With three weeks of drag behind us, how are the ladies of RuPaul’s School For Girls stacking up? Not too differently, as it turns out – just one big drop and one minor rise. We’ve now seen dancing and acting – will we see a more fashionable challenge next, or an intellectual one?
#1 Violet Chachki (avg 1, was #1, 1)
Yes, I still have Violet in the top spot. Why not? I don’t agree with the judge’s tepid reaction to her acting, nor do I blame her for it after Kennedy’s failed leadership. Her fashion is still impeccable (even when I’m not loving her prints), she can dance, she’s not afraid to learn lines, but nobody likes her. That combo worked fine for Jinx, but she was also a very different queen who was well-liked by the audience – which makes a difference once you arrive in the final three.
#2 Ginger Minj (avg 3, was #3, 4)
Though this runway fashion was not her best ever, Ginger is emerging as the funniest cast member and one of the most solid performers. What matters most is how self-aware she is. It is going to take a lot for her to go wrong in a challenge – it will have the be the case of the judges just not loving her concept, rather than her failing in some way. I don’t love some of her cattiness in this episode, but that just means if Violet missteps for a second Ginger will be on her.
#3 Max (avg 5, was #4, 9)
Max continues to shatter the old lady mold each week while still being an old lady, if that makes any sense. And, she turns out to be a professional-caliber performer. I get the sense she has a college degree from her well-trained response to the theatre challenge, which is going to bode well in the intellectual hurdles. I worry slightly about her runways, which so far have been composed of disparate pieces. At some point she will need to deliver straight-up glam.
#4 Trixie Mattel (avg 6, was #5, 8)
Trixie has been a fashion winner twice in a row for me despite my original distaste for her schtick. While she’s not the star player that Max is, she’s not going to get fouled up by any singing and dancing and can hold her own in fashion. Will her creativity in the challenges be as strong? She’ll either need to make a wide miss or get read to pieces on the runway to drop into the bottom half of the rankings for me.
#5 Katya (avg 6, was #6, 6)
Katya bounced back from her lip sync this week and showed she isn’t going to choke in every performance, but the manic energy of her interview segments isn’t coming through when she’s around the other girls. She needs to break into the top group in one of the coming weeks to be a true threat to the crown, and I don’t have the highest hopes after she didn’t nail two performance challenges in a row.
#6 Kennedy Davenport (avg 4, was #2, 2)
This week was a wreck from Kennedy. It said some bad things about her attitude and work ethic, plus her fashion ain’t flawless anymore in the eyes of the judges (though I dug it). The scariest thing, though, was the non-event of her lip sync. Any number of girls can turn it out against her. She’s not going to survive multiple trips to the bottom.
#7 Mrs. Kasha Davis (avg 10, was #10, 12.)
Kasha clearly has performance chops and smarts, plus some kindness and common sense. That’s a good mix, but it still feels like a pale echo of Bianca at this point. Her runways are very safe. She’s going to have to win something eventually if she wants to avoid being cannon fodder, and this week may have been her best chance.
#8 Ms. Fame (avg 6, was #8, 3)
Fame slightly redeemed herself this week with a willing and credible performance in the Fakespeare, but on the runway we got another reminder that she’s not the fashion-plate that Violet is. All of her peers are quickly outpacing her, but we’ve still yet to see her club-style lip sync.
#9 Pearl (avg 7, was #7, 6)
Did Pearl get the scare she needed this week from Ru, or is she going to keep walking in Milk’s footsteps and do some sort of wrongheaded glam peppiness next week to signal her departure? She’s growing on me and a big turnaround could indicate she has what it takes to be America’s Next Drag Superstar, but she needs to show some spark.
#10 Kandy Ho (avg 9, was #11, 7)
Kandy finally ratcheted her face up to pretty, her fashion was high drama, and the judges didn’t hate her performance. I might have disliked it, but she showed some self-awareness in acting nerdy and staying out of the way of the rest of the mess in the challenge. Yet, she’s still a weak link from what we’ve seen and I don’t think she’s going to survive a solo challenge.
(I’d have Jasmine here with her departing average of 10. I think she’s likely a better lip sync artist than Jaidynn, and her fashion isn’t as busted.)
#11 Jaidynn Diore Fierce (avg 11, was #12, 10)
While Jaidynn overcame her fears this week and remains mega-likeable, we’re still not seeing a competitive queen with drop-dead fashions that can win this thing. In past seasons these “same look every week” queens start getting pegged pretty hard in weeks four and five. She’s going to have a hard time making to Snatch Game given the strength of this field, but never doubt the Lip Sync effect – she could easily knock off half this list if her first sync is a stunner.