Last week's episode of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars focused on yet another disturbingly dull group acting challenge centered around American Horror Story: Coven. Kylie Sonique Love brought home the win for both the challenge and the lip-sync, using her lone vote to send A'keria home. The show picked up with the queens entering the workroom immediately following the elimination. After counting the votes, it was clear that the decision to send "The Body" home was unanimous, with the singular vote for Ra'Jah coming from A'keria herself. Following the breakdown of the votes, Jan astutely pointed out that Eureka and Pandora are the only queens who haven't won the main challenge yet. Surprisingly, the production gave Pandora more than a fleeting moment of airtime and actually played some of her talk-head interviews. In the first episodes of this season, she was little more than an afterthought which lends to the idea that she is not receiving a winner's edit.
The next day, Ru assigned informed the queens that for their maxi-challenge, they would need to write lyrics for the next big drag anthem called "Show Up Queen." The group is told they need to focus their lyrics around what they stand for, specifically keeping in mind their own message. As the top queens from last week, Ra'Jah and Kylie were assigned as team captains. In order, Ra'Jah chose Jan, Trinity, and Pandora for her team while Kylie snagged up the incredibly talented Ginger and Eureka.
In their recording sessions, all the queens seemed to be standouts in their own rights. However, and on par with the production's treatment of Jan this entire season, the New York singer is the only girl to receive a shady edit along with an even shadier commentary of Eureka; hinting specifically that perhaps Jan didn't understand the purpose of the challenge after singing about self-love.
During the choreography rehearsal, Pandora was highlighted as the queen who struggled the most. Ginger did gently suggest Ra'Jah take extra time to coach Pandora through the steps, but the feedback was poorly received. In comparison, it seemed Team Kylie struggled by the age-old issue of simply having too many cooks in the kitchen. The queens agreed as they prepared for the runway that they weren't completely sure who would go home next, specifically taking care to compare the track records of everyone who was left.
And as far as the runway went, Ru walked onto the stage in a strikingly beautiful Zaldy dress to honor the man himself, who was the guest judge of the night. Along with Carson Kressley and Michelle Visage, the judges were treated to a high-energy performance by the remaining queens. The most notable standouts of the challenge were definitely Trinity, with her fast and smart lyrics mentioning her positive HIV status and unfortunately, Pandora for completely different reasons. It seemed like the normally creative queen struggled to bring energy into her performance, and her dance moves came off more tired than anything. Aesthetically, Kylie once again was the standout of the night in a striking yellow with and full-bodied pattern skirt akin to what a saloon girl would wear in the wild west (we must know if Ra'Jah was wearing the same purple crinkle-wig that caused so much drama between her and Ariel Versace on season 11).
Jan opened the show both in the maxi challenge and the "Hot Tropics" themed runway. Pandora, wearing a classic silhouette and Old Hollywood wig look especially striking but the hardest act to follow was Ra'Jah O'Hara. Her blonde wig paired with a simple but incredibly styled bikini. She not only read as beauty and grace but also met the runway theme well; representing the fun, beautiful, free, and fish.
Following the critiques, Jan (of course) and Pandora were put at the bottom. Jan mostly gained feedback there her lyrics weren't deep enough and Pandora just didn't bring the energy necessary to make her stand out in a positive way. Trinity rightfully took home the win for the week, having the most inspirational lyrics and an over-the-top performance with her choreography. Breaking down the track record between the queens, Jan has been in the bottom the most but also has a challenge win on her side. Pandora on the other hand has been performing just middle of the road but has yet to win an accolade in the competition.
On par with Drag Race All Stars rules, neither drag queen will be able to fight for their fate. Instead, challenge winner Trinity picked her own elimination choice while lip-sync assassin, Alexis Mateo, represented the queen who the rest of the group voted to go home. Both seemed to be equally matched in their dance skills, but Trinity's wig loss mid-performance sealed the deal and edged her out against a properly glued Miss Mateo.
In a shocking twist, Alexis revealed not one but two lipsticks which reflected that the group vote actually resulted in a tie. 50% wanted to send Pandora home and the other half picked Jan. In order to break the tie, Ru resorted to Trinity's lipstick to settle the score- and when the dust settled, Jan was the queen to go home.
Just before going home, however, Jan (and viewers) were interrupted by Ru who once again mentioned the game within a game. What this means for the competition has yet to come to fruition, but luckily production still had more chances with trying to make poor Jan go insane. Don't let it get you down too hard. Next week's Drag Race All Stars is "Snatch Game", where we separate the Queens from just being a drag.
Bleeding Cool TV on Instagram: For all of the stuff too random and bizarre to make the site, make sure to follow us on Instagram (with an official launch on June 19): Bleeding Cool TV (@bleedingcooltv).
BCTV Daily Dispatch: For a look at what's going on across the television and streaming landscape, sign up for Bleeding Cool's daily email round-up of the news you need to know here.