Drag Race finalist says taking part in All Stars ‘ruined friendship’ with fellow queen

A screenshot of RuPaul watching a lip-sync during All Stars 8. She is wearing a red and blue dress and looks shocked.

RuPaul’s Drag Race finalist Alexis Mateo has explained how taking part in All Stars 1 in 2012 “ruined” her friendship with a co-star.

Lashauwn Beyond was right: this isn’t “RuPaul’s Best Friend Race”. But Ru seemingly tried tried to make it so in All Stars 1, ordering the 12 contestants to pair up and compete together. 

The format was doomed from the start, with fan-favourites including Pandora Boxx and Nina Flowers sent packing early on, largely due to their partnerships not quite working out (both Pandora and Nina were paired with queens who didn’t make it far on their original seasons).

Drag Race fans made their feelings known, and the pairing twist has never made a return. But for one duo the damage had already been done, and, for some time, their friendship wasn’t the same.

Speaking to Chanel Perrillo, the host of the Shut Up Chanel podcast, fan-favourite Alexis revealed that she and fellow Puerto Rican queen and season three star Yara Sofia struggled to mend their bond after being partnered.

The pair shared a close relationship on season three, but being put together soured their friendship.

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Drag Race stars Alexis Mateo and Yara Sofia.
Alexis Mateo (L) and Yara Sofia were paired up on All Stars 1, with long-lasting consequences. (Getty)

“I feel All Stars 1 kinda ruined our friendship a little bit,” Alexis said. “I don’t think we were ready for the format or the elimination process.”

The queens took part in the challenges in pairs, were judged in pairs, and were eliminated in pairs – although the lowly queens had to choose which of them would lip-sync for their lives.

In episode four, Yara and Alexis – dubbed Yarlexis in the contest – landed in the bottom two along with Jujubee and Raven.

Alexis and Raven having to lip-sync to “Don’t Cha”, by The Pussycat Dolls to save themself and their partner.

However, another twist meant that the queens who weren’t lip-syncing could press a big red button and switch with their partner – a sort of Drag Race take on tag wrestling.

Yara hit the button, and headed into the lip-sync – only to lose.

“A lot of social media was involved with Yara pressing the button, blaming who was the fault of what. We kinda like took a break from each other,” Alexis continued.

“Any time Alexis was booked anywhere, Yara was booked too. It was difficult for us to separate the friendship from the TV screen,” she said, before clarifying that they’ve since been reconciled.

“Honestly, we are great friends but we’re not together 24 hours [a day].”

During All Stars 1, other queens also sparked drama by insinuating that Yara had been “carrying” Alexis in the competition.

Alexis was so irritated by the constant comparisons that when she signed up for All Stars 5 in 2020, she made sure she would be going into the contest alone.

“I asked the producer if Yara was gonna be there because I wanted a chance without [fans] saying: ’Alexis is carrying Yara, or Yara is carrying Alexis’. I wanted a fair chance,” she said.

Alexis returned to All Stars 5 but left in fifth place. However, if rumours are to be believed, she’s recently signed up to take part in season two of Canada’s Drag Race vs The World.

Currently, Drag Race fans are gearing up for the start of All Stars 9, which features eight queens, including finalists, fan-favourites and three-time returnees.

All Stars 9 will air on Paramount+ in the US and WOW Presents Plus internationally from 17 May.