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. A girl group challenge saw three queens end up winners, while two frontrunners faced off in the lip sync. Who’s looking like a real threat to win at this point?
6. Crystal (last week: 6) — ELIMINATED
On the one hand, I like Crystal a lot, and I’m sorry to see her go. On the other, when she and The Vivienne were the only anywhere-near-poor performers this week, I saw the writing on the wall and made my peace. Ru never seemed to totally jibe with Crystal’s ideas of drag, and Vivi is a colossus on the runway. No matter how impressive her day at the races runway look was, it couldn’t match Vivi’s résumé so far in the competition.
I’d really encourage Crystal to apply for a future season of Dragula, which just wrapped up its third season. She’s got the sense of strange and love of horror to do really well on the Boulet Brothers’ show. I think she’d find an appreciation for her brand that Drag Race, even in its weirdest moments, could never offer her.
5. The Vivienne (last week: 2)
Much as I’m sure it scared the piss out of her, Vivi needed this week. Her invincible edit was not playing well, and her confidence level was making her an easy target for all of her competition. As Divina de Campo noted during Mini-Untucked, a vulnerable Vivi is a much more enjoyable Vivi. If she wants a real shot at winning this season, this was required.
That said, I’m not sure The Vivienne will win this season. I think she’s likely a lock for top three, but I think she’s primed for a “too perfect” critique the likes of which hit Brooke Lynn Hytes at top five in Season 11. Divina and one other queen feel like better fits for the kind of underdog narrative Drag Race loves. I could be wrong, but I’d be pretty shocked to see Vivi with a crown on her head at the end of all this.
4. Cheryl Hole (last week: 5)
The one time Cheryl actually performs well, and three other queens win. Brutal! Cheryl is officially the punching bag of the season, and it’s rough to watch considering what a gem she’s turned out to be. But hey, at least she has that mini-challenge win to hold onto?
Jokes aside, Cheryl is always going to be less valued by the panel because her drag (as in, her actual clothes) just isn’t up to the level of the other girls’. It’s why she wasn’t really considered for the win this week despite a dynamite performance on the same level as the other team’s queens. It’s not a shock to say that Cheryl just isn’t a viable threat to win the crown at this point. But part of me thinks we could see her Jujubee her way into the top three on a mix of charm and strong lip-syncing skills. No one who’s lip synced so far of the remaining queens looks to be on her level.
3. Blu Hydrangea (last week: 3)
Okay, stick with me here: I think Blu has a better shot at the win than we realize. I know, she has one tie win with two other queens, and not much else on her track record to speak for her. But she’s also got the most compelling come-from-behind narrative of the crew, finally peaking in the back half of the competition. I could see her having an Adore Delano-esque run for the rest of the season—or get tripped up just as she starts to rise a la Trinity K. Bonet. One of those Season 6 girls portends her future.
What she has over both of them is that her runways are genuinely some of the best of the season. For a 23-year-old queen from Northern Ireland, she has a tremendous sense of style and personal aesthetic. She’s made good for the twinks of the season, and her enthusiastic, empathetic work in her girl group’s performance was just the icing on the cake. A well-earned win this week, and a potential first step toward something more.
2. Divina de Campo (last week: 4)
I wish Divina’s arc were just a bit more stable, because she’s got so much going for her her at this point. She’s a fantastic performer, with a voice and real acting chops. She produced some of the best queen-choreographed dance steps in a group number ever, and led her team to a victory on the runway. And her edit, despite its instability, has been a heartwarming story of a queen learning to believe in herself above all else.
Right now, I think Divina’s got the best chance of breaking up the mean girls duo. Whether she can beat the surviving member—or a surging Blu—remains to be seen. But I would be stunned if we saw a top three without her.
1. Baga Chipz (last week: 1)
Have I been overthinking this all season? Are we sailing to a Baga win? She’s got three main challenge wins, tons of affection from Ru, and her runways (her one weak point) are improving. On the other hand, by “improving” I mean “she had one good look in a row,” while two of her three wins have been ties. Sse my dilemma? It’s hard to tell whether Baga is being set up as a potential winner, or a sacrificial lamb for her bestie Vivi’s arc.
Gun to head, I’d guess the latter. While Baga’s dubious politics haven’t been mentioned at all on the show—and I’ve hesitated to bring them up much in these recaps—I do think the BBC and World of Wonder will want as controversy-free a winner as they can manage for their first Drag Race UK representative. That’s much more Blu or Divina’s bag (no pun intended) at this point. Again, it could go either way, but that’s my theory. We’ll have to see how the final weeks of this competition pan out to learn whether I was right.