RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars 5. Episode 5. The re-cap.
Are you up to speed with Episode 5 of AS5? Let’s get into it.
This was Snatch Game – but with the All Stars twist of Snatch Game of Love.
Some fans of the show really love the Snatch Game challenge, and some people feel that the Snatch Game of Love version isn’t as good. Personally, I’m fairly ambivalent about the whole thing. It’s not the worst improv challenge, but it’s very easy to mess this up.
I do like how we’re getting more male characters in the Snatch Game choices. This time around, we had a 50/50 split of male versus female characters.
With six cast members left, there were two sessions of Snatch Game.
- Cracker as Lady Gaga
- Alexis as Walter Mercado
- India as Jeffree Star
- Blair as Ellen Degeneres
- Jujubee as Eartha Kitt
- Shea as Flava Flav
Asking the questions for the first group was Tommy Dorfman. He’s an actor that’s best known for his role in the series 13 Reasons Why. He did a good job on this.
Asking the questions for the second group was Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman. He’s an actor who got his break in the series UnREAL. He’s been on Drag Race a number of times and is one of the hosts of Canada’s Drag Race. He’s good value on this show, although the running gag about sexual tension with RuPaul seems to be entertaining to RuPaul but no one else.
In terms of the performances in the challenge:
- Cracker: The look was good, and Cracker had clearly prepared some lines, but it wasn’t funny. We’ve seen before that Gaga is a tough one to pull off for Snatch Game. It would be a bold move for any queens in the future to decide to try it as their chosen character.
- Alexis: I have no idea who Walter Mercado is or was, but Alexis did a good job in creating a clear character and reacting – in character – to what was happening around her. It wasn’t the funniest thing you’ve ever seen, but given that she was flanked by Cracker and India, Alexis managed to stand out without too much trouble.
- India: I’ve never watched Jeffree Star’s work on YouTube, and there was nothing about India’s performance that would encourage me to do so. India knows she’s not a comedy queen. She knew she was going to have a tough time in this challenge. She’d defeated herself before it even started.
- Blair: She had the look down, but there was nothing funny about Blair’s Ellen. I’m not sure that the real Ellen is particularly funny anymore, so this was always going to be a tough gig.
- Jujubee: Love Jujubee. Love Jujubee’s Eartha Kitt. Given that we’ve already had Eartha Kitt on Snatch Game twice before – as discussed on the episode – it was probably a bit derivative to bring her out again. But it was clearly a character that Jujubee was confident with and she was able to make it all make sense in the context of what was going on.
- Shea: Flava Flav was a bold choice. There’s an obvious link with reality dating shows, but I’ve never really thought of Flava Flav as a camp character. Shea nailed it – it was funny and surprising and it worked.
The theme was Prom Queen Fantasy. I can’t remember having this theme before, but it’s a solid one – the real challenge being who can deliver something that feels a bit fresh or unexpected.
- Miz Cracker: Going the comedy angle was a smart move. She was a pretty girl with acne. It was a character that was instantly recognisable. The dress was cute, but secondary to the character.
- Alexis Matteo: This was a solid look from Alexis. The classic quinceañera was on brand and perfectly executed.
- India Ferrah: This was an impressive look, but I didn’t really get ‘prom’ from it. It was dark and gothic and sexy, but I’m not sure that it sufficiently referenced the brief in order for it to be successful in this category.
- Blair St Clair: This was great work from Blair – a gender-fuck prom king/queen. The detail in this look was gorgeous, and the top-hat reveal to a crown was cute. Stunning.
- Jujubee: I really liked this from Jujubee. It have you everything that you wanted from an 80’s prom queen fantasy. Strong.
- Shea Coulée: When it comes to textbook nailing a runway, Shea served us a masterclass this week. The Carrie reference in itself would have been a solid concept, but to combine that with the rose petal moment from Season 9 was inspired and took everything next-level. This was outstanding.
I think liked RuPaul’s runway look. It was a massive fairy-tale princess silhouette, which I guess was a play on the Prom Queen runway category.
Unsurprisingly, Shea was declared the winner.
The twist was that everyone else was in the bottom.
This week’s backstage deliberation was more interesting than most because India revealed that Alexis had been plotting to get Shea eliminated. Alexis denied it.
Will we ever find out the truth? Who cares. The main thing is that we finally got a bit of drama and intrigue in this voting process – something that’s been desperately lacking.
Taking on Shea for the lip-sync was this week’s lip-sync assassin. As the screen slid away it was Miss Vanjie that was revealed.
The track was Open Your Heart by Madonna.
This seems like a good track to lip-sync to – it’s upbeat and has plenty of storytelling moments.
I would have liked to have seen more of both queens. From what we saw on screen, it was pretty clear that Shea was going to win. Shea looked great, but I was also enjoying Vanjie’s approach and would have liked to have seen more of that.
Shea is declared the winner and she reveals that she’s sending home India.
India’s farewell speech was a bit worthy, but she was clearly the weakest competitor and it’s good to have a bit more Alexis versus Shea drama to look forward to.
We first met Shea in Season 9. She dominated that season and was unlucky not to win. She’s the hot favourite to take out the trophy for AS5. We’re at Episode 5 and the odds appear to be in her favour.
Cracker hit our screens in Season 10. She’s good at pretty much everything these challenges ask for. The question is whether she can avoid sabotaging herself. Episode 5 and she’s still in the game.
Bam! You’ll remember Alexis from Season 3. Alexis is pageant queen excellence and she knows how to play this game. I’m loving the no-fucks-given drama that Alexis is happy to serve.
Blair St Clair
When we met Blair in Season 10, she looked about 12. Clearly, she is now fully-baked and already proving to be one to watch. Now we’re at Episode 5, the question is whether Blair is going to be able to step it up or whether she’s reached the end of the road in this competition.
One of the favourites from Season 3, Mariah is a lot more than just a pretty face but sometimes her personality isn’t strong enough to stand-out in a crowd. She made it Episode 3 of this season before being voted off the island.
You’ll remember India from Season 3 – she’s the queen that was picked up by Mimi Imfurst. India is all about old-school drag, but that’s a force to be reckoned with. Who was the winner of Episode 1? India Ferrah. Having made it to Episode 5, India was eliminated by Shea.
We loved Jujubee on Season 2. We loved her on All Stars 1. We love her on All Stars 5. Jujubee is giving us great confessionals. It took until Episode 3 of AS5 before Jujubee picked up her first challenge win ever. Love her.
Derrick had a bit of a roller-coaster ride in Season 8. She came in strong, already known for her perfect Britney impersonation in the shows of Las Vegas. She did well in Season 8, but ultimately couldn’t always adapt what she did to what the show required. She was expected to make a big splash in AS5, but sadly we said goodbye to Derrick in Episode 1 – voted out by the other contestants.
While Mayhem first hit our screens in Season 10, she was already well-known as one of the top LA queens. What’s surprising is that what Mayhem does doesn’t always seem to translate that well into television. In Season 10, she kind of just faded into the background. This time around, it never seemed like she was going to win but she definitely seemed more relaxed and allowed more of herself be revealed. Mayhem made it to Episode 4, which is a result she can be happy with.
Ongina is the original – surviving the carnage of Season 1 and ready to win a new legion of fans in AS5. You can’t not love Ongina but unfortunately she couldn’t find her feet in this season and was eliminated by Shea in Episode 2.