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RuPaul in an article Drag Race All Stars 5

The competition is fierce. Who’s going to take home the crown?

As we approach Episode 4 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars,” three drag queens, Derrick Barry, Ongina and Mariah Paris Balenciaga, have been eliminated from the competition, leaving eight in the running for the crown.

On last week’s episode, the queens competed in teams for the “Shantay, Enjoy Your Stay” challenge. Each group had to come up with different resort ideas and pitch them to the judges. They had to execute great design ideas and add comedy. No one stood out in this challenge, sorry!

For the runway, the queens had to have a three-in-one look. For me, Jujubee, Miz Cracker and Alexis Mateo were standouts. Shea Coulee also caught my attention despite what the judges said.

I’ve been loving the new set of rules by Mama Ru this season. Prior, there had always been a top two to compete in a lip-sync, with the winner ultimately deciding who in the bottom goes home. This is not the case for “All Stars 5.” Now, there is only one weekly winner. Every week, a drag race alum is brought in to compete as a secret lip-sync assassin. The queens are also given more of a voice this season; they can vote who they think should go home.

If the top queen wins the lip-sync, they decide who on the bottom leaves. If the alum wins, the queen voted in by the others does.

Last episode, reigning “Drag Race All-Stars” champion Monet X Change was the lip-sync assassin and beat Jujubee in the battle. She revealed that Balenciaga was the queen voted in.

Friendships between the queens have always influenced voting. However, the strategy for this season could be flipped. The more people who like you may potentially determine how long you stay.

Maybe, it is RuPaul’s best friend race after all.

It is still early, but there are a few queens who have caught my eye and who I can see winning.

1. Shea Coulee

Original Season: 9

Place: 3rd

It has been three years since we’ve seen Coulee in the workroom. Everyone thought the Chicago performer had the Season 9 crown in the bag. Behind Sharon Needles, she is the second queen to win four main challenges in a regular season. But, as she put it best, watching those rose petals fall from Sasha Velour’s wig was like watching her dreams do the same — Coulee sashayed away.

In “All Stars 5,” Coulee was safe for the opening challenge but stole the show in the Girls Group the following week, winning the top spot.

Unfortunately, in the last episode, Coulee failed to keep this streak and found herself in the bottom, along with India Ferrah and Mariah Paris Balenciaga.

This got the others discussing whether or not to vote Coulee out for obvious reasons. She has the looks, she’s funny and is the one to beat. However, one more slip-up might send her home.

2. Blair St. Clair

Original Season: 10

Place: 9th

The Broadway Extraordinaire’s time in Season 10 was short-lived, but it seems as though Blair has been doing just fine post-“Drag Race.” She released an electric album titled “Call My Life,” which reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts. More new music is expected from her.

Fans are glad to see Blair back with a whole new attitude and gorgeous look. So far, she has been safe from elimination all three challenges.

Let’s see if she pulls through and doesn’t get outshined.

3. Alexis Mateo

Original Season: 3, All Stars 1

Place: 3rd (Season 3), 5th/6th (All Stars 1)

BAM!

I’m excited to see the underrated icon that is Alexis Mateo on “Drag Race All-Stars.” This is her third time competing for the crown — sickening, no? She brings great energy and is an all-around queen. Over the years, Mateo has kept up with her looks to compete with today’s drag standards. But, with so many fan-favorites this season, it could be easy for her to fade into the background.

Mateo has been safe for all three episodes, but completely shined with her runway look the previous episode. With Ongina gone, I think Mateo has a better chance of winning the $100,000.  

4. India Ferrah (2.0)

Original Season: 3

Place: 10th

Remodeled, remastered and ready for action!

This is someone who nobody expected to see on “All Stars.” After her very public breakup with drag and showing resentment after her early elimination in Season 3, Ferrah has a lot to prove.

She shined with her performance for the opening variety show, earning her spot as the top queen of the week. This high did not last long though because Ferrah has landed herself in the bottom the last two episodes — which is unfortunate, because I do live for her runway looks and want to see her win some more challenges .

5. Jujubee 

Original Season: 2, All Stars 1

Place: 3rd (Season 2), 3rd (All Stars 1)

Comedy queen Jujubee has a third shot at glory.

Fans are excited to see how her drag has evolved over the years and what she will bring to the competition. Jujubee did well in the variety show, finding herself in the safe category. However, she stepped up her game in the “Girl Group Challenge” and then won the top spot of the week with the “Shantay, Enjoy Your Stay” challenge.

Narrowing down my top queens for the season was tough because I feel as though everyone can hold their own. But, “All Stars” is a different game than the regular season.

The judges aren’t in control of who goes home: The queens are. Alliances are formed, and friendships influence voting. For example, Shea had a bad week, and both Mateo and Mayhem Miller voted for her to be eliminated if Jujubee won the lip-sync.

Anyone can go home, even top competitors.

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