Because in a turbulent world, there’s always drag.
10. Ginger Minj (9th place)
Poor Ginger. So many queens came into this season needing a Redemption Arc, and clearly they only had so many to go around, because after her initial borderline iconic “COME ON ALL STARS, LET’S GET THIS OVER WITH!” Ginger, completely disappeared until she was booted for turning up for the Future Of Drag runway as an over-ready troll doll. It felt like she was invited as a mood stabiliser for Katya for the few episodes until they felt confident taking the stabilisers off as soon as they knew she wasn’t going to have any major panic attacks.
9. Coco Montrese (10th place)
I also feel a bit bad for Coco, who was a last minute addition to the cast after Laganja quit at the last second, and it showed. Her talent show act (thrown together at the minute after the last minute after they couldn’t get Janet Jackson cleared) was some real “choreography by Hayley Holt” American Smooth nonsense, and then she went. And then she came back and then did that “Ru’s Good Cousin” act which wasn’t funny the first time Which is an inauspicious stay, but I’m putting her above Ginger for three reasons – a) the Doritos vanity miirror, b) “oh at all”, c) trying to start some sort of Iconic Feud with her Best Friend Roxxxy Andrews over cutting her, even though we never knew they were friends and nobody cares. So desperate, so Coco.
8. Detox (3rd place)
I have to be honest, Detox has never really been a queen that I’ve particularly cared for, although it was intresting to hear her admit at the end that she hadn’t really tried all that hard in Series 5 because her dad had just died. I appreciate her role as one corner of now-iconic clique Rolaskatox, but her supposedly amazing fashions never really did much for me and she coasted through challenge after challenge after challenge. Worst of all was, when given the opportunity to do something iconic in the one episode she was given power over the elimination order, she decided not to put Roxxxy out of her misery OR do the iconic thing and head-shot Alaska and instead just cut Alyssa like a puss. Not cool.
7. Phi Phi O Hara (7th place)
So…Phi Phi. It wasn’t entirely unpredictable that she’d seize this opportunity for redemption and drop-kick it directly into a wall, but it was fascinating to watch all the same. From the first episode where she turned up all self-consciously “haha I’M PLAYING A VILLAIN” to watching her unthinkingly play her usual passive-aggressive mindgames with Roxxxy (repeatedly) as her new Jiggly, to her melting down all over twitter and Periscope and the Instagrams that Ru was trying to destroy her, to having her accusations about the edit specifically repudiated by the show via the medium of impeccably delivered raw footage, to her picking a fight with the worst possible queen in Alyssa, to refusing to turn up at the reunion because she is DONE WITH DRAG, Phi Phi’s 10 stage meltdown was an ever-rolling trainwreck that finally came to a stop at said reunion, as everyone in attendance shaded her nonstop until it became almost physically painful.
6. Adore Delano (9th place)
We all know what Adore gave us this series. One episode of indifferent warbling in a glittery purple sack, and then one glorious half-episode of drama, as she quit the show in tears whilst Ru burbled on about her inner saboteur, and Michelle Visage was dragged to the set WITHOUT! MAKE-UP!, looking like she’d been interrupted mid truck-stop bj, to explain why she’d been so harsh in her critique the week before. It wasn’t edifying drama, but lord was it drama. And then she turned up at the reunion and just talked about how she bangs all her fans. Party.
5. Roxxxy Andrews (4th place)
Roxxxy this series had one of my favourite Redemption stories in reality tv history. It took her all of one episode to turn up, perform brilliantly, earn forgiveness from the audience for how she’s treated Jinkx Monsoon in Series 5 by being genuinely contrite about it, win £10k, and find peace. And then she hung around for seven more episodes, failing at every challenge but being refused exit by her Rolaskatox compadres on the grounds of their friendship, getting ever more baffled as to why she was still there, until in the finale she just puttered around in the background wearing a Benidorm holiday hat and pancho, performing a rap that she’d clearly written on the back of a fag packet before exiting out the back door halfway through the episode as an afterthought. What a journey.
4. Katya (Runner-Up)
The Katya we got this series, despite the show’s pushing of the “SHE’S NO LONGER A SELF-SABOTEUR!” angle ad nauseam, was quite similar to the Katya was got last time, with the one clear difference that this time she made sure to make sure she had her Russian hooker gimmick front and centre at all times. Constant Soviet red branding, hammers and sickles, that glorious name rolled off her tongue as often as possible…heck she even made Bjork Russian for Snatch Game. Otherwise it was Katya as usual, a few glorious challenge performances (The advertising challenge! The family makeover challenge!), a few memorable runways (JADED 80S ELLEN BARKIN LESBIAN!) but…spotty, and prone to fading into the background. It *does* however feel a little like an injustice that she was one of the few to leave the season with no dollar prize.
3. Alaska (Winner)
I guess the days of (nigh on) universally adored walkover victors like Sharon, Jinkx, and Bianca are well and truly over, because after bitchy Violet and overbearing Bob we’ve landed with the QUEEN ON THE SNAKES as our All Stars champion. From my perspective she was the worthy winner, certainly of the final four, smoking the challenges and turning the runway (which has always been her main weakness) around via gimmickry like American Pastoral rebel-girl realness and the long-awaited return of Little Poundcake. I guess the tipping point with Alaska came in the semi-final when, faced with being in the bottom set for the only time in either of her series she proceded to absolutely lose her mind, rolling around on the floor vibrating, breathing heavily, ripping off her wig, begging, and bribing Detox with $10,000 via PayPal to keep her in. Either you thought this was the over-the-top bratty whinings of an entitled diva, or you thought it was that and didn’t think it was amazing.
2. Tatianna (6th place)
Tatianna came into this season with the most to prove, having not competed in 6 years, with her last appearance on the show being a lukewarm appearance on the last All Stars, dispensing weak shade via blurry video. And she proved it. With her spoken word, with her stand-up, with her brilliant TLC tribute runway, and with her deployment of one word (“Choices”) becoming probably the meme to take away from the season. Tatianna in Series 2 was a scrappily likable unpolished baby queen who had little but a sharp tongue, a good judge of character, and a suitcase full of clothes from Selma Bouvier’s Hallowe’en Closet. Tatianna in All Stars 2 was the end product, and what an end product. Her lip sync performance to Shut Up And Drive was the performance of the series, and the quintessential Tatianna performance – sexy, polished, and with just the right sorbet swirl of tart humour running through the ice cream.
1. Alyssa Edwards (5th place)
It’s hard to believe that way back in Series 5 Alyssa Edwards lost the Miss Congeniality vote to Ivy Winters, the weakest performer of all the fan favourites, and was mostly seen as a cluelessly amusing pageant bitch. An elevated Gia Gunn. And yet here she is now, probably the purest hero of an All Stars series full of fan favourites, finally, somehow intentionally amusing. Most of the time. If you told me there would come a day when Alyssa Edwards would be the queen who you could most feasibly say was robbed of a Top placement for Snatch Game I’d have called you a dirty liar, but her Joan Crawford was fab (and both times she did it as well) and intentionally. But Alyssa strongest showing by far was in the Stand-Up comedy episode, the best episode of the season, if not of the show as a whole. It was bookended by Alyssa first EMERGING from behind the two way mirror to tear Phi Phi a new one and tell her that she was that girl she knew she was, and last her and Tatianna destroying the lip sync to re-emerge in tandem to slay her once and for all. Phi Phi’s face of ever growing horror in the background as she stood there in another borderline racist character drag get up, and it became obvious that Alyssa was running at her with an axe made out of a minor Rihanna single will be etched in my memory, and on this show forever.