RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4, Episode 2 Recap: Super Girl Groups, Henny
Girl groups, feuds, and Stacy Layne! Oh my…
This week’s All Stars episode opens up immediately following last week’s elimination of Jasmine Masters. Though all the queens agreed Jasmine didn’t put up enough of a fight to stay in the competition, they all agreed that the feeling of this specific competition was way different than their original seasons. Trinity revealed that for her the competition just got “very real”, and sis we been knew… it’s All Stars. Monique then revealed that she too chose Jasmine to go home, and I’m just wondering which queen will refuse to share her lipstick choice in a few weeks.
The next day brings the new week of challenges, and it is very clear that Valentina came to slay both on and off stage (did you see that coordinating set?). Ru appears at the top of the staircase, and reveals that there will be no mini challenge this week, but instead one big maxi challenge where the girls will divide into two, to form girl groups and compete against each other. Last week’s tops Monique and Trinity are team captains, and are told to choose teams gym class style. Gia is the last to get chosen, not because of a lack of talent, but probably because she’s been stirring the pot since the minute she walked into the werk room. Team Monique includes Monét, Naomi, and Farrah who will perform Everybody Say Love. Team Trinity includes Valentina, Latrice, Manila, and Gia, and they will perform Don’t Funk it Up. Ru then told the queens they would be joined by Drag Race legend Stacy Layne Matthews, who they would have to feature in their girl group performances.
In the writing, and recording segments, Team Monique seemed to dwell mostly on the fact that Farrah was on their team, and spent most of their time begging her to not cry this week. While recording Monique (a self-proclaimed talented singer) felt that she needed to prove her vocal talent in this challenge. It took her a while to get there, but she eventually slayed. Monét naturally nails her vocals right away, and it’s pretty clear she’s going to be carrying this group all the way through to the runway. Farrah was feeling (some sort) of Britney fantasy, and we’re feeling it as long as she is, henny.
Team Trinity seems to work more cohesively together. They have separate messages, but it all works into a bigger picture. There is also a more diverse cast of characters in this group, which makes creating a girl group dynamic a bit easier. During their songwriting session, Gia reveals that her and Farrah had recently had a falling out, which caused a major strain on their relationship. This team’s recording runs much better than the other group’s. Almost every queen was strong except for Manila, who was uncharacteristically shy and quiet while performing. Both group’s choreography sessions were confusing to watch. Team Monique was barely grasping the dancing, while there were way too many cooks in the kitchen in Team Trinity.
The werk room on performance day was pretty tame aside from one Gia Gunn going after Farrah Moan seemingly out of nowhere, which had most of the other queens taking Farrah’s side. I’m all for a fun villain storyline, but if I’m being honest, Gia’s is a bit forced, and it’s like watching the sixth grade bully pick on the smallest, weakest, least involved person in the class. During the performances, Team Trinity came to slay, with cohesive looks, matching energy, and catchy lyrics. Their dancing was also pretty tight considering what was shown during their rehearsal slot. Team Monique simply wasn’t as strong, with various wardrobe malfunctions, and Farrah Moan doing some of the worst stand-dancing that stage has seen since Charlie Hides. Staying true to my prediction, Monét’s energy and stage presence ended up carrying the entire performance.
Since this week’s challenge took up the whole episode, the runway isn’t as important, but the category was Elegance after Dark, and each and every queen looked absolutely stunning. This week’s guest judges were singers Ciara, and Kacey Musgraves. During judging it is revealed that the tops of the week were Valentina, Monét, and Naomi, with Valentina and Monét going on to lip sync for their legacy. The bottoms of the week were Manila, Monique, and Farrah. Manila is spared, and the decision had to be made between Farrah and Monique. Backstage, Monique gives both tops a huge speech about how one small mistake (the choice to wear a puffer jacket on the main stage) shouldn’t decide her fate since she was on top last week. Farrah doesn’t say much to Monét since she is interrupted by Gia’s personal, and selfish apology towards her, but pleads to Valentina to keep her around because they are close friends. I’m just hoping Valentina doesn’t make the same (RolAskaTox) mistakes as the queens from AS2. Trinity tells some of the other safe queens she can’t stand how Gia is playing the game and claims that she’s “got to go”, and I’m all for Trinity steering this revolution.
Of course Valentina and Monét are lip-synching to Ariana Grande’s Into You, making this lip sync, the ultimate redemption for Valentina. And did she ever redeem herself. Valentina absolutely slayed her lip-sync winning for the week, and ultimately sending her pal, Farrah home. Farrah could have certainly gone far, but her general whining started to get on everybody’s nerves, and I’m not surprised she was sent packing. We’ll miss your all-star highlight, and your perfect cotton candy hair.
Frontrunner of Episode 2: None of us can deny that there is something so natural about the way Valentina goes about her drag. She is so fascinating, and complex, but it all just seems authentically her. I strongly believe we will see Valentina in the final this season.
Takeaway from episode 2: Gia Gunn is certainly being painted as the villain this episode, just as I predicted last week. If she continues on the same path I can’t see her lasting long. I hope she turns it around because the competition needs to see a lot more of her.
What we’ll see next week: Week three and it’s already time for Snatch Game. Though this time it’s Snatch Game of Love. Also, it looks like an alliance may be forming to send one queen packing ASAP.
Missed a week?: Read our RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 recaps right here!