RuPaul’s All-Star Drag Race – Episode 1

One Sentence Summary:  The best of the almost-wons are back and ready to battle for the all-star crown.

The fiercest of them all.

My Thoughts:

Rachel:  So, I have yet to cover RuPaul’s Drag Race though I love watching.  I wasn’t – and still am not – confident I could do these ladies justice, but dammit, I’m gonna try.  Besides this group of all-stars has all the makings for some seriously fabulous moments which would be the perfect accompaniment to a glass – or ten – of wine.  Personally, I could just watch an hour of Latrice Royale alone.  She can look a fright, but she never fails to entertain.  Plus, they’re also bringing back my vote for last season’s winner, Chad Michaels.  Now don’t get me wrong, I also loved me some fellow Pittsburgher Sharon Needles, but there was just something about Chad Michaels that spoke (lip synched?) to me.  But I’m going into this season open-minded and ready to re-meet them all.  I am going to try and do Ru and the crew proud.  I look forward to your feedback as well.  Keep me on my toes.  I’m open to thoughts, ideas and feelings.  I’m also open to getting a little education along the way.  With that said, let’s welcome back the party…

Pandora BoxxPandora Boxx – Season 2, Top 5

Well, I’m loving the black & white dress.  It’s fabulous.  However, you always have to worry when someone on a reality TV show says that they are back with a big bag full of self-confidence because it usually means they’re about to become self-righteous loud mouths.  Look, it’s how the Housewives work, so I’m not so sure it won’t happen here as well.  But let’s give the girl a chance.

Latrice RoyaleLatrice Royale – Season 4, Top 4

I’ve already given my two cents on Latrice.  Love.  Love.  Love.  And she’s right when she says that if you’ve already got two Miss Congeniality winners in the room, that must mean some bitches are waiting in the wings.  You can’t possibly do a Drag Race and not have any drama starters.  Anywho, I hope Latrice hangs around for a while because she really does make me giggle and even guffaw, though I only do that in private.

Yara SofiaYara Sofia – Season 3, Top 4

Oh boy, here comes another Miss Congeniality.  Hmm… Starting us off with the friendly and kind-hearted.  Well, at least things are never boring with Yara around.  And who can forget the total meltdown Lip Synch For Your Life that got her eliminated?  Drama of the highest order!  And that is why we watch.  Now that she’s living in America, let’s see if she can make her second dream come true and win this thing.

ShannelShannel – Season 1, Top 4

I will admit that I was not a loyal watcher during Season 1 {{ head hung in shame }}, so my feelings about Shannel are really based on what I’m seeing now… and I’m a little bit skerred with that Cruella DeVille does Vegas outfit.  That’s a whole lot of a whole lot.  I do know she tried to quit the night she was eliminated so we’ll see if she’s ready to stick it out this time.  Can you handle the heat second time around Shannel?

RavenRaven – Season 2, Top 2

Our first runner-up to make an appearance.  While Raven certainly had her moments of pure bitchiness, I kinda found her to be rather fun to watch.  The Paris Hilton imitation needs to happen again.  That’s for sure.  Well, I have no doubt we have our first real pot stirrer in the house.  Here’s hoping at least.

 

Alexis MateoAlexis Mateo – Season 3, Top 3

Bam! She’s back.  It’s the other half of Yara Sofia’s lip synch breakdown.  I do like me some Alexis Mateo.  Not sure how I feel about that outfit… but let’s be honest, I’m just pissy because all these “ladies” have better bodies than I do.  I’d about kill for their legs alone.  Bitches.  That being said, you can’t be mad… Wait, yes I can.

Chad Michaels – Season 4, Top 3

There’s my girl!  The senior member of the tribe is back and looking fabulous.  Yara thinks she’s bitter over losing to Sharon Needles, but I think she’s just bringing it from the first moment.  Then again, I’m biased.  Go Chad Michaels!  I can’t wait to see what she brings this season because she is playing to win, no doubt.

Manila LuzonManila Luzon – Season 3, Top 2

One of the Heathers is back and sporting the real serious Cruella DeVille outfit.  Gotta give props for the headpiece.  That’s genius.  Alexis is annoyed from the moment she walks… sorry, sashays into the room.  I just want to know who will be deemed Heather-worthy this season.  Should be a top notch clique.

