For all its twisty potential, the lipstick voting system in the All Stars iterations of Drag Race hasn’t really caused too much drama in the past (aside from that Naomi/Manila moment in Season 4) — but it is seriously stirring the pot in All Stars 6. Right off the bat this season, an errant vote created a bit of animosity between Trinity K. Bonet and Yara Sofia, which was closely followed by the closest vote in Drag Race herstory when only two lipsticks sent Silky Nutmeg Ganache home over A’keria Davenport. And in this first-look clip of Drag Race All Stars 6 Episode 5, the vote reveal reached peak awkwardness when Jan admitted she’d picked A’keria’s lipstick, despite everyone else voting out Yara.
Usually, the whole group is more or less on the same page when it comes to which All Star to get the chop each week, which is what makes Episode 5’s revelation so gag-worthy. As the winner of the half-time show challenge, Jan had the power to send one of her competitors home if she could beat the lip sync assassin. Unfortunately for her, Jessica Wild turned the party to Britney Spears’ “Womanizer” and was declared the winner, thus revealing the group had decided to send Yara home. This choice didn’t come as a shock after deliberations, since A’keria emotionally fought for her place in the competition in discussions with the other queens, while Yara refused to “beg” for her spot. The real gag, though, is that despite winning over all the safe queens, A’keria was very close to going home, because Jan had picked her lipstick.
After Yara’s elimination, the queens emptied the lipstick box to discover the vote for Yara was unanimous (with Yara herself being the only vote for A’keria). That put Jan in a very uncomfortable position, because then she had to reveal she was the only person who had voted for A’keria. Yikes... maybe Jan should have just pulled a Bebe and chosen not to pull out her lipstick. Get your first look at the awkwardness below.
After revealing her vote, Jan made the case that she voted based on track record, an often-argued position among the show’s fandom and contestants. Since A’keria and Yara had both been in the bottom once before, but Yara had one win under her belt that A’keria didn’t, Yara technically had a better track record on All Stars 6. Some fans of the show think this is the fairest way to vote, while others (and many of the past All Stars) have advocated for the winner going with their gut rather than analyzing statistics.
“My heart said that I wanted you to stay, but I thought track record and integrity — I thought that's what we were going on,” Jan explained. “I thought that everybody would say, ‘OK, well they were both in the bottom, but Yara has the win.’”
Although the rest of the queens told Jan not to worry about it, and A’keria was actually super chill about getting several votes the week earlier, it’s still an incredibly awkward situation for Jan. Before the end of the intro, she stated her worry that this vote could come back and ruin her run down the line. I mean, if she winds up in the bottom and A’keria is the one pulling lipsticks... it very well might.
New episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 6 air Thursdays on Paramount+.