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  1. This show could be so good, so easily, but season after season with All Stars I feel like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football from Lucy while she always pulls it away. The producers always muck All Stars up; maybe to make the main show look good by comparison? At least this episode was more watchable than the last two thanks to Snatch Game (thank god for Shea and Juju) but wow did the India and Alexis drama go on and on and on past being entertaining and more into “please, please, get on with it.” It’s hard not to think it was manufactured to try and make one of the season’s most obvious eliminations— I mean India was inarguably a disaster on Snatch Game— seem like there was any suspense whatsoever. There wasn’t. When India said she’d never done Snatch Game before my husband said “wait, what place did she come in on her season since Snatch Game’s usually about halfway through?” So I looked it up and India came in tenth place. Tenth place? I’m more confused than ever how India was ever considered an All Star.
  2. Okay, seeing Kara Swisher effortlessly bat aside Bill’s attempt to pretend Bari Weiss made some good faith argument (she didn’t) about the NYT/Tom Cotton thing was seriously satisfying. Swisher just shut that down and kept on going. If Bill brought Kara Swisher on half as much as he brings on Bari Weiss (it felt like Weiss was there every other week before the pandemic) the show would be a whole lot better.
  3. Maybe it’s just that the last season of the regular show turned out to be so fun but, wow, All-Stars is not doing it for me this year. It’s funny, ‘cause I like a lot of these queens, but these challenges are terrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrible. Both this week and last week felt like a chore to sit through with these awful challenges, and they’re not giving the queens a lot to be able to do to make them better. They feel forced because they’re forcing the queens to work with the most badly thought-out setups and premises. Tonight just felt like I was watching some eighth rate improv group pretending to be RuPaul queens pretending to parody DMZ. At this point I’m just sticking in because I’m a RuPaul completist and again I really like some of these queens, but I’ve seen every episode of Drag Race, of All-Stars, of Drag U, of Secret Celebrity Drag race and even the British season of Drag Race, and tonight’s episode is the first one where I literally fell asleep for fifteen minutes halfway through the challenge and when I woke up didn’t care to even go back and see what I missed.
  4. Look up “Andrew Sullivan” and “racism” on Google and scrolling down you’ll find a headache-inducing trove of garbage from Sullivan, from his false and outrageous statement that 70% of African-Americans grow up without a father (not coincidentally a claim he made on Maher’s show) to an idiotic discussion of, uh, size for black men that Sullivan tweeted, deleted, and then continued to try to press. Generalizations about various minority groups have been one of his standard fall-backs for much of his career. He’s literally one of the worst, most insipid (to put it nicely), and most counter-productive voices you could invite on the show during a time when racial issues are at the forefront of the national conversation, so, of course, here’s Bill bringing him on. There are about eight million better guests Maher could have on this week to discuss what’s currently going on; he could probably close his eyes, open a phone book, and randomly point to a name and find somebody more capable of having a productive conversation about race rather than just throwing out tired generalizations and thinking constantly repeating the word “woke” is making any kind of adequate argument.
  5. What a weird badly designed (pun intended) challenge. It felt like somebody ran out of ideas and was flipping through channels and came across HGTV and said “sure, whatever, let’s do that.” Is it me or is it possible Juju threw the LSFYL? As the clips on Untucked made clear she’s a lot better at this than she was tonight. I suspect she might have calculated that she has a better shot than a lot of the others at winning the whole season and thought eliminating somebody tonight could bite her later either way so why do it? Monet was fine, but a more energetic queen could have easily beat what we saw here from her, so it’s curious that Jujubee didn’t seem to bother. Not the best episode IMO.
  6. This was one of those episodes where you could predict who they’d be sending home before the episode even started. And I like Ongina, but she might as well have had “canon fodder” tattooed across her forehead this season. That being said, Shea looked amazing; I’m glad she got double the cash for LFYL. Jujubee also looked great in both the show and the runway; she’s so good with comedy I forget she can do glam so well when she wants.
  7. I‘ll be shocked if we don’t see this— it just feels like too much of exactly the kind of thing they like for Ru and the producers not to engineer this sometime this season. I bet Ru had Vanjie on speed-dial for the second Alexis won a week!
  8. Finally! The return of the panel and— not coincidentally— finally an episode that was at least two-thirds watchable. The tone of Bill's comment though about 100,000 dead... yikes.
