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. With just six queens left after BOA’s departure, it’s time to take a closer look at who has the kind of storyline to take them into the finale.
7. BOA (last week: 6) — ELIMINATED
Nothing against BOA, but it was her time to go. The judges gave her so many passes when she should’ve been in contention for elimination, and when she finally dropped into the bottom two, she couldn’t lip sync her way out of danger. She has enough charisma to make the judges rave about her week after week, but she wasn’t coming across on screen in the same way. You could argue Ilona Verley should’ve gone home first, but it’s clear it’s only a matter of time before they’re both out.
6. Ilona Verley (last week: 5)
I’ll admit, I laughed when Ilona told the judges Lemon’s look was a mess “in my opinion as well as yours.” When it comes to Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent, Ilona does not lack for nerve. She admitted to some insecurity this week, saying that she wanted to be more like Lemon. I like Ilona a lot for who she is, actually: She’s feisty, funny and charges headfirst into every challenge, ready to take it on. Is she meant to be the winner of this season? No. Am I glad we’ve had her around? Very much so! That said, unless she pulls out a great performance, I’d be dismayed to see her prevail over any of the clear top five.
5. Lemon (last week: 2)
She meant it seriously, and I’m trying to take it in that spirit, but Lemon telling Ilona “I am a twink to you” is hilarious. Lemon is obviously much more than a twink, but she knows how young she is and she knows how her confidence comes across to the other girls. I don’t think she’s getting the respect she deserves from the others for understanding herself and her image. Obviously it’s silly that Lemon was in the bottom three despite having one of the best ads. Lackluster runway or not, the challenge performances have to matter for something. I’d have put Rita Baga in the low-scoring spot, which is especially hilarious considering how this week wound up. In my book, Lemon would’ve been safe at worst.
I can’t quite tell yet if Lemon’s is an underdog arc or an undermining arc. If it’s the former, we’re seeing all the other queens dismissing her so she can rise up and exceed expectations. If it’s the latter, then the show is subtly co-signing the knocks on her runways (which, to be clear, I mostly agree with) and similarity of performances (which I strongly disagree with), and we should expect her to go out sooner versus later. I like Lemon a lot, so I hope it’s the former, but we’ll have to wait and see.
4. Priyanka (last week: 7)
Priyanka really needs to step outside of her comfort zone in the next few weeks. She’s very good in her particular lane, but Drag Race judges like versatility. The high-energy, tightly wound character she did for her ad is not dissimilar to characters we’ve seen from her before, particularly in the news anchor mini-challenge. She also got knocked for not bringing it on the runway, a space that’s usually pretty strong for her. I think Priyanka’s mostly fine, but I could see her getting thrown in the bottom again since the judges know she can fight her way out of it if necessary.
3. Jimbo (last week: 1)
This is about as perfect a post-win week as you can imagine. Jimbo stunned on the runway in her club kid, patchwork denim look, and stood out in a mediocre group. (Apparently she didn’t stand out as much as someone else, but we’ll get back to that in a second!) I rolled my eyes when Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman welcomed her to the competition a week after she, you know, won Snatch Game, but that’s actually a good sign for Jimbo. If she’s not seen as peaking yet, she’s still got room to grow and impress. I see good things in Jimbo’s future.
2. Rita Baga (last week: 3)
This win is silly, to be blunt. Rita is fine in the ad, but is the least featured in her group. I figured she’d be clocked for not standing out, not awarded the win. You can’t even chalk it up to runway, either, since while she did get great notes, Brooke Lynn Hytes chided her lack of padding. No, the edit really had to swerve to give Rita this win, and it didn’t really make sense.
As I said in the recap, I don’t like heaping debatable wins on a queen too early in the competition. Drag Race needs to feel like a real race, which is why seasons like Season 5 feel best: The top seven of that season all had a win (and the ninth placing Lineysha Sparx had one, too!) before anyone got a second. It felt like a real neck-and-neck competition. Could you have given Jinkx Monsoon wins that she didn’t win? Sure! You could’ve easily had her at three wins by episode six or seven. But by not doing that and spreading the love around, the season was stronger. I’d rather the wins reflect the strength across the board in the top five, instead of piling half onto Rita’s plate. She’s a good queen and a good competitor, but she’s not dominating the competition the way that this week’s win suggests.
1. Scarlett Bobo (last week: 4)
If the judges won’t give her the win, I’ll do it myself! Scarlett had a great week, getting some narrative focus in the workroom—she’s had it with everyone!—and delivering in the challenge and on the runway. I really thought this was going to be her first victory and was gagged when it went to Rita. This could be a bad sign, like the show just isn’t taking Scarlett seriously, but I dunno. Brooke Lynn specifically shouting her out after calling her safe gives me the feeling that she was tightly in contention for this win.
Still, while I’m annoyed that she didn’t get the proper recognition, I do think continuing to deny her the win is a good idea. It keeps her fight up, and will push Scarlett to only further raise the bar. Scarlett is the kind of naturally impressive queen who could revert to coasting too easily, and I much prefer seeing her push herself. So far, the results have been nothing but terrific.