The end of one RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars season means the start of speculation season for the next, and this one has a particularly open-ended feel to it. For one, with the pandemic still going on, it’s unclear exactly when such a season will shoot. For another, even beyond the circumstances, there’s an argument to be made that a break before All Stars 6 would be healthy: Give everyone some time off and replenish the candidate pool, among other things. Whenever the season does happen, though, you’re sure to see plenty of wish lists full of queens who folks want to see back.
To be honest, though, All Stars wish lists are always kind of a crapshoot. I’ve written them before, and what it comes down to is who I want to see again. And sure, yes, I’d love to see the likes of Jessica Wild and Joslyn Fox back so much. But casting All Stars seasons of reality TV is not only about who deserves to come back, but who will work well together in a cast. What bonds them? What can you theme the season around?
So, after playing around with some different ideas—including a drag family battle royale season I desperately tried to make work—I’ve come up with four potential casts. All of these casts are built around a particular concept: An aesthetic, a placement and so on. The storylines of these seasons could go in many different directions, and we could see all kinds of unique challenges tailored to them. These casts are designed to offer something we haven’t really seen in an All Stars season so far, which is casting to a particular theme. I wouldn’t say all of them are realistic, but hey: We can dream!
With that said, let’s get into it.
If All Stars is going to keep bringing in Lip-Sync Assassins to battle the winner each week, why not take this to its natural conclusion? Bring in three-time, lip-sync survivors like Peppermint, Ra’Jah O’Hara and Darienne Lake to get their shot at All Stars. Give queens with multiple memorable lip syncs, like Widow Von’Du, Trinity K. Bonet and Dida Ritz a chance to give us even more iconic performances. I’m not sure if she’d return for All Stars after her season’s reunion, but I’d love to see The Vixen back, particularly interacting with her Chicago sister Dida. Hell, bring back Akashia from Season 1, the original Lip Sync Assassin! She won her first two battles and made Michelle Williams cry with her “We Break the Dawn” performance. Lastly, I know she’s been on All Stars before, but a Lip-Sync Assassin season wouldn’t be complete without Coco Montrese. Give her a shot at redemption after going out first in AS2.
Now, you might ask, who does that leave for the queens to battle as the returning Lip-Sync Assassins? Luckily, you’ve still got a bevy of qualified queens who themselves were on All Stars too recently to do it. There are Alexis Mateo and Jujubee from All Stars 5, of course, but also Manila Luzon, Trinity the Tuck, Naomi Smalls and Latrice Royale all from All Stars 4. Throw in Chi Chi DeVayne and Shangela from All Stars 3, and you’ve already got more than a full suite. (If some of them turned it down, you could even bring back Yvie Oddly or Monét X Change as an LSA, or give Kennedy Davenport a chance to redeem herself on a song she can actually dance to.)
Imagine getting a top-tier, lip-sync battle every single week between two of the greats. That’s what this kind of season promises. And these queens could truly deliver.
You could call this group a lot of things: Unique, quirky, oddballs, etc. Basically, these are the queens who take an unusual approach to their drag in some way, or have an offbeat personality that stands out. Crystal Methyd and Heidi N Closet from Season 12 can be our most recent standard-bearers, Crystal for her original drag concepts (the piñata!) and Heidi for her upbeat, high-energy performance style (Heidi Hydrates!). I’m actually going to throw Aiden Zhane in from Season 12 as well, though I know that’ll be controversial—the spooky queen was widely criticized for most of her season. But I think the fight she showed in Untucked plus her excellent finale look give her enough of a résumé to warrant another chance.
Going international, I’m going to double down and add another Crystal to the mix from UK Season 1, plus Jimbo from the current Canada’s Drag Race (assuming she doesn’t win it all). Both bring unique choices, from Crystal’s use of body hair in her drag to Jimbo’s near-Method acting in her characters, that would help them stand out in the crowd of Americans. In the spirit of multiple queens with the same name, let me also add both Season 1 club kid Nina Flowers and Season 9 makeup wizard Nina Bo’Nina Brown to the mix. Kim Chi, another master of the mug, should finally make an All Stars appearance with this cast, too.
