‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars’ S6E6 Recap: The Horror! The Horror!
Boo, but not in the Aiden Zhane way.
If you’re parodying a Ryan Murphy show and want to be faithful, it makes sense to fill it with potential but have it ultimately fall flat. In that regard, Drag Race‘s American Horror Story homage was a success.
Drag Race isn’t known for producing great scripts for acting challenges, but this one was particularly painful. At ten minutes long, it went on and on with little purpose, and basic scriptwriting skills went out the window: I don’t want a masterful plot, but this one barely made sense. It has to be on purpose, right?
The challenges are half-intended to test the queens’ ability to turn trash into gold — after all, those are normally the guest roles available to them on sitcoms (or AJ & The Queen, lest we forget). But no amount of polish could fix this script, and any the queens tried to add was immediately shut down by directors Ross and Michelle.
A’keria suffered the most, stuck with a small role, a terrible costume and confusing comments from Ross and Michelle. She seemed nervous, and I wonder if it’s because she realised on-set she was fucked.
Ra’Jah had a similar moment as the judges tried to make her lose all her characterisation for no real reason. They both ended up in the bottom because Ross and Michelle actively pushed them there. Sure, that’s their job as ‘directors’, but combine the rigga-morris with a sketch that’s simply not fun to watch, and you’ve got AS6‘s second frustrating episode in a row. If the show feels the need to really challenge the queens with the script, they should think of the viewers too: we should still be able to sit through it. Still, AS6 at its worst is still pretty damn good.
You Wanna Play A Game Within A Game?
In this week’s obligatory opening of Pandora’s lipstick Boxx, it’s revealed that if our assassin Mayhem Miller won against Ginger last ep, we would have found out what happens when there’s a tie (assumedly Ginger’s lippy would have been pulled as a tie-breaker?). Jan and Scarlet had the same amount of votes, which crushes Jan.
I feel for her, really. While she’s given the perfect role as a Rachel Berry parody, her praise this week will probably only confuse her more in the challenges to come. Jan is really the only one with a role written in mind: anyone could play the others, and so they do. For the second week in a row, Ginger loses a game of paper-scissors-rock over the Jessica Lange part to Kylie, who wants to rise to the occasion.
As for the rest: Eureka! is a bearded queen, Ginger plays the Emma Roberts ingenue (??), A’Keria is a human voodoo doll, Ra’Jah and Trinity are conjoined twins, and Pandora is Jessica Lange’s assistant and also Joan Crawford. (There’s a visual guide to the character references on Reddit, if like me you’re not super familiar with AHS).
Filming is rough. A’Keria has the least lines and is told to be deadpan but also be energetic and sassy; Eureka is told to go less big, despite her line reading being one of the few things I laughed at; Ra’Jah is told to drop her cutesy voice, which leaves her with nothing; and then there’s Kylie. Michelle tells her to turn it up from a 7 to a 15, and ends up giving a demonstration which isn’t, um, very good.
Kylie gets into the spirit of the role more and exudes Lange’s power, but she’s also working against some God-awful lines. I get Kylie’s win, but it’s a little surprising that she takes it above Pandora, who unlike Ginger does a little more than continually go cross-eyed for a laugh.
Kylie’s definitely not expecting it either, as she’s nervous in the werkroom the next day. Meanwhile, A’Keria is more focussed on detailing her plans to open a funeral home: if HGTV don’t green-light a show around this, the HG stands for Hates Gays.
The final product is even worse — for some reason, the skit just sees the characters enter a set and stay there in front of a single fixed camera. It’s visually boring and awkward: with no movement, all the queens just stand on-stage, as if a theatrical production with no wings. Then Ru pops up to show he can still high-kick.
A Goth Runway, And Nary A Distal Phalanx Hoodie To Be Seen…
This week’s runway is an ode to the Goth family in The Sims, a prompt none of the queens follow. Instead, Ginger comes as the goth version of Coco Montrese’s eerie toddler runwat from S5, and brings along a little voodoo doll of Alyssa Edwards to match.
Trinity came as goth Katamari Damacy, because her outfit is just anything she’s touched in the last day. Despite the noise, it looks wonderful.
A’Keria is a Dark Mofo artwork. Edgy!
Jan is what every scene kid thought they looked like with their tiny backbacks.
Ra’Jah invented pants, Pandora plays the widow, and Kylie kills it with her Rose McGowan basically nude illusion. Her style is out of this world.
Despite my feelings, the judges rule Pandora safe, and put Ginger and Jan in the top alongside Kylie. It’s nice to see her win, and she’s probably my second pick behind Pandora: she was the central figure of the sketch, and did a good job with what she had.
The bottom two this week are Ra’Jah and A’Keria, and it’s pretty clear whose time it is to go. Out comes Kylie in a gravity-defying top to lip-sync against Manlia Luzon to ‘Dirrty’ by Xtina — a song clearly weighted in Kylie’s favour. There’s no competition, Kylie demolishes it.
Of the remaining queens, just Eureka! and Pandora have no wins to their names but both could’ve nabbed one a number of times. They’re certainly not the two weakest queens, but next week’s ‘Rumix’ challenge could call curtains for Ms. Boxx, who isn’t known for her dancing. She even has a song about it.
RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 6 streams on Stan, with episodes arriving each Thursday 7 pm AEST. España episodes arrive each Monday at 8 am AEST.
Jared Richards is Junkee’s Drag Race recapper, and a freelance writer for The Guardian, NME, The Big Issue and more. Follow him on Twitter @jrdjms.