‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars’: Naomi Smalls May Not Have Won Season 4, however She Is Responsible for the Show’s Most Iconic Moment

by Jeremy Spirogis
Naomi Smalls in 2020

Though RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars hasn’t been on the air so long as its guardian sequence, RuPaul’s Drag Race, the present has had some fairly iconic moments. However, there’s one second particularly that takes the cake for all of them. Delivered by Naomi Smalls, this motion that befell in season Four of All Stars is now known as being “Manilla’d.”

Naomi Smalls in 2020
Naomi Smalls in 2020 | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

One of the largest moments in your complete franchise

Smalls, a runner-up from season eight of RuPaul’s Drag Race, went head-to-head with Monét x Change throughout season Four of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars in a Lip Sync for Your Legacy battle. Smalls ended up profitable and was subsequently given the ability to get rid of both Manilla Luzon or Latrice Royale. In a surprising resolution, she selected to get rid of Luzon, one of many frontrunners within the competitors, versus Royale, who had already been eradicated as soon as and was performing the worst within the competitors out of the remaining queens.

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Prior to this, it had been the unofficial rule of All Stars to usually vote out the queen who’s performing the worst should you win the Lip Sync for Your Legacy. And although this has been accomplished earlier than, together with the occasions Alaska and Detox saved Roxxxy Andrews in All Stars 2, this one had essentially the most reverberating results as a result of Luzon was such a excessive performer within the competitors. Also, Alaska and Detox saved Andrews as a result of she was their friend, not as a result of they essentially wished to get out the higher rivals.

Because of this, Smalls created tv gold and is usually credited with being the one particular person on All Stars who really tried to vote out their largest competitors. What made the second so large was the truth that Smalls, a a lot youthful queen than Drag Race O.G. Luzon, was in awe of the very fact she was on a season with and dealing with considered one of her inspirations to do drag.

What she stated about making this transfer

Some give Smalls lots of credit score for bucking what everybody thought could be the case, whereas others assume that what she did isn’t a great way to play All Stars. In an interview with Billboard in 2019, Smalls was requested about deciding to ship dwelling Luzon and if she at all times deliberate to ship dwelling a powerful competitor.

“It wasn’t essentially my technique to ship dwelling the stronger competitor, however my purpose for All Stars 4 was to get to the crown,” she defined. As a lot as I appeared as much as Manila Luzon as a child and I used to be very impressed by her physique of labor, I didn’t essentially have the identical relationship together with her that I had with Latrice Royale, who saved me the week prior. I didn’t know if perhaps I bombed the subsequent week, if Manila was within the prime, that she would maintain me. I undoubtedly had a greater alliance with Latrice Royale.” She additionally revealed {that a} scene was reduce from the episode when Royale didn’t ship Smalls dwelling. Smalls stated that in this episode, she informed Royale would save her if she received.

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Smalls additionally stated that she acquired lots of hate on social media for the choice. “I didn’t know Manila’s fans were gonna be crazy [as Valentina’s]. I have very thick skin, but it makes me a little sad that my mom is so invested in some of my drag that she does read the comments and there are some things like, ‘Your biological family was right to abandon you,’ and, ‘I’m so happy that your brother died so he didn’t have to see you become such a hypocrite.’ That wasn’t necessarily something I wanted my mom to read. Because it’s just crazy. It’s a weird thought for her to have the realization that people have these thoughts about her son, you know? But besides that, I’m pretty fine with it.”

The influence that this had on ‘All Stars’

Even earlier than Smalls, queens didn’t actually vote off excessive performers. This remains to be the identical case with the latest season, All Stars 5. There was lots of controversy when Alexis Mateo and Mayhem Miller forged votes to vote Shea Couleé, the competitors’s frontrunner on the time and its eventual winner. Though there weren’t sufficient votes to ship Couleé dwelling, the fandom was in an uproar due to this resolution. Fans and alumni of the present stated that Shea nearly received “Manilla’d.”

According to standard Drag Race YouTube channel, JakeyonceTV, Naomi’s elimination of Manilla “modified All Stars eternally.” So although Naomi Smalls didn’t win All Stars, there might not be a much bigger second from the present than when she actually modified the sport.

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