We’re months away from the premier of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3, but now that the nine contestants have been announced, fans and experts are already making guesses as to who will be the last three standing.
A few weeks back, RuPaul teased the idea of a season of Drag Race All Stars featuring only past winners. It would make for an intense competition, but I think we’re all happy to see the producers sticking to the past formula for now. Some of the most popular queens who didn’t win the crown are getting a second chance, and that includes one of Seattle’s hometown heroines.
Nine queens were Ru-vealed as the All Stars 3 contestants last week:
- Morgan McMichaels (Season 2)
- Shangela (Seasons 2 and 3)
- Milk (Season 6)
- BenDeLaCreme (Season 6)
- Kennedy Davenport (Season 7)
- Trixie Mattel (Season 7)
- Thorgy Thor (Season 8)
- Chi Chi Devayne (Season 8)
- Aja (Season 9)
I number the queens to draw attention to the fact that there are nine, not the usual ten contestants…so far. Long-time viewers know that Ru likes to spring surprise returns in the Werkroom, and it’s fair to guess that we’ll be seeing a tenth contestant arrive during the premiere. Whoever it is, they will have some fierce competition, and the three favorites to win it all are already fairly clear.
Favorite #1: BenDeLaCreme
This is not mere loyalty to a beloved Seattle performer. BenDeLaCreme (DeLa for short) already won audience hearts (and the Miss Congeniality award) in Season 6. Since then, she has been touring smart, hilarious, one-woman shows on both coasts and working with long-time collaborators locally. She just finished directing and starring in an extended and totally sold out-tun of a new production at ACT Theatre, Beware The Terror of Gaylord Manor. DeLa is as hardworking as she is “terminally delightful.”
She has also made clear that on All Stars 3, she will be reaching beyond her delovely DeLa persona. Fans know that she isn’t trapped by a single look, thanks to her comedic range. A prime example: her hilarious Maggie Smith impersonation on the Season 6 Snatch Game. In DeLa’s case, we can perhaps expect her to draw even more from her burlesque experience to show high-glamour and remind audiences that she’s not only a comedy queen.
Favorite #2: Trixie Mattell
Like Shangela, a fellow All Stars 3 contestant, Trixie Mattell has been sent home not once, but twice. (In Season 7, she was brought back from elimination, only to be immediately eliminated again.) You can bet that both queens are praying that the third time is the charm, and our money is on Trixie.
Trixie and fellow Season 7 oddball Katya have been very busy performing internationally and co-hosting their Web series, UNHhhh. (See episode 18, made after Katya was announced for All Stars 2. Trixie knows the score well.) Like DeLa, Trixie has musical and acting chops. Her trademark, garish makeup ran afoul of the judges a few times, and to win it she’ll have to step out of character a bit more. Trixie has more than enough wit, creativity and talent to do just that.
Favorite #3: Kennedy Davenport
Another Season 3 alum, Kennedy Davenport is known for glamour and dance more than comedy. Her even-keeled performance on the show carried her to fourth place. (Her disastrous runway look in Season 7, Episode 12 was the main reason that she didn’t make the final three.) She and Chi Chi Devayne are the only All Stars 3 queens to have made it that far. That alone doesn’t guarantee that she’ll make it to the finals, of course, but Ms. Davenport has a lot of things going for her.
Like our other two favorites, Kennedy is low drama with the other queens, making her a capable collaborator on group challenges. She also soars solo, as is evidenced by multiple pageant wins in her career. She was a polished competitor in 2015. Other queens may have more developed, individual personae, but those can work against them. Kennedy can adapt while keeping her cool beauty intact.
What About The Others Queens?
It wasn’t a surprise to see Milk and Chi Chi Devayne on the roster. Milk has maintained a high profile as a model and performer since competing on Drag Race. She’s still doing her club-kid style, but with a bigger budget. That said, Milk has always seemed convinced that she is more original in her looks than she actually is. Drag done right isn’t just female impersonation (or “ladyface,” as some might say), nor is it just quirky costuming.
As for Devayne, she may have gotten as far as Kennedy Davenport, but she was faaaaar from being as polished. Her combined scrappiness and insecurity brought her lots of sympathy, and she efinitely matured over the course of Season 8. However, it would be fairly miraculous to see her in the finals, given the talents she’s up against.
Oh, and as for Shangela, she may be aiming for the crown, but I really just don’t want her to be the first eliminated.