Naomi Smalls eliminated Manila Luzon on All Stars 4 and the memes are unforgiving

4 February 2019, 14:03

Naomi Smalls Manila Luzon All Stars 4
Naomi Smalls Manila Luzon All Stars 4. Picture: RuPaul's Drag Race
Woodrow Whyte

By Woodrow Whyte

Someone call 911 right now. Manila Luzon was robbed of her crown on All Stars 4 this weekend and I think I’ve had a mild stroke because of it.

As you’ve probably seen by now, frontrunner Manila was savagely eliminated by Naomi Smalls, who won this week’s lip sync against an uncharacteristically sedate Monet X Change. There was no denying that Naomi’s lip sync was incredible and perhaps even one for the herstory books.

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But choosing Manila was controversial. Manila had won three challenges so far, putting her in the drag queen-to-beat spot in the competition. Many of the girls, most notably Trinity the Tuck, have advocated for queens to be eliminated based on their performance in the competition as a whole (if they’ve performed badly then they ought to go, and vice versa). Naomi clearly didn’t agree.

Instead, she decided to save Latrice Royale. Latrice’s performance has been inconsistent to say the least but, perhaps more importantly, she saved Naomi’s ass in the lip sync last week, leaving many to suspect that Naomi only saved Latrice to return the favour.

For Drag Race fans, this style of elimination brings back bad memories. Several strong contenders in previous seasons have been kicked out far too soon because of the All Stars rules that winners each week choose who should stay and who should go (rather than RuPaul deciding herself in the normal seasons). Shangela was the fan favourite in All Stars 3 until the queens in her season did her dirty right before the final lip sync. Then there was Alyssa Edward’s shock exit in All Stars 2 despite a masterful run in the competition.

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As one viral post noted in the wake of Manila’s exit, voting out the winner doesn’t just fuck it up for the eliminated queen. It fucks it up for all of them, as the eventual winner of AS4 will undoubtedly be shadowed by the question of ‘what if’ had Manila stayed. Voting out the frontrunners undermines the competition, and we would argue, makes it less appealing as a viewer. Yeah, we are here for drama, but we still believe in the talent of the queens and want their talents to be judged fairly. Winning, or surviving in the competition, because you’re friends with the other queens just doesn’t feel right. As you can imagine, all hell broke out on Gay Twitter over the weekend and the memes have been truly wild.

We think it's fair to say most people felt conflicting emotions over the drama.

Eliminating your "idol" sure took some balls.

Naomi is unpredictable and should not be trusted.

Naomi is likely to feel the repercussions of her actions for years to come.

This is literally the gay red wedding.

Next week's werk room footage should be...interesting.

If you can't imagine what it will look like, it will be EXACTLY like this.

She had it coming...

We wanted screen time. Not murder-the-competition time.

It's still too raw.

The internet is shocked and appalled.

First Alyssa, then Shangela, and now THIS?!? For shame!

Who knew Drag Race was so educational?

Now, now, now...All Stars is all fun and games but we know how things can turn ugly on the internet, so we'll end it on this note from All Stars 3 queen Aja.

Amen to that!