‘RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars’ S7 Finale Recap: Jinkxed!

More interesting than the lip-sync smackdown is the smack talk from the queens after the fact, revealing a new side to 'All Stars 7'.

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Unlike Reddit, everyone I talk to and seemingly half of the All Stars 7 cast, I really enjoyed the finale episode. Did Monét absolutely decimate Jinkx in the final lip-sync? Sure. But is Jinkx not the obvious, worthy winner? It’s always been her.

Strange decision, then, to end with ‘Swish Swish’, a proverbial hoop skirt impeding Jinkx and favouring a Monét win. (Then again, the whole idea of a lip-sync smackdown favours Monét, one of the most versatile, captivating lip-syncers of the series.) Editing around Monét — cutting out Nicki’s rap, cutting out a couple of her stunts, as she alleged on a Patreon-only Sibling Rivalry debrief — couldn’t convince anyone that Jinkx won that final lip-sync.

Not even Jinkx thought she won it: Monét and other queens have said Jinkx stopped performing to watch Mo kill the Nicki verse! Camera crew allegedly congratulated Monét on her sure win! At least Monét was told she wouldn’t win a fortnight ago, but it’s clear she’s pretty pissed off by the whole thing, which is more than fair. If Jinkx was always going to win, why edit out her hard work?

Monét’s not alone, with Yvie oddly posting repeatedly since the finale about her mixed feelings about the season. Add in the Viv’s frustrated tweets about limited screentime and Raja’s unaired ‘rant’ at Michelle, and we’ve got half the cast not super happy with their time on the show. Nothing new, but usually the queens aren’t ready to speak their minds or criticise the show too much, either out of fear of breaking NDAs or fracturing their relationship with World of Wonder and jeapordising future bookings or All Stars appearances. But for once we have an entire cast of queens with enough success and stature that they don’t have to tiptoe around Drag Race.

Looking back, I still really enjoyed this season, and think it stands among the franchise’s best. It’s a shame that the queens’ experience hasn’t matched the end product, and some annoying production choices slightly tar Jinkx’s deserved win. But the criticism isn’t about who won or whether little moments were edited out, but a larger sense that the queens were slightly ‘flattened’ by the show’s relentless positivity. Yvie worded it best across her comments after the talent show and finale.

Her talent show number didn’t feature a backflip she had planned, as she landed on her neck during filming, which was edited out: she also says that filming AS7 just three years after S11, her body has changed completely, and she could feel the impact of the competition far more than she could back then. It’s a pretty big contrast to what we saw on the show, where Yvie seemed to smile through things, and having EDS seemingly impacted her less than it did during S11.

By effectively editing out her struggles, Yvie says the show ‘lobotomised her’ and “presented [her] as some goofy bick-dicked mascot, bravely laughing through my chronic illness , happy to be along for the ride.” She says the show barely captured her “real journey” on the show, and her expierence was “pretty gruesome from the start”. While separate from other complaints (and echoing criticisms of how S14 treated Willow Pill’s illness, too), the link between Yvie’s comments and the rest is a sense that All Stars 7’s decision to only portray the cast positively has, ironically, left them feeling as though their work and labour is underappreciated and unrepresented.

rupaul's drag race all stars 7 finale recap

Yvie’s Instagram stories.

It’s a shame! All Stars 7 was a blast, and it was a privilege to watch these eight queens on our screens again. Maybe the disconnect is due to a simple, boring truth: reality TV, by design, will always be somewhat exploitative to its subjects. With that said, let’s get into the actual episode.

All This Talk Of Clowns And No Bianca Cameo?

rupaul's drag race all stars 7 finale recap

Before we get into the lip-sync smackdown, the queens get into quick drag for a final werkroom mini-challenge: a Soul Train. Watching them dance around with Ru and laugh is very sweet, aided by an emotional voiceover by Raja saying she wouldn’t change ‘a single thing’ about her time on the show, as she’s loved every moment with this cast. It seems like the cast all really loved the camaraderie of the show, but not the mechanics.

Unlike last week, we get a runway: a finale extravaganza. My favourites are Jaida’s ode to Black Hollywood (so simple, but so, so beautiful), Raja’s insect-alien, Monét’s ‘Wakanda at the Met Gala’ and Yvie’s birthday cake dress on wheels. Fuck I love Yvie. I really appreciated her comments about how her output might not always “work” within the confines of Drag Race, but it’ll always be her — it’s a moment this narrative of Yvie finding her place and standing within/outside the winner’s circle comes through. I wish we saw more of it, as it’s a really interesting, unique perspective, one that challenges how Drag Race works.

rupaul's drag race all stars 7 finale recap

Grimes sitting around all day trying on 3D printed costumes in Elon Musk’s mansion.

rupaul's drag race all stars 7 finale recap

She’s right to call herself the essence of beauty. Just phenonemenal.

rupaul's drag race all stars 7 finale recap

Frosting hair! Jumping out of the cake and being the cake!

rupaul's drag race all stars 7 finale recap

Found Raja’s comments about how we’re all insects to the universe surprisingly affecting.

rupaul's drag race all stars 7 finale recap

The frills really sell this for me.

rupaul's drag race all stars 7 finale recap


rupaul's drag race all stars 7 finale recap

Very pretty, not terribly distinct.

rupaul's drag race all stars 7 finale recap

Stunning, naturally.

We get not six but seven lip-syncs this episode: prior to the smackdowns, Ru performs a rendition of hyperpop track ‘Smile’. I will always love these little two-step moments. They’re so completely unnecessary, which makes me think Ru really wants to include them.

Our first lip-syncs are for the $50,000 and title of She Done Already Had Herses: the totally random, not remote-controlled wheel decides that the Viv and Yvie will lip-sync it out to ‘Push It’ by Salt N Pepa, while Raja and Jaida go head-to-head with Footloose track ‘Let’s Hear It For The Boys’. It makes sense that Yvie and Raja go through: sure, Raja dances around like a wine mum, but it’s perfect for the song.

rupaul's drag race all stars 7 finale recap

As for the final four, Trinity and Monét square up to ‘So What’ by Pink, while Jinkx and Shea take on ‘Judas’ by Lady Gaga. ‘So What’ is a perfect track for Trinity, who shares with Pink questionable taste levels, but an undeniable talent. Monét wins, but we barely see her in the edit — what we saw screamed Trinity. Another odd editing decision.

Shea breaks out some music video choreography for ‘Judas’, but S3 heads will know that doesn’t impress the judges (nor India Farrah) much: Jinkx embodies more of the song’s struggle for power, and her cape pays homage to one of my personal favourite S5 soundbytes.

Coco spinning very beautiful

It all comes down to two lip-syncs: Yvie vs Raja to ‘Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves’ by Aretha and Eurythmics, and Jinkx vs Monét to ‘Swish Swish’. I’d argue both winners were suspect: Yvie’s fake-out wig reveal, where her wig ‘fell off’ to reveal a wig cap (stuffed with another wig underneath) speaks to how much I love her and why.

rupaul's drag race all stars 7 finale recap


And enough’s been said about Jinkx and Monét, but it comes down to track record. Jinkx is the winner, and All Stars 7 is over! We’ll never go hungry again though, as Down Under S2 premiered the day after: I’ll be recapping it for Junkee, so stay tuned. Until then, stay dry: it’s Monsoon Season, after all.

RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars S7 is available to stream in Australia in Stan.

Jared Richards is Junkee‘s Drag Race recapper, and a freelancer who writes for NMEThe Big IssueThe Guardian and more. He’s across the internet as @jrdjms