Power-Ranking the ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4’ Queens

Welcome to Drag Race Power Rankings! Every Saturday, we’ll debrief the previous night’s new episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 to determine which queens are riding high, and which need she-mergency care. This week, we’re untucking from the premiere and mourning the elimination of season 7 veteran Jasmine Masters.

10. Jasmine Masters — ELIMINATED

Jasmine Masters, you beautiful human. No one thinks quite like the season 7 alumni does, and no one makes us laugh quite as hard, either. Unfortunately, she couldn’t translate her viral video humor into an effective stand-up act during the All-Star Variety Show challenge. We’ll miss her commentary, but at least she’ll come back during the inevitable revenge/return episode.

9. Farrah Moan

The only reason Farrah Moan is not last on this list is because she didn’t get eliminated. She did basically every single thing wrong in this premiere, from bombing the reading challenge to crying constantly. I feel for Farrah, because she’s clearly sensitive, but this is All Stars. It’s the big leagues for a reason. If Aja could go from disappointing to a fan favorite in mere months between season 9 and All Stars 3, Farrah should absolutely have grown more in two years. I know she’s beautiful, and I believe she’s talented. The room for growth is there.

There’s some sturm und drang online today about Farrah’s edit in the episode — that the show shouldn’t have used the take where she fell during her burlesque act. Frankly, I don’t care much; Farrah looked nervous and awkward before the fall anyway. She survived the episode, and she should be grateful. The only thing she did in the premiere that I appreciated was fighting as hard as she did to stay during deliberations. It clearly worked, at least on Trinity.

8. Monét X Change

I love New York’s own Monét X Change. So much. So this hurts me to say. But girl? This was a whole mess. Monét’s entrance look was weak, and Monique was right to read it. Her jokes in the reading challenge, while fairly well-delivered, were decent at best. And her performance to “Soak It Up” was wrong in both conception and execution. We don’t need another fake-out death drop — it was great the first time, but only because it was surprising. Plus, the sponge bit is played out; it was a recurring gag throughout season 10. We got it, girl. We need more.

7. Gia Gunn

I actually really liked Gia’s variety show act. Kabuki isn’t likely to translate as entertaining in a drag competition, but it was really artfully done and brought something new to the Drag Race mainstage. What lands Gia down here in the bottom half of the list is how incredibly sour she was throughout the show. Sincere villains are fun; purposeful antagonism is kinda toxic. Also, her reads were unnecessarily mean. Calling Farrah “untalented” isn’t fun, it’s spiteful for the sake of spite.

6. Naomi Smalls

It feels odd to put Naomi this low, considering she was top three in the judges’ eyes and exuded an attractive, formidable confidence all episode. But for one, the top six here are all incredible; this season is going to be one tight race. And two, I liked her posing-in-fashion act quite a bit less than the judges did. The wig reveal at the end was cute, if a bit overpraised. That said, her Farrah read during the mini-challenge was excellent. I have a feeling we’ll be spending a lot of time with Naomi this season.

5. Manila Luzon

Manila would’ve made my top two for the week. Her painting act was fascinating, and had one hell of a double-reveal at the end. Her entrance look was also amazing, a roadkill riff on her infamous Big Bird dress. I’m notoriously not a huge fan of Manila’s, but this episode did a lot to endear her to me. (See also: her reactions to everyone else’s acts, which were so cute and heartwarming.) I have her as low as I do because, for as much as I loved her work this episode, she seemed to barely register with the judges. I’m hopeful this week is just an appetizer on Manila’s journey, and that she’ll keep upping the stakes moving forward.

4. Valentina

How in the hell did Valentina get away with just lip-syncing for the variety show? That’s a talent literally all the girls should have. And yet? She was pretty mesmerizing! Her dance moves were serving Jennifer Lopez fire, and the lip sync itself (in Spanish!) was super sharp. Most of all, though, Valentina gets this placement on the list because of her truly excellent bonus read of Latrice. Being the best at something that wasn’t even on the main show? Total Valentina move.

3. Monique Heart

The heart of season 10 came roaring back in this premiere, nailing her variety show premiere performance of “Brown Cow Stunning.” I’ve had the song stuck in my head all morning. Monique was also excellent across the board — in talking heads, in her workroom entrance, in her reads. I’m knocking her down to third, though, because she lost her wig during the lip sync. We’ve been over this: No matter how impressive a wig reveal may be in a club performance, it does not work on Drag Race. Period. Ru hates it. That is a well-established fact, and it speaks poorly of you if you’re still doing it. She’s lucky it got stuck in the rafters, because Ru laughed it off in a way she might not have otherwise. Monique is so close to being at 10s across the board, but her lip syncing record leaves much to be desired.

2. Trinity the Tuck

Trinity the Tuck (née Taylor) might be a BenDeLaCreme or Alaska-style All Stars assassin. She was great at literally everything this premiere. She got a lot of the talking heads, performed well in the reading challenge (bonus for effectively bouncing bad reads back at Farrah and Gia), and chose exactly the right type of act during the variety show. Her tucking tutorial wouldn’t have made my personal top two, but I get why the judges loved it. Moreover, she’s responding to what the judges like about her by doubling down on comedy. She’s playing this game smart, and she’s playing to win.

The one thing about a contestant like Trinity is that they can get somewhat boring to watch; it’s so technically perfect that it loses any wow factor. She’ll need to be mindful of that as she moves through the season. But for now, she’s in great shape — and $10,000 richer.

1. Latrice Royale

Eat it! Latrice Royale killed it this week. Her reads were excellent on a whole other level, and she became only the second contestant ever to win Reading Is Fundamental twice (after Alaska). Not only that, but Latrice carried herself throughout the episode with such gravitas; she knows she’s a legend, and she’s acting as such. But that doesn’t mean she can’t bust a move when she needs to. Her color guard performance was dynamic; she burst through it with energy. Though she was just ruled safe, Latrice leads the pack in my book. It’s hard to imagine someone this poised not sailing through the competition.


 

Kevin O'KeeffeKevin O'Keeffe

Kevin O'Keeffe is a writer and 'RuPaul's Drag Race' herstorian. He covers film and TV for INTO, and writes the movie review column "But How Gay Is It?" every Friday.

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