Even if you're late to the runway, you're still just in time for something amazing! I've loved RuPaul since the "Supermodel (You Better Work)" phenomenon in 1992, but only recently have I caught up on the modern reality TV sensation RuPaul's Drag Race that launched in 2009. The original series, the complimentary Untucked! episodes, and RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars are available for your binging delight on Paramount+ and other VH1 streaming partners.
I just finished drinking all that tea just in time for All Stars 7! Episodes drop on Paramount+ each Friday starting May 20, 2022!
The trailer and pre-season interviews are giving me life, hunny! It's a race of all races: past winners of Drag Race and All Stars face off for a whopping $200K prize and the title of "Queen of All Queens." Let's take a look at what to expect, starting with the trailer itself:
Watching this trailer, I had to ask myself, "Why you gagging', she bring it to you every season?!" These are some of my favorite queens, and the teases we're getting for their new runway looks have me in awe. Let's step through this roster of competitors and kiki on what we might be looking forward to. Okurrr?!
Gotta start with Raja, the longest-running Drag Race veteran in this competition. I fell in love with my fellow Gen Xer Raja during her 2011 run to the Season 3 crown. Raja channeled her first-hand experience working with Tyra Banks on America's Next Top Model into her memorable "smizing" in the Snatch Game challenge. Raja also used her self-proclaimed "master's degree in FIERCE" to set a high bar for bringing distinctive high fashion to the Drag Race runway. Raja's unique mix of energy, humor, and glam made her one of my all-time favorites, and I'm looking forward to seeing her more than anyone in All Stars 7. She will top what she did 11 years ago and show us what it means to have a full-on Ph.D. in fierce!
Next up, the beloved, neurotic narcoleptic Jinkx Monsoon is back! I adore Jinkx! She's made guest appearances since her Season 5 win, including giving advice to newer Drag Race contestants. Her sense of humor is a perfect balance between camp and charm, and her quick wit makes her near perfection in improv challenges. It's going to be tough for any other All Stars 7 queen to cross comedy swords with Jinkx. Add in her professional voice experience, and it may very well be Monsoon season again!
Drag Race Season 9 is represented twice in All Stars 7. First, Shea Couleé is bringing her Naomi Campbell stomp and avant-garde looks to the runway, returning from her All Stars 5 win in 2020. I enjoyed watching Shea in Season 9, but I really became a fan of hers during All Stars. She's a force to be reckoned with, and she'll be in a group that's on par with her level artistry. And y'all, I can't wait to see Shea get the praise she deserves straight from the legendary Naomi Campbell herself.
Also representing Season 9 is All Stars 4 co-winner Trinity the Tuck. Trinity is consistently beautiful on the runway and humorous in acting challenges. At the same time, she is notorious for the shade she throws toward other competitors. Trinity may be the most controversial queen in All Stars 7 after a 2021 scandal that played out on social media. The trailer and interviews suggest that Trinity has moved on from the controversy, but I still vote Trinity as most likely to throw shade.
Speaking of All Stars 4, I'm so excited to see Trinity's co-winner Monét X Change back in the house! While Raja is the queen I most look forward to seeing, I want Monét to take this crown. Monét showed in Drag Race Season 10 that she has amazing energy and is a fierce competitor across the board. But she also keeps it real with her drag sisters, and they awarded her for that, making her Miss Congeniality. Later, in All Stars 4, she brought all her effervescence to a new level of polish that got her into the Drag Race Hall of Fame. I'm ready to see what looks, performances, and workroom mischief Monét is up to now!
I'm also excited to see consecutive Drag Race winners Yvie Oddly (Season 11) and Jaida Essence Hall (Season 12). Yvie is one of a kind with an iconic, endearing laugh, insane acrobatic skills, and over-the-top expressiveness. I've always thought of her as having a combination of Raja's creative energy, Shea's attention to artistic details, and Monét's warmth and authenticity. I know the girls of All Stars 7 are going to love working with Yvie, and I am sure she'll inspire them in return.
Jaida brings beauty and confidence to the runway and a strong, no-nonsense work ethic to the workroom. She's the personification of Jinkx's famous mantra "water off a duck's back": when something is not going her way, she faces it head-on and works past it. Though Jaida has proven herself as an all-around drag powerhouse, she was criticized for her 2020 win during the pandemic lockdown. That might make her feel like she has something to prove with this group of veterans. I hope her tearful moment in the trailer is something positive and that she quickly moves past any insecurities. She could definitely slay All Stars 7.
Now let's look at the wild card of the bunch: The Vivienne, winner of RuPaul's Drag Race UK Season 1. Not only has Viv not competed against any of these other queens, but she's not competed against any American queens. Will that be to her disadvantage? I think she's going to surprise us! Her closest competition in All Stars is probably Jinkx: Viv shares Jinkx's beauty and quick wit, and they're equally versatile, changing things up to perfectly fit the needs of each challenge. If Viv can deliver her humor in a way that keeps American judges laughing, she'll be the dark horse in this competition.
Looking over the whole roster, there isn't anyone here that I wouldn't appreciate winning All Stars 7 (Monét being just slightly ahead of the others for me). But the real question is: how did these girls mix on set? We know that Drag Race is more than sick runway looks and iconic challenges.
Well, we got a taste of what to expect from Entertainment Weekly's Around the Table interview with Joey Nolfi in April. There, I see a group of confident queens who just want to have fun, support each other, and show how their drag has evolved.
Sure, there's always the potential for shade and sparks, and the new set of competition rules could stir up drama. But it's like Mama Ru says, "She done already done had herses." Each of these queens is a past winner already, so all we have to do is enjoy watching them have fun and show off their best selves. I think the highlights of this season will be heart-warming moments and amazing artistic energy. No doubt, the true winners will be the audience!
Now, let's get hyped with a video introducing all the queens of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7:
What are you looking forward to seeing? What other past winners would you love to see in a competition like this?
Editor's note: Many of the queens listed here identify as non-binary, some both in and out of drag. However, I have used the pronoun "she" throughout this article in reference to drag's tradition as a female illusion art.