‘Messy, boring, rigged’: Why fans are absolutely hating Drag Race All Stars 8
It’s not giving
We’re five episodes in RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 8 now, and it’s safe to say the cracks are beginning to show. It would be perhaps even more apt to say the cracks are shattering the season left, right and centre – with fans being divided on how good it actually is after five frustrating hours. But why are people so annoyed with how things are going? Is there any way the season can turn itself back around and win the fans back over? Here’s why fans are starting to hate All Stars 8.
The cast had potential
This cast is one of the most random for an All Stars season in the franchise’s history. It mostly consists of queens who didn’t quite manage to slay their earlier seasons, beyond a few who got to the top five. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – fans love seeing queens come back and really get the chance to do what they never did in the first place. Everyone is rooting for a LaLa Ri and Mrs Kasha Davis rudemption. With the cast and the slay of the promo shoot, I think appetite was high for this season and everyone wanted the best for it.
A lot of the furore towards this season from fans is, as usual, nothing to do with the queens. Most fans are unhappy with the judging of this season and how it feels like you can see the heavy handed nature of the judges who obviously have certain desires for where they want queens to place. Queens like Heidi N Closet remained just safe until she left the competition on her own terms, and Mrs Kasha Davis was snubbed for her performance in the acting challenges.
Some fans even feel like the season has just been straight up rigged for Jimbo to win it. I love Jimbo so much – and so far really do feel like she’s a standout who deserves her praise but it’s also clear that RuPaul loves her and wants her to get that crown.
The Fame Games isn’t giving
It’s a nice idea that all the eliminated queens will get to walk their entire runway packages for the season in order to try and win a cash prize at the end. I actually think every season should offer this going forward, but so far the queens who’ve been eliminated haven’t exactly done much besides prove why they probably should have been sent home in the first place.
A tired format off the back of excellence
What’s really not helped this season is the context of what it’s airing after. The last two seasons of the All Stars format were hugely successful, for completely different reasons.
Firstly, All Stars 6 actually is very comparable to what All Stars 8 should and could have been like. Both have casts that were joked at beforehand, with fans calling them “Some Stars” – joking at the lack of frontrunners in the lineup. All Stars 6 shut everyone’s mouths, though – and had a great cast who rose to the occasion and gave us so many memorable moments and challenges. Kylie winning too felt euphoric, a true underdog who had evolved so much.
All Stars 7 on the other hand was of course the first all winners season of Drag Race, and was a celebration of the franchise as a whole. It was so stacked with love and excellence and legacy it could never fail. Following it, All Stars 8 was always going to have a bit of an uphill battle – but I’m sure producers weren’t betting on fans having so much hate towards the way it’s all going.
RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 8 and Untucked with the Fame Games streams exclusively in the UK on the streamer of all things drag, WOW Presents Plus. Subscribe here.
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