Welcome to Drag Race Power Rankings! Every Friday, we’ll debrief the previous night’s new episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11 to determine which queens are riding high, and which need she-mergency care. This week, the Draglympics send some queens soaring, while at least one frontrunner crashes to earth.
10. Scarlet Envy (last week: 6) — ELIMINATED
Goddamnit, just when I was starting to like her. It sucked to see Scarlet knocked around this week. The judges were remarkably harsh on her (I can’t believe Travis Wall said she was the toughest person he’s ever worked with), and her teammates all threw her under the bus. Moreover, I think she won the lip sync or at least didn’t do poorly enough to be eliminated over someone lip syncing for their third time.
I’ll say this: throwing Ra’Jah’s name out to Ru during the “who deserves to go home tonight” questioning, and saying it’s because she’s been in the bottom “a lot”? Iconic. Goodbye, Scarlet. I probably judged you too harshly from the jump, but you really did give us some great moments.
9. Ra’Jah Davenport O’Hara (last week: 8)
Ra’Jah’s greatest asset is that RuPaul loves her. How else to explain her winning the lip sync on her third time in the bottom, despite that usually being a death sentence for queens? Despite not turning out much better of a performance than Scarlet, who, as we were reminded repeatedly this week, cannot dance? I gotta admit, Ra’Jah’s a survivor, but I am fully over her continued existence in this competition. She’s now outlasting superior queens — and again, I cannot believe I am saying that about Scarlet Envy.
8. Vanessa Vanjie Mateo (last week: 3)
Y’all, I’m worried. Vanjie escaped the bottom three this week, but got remarkably harsh critiques from the judges. Unfortunately, unlike two weeks ago, I can’t disagree with the criticisms. That she walked out in a bodysuit and tights, with glitter on her chest, when those elements are exactly what the judges called her out for previously? That shows an ineptness at responding to criticism that will not suit her well in this competition.
Worse, Vanjie got the down-on-herself edit that usually leads to a win — and she just got another round of criticisms instead. That’s a major red flag. I’m officially worried she’s never going to win a challenge, and we’re just at the start of her downward slope.
7. Shuga Cain (last week: 10)
If the challenge hadn’t been judged in teams, Shuga would’ve been in trouble. She totally blended into the background in her group, and her runway was nothing spectacular. This after once again telling us in confessional that she’s going to step it up. Shuga is totally likable, but likability only gets you so far.
6. Nina West (last week: 5)
Like with the Monster Ball last week, Nina probably managed the best she could this week in a challenge not tailored to her efforts. I give her big props for listening to Michelle Visage on the runway and taking the specific notes about how to change her silhouette. If she manages to do it, I think she’ll rise swiftly in the ranks. She falls this week only because Ru decided to put her in the bottom three over Vanjie.
5. Plastique Tiara (last week: 4)
I don’t think Plastique is getting away from the “we need more from you” critique fast enough. When the judges are saying “better, but we need more,” that’s not a sign that you’re going to come back from it. That’s a sign that you’re not improving fast enough for their liking. Still, kudos for a strong runway this week, and for actively working to do more.
4. Silky Nutmeg Ganache (last week: 7)
Points to Silky for putting the petty drama aside and getting to work this week. I knocked her for not quite having the right attitude with Ariel Versace in a previous team challenge, but she really handled this nicely. And I appreciate how, in rehearsal, she was both fun and self-effacing, but also committed to improving and figuring out the steps in the different dances. Humble works on Silky. Now can she stop telling us that she’s ready to lip sync for her life every week?
3. Yvie Oddly (last week: 2)
Yvie drops a spot this week through no fault of her own — she performed excellently in the task. But I do have to register my concerns about her physical condition. I admire her for not wanting to use her condition as an excuse, but she really needs to watch herself. Her ankle roll looked painful in the challenge, and I don’t want to see her get Eureka’d.
The other issue is that Yvie has a problem not saying how she feels at all times. Personally, I love a mouthy queen, but her insistence on being a teacher’s pet and reminding the other girls what the judges said about them is not a great look. Be shady, sure, but don’t be a brat. I still love her, and I want her in this competition until the end, but this was the first time I understood what her critics mean about her.
2. A’keria Chanel Davenport (last week: 9)
There we go, A’keria! This was a major step up for the leading Davenport. I don’t usually love team captain wins, but A’keria really did lead her group to victory, both in casting (way to snatch up every bitch with rhythm) and in team dynamics (making sure drama wouldn’t get in the way of their win). Plus, she killed her own performance.
I’ve wanted to stan A’keria from moment one, but was deeply underwhelmed by her performance on the show so far. This was A’keria’s coming out as a major threat to win, and I hope it’s just stop one on a train ride to the finale. It’ll be tough to win the season, having been all but invisible for the first five episodes and coming from the dreaded Team Mariah, but I have faith in her.
1. Brooke Lynn Hytes (last week: 1)
Coming off her dubious win last week in the Monster Ball challenge, I am loathe to say this. But truthfully, Brooke Lynn could’ve won this task, too. I’m glad A’keria won, and she truly deserved it. But Brooke Lynn smashed this challenge, dancing as if her life depended on it. Moreover, she performed while she danced; you can see how her time doing drag ballet really formed her style.
I’m warming up to Brooke Lynn, but the one note I’ll give her is this: if she wins this whole competition, I’m not sure at this point I know what she stands for. Yvie is for embracing yourself no matter who you are. A’keria represents for the pageant families. Vanjie stands for the power of the comeback. Nina has causes out the wazoo. What would a Brooke Lynn win mean for the world of Drag Race — for the world of drag? That’s the question I want to hear her answer as we progress in this race because it’s the one thing she’s missing in her case for the crown.