Welcome back to the INTO RuView, where we recap “RuPaul’s Drag Race” week by week. The twelfth and final episode of All Stars 6, “This is Our Country,” saw the queens add their own flavor to a RuPaul country song before a winner was crowned. For the last time this season, let’s get into it.
This episode started with a party! The Top 4 — Eureka, Ginger, Kylie and Ra’Jah — came in on the top of the world. It’s understandable; now that the comeback twist has come and gone, they’ve guaranteed their spots in the finale. It feels a bit in poor taste having just sent Trinity home, who had her Top 4 spot ripped away from her … but also, I can’t blame them. I’d do the exact same thing.
They dig into the votes, revealing that Trinity voted for Ra’Jah to be eliminated. It makes sense — Ra’Jah was decidedly the weakest in last week’s challenge. But it doesn’t amount to much, considering Ra’Jah has slayed the competition almost every other week.
The girls reflect on their journeys thus far. It’s an especially momentous occasion for Kylie and Ra’Jah, who both floundered on their original seasons. They both placed 9th originally (a fun coincidence), and now they’ve made it to the finale and are strong contenders for the crown. Talk about a glow up!
The next day, the queens enter to find Trinity’s mirror message. They honor her with a rendition of her verse from “Show Up Queen,” a reminder that though Trinity may have missed out on the finale, she was an integral part of this season and definitely could have snatched the crown if she had made it to the end.
Ru comes in to announce the week’s maxi challenge: each queen needs to write a verse to her original song, “This is Our Country,” which is, and I’m directly quoting this so you know I’m not making it up, “a love letter to the U.S. of A.”
I just have one question: why. WHY. Why are we celebrating America, as queer people, when it almost always disappoints us? When it fails so many of its citizens? This is an all too common example of Ru pandering to Middle America, when this show would be so elevated by a rejection of the mainstream and celebration of folks on the margins.
Luckily, the queens got the memo, and they’re not just blinding celebrating the U.S. in their verses. The song, which features vocals from Tanya Tucker, promises to give a more nuanced look at America. Kylie plans to address the discrimination she’s faced, both for her “uneducated” Southern accent and her transness, and Ra’Jah aims to tackle the fact that America isn’t a safe space for so many of its citizens, particularly Black people, at the hands of police brutality. It’s a tall order for queens to write lyrics that encompass all the nuances of the United States, but if any group could do it, it would be these four.
The queens head to the mainstage to learn choreography from Jamal Sims, verified daddy of the “Drag Race” franchise. Ra’Jah’s up first, and she’s struggling to master the intricate line dance choreo Jamal is throwing at her. But Ra’Jah’s a dancer — I’m not concerned.
Eureka also has some trouble at first, but it’s heartwarming to watch her get on the right track with Jamal’s guidance. Let me just put it out there that these queens are SO brave to be learning (and struggling with) choreography on TV. I’d be mortified if I in that process were forever immortalized. Good for them.
Kylie’s choreo isn’t too tricky, apart from one killer bandana toss. She throws it too far, she throws it too high — it’s the kind of thing that would stick out like a sore thumb if she flubbed it. All we can do is pray.
And Ginger is challenged by Jamal to deliver a sexy performance. It’s not her forte, but it’s not unheard of for her either. She’s told to pop her back a few times, but, uh, she basically looks like a cat throwing up. It’s okay, she can work on it.
Next, the girls get to be guests on Ru and Michelle’s podcast. Eureka’s up first, where she opens up about the pressure she felt on Season 10 to make her mother proud, considering it would likely be the last time she got to see her on such a big stage. I know Eureka is reading this, but I hope she knows her mother is undoubtedly proud of her, wherever she is.
Ginger talks about living up to the high expectations she’s garnered from her previous two “Drag Race” runs. She shares a story from working on “AJ And The Queen” with Ru, saying that Ru referred to her as her daughter. It’s a nice reminder that Ru does, in fact, have long term memory, and that she’s got a heart to boot.
