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. The first Canadian edition of Snatch Game, plus a Céline Dion runway, made this episode an unofficial tribute to judge Brooke Lynn Hytes’ worst episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. But this competition’s queens more than made up for it.
8. Kiara (last week: 4) — ELIMINATED
If the writing wasn’t already on the wall for Kiara, it certainly was when she got a featured moment in the workroom after her bad Snatch Game. Any kind of screen time after bombing is a bad sign, especially given her limited story focus so far and at least one incredibly arbitrary low placement. I liked Kiara’s Céline Dion runway, but her Mariah Carey was a nothing performance. It was reminiscent of Delta Work’s Cher and Naomi Smalls’ Tiffany Pollard—when the queen clearly knows her character and the right things to say, but doesn’t inhabit her role enough to make it work. And similarly to Phi Phi O’Hara’s Lady Gaga, Kiara picked someone she’s done in lip sync performances without realizing that portraying them in a Snatch Game is a whole different ball game.
I would have kept both Priyanka and Kiara after their spectacular lip sync, but Priyanka’s challenge win and solid performances so far kept her (and her alone) in the game. Kiara’s a major talent, though, and I can’t wait to keep following her work off the show.
7. Priyanka (last week: 3)
Priyanka absolutely killed the lip sync, and considering her overall potential and the judges’ positive response to her, I think her prevailing over Kiara was the right call. She also had one of my favourite runway looks (two, actually: a reveal from Céline’s wedding dress to an awards show look) and, as Mary Walsh noted, she nailed all the Céline-isms. None of this takes away from how badly Priyanka flopped at Snatch Game; she basically checked out of the group part and just patiently waited for her turn. But Snatch Game is all about how well you pick up on what the other queens and the host put down. It’s funny that the judges suggested she should’ve made more psychic jokes, since that’s basically what Alexis Mateo did as Walter Mercado on All Stars 5 to great effect! I’m still very much a Priyanka fan. I appreciate a queen who fights hard after she’s been knocked down.
6. BOA (last week: 7)
Gypsy Rose Blanchard was a bad idea from the jump. Yes, there are questions about whether the idea is in poor taste: Trixie Mattel was criticized for doing a Gypsy Rose performance, although she used a wheelchair for the act while BOA didn’t. But that conversation aside, it’s just not a great choice for Snatch Game. The judges said she needed to go deeper with the parody, but what is there to parody? The story of Gypsy Rose murdering her mother after years of abuse is inherently tragic; there’s just not much there to make humorous. (The Politician Season 1 couldn’t make it funny, either.) Rebel Wilson or Cyndi Lauper may not have been winning choices, but I think playing those characters would’ve kept BOA out of the bottom. Her runway look was probably the most glamorous one she’s pulled out this season, but she put too much fringe in the front and lost the shape of Céline’s original outfit.
I can’t quite tell if the judges are over BOA. They seemed dismissive of her, yet didn’t place her in the bottom despite Pri’s superior runway. Maybe they just genuinely thought Miss Cleo was worse than Gypsy Rose, or they’re still hoping BOA can turn things around. I’d have put her in the bottom, but the bottom three were so rough across the board that I’m not upset about it.
5. Ilona Verley (last week: 8)
Nailing the “Girlfriend” lip sync last week must’ve lit a fire under Ilona’s ass, because she really brought it as Cock Destroyer Rebecca More in Snatch Game. Sure, she almost took the game to Romper Room Fuckery when she got out of her seat to interact with Jimbo’s Joan Rivers, but it was still funny. And her spelling of the word “cock” (“C … ock”) got one of the biggest laughs out of the panel—and from me too, to be honest. I know Ilona can be a lot, but I find her incredibly entertaining and talented. I wish her runways were more consistent—this Céline one was a big miss for me—but when she’s on, she’s on.
4. Scarlett Bobo (last week: 2)
On my first viewing, I thought Scarlett’s Liza was underrated, and deserved a top three spot. Upon rewatch, though, I felt her punchlines didn’t quite land. But kudos to her for ignoring Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman’s misleading advice. Her Fran Drescher sounded rough, and while Liza wasn’t a “risk,” it absolutely kept her in the higher-scoring half of the board this week.
I loved her mug for the runway: It was so fresh and pretty, showing Scarlett can do a variety of looks. I didn’t love her Céline look as much, if only because the fabric was so much shinier than the original inspiration. Not everyone replicated the same fabric as the original, including one of my favourites, but a switch-up should be an upgrade. This looked cheaper than the original. A solid effort, but ultimately a safe one.
3. Rita Baga (last week: 1)
I give Rita credit for doing something genuinely unusual. She performed as Edith Piaf, but played her as if she were brought back to life for Snatch Game, immediately returned to taking sleeping pills and asked for her coffin to be brought back to her as it became clear she was passing once again. Dark! But the judges couldn’t stop watching, and that’s exactly what you want. I don’t think Rita was as funny as Jimbo or Lemon (or Scarlett, for that matter), but the judges responded well. Smart to go with someone who’s never been done on Snatch Game, too.
I didn’t love either of her runway looks. If she was going for a transformation between pre- and post-stardom, it wasn’t drastic enough, and neither look was impressive on its own. Honestly, I’d have put her in the safe group instead of Scarlett, but the judges are clearly really vibing with Rita. She continues to grow on me, too, but I wouldn’t put her in the same company as favourites Priyanka, Scarlett and Jimbo just yet.
2. Lemon (last week: 5)
Based solely on the Snatch Game critiques, I think Lemon might’ve won this one. The judges absolutely gushed over her Jojo Siwa, and rightfully so. She fully committed to the character, stayed involved throughout (her riffs with Scarlett’s Liza were excellent), and—perhaps most impressively—she did it all with a character the judges admitted they didn’t know.
Younger-skewing characters tend not to do well on Snatch Game, since you can’t rely on the panel getting your references. Lemon had several different ideas of how to approach Jojo, none of which relied on familiarity. Honestly, I’d have been fine with her getting the win.
However, her Céline runway proved too big an issue for the judges to overcome, and Lemon seemingly got the third-place slot. While I didn’t find her replica of Céline’s Oscars look as boring as they did, I did agree with Brooke Lynn that Lemon needed more padding. The silhouette was a little too simple, especially in comparison with the original. A shame, because this could’ve been Lemon’s second win.
1. Jimbo (last week: 6)
Now there’s the Jimbo I’ve missed. I knew Snatch Game would be right up her alley, and boy, did she deliver. I didn’t love every one of her jokes as Joan Rivers, but I was in awe of how she dominated. (The late husband’s ashes thing was a bit too much for me, though I get that it’s a reference to an infamous interview with David Letterman.)
Like Jinkx Monsoon, BenDeLaCreme and Alexis Mateo before her, Jimbo took every single opportunity for a joke, riffing on others’ punchlines and talking constantly. It worked because that was Joan: loud, dominating and the life of the party. Her look and voice were flawless, too. You could tell how much fun Jimbo was having, which is what I’ve been missing from her the past two weeks. She’s so much more enjoyable to watch when she’s enjoying herself.
My favourite runway is either Priyanka’s or Jimbo’s, each with a different strength. I liked Priyanka’s two looks, but they were both basically replications. Which: totally valid! No points against her for that. But like Brooke Lynn, I appreciated the effort Jimbo put in dragging up her jumpsuit look. It was striking the minute she turned the corner. This week was a home run for the season’s resident oddball, and I’m happy she got the recognition she deserved.