RuPaul's Drag Race is back with another all-stars season on Paramount+, and this time it's the best of the best. All-Stars 7 is set to bring together eight former champions, where they'll do battle to decide who is the Queen of All Queens.
The lineup is beyond intriguing: veteran queens from the early seasons, oddball upstarts, comedy queens, lip-sync assassins, this cast has it all. This is a cast with four Snatch Game winners, a collective 23 lip-sync victories, and two queens who were so impossible to choose between that they tied for the crown. But which of these winners has the inside track to the crown of all crowns? We lined up all eight and broke them down by challenge victories, lip-sync performance, potential winning narratives, and potential Achilles heels to determine who you should place your chips on. We present them in order from longest odds to most likely to repeat as champion.
Original Season: 3
Challenge Wins: Three. Raja took her season's first challenge, a thrift-store "drag on a dime" challenge that she turned into a dazzling high-fashion runway stomp, followed by wins in the "Superstar" singing challenge and the impeccably named "Face Face Face of Cakes" challenge.
Lip Sync Wins: One. Raja only had to lip-sync once, prevailing in a writhing, softcore duel with fellow "Heather" Carmen Carrera.
Potential Winner's Narrative: Raja is the elder statesqueen of the cast, and while that angle doesn't tend to ever work on this show, if there's ever going to be a season that prizes the longevity of RuPaul's Drag Race, it'd be this one.
Possible Achilles Heel: Drag Race was a very different show back in season 3, evidenced by the fact that Raja was able to ride to a pretty commanding win by being primarily a "looks" queen. Runway has been massively de-emphasized in recent years, which takes Raja's best weapon out of her arsenal.
Original Season: 9 (3rd place) and All-Stars 4
Challenge Wins: Seven. Trinity takes the title for winningest queen this season, having come out on top three times her first go-round (the cursed "fairy tale princess" challenge, the 90210-inspired acting challenge, and the makeover), followed by four top finishes in All-Stars 4 (the talent show, Snatch Game, the nightclub challenge, and the Sex and the City-inspired acting challenge).
Lip Sync Wins: Five. Trinity won her only Lip-Sync for Your Life in Season 9, besting Charlie Hides basically by default. (She went on to lose to Peppermint in the first round of the finale's lip-sync tournament.) In the "lip-sync for your legacy" format in All-Stars 4, she won over Monique Heart ("Emotions"), Jasmine Masters ("Peanut Butter"), Monique again ("When I Think of You"), and then tied Monet in the finale lip-sync to "Fighter."
Potential Winner's Narrative: Trinity kind of always wins. Is that a narrative? RuPaul has forever been charmed by Trinity's ungodly figure, tight tuck, and bawdy sense of humor.
Possible Achilles Heel: Has Trinity taken the "pageant queen who can actually be funny" thread as far as she can take it? Her first two seasons relied heavily on that element of surprise. It's not a surprise anymore.
Original Season: 9 (3rd place) and All-Stars 5
Challenge Wins: Six. Shea is another one of the winningest queens on this season, having nabbed four challenge victories in her original season (the morning show, the Ru-sical, the TV pilot, and the ball), plus two others (girl groups and Snatch Game).
Lip Sync Wins: Four. She triumphed in her only Lip-Sync for Your Life in Season 9, besting Nina Bo'Nina Brown to Demi Lovato's "Cool for the Summer." Then on All-Stars 5, she swept her three lip-syncs, besting assassins Alyssa Edwards and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo before winning the finale lip-sync against Jujubee and Miz Cracker. (Shea's only lip sync loss is her most famous one, when she was on the losing end of Sasha Velour's legendary "So Emotional" rose-petal extravaganza.
Potential Winner's Narrative: Shea is probably the most dominant queen on this season. She could ride to a win simply on being better than everybody else.
Possible Achilles Heel: It's tough to find a weak link in a queen who's triumphed in Snatch Game, the Ru-sical, and the ball. But as the most recently crowned of all this season's winners, another victory so soon might not feel very urgent.
Original Season: 12
Challenge Wins: Three. Jaida won her very first challenge, a Fosse-inspired musical number, followed later in the season by wins in the political debate challenge (featuring Jaida's improbably iconic "Look over there!" catchphrase) and the makeover.
Lip Sync Wins: Three. Jaida's first challenge win was followed by a top-two lip-sync to Robyn's "Call Your Girlfriend," in which she bested the since-disgraced Sherry Pie. Then, at final 6, Jaida bested fan favorite Heidi N Closet with Prince's "1999." When she returned as a lip-sync assassin in All-Stars 6, she shared a win with Eureka O'Hara.
