Interview: RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars – Alyssa Edwards (Second Elimination)
Season 2 of All Stars is quickly coming to a close! With five queens left in the competition, the competition is fiercer than ever. In this extreme tail end of the competition, the remaining five queens are put to the test as they’re tasked with making over a family member, their mother or sister, and turning them into a member of their own drag family while also choreographing their own vogue routine. With multiple queens nearing or recently passing the anniversary of a departed family member, it was an emotional reunion in many ways, but one that saw certain queens using the mental shock in their favour to tackle the challenge at full force.
In the end, Detox’s high fashion looks and Katya’s Russian-themed storyline brought them straight to the top two, leaving Alyssa, Alaska and Roxxxy as the bottom three. Detox played to her strengths with outfit reveals and lip sync gimmicks, and came out on top in the lip sync, leaving her with the task of choosing between her two closest friends, Alaska and Roxxxy—Rolaskatox as they were known in season five—and Alyssa. Rolaskatox ultimately lived to see another day, and Alyssa found herself leaving the competition mere moments before reaching the finish line.
However, that’s not to say that she didn’t deserve to make it this far, or that she should have gone home. After slaying the competition on multiple levels, being eliminated once and then returning straight afterwards with her killer comedy routine and iconic lip sync against Tatianna, she’s more than shown her immense talent and cemented her place as one of Drag Race’s biggest fan favourites. Following her second elimination, we spoke to Alyssa about returning to All Stars.
Michael Smith: A few episodes ago, you became one of the first two queens to re-enter the competition at the same time. How did it feel to know you were getting another shot at the competition, rather than losing the chance to Tatianna?
Alyssa Edwards: I couldn’t believe it! You know when I was first eliminated and then told I would have a chance at RuDemption, I wasn’t quite sure what to think. I started to assume the other queens were coming back too, and to be there and see it all play out was great. And I was so happy Tati and I performed well enough to stay.
MS: Did Tatianna’s simultaneous return to the competition alter how you felt about your own return? Were you at all worried about there being more competition than when you were first eliminated?
AE: Not so much. At that point in time I was focusing on how happy I was to be back in the competition.
MS: Even though you were technically eliminated, you never really left the competition and didn’t miss any challenges. Do you feel like you were better prepared for the return than someone who would have come back after missing a few challenges?
AE: Oh, good question! I’ve never really thought of it that way. We’re all experienced queens so I think we were all prepared, I just got to have more fun because I was in more challenges.
MS: The season featured many unexpected twists that would pop up every week. How did the atmosphere or mood of the competition change over the course of filming these seven episodes we’ve seen so far?
AE: Girl! It was great! I love how this season has constantly switched up the format. It has kept the show fun and fresh and people are glued to their TVs on Thursday nights!
MS: Thanks to your immense growth in terms of both comedy and visuals since season five, you’ve quickly become one of the first queens that people associate with the term all-star. How did it feel to have that position validated by RuPaul herself by being cast in the second All Stars season?
AE: It was truly such an honor. RuPaul had the opportunity to choose between one hundred queens for All-Stars, so to get the invite is gratifying.
MS: You already had a very vocal fan base thanks to Alyssa’s Secret, not to mention the iconic performances from you and the Haus of Edwards. What kind of additional effect has All Stars had on your fan base and career overall?
AE: I’ve definitely continued to grow a social media following, and the opportunities to perform keep getting larger and larger.
MS: Now that we’re down to the top four, has your opinion of who should win the competition changed at all?
AE: Honestly, I’m rooting for Alaska. Alaska deserves it. He has been so focused, so dedicated, and beyond determined. His work speaks for itself – he’s single-handedly won almost half of the competition.
Tune into RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars on Thursday at 8/7c on Logo and VH1 for the final episode before the reunion!