The Telefile
<i>RuPaul’s All Stars Drag Race</i>: Why This Season is Having a She-Mergency

It's baffling to me that RuPaul's Drag Race isn't amazing right now -- frankly, it's not even very good. I figured I'd be covering it every week, gushing about how fun it's been and wondering aloud why more people aren't tuning into what I thought was going to be one of the best installments of reality TV in a long while. Unrealistically high expectations? Maybe. But there were episodes of Drag Race last season that made me laugh until I cried, and moments that had me genuinely tearing up from how moving the contestants' personal stories were. Unfortunately, there are a couple reasons why I think Ru is f*cking up this season:

Old Queens Die Hard
Much as I love seeing some of the ladies again -- I still perk up every time Chad Michaels in on screen -- I've come to miss learning about individual contestants and deciding for myself who I like. As far as All-Stars go, there are people on this show who I barely recognized, and in some cases, never met (I missed most of the first and second seasons, sadly). I feel like the editors aren't letting us really get to know the Queens for who they are now, and instead just want to focus on complicated inner drama that I still have trouble grasping. More importantly, if I've learned anything from Sharon Needles last season, it's that Drag Race thrives on underdogs -- and having already established fan favorites and villains robs the show of that. There's also no room to learn about the aforementioned touching backstories of the veteran contestants, given that they've already been there and done that.

The Partners
I generally loathe team challenges on reality shows. They work once in a while on say, Project Runway or Top Chef, given that sometimes real-life designing and cooking gigs require teamwork. But Drag Queens? Not so much. The nature of a Queen is to attract all of the attention, not share the spotlight. Forcing two contestants to compete together each week also makes it hard to get to know the ladies on an individual basis, and the fact that they get eliminated in teams just seems too hasty. It also leads to some of my favorite ladies getting the boot much too soon.

The Competition
The challenges and lip syncs thus far have been so lame. Again, I think it's because the girls have already established themselves in seasons past, but combined with the fact that they have to do everything in twos, there's just not enough focus on each competitor's personality and creativity in the tasks at hand. There's also the fact that the challenge ideas have seemed phoned-in and not outrageous enough -- and what is with the LSFYL song selections this season? There's been no room for over-the-top performances or much of any imagination at all. Where are the campy drag anthems and ultra-girly numbers? At this point, I'd take someone ripping off their wig over boring, over-polished technical pieces.

What do you think of Drag Race this season? Sound off below.

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