Words: Alastair James, Jamie Tabberer, Will Stroude, Thomas Stichbury; Images: World of Wonder
When the cast of All Stars 6 was first announced back in May, murmurs and mutterings about the supposed strength of the cast were rife.
Ten charisma, uniqueness talent and nerve-filled episodes later, and with the final four now set, it's hard to remember what all the complaining was about, such has been the strength of the season.
Much of that is down to the quality of the queens who now find themselves in this week's grand finale, and just one step away from a spot in the Drag Race Hall of Fame alongside Chad Michaels, Alaska, Trixie Mattel, Trinity The Tuck, Monét X Change and Shea Couleé.
Things have never felt closer heading into the All Stars 6 finale, with Ginger Minj, Ra'Jah O'Hara, Kylie Sonique Love and Eureka! O'Hara having all established themselves as more than worthy of the crown. With that in mind, four Attitude staff members - tired of squabbling amongst themselves within the confines of Attitude HQ - are making the case for their favourite queen, in the hopes that the drag gods (namely, Ru and Michelle), will hear their plea.
Start those engines, and may the best drag queen win...
Ra'Jah O'Hara - Alastair James, Online writer
Everyone loves a redemption story. Or Ru-demption story. And that’s exactly what Ra’jah O’Hara has had through All Stars 6. During season 11, Ra’jah came across as… prickly to say the least. When she wasn't 'gagging' at her fellow queens she often had a shady remark to make about her castmates - either to their face or behind their backs.
But since sashaying back into the werkroom for All Stars 6, we've see seen a new side to Ra’Jah. In her own words, “the brakes have been cut and I’m going full throttle bitch!” How many can make a dress in 60 seconds or less?! Some of the queens can’t even sew! They could do with paying attention!
Ra'Jah has two Maxi challenge wins on All Stars under her belt, so this diva has proven herself a contender! Not only has she proven her talents and abilities on the show, but she has also demonstrated a new side to her we haven’t seen much of before.
We’ve also seen a refined version of Ra’jah’s drag, which is, ultimately, what All Stars is about: a chance for people to show growth. That is something that Ra’jah has done in all regards, and a crown would befit her journey from 'villain edit' to hero.
Ginger Minj - Jamie Tabberer, Senior online reporter
Ginger is a stalwart who deserves the crown for franchise contribution alone. As well as finishing runner-up on season seven of Drag Race, she guest-starred on two episodes of season 11 and returned to compete on All Stars seasons two and six.
She's part of the furniture, part of the fabric of the show. Read between the lines of her glowing critiques and you'll see the judges view her more as a professional peer than a 'contestant'. And while she surely has the words 'Drag Race' running through her like a stick of rock, the show needs her more than she needs it. One can imagine producers' sighs of relief upon securing such an iconic and reliable name this year, among a lineup many at first dismissed as weak.
Yes, most queens went on to smash expectations, and all four of the finalists are worthy winners (just look at the improvement in Kylie's Snatch Game performance over 11 years). But unlike the rest, Ginger didn't come back with anything to prove. Hers was always a name synonymous with quality, with being a cut above the rest; a queen whose talent the show (and this is a rarity) can’t adequately measure.
From surreal aesthetics to werkroom theatrics to increasingly painful-looking body slams, Drag Race pushes the limits of reality TV and drag, as it should. But it must also honour the essence of the art form. To my mind, that's professionalism, warmth, comedy. And every time she opens her mouth, Ginger exudes all this and more. She’s also timeless: you can imagine audiences ‘getting’ her in the 60s and 70s, as well as far into the future
Put simply, she’s gold-standard - and with the easygoing confidence of RuPaul himself.
Kylie Sonique Love - Will Stroude, Web Editor
“Ooh girl - you got female!” And with that already immortal workroom re-entrance line, All Stars 6’s most deserving winner, Kylie Sonique Love, proved why she’s the ultimate embodiment of the drag TV juggernaut’s past, present, and future.
No queen has undergone more of a transformation between their initial run on Drag Race and All Stars redemption than season two’s Kylie Sonique Love, whose relatively understated personality has never detracted from the raw magnetism that sets her as a class apart from her workroom sisters. Perhaps to contestant with the most to prove, Kylie pushed herself outside her comfort zone almost every week, foregoing the Drag Race playbook as she instead entrances fans through sheer talent rather than camera-stealing theatrics.
Just look at the material: the first queen to ever be eliminated on the Snatch Game challenge turned up and turned out as Dolly Parton in the Snatch Game of Love, and her delivery as Jessica Lange in the acting challenge proved that sometimes, camp drag excess can be trumped by focused, powerful delivery. (That win, by the way, gave Kylie the record of the longest wait before winning a challenge, at 11 years – further cementing the 38-year-old’s incredible resurgence arc).
Her runway moments have been impeccable (those Oh My Goth and Blue Jean Baby Xtina look will live in infamy), and it’s all the more inspiring given Kylie told Attitude this month she had just 200 dollars in the bank when she got to call for All Stars 6. And let’s not forget that ‘Dirrty’ performance, which handed lipsync assassin Manila Luzon a main stage drubbing she’d not felt since Naomi Smalls woke up one morning and decided that life’s not fair.
"I don't wanna be on here and just be ‘the trans girl’," Kylie quite rightly declared early on in the season, and while it’s true that the first Drag Race contestant to ever come out as transgender is far more than just a totem, there’s no denying what a Kylie victory would mean for the trans community, not to mention the wider Drag Race franchise. Regardless of whether she makes it into that hallowed Hall of Fame, Kylie Sonique Love is living proof that trans woman can not only be drag queens – they can be superstars.
Eureka! - Thomas Stichbury, Features Editor
Third time is the charm for Eureka! who re-entered the werk room with a point to prove plus an exclamation mark after her name – here’s why she deserves to triumph, full stop.
Granted, the Tennessee-born loudmouth was (on occasions) as annoying as athlete’s foot during her runs on seasons nine and ten, but All Stars finds a much more charming and considerate competitor. Eureka! no longer wields her sledgehammer personality with abandon, squishing anyone who dares snack on her screentime; exhibit A: in the Pink Table challenge, she proved to be an adept moderator and arguably deserved the win over Ginger Minj. This, huns and hoes, is what you call growth.
Indeed, the self-proclaimed elephant queen came top trunks in so many of the challenges, only to just miss out on sealing the deal. “Size 16, never gonna lose, kick to the sky, even in potato shoes,” she sings in ‘Show Up Queen’ – forget a 20,000-doolah cash tip, give her a mothertuckin’ Grammy!
Catching fire when it matters most at the (ooh-er) backend of the contest, ‘lucky loser’ Eureka! has momentum on her side after beating props-cupboard-in-human-form Silky Nutmeg Ganache in the game-within-a-game lip-synch smackdown to return to the show, and then finally chalked up a victory with a surprisingly inspiring monologue about poop. No, ahem, skid-ding to a halt here…
Slaying confessionals, oozing body-ody-ody positivity in stunning ‘proportionised’ looks on the runway, and even cooking up a did-they-or-didn’t-they ‘showmance’ with her sis Trinity K Bonet, the season’s gassiest queen is set to make a real stink in the grand finale – and wouldn’t it be great to finally see a big gal take up space in the Hall of Fame?!
The All Stars 6 finale lands on Netflix on Thursday 2 September.