'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars' Season 3, Ep. 5: Andy Warhol Ball & 'Handmaid' Surprise
As RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars season 3 narrows down the cast, we’re inching ever closer to figuring out what the hell is going on with all these Handmaid’s Tale references. Spoilers Ahead: After Thursday (Feb. 22) night’s episode, we learned next week will feature the return of at least three eliminated queens, and we also were introduced to the 14 queens from the upcoming season 10 of RuPaul’s Drag Race (just a month away -- March 22). But before that, the competitors were tasked with creating a soup can that exemplified their brand (yes, truly, that happened) and delivering their chicest Studio 54 lewks. Here’s what Billboard Pride Editor Patrick Crowley and Deputy Editor, Digital, Joe Lynch thought about the Warhol Ball and more.
Joe: I have to say, and you may disagree with me, but I think this season has been insanely fun to watch. I complained about the editing early on but the last few episodes have genuinely made me wonder what’s going to happen, and so many of the challenges have been a blast to watch. Last night’s was more traditional, yes, but I loved getting a mini challenge AND the Studio 54 looks were gag-worthy, for the most part. I agree with the judges that Aja’s was a weird mish-mash of different eras but it was also gorgeous, so… who cares. (Side note: I loved Ru saying her youth wasn’t an excuse for not knowing the history before her. So true - if everyone only knew about things they grew up with, it would be a sad world.)
Patrick: This season has been a lot of fun, but it’s felt more gimmicky than past seasons. I feel like I’m just waiting to see what happens with these handmaids, rather than rooting hard for any particular contestant. Speaking of -- why were there only three handmaids at the end? They know they’ve sent five girls packing, right?
Joe: I was wondering the same. Maybe two decided, to quote Bartleby the Scrivener, “I would prefer not to” return. I could see Chi Chi being like, “I’m good, see you later.” And I guess the fan theory about BeBe BeBeing a plant is wrong because she finally won a challenge? Related: Do you think she deserved to win? I thought her soup was weak and obvious.
Patrick: You’re gorgeous, you’re beautiful, you look like Diana Ross, you’re a model. What the hell are the judges seeing in BeBe that I don’t? Her runway was second worst, only to Shangela. And when Ross said he’d hang BeBe’s soup can as an art print, I seriously questioned what kind of art he is hanging on his walls. Woof! I still think BeBe is a plant -- it’s the only excuse for her skating through this competition. I think Aja will be back with the handmaid’s twist, but the fact that she didn’t have one of her clapbacks when BeBe sent her packing after Aja helped her make her gown shows real growth for Aja, no? I mean -- I would have preferred another iconic takedown, but good on her for not having a hissy fit!
Joe: Agreed on both counts, but regardless, Aja’s straight-to-camera commentary has been the best of All Stars 3. I live for it. Every time she speaks you know it’s going to be gold.
Patrick: Truth! I loved her reaction to BeBe legit reading her obituary when they had their one-on-one.
Joe: That was iconic. Another instantly iconic Aja moment. But like you said, it showed a restraint and maturity that wasn’t there on season 9, but that was a HARD GLARE she was giving BeBe. What outfits did you love?
Patrick: As a graphic designer, I cringed at every last one of those can outfits, so I’ll focus on the Studio 54 lewks. I really loved Trixie’s, but I thought Ben brought it again too! When they were clocking her for not giving “120 percent,” I was a little shocked. But I guess it would have been insane to have someone win five challenges in a row? I liked Kennedy’s outfit too, save for the odd yellow reflector on the center of her belt. What about you?
Joe: Kennedy was the best for the challenge, but Aja looked the best. I actually did like BeBe’s look. I hear what they’re saying about Ben, but I also sympathize with Ben, like, “sorry for not changing your lives every two seconds with staggering genius.” Anyway, what do you think the Kitty Girls challenge (where the queens do a girl group and some of the axed competitors are thrown back in) is gonna look like next week? Return of Thorgy? Return of Aja? Maybe even Morgan?
Patrick: If Thorgy isn’t there, I’m not interested!
Joe: I just hope we get to hear Ru say “Wagon Wheel Watusi” in her Cher voice again.
Patrick: Honestly, the thing I’m most excited for next week is Trixie revealing that she choose to give Shangela the boot. THE DRAMA! It’s going to happen, right?
Joe: No way. Trixie is from the Midwest -- that’s not snake country, queen.
Patrick: Oh honey, I’m from Iowa and I find Taylor Swift very relatable. Anyway, I thought it was strange that they revealed the season 10 cast right after the episode -- arguably on an episode they wanted people talking about. Like, here’s the big reveal -- jk, meet our new queens!
Joe: Fair, but that Facebook Live was super entertainting. I’m into this new cast.
Patrick. Same! Who are your early favorites? I’m really excited for Monét X Change because I’ve seen her kill it at Industry a few times. I’m also excited to see what Mayhem Miller will bring to the table. She’s a WeHo legend and so many queens respect the hell out of her.
Joe: Yes, Monét X Change is great, and I’ve been gagged by Aquaria and Dusty Ray Bottoms before. Not literally.
Patrick: Sure, Jan.