Mimi ImfurstMimi Imfurst – Season 3, Top 11

Ah Mimi, the queen who was eliminated for picking up another queen and carrying her on stage against her will.  I hope the other girls brought their shoulder pads and helmets.  She says she won’t make drag a contact sport again, but that remains to be seen.  She’s excited to be back and that makes one of them.  The other ladies figure she’s here to be the first sent home.  Oh, be careful, ladies.  Reality judges are cruel mistresses.

Nina FlowersNina Flowers – Season 1, Top 2

Again, wasn’t all up on Season 1 so I’m just going to start with the initial impression which is that those eyes are freaking me out.  I like the funky factor but not a fan of the Marilyn Manson contacts.  However, I’m intrigued… Oh yes, I am.

 

JujubeeJujubee – Season 2, Top 3

Our little hilarious “gaysian” is back!  I guess she didn’t get the memo to show up in her finest drag attire.  She says she looks like she works in the mall, and well, I can’t argue.  Though I will say the red hair is working for her.  You would think after being eliminated for not having what Ru thinks is enough fashion power to make a statement in the drag community that you’d step it up a notch.  Well, maybe she’s waiting to make her splash… Just don’t wait too long, girl.

Tammie BrownTammie Brown – Season 1, Top 8

Oh Tammie, we hardly knew ye… Actually I don’t know ye at all.  But it sounds like your first attempt at the Drag Race didn’t go so well, being eliminated in the second episode when you chose not to lip synch for your life.  But Jujuebee says that Tammie makes her queef.  So, there’s that.  I had no idea I would need to do my kegel exercises to watch this show.  Better get started…

So there are our Top 12 queens of Drag Race almost-wons and I don’t really hate anyone… yet.  I’m sure that will change quickly.  But right now, it’s time for our first She Mail.  Ru lets them know that they may think they know how to play this game, but they don’t know the half of it.  And with that, we have Ru live & in person.  He tells the ladies that the winner will not only go into the Hall of Fame, but will also win a ton (official amount) of Mac cosmetics, a trip from AlandChuck.Travel and a cash prize of $100,000.  Damn, maybe I should try a little Victor Victoria action and get myself on the show.  Oh right, there’s that little problem of not having any talent.  Anywho, Ru also tells the ladies that this season is all about “synergy” which leaves half of them wondering if that’s some kind of new tucking technique.  It’s not.  What it is is an announcement that they will be working in teams this season.  This is not a crowd pleaser to say the least.  Doesn’t get any better when the added twist is announced that if one fails they both go home.  Say what?  Is this season only 4 weeks long?  Mmm… I don’t love this.

And here comes the box… In the giant box is not Shangela which is happy news to Latrice.  Nope, in the box are pictures of the other queens.  Each contestant will pick the picture of the queen they most want to have as their partner.  Make a match and, condragulations, you’re a team.  If not, start again.  Ruh roh, this is could get ugly.

First round… We have a match!  Raven & Jujubee are our first happy couple.

Smile, bitch, or I’ll body slam you too.

Chad Michaels & Shannel also are a match.  Oh and there’s a third match as well!  This is going better than I thought.  Team 3 is Nina Flowers & Tammie Brown.  That leaves 6 queens still flapping in the wind alone.  One being my girl, Latrice. Round 2 brings together Manila Luzon & Latrice Royale and Yara Sofia & Alexis Mateo.  That leaves Mimi Imfurst & Pandora Boxx as a team, and Miss Boxx visibly pissed off.  Come on, can’t we all get along?  After an Absolut toast, the girls are left to absorb what just went down.

As the queens start to unpack, Latrice goes to check on Pandora who is still moping around like she just lost her favorite set of eyelashes.  Mimi wants to know if the sad clown routine is because she’s stuck with her or because she feels guilty for not choosing her.  Latrice wonders if it’s because she feels like she was picked last for the team.  Well, we’re left to assume that it’s the latter since the whole coquettish routine of shoulder shrugging isn’t really answering any questions.  Whatever the reason, she had better get over herself and get on her teammate’s good side before they both get sent home.

