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RuPaul’s Drag Race Power Rankings, S7E11

This week’s Hello, Kitty challenge only served to solidify last week’s ranking as we head into the penultimate episode, and gave Katya the unfortunate early exit I’d been predicting for weeks. Will this rank hold up next week as we see one last queen depart? We shall soon see.

#1 Violet Chachki (avg 1.7, was #1, 3, 1, 3, 2, 4, 1, 1, 1, 1)
With a second win in a row, seven of eleven weeks ranked #1, long-deserved adulation from the judges panel, and nary a weak spot in sight, Violet appears to have locked up her trip to the finals. She just needs to evade one more week of elimination, which she can likely do even if she gets handed a lip sync. Anyhow, at this stage the only challenge that can slay her would be writing her own comedy and I can’t imagine there’s going to be more of that. She’ll do just fine in the typical “make a Ru video” gauntlet.

#2 Ginger Minj (avg 1.9, was #2, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4)
Ginger has now spent nine consecutive weeks entrenched in my top two. If we’ve been reminded of anything this season, it’s that Ginger is one of the best strategists in the history of the game. She came with all the right skills, and when she’s feeling weak she reduces expectations right up until she hits the runway. What could keep this queen from the top three? Perhaps another dancing challenge, but Pearl would also be felled by that. However, the real question is if she can fairly defeat Violet or Kennedy in a lip sync if it comes down to a Jinx v. Detox style shocker.

#3 Kennedy Davenport (avg 3.2, was #3, 2, 3, 2, 5, 3, 4, 6, 2, 2)
Kennedy maintains her solid #3 spot after a trip to the bottom two and a harsh read from the judges about her unwillingness to change up her style. Why am I so sure she’s going to live through next week? Because she’s going to come out swinging after a trip to the bottom, and after that lip sync she’s now willing to show all of her cards. The only way she could depart is if Ru is forced to have her sync against Violet, who Ru might want to see in the finals just a bit more. However, the editing narrative and the averages both make clear this is going to be a Violet v. Ginger game at the finish-line, with the third girl just there for flavor.

From the start I was sure Katya wasn’t going to be Ru’s idea of a final three girl, and she did have a 4.8 average. Yet, I’m sad to see her exit on schedule this week instead of squeaking into next – it just didn’t feel like her time to go.

#4 Pearl (avg 6.6, was #5, 6, 6, 5, 7, 8, 10, 9, 7, 6)
It was (yet again) Pearl’s turn to go home this week due to a pair of underwhelming looks, but Ru insisted on keeping her in the game. I like Pearl – she’s smart, she’s sassy, she’s fashionable, and she’s growing every week. However, her weak Hello Pearl should have had her facing off against Kennedy with a noble exit. She’s in a harder situation now – she needs to win next week’s challenge or else she is a sure lip sync candidate, and she doesn’t stand a chance against these other girls.

RuPaul’s Drag Race, S7E11 Recap: Hello, Kitty Girls!

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race: we had another busted runway concept and the somewhat unfair dismissal of Trixie.

After the Elimination

Ginger is appropriately both sad about Trixie and congratulatory about Katya and Violet, but then brings up the elephant in the room – now that Miss Fame is gone, Violet is the only girl who has yet to lip sync!

Ginger claims she “just wants to see it,” but it’s hard not to react as if someone is saying they want to see you sent home. Violet fires back, “Ginger, how does it feel to have a weakness? I feel like you’ve been really strong this entire competition – but I felt that I really got to see this week.”

MROWR.

Ginger says she does all her crying after they head home from the work room, and then comes back with her game face on – which Pearl and Kennedy agree to. Nice show of solidarity and strategy there. Ginger does a lot of whining in the work room, but she doesn’t let us see her truly upset.

This was the best intro chat of the season. I think we’re going to see some great interactions in this final five that we probably wouldn’t have had if some of my other favorites like Trixie and Max made it this far. Plus, much as with last season, there are really no under-accomplishing villains – even Pearl on the weaker side has fought for her spot. (Continued)

RuPaul’s Drag Race Power Rankings, S7E10

This week’s challenge changed up our top spot compared to last week, eliminated a dark horse, and seemed to emphasize the futility of rooting for a certain fan favorite. The fight for the top has become so tight we’re going to start using decimal places in our average scores this week – only .1 separates our top two, but the gap gets much wider after that.

