Shantay to slay: Grand finale of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars’ is gratifying end to an entertaining fifth season

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Weeks of endlessly envying runway looks and unpacking the random twists of “All Stars 5” have finally brought us to the grand finale! 

Competing for the crown, $100,000 and a spot in the “Drag Race Hall of Fame” are our final three queens — Jujubee, Miz Cracker and Shea Couleé. But they’re not alone in their fight for the crown. In typical “All Stars 5” fashion, we are hit with a final (and thankfully happy) twist: the eliminated queens are back! 

Reuniting in the Werk Room, the queens come back to recount the drama of the season, including the India Ferrah and Derrick Barry feud, the self-eliminations and, of course, the campaigning drama. 

Almost all of this drama centers around India, who apologizes to Derrick and reluctantly defends accusing Alexis Mateo and Mayhem Miller of campaigning against Shea. With Mayhem back, Alexis has someone to defend her and the campaign drama is finally put to an end as Shea apologizes to Alexis for initially jumping to conclusions and believing India. 

With this drama put to rest, it’s time for the main event of the finale. For the final maxi challenge of the season, Shea, Jujubee and Miz must write, record and dance to their own verses in RuPaul’s single “Clap Back.” 

This challenge is just as wonderfully grandiose as it sounds, complete with high production dance numbers choreographed by Todrick Hall and backed up by the eliminated queens from this season. 

Jujubee comes into this week wary of her dance technique, but hungry for a final win in the competition. Her verse is catchy and highlights her stunning vocals, but her choreography is sweet and simple. Jujubee makes everything she does entertaining and full of life, shining onstage as she throws glitter and makes the best of her third time in the final three on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” 

Miz’s verse is very on brand for her, serving ’50s glamour with big dresses, pastel colors and of course, comedy. Miz has come a long way this season, getting out of her head and truly relishing in her time on stage. With her impressive track record this season, it isn’t surprising that she gives an iconic performance that showcases her authenticity and immense talent. 

Now for the most iconic performance of the night … Shea. Shea has truly given 110% this season, continuously surprising us with her jaw-dropping looks, unfaltering enthusiasm and impressive dance technique. Todrick gives Shea the most challenging choreography and she still makes it look effortless, cartwheeling onto dancers’ shoulders and serving intricate handography with ease. Shea truly proves that she wants the crown, leaving it all out on the floor with her standout performance. 

The runway this week gives us “All Star Eleganza,” allowing the eliminated queens a chance to serve a new look on the main stage alongside our top three queens. Jujubee displays one of her best looks this season, glowing like a gorgeous goddess on the main stage. Miz taps into her Russian heritage, coming out in a gorgeous pink gown embellished with pearls and beading. Shea brings another stunning pink gown to the runway inspired by her mother’s prom dress, complete with a ’60s beehive and a large pink bow. 

The final lip-sync of the season, thankfully, has no lip-sync assassin and no voting. Instead, our final three must compete in one last lip-sync against one another for the crown. As “Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monáe plays, the queens serve the most exciting and highly anticipated lip-sync of the season. Shea easily steals the show with high energy and a stunning blue gown, Jujubee brings major enthusiasm with gorgeous floor work and Miz pulls out all the stops with passionate somersaults and pirouettes. 

This season’s race was close and though we would love to have a three-way tie, there can only be one winner. With much anticipation, Ru announces that the winner of “All Stars 5” is …. Shea Couleé! 

Although any of the final three queens would have deserved this win, seeing Shea with a scepter in her hand is incredibly emotional and overwhelmingly gratifying. Shea wholeheartedly deserves the crown given her endless talent, positivity and compassion both in and out of this competition. Having brought innovative and iconic looks and performances to “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Shea rightfully claims her spot in the “Drag Race Hall of Fame” after two seasons of hard work and growth.

And with that comes the end of “All Stars 5”! Though we may be out of content (at least until “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Vegas Revue”), this season has truly given us the positivity and strength to make it through a socially distanced summer. 

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