Last week, RuPaul announced nine of the ten queens for Season 3 of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, but the season itself is still months away.
What to do in all that unfabulous down-time?
Your first impulse might be to speculate on that final, unannounced queen. I’m already thoroughly spoiled, but here’s a non-spoiler post if you want the odds on who that missing queen might be (plus, thoughts on who’ll sashay away first and who could win it all).
With that mystery already considered, the next most-obvious is, “Who could wind up on All Stars Season 4?”
These queens are not only some of the fiercest we still haven’t seen back for a repeat engagement, but also some of the most-deserving of the major profile- and fandom-boost queens get when they return for a turn on All Stars.
Plus, many of them complement each other’s stories despite being wildly different queens from different seasons.
Are you ready? Let’s get All-Started!
Ongina – 5th Place, Season 1
Drag Race fans are rabid to see more of Ongina in drag. Rumors of her potential casting for All Stars Season 3 sent fandom into a rabid tizzy only for them to be let down at the announcement.
As the original shocking ouster and one of the most uniquely recognizable of all of RuPaul’s queens, it’s time for Ongina’s triumphant return. Her fashion has always been on-point, she’s a fearless performer, and in a post-Sasha world now her penchant for going bald on the runway wouldn’t even seem all that unusual!
Jessica Wild – 6th Place, Season 2
Jessica lived up to her surname with some inane hijinks on her season, leading up to her iconic drunken “I lub this drink” promotion of Absolut Berry Acai that lead to her ouster.
Given that a language barrier was one of the few obstacles Jessica couldn’t surmount, a return nearly a decade later could bring a seriously fierce competitor to the stage. Plus, she’s ranked ahead of All Stars 3 queen Morgan McMichaels.
Mariah – 9th Place, Season 3
Now that All Stars Season 3 has opened up the flood gates of including lower-placing competitors, it’s time to grant this classic queen another shot at a crown.
Mariah’s sashay from the second Snatch Game might have been the tipping point where Drag Race went full-throttle away from a presentational, pageant-based idea of drag merits into the future of drag that embraced iconic performances. She’s now had years to compete with other, younger queens while still maintaining her flawlessly feminine beat. She might seriously slay the competition upon her return.
(While Delta Work placed ahead of Mariah, she’s now a part of the Drag Race crew as Ru’s wig stylist, so she’s probably ineligible to compete).
Jiggly Caliente – 8th Place, Season 4
Jiggly is reality TV gold and she loves to stir the pot, but her silly banjee girl demeanor belies a savvy competitor and serious dancer. Fans would delight in seeing her get another chance. Plus, she has begun transitioning since her original run on the show, giving her even more plot for a second run.
(Real talk: Everyone wants to see Willam back from Season 4, but her relationship with production company World of Wonder is so sour that it’s hard to picture it happening!)
Ivy Winters – 7th Place, Season 5
All Stars 2 picked over Season 5’s queens much too thoroughly – they probably shouldn’t have packed Detox and Roxxxy plus Alyssa and Coco all in one season!
Yet, there is one very deserving queen left in that cast list who we could stand to see more of … in fact, she’s the only Miss Congeniality we haven’t yet seen return: Ivvvvvvy Wiiiiiiiiinters!
As a professional artist and costume designer, Ivy stands to serve some of the most sickening looks on the All Stars runway. Plus, she’s a talented singer and professional circus performer. When I saw her live she went through half a dozen costume changes in a single song, and later came back to the stage to juggle on stilts!
If she could be torn away from her flourishing design business, Ivy would be a true wild card in this season of queens – she could go out early without too much shock, or hit the finals to much fan delight.
April Carrión – 11th Place, Season 6
April was one of the most-robbed queens of all time: a stunningly gorgeous fashion designer miscast into a season full of natural performers. She may have slayed on Season 7, but she wound up as cannon fodder on Season 6.
This All Stars cast would be perfect for Ms. Carrión’s return. It’s packed with fierce look queens, including one of the most-talented designers in the history of Drag Race with Ivy Winters (plus the next two queens).
Not only that, but April has stepped up her gender-bending style since her season, which puts her perfectly in line with winners like Violet and returning queens like Milk.
I think if there’s a chance for anyone to make a Tatianna-style surprisingly deep run in this season, it’s April.
Trinity K. Bonet – 7th Place, Season 6
Season 6 was so deep with talent that we could probably still cast half an All Stars season even with four queens already used.
Everyone wants Laganja Estrangja back, and Darienne Lake would trounce a lot of the remaining potential competition, but there’s no denying Trinity K. Bonet would make for some great TV.
