Ohhhhh honey, the fifth episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 4 was full of drama straight from Mama Ru herself, with several twists and turns. The comedy challenge featured the mock funeral of RuPaul’s bestie, the drag legend Lady Bunny. The competitors had to roast Bunny, eulogy-style, in front of a live audience.
Because Monique Heart of Kansas City was the top competitor last week, she got to assign the order in which the queens would roast Lady Bunny. Monet X Change led the way, followed by Trinity the Tuck, Monique, Naomi Smalls, Valentina, and finally Manila Luzon.
The queens seemed nervous to come up with original material. Trinity and Valentina seemed especially anxious, as their jokes bombed in a practice run in front of Cecily Strong, the guest judge and joke coach who’s a cast member of Saturday Night Live. Strong urged each queen to go funny or go home.
On the main stage, Lady Bunny had been laid to rest in a casket facing the crowd. She tried to keep a straight face, but her big-banged blonde wig jiggled with every giggle. Monet, the first to speak, nailed every joke, keeping the rhythm of a roast that would make Dean Martin blush. Trinity, Naomi and Valentina bombed, awkwardly laughing at their own jokes, even though crickets were all we heard from the audience.
Monique went a different route, doing a character piece as a big-breasted Southern Baptist minister. She took us to church and made us laugh. Manila wrapped up the show in true roast style, not only targeting the faux-deceased, but also her fellow competitors, as she read the last will and testament of Lady Bunny. At the end, Bunny came back to life and quickly roasted the queens before returning to her casket, Miss Vanjie-style.
For the runway look, the category was “Angelic White.” Each queen was stunning, and the judges gave little to no negative feedback. Highlights included Monet’s nod to the Pope, complete with papal mitre and a train that took up the entire runway. Monique’s look was made from vinyl blinds fashioned to look like angelic feathers. Manila was gorgeous, with a subtle nod to RuPaul’s Champion video, crossed with a Grecian goddess.
Cue twist number one: If you aren’t in the top, you’re in the bottom. Ru announced that winners Manila and Monet would be lip-syncing for their legacy, but would have the chance to eliminate any of the remaining queens, rather than just the bottom two. Backstage, it seemed like the playing field was equal. Each queen has had successes and downfalls this season. It appeared that Valentina may be in danger because her lack of awareness about her past performances visibly annoyed the remaining queens.
Back on the main stage, Manila and Monet lip-synched to Aretha Franklin’s “Jump to It.” Both queens comically mashed their mouths to the lyrics and worked it out on the runway. Ru announced Manila as the winner, but then turned to Monet (cue twist number two) and also deemed her the winner. They split the $10,000 tip.
The other competitors were shocked. Would they both eliminate one person? In twist number three, Mama Ru announced that none of the queens would be going home this week, but that All Stars rules would be suspended until further notice.
Everyone was gagging, wondering what that means. Backstage, the queens found a message written on the mirror: “Get ready to lip sync for your life, life, life, life.” As they puzzled over that, the backlit mirror revealed Lady Bunny, back from the grave, who told them to turn around for the final twist. All the eliminated queens stood behind them – Gia Gunn, Latrice Royale, Farrah Moan and Jasmine Masters, each dressed in funeral attire. What’s next? We’re stuck with this cliffhanger for days, but we’ll find out next week.
You can catch weekly watch parties at Woody’s Classic Sports Pub in Midtown at 7 p.m. Fridays, hosted by local drag legends Candice Marie and Luna Flare.