Musical numbers have become a tradition on Drag Race — each season on the show, in one form or another, the queens are tasked with delivering stunning choreography, and oftentimes their own lyrics, to a song of RuPaul’s choosing. With six seasons of All Stars come and gone, we started wondering — what are some of the best numbers from the show?
Below, Billboard takes a look back at 10 of the most gag-worthy musical numbers from RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars and discusses what made them so fabulous.
10. “Super Queen” (All Stars Season 4, Episode 10)
For the finale of All Stars 4, the queens were given a difficult task — write a verse to an acoustic, down-tempo version of RuPaul’s “Super Queen.” But when you watch the performance, you’ll see all four of the finalists giving their all in the challenge. Season winner Monét X Change in particular understood the assignment with her opening verse; the lyrics, the musicality, her vocals and her dance moves perfectly fit a challenge that could have been a struggle for just about any other season.
9. “I’m in Love!” (All Stars Season 5, Episode 2)
This adorable ditty from All Stars 5 stands out among the rest for presenting a unique challenge for the competitors on Drag Race — instead of singing or rapping about themselves, the queens were tasked with fawning over their celebrity crush. The bones of the song (written and produced by Drag Race’s songwriting dream team Brett McLaughlin and Freddy Scott) fit perfectly with the subject, and while some of the queens’ verses may have fallen a bit flat, the entirety of the performance is certainly one for the books.
8. “Clap Back!” (All Stars Season 5, Episode 8)
While it may not have been the most revolutionary of the “final song” numbers, “Clap Back!” has a lot that works well. First, the music and production stand apart from the dance-pop sameness that we often get in these challenges. The performances and choreography executed by Jujubee, Miz Cracker and Shea Couleé, as directed by Todrick Hall, transcend to another level of difficulty, making the number that much more fun to watch. Finally, the songwriting exhibited by the queens expertly toes the line between the pure camp and the fierce witticisms that we’ve come to love in these final challenges.
7. “This Is Our Country” (All Stars Season 6, Episode 12)
When you think RuPaul’s Drag Race, country music is likely not the first genre that comes to mind — in fact, it might be the last. And yet, season 6’s fusion of hip-hop and pop on a country track — while reminiscent of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” — was a welcome breath of fresh air. Each of the queens understood the assignment and truly got their chance to shine, whether it was with powerful lyrics, excellent vocals, or embodying the purpose of the song. Throw in country legend Tanya Tucker for good measure, and you’ve got a grade-A finale song on your hands.
6. “Sitting on a Secret/Drag Up Your Life” (All Stars Season 3, Episode 6)
Three words: good, stupid, fun. The girl group challenge from All Stars 3 may not have been as inspired as later entries on this list, but no one can say that it wasn’t an entertaining, witty showing. Of the two songs, it’s clear that the top 5 queens had the upper hand; specifically, BenDeLaCreme’s performance as a Wednesday Adams-inspired Goth Kitty is still iconic to this day, as is Trixie Mattel’s pastel-colored I.Q. Kitty. Sometimes, a musical performance on Drag Race doesn’t need to be deep or powerful — it just needs to be a good time. And remember, kids, in the words of Bebe Zahara Benet: “Rakakatititata, yeah, I’m p—y b—h.”
5. VH1 Divas Lip Sync Live (All Stars Season 3, Episode 2)
Drag queens impersonating celebrities is about as classic as it gets, and Drag Race leaned into that with the VH1 Divas Lip Sync Live from All Stars 3. Watching each of the competitors offer up their own hilarious renditions of what stars like Mariah Carey, Dolly Parton or Patti LaBelle would deliver on a battle royale special is hilarious. But one performance among the group stands the test of time, and that is BenDeLaCreme as a practically perfect Julie Andrews twerking to RuPaul’s “Call Me Mother.” If you can watch this lip-sync challenge and walk away without the image of DeLa shaking her padded ass to the words “It don’t make sense for a b—h to be this endowed” seared into your brain, then you’re doing something wrong.
4. All Stars 6 Hall of Fame Halftime Show (All Stars Season 6, Episode 4)
While All Stars 6’s Hall of Fame Halftime Show is certainly a revamp of the All Stars 3 Diva Lip-Sync, one thing forces it into the front of the pack — the performances. Each of the queens in this challenge went all-out with their characters, even when some of their choices came directly from way out of left field (looking at you, Kylie Sonique Love as Steven Tyler). Putting each performance in the context of a halftime show certainly helped the creative process along. But, the cherries to top this performance were clear — Jan’s raw, perfectly-choreographed Gaga impression helped push her into her first win, while Trinity K. Bonét’s spot-on Beyoncé impersonation immediately won over the fans. Sometimes, giving queens specific restraints when it comes to challenges like this pays off in dividends, like it did for the queens of All Stars 6.
3. HERstory of the World (All Stars Season 2, Episode 3)
From the moment it began, “HERStory of the World” managed to become one of the most iconic Rusicals in the history of the Drag Race franchise. Every performance was brilliantly executed (the judges even said they had an almost-impossible time choosing the bottom two for the week), while the rapid switches between genres and styles worked wonders for the number’s pacing. Alyssa Edwards’ “bang bang” dance as Annie Oakley rightly comes to mind when thinking back on this number, but Detox’s neon Marie Antoinette, Ginger Minj’s horse-licking Catherine the Great, and even Alaska’s Britney-inspired Eve all managed to steal the show every time they were on stage. “HERStory of the World” took the Rusical format and reshaped it into what it is today, making it one of the best numbers in All Stars history.
2. “Kitty Girl” (All Stars Season 3, Episode 8)
All Stars 3‘s “Kitty Girl” had plenty of potential to be just another somewhat-forgettable finale number. But to this day, it stands as an example of what other finale tracks should aspire to be — fun, fierce, and endlessly-entertaining. The choreography mixed into the single-take format of the performance makes “Kitty Girl” one of the most engaging numbers that Drag Race has ever done, while each of the top four queens deliver the goods when it comes to music and lyrics. Whether it’s the instantly memorable refrain of Shangela yelling “so hype, so lit, adrenaline,” or Trixie Mattel flailing her legs while screaming the word “tarantula,” “Kitty Girl” is littered with amazing moments.
1. “Read U Wrote U” (All Stars Season 2, Episode 8)
Honestly, could it have been any other song? “Read U Wrote U” is not only the best song to come out of the All Stars franchise, it’s also the best song to come out of Drag Race, period. Why? Because it is pure chaos incarnate. From the moment it begins, “Read U Wrote U” is an unhinged, delightfully insane look into the nexus of what Drag Race aims to be at any given moment, and every queen on that stage knew it. Every queen gets an iconic moment in this song — Alaska screaming at a dancer to “get in the basket,” Detox spelling out her name with a booty bump heard round the world, Katya’s manic, Russian-accented insistence that she has a rash and nothing else, and Roxxxy Andrews’ unforgettable corny songwriting. “Read U Wrote U” helped create the phenomenon that is the finale songwriting challenge by setting a crazed standard for the rest of the show. Perhaps someday, the show will be able to beat this incredible, deranged performance —until then, we’re happy revisiting “Read U Wrote U.”