The sixth season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” has been filled with elaborate challenges and high energy performances, but in last week’s challenge, the queens took a more serious approach by sharing personal anecdotes and advice they have learned along the way in the world of drag performance.
The fifth episode, “Pink Table Talk,” premiered July 15 on Paramount+, continuing a strong streak of episodes that has kicked off the sixth season of “All Stars.” One of the central themes of the episode and “Drag Race” as a whole is the impact that perception and judgment has on performers in any field, and the ways in which negative self-perception can affect oneself.
Starting the episode off, it is revealed that the group unanimously voted to send home Yara Sofia in last week’s episode, but Jan, the winner of the challenge, voted for A’keria C. Davenport. Jan talked about the difficulty of not only voting for who you think deserves to go home but also considering who the others voted for.
Like previous weeks, the episode skipped straight ahead to the main challenge “Pink Table Talk,” an imitation of Jada Pinkett Smith’s hard-hitting “Red Table Talk” series. The challenge differs from the season’s previous challenges by giving the queens an opportunity to share their vulnerabilities and allowing them to shed their facades.
The queens are separated into three groups, each discussing a different topic that is prevalent in the LGBTQ+ community. The topics of body, sex and motherhood brought out emotional discussions about the struggles they have all faced from being drag performers.
The first group, consisting of Eureka, Trinity K. Bonet and A’keria C. Davenport, was assigned the topic of “sex.” Davenport revealed that they used to live their life as a transgender woman and often faced judgment from other LGBTQ+ people for being too feminine, while Bonet spoke about the difficulty of being HIV positive in the gay community.
Eureka gave a strong performance as the moderator of the group, allowing both Davenport and Bonet to share their experiences, but also finding time to share their own experiences and bring humor to the situation. The chemistry between the three of them was noticeable throughout the performance, resulting in an enjoyable group effort.
In the second group, assigned the topic of “motherhood,” Ra’Jah O’Hara shined, speaking in depth about her relationship with her mother and bringing a raw vulnerability to the discussion. Scarlet Envy interpreted the challenge as more of a performance than a conversation, and put on too much of a facade rather than embracing her authenticity.
The final group, consisting of Ginger Minj, Jan and Pandora Boxx, talked about issues of body image in the gay community. Ginger Minj was easily the strongest of the group, while Jan had a similar issue to Scarlet Envy, seeming inauthentic and calculated.
On the main stage, a runway theme called “Clash of the Patterns” brought impressive looks from Bonet, Davenport and O’Hara. RuPaul declared the sex team as the top group of the week, but Ginger Minj as the top All Star. The bottom queens were Jan, Scarlet Envy and Kylie Sonique Love.
After pleading their cases backstage, Ginger Minj hit the stage to lip sync against the secret lip sync assassin, Mayhem Miller. The two give a hilarious performance of “Phone” by Lizzo, and Ginger Minj is declared the winner, choosing to send home Scarlet Envy.
All in all, the episode was the most intimate of the season, allowing queens to speak about their insecurities and issues within the gay community. The episode will undoubtedly leave viewers with a greater understanding of the queens and their intentions on the show.