The cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11. Credit: Courtesy VH1, Francesca Roh/Xtra
RuPaul's Drag Race
5 min

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Season 11 power ranking: Who will win?

Welcome to Drag Race Power Rankings where we determine which queens are riding high, and which need she-mergency care. Before next week’s finale, let’s take a look at the finalists to figure out each queen’s odds of winning.

A’keria Chanel Davenport

Credit: Courtesy VH1

Average Power Ranking: 4.8

Weeks at #1: 1

Worst Week: “Monster Ball,” Episode 5

A’keria has the worst record on the power rankings among the top four, in large part thanks to the third through fifth weeks of the season where she just wasn’t catching fire. I criticized judge Carson Kressley last week for saying A’keria showed up late to the party, but the stats actually back him up.

Still, if you just look at the back half of the competition, A’keria has performed far better, even topping the charts the week of her win in the LADP improv challenge, and she was one of two to really nail the final challenge, a performance of “Queens Everywhere.” She has some heat walking into the finale, but is it enough?

I’m going to argue no, largely because A’keria Davenport is no Kennedy Davenport when it comes to lip syncing. She’s not terrible at it, but her performances so far this season (“Strut,” “Waiting for Tonight”) have lacked energy. She’ll need to win the wheel spin and pick Silky Nutmeg Ganache as her opponent if she wants any chance at moving forward in the Lip Sync for the Crown tournament since both Brooke Lynn Hytes and Yvie Oddly are excellent lip syncers. And she still would have to beat one of them in the final lip sync. Because even her first shot at success is based on a one-in-four chance, I can’t give her great odds.

Odds: 10-1

Brooke Lynn Hytes

Credit: Courtesy VH1

Average Power Ranking: 2.3

Weeks at #1: 5

Worst Week: “Snatch Game at Sea,” Episode 8

I can quibble with her wins here and there, but there’s no denying Brooke Lynn has been a dominant powerhouse all season. She’s been on top of the power rankings more than any other queen and even won a skeptic like me over a couple of times. The big disadvantage she has walking into the finale is that the edit suddenly turned on her last episode, making her performance in “Queens Everywhere” look far worse than it actually was. Whether that was temporary, to get her in the lip sync with her boyfriend Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, or permanent remains to be seen.

I personally believe Brooke Lynn would be a technically proficient winner, but I don’t think she’d make for the most interesting addition to the pantheon of America’s Next Drag Superstars. Weeks ago, I mentioned we didn’t know what Brooke Lynn stands for — in the way that Season 9 winner Sasha Velour stands for the weirdos, Season 8 winner Bob the Drag Queen stands for political queers and queens, etc. In many ways, we still don’t. I don’t even think we know why Brooke Lynn does drag — and that’s strange to me!

There are many who would argue that the motivations don’t matter, and we should be judging the queens exclusively on their performance. That may well be how RuPaul decides to crown his winner — in fact, I’d put better odds on that than anything else. But for me, that’s not enough. I want a winner who inspires me to reign for the next year. To be blunt, that will never be Brooke Lynn Hytes for me.

Odds: 3-1

Silky Nutmeg Ganache

Credit: Courtesy VH1

Average Power Ranking: 4.0

Weeks at #1: 1

Worst Week: “Monster Ball,” Episode 5

Do we really have to do this? I just feel like the kid in The Simpsons yelling “Stop! Stop! He’s already dead!” But, okay, let’s blaze through it.

Silky has virtually no chance of winning this season. The fanbase turned on her day one, and the edit turned on her not long after that. That, frankly, was the biggest issue with the season: the dissonance between RuPaul’s love of Silky and the show’s hate of her. You can clearly tell that production opinion on Silky changed between filming and broadcast.

While RuPaul is incredibly powerful on RuPaul’s Drag Race, he is not the only producer, nor is he the only arbiter. He may see something in Silky that he loves, and despite asking us to tweet our hashtags in support of the queens, he may want to give a big ol’ middle finger to the Millennial fans of the show with their opinions on Twitter. (This, among other reasons, is why I was terrified of a Eureka win in Season 10.) But the rest of the Drag Race team is not going to let that happen. Point blank, period.

Odds: 50-1

Yvie Oddly

Credit: Courtesy VH1

Average Power Ranking: 3.3

Weeks at #1: 3

Worst Week: “Snatch Game at Sea,” Episode 8

Make no mistake: Yvie had a terrible second half of the season. After her disastrous Whoopi Goldberg “Snatch Game” and triumphant lip sync against Brooke Lynn, Yvie couldn’t gain her momentum back. She dominated the early part of the competition, to the point where she could rightfully call “robbed” on a couple of the challenges, but the air just slowly let out of her balloon.

And then “Queens Everywhere” happened.

In one performance, Yvie gained back every single bit of momentum she lost. Her verse was killer, her dancing was next-level, and she benefited from the rest of the queens’ work being, on average, lacklustre. She shined brightest when the night was darkest, and it earned her scores of old and new fans’ respect alike.

Combined with a gorgeous runway look that married the gross-and-glamour that the judges have been looking for from her all season, and a speech to her younger self that came across as both genuine and well-planned, and Yvie launched herself back to the top of the heap at the most crucial moment.

Will it be enough? Statistics say no; Yvie has only one main challenge win, which would be a new low for a series winner. But honestly? Fuck stats. Yvie has the passion, the drive, and the narrative. She’s got a reason to be there and a ton of raw talent. Who are we to say she doesn’t deserve the win because a couple of times Ru and the judges liked someone just a little bit more, or didn’t give out a win on the challenge she slayed? That’s such a narrow-minded way of looking at Drag Race, not to mention drag as a whole.

Yvie would be an unusual winner in so many ways, which is all the more reason why she should win. Despite saying just weeks ago I didn’t see a path to the win for her, I’m rooting for her more than anyone else heading into this finale.

Odds: 9-2