RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars S3E7 review: My Best Squirrelfriend’s Dragsmaids Wedding Trip


RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars ratchets down the tension from last week’s shocker of an episode for a relaxing, by-the-numbers hour.

Last week on RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars, BenDeLaCreme sacrificed herself so that her sisters might live, blew the top off every viewers’ head, sashayed off the runway backwards and upside down, and hopped on a flying motorcycle before blasting into space.

It’s a tough act to follow, and “My Best Squirrelfriend’s Dragsmaids Wedding Trip” doesn’t really get the job done, awesome title notwithstanding. What we have here is an acceptable, expectable hour of Drag Race that moves the seasons’ storylines along without adding much of anything new. Plus it’s an acting challenge, which are reliably some of the most boring challenges on the show.

Part of the reason acting challenges feel so rote is because there are usually too many of them, but that’s actually not the case here — this is the first one we’ve had all season. All the same, it still feels a little tired. The girls have to film a trailer for My Best Squirrelfriend’s Dragsmaids Wedding Trip, a buddy comedy starring the female leads from high-powered Oscar bait flicks. (To be specific, it mashes up The QueenBlack SwanErin BrockovichThe HelpHidden Figures, and La La Land). And it’s fine.

It’s hard to go too wrong when the big finale has the five-some farting out “Here Comes the Bride,” but in terms of the performances, it goes down how you’d expect. The girls with the most acting experience — Trixie (playing feisty whistleblower Sharon Frockovich) and Shangela (playing all-purpose Octavia Spencer tribute Actavia) — do the most with their roles and easily make it into the the top, leaving the rest of the girls to fill out the bottom.

You can see the elimination coming a mile away, too. Morgan McMichaels is back on the show after missing the past five episodes, so she already has more to prove than the rest of the girls. Her performance in the challenge clinches her elimination. For whatever reason, she picks for herself the role of the Beige Swan, a super-competitive prima ballerina.

It sounds fun, but her big moment involves improving her way through an unhinged entrance dance, and while I don’t know how she was supposed to make that funny, you can tell she’s on the wrong track when her first instinct is to walk upstage and be quiet.

Getting to the elimination is a kick, though. Yes, Trixie and Shangela have to lip sync to a RuPaul song (“Freaky Money”), rarely a good sign. But Shangela twerks in a fat suit, so all is well. Shangela knows how to turn a gimmick, lemme tell ya.

Heading into the finale, that’s why Shangela is my pick to win. She’s the only girl left who seems to shine in every arena, whether it’s in the challenges or just shooting the breeze backstage. (Her impression of Bebe Zahara Benet’s side-eye in the workroom is hilariously dead-on, and continues to show off her acting chops.) Combine that with a sharp intelligence, confidence and an excellent track record, and I don’t know how she loses.

At the top of the hour, the queens wonder if BenDeLa’s exit means the crown is up for grabs. (Trixie: “This is like your pretty friends not going to prom, and then you’re like…[dances].”) But to me, there’s already a new frontrunner.

So the bulk of this episode is a little predictable, but there are still interesting threads to pull on. Thread the first: Is Bebe stepping into the role of villain? Since the beginning, she’s been a bit remote — regal, unreadable. Knowing that, it makes sense that Morgan would assign her the role of the Queen. But Bebe isn’t pleased, pointing out that her character is “stiff…and unapproachable. I don’t get it.”

But don’t you, Bebe? Don’t you?

It gets to the point where Kennedy even compares Bebe to Milk circa a few episodes go, and while Bebe’s behavior isn’t that out of control, I can see where Kennedy is coming from. There’s a line between holding your head high and acting above it all, and for whatever reason — perhaps just because there are so few queens left and she’s getting more screen time — Bebe looks like she’s about to cross it. For example, look at the moment where Michelle Visage suggests Bebe should have used a British accent during the challenge:

"Bebe: “I feel sometimes when you try to copy some accent, it can be taken as being rude.”RuPaul: “On this program?”"

Then there’s the bit at the beginning when she refuses to reveal who got picked to go home and come back, something everyone has done following an elimination up to now. There’s a bus coming for Bebe, but there’s also only one episode left, so she may be able to jump out of the way in time.

As Bebe drifts away, Kennedy Davenport is looking more relatable by the second. She could be abrasive in season 7, but this go-round, we’re learning where that instinct comes from. It’s easy to sympathize with her when she talks about wanting to come on All Stars so she could become the kind of queen fans would want to talk to at meet-and-greets. No one likes feeling left out.

Of course, this is the episode where House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi shows up in the workroom. Frankly, it’s weird. Pelosi has a rigid smile etched on her face the whole time, reluctantly plays along when RuPaul makes a joke about resistance, and generally looks uncomfortable. She probably has other things on her mind.

Her visit inspires the queens, though, which is wonderful, and a reminder to get out and vote is always appreciated. “If you don’t vote, you don’t count, and you count.” There’s follow-through later on, when RuPaul and the judges call their congresspeople while the queens deliberate who to send home.

Ru even directs viewers to visit, where they can find out how to contact their representative. Drag Race is a silly show, but Ru knows where and when to balance the reality drama with a worthwhile message.

Also, the runway (theme: red for filth) was pretty great. A quick rundown:

  • Bebe: A typically chic ensemble with a bejeweled face-piece to give it some club kid kick. It’s terrific.
  • Kennedy: A ruby-studded pageant gown. Gorgeous, if safe.
  • Morgan: She may have gone home, but this Scottish-inspired plaid dress is really interesting, and not something we’ve seen before on Drag Race. And Morgan inserts her own personality with the low (like, really low) neckline and the upskirt moment. The outfit of the night.
  • Shangela: As always, Shangela goes for the grand gesture, this time with a inflatable stunt dress exploding with three-foot spikes. It’s kind of like Vivacious’ outfit from early in season 6, but turned up to 11.
  • Trixie: A funny, punny number that does the most with the theme while still serving plenty of body. Fun color contrast, too. “What’s your favorite book, off the top of your head?”

This wasn’t the most exciting hour in Drag Race herstory, but hopefully it sets up an exciting finale. See you then.

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Random Ruflections

  • Trixie: “BenDeLaCreme just left the Spice Girls, Geri-style.”
  • At the top of the episode, the girls seemed perturbed by DeLa’s choice to leave. Morgan and Kennedy are particularly vocal, which is funny, since they’re the two who benefitted most from the decision. Among fans, DeLa’s gesture has gone over very well, but the contestants can’t know that yet. Shangela: “She said, ‘Oh, I may be going, but y’all will remember me as Ms. Congeniality.'”
  • Shangela’s Game of Thrones references return. “I’m Daenerys, bitch.” Well, the week off was nice.
  • Between Kennedy not remembering the name of the challenge and not knowing how to say the word “meme,” she was the comedy MVP of the episode.
  • “Trixie on stage is fun and bubbly, but me in real life, a lot of the time I’m just kind of a boring white dude who doesn’t like hugs.”
  • RuPaul: “Let’s take a sneak peak at your movie, which has already been banned in 47 countries.”
  • “Kennedy Davenport is La La, a struggling actress who thinks she can sing and dance.”
  • “Bebe won Drag Race and stopped watching it.”
  • Trixie to Bebe: “So tell me why you made a mess of this whole challenge.”
  • The lip sync is one-sided to the point of ridiculousness. Shangela brings tons of energy, props aplenty, and exploding shablams. Trixie looks terrific in her hot pink jumpsuit, but she’s nowhere near matching Shangela’s energy. That attempt at a death drop near the end…she probably shouldn’t have bothered.