Interview: RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars – Alyssa Edwards
Four weeks into All Stars 2, the competition is reaching an all new kind of tension that we’ve never experienced before. With four queens out of the competition instead of the expected three, the cast is smaller than ever as they prepare for the week’s challenge: Movie parody sequels. With Alaska and Alyssa teaming up for Wha’ Ha’ Happened to Baby JJ?, Detox and Katya tackling Velma & Weezy and Phi Phi and Roxxxy being tasked with Showsquirrels—Parodies of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Velma & Louise and Showgirls respectively—the queens’ acting skills were put to the test to see who could perform best in these comedy skits.
This week, Alaska and Phi Phi found themselves in the top two, while Katya, Roxxxy and Alyssa were the bottom three. Following a two-in-one looks runway and a stellar lip sync to Cheryl Lynn’s Got To Be Real, Alaska was declared the winner for the week, with her hilarious performance and runway look themed around a character of her own creation from Season 5, Lil’ Poundcake, pushing her ahead of Phi Phi. Unfortunately, Alaska chose to send Alyssa Edwards home this week, and with her absence the season potentially loses one of its biggest fan favourites.
All is not lost, however, as the eliminated queens return next week as RuPaul’s biggest secret of the season so far is unveiled! This may be Alyssa’s chance to storm her way back into the competition, giving her a second chance at the crown that she’s more than qualified to take. Following the elimination, and ahead of her return next week, we spoke to Alyssa about her time on All Stars.
Michael Smith: How did it feel to be called on for All Stars season 2? Did you expect to be given this second chance at the crown?
Alyssa Edwards: It felt like such a privilege. There have been 100 queens on the show, and only 10 on All Stars 2. So to be chosen by Ru is an honor.
MS: What was it like competing against all these other well-known faces, rather than a group of unknown queens? Did you feel you were better prepared for it this time around?
AE: I felt like I was better prepared, because the first time around I was too quick to think I couldn’t do things. Now, with dance, runway and acting, I will do it all.
MS: The challenge for this week was to create a movie sequel, and you and Alaska were given Baby Jane as your movie. Why did you choose Alaska as your partner above anyone else?
AE: Because she is hilarious! Alaska is such a performer, so given the first choice, of course I had to go with her.
MS: How did you feel about the sequel you two were given? If you could have chosen another movie to parody, whether it was one of the other groups’ or an entirely different movie, what would you have chosen?
AE: Well, I love this film, so I think it’s the one I would have gone with. I wanted to be more gay and fabulous than the original, but can you even do that? So I just tried to make it a fabulous drag version.
MS: Unlike previous acting challenges, you seemed to be judged differently, with half of each team being in the bottom and half in the top or safe. Did you feel it should have been judged as teams instead, with pairs falling in the bottom or top together?
AE: I was fine with the way we were judged. There have been a lot of shakeups this season and it’s kept the show fun and fresh.
MS: Unlike the previously eliminated queens, you were thrown into RuPaul’s revenge plan as soon as you had been removed from the competition. Did you know what to expect while setting up the mirror scene in the workroom? How long was there between your elimination and that scene taking place?
AE: Oh girl, I had no idea. I did not know what to expect while waiting behind that mirror. I was a little taken aback by the things Phi Phi was saying because none of that had ever been said to me – but didn’t that make for a nice little cliffhanger in the end!
MS: Assuming you don’t get a second chance in the competition, who would you like to see be crowned the next All-Star?
MS: What are your plans for the future now that filming is over and the season is well underway?
AE: You know, I feel like my life is a book that has been written and now it’s being read. And I’m enjoying it.
Tune into RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars next Thursday at 8/7c on Logo and VH1!