‘RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars’ S7E7 Recap: RuMix, RuDesign, RuAnimale!
Let's all collectively agree to not discuss Raja's look.
When I grow up, I want to be Betsey Johnson. Drag Race France‘s premiere has Jean Paul Gautier, but give me Betsey any day: funny, weird, excellent critiques.
And is this the first time a judge joins the coveted ‘ankle goes cleek’ club (as per Untucked, where she hobbled in after her on-stage split didn’t go down as planned)? Legendary legend! (Yes, I had no idea she existed before this episode. That’s irrelevant!)
Another incredibly fun episode: this week, the queens took on the chance to reimagine eight of Ru’s “most iconic” looks, in a challenge sponsored by something that looked remarkably similar to Pinterest, but judging by Ru’s pronunciation couldn’t possibly have been. Then again, Ru’s evils aren’t confined to fracking, train flag and letting a man drown: most horrifying of all, he’s a ‘jif’ defender.
These eight queens just know how to make great TV, and the design challenges have been two of my favourite episodes because they don’t have to ‘perform’ or do a silly little skit. We just watch them be silly in the werkroom, create something amazing, and then look stunning. What more could you ask for?
If Having A Sook Has No Fans, Then The Vivienne Is Dead
This week, we enter with Jinkx being blocked but The Vivienne having the dummy spit over being in the top but missing out on a star. Jinkx reminds her that she and Trinity have both had it happen too and handled it with a little more poise, but in Viv’s defence, we’re towards the end of the competition now: you’d be feeling the momentum slip each week you don’t get a star.
They discuss how there are only five more chances to win a star before the finale, which means basically everyone has to win at least twice in that time to have a chance of making it to the finale. But we all know there will be some last-minute shake-up to keep things interesting and keep all the queens in the running until the very end, right?
Ru’s eight looks he’s chosen for this challenge are interesting: some are undoubtably memorable (Supermodel, S8) and some are… less (Down Under). And no love for Project Runway Ru?
As the lipsync winner last week, The Viv gets to choose first, with each subsequent queen getting to pick who goes next. Amazingly, neither Jaida or Yvie pass on Jinkx or Raja’s kindness here and don’t pick them next. Shady!
The challenge is a great idea, but it’s a bit of a shame there are no unconventional materials twist to it. It’s a tight race all episode, but the fact that the ball winners win again suggests it might have been a bit too same-samey. That doesn’t really matter though, because the werkroom is just so enjoyable to watch: Jinkx freaking out, Jaida making weird non-sequitur jokes, Trinity helping everyone and whipping up her dress in minutes, everyone supporting each other, the silly edit between Viv and Jinkx.
It’s all so fun: my main critique of most recent seasons is that they too rarely let us sit in the werkroom and enjoy the queens’ company, in favour of trauma-dumping mirror chats and contrived storylines. There’s still a bit of that here (the editing of the ‘shady eye-offs’ between the queens at the episode’s beginning), but the show is finally just letting us enjoy these queens, since it knows there’s that built-in love already.
Yes, we could probably do with some actual critiques (which was especially obvious this episode), but overall, this season is stunning. I can’t believe Down Under S2 is following it the day after the finale. Huge heels!
This week, the winners are Jaida and Trinity: it’s hard to disagree, but Monet and Yvie just missed out on the top spots this week. Here’s my ranking from favourite to least.
Jaida takes my top spot, and I’m SO glad to see her getting her dues this season. The first queen to reach three stars, and to not have been blocked once? That hair? Lest we forget she’s from the house of HAAAAAAALLLL: her taste level is like Kahmora’s, but she had the sewing skills to craft it herself. This fabric shines brighter than most of the other materials, but like the other queens say, it’s hard to sew. This looks immaculate and is true to Ru, Diana and Jaida all at once.
Credit where credit’s due, Trinity is killing All Stars 7. Between this week’s Untucked love in for her and her willingness to help others, it’s clear that she’s a sweet person with a lot of talent and heart, even if she’s had a few foot-in-mouth moments across the years. She’s fast becoming a favourite of mine, and this might be the most beautiful her face’s ever looked.
It’s hard to pick a third, but I’m gonna give it to Yvie above Monet, if only for the fact that a lot of Monet’s outfit comes down to the fabric itself. I love that Yvie flipped the outfit and kept it uniquely her: those pants are so well-made. I want them. Monet’s facekini is so well done (the hoops!) but I wish there were more feathers or something on the hat: that part feels like it just needs one element more.
The Vivienne rides in next in one of my personal fave Ru looks: it’d be higher if it didn’t feel a little too similar. It’s a hard challenge, to pay homage without recreating the original, and I think Viv’s maybe lands on the wrong side. It looks beautiful, though.
Shea was ambitious this week — in addition to the ruffles, she painted on the leopard print to the fabric, which slowed her down considerably. You can tell she ran out of time, as this look is stunning from the belt up, but let down by the pink tights. I mean look at this shot from the waist up: divine.
Raja went in a surprising sculptural direction with Ru’s ‘Born Naked’/ S7 promo look, and while she makes it look kinda fashion, it’s not really working for me. It looks like she did an unconventional materials challenge while all the others just used fabric — but she didn’t.
And last we have Jinkx, who was super proud of her look. As she should be! It’s leagues above anything we’ve seen her make before, even if like Michelle says, “we always end up in the saloon”. I don’t love the asymmetrical tight, but it’s solid: it’s just not really going to end up in the top in this crop of queens. Poor Down Under — always the bottom. (God I hope S2 is good, our queens deserve it!).
Because the music director of All Stars 7 hates me, we get a lip-sync to a Jessie J song that I believe does not exist outside of this clip. It’s a tight race (what’s with the judges’ sour faces?) but Trinity comes out on top for sliding into Jaida’s ass and pretending to rim her.
Have seen a little discourse around consent and if this goes into Alaska licking or Mimi Imfurst territory, but I don’t know: I think the vibe here made it clear Jaida was chill with it. It’s not an invalid question, but let’s cool off the cancellation.
Winning the lipsync (and with Jaida losing for the first time ever), Trinity blocks Yvie. Now every queen but Jaida has been blocked. It just feels right. For now, our top 4 is Jaida with three stars, and then Trinity, Yvie and Jinkx with two each. Viv must be fumin’.
Next week, the queens take on an acting challenge about Santa’s School for Girls. It’s Christmas in July somewhere.
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 NME, The Big Issue, The Guardian and more. He’s across the internet as @jrdjms