Finally, two more ultra-quirky characters: Tammie Brown, returning with her All Stars 1 partner Nina Flowers, and Rock M. Sakura, bringing the count of Season 12 queens to four. Tammie’s a huge fan favourite and an absolute no-brainer. Rock was a big fan favourite upon her elimination but fell out of favour a bit as Season 12 marched on. Part of me doesn’t want so many queens from the same season in here, but I think Rock deserves a better chance to show us her drag. And hey, All Stars 2 had five queens from the same season, and that worked out fine!
One of the things I enjoyed most about All Stars 5 was a true sense of drama being brought back, largely thanks to the old school queens in the cast. Alexis Mateo vs. India Ferrah was one of the most intriguing feuds we’ve ever seen on Drag Race, owing to the queens’ insistence that they were telling the truth to the bitter end. In that spirit, I’d love to see a cast with plenty of queens who know how to stir the pot—all while serving us top-tier drag.
First, we have to have our queens of Untucked, like Jade Jolie, Aja, Laganja Estranja and Jiggly Caliente. All have given us at least one iconic moment in the sideshow, from back rolls to Linda Evangelista. Yes, Aja was in All Stars 3, but considering there was a rumour she was called back for All Stars 4, production may be interested in her returning. Speaking of returnees: While we may never see Raven back, thanks to her work as Ru’s makeup artist, I’m going to live in my French vanilla fantasy and bring her and Tatianna back. I just finished up a Season 2 rewatch, and what I wouldn’t give to have their drama back. Sure, they’ve made up over the years, but they both also know how to entertain—I’m sure they could find something to beef over in a fun, shady way.
I’m going to throw in two queens who are just blunt enough to be considered drama queens: Scarlet Envy and Canada’s Drag Race’s Ilona Verley. I don’t think they’d be in the highest echelon of dramatists in Drag Race’s herstory, but you need a couple of dolls to step on toes and start some feuds, and they’d be ideal for that. Eureka is similarly blunt at times, and while I know she wasn’t popular by the end of Season 10, her work on HBO’s We’re Here has boosted her a bit with the fans. If production were ever to bring her back for a third go-around, now is the time. Finally, to really up the stakes, I’d love to see the queen with Drag Race’s most dramatic departure ever finally make her return: Willam. The disqualified legend making an All Stars run: Iconic? Yes. Unlikely? Also yes.
As a whole, this is the most far-fetched cast, particularly considering the vitriol so much drama would inspire among the fans. But in a bubble, it sounds like a shade-slinging, quotable fever dream.
Okay, folks, let’s get into it. Throughout All Stars 5, in her episodes of web series The Pit Stop, Bob the Drag Queen kept making reference to a potential all-winners season. The idea has been broached before but always talking about it in theory. Bob’s insistence has made the idea feel a bit less hypothetical, particularly considering there are so many winners to choose from now that you wouldn’t need all of them on. Like with Survivor’s “Winners at War” season, you can pick and choose your winners a bit more.
Start with Bob the Drag Queen herself, who sounds very open to it, and add the similarly psyched Jinkx Monsoon and Alaska. Throw in defending champions Jaida Essence Hall and Shea Coulée—they may not want to return so quickly, but I have confidence they’d fight hard to defend their titles. Yvie Oddly seems like a lock to return to prove her dominance, especially after her “Livin’ La Vida Loca” lip sync got the fanbase so fired up. Violet Chachki also strikes me as someone with something to prove, as Season 7 has a rough reputation with the fandom. If either of them isn’t interested, throw in Aquaria instead—the only reason I have her as an alternate is because she’s previously not been interested in an All Stars season.
I’d definitely want to include international queens as well. We don’t know who the Canada’s Drag Race winner is yet, but some combination of her, Drag Race Thailand’s Natalia Pliacam and Angele Anang, and Drag Race UK’s The Vivienne would help give the season a global feel: like this really is the best of the best battling it out. Finally, to throw in at least one truly old school winner, let’s put Raja back in the ring. She seems game, and since Bebe Zahara Benet was back more recently (in All Stars 3) and James Ross has retired the Tyra Sanchez persona, Raja can rep for her OG winner sisters.
Realistically, the actual All Stars 6 cast won’t be an all winners season—I imagine that will be the final season of All Stars we see, as it was for Project Runway. But I do hope we get it someday: It’d truly be a sight to see.