Time for the first challenge, which will be a high-fashion shoot.  The first photo will be “Half-Baked” and feature the ladies mid-transformation.  The second will be “Opposites Attract” which will be a wet & wild photo showing why their team is dynamically different.  Oh, and they will be doing each others make-up.  This is going to be interesting.

As the queens are getting their make-up done, Ru wants to know what they have planned for their photo shoots.  Chad Michaels & Shannel (Team Shad) are confident in their Uptown/Downtown idea.  Ru wonders if their 14 years of friendship might mean they know each other too well.  They’re not concerned.  On the other end of the spectrum is Pandora & Mimi (Team  Mandora).  Pandora is still huffy about her pairing and getting giant lips painted on her mug by her partner isn’t helping lift her spirits.  Ru senses some tension.  I’m sensing just straight up bitchosity from Pandora.  Mimi gets props for not bitch slapping her already.  Over at Jujubee and Raven’s (Team Rujubee) work station they are feeling good about their first look – Half Baked.  I’m feeling flush from those shorts Raven is wearing.  Did you have to get waxed before you put those on?  They are seriously about an inch away from TMI.  Oh I’m sorry, this is not the TMI portion of events.  Seems our Raven is going to pose nude.  Sorry, got ahead of myself.  Wax on… Manila & Latrice (Team Latrila) are having a good time together, but feel limited by their wardrobes.  Ru says keep it fierce.

Time to get these photos shot with photographer Brandon Showers.  Is that his

I’m a little bit country. I’m a little bit rock ‘n roll.

real name?  Up first, Team Brown Flowers.  They opt out of using any props that have been provided to them and get a lot of semi-interested “greats” from Brandon.  Team Shad is up next and they decide to use an antique camera in their shots.  They get more half-assed “greats” with a few “Can we get this over with” side glances from our lovely photographer.  Did no one tell him what his assignment was today?  He seems annoyed by the fact that he’s actually having to take pictures.  I mean that’s why you have the camera in your hand, no?  Team Rujubee comes next and gets pretty much the same enthusiastic response.  Team Mandora is up.  This ought to be interesting between Pandora’s bad attitude and the photographer’s lack of energy.  However, they do manage to elicit a request for more interaction between the two of them from Brandon, which is either a really good thing or a really bad thing being that this is the biggest reaction we’ve seen yet from Mr. Showers.  Team Yarlexis is up and, holy shit, they got Brandon to smile!  I guess the craft services table finally found their supply of Red Bull.  And finally Team Latrila is with us and our boy Brandon is in full effect.  He not only gives them feedback, but also direction!  It’s a Halloween miracle!

Time for the editorial fashion shoot.  This time Ru is on-set to give some much needed energy to the shoot.  His first set of lovelies is Team Brown Flowers and they are the first to make it rain.  Yep black rain is falling on the queens as they pose for their lives.  Tammie loses her wig but doesn’t let that stop her from giving it her all.  The girls are told they get to pick the photo they like, but there isn’t a lot of love coming from the team.  We will have to wait and see what they choose because it’s time for Team Shad and their Uptown/Downtown girl shoot.  They have a much more positive response to their photos.  I like this team… but of course I do.  Oh boy, it’s Team Rujubee and the Raven nakedness.  Clearly the powers-that-be wanted to get that scene over with quickly before they had their own Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction to contend with because we got a whole 30 seconds with them.  Team Mandora – aka hooker vs housewife – show up and finally seem to be in harmony.  I wonder how long that will last.  Team Yarlexis  flipflop their personalities of pageant queen and goth girl… and yet still look like themselves.  Team Latrila brings the trashy v classy to the black rain.  And that, my friends, concludes the photo shoot portion of events.

Another day begins and it’s time to make their costumes for the first elimination.  All the good vibes that Pandora was feeling at the photo shoot seem to have gone flying out the window like a wig in a convertible on a windy day.  Woo child, you are exhausting me.  Mimi approaches her about her reservations and is far more kind than I would have been.  Pandora says she is hesitant because of Mimi’s exit on her season.  Mimi gets it, but also thinks Pandora needs to get over.  Agreed.  Meanwhile, Tammie Brown is having her own party on Planet 15 which is apparently where she’s from.  I’m not really going to argue that because it very well could be true.  I wonder if it’s anywhere near where Xenu is from.  I guess we’d have to ask Tom Cruise.  Mimi declares him Ru-tarded.  Cheers to that.

