Welcome to Drag Race Power Rankings! Every Saturday, we’ll debrief the previous night’s new episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 to determine which queens are riding high, and which need she-mergency care. In the wake of the finale, we’re changing up the format a bit and breaking down who truly won and lost this season.
LOSER: Farrah Moan (9th place)
All Stars was always going to be a losing gambit for Farrah. She doesn’t perform well in the Drag Race format, and is much more popular and beloved just doing her thing in the real world. Props to her for taking the plunge, but hopefully Farrah is a cautionary tale to other queens: you don’t always need to go on All Stars.
LOSER: Jasmine Masters (10th place)
I’d probably have put Jasmine in the “broke even” category had she not completely fucked up her lip sync to “Peanut Butter” during the redemption challenge. Know your words, Jasmine! I’ve seen Jasmine live several times, and I know what an excellent lip syncer she can be, so that really disappointed me. My fandom for Jasmine’s viral videos, however, remains strong.
LOSER: Latrice Royale (5th place)
This one is hard to write, because I actually mostly liked Latrice all season. Unfortunately, the fan base had very different opinions. I watched the penultimate episode at a gay bar, and the bar (full of predominantly white gay men, I should note) fully cheered at her elimination. I think Latrice’s legend status was damaged by this All Stars run, and this giant Latrice fan is bummed to see it happen.
EVEN: Naomi Smalls (3rd/4th place)
At some point, probably right after her excellent performance of “Adrenaline,” I would’ve put Naomi as a clear winner of the season. But the combination of only winning one challenge all season, eliminating the favourite to win, bombing the second-to-last challenge, and all but being treated as an afterthought in this finale adds up to a generally mixed bag. She’s certainly not worse off than she was before, but I’d hesitate to call her an out-and-out winner.
EVEN: Trinity the Tuck (Winner)
EVEN: Monét X Change (Winner)
Yes, I’m pairing our winners together and saying they both came out about even. You could argue that Trinity put on a stellar game, or that Monét did what she could not in Season 10 and made it to the top. That’s all true! But they both felt like second choices in the spectre of Manila Luzon’s robbery, much like Trixie Mattel felt like an afterthought compared to BenDeLaCreme and Shangela. The tie almost feels like an acknowledgement that neither would be sufficient alone, and instead needed to be crowned together. Is that harsh? Perhaps! I do really like both Trinity and Monét, and am happy for them. It’s not their fault they succeeded in a broken format, after all.
WINNER: Monique Heart (3rd/4th place)
The ooh-ah-ah sensation actually had quite a bit to lose coming into this season. The general narrative among fans was that she was robbed of multiple wins in Season 10, and anything less than a stellar performance would be a disappointment. Luckily, Monique hardly disappointed, stepping up her game and then some. She is one of the most purely charismatic stars to ever walk into the Drag Race werkroom, and I’m so thrilled she got her chance to shine.
WINNER: Gia Gunn (8th place)
Yes, Gia is incredibly divisive. She always will be: that’s the mark of a complex character. I don’t know if she was a very good villain — I always found her machinations a little too obvious — but she was incredibly affecting when talking about her conflicted feelings re: being a woman and doing drag. Her “Adrenaline” lip sync performance was also great, and unfortunately just went up against the speeding bullet train that was Naomi Smalls. Bottom line: Gia made her own way in All Stars 4, and earned a whole new fanbase for it. She doesn’t need my pride, but I’m proud of her regardless.
WINNER: Valentina (7th place)
I was tempted to knock Valentina down to even because Rent: Live turned out to be such a mess, but that’s not her All Stars 4 incarnation’s fault. On this show, she was an utter kooky delight, both performing well on occasion and redeeming her personality with a volatile fanbase. She didn’t win, but she won. That’s her fantasy.
WINNER: Manila Luzon (6th place)
Robbed goddess of the season? Check. Introduction to a new fanbase after being off the show since 2012? Check. Some of the best fashions All Stars has ever seen on the runway? Check. Winning me over despite my skepticism of her since Season 3? Big ol’ check. Manila won over even the most apathetic fans this season, and walks out in the same place queens like Tatianna and Aja have before. She’s the people’s winner, and as far as making your career out of drag is concerned, that’s the most important win of all.