The Ultimate Queen All-Stars competition kicked off with a bang last Thursday., when a hefty crowd filled Tracks nightclub for the premiere episode of RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars Season Two — which upped the ante on its drag drama with a show full of more twists and turns than a French braid — and then the first round of the Tracks All-Stars battle for a coveted Denver drag crown.
The evening's theme was "Best Drag," and all eight contestants — Anka Shayne, Arial StaxXx, Candy Warhol, Cherry Poppins, Gia StaxXx, Kyile Vanderpump, Mani Queen and Valerie Shearz — came out firing on all sequin-studded cylinders.
The evening's big winner was Colorado Springs starlet Mani Queen, who literally set the night on fire with a performance of In This Moment's "Sex Metal Barbie" that made a major costume reveal by lighting up her flash-paper corset strings.
Nipping at her heels in the surprise department was Anka Shayne, who came out in a full ensemble but ripped that off to finish her number in a carefully adhered vinyl sticker that had audience members on their feet.
Up for elimination were Candy Warhol, who stunned in a gorgeous, self-made leopard-print garment, and Kyile Vanderpump, who filled her Britney Spears medley with some soft fringe; they competed in the lip synch of their lives to Ariana Grande's "Into You," which led the contest's judges to declare a draw. So all of the contestants will return this Thursday, when the All-Star challenge is to wow everyone with an over-the-top "fantasy" look.
Until round two, here are some clips from week one of the fierce battle royale:
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Ultimate Queen All-Stars continues Thursdays at Tracks, 3500 Walnut Street. Doors open at 7 p.m. with new episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars starting at 7:30 p.m.; the UQ All-Stars competition rolls after that, and the party continues until 2 a.m. Admission for 18+ is a $5 cover, $10 after 10 p.m.; 21+ is free. Find more info at tracksdenver.com.