Welcome to Drag Race Power Rankings! Every Sunday, we’ll debrief the newest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race to determine which queens are riding high, and which need she-mergency care. The final five endures their final elimination, and with it, a long-overdue disqualification. The remaining queens must now square off in the finale—whatever that will look like.
5. Sherry Pie (last week: N/A) — DISQUALIFIED
Finally, I get to write this. A long-overdue farewell to a queen who was all but edited out of this season. Sayonara, Sherry Pie. I won’t miss having to write around your presence in this competition every damn week.
4. Jackie Cox (last week: 4) — ELIMINATED
It’s fair to say that were it not for COVID-19, Jackie would’ve advanced to the final four. She didn’t have the track record, her performance this week was the worst, and the last queen to make the finale without a maxi-challenge win in a regular season was Jujubee in Season 2. But, Lip Sync for the Crown demands four queens, and Sherry’s disqualification required one more. I’m not sure how I would’ve felt about Jackie making it into the finale considering her performance—she would’ve been a dead queen walking. Her winning would be an utter shock, and not a pleasant one. She wouldn’t be a proper representative of this season.
I wish nothing but the best for Jackie, and already miss her puckish enthusiasm every week. She filled a vital hole after Jan left: someone just truly excited to be on this show, and trying her best every week no matter the result. But she was not meant to be our Season 12 winner.
3. Crystal Methyd (last week: 1)
There’s definitely been a rising feeling among the audience that Crystal could win this season. Her underdog arc was remarkable, the most impressive we’ve seen since Adore Delano. She seemingly peaked at exactly the right time, earning the perfect challenge win to solidify her growth. And her fanbase has grown exponentially, actually overtaking Gigi Goode in Twitter followers. (Gigi remains substantially ahead on Instagram.) Could we see another underdog with one challenge win take home the crown this season?
Sadly for the Crystal stans, those dreams seem to have been dashed this week. Crystal finally had to lip sync for her life, after turning out a challenge performance that was fun to watch, but rough technically. She did great in the lip sync, but I’m not sure she was great enough to make up for this sharp stop to her momentum. Meanwhile, her closest competition in fan response, Gigi, never had to lip sync and has four wins. Crystal will make for a terrific All Stars competitor, but I would be pretty floored if she pulled out this season’s win at this point.
2. Jaida Essence Hall (last week: 2)
Jaida may not have won this week, but she still got glowing reviews from the judges and was clearly the only other queen in contention to win the challenge. She performed so well in a Rusical challenge despite her lack of singing skill is to her credit; she really has a way of leading with her star power. If Ru thinks that star power is enough to give Jaida the win, we could still see her take the crown on finale night.
I am less convinced of this possibility than I was a week ago, though. Jaida’s not to blame for this, exactly, but her edit just didn’t keep the same energy going into this week. She and Gigi make for a stunning top two, but unfortunately for Jaida, I think she’s going to be the #2 of that set.
1. Gigi Goode (last week: 3)
Gigi absolutely needed this week. Her mini- and maxi-challenge wins gave her a clean sweep after weeks of struggling, and her edit throughout the episode was glowing. It’s pretty impressive that Drag Race was able to undo four weeks of a downward slope for Gigi in one episode, but they truly did it. She is the frontrunner walking into the finale, and I would be surprised if she does not win.
That said, this has wound up being a lot closer than I thought it would be just a month ago. Gigi underperformed pretty consistently in the back half of this competition, which caused viewers who used to be staunchly on her side to question whether she deserved her previous wins. I wouldn’t be surprised to see if some question this win, too. (I personally think she deserved it, but I am also annoyed she got a win on this challenge when Yvie Oddly didn’t for “Queens Everywhere” last season.) I don’t think she’ll be celebrated as warmly as some other winners have been, especially since Jaida and Crystal both have such passionate defenders. But I do think Gigi will deserve her win if she indeed takes the crown. I can respect the game, even if she’s personally my third choice for America’s Next Drag Superstar.