Time for elimination and a reintroduction to our panel of judges. Michelle Visage is back.  So is Santino Rice.  Guest judging this week are Ross Matthews (love!) and Rachel Hunter.  She still looks fabulous… bitch.  Team Yarlexis is up first and they look pretty gorge.  Team Latrila are drag Teletubbies.  Hilarioius.  Team Mandora rocks some serious brightness in turquoise and neon green boas.  I’m not quite understanding that call.  Rujubee rock the burlesque and look amazing.  Madonna take a note.  Team Brown Flowers go goth in black gowns.  Team Shad is all drama all the time with some cray cray over-the-top costumes.  Loving it.  Birds of a Feather is what they say but I think they’re Birds of Paradise.  OK, that was cheesy.  Sorry.

Ru calls forth Rujubee and Latrila as the best of the week.  Rujubee’s Half Baked photo is amazing and the nakedness got points for, um, ballsiness.  Latrila’s photos were riveting (yes, they used a drill as a prop) and their high-fashion photo was dripping with opulence, which makes them the winners of Week 1.  With the win they both will receive gowns from sequinqueen.com.  OK, I gotta check that site

Baring their souls… and goods.

out immediately at the end of this show.  There’s got to be a whole lot of amazing happening there.

As for our remaining four teams… Santino says the flip-flop idea of Team Yarlexis just didn’t work.  Ross wishes Team Mandora would have found the light in the photos so their faces had really popped.  Their runway costumes are a fail.  Rachel loves Team Brown Flowers Half Baked photo.  Their editorial photo is a win for Tammie but Santonio says Nina just got lost in all the black.  Team Shad’s on-stage costumes are a big hit but the judges aren’t wowed by their Half Baked photo.  Their editorial photo didn’t get much better reviews.  They’re better than their outfits, the idea and the poses.

Time for the good news and the bad news.  Team Brown Flowers is safe.  Team Mandora is not as lucky.  They are in the bottom two.  Team Shad joins them in the bottom two leaving Team Yarlexis safe.  Wait, what?   Oh hell no.  Chad Michaels is not going home tonight if I have anything to say about it.  Wait, what’s that?  I have nothing to say about it?  Well, alrighty then.  Carry on.  Mimi Imfurst and Chad Michaels are going to be the ladies to Lip Synch For Their Team Life.  Their partners do get one chance to tag their partner out and finish the lip synch if they feel like it’s not going well.  However, they can only use it once…. the entire season.

This stage is only big enough for one queen.

And tonight, they have to bring a little something special to Paula Abdul’s “Opposites Attract”.  Too bad they couldn’t have thrown a little MC Skat Kat in there for an extra special good time.  The ladies give it their best with Mimi stripping off the muppet dress to show off her LBD.  Not sure it was enough to make up for the awkward choreography and air guitar she brought to the stage.   Chad Michaels wasn’t all that into Mimi’s showboating either being that she gave ol’ Mimi a little shove at the end when the cramping of her style had become too much.  Oh boy, another “contact” lip synch for Mimi Imfurst.  Is Ru going to let that slide?  I sure hope so because I’m not ready to let Team Shad go.  And neither is Ru.  Whew.

That means Team Mandora will sashay away first.  Mimi has enough class  to thank the judges.  Pandora, on the other hand, has nothing to say other than she would have won on her own.  Yeah, you’re on my last nerve lady.  Not sad to see you go.  I think you brought Mimi down, quite frankly.  And if her lip synch was so bad, why didn’t you tag her out?  Oh right, because then you’d have no one to blame the loss on.

Bottom Line: Well, my DVR didn’t feel it necessary to record the Untucked portion of events where it looks like the real drama went down.  Dammit.  Well, I’m sorry to see two of our queens go already – Ok really only one.  I wanted to punch Pandora in her Boxx – but I’m glad to see that my faves are still left.

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