The cast of ‘Canada’s Drag Race’
The cast of ‘Canada’s Drag Race’ Credit: Courtesy of Bell Media; Francesca Roh/Xtra
Canada’s Drag Race
5 min

‘Canada’s Drag Race’ Episode 9 Power Ranking: Three of a kind

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 final three have been set, with one elimination left this season. Who is most likely to take the crown next week?

4. Jimbo (last week: 3) — ELIMINATED

Jimbo
Credit: Courtesy of Bell Media

This is a tough one. Jimbo performed above expectations all season long and garnered a massive fanbase, yet was consistently underappreciated by the judges. You can (and should!) argue that Jimbo didn’t get a fair shake throughout the season. But when it comes to this episode, unfortunately, I think the result was fair.

She made the mistake of presenting an executive realness look that didn’t read as real at all, and once again returned to the hyper-sexual aesthetic the judges have clearly been growing tired of. Her walk of shame look was better and appropriately slutty for the prompt, but coming off the previous look, it didn’t have the same impact. I didn’t really get the problem with Jimbo’s final runway until she lip-synced, though. It’s actually a gorgeous look, albeit paired with some dubious makeup (a beat that even Jimbo herself admitted she didn’t like in the work room), but the crown’s the issue. She couldn’t move even slightly without displacing it, which resulted in an unconfident, overly cautious runway presentation and lip sync. She wasn’t the worst in the challenge—that was clearly Rita Baga—but she lost the lip sync fair and square.

Jimbo and Lemon are the two who most immediately come to mind as likely All Stars players. We’ll see how viable an international All Stars season is in the future—we’ve got a pandemic to take care of in the meantime—but I’m very hopeful we’ll see her competing again. She’s a true original, with a distinctive point-of-view as a queen and a penchant for speaking her mind. In other words, she’s Drag Race gold, ready to shine once more.

3. Rita Baga (last week: 4)

Rita Baga
Credit: Courtesy of Bell Media

After several weeks of generous placements for Rita, I’m pretty shocked she’s going into the finale on such a low note. Two lip syncs in a row means, if she does win, she’d be the first regular-season winner ever to fall into the bottom two twice. (Priyanka, of course, shares that distinction.) Rules and records are meant to be broken in this particular era of Drag Race, though, and Rita’s arc gives her a lot of room to swing upwards heading into next week.

That said: Man, she really missed the mark in this Snow Ball. Rita’s executive realness look was once again not real, and not even particularly executive. She looked like a disgruntled secretary, and not even an authentic one! The glasses made the look too cartoonish. She also went too outré with her second look, and failed to address the prompt of the category. I actually liked her final look quite a bit, and construction-wise it was a stunner. But it wasn’t enough to salvage her poor first two looks. Her lip sync was the better of the two this week, but a step down from her “You Oughta Know” performance last episode.

Can Rita win? Sure! In fact, I’m tempted to predict she will, just because she was a frontrunner for so much of the season. But hey, Gigi Goode was a frontrunner for most of Season 12 and look how that turned out. You can’t count any of this final three out.

2. Priyanka (last week: 1)

Priyanka
Priyanka headlines “Canada’s Drag Race: Live at the Drive-In” Credit: Courtesy of Bell Media

I didn’t love Priyanka’s second look, and thought she really took the easy way out on her third (although, like Michelle Visage, I loved the hair and makeup). But I barely paid attention to those two, because I was still overjoyed thinking about her executive realness look. She managed something pretty remarkable, delivering comedy in the category without making it any less real. I’ve met the higher-up at a company who loves the holidays a little too much, and goes a bit overboard when it comes party time. That woman exists out in the world in all kinds of companies; by tapping into her, Priyanka both made us laugh and register a familiar figure. It wouldn’t work for every executive realness category, but it’s perfect for this holiday-focused one.

Here’s the edge I’ll give Priyanka going into the finale: She has a great habit of turning low moments into high ones. This can be as simple as making a joke about how hard she sold her paper jumpsuit this week (“I was trying to sell fake DVDs on the corner”), or as dramatic as pulling out one of the best lip syncs of the season when her back was up against the wall. (And she managed that twice!) If drag is an art of invention, Priyanka has shown she turns into Einstein when she’s in trouble. That’s a remarkable quality, and would make her an impressive winner. I’ve got some doubts about whether she can seal the deal, but considering next week is a Rumix verse challenge and that she won the previous rap battle challenge, she’s got a great chance to show her stuff one final time.

1. Scarlett Bobo (last week: 2)

Scarlett Bobo
Credit: Courtesy of Bell Media

Winless no more, Scarlett is walking into the finale with the best track record of anyone left in the competition. That’s what no lip syncs—not as much as even a bottom-three placement!—will do for you. Even legends like Jinkx Monsoon and Bob the Drag Queen, who had similarly towering records in their seasons, had to lip-sync at the last opportunity. Both those queens infamously failed at their ball challenges, while Scarlett’s three looks made a great case for her as this season’s fashion queen. I could quibble with some bits—like the fact her executive realness look wasn’t holiday-themed, and her walk of shame look was a bodysuit—but she added so many great details that any minor issues paled in comparison. Pairing each look with stellar hair and makeup boosted her overall presentation, too.

While Scarlett’s track record is an impressive feather in her cap (she can claim something literally only Bianca Del Rio had achieved before her), I’m not sure it makes her any more likely to win the season. The overall reception to Scarlett online has been cooler than I expected, with quite a few fans thinking she should’ve lip-synced in the makeover last week. (I disagree, to say the least.) While fan support isn’t everything, the least popular of the final three is rarely crowned. Just based on Instagram following, Scarlett is indeed the least-followed of the remaining queens. Moreover, I think her winning this week brings her arc of never winning to a close an episode too early; there’s nowhere to grow from here. Unless she really stuns in the Rumix, she may be set up to disappoint in the finale.

Personally, Scarlett would likely be my pick for the win. She’s made very few missteps all season, and her consistency has proven her to be a professional, impressive queen. I’d also be thrilled with a Priyanka win, and while she’s not my favourite of the three remaining, I think Rita would make a fine first winner of Canada’s Drag Race. We’re lucky to have such a solid top three, and whoever walks away with the crown will be deserving. That’s a hell of a way to close out a year of Drag Race.