottom queens. However, if the winner of the challenge wins the lip-sync battle, they must solely choose which of the bottom queens must go home. Confusing enough? It’s a “Ru-macrocy” this season! 

The judges declare Shea, Jujubee, Blair and Mariah safe from elimination. Though Derrick may have come serving major Britney Spears realness, her impressions of Cher and Joan Rivers flopped majorly, making her one of the bottom two. The other bottom spot goes to Mayhem, who had a powerful entrance but didn’t fully enunciate during her song, making the entire performance difficult to understand. India is crowned the winner of the challenge, leaving Mayhem and Derrick scrambling to plead their cases to her and the rest of the queens back in the Werk Room before they all vote for who must go home. 

As India prepares to lip-sync for her legacy, the lip-sync assassin is revealed to be none other than the season 11 winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Yvie Oddly. India tries to win over the judges, but she’s no match for Yvie’s flexibility and major energy. Because of this, Yvie reveals the group’s pick to get the chop — Derrick. 

Despite her goal to show more of herself on “All Stars,” Derrick leaves having only shown her Britney side, sashaying away as the first queen eliminated from the competition. 

Sarah Runyan covers television. Contact her at [email protected].