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RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 episode 1 Ru-flections: Not another robbery!

Charlie Jones December 17, 2018
All Stars 4 episode 1 performance by Gia Gunn.

Gia Gunn slayed the first episode of All Stars 4. Could she go all the way? (VH1)

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 is finally here to stay, slay and celebrate the gay. Was it up to scratch?

Luckily we are on hand to break down the tea, shade and PinkNews lemonade from RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 episode 1.

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Star-Spangled Variety Show: the verdict

Overall: C.U.N.

Having the same crowd-pleasing mini + maxi challenge as the last All Stars season was a smart move. It gave drama, lewks, talent, judging perfection and not a filler queen (see: Coco, Kennedy) in sight.

RuPaul’s Drag Race fans go wild for guest judge Jenifer Lewis
We all stan RuPaul’s Drag Race guest judge Jenifer Lewis (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty).

Challenge: C.U. 

More variety than All Stars 3—an admittedly low bar—but not as much as the reigning champion All Stars 2.

The previous two series of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars also had more impressive winners in the shape of DeLa, Aja, Tatianna and Roxxxy.

Lewks: C.U.

We got hilarity, banality and, most of all, disparity in the entrance and runway looks.

Monique, Gia and Farrah were entrancing while Monet, Latrice and—sorry—Ru, were exit and try again.

Not another robbery

Y’all wanted a twist?

Nope, not the Farrah fall. It seems Ru hasn’t learned her lesson from All Stars 3.

Gia outshone everyone with a brave, original and absolutely stunning kabuki performance that deserved a place in the top over Trinity, and definitely Naomi.

If this becomes a trend it will be seriously worrying, given Ru’s past reluctance to let trans queens on the show.

All Stars 4 episode 1: Unfair edit of the week

The cutaway to Ru during Gia’s performance where she clearly is not giving a tuck.

RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 4: RuPaul looks unimpressed by Gia Gunn
RuPaul doesn’t look impressed by Gia on Drag Race All Stars 4. (VH1)

Drag Race All Stars 4 episode 1: the shade of it all

Someone call Bonnie Tyler because this was a total eclipse from the start. Not a ray of light could penetrate all that shade from all those stars.

RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 4 contestants blind all, including President Trump, with shade.
All Stars 4 contestants block out sun with shade leaving casualties—pictured—everywhere. (Mark Wilson/Getty)

Some casualties from the war on sun:

Farrah Moan “is so dumb she thought Valentina was her best friend.” — Naomi

Valentina “take that thing off your face. Oh, it is your face. Your other one.” — Latrice

Gia “some of us don’t have to force storylines to get their air time.” — Farrah

But all pale in comparison to the biggest victim of shade.

The vitamin D deficiency proved fatal for THE ENTIRE SEASON 7 OF RUPAUL’s DRAG RACE. 

Monet started the attack—”Season 7 was a pretty boring f***ing season”—and Latrice dealt the death blow during her read of Jasmine: “Welcome to a season that somebody’s gonna give a s**t about.”

But the nail in the coffin for the much-ridiculed, little-watched season came when Ru cackled approvingly at Latrice and awarded her the challenge win. Nurse!

RuPual's Drag Race All Stars 4 contestant Latrice Royale throws shade at season 7 of Drag Race.
The outfit borders on basic, but the tea is piping hot. Latrice throwing serious shade at season 7 of Drag Race. (VH1)

All Stars 4 episode 1: woking up?

Problematic points?

Twitter had mixed feelings over Farrah’s crying.

Some related to Monique’s brand of spilling the tea—”I love you, but your crying annoys me”—while others jumped to Moan’s defence.

Woke wins

Gia came and educated the haters—read: RuPaul—straight off the bat.

“I am not a man that dresses up as a woman, I am a woman that participates in the art of drag,” said Gia.

Inviting LGBT service-members to watch the variety show was subtly poignant.

In saner times I might have thought it a needless advertisement for queers joining the military.

But now it packs a punch standing in opposition to Trump’s continued attack on transgender people serving, and a reminder of how recently rights for all LGBT+ people to join openly were won, and how quickly those rights can be lost.

Winners and losers

Lip sync, lip sink or split lip?

Controversial opinion: Monique should have won the lip sync.

I’m all game for the new rule where removing your wig is an automatic disqualification BUT Monique put on a show and sold me imaginative orgasms, floating wigs and a true redemption from her Season 10 exit.

This may also be the time to tell you I’m a huge Monique fan, and it’s possible I’m biased.

A tribute to our fallen victor

Jasmine Masters is a true all star, and it was refreshing to see a queen that can keep her elimination in perspective.

RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 4 contestant Jasmine Masters learns of her eviction from the show (VH1).
RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 contestant Jasmine Masters learns of her eviction from the show. (VH1)

The show couldn’t reward her for that—we’re just lucky the queens only went bit Tyra we-were-all-rooting-for-you-how-dare-you in punishing her for not fighting harder—but I am a dedicated new fan. And she’ll definitely be back.

All Stars 4 episode 1: Who is on top, who is the villain? A Queen-by-queen ru-view

VH1 have created a fantasy league.

They give and take away points from queens based on a whole pageant of points (e.g. place in top 2: +50, argue with Ru: -50).

Here is the leaderboard for the remaining queens, plus our first attempt to fill in that archetype board. Who will emerge as villain, victim or victor?

Trinity the Tuck: 238 points

Huge ho-up, but her performance wasn’t as impressive as Monique’s or Gia’s.

Edit: The one to beat / lip sync assassin (see: Alaska, Ben DeLa Creme).

Monique Heart: 162 points

Biggest ho-up. Slayed everything.

Edit: Narrator (see: Trixie).

Latrice Royale: 81 points

Slayed the challenge, not the runway.

Edit: Fan favourite that loses out on a top place (see: Alyssa, Chi Chi).

Monet X Change: 55 points

Stop the sponges and pull out some fashion before it’s too late.

Edit: either iconic victim of format (see: Tatiana, Aja) or comeback queen (Katya).

Valentina: 46 points

Yas, own that shady snaky side, gurl! I live. But meh lip-sync, storyline makes it just about acceptable.

Edit: Villain-lite (see: Milk, Bebe).

Naomi Smalls: 45 points

Nice homage to ballroom with a bit of weirdness, but her looks weren’t as on-point as the best of her season.

Edit: High-fashion but not the winner (see: Detox).

Manila Luzon: 35 points

Nice variety, appreciated the choice. But I was hoping for something a bit more subversive/ phallic to be revealed in the painting, and was a bit disappointed.

Edit: All there on paper but not a winner (see: Ginger Minj).

Gia Gunn: 29 points

CRIMINAL that she places this low. But we’ve been over this. Star of the episode.

Edit: Full-blown villain (see: Phi Phi).

Farrah Moan: 8 points

She’s in trouble, but I can’t help but root for her.

Edit: One that—maybe—gets further than they should (see: Roxxxy, Kennedy).

All Stars 4 continues on Friday on VH1 in the US and Comedy Central in the UK.

More: Aja, All Stars 3, all stars 4, DeLa, Don't Ask Don't Tell, eclipse, fantasy league, Farrah Moan, Gia Gunn, Jasmine Masters, jenifer lewis, kabuki, Latrice Royale, leaderboard, lip sync, manila luzon, military, Monet X Change, Monique Heart, Naomi Smalls, problematic, Roxxxy, rupaul, shade, shangela, spoilers, Tatianna, toxic masculinity, Trans, Trinity Taylor, Trump, Valentina, VH1, woke

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