Starring: RuPaul, Michelle Visage
Season 3 Episode 1
Since it started in 2009 RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise has brought drag to a mainstream audience taking it out of the LGBTQI nightclub scene. It has given it legitimacy as an art form and worldwide popularity on an unprecedented scale. The show has allowed hundreds of drag queens on and off the show to establish huge fan followings and make a living out of it. As reality TV it is kitsch, camp and soapy style melodrama that is a hoot but should not be taken too seriously. On the other hand it has been part of a wider discussion about gay rights, gender politics and acceptance of difference.
Following an Emmy Award winning ninth season of Drag Race Mama Ru (RuPaul Charles) and her drag children are back on Stan with RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars season three. Highly anticipated and well promoted ,the suspense was built by the self-proclaimed marketing genius RuPaul during the Exclusive Queen Ruveal preview episode last year. Nine of the ten cast members were revealed leaving us guessing about whom the tenth queen would be. Without spoilers the choice of the last queen certainly has unsettled the others and signaled that everyone will have to bring it every week to make it into the Drag Race Hall of Fame and win the $100,000 grand prize.
All Stars season three is bringing back 10 of the ‘fan favourites’ from the previous seasons that best exemplify the shows mantra “Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent”. Continuing the successful formula of the show in the first episode they hit the ground running with a variety show featuring each queens special talents, personality and fashion. With the ‘reading’ challenge happening right off the bat the shade is already ankle deep.
It is no big surprise to the fans that “Lip Sync for your Legacy” started in All Stars season two is back where the queens eliminate each other rather than the judges. The politics of how the contestants are going to make these decisions is already divisive and setting the scene for the drama from last season to continue and escalate. Morgan McMichaels started it off when she said, “I’m going to send the bitch home who I think is the strongest”. Tension between Aja and BenDeLaCreme is brewing, Milk and her avant-garde style of drag provoke strong reactions and she is already throwing shade setting her up to clash with the other queens.
The first episode of All Stars season three makes clear that the show is continuing the successful formula that fans have come to love but will bring the surprises twists and turns that we crave.