Potential Winner's Narrative: Jaida had the cosmic misfortune of winning the season that played out during the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Her finale was an all-Zoom affair (which she completely slayed, for the record), and she wasn't afforded the usual tour dates and professional boost that tends to come from winning Drag Race because events were shut down that summer. So a win for Jaida here would feel like justice and a proper coronation for a deserving queen.
Possible Achilles Heel: Jaida's record in comedy challenges is spotty (the exception being the debate challenge), and with competition this stiff, that could well be her downfall.
Original Season: UK Series 1
Challenge Wins: Three. The Vivienne got off to a great start by winning the first challenge of her season, a design challenge to dress up like the Queen, then followed it up by winning Snatch Game (as, ugh, Donald Trump) and in the "market your own brand of bottled water" challenge.
Lip Sync Wins: Two. Viv bested Crystal in a lip sync to Little Mix, and then in the finale she bested Divina DeCampo to Wham! This is what we call adaptability.
Potential Winner's Narrative: In a group this strong, it helps to have something that none of the other girls have, and Viv being the only Brit sets her apart in a way that could propel her far.
Possible Achilles Heel: The culture clash could also be an open door to a villain edit if the other queens don't take well to her acerbic English temperament.
Original Season: 11
Challenge Wins One. Yvie won despite only notching only a single challenge win, a shared victory with Scarlet Envy in the Black Panther-themed acting challenge.
Lip Sync Wins: Four. Yvie famously tied Brooke Lynn Hytes when they lip-synced to "Sorry Not Sorry," then came back in the finale to win back-to-back lip syncs to win her season. In All-Stars 5, Yvie was selected as a "lip sync assassin" and assassinated India Ferrah on "Livin' La Vida Loca."
Potential Winner's Narrative: Of all the All-Stars 7 queens, Yvie is the one you could plausibly build a narrative around the notion that idea she hasn't yet peaked. She won her season as an exciting queen with many ragged edges, and you get the sense there's a lot in her arsenal she could still reveal.
Possible Achilles Heel: Those ragged edges could prove to be her unraveling.
Original Season: 5
Challenge Wins: Two. Jinkx famously won Snatch Game with a spot-on impersonation of Little Edie Beale from Grey Gardens. She also triumphed in the telenovela challenge with her over-the-top take on the human orgasm.
Lip Sync Wins: One. Jinkx only ever had to lip-sync for her life once, but she sure made it memorable, besting Detox with a spirited "Malombo No. 1" (above).
Potential Winner's Narrative: Jinkx has a huge legacy on this show to live up to, but given how much she's grown as a comedic performer in the years since she won, she certainly has the talent to live up to — and maybe even surpass — that big reputation.
Possible Achilles Heel: She was blessed with an underdog narrative in her original season, going up against the mean-girl RoLaskaTox trio. Without them, does Jinkx get the kind of fan support she got last time?
Original Seasons: 10 (6th place) and All-Stars 4
Challenge Wins: Three. Monet didn't win a single challenge in her original season, but she finished in the top three times in All-Stars 4: the girl group challenge, the roast, and the makeover challenge.
Lip Sync Wins: Three. Monet saved herself twice in Season 10, defeating Dusty Ray Bottoms and Mayhem Miller in consecutive lip syncs (before ultimately falling to Kameron Michaels). On All-Stars, Monet's best lip sync results were two draws, against Manila Luzon preceding the Lollaparuza, and against Trinity before their infamous tied finale. She then returned in All-Stars 5 as a lip-sync assassin and beat Jujubee with Lizzo's "Juice."
Potential Winner's Narrative: As the only one of these eight winners to know what it feels like to have been eliminated before a final, Monet is the best possible fit for an underdog narrative. Plus, if the show wants to play up the angle that this season will ultimately un-break the All-Stars 4 tie that saw her and Trinity both (unsatisfyingly) declared winners, that puts Monet in a prime position to win.
Possible Achilles Heel: More than any other All-Stars 7 queen, we've seen how Monet can struggle. Highs and lows might not be able to cut it this season.
Rupaul's Drag Race All-Stars 7 premieres Friday May 20th on Paramount+.
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Joe Reid is the senior writer 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.
TOPICS: RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars, Paramount+, Jaida Essence Hall, Jinkx Monsoon, Monet X. Change, Raja , RuPaul Charles, Shea Coulee, Trinity the Tuck, The Vivienne, Yvie Oddly