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‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 6’ lands first hall of fame spot for transgender contestant

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 6’ lands first hall of fame spot for transgender contestant

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 6’ lands first hall of fame spot for transgender contestant
September 21
17:21 2021

By Austin Manzi

Warning: Spoiler alert!

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” has been widely credited for bringing the art of drag to mainstream media while pushing the limits for what drag artists can accomplish. Since its premier in 2009, the franchise has won multiple Primetime Emmy Awards and launched several spin-offs. “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” consistently retains its spot as one of the most popular spin-offs, giving previously eliminated queens the opportunity to showcase their growth since their original seasons and gain more exposure to the rapidly-growing fanbase.

Its second season is notably the highest-rated and most popular of “All Stars” due to its cast of fan-favorites, memorable runways, challenges and drama between castmates that left us all entertained. Despite none of the three following seasons living up to the expectations “All Stars 2” set for the franchise, I can say with confidence that “All Stars 6” has been the best season since, if not the best of the whole series.

This season can be characterized by two words: redemption arc. With a cast featuring only four queens who made it to the finale of their original season, fans were unclear who would emerge as a front-runner and the queens all had something to prove to the audience. Ra’Jah O’Hara kicked off with a high placement in the All Star Variety Extravaganza for sewing a dress in under a minute, her first ever challenge win in the “Blue Ball” and established herself as the season’s narrator through her humorous confessionals. This contradicted her original run on season 11 when she was painted as the season’s villain and got sent home during a design challenge.

Season 12’s Jan was awarded a win for her Lady Gaga performance in “Halftime Headliners” after her viral face-crack meme when she was declared safe in her season’s Madonna Rusical. Trinity K. Bonet shocked viewers by winning the commercial and girl group challenges while placing high in the Rusical and talk show challenges, all of which she was placed in the bottom two or received negative critiques for on season six. Even the season’s crowned winner, Kylie Sonique Love, redeemed her performance from season two where her Lady Gaga impersonation made her the first queen to ever sashay away during an episode of “Snatch Game.” Her iconic performance as Dolly Parton in this season’s “Snatch Game of Love” and exhilarating lip-sync to “Dirrty” by Christina Aguilera left no questions regarding her growth since her original season.

Seeing the contestants exceed the expectations of the fanbase, the judges and even themselves painted a majority of this season’s queens as underdogs which allowed for a more genuine connection to the viewer than a typical front-runner.

What truly set “All Stars 6” apart from previous seasons was the “Rudemption Lip-Sync Smackdown,” where the eliminated queens competed in lip-sync battles from the first queen out to the last. Although I was initially hesitant to watch eight lip-syncs in a row, this episode emerged as one of the best in “Drag Race” history thanks to Silky Nutmeg Ganache. Despite making it to the top four of season 11, Silky faced relentless yet undeserved hate from the fanbase for her strong personality and was criticized for her lip-sync performance of “No Scrubs” by TLC which was described by RuPaul herself as “meh.” Silky was voted by the group to be sent home in the third episode due to dialing back on her personality out of fear for how the viewers would perceive her.

Allowing the queens to lip-sync to reenter the competition gave them the chance to showcase their personalities on their own terms. Silky’s numerous and creative stunts gave each performance a unique story and made each lip-sync entertaining to watch. From flag-twirling to “Song for the Lonely” by Cher, to switching between a masculine and feminine persona to represent the different voices in “Barbie Girl” by Aqua, to smashing a cardboard guitar Jimi Hendrix-style in “Heartbreaker” by Pat Benatar, it was clear that Silky put immense thought and preparation into each performance. Despite getting knocked out by Eureka! in the final lip-sync, Silky proved to the viewers that she was an all star and a force to be reckoned with.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” is a highly-regarded series for three main reasons: the queens showcase their growth, viewers watch their fan favorites again and the competition is more demanding. Despite this season having the least amount of notable front-runners, the contestants proved they were deserving of being in the competition and showcased their interpretations of drag. While there were no dramatic arguments or clear villains in “All Stars 6,” getting to see the queens grow close to each other at their high and low points and elevate their art made it the most personable and wholesome season the series has seen yet.

Along with the diverse cast, a talented and deserving top four and iconic guest judges such as Charli XCX and Emma Roberts, “All Stars 6” took what the viewers enjoyed about previous seasons and combined them to execute a masterpiece. Kylie Sonique Love earned her rightful spot as the first transgender contestant in the Drag Race Hall of Fame and her legacy as the soulful and alluring winner from the greatest season of “All Stars” since 2016 will carry on for years and inspire LGBTQ+ fans across the world.

Final rating: 4.75/5

Image source CBS

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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