Welcome to Drag Race UK Power Rankings! Every Saturday, we’ll debrief this week’s new episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK to determine which queens are riding high, and which need she-mergency care. The first-ever British Snatch Game featured a wide assortment of characters — including three played at some point by Meryl Streep. How did the queens compare to the world’s greatest-living actress?
7. Sum Ting Wong (last week: 6) — ELIMINATED
Sum Ting almost always had a positive attitude throughout her run, and took every opportunity to show her talents to the judges. Unfortunately, after that first-episode glimmer of possibility, it quickly became clear she just wasn’t on the level of the other queens in this competition. Sum Ting is what’s commonly known in reality TV as “filler,” albeit quite charming and entertaining filler. She may not be right for Drag Race, but she’s a fun and friendly queen I’d be happy to support in whatever she does next.
6. Crystal (last week: 2)
Tough break for the least successful member of Confidence Corner. Her pals now both have two wins each, while she’s stuck at zero. I still stan Crystal, and find her drag on the runway to be absolute dynamite. But I sadly don’t think she’s the kind of queen Ru is going to personally respond to. Though he claims to find it interesting, you can tell from Ru’s facial expressions and tone of voice that he hates Crystal’s body hair. And he agreed with Geri Horner this week on Crystal’s runway being scary (which it was; that’s the point, Yolanda). I think Crystal would find more success on a show that celebrates her oddities, à la Dragula. Here, I think she’s going to hit a ceiling sooner versus later.
That said, “What do I know, I’m dead. Thanks, syphillis” was probably the best joke of the entire Snatch Game. A shame the rest of her Rue McClanahan fell short! As she said, “The fact that Blanche was outslutted was a travesty.”
5. Cheryl Hole (last week: 7)
Kind of sad that Cheryl’s best week involves her just being safe instead of in the bottom three, no? Her Gemma Collins wasn’t a particularly strong impersonation, but she was very funny, and got in some great jokes that had both Ru and the contestants cackling. I’ve come to genuinely like Cheryl, and think the pile-on from the other contestants has gotten a bit old. I can’t say I see her in the top three or anything, but I’m not mad she’s sticking around. She’s inoffensive and can even be quite fun. And the inevitable meeting she’ll have with Cheryl Cole will be a gas.
4. Divina de Campo (last week: 1)
I don’t think Divina will be down on the list for very long. She may not be the next coming of Jinkx Monsoon after her mediocre Julia Child in Snatch Game, but I do think she’s the most formidable opponent for The Vivienne and Baga Chipz. She needs a couple more wins, but she’s got time to snatch those up. More importantly, she needs to keep the competitive fire she ended this episode with. That kind of cutthroat Divina—the one who says things like “Sometimes you have to play nice. And then destroy them?” That’s the Divina I want to see for the rest of the season. She’s a fierce queen, and the more she believes that herself, the further she’ll go in this race.
Kind of funny that Divina’s more of a runway queen at this point than a performer, right? She won the design challenge last week, and she saved her poor performance in the Snatch Game with a killer, makeup-heavy main stage look this week. Her fashion is one of the biggest surprises of the season for me.
3. Blu Hydrangea (last week: 5)
I’m bummed Blu doesn’t get the credit of scoring high this week because the judges arbitrarily decided to only have a top two. Her Mary Berry was just the right shade of deranged fun, and really different for Blu. She reminded me of Pearl’s Big Ang in Season 7, or, as I mentioned in the recap, Alexis Mateo’s Alicia Keys in Season 3. I’d even throw Joslyn Fox’s Teresa Giudice from Season 6 in there. Sometimes, the most unexpected queens get the biggest laughs—yet don’t win because they’re not technically great impersonations. A fine line, to be sure, but the funniest impressions are usually the ones that stick in the mind long after the technical best do.
2. The Vivienne (last week: 3)
Not one of you who has been reading these recaps will be surprised to hear I’m not a fan of The Vivienne. The reason I keep underlining this is that I think it’s vital to declare bias in covering any kind of competition series. I don’t want my declaration to cloud you with bad feelings towards her. My feelings on Vivi as a character on this show are clear; though, of course, those don’t extend to The Vivienne as a person, who is different than the product of her performance and the editing that we see on TV.
That said, I don’t know how any fan or foe of Vivi’s could look at her outfit on the runway and not think it was an ill-fitting mess. But even runway greats (and I do believe she is one) falter sometimes.
1. Baga Chipz (last week: 4)
Conversely, while I don’t respond to Baga’s drag, I do think she’s very funny. Her Margaret Thatcher was hilarious. The “Belgrano Spice” line had me on the floor. And while she can certainly talk some shit, it always feels like someone else prompts her there. Like in the battle in Mini-Untucked between her and Divina—yes, she had some smack to talk in her confessional, but she was fighting with Divina. That’s the kind of shade I expect.
She’s still not my favourite, but I’m coming around on Baga as the more tolerable of the season’s mean girls. As I said in a previous recap, if the two ever do wind up being split up for story, I think it’s more likely to be Vivi going home than Baga.