The Norm Can Conform

The opinions you never asked for on the subjects you’re not bothered about.

TV Review: RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4, Episode 5: Roast In Peace

Gag 👏🏻 of 👏🏻 the 👏🏻 century! This episode really did have everything, comedy, a strong runway, another Stacey Layne Matthews cameo and the mother of all twists. So far, I think this was the strongest episode of All Stars 4, not because of talent, but because it had everything in it.

The episode starts where (surprise) Manila reveals that she would have sent Monét home to save her best friend Latrice. For some reason, all the queens saw it as a super shady, disgraceful and tactical. From the moment Manila knew that Latrice was in the bottom, she made it very clear that she couldn’t send home her best friend.

However, despite the tears and having no hidden agenda, the other queens found it utterly baffling that she would do that. Christ, I don’t even think Alaska got this much side-eye and she saved Roxxxy Andrews week after week, sending home more deserving queens.

Manila is one of my favourite queens of all time and she truly is a living legend. But these queens really had it in for. Latrice is a legend and Manila’s close friend, and Monét hasn’t done anything particularly groundbreaking on the show yet so it’s not even that bad a decision. It would seem that Manila now has a huge target on her back.

RuPaul then entered the room in a butterfly print suit (sorry Asia, too soon?) and a pair of sunglasses that I can only assume was there to hide a possible hangover. Either way, Ru was ready to give the queens their next challenge and it’s the one I’ve been waiting for. A good old fashion comedy roast! However, this wasn’t going to be any old comedy roast, this one was to be done in the style of a eulogy!

I know, mental and I love it. But who is the unfortunate soul to pass? We’ve already seen a roast for RuPaul and a roast for Michelle Visage. So this time the queens are getting to roast Lady Bunny! Yes, the legend herself is getting her very own roasting.

As Monique won the challenge last week, she got to decide which the order the queens will do their roasts. It was a pretty standard layout but then she decided to put Manila last to try and throw her off her game for wanting to save Latrice.

To help them with their comedy routines, RuPaul enlisted the help of SNL funny woman, Cecily Strong and I absolutely love her. She’s a smart lady with a great sense of humour and she really did let the queens know what she thought.

Roast In Peace: Toot or Boot

I have to give each look a toot or a boot as there were some pretty spectacular outfits for this challenge. I’ll also write my opinion on their comedy routine below.

Monét X Change – Toot

This outfit looks great. It’s giving me a widower who married into a business empire vibe. The reveal of the sunglasses when she pulled them off and revealed other glasses underneath was sassy.

Her performance was pretty darn good, not that that was a surprise. Monét understands comedy and she delivered some pretty great jokes which left the corpse of Lady Bunny cracking up on more than one occasion.

Trinity The Tuck: Toot

I actually think this was my favourite outfit of the entire episode. The look was sheer perfection. It was vintage, it was tasteful, it was the sort of wealthy bitch you want weeping at your funeral so people think you had a dark and mysterious past and it is very much my style of drag.

However, Trinity’s performance was kind of shit and that was sad to watch. I’ve seen her in person and she’s hilarious. We know she did badly in the comedy roast on her season so I thought she would have upped her game this time around but unfortunately, the jokes came off as awkward and stunted.

Monique Heart – Boot

I know she was pretending to be some form of reverend for her eulogy. But I actually think the outfit was shit. Just because you’re playing an old minister doesn’t mean that the look had to be cheap. The boobs looked uneven, the wig was a mess and white robe was a bit cheap looking.

The comedy for me was kind of good. Nothing groundbreaking, but it was alright. She kept doing a weird singing preacher thing and it was alright at first but throughout you kept missing the punchline of jokes. I wasn’t fussed, but others liked it. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Naomi Smalls – Boot

Does she look bad? No, but it just didn’t do anything for me. Take away the Topshop looking fur coat and underneath is quite a cool sheer dress. The bows were beautiful but I know Naomi can do better than this. I also liked the wig but don’t think it looked as good with this outfit as others could have.

The jokes were meh, she had some alright ones and she had some misses. Just a pretty forgettable performance really. And the weird laughter in between each awkward pause was strange. I don’t know what was going on there.

Valentina – Boot

Hear me out – I actually do really like the dress. The black leather bodice fits her beautifully. I’m not as crazy about the skirt or the white glasses. I do like the shape but it’s more ‘old Hollywood’ than a funeral. But the bit that truly made this outfit a boot was the fact that she didn’t do her eye makeup! I’m not being funny, but if that was any other queen, she would have been read to filth. Sorry, Valentina, I don’t do favouritism and that’s why you got a boot. Being pretty isn’t enough.

The challenge was meh, some jokes worked, most of them didn’t. It was pretty forgettable overall. Valentina was getting a little bit delusional this episode as well. She believed that the judges were laughing because it was good. But they were laughing at her, not with her.

Manila Luzon – Toot

Absolute toot! The look was great, the blood red details were a great touch and the umbrella was a stunning accessory. The red shoes broke up the look as well as everybody else was wearing all black (with the exception of Valentina’s glasses that were used to hide her inability to finish her makeup.

Not only that but she nailed this challenge. When she came out and winced from behind her veiled umbrella, that got more laughs than 90% of the queens actual jokes this episode – that’s a talent.

