Welcome to Drag Race Power Rankings! Every Sunday, we’ll debrief the latest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 5 to determine which queens are riding high, and which need she-mergency care. Yet another team challenge asks the queens to impress as scandal-plagued pseudo-celebrities on “She-MZ.” Who makes news for all the right reasons, and who wishes their name stayed out of the headlines?
7. Mayhem Miller (last week: 4) — ELIMINATED
On All Stars, the game does not end when you’re sent backstage, and it seems like Mayhem forgot that this week. Her anything-goes approach to deliberations left the other queens searching for a reason to keep her, while India Ferrah fought tooth-and-nail to stay. Mayhem’s performance in deliberations reminded me of Manila Luzon’s in All Stars 4: While Manila laid back, Latrice Royale campaigned hard, and she ultimately stayed. I’m sure it’s unpleasant to campaign against a friend to your friends, this format rewards those willing to work hard.
Interestingly, if you watched Untucked, you know that Blair St. Clair and Shea Coulée actually thought Mayhem carried her and India’s scene, and she was responsible for pushing for more from India. It wasn’t until India started her campaign that the group changed their minds and decided to send Mayhem home. She just seemed done with the competition by the end.
6. India Ferrah (last week: 7)
Honestly, when I saw India had fallen into the bottom for the third time in a row, I was sure she was a goner. Her first week win could only take her so far when she was consistently getting the same notes in the competition. (Again, I think those notes are so consistent because we’ve had three straight weeks of team challenges, but that doesn’t change the fact that India is not evolving as a performer in a group.) I’m actually really enjoying this time to get to know India better—she’s gotten way more focus this season than she ever did in Season 3—but I do think her time is just about up. Had she not fought the way she had this week, I think she would’ve gone home over Mayhem.
5. Blair St. Clair (last week: 3)
Owing to last week’s super arbitrary winning team/winning queen split, Blair has only received critiques once this season. She’s fading into the background, and that’s not helped by her relative lack of confessionals. Her biggest moment this week outside of Untucked was talking about her DUI in the workroom. Otherwise, it just feels like Blair has no real space in the narrative, despite doing generally well in the competition. I’d not be surprised if she was a shock boot in the next week or two. That would mirror her trajectory on Season 10: A mix of safe and high scores, then an elimination her first time in the bottom.
4. Alexis Mateo (last week: 2)
I’m kind of surprised Alexis was low this week! I liked her runway, and really enjoyed her performance in the challenge. While I get what the judges were saying about Alexis stepping on Shea’s lines, I didn’t think it was to the detriment of their performance—in fact, I thought the chaos only made it better. When she was kept on the runway for critiques, I was sure she was going to be one of the high-scorers, and I even thought she might win.
Alexis seems somewhat undervalued in the competition so far, even as she continues to be a focal point in the narrative. I will say, I really love this frenemy relationship she and Shea have going on now. It’s been a while since we’ve had a pair of queens who so openly and willingly shade each other while still working well together. I hope both stick around for a while because it’s a lot of fun to watch.
3. Shea Coulée (last week: 6)
A nice recovery from falling into the bottom, Shea took this opportunity of being voted against to really turn up the drama dial. In addition to her delicious new dynamic with Alexis, which provided some of the biggest laughs in this episode, Shea also was happy to vote against Mayhem this week. “I feel like it would be rude of me to not return the favour!” I love this flair for the dramatic Shea is pulling out—it makes her not just a strong competitor, but a super compelling reality TV presence. She’s a star on multiple levels, and she does not hesitate to remind us of that.
2. Jujubee (last week: 1)
Juju broke the winners’ curse this week that sent India and Shea into the bottom immediately after their wins. She was the only other high-scorer on the runway, and though I doubted she’d win a second in a row, it would’ve been fun to see her suddenly go on a streak after never winning in her two other seasons. I liked Juju in the challenge; she didn’t get as many clear jokes in, but to me, she had the funniest character (loved hearing her lean into her Boston accent).
She’s definitely elevated her runways from where they were in her previous seasons, but Carson Kressley was right this week: She still needed a little something more to elevate a good look to a great one. That lack of oomph in her outfits is the only thing holding her back; as a performer and a presence on the show, Juju is stellar this season.
1. Miz Cracker (last week: 5)
It’s a big win for Cracker this week, as she not only wins the challenge, but earns the full $20,000 cash tip despite tying in the lip sync versus Morgan McMichaels. (I guess the show didn’t want to fiddle with the mechanics by giving her half the pot and having half of it rollover, but it’s worth noting in past All Stars ties, the queens have split the $10,000 tip evenly.) Her victory catapults Cracker into the upper echelon of queens this season after several weeks scoring just safe or high.
I am interested to see where her storyline goes from here, though. It seems she’s sufficiently shaken off the “in her head” narrative from Season 10, and the only drama we heard about involving Cracker this episode was a very vague story about Blair potentially trying to get her out. The treatment of that story intrigues me more than the story itself does: Cracker got plenty of talking heads about it, while Blair got not one confessional. We’re seeing the story through her eyes, which shows an investment on production’s part in her character and perspective. I’d doubt Cracker’s going home any time soon.