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. Cheryl Hole’s departure means we are officially in the top three. Who will win the first-ever season of Drag Race UK? And who deserves to? (Note that these track records include what would’ve been the power rankings for this week: Divina de Campo at #1, The Vivienne at #2, and Baga Chipz at #3.)
Average Power Ranking: 2.43
Weeks at #1: 3
Worst Week: “Posh on a Penny,” Episode 3
Well, before this week’s episode, I’d have said Baga looked pretty good going into this finale! Lots of weeks on top, general judge praise throughout the season, and a tie for the best power ranking of the series. Not bad! But then she threw her mother under the bus repeatedly. Now, I’d be floored if she won.
Here’s the thing: I don’t personally object in any moral capacity to Baga’s behaviour. I heard her when she said that’s what she and her mom’s banter-based relationship is like (although her mom’s tears certainly told a different story). I also don’t think it’s our job to fix Baga’s relationship with her mom—if it even needs fixing! I don’t really care about any of that. What I care about is the show. And I’ll say this as someone who has watched and studied this show for over a decade: RuPaul will never, ever crown someone who was mean to their mom on national television. That is not where his priorities lie, nor is it where World of Wonder’s priorities lie.
All this, combined with her divisive politics, effectively rule Baga out of the running for the crown. Personally, I’m fine with that. I generally liked her work more than The Vivienne’s, but I don’t see any way she can properly represent the UK as its first Drag Race winner.
Divina de Campo
Average Power Ranking: 2.57
Weeks at #1: 2
Worst Week: “Snatch Game,” Episode 4
It’s no secret that I’m rooting the hardest for Divina. She’s been my favourite basically all season, give or take a Blu Hydrangea or Crystal, and I think she’s got a super compelling underdog arc built for herself. She’d be an excellent first representative of the UK spin-off and would fit in well with the established collection of U.S. winners.
I don’t think this is as clear-cut a case as I expected, though. Divina doesn’t have the best track record, just barely being edged out by The Vivienne. And her edit has de-emphasized her as the underdog in the last couple of episodes. She and Viv are the two clear rivals, and I could truly see it going either way.
Here’s the best argument I have for Divina over The Vivienne: Divina brings joy to the people watching her in a way I don’t believe Viv does. When she walked out onto the runway in Bowie drag made of plastic bags, with that giant umbrella, I smiled. I couldn’t stop listening to the Frock Destroyers’ “Break Up (Bye Bye)” for over a week. She’s got a love for drag that she actually infuses in her performances, and while I don’t doubt Viv has the same love, it doesn’t come through in the same way. That’s the kind of love I want in a winner.
Average Power Ranking: 2.43
Weeks at #1: 1
Worst Week: “Girl Groups,” Episode 5
This is going to be so close. The Vivienne has the better track record among her and Divina, and she’s got the “U.K. Ambassador-to-U.K. Drag Superstar” storyline working for her. Her villain edit also significantly let up on the gas in the last few episodes, which is a sign that the show wanted to keep her a viable option for the win. (Now seeing what happened with Baga, I get it.)
Yvie Oddly’s win in Season 11 threw out a lot of conventional wisdom when it comes to picking who’s going to win Drag Race. Not only did Brooke Lynn Hytes have more wins, but she also had a far superior track record in nearly every way—except one. The one truth that’s held is that most of the time a queen who has been in the bottom fewer times than another has always won. Go back and look at every season’s record. Eventually that record has to fall too, of course, but for the time being, it’s the most concrete evidence I have to argue against a Viv win.
But I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m wrong.