Welcome to Canada’s Drag Race Power Rankings! Every Friday, we’ll debrief this week’s new episode of Canada’s Drag Race to determine which queens are riding high, and which need she-mergency care. Drag Race goes Project Runway for an unconventional materials design challenge done in teams. Whose collection looked ready for Fashion Week, and which queens failed to make it work?
9. Tynomi Banks (last week: 9) — ELIMINATED
Even the best lip sync assassins usually fall to the three-strike rule. “Girlfriend” was not an ideal Tynomi song, and it showed in how long she took to ease into the performance. She missed some words, too, but did a decent job covering. But it was clear that unless she utterly stunned in the lip sync, she was going home. Brooke Lynn Hytes called out her performances week after week, and told her that the Tynomi she knew was nowhere to be found on this show. The critiques clearly took a toll on her; you could practically hear Tynomi crumble as Brooke Lynn said something’s been up the whole season. She remains a legend no matter what, and while I’m sad to see her go, this simply wasn’t the right stage for her talents.
8. Ilona Verley (last week: 8)
Mess in Mini-Untucked aside—and girl, that was a mess—I have some sympathy for Ilona this week. She had a concept for her group, and Jimbo went off and did something different. In an attempt to make everybody happy, she redid the concept, only for her and Tynomi to suffer the consequences. As Brooke Lynn said, though, you’ve gotta fight to stand out in the group, even if it’s uncomfortable. Good for Ilona turning it out in the lip sync. She proved she can perform when the situation is dire, and that’s going to keep her afloat in this competition.
7. BOA (last week: 5)
While BOA’s look was way too simple, I did enjoy the gag with the sunflower bra cups. It’s the exact kind of campy thing the judges have celebrated BOA for this season. So, of course, this is the week when they decided to come down on her for her campy details and lack of polish. “It’s time to pay attention to the details, girl,” Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman told BOA. “You can’t tell her it’s time to pay attention to the details after weeks of giving her a pass on details,” I yelled back at my screen. (I’m fine! I’m fine.) Last week I did ask the judges to start critiquing BOA, but I didn’t think they’d so blatantly contradict their former advice. Ah well, I can’t complain. And BOA was ultimately safe, so she can take those new notes and apply them moving forward.
6. Jimbo (last week: 6)
It feels crazy to put Jimbo this low considering how impressive her garment was. The judges’ remarkably negative critiques of everything (her makeup, her “excuses”) but her design makes me think they’re falling out of love with her. In fact, I don’t even need to surmise that; Jeffrey literally said it. And while I’ll admit I’m also falling off a bit in my Jimbo-stanning, none of that has to do with her performance this week. I want Jimbo to roll with the punches a little bit more and show a flexibility and game attitude that so many of America’s Next Drag Superstars have had. She can be a bit prickly when faced with something she doesn’t like.
That said, my interest in Jimbo piqued again when she shut down Ilona in the Mini-Untucked. While I did enjoy the entertainment value of Ilona’s meltdown, her need to centre herself no matter what other queens are going through is obnoxious. I’m glad Jimbo called it out, and I hope she continues to speak up as needed. If Jimbo keeps her head in the game, I think she could be a real contender for the crown. But she has to stay involved and attentive, not coast.
5. Lemon (last week: 3)
A bit of good and a bit of bad for Lemon. The judges largely agreed that her design was a major step up from her look in the premiere, but also criticized her runway walk just a day after she got coached on it. There’s no doubt Lemon is talented, and she’s a frontrunner for a reason. But it does seem that she’s prone to slipping here and there when she’s largely receiving positive critiques. I’m hopeful she turns it out for Snatch Game next week—a performance challenge would seem to be right up her alley—but I wouldn’t be shocked to see her critiqued once again.
4. Kiara (last week: 7)
I’m hesitant to heap too much praise on Kiara this week because, although she did get a high score, that mostly felt like a product of her team doing the best. She came up with an interesting silhouette for her runway look, but the execution wasn’t as impressive as the rest of her tea. I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s right back in the bottom again soon, based on her edit in the last episode. She’s getting no real story focus, which can basically only be said of her at this point. That’s a sign that you’re either about to get a big win, or that you’re on your way out the door soon. Still, for the moment, Kiara is on the upswing.
3. Priyanka (last week: 1)
While I didn’t love Priyanka’s dress nearly as much as the judges did (though I did enjoy her metal prop), I am in full agreement with them on her runway walk. After going far too slowly in Episode 2 and rushing her walk in Episode 3, Stacey really helped her find her comfort zone on the main stage this week. Priyanka is absolutely stunning, she just needs help tweaking and refining her drag. She also continues to be a blast in confessionals, and the extra parts of her personality now come across as endearing rather than forced. She may have just displaced Jimbo as my favourite this season!
2. Scarlett Bobo (last week: 2)
Another great week for Scarlett as she continues to push herself and do more than just coast on her natural charm and style. She struggled in the workroom, but by the time she hit the runway her outfit was strong, and, more importantly, it was incredibly cohesive with her team’s overall aesthetic. Her look was the bridge between the two; I think Kiara and Rita Baga’s might have looked disconnected otherwise. Part of me wondered if she might pick up the win here, since Rita had won the week before. But like with last week, I’m glad Scarlett got close-but-not-quite-there. She continues to up the ante, and I think she’s got even more to show us.
1. Rita Baga (last week: 4)
She shaved her head to commit to her Club Kid look, and it paid off big. The polish and professionalism that Rita has demonstrated the last two weeks got exactly the boost they needed, as she added just enough raw edge to her presentation to again draw the judges’ eyes. She got an “oh wow” from me the second she turned the corner—the impression of both her mug and the orange netting shawl made a dramatic impact. The rest of the look was a little simple, but in this case, I think that’s okay. When you want all the focus up top, doing anything down below would only distract.
Rita also came through as a personality this week, breaking up Big Toronto and all their drama in the cold open. She also delighted me with her French line about feeling “subtitled” upon entering the workroom. Drag Race loves its regal, slightly aloof drag veterans as winners in the first season (think Bebe Zahara Benet and The Vivienne), so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Rita take home the crown. But we’ve got a long way to go before then.