#1 Violet Chachki (avg 1.8, was #3, 1, 3, 2, 4, 1, 1, 1, 1)
Violet is back in the top spot with a second challenge win, a humanizing performance, and still no trip to the bottom two. If you put any stock in the editing forming the story of a queen, she is the one with the most momentum – we’ve seen her personality change and her abilities grow. With next week sure to be a solo challenge, it will be the true test of if she has what it takes to go all the way. It could also be a safe chance for Ru to put her in the bottom two against Pearl, which would be an equalizer heading into the top four.

#2 Ginger Minj (avg 1.9, was #1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4)
Ginger’s run has an air of inevitability after being saved again after a dreadful performance, but the shine is definitely off of this big queen at this point in the game. We’ve seen her fail, make excuses, and attempt to throw other queens under the bus. That’s not a great look on a potential winner, especially after a pair of very kind and gracious superstars. Ginger will be on stage at the finalé, but really needs to play to her strengths and likability in the next two episodes if she wants the crown.

#3 Kennedy Davenport (avg 3.2, was #2, 3, 2, 5, 3, 4, 6, 2, 2)
Kennedy is finally willing to show off some of her strengths with a bold dance performance, and she truly might have what it takes in both fashion and performance to knock off any of the remaining queens in a head-to-head performance. Yet, despite how much the judges enjoy her, there’s very little excitement about her run – it feels like just another pageant. Her one risk of not making the final three is simply lacking a convincing argument for Ru as we go down to the wire. We’ve already seen her go for inexperience over safety once with Sharon over Chad Michaels – and Chad was one of the most impeccable queens in the history of the show. Kennedy can’t claim that.

#4 Katya (avg 4.8, was #5, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6)
Katya gets another win, but does it mean anything? Despite being the breakout star of the season, RuPaul has never shown a shred of excitement around Katya aside from telling her she’s addicted to anxiety. It’s as if Ru was expecting a gimmick queen due to Katya’s Russian theme, and when she didn’t show up with it Ru just gave up on crafting another narrative. Every single fan of the show would tell you Katya should be in the final three, but Ru didn’t know that when she made her decision last summer. If she truly goes out at the fourth spot the fan backlash will be impressive.

Here lies Trixie with her average of five. She absolutely deserved another week to play compared to Pearl.

#5 Pearl (avg 6.9, was #6, 6, 5, 7, 8, 10, 9, 7, 6)
It’s time to go home, Pearl. While this lady is super likeable, she has one of the weakest fashion senses of a top five queen. Ru is pushing hard for a caterpillar-to-butterfly transformation here, but Pearl is more like a snake that molts – we’ve seen her grow, but she hasn’t fundamentally changed into a new thing.

RuPaul’s Drag Race, S7E10 Recap: Prancing Queens

Last week on drag race: the queens had to do their best Divine-inspired performances for John Waters, and Fame just wasn’t the right kind of terrible – which meant Trixie is still in the competition and the ranks got shuffled.

After the Elimination

The girls are all giggles as they head back into the workroom fresh from the runway and Miss Fame’s elimination. Violet seems to have grown some genuine, Real Girl TM emotions and will miss Miss Fame, and Katya’s eyes tell the same story. Violet unintentionally calls back to the best Untucked of last season, interviewing, “Fame probably felt really attacked.”

Well, we all know how that can go, right Laganja?

Violet also feels how close her brush with the bottom was as the only remaining non-lip-syncing contestant – which maybe leads Katya to declare war on her? It’d be smart; Violet is the Top-3-bound lady who Katya is most likely to knock off head-to-head.

The rest of the queens seem to be over the elimination (and Miss Fame, in general), which isn’t a big surprise. Despite not being a villain in the slightest, Fame had a lot to say and never quite put her talent where her mouth was. Pearl, particularly, takes exception with Fame calling her out in the “Who should go?” quiz in front of the judges panel. She claims that the ire will only inspire her to greater heights.

A New Day!

