By Jason Fontelieu
Make sure your wigs are on tight, because a new fourth installment of “RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars” is coming for them.
Senior art education major Abbey Wroten described “All Stars” as a “regular season on steroids.”
“Every challenge is a lot harder and the looks are always more iconic,” Wroten said.
Wroten has been a fan of “Drag Race” since season two, which premiered in 2010.
“Nothing makes me laugh, gag, and scream as much as this show,” Wroten said. “It’s also just such a culture in itself. All of my lingo, I’ve learned from this show. Where else would I scream ‘Wig!” at my TV screen?”
The cast list for AS4 was released Nov. 9. The group of frontrunners and fan favorites from past seasons include: Monet X Change (Season 10, 6th, Miss Congeniality); Monique Heart (S10, 8th); Trinity the Tuck (S9, 3/4th); Valentina (S9, 7th, Miss Congeniality); Farrah Moan (S9, 8th); Naomi Smalls (S8, 2/3rd); Jasmine Masters (S7, 12th); and Gia Gunn (S6, 10th).
Also returning are Manila Luzon (S3, 2nd) and Latrice Royale (S4, 4th, Miss Congeniality), who competed on the first season of “All Stars.” The first season included a twist where queens competed as, and were eliminated in, teams. Luzon and Royale played as Team “Latrila” and came in 7/8th.
Sophomore government and politics major Shania Garcia-Herrera prefers the “All Stars” seasons to the regular ones.
“I see it as a chance for redemption because All Stars allows the queens to be able to reflect on their successes and failures during their season,” Garcia-Herrera said. “This gives them the ability to grow as contestants and queens. It also gives the audience the chance to see past favorites and also introduces the younger fan base to queens from earlier seasons.”
In regular seasons, the bottom two queens lip sync, and the winning queen remains in the competition while the loser goes home. However, in the second and third seasons of “All Stars,” the team twist was eliminated, and the top two queens of the week lip sync for their legacy and get to choose which of the bottom queens get sent home.
It is unclear if any of these twists will return for the fourth season. The end of AS3, which premiered in January, ended in a twist unpopular with the fandom, where the previously eliminated queens were able to choose which queens from the top four would make it to the top two. Trixie Mattel ended up winning the season, while many fans thought that frontrunner Shangela was more deserving.
In terms of the new season, many fans have high hopes for some of the contestants. Wroten predicts that Trinity the Tuck will take home the crown.
“I think a lot of the time she gets pinned as ‘resting on pretty,’” Wroten said, “but she’s so much more than that.”
Sophomore mathematics and government and politics Aaron Nesbitt has similar hopes.
“I would love to see Trinity win,” Nesbitt said. “I mean that tuck, her body, give me more. She proved she could serve both looks and be funny. She’s creative and passionate, and I think she should’ve won her first season.”
Garcia-Herrera is rooting for Naomi Smalls, the standout from season 8, the first season she watched.
“So far, I have not guessed any of the past winners, so you may not want to listen to my prediction,” Garcia-Herrera said. “But I can genuinely see Naomi Smalls going far.”
“Drag Race” has a multitude of reasons for its rabid cult following, one of the foremost of which being the competing queens.
“I usually do not tend to keep up with shows while they are still airing,” Garcia-Herrera said, “but the lip syncs, challenges and the drama would keep me coming back for more.”
A newer fan of the show, junior psychology and Spanish major Logan Dechter admires the show for its visibility and portrayal of the LGBTQ+ community.
“It’s so amazing to see so many queer all-stars who are truly being their best selves,” Dechter said. “I see myself in some of the drag queens, and watching this show makes me feel empowered and validated for who I am.”
“All Stars” season 4 premieres Friday, Dec. 14 at 8 p.m. on VH1. Tune in then to begin the journey to find out which queen will snatch the crown and earn her place in the “Drag Race” Hall of Fame.
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars Facebook page.
Jason Fontelieu is a sophomore journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.