Breaking down that wild RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7 rule change set to twist the competition

·3 min read

Warning: This article contains spoilers for episodes 1 and 2 of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7.

If you found yourself face-cracking like Jan and muttering, "Hold on, pause this s---. What the f--- is going on in here on this day?" like Alyssa Edwards over the rule-change twist during Friday's RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7 premiere, you likely weren't alone.

During the debut episode of the first all-winners season in Drag Race her-story (which also included Raven pretending to enter the competition, and guest appearances by Cameron Diaz and Naomi Campbell), Mama RuPaul dropped the bombshell revelation that there would be no eliminations throughout the rest of the AS7 run, but that wasn't the only alteration to the time-tested, lipstick-pulling All Stars format that has remained relatively unchanged since 2016.

It's complicated, so let Mama Ru explain.

"There's a twist. This season, no one will be eliminated. The gagoonery has begun," RuPaul said on the premiere episode. "You'll compete in challenges designed to test your award-winning charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. I'll name the top two all-stars of the week, each of whom will be awarded a Legendary Legend Star.... then, the top two all-stars will lip-sync for their legacy. The lip-sync winner will receive a cash tip of $10,000, plus the power to block one of her fellow queens from receiving a Legendary Legend Star the following week."

Ru further revealed that, in the grand finale, the four queens with the most stars accumulated will compete in a lip-sync LaLaPaRuza smackdown for the crown, with only one queen named "the queen of all queens" in the end, alongside winning $200,000 — the largest individual prize in Drag Race her-story.

On episode 1, Shea Couleé and Monét X Change were named the top two all-stars of the week after a song-and-dance challenge set to RuPaul's "Legends," with Shea winning and subsequently "blocking" her season 9 sister Trinity The Tuck, which sent shockwaves throughout the cast. Episode 2, which contained an epic Snatch Game that saw the queens performing as two celebrities each, ended with Jinkx Monsoon and the recently blocked Trinity finishing in the top two, with the former ultimately coming out on top and using her power to prohibit Shea from getting a star next week.

RuPaul's Drag Race
RuPaul's Drag Race

Paramount+/World of Wonder 'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7' introduces a wild rule change twist to the format.

Speaking to EW for our AS7 cover story, All Stars 4 winner Monét previously said that the twist was "giving Survivor," and that it resulted in her "tricking people into thinking they're your friend, but doing a little something to undercut them" in the end — a comment that prompted season 12 champ Jaida Essence Hall to quip back: "It's giving people secretly stabbing you in the back."

"The fact that nobody was leaving allowed us to then re-evaluate the way in which we competed, because you can actually give your best because you know for a fact that you're not leaving, you don't have this constant fear thing. So when you make decisions on the show, it's not fear-based, it's because I want to be excellent," Jaida continued, with season 3 legend Raja observing that it was "traumatic" to step back into the Drag Race competition, but knowing she was there for the entirety of the season created an environment that fostered creativity over bitterness.

RuPaul's Drag Race digital cover
RuPaul's Drag Race digital cover

Vijat M for EW Raja for EW

"Realizing we were going to be there and showcase each week and not be sent home allowed all of us to have a little bit more ease in how we connected to each other," Raja added. "Because we knew we were going to get to do fierce runways anyway on every episode. So, that kind of made it a little bit nicer."

RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7 airs Fridays on Paramount+. Watch the cast discuss the season in EW's exclusive video above, and read our entire AS7 cover story.

Subscribe to EW's BINGE podcast for full recaps of RuPaul's Drag Race, including weekly season 14 recaps with the cast.

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