‘RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars’ S7E6 Recap: All This Point, The Dollys Are The Dollys

One of 'All Stars 7's best eps yet.

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Coming from dead last to tied frontrunner in one episode: Yvie’s odds are ever in her favour. But even beyond my love for miss Oddly, this week’s girl group challenge was probably one of my favourite episodes of All Stars 7 yet. Not only did we get two pretty solid Y2K-ish tracks, we had a Dolly Parton runway, genuine drama thanks to the Viv AND I finally learnt how to pronounce Tove Lo, despite having literally interviewed her before. We’re having our cake and wearing it this week!

Off the back of last week, both Jinkx and Raja are able to give out a star each to one of the six other queens, and grant it to Jaida and Yvie, respectively. This makes me very happy: Yvie deserved a bit of love, and Jaida remains one of my favourite parts of All Stars 7, between her constant non-sequiturs (“She has a cake on her head and I want to put my cake on someone’s head. She’s a boss. I love it!”), amazing self-made looks and verses turning diarrhoea into a metaphor for a sharp, unstoppable rush of love.

Halfway through the competition, we have two queens with two stars — Jinkx and Jaida — and everyone else falling close behind, which gave the competition a bit of a kick this week. Everyone really went for it this challenge (bar Raja, who neither knew her group’s choreography or her own lyrics), and it was probably one of the hardest weeks yet to choose a top two. The worst part of the halfway mark is knowing this season will end before we know it: Monet may think they’re playing Survivor, but I’m really after something a little more Saw, where the queens are stuck performing week after week, never leaving.

I thought AS7 might lag a little around this mark as the novelty of no eliminations wore off, but it’s so enjoyable to watch these queens just be themselves each episode without worrying about Michelle’s arbitrary judging. The biggest difference is in Yvie, whose demeanour is so much less defensive than it was in S11, which had a particularly volatile cast. Here, she can just let her freak frag fly — even if it doesn’t always work (Snatch Game), we get to see an artist at home within themselves. I’m not sure this format would work on a regular season (can you imagine, say, Orion Story lasting all season?), but the lack of pressure really lets these queens shine in their own way.

Each Verse Had More Jokes Than An Entire Season Of Girls 5Eva

rupaul's drag race all stars 7 e6 recap

Love Yvie’s look here, and obviously, Raja’s Pharrell-esque hat.

After Jinkx and Raja give their bonus stars away, the queens divide into two groups for this week’s challenge, with Raja saying they may as well just go off how they’re already split sitting across two couches. This rubs the Viv a certain way, who feels like she, Jinkx, Yvie and Jaida are the ‘leftovers’ who are bunched together by default. While I love how light-spirited this season is, I can’t deny seeing someone genuinely a little miffed was exciting. She drops it pretty quickly though, maybe because she realises her group’s arguably stronger: when it comes to a singing and dancing challenge, Raja and Trinity are probably the weakest links. Shea says two right feet (her and Monet) and two left feet (TTT and Roger) make two pairs of feet, but in reality, the group’s a little split down the middle in terms of energy.

rupaul's drag race all stars 7 e6 recap

We will (probably not) be streaming!

Shea’s group goes with their initials to spell out M.S.T.R, with a joke about Yvie leaving them (‘mystery’) that doesn’t really end up in the final performance. Same with The Other Girls (no that’s what they’re called), who make a storyline about being the rejected members of girl groups’ passed joining forces: that comes through more in their verses, but you could easily imagine the judges reading both groups in a regular season for not having a cohesive storyline (‘if you have to explain it…’).

The Other Girls go a bit harder in on characterisation, which makes their song ‘2Gether 4Ever’ far more engaging, though it’s also just funner than M.S.T.R’s break-up track ‘Titanic’. I’ve seen comments that Shea and Monet were robbed this week, but both their verses felt like variations on the ‘Drag Race slay mama i’m the queen to beat’ archetype that we’ve already seen week one of the competition. I’d rather see Jaida rap about her bowels (IBS legend, like Willow!) — it’s more memorable and unique! By my count, Trinity is the best of M.S.T.R for running with a character, a Justin Timberlake-obsessed stan, even if that’s stepping on the toes of AS5’s horrible ‘I’m in love’ song. Raja, meanwhile, is so out of sorts: she does her best, but it’s really not her challenge. Fuck I love watching her, no matter what. How lucky we are to have these queens on our screens every week!!

rupaul's drag race all stars 7 e6 recap

So much fun to watch.

The Other Girls, meanwhile, all shine. Viv and Yvie end up with the win, with Yvie playing a malfunctioning robot programmed for pop domination and Viv embracing British stereotypes and rapping about foreskin, tea and sweeping chimneys. It’s a little Baga Chipz at times, and while you could call her out for low-hanging fruit, it’s a fun meta-joke about what the show wants from her. Viv reminds me a bit of Trinity, in that she’s not in my favourite queens of all time, but is excellent at drag and Drag Race — she just knows what to do at any moment. It’s a tough competition, and Viv is really at the top of the pack even if I would have given the win to Jaida this week.

The true winner this week is Ross Mathews, whose boy drag as TRL host Carson Gayly is making me feel very uncomfortable. Sorry to contribute to the complete degradation of this word, but is Carson Gayly the trade of the season?

rupaul's drag race all stars 7 e6 recap

If your gay sexual awakening was in the early-mid 2000s, this is unfortunately very attractive.

Despite the Y2K pop setting, this week’s runway is all about Dolly Parton, and is judged by Tove Lo. Why theme anything, anyway? It’s a shame to miss out on a ‘Y2K’ runway, but guessing how loosely that tied into the songs themselves (they didn’t really sound ~1999-ish to me, let alone the whole missed opportunity for a ‘RuPocalypse’ vibe), we might have gotten more Depop ‘Y2K vibes’ than genuine 2000s era looks.

Of the Dollys, Raja’s is flat out my favourite. Her makeup skills are sublime, which we saw with Madame, Diana and Vanna White, and now Dolly — it’s amazing she can transform her face to resemble Dolly, even if it’s not a 1:1 like, say, Viv. Shea and Yvie’s looks are the most hodge-podge, lacking the specificity/attention to detail of the others, but they still look fine.

rupaul's drag race all stars 7 e6 recap

Shout out to TTT, too!

rupaul's drag race all stars 7 e6 recap

This is absurd.

Just behind Raja is the Viv, who has a knack for ‘character illusions’ (Shannel AS8 when). While it’s an utter crime HIhaving Yvie lip-sync to Dolly (up there with Kennedy Davenport being the lipsync assassin for Reba’s ‘Fancy’), watching Viv absolutely transform into Dolly makes up for it and the missed opportunity for a Tove Lo lip-sync.

It’s nice to see the Viv win her second lip-sync, as she’s now been given $20,000 more than she got for winning UK1. She blocks Jinkx, continuing their little rivalry, but in the preview, we see that next week’s a sewing challenge: big mistake. Huge.

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