‘RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars’ S7E11 Recap: And Do Fuck It Up

The face of a queen who knows this 'twist' was made for her.

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Y’all wanted a twist, ey? Oh, no? You didn’t? Well, too late! This week’s talent show awarded three stars to both winners, making the season of counting stars and strategically blocking all for nothing: anyone could make the top four off this week alone. To quote Gia Gunn, there’s room for everybody, let’s just say that!

Personally, I don’t really care that our top four — Shea, Monet, Trinity, Jinkx — aren’t what anyone expected. Are there queens who were more consistent across the season, like Jaida and Viv? Or bolder and more exciting from week to week, like Yvie and Raja? Sure, but this is All Winners: most weeks, it’s been hard to pick a standout two performances, with plenty of queens narrowly missing out on wins (or being blocked).

The only person who definitely had to be in the finale was Jinkx, who has won five challenges and arguably could’ve taken home a few more (including this week). Shea catapulting into the top four this week was a little abrupt (Three stars, really? Two would have made this feel less ridiculous. Maybe.), but there’s no real point playing the ‘X was robbed’ game. Everyone’s a winner, baby – it’s literally in the ‘All Stars All Winners’ title (that they seemingly changed after filming).

Plus, this might’ve been one of the most energetic, interesting final challenges we’ve had in years. These episodes get bogged down by padding and Tic Tac lunches, but having eight queens to follow — and a legacy to reflect on with Ru and Michelle — we had some really lovely moments. I even cried! (I also cried while watching Peaches gyrate around on-stage last night, so I might just be a little fragile right now.)

Three Stars? Sounds Like My Uber Score Thank You Yes My Variety Performance Would Be Standup How Did You Know

This week, the episode’s largely taken up by Tic Tac lunches, interspersed with vignettes of the queens being dumb in the werkroom. The lack of tension or anxiety has really helped, in particular, the more recent non All Stars winners — Jaida, Yvie and Viv — just relax into themselves.

I love that this show will cut from a chat about domestic abuse to this, because it’s how I and every queer person I know move through the world.

All the chats with Ru and Michelle are great/feel a bit more genuine than Ru asking Rosé about Scotland, but I particularly enjoyed these three. Jaida shares how the show made her more comfortable in her queerness/ability to wear what she wants, which I was a little surprised by: I suppose it’s easy to look at a polished drag queen and assume they have worked through a lot of that shame and self-censorship.

(Tangent: I really enjoyed how Courtney Act’s memoir detailed her long, confusing journey to being gender fluid, as it’s easy from the outside in to see it as a no-brainer/no big deal for someone of her stature.)

Viv is just super charming in talking about overcoming those early season nerves, and we see Yvie talk about having Elhers Danlos for the first time this season, which I’m really thankful for. There’s something to be said for not defining Yvie by her illness, but it did seem odd that the edit had essentially erased it at this point, especially when it’s a chance to show how a chronic illness is every day.

Hearing Yvie talk about how her body is changing and how she’ll have to adapt her performances to her needs is really sad, but it’s also the harsh reality of her life: I’m wary of flattening her into an inspirational story, but her art and approach to life hits hard, laugh-crying through explaining her illness or her history with domestic abuse.

That’s true for so many of these queens: Jinkx discussing sobriety felt like a genuine moment with Ru, which I didn’t know was even possible at this point, and Raja discussing her father’s passing and her heritage really got me, gal. This show is so silly, but how lucky are we to watch eight queer artists at the top of their game on TV, both being slay yas and vulnerable, open humans at the same time?

Yvie won many stars this season AKA favourites on Grindr.

In addition for the chance to win three stars and $10,000 this episode, the lip-sync winner also earns $30,000 for the charity of their choosing (actually, they end up giving out cash to all eight charities). The queens discuss their charity of choice with Ru and Michelle, with almost half of them picking various trans support networks: it’s a really nice way for the show to undercut its transphobic past, hearing these winners (some trans/GNC, some not) say how important trans people are to both drag and the queer community as a whole.

A small moment, and thankfully the show doesn’t overstate it, but just a nice reminder of how far the show has come (which, yes, you’re probably right to be cynical about, but the net good is there).

Lip Sync Extravaganza? No That’s Next Week, This Week We Just Get Six Lipsyncs

It’s pretty clear from watching that Shea and Monet are this week’s top two: Monet’s opera performance is a genuine talent display that most of the audience wouldn’t be across, plus Ru’s on-board from the moment Monet tells her to bring back the opera glasses.

rupaul's drag race allstars 7 e11 recap

Giving Ru a bit? Instant win.

And Shea’s ’80s pop song is a perfect crystalisation of her power as a performer and artist. Sure, it’s another lip-sync (that face mic isn’t fooling anyone), but it stands on its own from the rest, as they all opt for the classic Drag Race song formula.

rupaul's drag race allstars 7 e11 recap

We also get this all-time subtitle moment.

The other standouts are Jinkx, who actually sings live, and Raja, who performs a traditional Balinese dance. Unfortunately Raja is not quite as precise and jaw-dropping as professional performances can be, but given her chat beforehand about being Drag Race US’s only Asian winner (!!!!!!!) and how it’s a tribute to her dad, it’s quite moving.

Yvie’s performance is equally touching even if it’s in the ‘slay i’m the queen to beat slay’ category, given it’s a love letter to her body’s fading abilities; Viv sung live but I barely remember it; Trinity’s song about Southern Hospitality was tacky, annoying and perfectly on brand (not a read), and Jaida’s dance number relied a little too much on S12 catchphrases, but I love her so much it doesn’t matter. A certain dancer steals the show, either way: three stars to him!

rupaul's drag race allstars 7 e11 recap

Resent a person that’s hot even when 70% of their face is hidden by a Silent Hill nurse face mask.

rupaul's drag race allstars 7 e11 recap

Or when they make this face

rupaul's drag race allstars 7 e11 recap

If you look like that dancer, this could be us :)

Unfortunately, we don’t get a runway this week, but the performance looks are all mostly runway-ready themselves. We do, fortunately, get Hannah Einbinder from Hacks as a guest, who is so happy to be there, vibes with the queens and looks beautiful in her tie (and David Byrne-esque suit, if you see her in Untucked).

Monet and Shea are this week’s winners, which completely upends the star count. Leading is Monet on five, with Jinkx and Shea on four, then Jaida, Trinity on three and the rest on two. Monet gets to decide who to bring to the finale of Trinity and Jaida, and we instantly see Jaida know there’s no way she’s making it above Monet’s twinner. Even as a Jaida stan, Trinity deserves her spot, so it’s hard to really care — especially finding out the non top four will have their own lip-sync tournament for $50,000, which means we still get to see Jaida kill it.

rupaul's drag race allstars 7 e11 recap

Jumped the five stages of grief straight to acceptance.

Monet and Shea lip-sync it out to Kylie’s ‘Supernova’, which was the finale lipsync to UKVTW just a few months ago: Ru watched Blu nogue her way to a crown and decided she needed a re-do. Shea wins the $10,000, and $30,000 to the Period Poverty Project. Next week, all eight queens return for two lip-sync tournaments. I’m team anyone, but I think it’s Jinkx or Monet’s to win the $200,000, and either Yvie or Jaida’s for the $50,000 prize. (Yvie’s won $0 all season, so it’d be a nice finish!)

RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars S7 is available to stream in Australia in Stan, with new episodes dropping AEST 6pm each Friday.

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