Last week Bob won the acting challenge but Thorgy walked out with the Power Rankings Emmy for her performance. How will the girls stack up after a live singing challenge? I’ll tell you, it’s my tightest ranking yet – despite being hard on these contestants, I can seriously see all of them reaching the final three.
Let’s get one thing out of the way before we begin that should clarify a lot of my rankings: I think Team NYC crushed the other two teams with their Street Meatz performance, even if “Rectangle Girls” was weirdly the most memorable of the three songs. The NYC girls looks, lyrics, and performance tics were so perfectly of the B-52s era that it’s shocking they weren’t awarded the win – but, more on that below.
1. Thorgy Thor (Average 4, was 1, 6, 7)
Thorgy owns the top spot for a second week in a row. She was on-point in her singing and stage presentation and she was one of the few queens who seriously read as neon, even if some of her styling ruined the impact.
This is a queen whose main weak spot (other than Ru not awarding her a win) is in her ability to edit – but even that has been shown to be within reason and based on a solid taste level. Maybe Snatch Game will change that streak.
2. Bob the Drag Queen (Average 2; was: 2, 1, 1)
Bob was predictably great in this challenge – both in her vocal performance and her onstage presence. As for her runway – eh, I could have lived without its pastel-not-neon-realness. However, the big show tonight was her inability to stop herself from arguing with coach and guest judge Lucian Piane. Yes, his advice was awful, but Bob just kept on arguing with him past the point of no return. You could even see in her eyes how bad an idea she thought it was!
The combination of Bob’s over-the-top, charm-laden performances and this slightly uncontrollable streak represents real risk of missing the top three. She’s still stronger than the rest of the field, but I’m a bit nervous for her.
3. Chi Chi DeVayne (Average 4, was 4, 3, 4)
What gives – this queen hit the bottom two and I’m raising her a peg? Absolutely. Chi Chi was dinged for things she can fix with intention – poor participation and a lacking runaway. At the same time, she was the clear standout in her singing trio, with a performance you couldn’t look away from. She served some of the best face of all-time in her runway. And, she delivered a lip sync for the ages.
Many gymnastic queens haven’t been much for dancing and delivering solid lip sync, but Chi Chi had every base covered. If she can spice up her basic, homespun runway looks there probably aren’t many challenges that can fell her – and certainly not many girls who can out-sync her!
4. Acid Betty (Average 3, was 4, 2, 3)
Acid Betty delivered one of the best runaway looks of all time this week – serving a different kind of “fish” from the norm. It was totally inventive and totally neon. She was also strong-but-unmemorable in her team performance, though I didn’t mind her fifties look the way the judges did.
She’s still a queen to beat, but I worry that her elaborate runways aren’t always going to save her as the competition heats up.
5. Naomi Smalls (Average 5, was 3, 5, 6)
Naomi Smalls was again a legitimate surprise in a performance challenge, both looking and sounding the part as a punk. Seriously: she’s the only girl in the trio I actually bought as a rocker. She was perfect.
And, while she was in yet another two-piece runway look, this week’s see-through neon tennis ensemble was creative and on-brand for her. While she isn’t exactly Bob when it comes to the strategy department, she’s not going down without a fight.
6. Robbie Turner (Average 9, was 9, 10, 10)
Yes, I’ve begrudgingly moved Robbie up the rankings after her challenge win. This is despite serious indifference to her performance on the episode. She 100% looked the part of an early-80s punk, but what came out of her mouth wasn’t as impressive as what we heard from team NYC. It was all a bit stilted and unmusical. She could have fun a Runaways-style way to bring more singing to the screaming (despite Lucian’s advice).
Meanwhile, on the runway she brought the season’s quota of Marie Antionette knockoff – and, even I can admit, it was pretty awesome. She deserved the nod more for both her looks than for her performance (but, in both respects I believe she was bested by Betty).
7. Kim Chi (Average 6, was 5, 8, 2)
Kim Chi again found some inner force to power through a performance challenge, but this one was way more awkward than her tongue-popping acting. She was late and unrhythmic on almost every line. She stumbled across the stage and had a hard time finding the camera. She’s incredibly lucky she pulled the punk theme, where over-the-top energy was almost everything.
Then, there is her neon look. It was hugely inventive, but it helped to cement an issue I’ve had all along and haven’t quite been able to put my finger on, which is this: her looks don’t always read well in motion on the runway. They’re amazing, intricate, and thoughtful! She is a killer queen for photo shoots. Yet, every week they just haven’t popped for me.
Maybe it’s detailing and colors. Maybe it’s her presentation. And, most important, maybe it’s simply not an issue in the studio for the judges. For all of those reasons, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Kim hopscotch a few of these ladies into a place in the finals – but, to do that, she’ll need to get through without a lip sync!
8. Derrick Barry (Average 8, was 7, 7, 8)
Derrick Barry was awful in the challenge – maybe worse than Naysha. Her geometric bathing suit was solid, but she was serving a mannish face and another lackluster wig. Why don’t they ever look like they fit on her head?
What’s interesting is that even as a regular basement-dweller in the rankings, she is still miles ahead of similar straggler Pearl from last season – who went on to be in the final three! Despite this ebb in her drag powers, I still wouldn’t be surprised in the least if Derrick pulled out some challenge wins and made a deep run. However, right now this drag racer is stalled.
Naysha Lopez left the first week and came back in last place, so it’s no surprised she didn’t live to see a third week. A pity we couldn’t have saved this save for one of the queens in this lineup, all of whom would certainly deserve it.
[Editor’s Note: You’re not crazy – this is the last ranking for Season 8!]