Prepare to be gagged, gooped, and all-around stunned by this episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 4. When the queens returned to the workroom, they noticed a décor change: All the artwork featuring RuPaul was changed to shots of the legendary actress and singer Judy Garland. Ru came in and talked about how dear to the LGBTQ community Garland was.
Her funeral was June 27, 1969, and RuPaul talked about the theory that her fans’ grief helped spark the June 28 Stonewall riots in New York City. However, those who were there dispute any connection between the two events. Regardless, the riots were central to the fledgling gay rights movement.
The LGBTQ community honored their love for Garland by adopting some “Judy-isms.” Saying “Are you a friend of Dorothy?” equates to “Are you gay, too?” And the term “my best Judy” refers to one’s best friend.
For the challenge this week, the queens were tasked with making over their own best Judy, complete with a strong family resemblance look and a choreographed tribute number to Judy Garland herself.
The queens were struck by emotion as, one by one, their own best Judys entered the room. A few were even love-struck. Trinity’s boyfriend and Manila’s husband greeted each other with a kiss. The makeover challenge has long been a staple in Drag Race, and the Judy twist put a fun spin on a familiar frame for the episode.
The contestants were asked to transform their besties into drag queens of the same family, or sisters from another mister. Cue the shaving and tuck drama jokes! Latrice Royale’s bestie Tim had stubble trouble, and Manila Luzon loved tucking her husband Michael’s junk.
On the main stage, the best Judys entered in pairs to walk the runway. The two top queens were Monet X Change and her bestie Patty, wearing complementary gold bodysuits, and Naomi Smalls, who was Cher to partner Ricardo’s Sonny. Naomi took a risk mid-runway, revealing a short wig, and slapped a mustache on, giving her an androgynous Sonny Bono boy-drag look. It paid off. She and Monet were the winners for the week.
At the bottom were Latrice and Tim, with a family resemblance all over the place, and Manila and her husband, dressed in what looked like bedsheets dragged up to look like a deck of playing-card queens.
Backstage, the All Stars were on edge because it was Manila’s first time in the bottom two. Latrice had just come off a rebound victory after her return to the competition. Trinity and Monique were gooped, as clearly Manila should continue in the competition. However, Latrice did choose to save Naomi last week over Valentina. Drama!
Back on the main stage, the top queens lip-synced to another Judy Garland track, “Come Rain or Come Shine.” The differences were distinct between the two: Monet gave us Judy as a diva, belting it out and adding a lip tremble. Naomi bounced around the stage as the theatrical camp version of Judy. She did her iconic leg-pull move down the runway. Mama Ru declared Naomi the winner of the $10,000 tip, giving her the task of eliminating one of her sisters.
What happened next shocked drag fans to their core: Naomi chose Manila to go home. The All Stars realm has had an unspoken guideline of keeping the top-performing queens until the finals, but this elimination sent home a fan favorite and perpetual top performer. Naomi Smalls came to slay, and moving forward, no one is guaranteed a spot in the top. Only two more episodes left this season!
You can catch weekly watch parties at 7 p.m. Fridays at Woody’s Classic Sports Pub in Midtown Kansas City, with hosts Candice Marie and Luna Flare.