RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Recap: TMZip Zap Zop – Vulture

We are in the midst of a Drag Race cold war. Gone are the days of open conflict during which Alexis wheels around in her makeup chair to give Miz Cracker a direct dressing down, or when Derrick wheels around in her makeup chair to give India a direct dressing down (hmmm … I’m sensing a pattern). This episode, our girls are doing their best to display a veneer of niceness (in addition to their actual veneers). At the top of the episode, the queens are back in the Werkroom counting lipsticks. Lo and behold, Shea discovers that not one but two of her fellow All Stars attempted to vote her off the island, giving her the second-most votes after Mariah. Alexis and Mayhem quickly cop to the votes (opting not to pull a BeBe) and attempt to spin their votes for Shea as a by-product of their deep, meaningful friendships with Mariah. Why, they simply wouldn’t dream of sending their best friend home! And how dare you even ask! In confessional, Mayhem openly admits that her strategy “backfired,” but Alexis keeps her cards a little closer to the breastplate. To her credit, Shea doesn’t buy either queen’s explanation. “These girls have no idea the kind of games I can play,” she says. “So. Let’s have some fun.” GAG!

For this week’s main challenge, the girls are tasked with honoring one of this nation’s most venerated journalistic institutions, a true pillar of the Fourth Estate, TMZ. In true Drag Race fashion, the queens must improvise a scene as celebrities caught in various ~whacky~ scenarios by the drag network SheMZ. As a bonus, the ladies also get into boy drag to play butch SheMZ newsroom editors. It’s a really fun concept, and one of the strongest and most accessible premises for an improv challenge yet. Unlike last week, I found myself genuinely engaged during each scene. And as with actual TMZ, I can confidently state that I would moralize with friends about how SheMZ is exploitative and trashy, yet watch it behind their backs. Ru dispenses with any pretense and chooses the teams, seemingly for maximum drama purposes: Shea and Alexis; Blair, Jujubee, and Miz Cracker; and India and Mayhem.

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