Drag Race: The 12 most memorable All Stars Variety Show moments
The All Stars 6 Variety Show episode is coming THIS THURSDAY!!!!
The Variety Show is the quintessential Drag Race challenge for a season of All Stars. It’s where history is made.
It’s always the premiere episode’s maxi challenge, and it never fails to be full of highs, lows and iconic moments. It’s the first proper glimpse we get back at the queens who’ve been cast on All Stars for their rudemption, and the pressure can really be on for them to prove exactly why they deserve to have been brought back and to solidify why they deserve a crown after all.
Because of how the voting works with All Stars, the risk of going home on the first episode for a queen the fucks up her Variety Show performance is HIGH. We’ve seen queens take risks that have paid off and shut naysayers up, and we’ve seen queens who’ve tried something new but should have just played to their strengths. It’s a hard one to call.
All Stars 6 kicks off on Thursday 24th June, so we’ve rounded up the most memorable All Stars Variety Show moments from Drag Race before we get a big ol’ batch of new ones to gag over!
1. The Same Parts – Tatianna, All Stars 2
Tatianna entered All Stars 2 as an underdog. She hadn’t done a whole lot since her run on season two, and there was an entire generation of Drag Race fans that had only watched the more recent seasons and didn’t really know who she was. There hadn’t been an All Stars Variety Show yet, so it was all to play for with no expectations. Tatianna claiming her talent was “spoken word” raised more than a few eyebrows.
When Tatianna stepped out saying “this piece is entitled… The Same Parts” and Michelle Visage scoffs at her with that iconic “this piece!” line, it’s so satisfying seeing her go on to make her eat her words.
It’s camp, it’s well written and it’s bursting with charisma, and helped to make Tatianna a fan fave and to secure the legacy of the Variety Show challenge as a staple for the premiere.
2. Burlesque – Roxxxy Andrews, All Stars 2
The success of Roxxxy’s winning burlesque performance is a prime example of how much a queen can slay when they use the Variety Show challenge to show the Drag Race judges and audiences EXACTLY what makes them a great drag queen.
Roxxxy is sexy, slick and full of talent – the reveals are thrilling and she’s an amazing performer. An exemplary effort.
3. Gymnastics – Katya, All Stars 2
Katya’s gymnastic skills are IMPRESSIVE, and she absolutely annihilates the talent show.
It absolutely speaks to how talented the All Stars 2 cast are that this was only judged as safe. It was an incredible showcase of what makes Katya so special.
4. Dirty Drums / Cameroon – Bebe Zahara Benet, All Stars 3
When Bebe came back for All Stars 3, it was clear to see why she won the first ever season of Drag Race – even if she wasn’t well known amongst younger fans.
Bebe said back in season one that she felt she brought a lot of “international influence” to Drag Race, and this tribute to her native Cameroon and her African heritage and culture is just absolutely stunning. Bebe performs it with such ferocity – she is magnetic to watch and it’s so infectiously jubilant.
5. Level Ya Pussy Up – Aja, All Stars 3
Aja was always a queen with a lot of pre-show hype, and definitely put the pressure on herself and felt it from fans when she didn’t really deliver and serve like the anticipation for her made us expect on season nine.
For All Stars 3, Aja wasn’t messing ABOUT. Performing to her own banger Level Ya Pussy Up in an samurai inspired look with a fair few reveals, Aja slayed the Variety Show and vogued the house down. The performance culminated with her death dropping from up high on a block, prompting Milk to utter the iconic line “is she gonna jump from there!?” Yes. She is!
6. Kennedy Davenport then CARTWHEELING onto Aja’s box – All Stars 3
The Dancing Diva of Texas showed exactly why she was an industry legend, by dancing her arse off, doing about 50 splits and then CARTWHEELING up on to the box Aja just dived off. Incredible television.
The All Stars 3 Variety Show was something else, and is criminally underrated and not discussed enough in the Drag Race world imo.
7. Burlesque 2.0 – BenDeLaCreme, All Stars 3
BenDeLaCreme had All Stars 3 in the bag, had she not eliminated herself. She nailed everything that was thrown at her.
A completely different burlesque moment to what Roxxxy brought the season before, DeLa’s campy, daft and immaculately prepared and rehearsed performance was a true feat in physical comedy. Great visual gags, and she just sold the hell out of it.
So, so, so many nipples.
8. Moving Parts – Trixie Mattel, All Stars 3
Trixie is the best songwriter to ever be on Drag Race, and after Moving Parts got its debut on All Stars 3 it has quickly become her signature song.
It’s really thoughtfully and emotionally written, and the way she uses her Barbie doll, plastic aesthetic merged with country music and emotive metaphors make it one of the most poignant moments in the history of the Variety Show.
9. Kabuki – Gia Gunn, All Stars 4
Gia sat watching the other queens do their acts and dragged them to death. That little smile she does as Farrah Moan falls over is for the ages and when a sweaty Monét X Change is bellowing her song out and Gia is quick with a “… soak WHAT up?”
At least her performance proved she can put her money where her mouth is.
Gia’s kabuki performance is beautiful. It’s expertly done and is gorgeously presented. An absolute feast for the eyes, and like nothing any other queen has brought to the table.
10. A Prueba De Todo – Valentina, All Stars 4
Valentina is just breathtaking.
First of all, her original song here is incredible. Huge Latin banger. She sounds incredible on it.
Secondly, her performance is just fucking great. You can’t take your eyes off her. The wind blows on her like she’s a major pop girl doing a Super Bowl Halftime Show. That’s star quality, luv!
11. FLAG TWIRLING! – Latrice Royale, All Stars 4
Excuse the beauty! EXCUSE THE BEAUTY! Iconic song and iconic performance.
It was just so great seeing a fan fave as beloved as Latrice having her proper go at All Stars after the flop of AS1, and this flag twirling camp classic was an absolute joy as far as I’m concerned. She’s such a pro.
12. Latin FIESTA! – Alexis Mateo, All Stars 5
Alexis Mateo’s All Stars 5 performance was just an absolute hoot. She is a PRO.
I love the original song – a Latin banger with her iconic season three and AS1 quotes brought into it (“sickening, no!?”, “act the fool girl”). She absolutely nails the choreo, puts on a big show and does exactly what she was born to do.
It’s so fun seeing someone thrive in their area of expertise. She killed it and was best of the All Stars 5 night!
Watch a compilation of every All Stars Variety Show performance from seasons 2-4 here.