Warring sisters, a "pig in a wig," and clashing kingdoms crumbling after an alleged "campaign" against a rising queen of the world: RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 5 had all the makings of a juicy medieval epic, and season icons Jujubee, Blair St. Clair, and crowned queen Shea Couleé join the latest episode of EW's BINGE podcast (listen below) to reveal what really went down behind AS5's gaggiest moments.
While many accepted Couleé's path to the crown as written in the gay stars, others seemingly tried their damndest to stir the post for great television; among AS5's many herstory-making moments was perhaps the biggest Drag Race shock since Naomi Smalls eliminated Manila Luzon the year prior, when India Ferrah — up for elimination for the fourth straight week — revealed in a one-on-one deliberation that she'd previously heard returning legend Alexis Mateo "campaigning" to oust Couleé from the competition. It rocked the Drag Race fandom and Couleé herself, and while Jujubee and St. Clair still don't have clarification on what actually went down (no one feels Ferrah or Mateo is outright lying; it's likely a matter of misunderstanding or misinterpreting facts, they say), the latter reveals that there might've been a bit more orchestration happening among the dolls than we saw.
"I do have some insider tea," St. Clair reveals. "I don't really know how much of it's true, but I do know that [the eliminated queens] kind of like called each other, like, 'Hey, this is what was said, this is what's going on,' they got their story straight, so that when they all came to [shoot] the finale, no one was like shell-shocked, like, 'I had no idea you said that, I can't believe it.' So, everyone was on the same page within whatever side was true."
She continues: "I don't know what was true. I think that maybe both sides were somewhat true. I think maybe whoever was talking, I think it was misunderstood, probably. That's my guess. It doesn't make sense that there's this big conflict where there's no found-out true side."
Jujubee speculates that it could've been as simple as Mateo saying, "Oh, you voted for Shea, right?" as a sarcastic question, but the truth is still out there lingering between the minds of those involved.
World of Wonder EW's BINGE podcast welcomes Jujubee, Shea Couleé, and Blair St. Clair for a 'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 5' recap.
"There were some awkward silences, when the silences were there. I don't think any of us really thought that that was going to happen. I didn't know about it, and I'm still very confused about it," Jujubee explains. "I think it did cause Alexis to question a lot of things, and I think she handled it very well."
Later, Couleé joins the podcast for a solo interview to also address the topic, including why she chose to take the information that Ferrah told her in their one-on-one deliberation to the group for a debate.
"I contemplated saving her. Her plan almost worked. I was so worked up in my emotions, because I was already doubting Alexis. In that moment, it felt that Alexis wasn't really giving me a straight answer. I was really leaning towards picking Alexis' lipstick. I had my hands on it, ready to do it," Couleé reveals. "But, I remembered what I told myself in the beginning of the competition: My strategy would be based on the performance, and, at that time, India had the lowest performance. Though I was like, girl, thanks for the information, I'll take it from here. Unfortunately, it was still [her] time to go."
The reigning All Star adds that she has no negative feelings about her AS5 competitors, and that she'd "never ever want to aim any hate or vitriol towards any of my sisters" and encourages people "to keep their negative opinions to themselves" because she doesn't hold anything against anyone involved in the drama.
"There was this weird moment where there was like this resolve, where India apologized to Alexis about the allegation, because, basically the way that our conversation had concluded was that [the incident unfolded] post-the lipstick votes being made. It left us to believe that India was more so rearranging the circumstances and chain of events to make it seem like it was a much more sinister plot."
Though Ferrah was eliminated shortly after her big reveal, she maintained in her exit interview with EW at the time that the events unfolded as she remembered them.
"It's absolutely the truth. I will live that truth until the day I die," she previously told EW. "On the side of the stage, Mayhem and Alexis — it was mainly Alexis. Mayhem didn't say much other than that she voted for Shea as well — came to me on the side of the stage and said 'So, did you vote her out? Are we getting rid of her?' I was like, 'What, who?' And she said Shea, and I said 'Shea doesn't deserve to go home, she's competition. Why would I send her home?,'" Ferrah explained. "It was a weird moment. Sitting in Untucked and hearing Alexis talk to Shea, telling her she was her family, I couldn't do it anymore. I knew I was going home, but I wasn't going to leave with another dark cloud over me. I wanted Shea to hear my truth and know who she was playing against."
Other highlights from our AS5 recap episode include:
St. Clair admits that there were clear — if unspoken — strategies and alliances among the girls
Jujubee settles it: She absolutely did not throw her challenge-winning lip-sync to avoid voting (mama would never pass up coin!) and gives an update on her friendship with Miz Cracker
How Jujubee purred her legendary Eartha Kitt Snatch Game of Love performance into existence
St. Clair and Jujubee discuss Mateo's state of mind before and after Ferrah's "campaign" allegations
St. Clair reveals a gaggy moment where she says the queens huddled off-camera to get their stories straight about the controversial moment
St. Clair addresses other drag queens critiquing the queens on digital recap shows and her infamous notebook-assisted stand-up comedy routine
Couleé reveals her true thoughts on Ross Mathews' "crafty" critique
A mini oral history on the creation of Flavor Flav as one of the best Snatch Game characters of all time — and who tried to stop her from doing it
Couleé reflects on her friendship with the incredible Sasha Velour and the pain the season 9 finale lip-sync caused going forward
We get unexpectedly hilarious tea on which queens had a secret hot tub party with Krispy Kreme donuts and a very curious old man at the production hotel
Subscribe to EW's BINGE podcast for full recaps of RuPaul's Drag Race, including our new season diving into all five All Stars seasons, featuring exclusive interviews with Jujubee, Alexis Mateo, Shea Couleé, Alaska, Detox, BenDeLaCreme, Kennedy Davenport, and more. And be sure to catch up on our BINGE recaps of RuPaul's Drag Race seasons 1-13 with Symone, Jaida Essence Hall, Trixie Mattel, Katya, Peppermint, Bianca Del Rio, Bob the Drag Queen, Sasha Velour, and more!