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RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 8 Episode 1 Recap: The Fame Games

12 All Star queens return to the werk room for another shot at the crown, with a twist, and Broadway legend Idina Menzel is a guest judge…

It’s been a few weeks since Sasha Colby was crowned at the Drag Race Season 15 finale but we are back with a new season of All Stars and a fresh crop of our favourite queens ready to compete in the werk room for another shot at the crown and a spot in the Drag Race Hall of Fame. This season of All Stars is sure to have twists and turns that’ll leave us gooped and gagged. Without further ado, let’s get right into it.

The season begins in the werk room of course. The first queen to return is Heidi N Closet (Season 12) and she’s still got her natural lips, y’all. She admits her original season was a bit of a struggle, but she also learned that she’s a true comedy queen. Next in is Mrs. Kasha Davis (Season 7) who is returning to the werk room as a sober queen ready to take the crown eight years after her werk room debut. Next in is Naysha Lopez (Season 8, twice) who’s a pageant queen that wants to make it all the way to the end without being eliminated. Kahanna Montrese (Season 11) who said she was unprepared for her season and she’s ready to show the judges what she can do. Following Kahanna, Kandy Muse (Season 13) makes her grand re-entrance. She wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea on her season but it didn’t stop her from making an impact. Darienne Lake (Season 6) is back from her legendary season competing against iconic queens Bianca Del Rio, Courtney Act, and BenDelaCreme, so taking on these other queens should be a walk in the park. Next is Monica Beverly Hillz (Season 5) says competing against such confident queens affected how she played in her season. Monica was also one of the first queens to come out as a trans woman on the main stage. Jaymes Mansfeild (Season 9) is bringing her blonde bombshell back to the werk room. Alexis Michelle (Season 9) is ready to bring her talent and tenacity back to the challenges (who could forget her Kris Jenner in the Kardashian Rusical). Next to strut into the werk room is Jessica Wild (Season 2) who struggled with a language barrier in her season but she’s going to slay in English or Spanish this time around. Jimbo (Canada’s Drag Race Season 1/UK vs the World) who is ready to push the boundaries of the competition further than they’ve ever been pushed. Finally LaLa Ri (Season 13) is back to attack her way to the top with her iconic gift bag dress. 

Ru enters the werk room to welcome the queens home and lay down the rules for this season. Classic All Star rules are in full effect this season. Each week Ru will pick a top queen who will lip sync against a secret lip sync assassin. If the All Star wins she will send a fellow queen home. If the assassin wins, the queen voted by the other all stars will be eliminated. The last queen standing will win a cash prize of two hundred thousand dollars. However, there’s a new twist. This season there are two ways to win, but we’ll have to wait to find out. For their first mini challenge the queens will have to showcase two different looks inspired by glamour from the past and a second look that represents modern day fame. The fashion show begins and the first category is “Famous Then” and the queens strut down the runway in vintage-inspired lewks. Next up the queens wow the judges with modern looks worthy of the red carpet. 

Back in the werk room the queens get out of drag and talk about how different it is competing since their first times in the competition. Ru returns and tells the queens that for this week’s maxi challenge the queens will have to perform in groups. They split into two groups of six to write their new individual verses to different versions of  the club classic Money Success Fame and Glamour. After writing they all head to the main stage to choreograph their own performances. Heidi spearheads the choreography for her group but the steps don’t match the glam rock theme of their song. Both groups have little hiccups but I’m sure everyone will pull it together for the main stage performance. 

It’s elimination day and the queens get ready in their separate corners of the werk room. Some are more confident than others in their performance abilities. Kandy, Jimbo, and Heidi make a pact to have each other’s backs in the vote. Out on the main stage Ru introduces judges Michelle, Ross, and this week’s extra special guest, the WICKEDLY talented Idina Menzel. The glam rock group is the first to perform and considering their troubles during rehearsals, they pulled it out for the main performance. The disco group is up next and a few of the gals have trouble keeping up with the steps but it’s still a pretty strong performance. Following the maxi challenge the category on the runway is “Famous Forever” and the queens stun in enterally glamorous lewks. 

After the runway, Ru calls Heidi, Kandy, Naysha, Jessica, Jimbo, and Kasha forward and tells them they are all safe. Critiques begin with Alexis. Ross tells her she looks stunning and loved her runway looks from both challenges. Darienne’s mini challenge looks missed the mark but her work in the musical number and her main runway might be enough to save her this week. Kahanna made a huge impact in every challenge this week which all of the judges are obsessed with. The judges loved her challenge looks but clock her for not getting the choreography down perfect, though she did still sell it. The judges like LaLa Ri’s challenge looks but the lettering on her famous now outfit looked a bit arts and crafts. Finally, Michelle tells Monica Beverly Hillz that her looks are cute but she can tell she’s nervous on the main stage. 

Based on the judges critiques Ru announces that Kahanna Montrese is the top all star of the week. Darienne and Monica are the bottom two queens of the week. Backstage the queens vote one-by-on on who they think should be eliminated should the lip sync assassin win. Kahanna chooses her lipstick and heads back out to the main stage.

This week’s lip sync assassin is Aja LaBeija (Season 9, AS3, and Kandy’s mother). The queens lip sync to “Freakum Dress” by Beyoncé. Both queens put up a fight and one hell of a performance but Ru decides it’s Aja is the winner of this week’s lip sync which means the group’s vote will decide who is going home. Before the elimination Ru announces that this season’s second way to win is for the eliminated queens to win the “Online Fame Game.” Each week, the runway looks of the eliminated queens will be featured, so fans can vote on who they think should win the “fame game” and fifty thousand dollars. Aja reveals that the group has chosen Monica Beverly Hillz to go home first this season. 

On the next episode of All Stars: the queens will star in the newest sketch comedy show LIVE and a new lip sync assassin is ruvealed. 

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