'Drag Race All Stars 6' Episode 9 Recap: Who Went Home and What Is the Game Within a Game?

RuPaul's Drag Race based a lot of its early seasons on making fun of America's Next Top Model, and mercilessly ribbed the huge amount of product placement in Tyra Banks' show.

At some point, however, the show went from making fun of product placement to simply just placing products.

In All Stars 6 Episode 9 (streaming now on Paramount+), this reaches its nadir, with the whole episode just a less good version of a previous challenges (the Season 9 princess and sidekicks challenge) made to flog a cartoon on WOW Presents Plus. Who knew WOW Presents Plus had content that was not just foreign versions of Drag Race?!

The episode begins with the queens giving each other superlatives—and this episode would certainly win Most Messy, as the queens are psychologically tormented before a sad (and slightly unfair) elimination.

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The queens dish out superlatives in "RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 6" Episode 9. Paramount+

What Happened on 'All Stars 6' Episode 9?

After the queens said goodbye to Pandora, they congratulate Ginger on another lip-sync win, and joke that she is now a lip-sync assassin. I repeat what I said last week: This show needs to stop undervaluing comedy lip-syncers. Ginger has won as many lip-syncs as other competitors who are considered assassins, and her conjoined twins lip-sync of "I Think We're Alone Now" in Season 7 is among the all-time best on the show.

Once the queens have debriefed on last episode, they get a video message from RuPaul (sorry, I mean "Corny the Unicorn") and learn that for this week's episode they have to create a live-action character who could fit into the world of Drag Tots, which apparently is a real show and not just some sort of Mad Libs gone wrong.

Sadly, they will be not be acting alongside the animated characters Roger Rabbit-style. Instead, they simply have to design an outfit for their character and present it on the runway.

Before this happens, however, the show makes the queens sit through superlatives, with the queens voting on who they think is the best looking, who is the messiest, as well as who they think is the next to go home.

After a season that has mostly been defined by how friendly everyone has been to each other, this is an obvious attempt by the producers to stir up some drama. Which would be fine, but they seem desperate to hammer it home. Not only does Ru mention it in the walkthroughs, but the queens are prompted to talk about it when they are getting ready for the runway, and then Ross Mathews brings it up during judging.

No wonder Trinity and Eureka are feeling insecure after Eureka wins all the negative superlatives, and she and Trinity tie over who will be the next to go home.

During the workroom chats, Ra'Jah gets read by Ru for her character's name (Simi Queen, as in "see me queen") being bad. Sure, it is not the best name ever for a character, but is it really worse than Kylie's very basic choice of Miss Behavior? Ru also criticizes the name for sounding too much like "semen," right after she had praised cartoons for being subversive. This is a messy episode.

On the runway, everyone does pretty well, with Eureka a clear top with a fun outfit and the smart idea to play a villain which sets her apart. Ra'Jah, meanwhile, changed the name of her character to Aseyu Queen (as in "I see you queen," which is not really better than Simi) and looks the best with her purple skin and eye motifs. But does it really fit the brief? Based on what Ru said, it seemed that the point was to create a character that would fit into the Drag Tots show, and it does not really.

In general, though, the episode has trouble incorporating the Tots into the challenge. It has some fun with animating in Bianca Del Rio and Latrice Royale's characters into the judging panel, but the challenge feels like it could exist entirely without any reference to the show.

If the brief was to create a drag toddler character, then Ginger is the only one who followed it with her Southern Belle character. Trinity's cat character also feel like it could fit, though there is something gently terrifying about the makeup that was very Nina Bo'nina Brown.

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The "Drag Tots" pass judgment on the queens' runway looks in "All Stars 6" Episode 9. Paramount+

Quibbles about the brief aside, it is pretty clear that Kylie does the worst in this challenge. Her witch character is the most forgettable of the bunch—in fact, Eureka does a much better job channeling witchy energy on the runway.

The judges, however, make Ra'Jah the winner and put everyone else in the bottom. This is something that happens in nearly every round of All Stars, and nearly always leads to the wrong person going home.

So it is here. Kylie seems like the obvious one to go, but manages to save herself with a very impassioned speech to Ra'Jah about why she deserves to stay. Instead, the queens go on the very nebulous concept of "track record" and all vote for Eureka to go home because she has not won a challenge yet. She has, however, been in the top most of this competition, compared to other contestants who have had much shakier runs. Plus, she deserved to win the Pink Table Talk challenge, but we do not need to go into that again.

In the lip-sync for your legacy, Ra'Jah faces up against lip-sync assassin Kameron Michaels. Kameron is one of those queens for whom "lip-sync assassin" means "they were just in the bottom a lot," but she does manage to win against a Ra'Jah who does not seem to be giving it her all, perhaps in the hope that she will not eliminate anyone.

As it is, Kameron wins and reveals the group have voted for Eureka to go home.

Except she is not quite leaving. Next week is finally the "game within a game," and Ru finally reveals it will be the "lip-sync of your life."

Paramount+ viewers can try to decode that for themselves, but the rumors are it will be a winner-stays-on lip-sync tournament, with Serena and Jiggly facing off, the winner facing Silky, and so on until Eureka takes on the winner to return to the competition. If that is the case, it could be an enjoyable episode next week—the potential chaos of Serena defeating eight people to return to the competition is a very exciting one.

RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 6 airs Thursdays from midnight PT on Paramount+.