It's Time For Tea With Friends At The RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Reunion
Look, Ru brought her friend Emmy! Let's have one last visit with these shady ladies.
It's been a long time since we had a proper Drag Race reunion episode, since on the mothership, the reunions have also doubled as crowning ceremonies. But remember how great the reunion was in Season 1, when RuPaul screamed at Shannel for not believing she was fabulous? That's enter-taint-ment, hunty! I'm glad to have this format back.
I Can Read You Without Saying Your Name
First out of the gate is Ms. Ru herself -- or himself, I guess, since he's out of drag for this episode -- reminding us all whose show it is. First, Ru suggests that anyone who doubts his qualifications should talk to his Emmy, and then he hoists that girl aloft for everyone to gag on. And then, in a moment that gives me life forever, he mentions that if anyone feels another girl is being dishonest, she should lift the provided paddle and say, "Bullshit!" As an example -- just a random example! -- he says that if anyone whines, "I blame the edit," his own response would be...
...bullshit! And this is some FIRST CLASS reading, y'all. Because while Ru mentions that one girl has decided not to make the most of her opportunity, he never mentions her by name. Can't be bothered. Won't be stressed. And of course he's talking about Phi Phi, who isn't on this episode, and who trashed Ru and the show all over the place for making her look bad, which: whatever, girl. Then how did Roxxxy come across so well this time? Anyway, I love that Ru dispenses with it all so shadily, yet so powerfully. If you don't name a hooker, then a hooker has no power!
Let's Never Twist Again, Like We Did This Season
First topic: the elimination twist. The girls say the expected stuff about not wanting to hurt each other's feelings, trying to go by the judges' critiques, etc. But what makes discussion great is Alyssa. When she's asked if she feels like Detox broke a pact to go by what the judges thought, Alyssa's like, "There was no pact! Nothing was notarized!" Which means she's cool with it. She remains a champion in my heart.
Coco's Tears. Adore's Tears. h3>
When talk turns to Coco, she has a full-on crying jag about how, just before she entered the competition, she had a serious health scare with her lungs. She didn't want to let anyone know, for fear it would earn her unfair sympathy points, and while the skeptic in me will note that every reunion seems to feature a queen who was secretly battling cancer or whatever, it's still a watchable moment. I'd rather see people be supportive instead of nasty, even if it is a little fake.
So when Coco is asked about her hateful tweets after Roxxxy eliminated her, she gives the party line about how Roxxxy is still her dear friend and sister. Maybe? But if it's a lie, I'll accept it!
Meanwhile, I really do think Adore is telling the truth during her interview, when she cries and says she regrets quitting.
She owns up to letting herself get intimidated by the other girls, and for not preparing mentally to go back into a competition where Michelle -- her homie on the road -- is critiquing her instead.
This gives Ru a chance to remind everyone that they're all glorious and should never doubt themselves, and then teases that he might invite Adore back for All Stars 3. I'd watch that! In a way, it makes sense that Adore would become the Shangela of the All Stars circuit.
Tatianna's Pride. Ginger's Mind.
Tatianna is asked if she thinks Alaska eliminated her fairly, and she's all, "Which time, bitch?" Which is awesome. She says that the first time, she totally understood, but the SECOND time, she felt her T-Boz look and "spilling the tea set" were more than enough to keep her in the game.
I agree, and it seems clear that the fans agreed, too. Alaska says that if she had known how galvanized the viewers would be behind Tatianna, she would've chosen differently. So that's good for Tati! She deserves a boost for bringing it so hard this year.
Then Alaska proves why she's a winner, baby: She says that if anyone thinks she's fake, the only thing fake about her is her leg. And the she PULLS A FAKE LEG FROM UNDER HER DRESS and throws it across the room.
Then we get to Ginger, who says that coming immediately back to the show after filming Season 7 messed with her mind and kept her from doing her best. (Which...Katya didn't seem to have a problem with?)
Ginger also says that Alyssa played dirty by cutting her unfairly, and Alyssa's like, "Bitch, if I was being strategic, I would've packed Katya's ass." BURRRRRN.
All I Ever Wanted. Was Alyssa. And The Mirror.
Alyssa gets a nice long segment to explain that (1) nobody should say she gets a pass for being funny, since everybody has their own drag and (2) she will not apologize for wearing a lot of sparkly shit, because "Coco Chanel says take off two, and Alyssa says put on 22." B'okay?
There's some good-natured ribbing back and forth about who should've been sent home and whether or not Alyssa was a beast on the runway. She declares herself a wilder-beast [sic-ening]. Then we hear that the eliminated queens had to stand behind that two-way mirror for an hour listening to the remaining girls talk shit, and I'm impressed they made it that long. I'd have needed a stool and a pink lemonade to get through it. This is also a chance for EVERYONE to read Phi Phi, which they do with the same cool dismissal Ru demonstrated earlier.
They get a bit more heated, though, when they recount how Phi Phi refused to hug Alyssa after getting eliminated. NOBODY is trying to believe Phi Phi that she didn't hug Alyssa because she didn't want to cry. As Tatianna notes, she hugged everybody else and didn't shed a tear.
Let's Kiki, Y'all
Then we get into some serious tea. Apparently, a lot of these girls have slept with their fans. And apparently, they swap fans around like sex lollipops. Gasp!
Then everyone responds to Alaska's breakdown, with Detox saying some shit was unacceptable.
Katya, though, thinks it was strategic. Alyssa says it was understandably emotional. Alaska cries about it some more and says she was heartbroken that she had a moment of imperfection, because she wanted to be flawless at all times. As someone who once wept because I got a B on an fifth-grade English paper, I feel her.
And then Detox owns up to eliminating Alyssa unfairly, because she couldn't send her friend Roxxxy home. Alyssa seems pretty chill about it, and I respect Detox for owning her mess. For her part, Roxxxy says it was a bittersweet moment because she felt like she didn't deserve to remain on the show.
We close out with Roxxxy getting praise for earning a redemption arc, and Detox getting praise for really getting her head in the game this season. Katya gets love for being confident and sweet.
Alaska gets a round of applause for winning. And you know...it's kind of boring. So you can end the episode right after Roxxxy's "bittersweet" confession, if you ask me.
This reunion is happily light on filler, even if it's also light on screaming. Watch the girls be classy and dignified; then get ready for Season 9!