Trinity has become a bit of a villain in fandom since her season due to a few shady stunts, but she’s also got the goods to deliver some high-quality competition. She is one of the best lip sync artists in the history of the show and she didn’t serve a single runway look that was less than stunning.
If she really changed her ways, she absolutely could be a Hall of Fame queen. And, if not, her flame-out would be spectacular.
Acid Betty – 8th Place, Season 8
There’s no question Acid Betty was done wrong in her relatively early ouster from Season 8, and that makes her a perfect All Stars queen – it won’t be shocking if she’s out early, but it would be delicious if she made a highly-acidic run for the top.
If Acid Betty came off as a little bit of a bitch on her season, it was bitchery that could be backed up with carefully studied performances and absolutely flawless runway presentations. We didn’t even get to see everything she has to offer as a trained dancer, given that her LSFYL was while wearing a massive pregnancy pad (and a flock of doves)!
Fans were disappointed that Betty wasn’t back for All Stars 3, but she’d be a much better fit for this cast of look-obsessed queens with major talent. Plus, her villainy would have a different ring to it free from her NYC sisters Bob and Thorgy.
Naomi Smalls – Runner-Up, Season 8
With Kim Chi still a presumed All Stars holdout, the time is right for fellow runner up Naomi Smalls to return.
Naomi mostly rested on body on her season, performing adequately but not serving up too many notable fashions until she had the chance to construct them herself. That’s lead a lot of fans to be soft on her final placement. What better way to firm up her place in Drag Race history than to return as the top-ranked queen in an All Stars season to show how much she’s matured?
It would be a totally different vibe for Naomi to be defending her position as a prohibitive front-runner. It might bring out a whole new world of fierceness from this young queen.
(Plus, not for nothing, but Naomi would probably get chewed up and spit out pitted against a certain Season 9 queen I haven’t included in this cast. Better to slot her into this season, where she has an actual chance at the crown.)
Valentina – 7th Place, Season 9
If there is a single queen out of nearly a hundred options that will create the most buzz, drama, and fierce competition for another season of All Stars, that queen is Valentina.
What could be better than to bring back the disgraced starlet of Season 9 to see if she if she breaks bad as a bitchy villain or redeems herself as America’s sweetheart?
This cast is strong enough that Valentina could be handed a legitimate defeat by a combination of seasoned queens and major mug-beaters. She could also credibly come out as a winner who some people still love to hate.
Plus, her Season 9 drama wasn’t specifically connected to a single other competitor (except, perhaps, Aja), so there’s no need to cast her with a gaggle of other queens from her season. In fact, it’s probably more entertaining to see her interact with a lot of strangers.
That makes for terrific television, and if Ru waits too long all of Valentina’s drama is going to be old news.
Peppermint – Runner-Up, Season 9
It’s really tempting to put Shea in this spot, but let’s face it – whenever she come back for All Stars it’s going to be all about her unless the season is stacked with some of the most glittery of repeat competitors – and I think we need Season 10 and 11 to provide more fodder for that.
However, Peppermint can really shine and fight hard in this cast of incredibly seasoned queens, including many high-concept fashion queens. That’s a much fiercer challenge for her than a gaggle of 21-year-olds.
On one hand, it won’t be a shocker to see her eliminated. On the other, if she goes all the way to the finals, fans won’t even be able to pull the “she’s only getting accolades because she is trans” with the inclusion of her fellow trans queen Jiggly.
Plus, Peppermint really has something left to prove to fans after a slow start to Season 9 and some lackluster fashion. It would be great to see her back full of even more confidence and with the cash to turn out looks befitting an all-star.
Plus, 1-2 Season 10 Queens, TBA
In the same way All Stars 3 recruited Aja for an instant redemption arc, another middle-of-the-pack queen from Season 10 could join this cast of classics to prove herself. And, with strong competitors like Naomi, Valentina, and Peppermint here, it wouldn’t be insane to include a Season 10 finalist as well.
That said, they don’t have to include a Season 10 queen! If the show managed to book everyone I’ve listed above, it might make sense to leave the Season 10 queens for All Stars 5.
Speaking of which…
What about RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 5?
I think Season 5 is a Glitterati Edition that gives Shea Coulee some fierce competition for the crown with a stacked potential line-up that could include many of:
- Willam (if her feud can be resolved)
- Laganja Estranja
- Darienne Lake
- Courtney Act
- Derrick Barry
- Kim Chi
- Trinity Taylor
- Shea Coulee
- Plus, 2-3 queens from S10
- Plus, 1-2 queens from S11!
If even half of that line-up showed up for All Stars, wigs would be snatched all around the world! There are a lot of potential winners in that crowd of 13 queens to narrow down to 10 competitors, which will make Shea’s obvious crowning not seem quite rigged if she makes it to the finals.