This week, America’s best reality competition collided with one of its best dramas to spoof a major pop culture phenomenon. The result? A stunning episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3. “The Bitchelor” was a total homerun, which may have lacked surprises but moved the competition in a direction that made sense.
In the third weekend of the competition, the remaining queens were forced to play a game of improv with Jeffrey Bowyer–Chapman (UnReal). The group channeled The Bachelor in a fake-dating competition called The Bitchelor, and each of the queens had to take on a classic reality TV personality (“The Crazy One”, “The Virgin”, etc.) to steal their scenes, crush the competition, and win the heart of the “suitor” (Bowyer-Chapman). This entire challenge was hilarious, with all but two of the queens scoring big laughs and doing a nice job with their roles. BenDeLaCreme, who played “The Cougar” on the show, turned in the best comedic performance of the week, while Shangela overcame a timid scene partner in Chi Chi to deliver some stellar one liners. The challenge’s weakest link, meanwhile, was Milk, whose “Stalker” character totally fell flat.
The drama stayed strong as the queens took to the runway, where Constance Zimmer (also of UnReal) joined as a guest judge. Many of the queens brought their A-games from a fashion standpoint, with the noted exception of fan-favorite Aja’s whose anime inspired look was a real misstep. And, once again, seeing the queen’s deliberate about who should be sent home produced suspense, and is bound to cause passionate debates amongst fans. Needless to say, characters made some unusual choices when it came to strategizing this week. But – without spoiling who went home – this critic feels like the right queen went home.
The episode’s only stumbling block came down to the climactic Lip Sync for Your Legacy. For some odd reason, the two top queens were forced to perform a routine set to Lorde’s “Green Light.” Now, I’m probably the biggest Lorde fan I know, but “Green Light” is an awful song for lip syncing – it’s slow, contemplative, and not really a “fun” song. Even worse, the way the producers chopped the song up to fit in the small allotment of time left in the episode was incredibly awkward, and made both of the queens’ stumble in their performances. None of it worked, and the whole thing definitely dragged an otherwise perfect episode down a bit.
While we’re still in the dark about what Handmaid’s Tale themed-twist Ru has in the works, All Stars 3 remained top-notch entertainment for reality TV fans, with eliminations that make sense and unique challenges. With the Snatch Game coming next week, All Stars 3 will hopefully stay fabulous.
Overall rating: 9 out of 10.