Now that we know most of the cast of the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars with a tenth queen forthcoming when the show premieres next year it’s time to size up the crop. What, you thought we’d wait for the show to premiere to place our bets? What is All Stars if not a chance to make pre-judgments based on what we already know?
Off our impressions from the show, plus what they’ve managed to do since, we’ve broken down each queen’s odds at winning it all. Feel free to chime in with your own thoughts on Twitter @Into perhaps you’ll guess exactly right!
For her: Milk made the very good point during the special that RuPaul’s Drag Race took a lot of inspiration from her work on season six. She came out in a beard, only to be followed by season seven’s bearded runway. She appeared in male Ru drag for one runway, and Kennedy Davenport won the next season’s Snatch Game in male Little Richard drag. Milk has every right to call herself a Drag Race trailblazer.
Against her: Unfortunately, trailblazers are usually recognized for their contributions after the fact, not in the moment. Add to that that most of Milk’s most memorable work since the show has been out of drag namely, his ad campaign with Marc Jacobs and her chances seem a bit spoiled.
For her: Aja only has to beat rock-bottom expectations. As both she and Ru said during the ruveal special, Aja did not perform very well on season nine. But anyone who knows her work off the show (including and especially Sasha Velour, season nine champ) knows Aja is a force. She’ll benefit from being able to overcome her poor initial performance.
Against her: People love an underdog, but Aja is the underest of dogs. She’ll benefit from lowered expectations for a while, but it’d take a small miracle for her to go all the way against this group.
For her: Morgan has an advantage no other girl on this list has: She’s a hostess at one of the biggest Drag Race shows in the country. Girls from all seasons come through her and Raven’s domain at Micky’s in West Hollywood, and she’s gotten to see most of their tricks and treats. Assuming All Stars season three keeps a similar format to season two in which the queens must eliminate each other she may have the edge on understanding who she needs to chop.
Against her: In the queen ruveal special, Morgan herself put it best: Back in season two, the queens didn’t need to have the most defined personas. They basically just performed as themselves. This lack of definition can be seen as a blank slate Tatianna certainly took it as one as she made a lasting impression in All Stars season two. But it can also be seen as a handicap: Fewer people have seen that season, and are less aware of who she is. If Morgan can’t immediately define herself, she may not last long in this crop.
For her: Thorgy is really damn good at Drag Race. That’s a different skill than being a great drag queen, mind you, though we’d argue she’s both. But it’s the former skill that will serve her well here: Until she got too far into her own head, she routinely dominated challenges, though she always fell short of the win. If she can manage to edit herself, she’ll do well.
Against her: I’m not quite sure she has learned to edit. I’ve seen some of Thorgy’s work post-show, and it definitely still has a lot going on. Plus, the season eight queens were a weaker crop overall than these All Stars are. Thorgy can’t just do what she did last time and win; it’s going to take a reinvention.
For her: Before Katya was Katya, BenDeLaCreme was basically Katya. She was an enormous fan favorite with a dynamic personality that won over both RuPaul and the audience at home. Her elimination at fifth in season six was seen as a shock boot at the time. Her goal now will be to show with this second chance that she should’ve won in the first place.
Against her: To put it bluntly, of all the queens featured in the queen ruveal special, Ben’s drag looks like it’s come along the least since her season. A lot of her competitors have upped their games considerably since being on. If Ben wants to avoid being the next Ginger Minj a strongly performing queen from her original season who couldn’t maintain that standard of excellence in All Stars she’ll need to pull some impressive tricks out.
For her: Kennedy, more than most on this list, has benefitted from a reconsideration of her Drag Race run. When season seven aired, she seemed aggressive, even villainous, in her manner. She and Ginger Minj, along with other queens, branded themselves “the Bitter Old Lady Brigade,” and spoke often with great disrespect toward the younger queens, including and especially eventual winner Violet Chachki. Since then, however, qualms about her personality have taken a backseat to immense respect for her talent as a pageant queen and dancer. If she had been on All Stars season two, Kennedy might’ve inspired eye-rolls. Now, she’ll inspire cheers.
Against her: It delighted me, because I live for drama, but hearing Kennedy say she doesn’t know why she didn’t make top three instead of Pearl in season seven is a red flag. She’s competing with the best of the best this time; she needs to respect her fellow competitors, else be once again branded a bad sport by fans and judges alike.
Chi Chi DeVayne
For her: Me! I’m for her! I love I love Chi Chi DeVayne. I think Chi Chi probably should have won season eight. Unfortunately, she competed on the show at a time when expensive fashion was a paramount concern, and her underdog narrative was beaten out by stunning model queen Naomi Smalls’ own arc. Plus, Bob the Drag Queen was a force to be reckoned with on that season all the way until the end. But as a performer and a creative mind, Chi Chi’s the whole package and the real deal. Personally, she’s my pick for the win.
Against her: *removes my stan hat* Okay, so Chi Chi suffers from the same “skosh short of legendary” problem Trixie does, and she suffers from not excelling in one particular thing. (You could argue it’s her dancing, but Kennedy has her beat in that regard.) She’ll bring more polish this time around, but she’s going to need to do a bit more to make a compelling argument that she belongs in the Drag Race Hall of Fame.
Seasons: 2 and 3
Placements: 12th and 5th
For her: The prodigal daughter of the Haus of Edwards returns. This will be the Haus’ sixth shot at the crown, and none has placed better than fifth (as Shangela did in season three and Alyssa Edwards did in All Stars season two). With the polish she’s developed since she last competed, Shangela has a real chance of taking home glory. If great looks, killer dance moves and side-splitting comedy can’t take the crown, what can?
Against her: As the only queen to compete in three seasons, critics could argue Shangela carries a bit of “been there, done that” with her. She’ll need to consistently surprise and raise the bar to get to the end.
For her: Trixie is a superstar. She’s perhaps the poorest-performing queen from a season of Drag Race to rise so astronomically far post-show. Her work with fan favorite Katya has elevated her, certainly, but her wicked sense of humor and soulful country music has also given her an identity of her own. She’s reminiscent of All Stars season two winner Alaska in exactly how far she’s grown.
Against her: The first two winners of All Stars were legends: Chad Michaels and Alaska. Trixie, to put it bluntly, still feels a bit short of that echelon. A lot of her viability as a winner will depend on how much she dominates All Stars season three. Still, based on her work post-show, she’s the one to beat.