Drag Race All Stars 5 packed a whole season’s worth of conflama into one shady Snatch Game spectacular

Alexis Matteo and India Ferrah

It’s fair to say that so far, the reaction to Drag Race All Stars 5 has been a little… meh.

Whether it’s the challenges (middling) or the queens (two of whom have pulled a BenDeLaCreme, without the same all-conquering run), there’s been something a little off, with the much-vaulted (and overcomplicated) lip-sync assassin twist doing little in terms of entertainment value – until this week.

Before we get to that, let’s start where any good queen would: at the top.

The remaining six Drag Race competitors returned to the werk room post-elimination, where they discovered that every queen had voted for Mayhem – including Mayhem herself.

Queen Shea Coulée, no doubt in need of a back brace for all the heavy lifting she’s been doing, has zero time for Mayhem’s self-sabotage.

Talk turns to scorecards, and to who’s leading the competition. Shea, graciously, puts Jujubee and Alexis Matteo ahead of herself, with the general consensus that the three queens are pulling away from the pack.

India is suddenly very aware that she’s a three-time bottom, and seems ready to do whatever it takes to keep her place in All Stars 5.

All Stars 5 switches gears with the Snatch Game of Love.

The next day, RuPaul announces the Snatch Game of Love. Two queens, India and Blair, haven’t ever made it to the challenge of all challenges – which kinda says a lot. India Ferrah chooses Jeffree Star; Blair St Clair, Ellen DeGeneres. Neither impresses.

Jujubee and Miz Cracker pick characters we’ve seen on Snatch Game before: Eartha Kitt and Lady Gaga. Both are by far the best we’ve seen these characters done – but, in the case of Gaga especially, the bar isn’t particularly high.

Cracker cracks a few good jokes, but they’re more Cracker than Gaga, whereas Jujubee very nearly steals the entire show.

Alexis and Shea both pull wildcards with astrologer Walter Mercado and hype man turned dating show host Flava Flav respectively. Both will go down as two of the strangest, but funniest performances in Snatch Game herstory – particularly Shea’s sexually fluid Flav, who is crowned the winner of the week.

Sidenote: on the main stage, Shea explains that her Carrie-rose petal couture is inspired by Sasha Velour’s iconic season nine lip-sync, the one that knocked Shea out of the competition after everyone – including her – thought she was headed for the crown. She also admits that so-called Drag Race fans tormented her with rose petals following the finale, knocking her confidence. Not cool.

Settle in Drag Race fans, this is where things get interesting.

In yet another All Stars 5 twist, RuPaul announces that this week, if you aren’t in the top, you’re in the bottom.

Cue drama.

In the werk room, Shea makes it clear that the choice is between Alexis – who voted against her recently, and India – who is in the bottom for the fourth time.

With her mind seemingly made up, Shea decides she doesn’t need the usual one-on-ones with each queen – until India requests a sit-down.

Suddenly, India alleges that Alexis has been campaigning against Shea, and that she and Mayhem had encouraged her to vote against Shea in week three.

After five weeks of low-level shade and not very much else, things. Are. Happening.

Neither Alexis or India backs down – though perhaps, as Jujubee deduces: “If India is lying that means she would be a better actress and she would’ve won Snatch Game.”

Back on the main stage, it’s time for this week’s lip-sync assassin to be revealed: the only queen messy enough for a week like this, future All Stars winner Miss Vanessa Vanjie Matteo.

It’s a fair contest, but Shea knocks it out of the park and walks away with another $10,000 tip – oh, and the power to eliminate.

She sends India packing, though it’s not clear whether that’s because she doesn’t believe her story, or whether it’s because she’s overstayed her welcome. (Untucked reveals that all the other queens also voted for India too).

Hopefully, the drama spills over to next week, when the top five (already!) will do battle in a backyard ball (us neither).