Welcome to Canada’s Drag Race Power Rankings! Every Friday, we’ll debrief the week’s new episode of Canada’s Drag Race to determine which queens are riding high, and which need she-mergency care. The pageant circuit is tough for the queens, but a couple show their beauty and grace. Which dolls shined, and which Miss made a misstep?
6. Ilona Verley (last week: 6) — ELIMINATED
This was just a matter of time. Ilona wasn’t competing on the same level as the rest of the top five, and, as much as I like her, I fully believe this was the right decision. Still, other than her unnecessary fight with Scarlett Bobo, she got a strong edit on her way out the door. She got to talk with Brooke Lynn Hytes about her importance as an Indigenous and Two-Spirit queen; I loved hearing her explain why just being present can be as vital as actively educating. And what a thrill for her to meet Allie X, considering she has Allie’s lyrics tattooed on her body! I feel very positively about Ilona and her journey, and I also think she’s leaving at exactly the right time.
5. Priyanka (last week: 4)
I like to give queens credit when they pull hard out of a bottom two appearance with a great lip sync, but that only goes so far for Priyanka this week. She’s now flopped twice at improv challenges, which shows an inability to think on her feet—an issue that I would never have expected from the kids’ show host. She looked stunning on the runway, yes, but that and the lip sync can only take her so far after failing to impress in the challenge; Drag Race doesn’t like repeated failures in the same kind of challenge.
I still very much like Priyanka, and with the amount of narrative focus she’s gotten this season, I don’t see her going out before the finale. But at this point, I’m dubious about her potential to win. She’s been too inconsistent. You could point to Yvie Oddly as an example of a winner who followed a similar trajectory, but Yvie only lip-synced once. Pri reads much more like Adore Delano in her arc, a queen who was absolutely beloved but couldn’t quite clinch the title in Season 6. Priyanka really needs to bounce back hard in the last two competitive episodes to have a real shot at the crown.
4. Rita Baga (last week: 2)
This is the second week in a row when Rita could’ve been bottom three but somehow avoided it. (At least she didn’t win this time.) How you feel about Rita’s performance this week likely comes down to how much you support the judges’ increased focus on runway; I think runway should be a slight boost or deficit, not something significant enough to completely flip the result. Rita’s character in the pageant was one-note (which, interestingly enough, she noted as a problem with other queens’ characters), and not very funny. Her runway gown was stunning, yes, and she worked the hell out of it. But she also had a bad wig, which Allie X and Brooke Lynn both noted. She didn’t deserve to be bottom two, but getting called safe before Jimbo is madness to me.
To reiterate from previous power rankings, I think Rita has been a fierce competitor and there’s a very good chance she wins this whole season. She’s immensely talented, and her polished veteran status makes her a good fit to be Canada’s Drag Race’s first winner. But I grow frustrated with the show when it shields queens from deserved bottom placements. It’s okay to acknowledge Rita wasn’t great this week. That doesn’t make her overall performance any less impressive. But protecting her record fosters frustration and resentment on the viewers’ part—at least, on this viewer’s part.
3. Jimbo (last week: 3)
Jimbo was incredibly frustrated in Mini-Untucked this week, and I can’t blame her. The judges completely misunderstood what she was going for in her runway, and while it could’ve been executed better, it was hardly the hideous mess Brooke Lynn made it out to be. Plus, Jimbo was by far the funniest queen in the pageant challenge. Just like Lemon was in the funniest ad last week. I don’t get why challenge performances are being so heavily discredited this season—it makes me feel like I’m watching an entirely different show than the judges.
All of this does underline my belief that Jimbo cannot win this season. I honestly wouldn’t be shocked to see her go out next week in fifth, as did similar quirky comedy queens like Pandora Boxx, Katya and Miz Cracker. I do think she’s an inevitable lock for a future All Stars season, but her arc is trending downward at exactly the wrong time. I’ll be pissed if she goes before the finale, but I think it may be inevitable.
2. Scarlett Bobo (last week: 1)
I was angrier about Scarlett’s loss upon first watch than I was on rewatch. I think I fell for the proverbial football the show’s Lucy was holding out in front of me, and I wound up flat on my back like Charlie Brown. Upon rewatch, I get what the show is doing: It’s setting up Scarlett as an underdog so that we continue to invest in her until she inevitably wins her first challenge at the last possible second. That means she’s either winning next week, then going home the week after (à la Cracker in Season 10), or she’ll once again miss out on the win next week—maybe even have to lip sync—before rising once again in the final competitive episode and winning the last challenge before the finale.
Either way, I’ll admit, I’ve been convinced to buy into the underdog narrative. Depending on how she does in the next two weeks, Scarlett has a chance of pulling off what no one besides Bianca Del Rio has ever done: Head into the finale without so much as a bottom three appearance, much less a bottom two. She’ll obviously lack Bianca’s wins, but still—if she pulls off that level of consistency, I imagine the judges will be hard-pressed to ignore her flawless performance throughout the season. Catch me shifting allegiances to Team Scarlett if she can pull that off.
1. Lemon (last week: 5)
Part of what made Scarlett not winning easier to swallow on a second watch was that Lemon was so deeply deserving of the win. Like Scarlett, she created a character and stuck to it the entire time. Unlike Scarlett, she landed more jokes and gave a bit more variance to the character throughout. Additionally, while she wasn’t quite as stunning as Scarlett or Rita on the runway, she stole the show with her child pageant queen character; she went a different direction, and it impressed the judges.
Assuming she makes it to the finale, I could easily see Lemon taking the crown. There’s still time for a shock boot, but as it stands, she’s gotten so much of the narrative focus this season and is a sizable fan favourite. (Not as much as Jimbo or Priyanka, but more so than Scarlett or Rita.) Truthfully, I’d accept all five remaining queens as winners at this point. But I do think Lemon’s arc would make for one of the most fulfilling as a champion: bottom two week one and underestimated throughout the competition by her competitors, but coming out of the season with a crown.