There have been plenty of great things about the inaugural season of RuPaul's Drag Race: UK, but the best is that the queens themselves have made a dynamite impression. We're already well into the part of the season where we're losing queens who we thought had the stuff to win the season. We're talking all Heathers and no Boogers at this stage of the game.
So now seems like the opportune time to start talking about one of the primary fringe benefits to a U.K. season: it will help replenish the rapidly dwindling pool of potential queens for the All-Stars seasons. After the four-year break between the misbegotten first season of Drag Race All-Stars and the miraculous and franchise-defining second season, we've settled into a rhythm where the show has been reliably churning out a new All-Stars season once a year. It's great entertainment, but it also means that the pool of available (and worthy) queens who have yet to compete as an all-star is drying up quickly. They've already double-dipped on several queens from All-Stars 1, and of the top-6 finishing queens from the first 10 seasons, only 15 have yet to be re-plucked for all-stars.
Which means the U.K. queens are just the injection of midday tea this franchise needs to perk itself right up. The question is, which of the U.K. queens — provided they don't win — would make for the best All-Stars?
[NOTE: Due to the lag between the episodes premiering on The BBC and WOW Presents Plus and then a week later on LOGO, we're going to shy away from mentioning who's gone home from the girl-groups challenge onward. So you're safe to read on! ]
Ranked in order of preference…
Baga is a HUGE personality who would either be the life of the All-Stars work-room or would work every American nerve in that room to its frayed endings. Baga is loud, often insulting, and a HUGE judges' fave. She's also an ace at comedy challenges, nailed her Undead Maggie Thatcher character for Snatch Game, and can also sing, which would serve her very well. Talent and conflict? The perfect combo, really.
All-Stars loves a learning arc, and Crystal is just rough enough around the edges that she could show enough growth for the necessary All-Stars narrative. It would be fascinating to see how the pageant-focused American queens respond to the un-waxed androgyny of Crystal's drag. The only downside is that the Canadian-born Crystal wouldn't provide enough of the culture-clash that you'd want when integrating a UK queen into the mothership.
Blu Hydrangea wouldn't have ranked so high a few weeks ago, but that Vulgar Mary Berry performance on Snatch Game really has me thinking she could mix it up when thrown into the deep end with the Americans. And the rough-around-the-edges aspects of her drag, combined with her wild creativity and youth, make an irresistible contender for a second-chance season.
If Viv doesn't end up winning this season of Drag Race: U.K., she'll be one of the most accomplished queens without a crown to show for it. Imagine that kind of pedigree stacked up against a Brooke Lynn Hytes, for example? Delicious! Also, just imagine the chip on Viv's shoulder if she doesn't win. The screen in those confessionals would positively melt.
Davina is one of the most delightful, accomplished, and talented fan-favorites the show has ever known, and if she doesn't win this U.K. season, I will be devastated. But she might not, which would automatically slot her into a Katya-type position for her all-stars run. An enviable slot indeed. My only reservation with Davina is the strong Pandora Boxx vibes I get off of her, and Pandora's listless All-Stars 1 fate still bums me out.
Cheryl seems like the best case for a Lost in Translation queen, whose appeal might not cross the Atlantic as readily. And maybe that's actually MORE reason to cast her, just to see the chaos that would emerge from Cheryl among American queens. But I think it's more likely that the American queens just wouldn't get her, and she'd be an easy early elimination when out of her element. But, hey, I could be wrong. So make me a liar, Cheryl Hole: take that All-Stars 6 crown and rest it atop that Hole!
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Joe Reid is the Managing Editor at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.