Only one queen snatched the crown on Thursday’s RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3. And while Trixie gets to walk away with the glitz and glory, it’s just as easy to say that there were plenty of winnersand plenty of losersthis season.
These winners may not walk away with prizes or a place in the Drag Race hall of fame, but they’re definitely walking away with higher profiles than they did previously. But, just as there are multiple winners, there are also a lot of loserspeople who came out the other end of All Stars looking, well, not so great.
Here’s a quick breakdown on who won and who lost this season, ranked from biggest loser to biggest winner.
Biggest Loser: Milk
All Stars 3 will always be remembered as the moment Milk went sour. Milk garnered a fandom after her season 6 performance, which was equal parts irreverence and fashion. But, during All Stars 3, she seemed deluded, whiny, and entitled. She never performed well, but seemed to think she was competition best in each challenge. Once you cry about being safe, it’s pretty hard to recover.
Loser: Morgan McMichaels
Perhaps Morgan hoped to replicate the success of Drag Race Season 2’s Tatianna, who returned for All Stars 2 and slayed. Tatianna became part of one of the best lip sync numbers in the show’s history and was able to build up a “robbed” narrative due to her elimination at the hands of Ro-Laska-Tox. But, rather than winning the first challenge like Tatianna, Morgan failed to impress off the bat. Later, she was seen as taking up space when she won a place back in the competition over Aja and was quickly eliminated for her lackluster Beige Swan character.
Loser: Thorgy Thor
I was among the people who were rooting for problematic fave Thorgy Thor to get a chance to craft a narrative separate from Bob the Drag Queen, but alas, it was not meant to be. Thorgy name-dropped the Season 8 winner and tripped over her own insecurities and self-defeatism. Whereas she was a creative clown in her season, All Stars 3 saw her sort of give up and leave a sour taste in some viewers’ mouths. Thorgy only really redeemed herself in some viewer’s eyes when she was the sole queen to vote for Shangela in the All Stars finale.
As our own Kevin O’Keeffe pointed out in his review of episode 7, All Stars 3 often felt like a slog to watch. Rather than focus on talent, this installment focused on drama, and the viewer’s patience began to wear thin. A lot of that weight has to fall on the producers, including RuPaul himself. For many, All Stars 3 will always feel like the moment that RuPaul lost control of his show. After an interview in the Guardian in which he said that physically transitioning queens would “probably not” be allowed to compete on Drag Race, previous queens, including Willam, Sasha Velour, and Monica Beverly Hillz, began to speak out against Ru. After a messy season onscreen and off, can RuPaul win us back in season 10?
Toss-Up: ChiChi DeVayne
ChiChi walked into All Stars 3 with a prime narrative. She narrowly missed a (very deserved) top three spot on Season 8 and looked as if she’d return with the budget and skills to smash the competition. What ended up happening was, as she said on her own Twitter, she became the Roxxxy Andrews of the season, taking four trips to the bottom before being eliminated.
ChiChi, however, was always self-aware of her status as the also-ran this season and that humility endeared viewers. Very few fans complained about ChiChi being there as much as they did against Roxxxy, who failed all the way to the Top 4, as opposed to ChiChi, who didn’t make it halfway thru the season.
Toss-Up: Bebe Zahara Benet
Drag Race’s OG winner shocked fans everywhere when she came back to the workroom to compete for the title once again on All Stars 3. Early internet rumors cast her as the All Stars “mole,” a sleeper agent chosen by RuPaul to watch the queens. Eventually, rumor had it, she’d be called upon to help choose the eventual winner. But as Bebe won challenges and lip syncs, the mole theory fell apart, and everyone was left scratching their head as to why a winner was left competing among a group of people hungry for redemption. Her mere presence upset fans so much that she began to receive racist death threats for sending home fellow queen Aja.
Benet’s tenure on All Stars 3 was solid. She won challenges and served some great looks. But she had her missteps: her haughty attitude, the feeling that she overstayed her welcome as a past winner, and, of course, that mess of a wig reveal during “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here.” That said, her performance is still a net positive and time will probably be kind to her All Stars 3 performance.
Toss-up: Trixie Mattel
As with Alaska’s victory in All Stars 2, there’s a palpable lack of enthusiasm for third Hall of Fame entrant Trixie Mattel. Where Katya was the clear fan favorite by the time Alaska had pronounced the second “p” in “Paypal,” Trixie’s win has two clear asterisks next to it: BenDeLaCreme, who infamously delivered her own outro to the competition, and Shangela, who had the stats to snatch the crown. As we learned from Alaska’s win, time is kind to all winners eventually. But for now, Trixie’s win feels more borrowed on credit than earned.
Aja came into All Stars 3 as the ultimate underdog. They finished ninth on Drag Race’s Season 9 and was more famous for their Untucked moments than their drag looks. But, Aja came back with more know-how of the game and more fire. Aja stunned in the primary challenge and once again achieve meme stardom with the “Is she gonna jump from there?” heard ‘round the world. By the time Aja left, people were ready to say they were being robbed and when Morgan McMichaels came back over Aja, people were none too happy with the decision. Aja was able to make us all stans.
Yes, Shangela’s Game of Thrones-based season-long narrating may have turned grating by the end of the season, but there’s no doubt that Shangela Laquifa Wadley came to slay. And she did. Down to the very last episode, Shangela had the fan support and the statistical track record to take the crown. However, as Shea Coulee will tell you, the math doesn’t always work out. Shangela’s only (minor) misstep all season was perhaps her lip sync fatsuit. Aside from that, Shangela got to remind Drag Race fans why she was the first queen ever to compete on two seasons and now the only to compete on three. All hail.
Who got to show off their range of talent more than (Newark, Laguardia,) Kennedy Davenport during All Stars 3? Though she only had one win for the Bitchelor challenge, the win reminded everyoneespecially judge Ross Mathewsthat Kennedy was not only a pageant queen, she was a comedy queen who slayed the Snatch Game on Drag Race Season 7 and an acting challenge in All Stars 3. Kennedy’s confessional tapes were also some of the most personal on the show. Hearing her speak about the way she had felt disinherited from the Drag Race success that her colleagues were able to enjoy was a reminder that Drag Race and its fandom are not always the best judge and jury of a performer’s talent. Kennedy got to plead her case and won over legions of new fans.
Biggest Winner: BenDeLaCreme
Regardless of who won the crown, BenDeLaCreme is the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3. Until a queen with more than five victories comes along, BenDeLa will hold the record for most wins in a single season. DeLa also delivered gag-worthy television when she eliminated herself from the competition prematurely. DeLa’s early exit not only leaves an asterisk next to Trixie’s eventual crowning, but it means she’ll always be able to play the role of the gracious winner who was above the competition. In a way, she laughed at the very notion of the competition show and, in doing so, came out on top.