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When Silky said she was « motherfucking ready » for lip-syncing in S11, she looked in the future. After two months of teasing AS6 it was well worth the wait thanks to the Reverend, Doctor and Registered Republican.
Bringing a queen back to the competition is a little questionable as it never feels really fair – and they leave usually shortly thereafter. But that lip-syncing extravaganza, like AS4’s, was mostly just a chance for rudeness: I don’t think Silky will return after that final lip-sync, but it doesn’t matter as she’s already won. What more could she achieve if she took part in the competition again, since there was no way she would win?
But that: Winning six lip-syncs in a row? To see her settle into herself week after week and regain the natural charm that was struck from her after the hatred she received on S11? The meek, scared Silky we saw in the S11 final – the one who barely tried to gain her lip synch so she wouldn’t get even more hate – is gone. I wish all queens could get such a glow, but between her and Ra’Jah, AS6 sends a clear message that a queen’s show in one season doesn’t represent her worth as an artist or person.
Call it overproduced ( sure, two of those wins were questionable) but All Stars 6 is almost neck and neck with AS2 on quality. Silky’s gigs might not always have been super polished, but they were incredibly sluggish: the kind of numbers that would make an entire club scream. It’s nice to see Drag Race celebrate drag that isn’t a designer look and perfectly precise reveals.
The top four weren’t given much time this week to celebrate the milestone as Carson Kressley cut their debriefing to announce the game-within-game. Back at E1, Ru announced an in-game game to the queens, but understandably it has disappeared from their radar as they are quite shocked. They don’t even have time to break away from their drag tots looks, which means Trinity spends the episode as the saddest fur in the world. She takes the news of a returning queen worst and only gives the camera what Alaska and Willam would call « nooch ».
First in the bouts are Serena ChaCha and Jiggly Caliente, who lead En Vogue’s « Free. » Your Mind ‘are lip-synched, and despite Serena’s inventive moves, Jiggly grabs it. Her high is short-lived as Silky has prepped herself, pulling ice, a mug, booze, and a blender out of her tits: this is a girl who wants to have fun, whatever goes with her song « Girls Just Want To » Fun have ‘.
This is where Drag Race turns into the Silky Show as it outperforms any eliminated queen. She is prepared for more stunts than Sasha Velor and treats every single performance like a tournament at the end of the season. Sometimes it doesn’t really add much – by my count, Scarlett’s easier lip-syncing to Cher Silky’s flag-waving suggests – but it’s always a fun gag.
There’s a lot of speculation on the internet as to whether Silky was given more prep time than the other queens was, but each eliminated queen is lip-synced with the jury in the episode after her elimination (approximately 4-5 days later). You can follow it from the guest judge, who is always from the week after their departure – Bar Eureka, which leaves immediately, so Charli XCX (or Charlie XCX, as the credits of the episode are) appears twice.
After Silky hatred again on the internet, she tweeted that she wasn’t getting any extra help with the costumes or her many props, and sourced everything herself. Again, it’s not meant to be read, but some of those costumes and props are on the margins pretty rough. It’s really amazing that she put it all together so quickly, designed looks and props and then realized them while she was still in her secluded hotel room. She literally made a guitar out of a pizza and shoe box! A flag from an umbrella!
The flag was made from an umbrella, scraps of fabric, spray paint and most of my glitter for my @ABHcosmetics! Please send more glitter😂😂😂 # AllStars6
The guitar was made from a pizza box, shoe box, duct tape, spray paint, glitter and jewels. # AllStars6
While Silky steals the limelight at almost every performance, it’s really nice to see the queens return and everyone put on a hell of a show – even Pandora, an excellent artist who comes complete with an Ariana Grande track from her wheelhouse. The All Stars format is great television, but it’s a shame that so many competitors are foregoing the lip-sync option.
A’Keria is the only queen to turn down the opportunity to return, which makes sense. As much as I love her, she couldn’t quite break free from a funk this season and didn’t want to continue broadcasting it. Also, she should have been on the sidelines in Silky’s spectacularly stupid performance of « Barbie Girl ». Absolutely legendary stuff.
Next up is Silky vs. Jan, which they almost had until Silky released a fake guitar for the long solo on « Heartbreaker ». Again, lots of discussions online about how to clearly see the guitar on stage before lip-syncing and people suggested that the producers plant it there so Silky can help her. I’m in favor of dissecting how overproduced this show can be, but it’s a classic case of Occam’s Razor (that’s a drag name for sure): she put it there just before the performance and hid it in her huge cloak beforehand .
Pandora next loses to Silky, lip-synching to Ari’s “Focus”. Silky even has an Ariana outfit on hand, which got me to google to see if she performed at the SuperBowl (she didn’t). And finally there is Eureka, with whom Silky fights to my # 3 karaoke song ‘Since U Been Gone’ (# 1 is ‘All The Things She Said’, # 2 is ‘Gucci Gucci’, thank you for asking!) .
It’s not the best of either: Silky arrives in an inflatable bodysuit and eats chips to give an idea of her mom losing 80 pounds, which is about as disconnected as it is listens. Eureka does a good job, but it’s far from the moment of night.
With every lip-sync, she became more and more confident on stage and joked with Ru. It was so nice to watch.
I wonder if the two were a bit rushed – as we can see from the double Charli appearances, Silky would have just played against Pandora and now had to fight again. Meanwhile, Eureka comes from a maxi challenge. It’s pretty exhausting for them both.
The episode ends before we find out who stays, but money is on Eureka due to Silky’s costume malfunction. Even when I stumbled over an oversized garbage bag, I saw Silky perform in the blink of an eye. What a fun episode: high stakes, high drama, excellent songs, trash talk, redemption and gags we’ve never seen on the show before.
Next week the queens are going to do a little monologue, a slight twist the usual comedy challenge. This could be the moment for Trinity to redeem her battle for the talent show or to repeat it. In the meantime, send Silky some love to counter the hate she is wrongly receiving.
The production didn’t bring me anything. I had my entire costume with me in my room and wanted to show a lot of talents. Both people got lip-syncing at the same time. So please stop trying to discredit this black artist. My only advantage was my creativity. # AllStars6 #lipsyncguru #talent
RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 6 streams on Stan, with episodes arriving every Thursday at 7:00 p.m. AEST.
Jared Richards is Junkees Drag Race recapper and freelance writer for The Guardian, NME, The Big Issue and more. Follow him on Twitter @jrdjms.
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