Let’s talk about THAT twisty cliffhanger gag of RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars 4

Warning! This post contains major spoilers regarding Friday’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars 4. Read ahead at your own risk! 

Like Monique Heart’s hairpiece flung toward outer space with the rocket thrust of Eureka clocking Miz Cracker’s face with a bible, you can find our collective wig dangling in the rafters after Friday’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars 4 ended on a shocking cliffhanger (and a fittingly maniacal RuPaul cackle, of course).

At the tail end of the episode (and perhaps the best lip-sync of the season between challenge champions Manila Luzon and Monét X Change), Mama Ru announced that both queens had earned the designation of being “a winner, baby.” That seemingly meant that up to two of the bottom-finishers (Monique Heart, Valentina, Trinity The Tuck, and Naomi Smalls) had the potential to be eliminated. But before lipsticks were drawn, Ru announced that All-Stars rules had been postponed “until further notice,” and that no one would be packing their bags this week.

When the queens returned to the Werk Room, however, a cryptic inscription from RuPaul greeted them from the makeup mirror: “Get ready to lip-sync for your life, life, life, life,” the message read. In the spirit of Alyssa Edwards’ iconic behind-the-mirror reveal from All-Stars 2, Lady Bunny (the subject of this week’s roast challenge) appeared from the other side of the glass, prompting the girls to turn around only to find the previously eliminated queens — Jasmine Masters, Farrah Moan, Gia Gunn, and Latrice Royale — mean-mugging in the center of the room.

Now that we have an inkling of what the gag of the season might be, EW breaks down how the biggest twist of RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars 4 might play out across next week’s episode below. 

Scenario 1: The returning girls lip-sync to determine which one will return

The teaser trailer for next week’s installment promises that Jasmine, Farrah, Gia, and Latrice will draw lipsticks. But the question remains: What for? With great power comes great responsibility, and on All-Stars that typically means she who draws the lipstick sends a fellow contestant home. But what if each the eliminated queens lip-sync against each other, and the winner gets to return with another queen of their choice, as determined by the name on the lipstick tucked away in her breast?

Scenario 2: The returning girls lip-sync to determine an elimination

The most obvious scenario, however, suggests that the returning queens will lip-sync against each other to determine which of their sisters currently in the competition will be eliminated. The winner of the lip-sync will then rejoin the competition in place of the lady they’ve chosen to eliminate.

Scenario 3: A combination of both

RuPaul is known for adding a gag on top of an already well-played goop, so there might be an extra twist in store. At this point, bringing back the eliminated queens for a second shot at the crown is beginning to feel stale. Each season, everyone knows it’s coming; we just don’t know when.

As controversial as their vote to eliminate both Shangela and BeBe Zahara Benet was, the slightly remixed version of the return-of-the-eliminees twist that played out during All-Stars 3 — which saw the eliminated ladies serving as a jury voting to determine the top two without the possibility of re-entering the competition — was the boldest move Drag Race has made to date in terms of flipping a given season’s narrative. Having the eliminated girls lip-sync for their right to return to the competition wouldn’t be a surprise, but giving them an open slot plus the power to take out one of the ladies still in the running? That could set a new standard never before seen in Drag Race her-story.

Whatever the impending twist is…

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Find out how it all plays out when RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars 4 returns next Friday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. ET on VH1.

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