Kylie is next, and she delves into the intricacies of her transition, agreeing with the judges that it really feels like it’s her first time on “Drag Race.”
“Once I transitioned, I realized who I am runs way deeper than the outside,” she said. C’mon, Kylie! She’s trans excellence — and, frankly, she’s excellence, period.
Ra’Jah is last, and she shares the details of her evolution as a queen. She doesn’t mention it here, but fun fact: Ra’Jah only spent $600 total on her All Stars runways. She never looked bad on Season 11, but it was nothing compared to the way she owned the runway this time around. This show needs to pay more dues to the queens who make all their own garments — it’s a talent that is absolutely essential to drag, but one that “Drag Race” only honors in a few key challenges.
For the final day of the competition, the queens enter with flair. They strike a “Charlie’s Angels” pose and announce themselves: “The fierce and fabulous final four!” A fitting title for the champions of an outstanding season.
There’s not much to report from the getting-ready section. Everyone is lovable, everyone wants to win. It bears mentioning that Kylie is wearing the cursed pronouns jacket from the Levi’s challenge last week — do I love this or hate it?? I legitimately still can’t make up my mind.
It’s time for the queens’ performance of “This is Our Country.” Nobody flopped — if I had to choose, Eureka’s verse was my least favorite. I think she tried to cram in too many ideas.
Meanwhile, Ra’Jah was undeniably the star of the show. Her lyrics were poignant and unafraid to address controversial issues, she nailed the dancing, she looked correct — she’s a deserving winner if I’ve ever seen one.
Category is … All Star Hall of Fame Eleganza Extravaganza
Best Look: Ginger Minj
Ginger hasn’t always nailed the runway this season, but she came through when it counted. This is absolutely stunning — it’s a gorgeous gown, period, but it also embodies some of Ginger’s camp sensibilities for a showstopping showcase of everything that makes her fabulous.
Runner-Up: Ra’Jah O’Hara
Of course Ra’Jah would bust out a purple gown for the finale, and look immaculate when doing it. I have no complaints about this look, aside from wishing it were just a bit more grand. Ra’Jah is devastatingly beautiful — but for an All Stars finale, I need just a bit more pizzazz.
Meh of the Week: Kylie Sonique Love
Kylie looks stunning, as per usual, and I love the concept of reclaiming the American flag. I just wish it were grander — if this were a gown instead of a cocktail dress, it would probably shoot to the top of my list. As it stands, though, it’s an extremely strong meh.
Worst Look: Eureka!
There’s no denying that Eureka looks good here. It’s just not anywhere near as exciting as the other three looks on the runway this week. But she’s unequivocally beautiful, and no one can take that away from her.
The critique segment is sappy, heartfelt and way too long. I won’t do you the disservice of repeating it here.
Instead, let’s jump to the lip sync. All four girls get the chance to prove themselves one last time, by turning it out to Lady Gaga’s “Stupid Love.” No one stands out as a loser, but one queen makes herself known with an iconic moment: Kylie Sonique Love.
Y’all know what I’m talking about. She trips on her coat, and instead of fumbling and costing herself the crown, she immediately adapts the fall into a somersault. That’s star power! That’s excellence! That’s superstar material!
And Ru agrees. She announces the season’s winner: Kylie Sonique Love!
Honestly, everybody in the Top 4 deserved the crown, and I would have been happy with any outcome. I stand by the fact that Ra’Jah should have won — her entire run this season, combined with her performance in this episode, was more than enough to secure a spot in the Hall of Fame — but Kylie was equally worthy. Her crowning marks the first time Ru has crowned a trans contestant, and it’s damn good to see. Ru may not be the most progressive TV host in the world, but she’s learning and growing, and you can’t be mad at her for that.
Man, what a season of “Drag Race.” I think you’ll agree that this easily ranks among the best seasons of all time. Is it better than All Stars 2? We need to let it age a little before we can make any final decisions. But I had a fabulous time, and I can’t wait to hit the replay button on Episode 1.