  9. Intentional or not, Crystal’s creepy candle outfit was scary as hell; I’d forgotten her great Freddie Krueger look but it’s weird to think that as sweet as Crystal is she’s a really great horror queen when she wants to be, right up there with Sharon Needles. And Aiden’s at-home “bedroom queen” reel of looks was great; it made me want to see her live even more. A lot of the eliminated queens looked good; I thought Dahlia’s look was cool. And Rock M Sakura came off really well tonight; if she’d been this funny and confident during the actual season I bet she’d have gone further. Meanwhile, Brita’s so obviously desperately scrambling to revise her image after learning how badly she came off this season. And she-who-shall-not-be-named was not named all episode; my husband pointed out that even if they wanted to, opening up the floor for everyone to rant about Sherry (oops, I named her) could get tricky legally, so the show is better off just continuing to write her out of existence. What a great slate of queens this season; I liked so many of them and it really felt good to see them. Weirdly I liked this format better than the usual “all of them in the studio” reunion; there’s something fun about getting a slight glimpse into their homes and how they want to present themselves. Kudos to Ru and the producers for keeping this fun and energetic; the Vanjie as every fan thing was absolutely hilarious.
  10. Ugh, you can easily predict the exact conversation Bill is gonna have with all three of those guests. 1) Bill’s weekly herd immunity tango 2) fat-shaming 3) why are those mean environmentalists picking on you? Not today Satan.
  11. I don’t know if I’ve ever been this excited about a reunion. There’s so much going on from Sherry Pie to the quarantine that there doesn’t seem like much room for filler. Plus, how is Ru gonna look in the harsh light of home cameras? Will we return to the Season 1 blur? Inquiring minds want to know!
  12. I finally figured out the title of the show: it’s not RuPaul’s Secret Celebrity Drag Race because the contestants are kept a secret until the show airs; it’s actually named that because it’s a secret that most of these people are celebrities. This might as well have been an extended episode of Drag U; if Ru brings this spin-off back VH-1 should really cough up a few extra bucks to put the actual “Celebrity” in Celebrity Drag Race.
  13. I don’t know but Christophe’s accent weirdly reminded me of The Princess Bride. I half-expected him to write the word “Murder” on the board, turn to the class and say “I do not think that word means what you think it means.”
  14. During the dance rehearsals they were talking about how seriously Vanessa Williams was taking learning the routine, but she really shows you why when you see the performance and you see what a smart performer she is in any medium. She absolutely nailed Dolly Parton— as somebody who’s pretty obsessed with Dolly herself and has seen Dolly perform a lot, on stage Vanessa got all sorts of even smaller things right, particularly in smiles and expressions— like I bet before the performance she really seriously studied tapes of Dolly. Wow, now I have a fan-boy fantasy of Vanessa and Dolly doing a number together some day! I loved Loni and Tami, too. Tami was the one I knew least about, but she seems interesting. She was so strong in the first half of the show I thought she might even win, and I liked her Jane Fonda, but I actually wasn’t a fan of her runway look— it looked a little too all over the place but that’s likely more from Alyssa’s help (who did look good when she came out on the runway in the giant bow outfit). Loni felt like she did the best LSFYL— she didn’t do flips and death drops, but she really knew how to sell the song.
  15. I disagree with the judges about Sherry tonight (even if we didn’t know how terrible the behind-the-scenes Sherry has been): Sherry’s look for her and her drag superfan were sooooooooo predictable. They were fine, but it’s pretty much exactly what I would have expected Sherry to come up with when the challenge was announced, which to me is about the worst crime a drag queen can commit on the show. I’d rather see somebody try something creative and fail, but pie-selling waitress in a 1950s costume is pretty much what you’d expect if Sherry Pie was a cartoon character like Charlie Brown who never changed her outfit. GiGi, much as I like her, was nearly the same thing: Sherry and GiGi made fine costumes but fine in the sense of wow, were they just yeah, fine, okay. Really, I think either of them should have been in the bottom rather than Jackie, because I could actually see more of an attempt at a “take” in Jackie’s looks rather than just falling back on the expected. Jaida made her superfan look spectacular and totally unlike she had before. Crystal not only went for creative on the look, she obviously had worked out the best overall act with her partner— they had all sorts of great moves. The Bert and Ernie thing could have been a disaster but it was so fun. I like how this season is turning into the rise of unexpected frontrunners. The judges obviously wanted to be nice to Heidi’s superfan, who did look good, but I was kind of shocked at how Heidi had obviously put more thought into her own look than into her fan’s. What happened, Heidi? I love Heidi, but, wow, she could have put a little more effort into the look for her (very nice) partner. ETA: If any episode called for a well-deserved tie, it was this one.
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