‘RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars’ season four finale review
By Roshni Riar, Staff Writer
*Warning: This article contains spoilers*
The highly anticipated RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars season four finale has finally aired, welcoming a new inductee into the All Stars Hall of Fame.
The top four—Trinity the Tuck, Naomi Smalls, Monét X Change, and Monique Heart—all came into the finale ready to slay. Each queen was tasked with writing their own verse to a remix of RuPaul’s “Super Queen” while learning choreography developed by Todrick Hall, as well as putting together a superhero-themed look. Bringing all these challenges together into a cohesive live performance would determine who made it to the final two and ultimately win.
A heartfelt conversation about race between contestants Monét X Change and Monique Heart really stuck out to me. While preparing for their final challenge, the two talked about how important it would be for an African American queen to win and represent all the young, gay, African American viewers at home who have endured similar hardships. Drag Race, in leading up to the finale, has received criticism for its entirely white and white-passing All Stars Hall of Fame. This was one of the first times that race has been overtly addressed on the show.
Unfortunately, the final performance of “Super Queen” left a lot to be desired.
The song itself was a strange blend of acoustic rock and club music that didn’t work for me. It felt lacklustre and while the queens certainly tried to bring some fresh lyrics forward, nothing was substantial or particularly memorable. In comparison to previous top four performances like All Stars season two’s “Read U Wrote U” and season three’s “Kitty Girl,” it just fell flat. The looks were fun—Naomi Smalls rocked a blue and orange bodysuit with blue hair, while Trinity the Tuck wore a silver spiky headpiece and bodysuit—but none of them screamed “superhero.”
Although the final challenge wasn’t amazing, the final runway—All Stars Eleganza—was astounding. Each queen brought signature looks that spoke to their individual drag styles and were a great cherry on top to an overall exciting season. Monét X Change stunned in a “black opulence” inspired look, wearing a blonde, dreadlocked wig styled in an elegant updo and a purple gown crafted out of traditional African fabrics. Naomi Smalls stole the show in a Louis Vuitton-inspired deep purple, flowy gown accented with rhinestone mesh sleeves that came up into a hood, topped with a purple, sparkly, wide-brimmed hat.
Following deliberations, Monét X Change and Trinity the Tuck were chosen as the final two and then lip synced to “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera. They both brought their unique performance styles to the stage and it was hard to call a clear winner between the two. After Manila Luzon’s controversial elimination two episodes prior, Trinity had been pegged as the frontrunner while Monét was a fan favourite.
Following the lip sync—in a move that’s never been done before on Drag Race—both Trinity the Tuck and Monét X Change were crowned in a double win. Many fans felt that the double win was a cop-out; speculation has arisen that both queens were crowned because the production was becoming increasingly aware of the fans’ criticism of the lack of diversity in the All Stars Hall of Fame.
The double win could have been really exciting, but it felt like an afterthought to have both Trinity and Monét crowned. What primarily contributed to that feeling was the shoddy editing. It was a really lazy, poor attempt at making it seem like the show intended to have both queens win.
Historically, Drag Race films each finalist “winning” at the time of filming and then edits the winner into the airing finale episode to avoid spoilers from ruining the top queens.
The editing made it apparent that at the time of filming, the show had no intention of crowning both queens. It was sloppy, confusing, and awkwardly put together. I love both of the winning queens and I’m happy they both won, but the finale did not do either of them justice or allow me to celebrate their wins properly. The haphazard editing took me right out of my excitement. I’m hopeful for their reigns and know they will each do wonders with the All Stars title, but I feel like Drag Race failed to give them valid, powerful wins.
After this finale, I hope Drag Race takes a well-needed break from All Stars. When they come back, I just hope they’ve at least got a better editing team.