Episode 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars was dramatic, henny. For the first time in the competition, BenDeLaCreme wasn’t on top. What was equally surprising though, was BeBe’s performance and her first win. That win is just the first in a series of clues that BeBe will win Drag Race All Stars. Although, it is one worth paying attention to in this season of All Stars.
BeBe Zahara Benet must have felt like queen of the world, like Kate Winslet at the bow of the Titanic, this week when she finally broke through, beating out Trixie Mattel in a lip-sync battle. Of course, the $10,000 she earned for doing so couldn’t have hurt, either. She was praised from RuPaul and the other judges on her outfit which she made herself. Michelle Visage heaped praise on the look calling it "absolutely stunning" and adding that it was so great she didn't "really have any negatives to say, and that ain’t easy.”
Unfortunately for BeBe though, she does have some incredibly strong competition. Up until Episode 5, BenDeLaCreme has landed in the top two every episode this season and Shangela won both lip-sync battles she participated in. Even Kennedy Davenport stepped up during the B*tchelor challenge to become a contender for the crown, too. While BeBe has performed well, until now, this win marks the first moment where she truly seems like she could make it through to the end of the competition. But, perhaps that’s what she’s wanted all along — to sneak up on her fellow queens. It is possible that her performances up until now have been a carefully crafted strategy all along.
What's more is that BeBe’s biggest two biggest competitors seem to be taking opposite approaches. Shangela is actively making alliances with the other queens to ensure she stays until the end. Shangela’s strategy isn’t all that different from contestants on other reality shows like Big Brother or Survivor — who use strength in numbers to create a positive outcome. BenDeLaCreme meanwhile, has a strategy of friendliness and not making any enemies in hopes that nobody views her as a target worth going after when it's their time to send someone home.
BeBe, however, has a much different strategy — and she needs it. When she arrived on this season of Drag Race All Stars, she was immediately a target. While all the other contestants have never won a season of Drag Race, BeBe won the first ever season of RuPaul's show. That put a huge target on her back. Yet, through five weeks, she’s still here. Why? Potentially, because despite winning Season 1, the contestants don't view her as the threat she truly is.
By flying under the radar of the other queens, who have focused on drama or BenDelaCreme’s success; BeBe is quietly and confidently moving through the competition. While she hadn’t won before week five, she's also never been in the bottom and as a result, has never been at risk of going home.
That fly-on-the wall, make-no-waves, middling gameplay may have to shift next week, though. All eyes will be on her, now that she has finished in the top two. The other queens may begin to ask themselves, as they did when BeBe first arrived: does she really need another crown?
Still, BeBe’s fans shouldn’t be too worried. After all, BeBe hasn’t been visibly intimidated by anyone in the competition this season and she wasn't when she competed in Season 1 of RuPaul’s Drag Race back in 2009 either. As the only queen in the competition with a crown sitting at home, she really is the only one who has proven that she is capable of handling the stress to ultimately win Drag Race. The fact that she can perform under pressure may just give her the edge over the other queens who have been competing at very high levels this season.
There is still a lot of drag to be donned before this season of All Stars is finished and a new queen is announced. But, while last week really looked like a two-queen-race, BeBe has shown herself to be a bit of a wildcard. She just may be the person to snatch that crown while BenDeLaCreme and Shangela are distracted with each other.