RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars review: Jersey Justice gets harsh


RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars is getting serious! This week, a fan favorite is on the chopping block, and her best friend in the competition may have to send her home. Gasp!

Week after week, we’re getting to see more and more of which queens are really in it to win it. Though the Snatch Game of Love was a bit of a disappointment, as was the episode as a whole, this week, RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars came back swinging with “Jersey Justice”! There’s the right amount of drama, there’s a (successful) comedy challenge, and even a few #looks on the main stage!

For this week’s maxi challenge, the remaining queens had to participate in a courtroom parody show with Judge Michelle Visage, called Jersey Justice. It’s easy to be unfunny when it comes to Jersey impressions — they’ve been done so many times before — but with Queen of Jersey Michelle Visage at the helm, the girls all hit it out of the park… for the most part. They had to compete in pairs, and one group of three: Manila and Naomi, Valentina and Trinity, and Latrice, Monet, and Monique. While they competed in teams, however, they were judged as individuals.

Some queens just scream comedy, like Monique and Manila. We know they’re funny, they’ve always been funny, and a challenge like this shouldn’t even be enough for them to break a sweat. Right off the bat, Manila is killing it as a Jersey girl who gets a bad perm and looks like a poodle by a dog groomer she thought was a hairdresser, played by Naomi. Naomi was never known for being a comedy queen, instead getting a reputation for being a fashion girl, but she has been proving time and time again that she has some serious comedy chops. In an improv challenge like this, that’s really impressive! Both she and Manila stayed in their characters the whole time; Manila outshined her a little, but Naomi definitely gave it her all and really stood on her own, which is commendable. Proving that she can do fashion and comedy is the signs of a true All Star!

Things were a little rougher for our team of three. Latrice is the type of queen that can make us laugh without putting in any effort — that’s why she’s a fan favorite — but she just keeps missing the mark! First on the Snatch Game of Love, now this. She seemed to hold back and she let Monique steal the spotlight. The Latrice we all grew to love over the years never restrained herself, and frankly, I’m disappointed. She wasn’t unfunny when she did speak up, but I know she can do better, and so did the judges and the other queens. Monet wasn’t awful and even held her own, but in comparison to Monique, nobody else could possibly come out on top.

Trinity is another queen who surprised us all when we realized — hey, she’s actually funny! Now that Gia’s gone, she seems to have picked up the mantle for the drama, but she’s not making any unnecessary conflicts like Gia always did (remember when she straight-up told Farrah that her team thought she was the weakest?). But in the challenge, Trinity was once again a comedic firecracker. She could’ve been even bigger, though, and the judges definitely realized that. Valentina also proved that she can be more than just a pretty Mexican pageant girl and showed us a trashy Jersey side none of us expected. She was no Monique or Manila, but as a pair both queens really knocked it out of the park.

Like I said, I definitely feel like this episode was the best of the season so far. The comedy challenge was a success, I thought they were all pretty funny, and they didn’t just rush through it to squeeze in more drama time like they’ve been doing on previous episodes. Plus, with Monet — a pretty tough contender — and Latrice — a fan favorite — in the bottom, we all knew some drama was about to go down. Let’s be honest, none of us wanted Latrice to go home, but between the two of them, based on their performance… it had to be Latrice.

Manila made sure everyone knew she was fighting to keep her bestie Latrice in the competition, but unfortunately, Monique slayed the lipsync and earned herself that $10,000 tip and sent home the queen we all hold near and dear to our hearts, Latrice. Even without a crown, I have no doubt that Latrice will remain atop the RuPaul’s Drag Race all-time favorites list, and I hope she realizes that she doesn’t need a title to prove herself. She’s already a superstar!

Latrice’s elimination, though, brings up an interesting discussion about RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars. I personally prefer when the girls vote people off based on their performance in the competition, not based on your biggest competition or what the fans will think. When it’s up to Ru and the judges, we know that it’s their job to send someone home, but the queens all seem to struggle when the responsibility is theirs.

Manila already brought up the idea of voting out a queen who poses a threat to your game, but we all saw how that worked out for Morgan McMichaels last season. This episode, we’re faced with another dilemma, which Monique put perfectly: do you send home a fan favorite who’s had mostly Cs on her report card, or the queen who had one bad performance, but at least one A+.

Monique was being fair by sending Latrice home, but Manila was dead set on saving her friend, and there was no changing her mind. Is that fair? Or is that just another part of the competition? In the preview for next week, it looks like that decision might come back to bite Manila!

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Random Ruflections

  • Take a shot whenever Monique says “America”
  • “Gia was stirring the pot.” That’s an understatement, Manila!
  • Manila, to Trinity: “I don’t feel like I truly won the snatch game, there was no comparison to the job that you did. But just for the record, on Wikipedia, I won this episode.”
  • I’m really glad Manila didn’t send Valentina home just because she’s competition. I love drama, but I want a fair game.
  • Valentina’s entrances to the work room are always TOO. MUCH.
  • Ru’s Jersey accent could use some work.
  • Latrice after Ru brings up going to court: “I’ve been to jail so… THAT was shade!”
  • Stacy Layne Matthews is the stenographer. I can’t!
  • Judge Michelle Visage: “Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, or something like the truth, so help you Jon Bon Jovi?”
  • Naomi is really proving herself to be funny. Manila is known for being a comedy queen, and Naomi held her own against her. The character is distinct and she stayed with it. Manila too.
  • “You prostitution labrador!” – Naomi with an A+ Real Housewives of New Jersey reference
  • Ru looked super cute last week in a bodysuit but this week… is…not cute.
  • I love when Manila pulls an original look but still sticks to her black and white hair aesthetic.
  • Trinity’s outfit was a lot, maybe too much. The wig is fabulous, though.
  • Most of the queens kinda just look like their normal selves, just slightly more padded.
  • Ru: “Before we proceed, I need you to apologize to anyone who has ever lived in, lived by, or visited the great state of New Jersey.”
  • Who cares about the queens? Michelle looks stunning tonight.
  • get Valentina’s look, but I don’t love it as much as she does.
  • I definitely agree with the top two, but I don’t think Monet should’ve necessarily been in the bottom…but who else would’ve been in her place? I don’t know.
  • The judges doing ASMR is peak 2018 (or I guess now, 2019) humor.
  • As usual, Valentina was the winner… in her mind.
  • Trinity: “I really love Latrice, but girl, because you’ve been doing drag for 100 years, you think you deserve the crown?”
  • Will Ru ever say “dollars” the normal way ever again?
  • Sir Elton John literally sent in a video message! Iconic!