RuPaul’s latest ‘Race’ features familiar faces

RuPaul’s Drag Race has become the reality show sensation that no one was really expecting. I, along with many other fans, was drawn in by the over-the-top fashion, campy humor and the drama that occurs on and off the show. The show’s rabid fan base rallies behind their favorite to win, but naturally not everyone can. Enter RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars.

Once every few years, RuPaul himself chooses a select number of past contestants as All Stars to compete for a spot in the Drag Race Hall of Fame. Faster than you can say “She already done had herses,” the special spin-off season is back for the third time.

In a special preview episode, the lineup of nine contestants, who’ll be competing for a place in the Drag Race Hall of Fame next to previous All Star winners Chad Michaels and Alaska, was “Ru-vealed.”

The returning fan favorites competing for the crown are: Morgan McMichaels (season 2), Shangela (season 3), Milk (season 6), Ben DeLa Crème (season 6), Trixie Mattel (season 7), Kennedy Davenport (season 7), Chi Chi DeVayne (season 8), Thorgy Thor (season 8) and Aja (season 9).

At the end of the cast announcement, RuPaul revealed that there would be a 10th queen participating. However, their name wasn’t mentioned. Online fans have been speculating that the mystery 10th queen is none other than season one winner: Bebe Zahara Benet.  

At first, fans online were gagged at the thought of a former winner competing. However, in my opinion, it makes sense. Benet got a significantly lower cash prize and did not get the media exposure that current contestants get. She gets paid less per gig than a middle of the road queen from season 9 who does the same thing does.

The queens I am most excited to see are Shangela and Trixie Mattel. Shangie is arguable one of the most successful “RuGirls” from the show. They have really grown into their self, appearing on TV shows such as Glee and Dance Moms, acting in films, making music and touring around the world. They have come a long way, from the first queen eliminated on season 2 and the first queen to be brought back for another season.

Trixie is undeniably one of the biggest stars to come from the show. Their Barbie-esque aesthetic has won the hearts of many fans and they have the unique title of being the best (and only) drag folk musician. In addition to their album “Two Birds,” which they released in May 2017, Trixie and their best friend/comedy partner Katya Zamolodchikova have snagged their own television series The Trixie and Katya Show which premiers on Viceland Nov. 15. The show is based on their hit YouTube web-series “UNHhhh”, a show where they talk about whatever they want because it’s their show and not yours. Trixie’s self-depreciating comedy, versatility and media savvy is why they are my pick to win All Stars 3. They have everything it takes to make it to the top.

Unlike the previous iterations of All Stars, this season is anyone’s game. The crown could be snatched by any of them. There are pageant queens, art queens, club queens and comedy queens. I’m really looking forward to what the queens bring to the table for their second (or third in Shangela’s case) chance at the crown. A lot of them have had years to evolve their drag so I can’t wait to how they’ve changed as artists and performers since their original seasons.

You can watch the contestants introduction videos in a series called “Meet the Queens” on the VH1 website. The third season of Rupaul’s Drag Race All Stars will begin in January 2018 on VH1.