Clearly, the challenge winners were Manila Luzon and Monét X Change.

But before I continue, I just want to make a quick special mention to RuPaul’s wig which I thought looked lovely this week.

And also to Michelle Visage’s eye makeup as she was giving me some 60’s sass.

Category is ‘Angelic White’ – Toot or Boot

Then we moved onto the runway. To contrast the black from the roast, the queens now got to present their most gorgeous heavenly shades of ‘angelic white’ for the judges.

Monét X Change – Toot

Monét absolute killed this challenge. In fact, she killed the whole episode! Her look was expensive, beautifully detailed and it had layers to it. The giant cape that covered the runway was beautiful and the red eyes and stigmata hands were a nice touch of colour.

Trinity the Tuck – Toot

She looked stunning, the dress looked great, the touches of gold were nice and the feathered top was lush. This is a Glamazonian goddess right here!

Monique Heart – Boot

I wasn’t crazy about this. The plastic details were too distracting for me. The ones on the arm especially as they kept sticking out when she moved her arms. It wasn’t an awful outfit, it just wasn’t great.

Naomi Smalls – Toot

Yes, yes and yes again! This tribute to (The Artist Formerly Known As) Prince was sheer beauty. The look was right, the lace blouse was beautiful and her makeup and wig were on point. Honestly, this homage was sensational to look at. Bravo Naomi.

Valentina – Boot

This was a hard one because I actually like the golden rope details but I found the top half of her dress a little too plain. And I know it may be a random point, but I don’t think Valentina suits blonde hair – not only that but the same wig from the main challenge. But the bit that really made it a boot for me (only just) was that the feathers in the bottom portion looked like those shit ones you used to use in art projects at school, you know the ones, they were just gross plastic feathers. I also felt she needed a bracelet or arm cuff or something to add a bit more of something, or even a necklace of some sort.

Manila Luzon – Boot

I actually do like this look, but compared to Trinity’s it was either a very safe toot, or a boot and I went for a boot because I did the same to Valentina. However, there are elements I really like in this outfit. Firstly, the golden top looked great with the white flowing fabric. And the golden cherubs on the belt were sheer perfection – I actually want them. But the dress itself felt a bit too simple and I really wish she’d have added maybe a golden stripe to her wig to add a bit of something extra.

The results

Of course, Manila and Monét won this week’s challenge. After what happened last week, all the queens feel fearful of Manila that she could send home the strongest competitor.

But they were then told that all 4 of the other queens would be in the bottom, GAG! And let me tell you something, Valentina was not pleased! In fact, she was the one to plead her case more than anybody.

They realised that the statistics are all pretty neutral for the queens. Some have won and been in the bottom, Naomi has been high safes all the way through, Monique has won 2 and been in the bottom twice. And Trinity has been another consistent queen. So who would the queens pick? This is most definitely going to be a tough decision for either queen.

We had no clue who could be going home this week and it was up to Manila and Monét to lip sync for their $10k cash tip but at the price of sending home a competitor. In the end, Manila won the lip sync but *plot twist* so did Monét.

I have to be honest on every other ‘double win’ that has ever happened on All Stars, I know that the queens have both chosen the same person so only one goes home. I assumed this would be the same. They’re not going to do a double elimination on All Stars. And I was half right. Because RuPaul decided to flip the script and instead, no queens would be going home this week. Fuck me sideways!

At that point, RuPaul told the queens that the ‘All Star rules’ would be suspended until further notice. What could that mean? I assumed that they would be lip-syncing for their lives again. When they entered the workroom, Ru had left them a lipstick message on the mirror.

“Get ready to lipsync for your life, life, life, life” – RuPaul

When I saw the 4 ‘life’ parts of the message, I assumed each one represented an eliminated queen. And they would have a chance to lip sync against the queens who were in the bottom this week. I’ve not read anything online, that’s just my speculation. Then the real gag came, Lady Bunny appeared in the mirror and she told the queens to turn around.

Right behind them was Jasmine Masters, Farrah Moan, Gia Gunn and Latrice Royale and they looked like they wanted blood! So maybe my prediction will be right, but for now – we have to wait until next week as the episode ended on the most monumental cliffhanger EVER!

How has that affected the scores?

As you can imagine, I’m pretty happy that both of my queens were in the top 2. It’s literally the only way I can start bridging the gap (and hopefully start winning in the points department. But better yet, they both won, boom! 10 points to Gryffindor!

Winner: Manila & Monét – 5 Points
Bottom 2: Naomi, Trinity, Valentina, Monique – 0 Points

Based on the scores, I earnt 10 points this week and Tom earnt 0 points. With all the queens of Tom’s being in the bottom, that helped me start catching up. Especially because both my queens won the lip sync, not just top and bottom. However, I do wish one of Tom’s queens had gone home so he would have ended the episode with -3 points. But beggars can’t be choosers. Tom remains on 27 points and I’m now closing the gap with 21 points.

So I guess nobody went home this and now with the 4 eliminated queens back in the workroom, it’s anybody’s guess what’s going to happen at this point!

By far, this was the best episode of the series so far. What do you think? 

Harry J Bartlett

Digital Content Creator, lover of fashion, drag queen connoisseur and all around phenomenal human being. If I had to describe myself in 3 words I would say; Gorgeous, Talented and Humble.

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