RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 7 Review: A Legendary Battle For The Crown

An “All Winners” season had a lot of expectations to live up to during RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 7.

These weren’t queens returning for their redemption and a spot in the Drag Race Hall of Fame. These were all winners, honey! Everyone had a crown and won their season, so we knew they could bring it and win the whole thing.

But if the queens were competing against the best, did they bring their best? That’s the big question the competition had to answer.

Now that all has been said and done, RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 7 was a thrilling and upbeat competition that left its mark on Drag Race herstory.

An exciting 12-episode run that showcased the best of the best when it came to drag. And the game served up hilarious and iconic moments that instantly became classics.

We’ll never forget Jinkx Monsoon as Judy Garland on RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 7 Episode 2! Or some of the legendary runways that hit the stage, like the neon lights runway.

We were treated to a season that focused on the competition and drag. Ending with a strong and incredible winner was the cherry on the sundae.

Jinkx Monsoon came out as a strong frontrunner early into the season (see above about Judy Garland). However, she kept that momentum and rode it high to the finals.

She was the best of the best for Drag Race, especially during this string of challenges.

Whenever we thought a week would hinder her or the queens would constantly give her the golden plunger, Jinkx bounced back the following week. Some rounds were questionable in her Top 2 placement, like the dance challenge on RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 7 Episode 9. But she still gave a strong performance regardless.

[In confessional] It has been a long hard road. And trust me, I love things that are long and hard. But at this point, there’s nothing left to do but just fucking win everything.

Jinkx Monsoon

Even the queens recognized that Jinkx was a force to be reckoned with this time.

Her strong track record during the season elevated her to the end. She was one of the few queens that could get a universal stamp of approval to win based on her performance. Jinkx is an excellent winner choice.

Jinkx’s return, along with the return of all the winners, showcased why this season was legendary: growth.

Many contestants hadn’t competed in over three years, with Jinkx and Raja being almost a decade. All Stars’ benefit is that we see how queens have grown since their original appearance.

Since these were all winners, their strengths and aptitude for runways kicked up a serious notch. The skills that won them the crown got better. Plus, they all had something to prove to justify their reigns.

The eight queens all were powerhouses in their way.

Case in point: the challenges and the runways.

The challenges during RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 7 were all familiar and standard Drag Race challenges on paper. You had the Roast challenge, the Ball, the girl group, the acting skit, and so on.

The difference here came from what the queens brought to them. Some memorable challenges came from Snatch Game, Fairytale Justice, and the Roast challenge.

These games had catchy and now-iconic lines served by the queens. Depending on the challenge, the entire cast did a great job; sometimes, it would be Jinkx dominating with her improv jokes or Monet X Change and Trinity the Tuck bringing the comedy with their quips.

For the runways, this time was where the more fashion-oriented queens knocked it out of the park.

The neon lights runway? Unforgettable. Most of the looks will go down as the best in Drag Race herstory.

The redesign of RuPaul’s legendary looks? Perfection. Peak fashion that strutted the runway.

Raja: How does it feel to have the most stars out of everyone here?
Monet X Change: Ultimately, what it does mean to me is that I’m better than every legend. Period.
[All the queens laugh]

We need to give queens like Raja, Shea Coulee, Trinity the Tuck, and Jaida major kudos for their style choices. They proved yet again why they’re impeccable fashion queens.

And the runways elevated what ensembles future queens could bring to All Stars.

The winners’ cast wasn’t the only new aspect for this edition.

Two key rule changes were made: (1) no queens would be eliminated until the finals, and (2) queens would be competing to earn points (i.e., the Legendary Legend Stars). Queens who earned enough stars would get a spot in the Lip-Sync For The Crown in the finals.

The format change was interesting in theory, and it did work for this competition with this group of queens. However, I would limit this format to only this season and select future seasons with specific themes.

Monet X Change: When Ru announced, was there a part where you thought I wouldn’t call you?
Trinity the Tuck: Ummm … no! I trust you. We had our alliance.
Monet X Change: We sure did.

Eliminations bring a lot of drama. That type of tension and chaos was sorely missed for 12 rounds.

Sure, it’s sad to see a queen go home early and not show their full potential. But sometimes, cutthroat and strategic gameplay encourages players to work harder when there’s more on the line.

Plus, the stars system only shined because there was a strong group of queens competing here that could theoretically win those stars.

In past seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race and RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, there’s a subtle divide between which queens are frontrunners and which queens are filler. You can tell part-way through if a queen has a good shot to win or not.

In a season of no eliminations, that fact would become so obvious when certain queens are amassing all the stars while others struggle to reach the top. And that’s not even including judging manipulation to force queens to the top for storyline purposes.

Why push contestants to the end if they don’t have any chance to get the stars? Eliminations make it feel like a competition with real stakes.

Introducing the golden plunger was a great way to inject some tension and strategic blocking.

I loved when a queen got blocked from earning stars because they were given the golden plunger the round before. It was a minor form of gameplay that the queens could make to affect, which stayed true to the All Star vibe.

My wish for each of you is that you leave knowing that the only Legendary Legend Star that really matters is you.

RuPaul

Though, it’s surprising that none of the contestants tried to game the system.

What would’ve happened if the queens kept bouncing the golden plunger between a small group of queens? Like, if Jinkx Monsoon, Yvie Oddly, and The Viviene were only given the plunger back to back? Would a new rule be thrown in?

The plunger could’ve hindered the game and made it impossible. The recent format of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 5 and RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 6 is the best version of the All Stars format.

Production should also look into their inclusion of twists.

The “Lip-Sync For The Crown” and “She Done Already Done Has Herses” sets were an excellent balance for the finale on RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 7 Episode 12. I loved seeing the queens getting their shot at a prize and showing off their lip-syncing skills.

However, the most problematic twist came when the value of the winning stars changed from one to three.

It was too late in the game to suddenly jump the value by three times. And by that point, many of the stars were evenly spread, so ending up in the Top 2 essentially gave away two spots in the finale.

This shady twist robbed Jaida Essence Hall, Raja, and The Vivienne. They worked hard in the challenges; it’s a shame they got forced out because of the twist.

Plus, it didn’t make Shea Coulee look good by winning it.

It’s not her fault that she had the lowest number of stars. She worked hard too, and she wasn’t going to turn down the opportunity of competing in the finals.

This twist would’ve worked better had it been added a round or two before; that way, more stars would be earned and given out. Instead, there was side-eye suspicion heading into the finals for what was a strong season before that moment.

Last Thoughts From The Werk Room:

  • Negative critiques should’ve been added to the episodes. Only showing the positive remarks from the judges made everyone look good, but it took away from making it a balanced competition.
     
  • Monet X Change and Trinity the Tuck’s alliance paid off. It was so poetic that Monet brought Trinity to the finale, and then they had to face each other in the lip-sync.
     
  • Wintergreen needs to be a contestant on a future season!

Now, over to you, Drag Race fans!

Are you happy that Jinkx won? What was your favorite moment of the season? Which queen do you want to compete in a future All Stars?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 7 is available to stream now on Paramount+.

Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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