It's Time for the Judge's Critiques: Pre-Season Winner Predictions for 'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars' Season 8
While 12 queens may be returning to the Werk Room this Friday for the eighth season of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, only one can snatch the crown and the $200,000 grand prize. The other 11 will return home with nothing but nail glue and memories (and I guess $50,000 if they win the fan-voted Fame Games). But unlike the regular seasons of Drag Race where the queens are largely unknown, in All Stars, we've already seen some of what they have to offer. Which brings us to the question: who will win Season 8 of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars?
To that end, I've gone through and stitched together a ranking of the 12 queens competing on this season, ordered from least likely to most likely to be conducted into the Drag Race Hall of Fame. It's a power ranking if you will. Since this is pre-season, this list is largely based on the queens' performances in their original seasons and is HIGHLY likely to change once episodes start airing. While there are supposed spoilers on dark corners of the internet, I haven't read any of them, so we're going in fresh with nothing but my recollections and a lot of guestimation. This ranking is also based on how likely the queen is to WIN the competition, not just go far.
Feel free to swing back to Parade from week to week because I will be updating as the season progresses.
SILENCE! Bring back my gurls.
Who will win RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Season 8? Pre-Season Power Rankings:
12. Jaymes Mansfield
No tea no shade. I adore Jaymes Mansfield, and hope that she and her squeaky voice go far this season. And just because you did poorly on your first season does not necessitate that you'll bomb out on All Stars. Season 6's Kylie Sonique Love is certainly proof of that, pivoting from a ninth place finish on Season 2 to the crown. We just don't have much to go off of given that she lasted all of two episodes on Season 9. A dark horse pick though for sure.
11. Naysha Lopez
Naysha Lopez is coming into All Stars 8 on a search for redemption very similar to Jaymes's. She was the first boot of Season 8 before being phoned back by RuPaul. Now this marks the third time Ru has called her to compete, which speaks to Mama Ru seeing some untapped potential here. Will third time be the charm for Naysha Lopez? Only time will tell, and I'll happily bump her up the list if she wows the judges.
10. Kahanna Montrese
Finishing up our trio of early boots, we have Miss Kahanna Montrese, daughter of everyone's favorite Dorito, Coco Montrese. While Montrese didn't leave much of an impact on Season 11, finishing second from the bottom, she's been a staple at the Las Vegas show RuPaul's Drag Race Live. Obviously Ru sees something in her, and with all her flipping and twirling, she could rack up some wins if she can find her way to the top. I assume she'll at least last to the second episode because a Vegas showgirl should not be sent home in the standard opening night talent show.
9. Mrs. Kasha Davis
There may always be time for a cocktail, but I do fear that Mrs. Kasha Davis might be drinking plenty of hers (mocktails now) from the Fame Games runway. Ru has never really got on board with the older camp comedy queen aesthetic, usually sending them home mid-season as he did with our favorite Mrs. That being said, Ru isn't the one sending people home this season, and perhaps that will open some doors for Mrs. Kasha Davis.
Related: Everything You Need to Know about the Fame Games in All Stars 8
8. Lala Ri
The Lala Ri Experience (TM) is back, and I am EXCITED to see what the second iteration brings. That being said, Miss Lala's downfall in Season 13 was mostly her weak fashion sense. While the personality is BOUNDLESS, and I could watch her all day, has she learned that hot gluing bags to a corset is a bad move? Has she learned to sew? I'm sure she'll arrive with some slightly better looks than she had previously thanks to all the RuGirl coin, but money can only buy so much.
7. Monica Beverly Hillz
I'm going out on a bit of a limb bumping Monica Beverly Hillz up so far in a pre-season ranking given her 12th place finish back in Season 5. But in her first outing, Monica was not only battling the other queens, she was also battling through a transition broadcast on national television. Even in her few episodes, Monica was fierce as hell, and now that's she's fully come into her own, I think Monica is ready to beast mode through this thing. Granted, for every Kylie Sonique Love, there is an Ongina or Jiggly Caliente when it comes to the older seasons, but I'm choosing to believe in Monica 2.0.
Related: Everything You Need to Know about the Real Housewives of Beverly Hillz (see what I did there?)
6. Jessica Wild
Jessica Wild is the 8th girl from Season 2 to return to the competition, and I'm thrilled to have her back. She's got a big personality that doesn't take things too seriously and is mostly just there to have fun (energy that I think can take you far in an All Stars season where the stakes are high). She's had the longest time off since her original season, and that could be difficult, especially since Season 2 was VERY DIFFERENT in basically every way, but that also means she could be packing plenty of surprises.
5. Alexis Michelle
Our theater queen/resident Liza Minelli impersonator has returned, and I think here's our line of demarcation. The seven queens listed lower on this list are all wild cards more or less. They were sent sashaying early. They competed a decade ago. Just by showing up, they're bringing things we haven't seen before. Alexis Michelle nearly made the finale on her season, and while that means she's great at what she does, it also means that expectations are higher. One thing in her favor is her professionalism though. I can't see her falling in the bottom, at least in the beginning, so she'll have some wiggle room to maneuver.
4. Darienne Lake
My favorite queen returning is Miss Darienne Lake, the lip-sync assassin of Season 6, chopped unceremoniously (and undeservedly) before the finale. She's witty, she's glamorous, and she's not above throwing a little shade. The strategic portions of All Stars seem right up her alley, and I wouldn't want to end up in a lip-sync against her. While I could certainly see her and Mrs. Kasha Davis being pegged for being to "out of touch" because of their age, I think people underestimated Darienne on her first season to their own detriment, and it could happen again here.
3. Kandy Muse
Yo, the Muse is back, and in this season of wild cards, she's the only one to have previously made it to a finale (crazy when you think about it). She's one of the most popular queens coming into the competition, and with a big personality and winning sense of humor, you'd be stupid to underestimate her. Her runway looks are provocative, she's a killer lip syncer, and Ru loves her. The only way I see her going home early would be in some lip stick shenanigans, but I honestly think she'll be at least safe until the end game.
2. Heidi N Closet
Heidi N Closet is a queen MADE for All Stars. With a big personality and a small budget on Season 12, she just wasn't quite refined enough to make it to the end. Now she's got more experience and more money to pay designers, so you know she's going to be looking SNATCHED. This is the Trixie Mattel/Monet X Change/Ra'Jah O'Hara playbook, and I think Heidi could easily take home the crown. Also, who is going to want to send her home? She's such a blast to have around.
RuPaul is OBSESSED with Jimbo. I'm not sure anyone (even Jimbo) was more upset when Pangina Heals sent her home in the third episode of UK vs. the World after amazing performances during the first two weeks. The fact that Jimbo is even on this cast as a Canadian speaks to how much Ru loves her, and I think that goes a long way in favor of the drag clown. And on top of that, Jimbo is completely unique and unlike anyone we've ever seen on US Drag Race. She's ridiculously funny in a campy, off-kilter kind of way. She's as smart as they come. Her massive breast plates are used to perfection. If she has kryptonite it's that she's not great in a lip sync (she's lost all three she's competed in), but hopefully that doesn't hurt her here. If I were a betting man, I'd say Jimbo becomes the first queen of the north in the Drag Race Hall of Fame.
Next, Everything You Need to Know about RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Season 8