The ladies return to their stations to discover Miss Fame left them all brief individual notes, because she is that thoughtful. Everyone is rude about it (Kennedy slightly less so, maybe because her note was so glowing, calling her a “class act”), because outta sight outta mind! They don’t want to be reminded of the girl they just left behind the day before. (Continued)

RuPaul’s Drag Race Power Rankings, S7E09

This week we got another funny challenge, and while the challenge itself didn’t shake things up too much compared to last week, Ru’s judging decisions did. What queens performed well but worsened their outlook?

#1 Ginger Minj (avg 2, was #2, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4)
As she hits the three-win mark we have Ginger back in the pole position and guaranteed for the final I was an early fan of her fashion, but I’m noticing a distinct lack of willingness for the judges to tag her on anything at all! Is this a free pass for a bigger girl who finally brought a closet full of silhouettes that can compete? Or, is that when she’s performing live her personality actually the biggest thing in the room?

#2 Kennedy Davenport (avg 3, was #3, 2, 5, 3, 4, 6, 2, 2)
Kennedy flew under the radar again this week, but much like Ginger the judges are seeing something special about her that isn’t shining through on this side of the screen. What fascinates me is the SHEER NERVE of her playing it coy this far into the competition. Any subtle performance or runway could easily yield another lip sync! I don’t think we’ve ever seen another competitor as unflappable, and none of the other queens are coming for her at all. (Continued)

RuPaul’s Drag Race, S7E09 Recap: Divine Inspiration

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race, all of the queens returned but only Trixie stuck around, while long-time fashion victim Jaidynn Dior Fierce said goodbye with Tempest Du Jour lashed to her back.

After The Elimination

The girls are disconnected from their departed twins and all wrung out. As Ginger approaches the mirror for the ceremonial wiping-away of the eliminee’s message, she owns up to how out-of-sorts she was for the twins challenge. “This was my wake-up call,” she interviews, “Ginger, you’re better than this, you need to make sure you pull it together.” She tears up a bit as a producer comforts her.

Trixie becomes the first queen in drag race herstory to be called back and then make it to the next episode! Trixie makes an attempt to laugh off the bad vibes from the other girls about someone coming back who skipped so many challenges, but the bad mojo is real from a few of them.

Katya interviews, “You can smell the resentment in the room as much as you can smell Violet’s BO.” (Continued)

RuPaul’s Drag Race Power Rankings, S7E08

We’re now past the halfway point in the season, and thanks to Ru’s ingenious method of bringing a queen back we didn’t even get any inflation. What we did get was a shake-up! Every queen is in a different position compared to last week, and not just due to Trixie’s return. However, as we inch closer to the final the top three seems more solid than ever. Will any of the top trio be unseated?

#1 Violet Chachki (avg 2, was #3, 2, 4, 1, 1, 1, 1)
Violet continues her ascent to likable, young, talented queen, and as the only queen not to hit the bottom (aside from Fame – we’ll get to her in a minute) she is back as the competitor to beat. This is the Adore story with a redemption arc and sans messiness, and it’s pretty damn compelling. Given that Ginger would be a repeat of Bianca’s mean red-head vibe, she ought to be getting a bit scared of an upset. Violet has some weak spots, but one of the next three girls are going to have to overcome some flaws to upset her march to the top three. And, not for nothing, but I discovered via YouTube that Violet is a lip sync addict who at one point was debuting a new song in her act almost weekly. She’s one of the few queens who could potentially survive a lip sync against Kennedy at full power.

#2 Ginger Minj (avg 2, was #1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4)
Despite hitting the bottom, Ginger really only descends a spot due to Violet’s continued strength. Why? Two words: Sasha Belle. Even though the silly idea this week was all Ginger, we’ve never seen her miss the mark on execution before and probably won’t again. Also, the “I don’t sew” came off as protesting a bit too much given the snugness of their costumes. If anything, I think a trip to the bottom ensures her trip to the finals as we seek to avoid a repeat of last year’s two never-bottom-two girls making it to the end. Plus, she’s an able lip sync artist who would only be slayed by a dancer dropping splits left and right – but, there’s two or three of those girls still in it. (Continued)