Last week Thorgy Thor was consolidating her lead after a minor meltdown from Bob and a strong weak finish from Chi Chi. Did that top three get shaken up this week?
Even after this crash and burn of a dull Snatch Game and repetitive runway there is barely any daylight separating the top and the bottom girls in this week’s power ranking.
It might not have been the tightest Snatch Game in history, but this feels a lot like Seasons Four and Five with a larger, well-rounded cast with many potentially winners. The best few queens have all shown weak spots, and the bottom few are just one or two hot weeks away from snatching the crown.
Also, there was some strange editing contributing to the doughy episode this week. RuPaul was clearly having some weird energy on Snatch Game, and I suspect we lost some very funny answers from the queens to moments Ru simply didn’t want shown. That probably detracted from a few queens who the judges loved, and also didn’t make Acid Betty’s performance out to be quite as bad as it played on stage.
1. Bob the Drag Queen (Average 1; was: 2, 2, 1, 1)
Yes, she’s back in the top spot, showboating and all. Bob’s Snatch Game was magnificent – a solid Uzo Aduba as Crazy Eyes (her poem answer was a scream) plus a Carol Channing that completely erases the memory of Pandora’s strong version.
As for the runway. Bob’s Madonna may not have been as iconic as the rest, but it was FLAWLESS. Sure, we all would have rather seen her rock early-80s punk Madonna, but that’s way too close to her actual look and probably would have gotten read by the judges. She found the right offbeat (and political) outfit from Madge’s oeuvre.
I can imagine several situations where Bob is bested by this confidence and fails to make the top three. We’ve seen her be able to sew a garment, but she’s not the makeup pro that some of the other girls are. That said, I know she’s a strategic player, and I’m willing to bet he’s got a few fashion stunners tucked away for the late game when he’s not so darn safe all the time.
2. Thorgy Thor (Average 3, was 1, 1, 6, 7)
Thorgy continues to be a mystery to me. Despite being one of the strongest all-around players in the game, I still have a hard time believing she can win.
Clearly Ru enjoyed Thorgy’s Michael Jackon – it got the top left anchor spot on the panel, which always goes to someone strong.did not like Thorgy’s Michael Jackson this week, but we only saw three answers so it’s likely we missed some of her best material. She also had my favorite and best-executed of the kimonos.
My issue comes back down to Thorgy’s editing. Here’s an example where she got fixated on something oddball (playing a black man on Snatch Game) but probably could have won with something more traditional (an old-movie star, some high-strung young celebrity).
In a way, Thorgy is beginning to feel like Jinkx – eccentrically talented at so many things, but often not quite delivering what the judges were looking for (especially on the runway). Of course, Jinkx found a way to make that work and was the unlikely winner of her season over a host of more fashionable queens. Can Thorgy repeat that performance and make it to the final three? Maybe, but if she ever winds up in the bottom two it’s going to be the fault of her own editing, not of the editors.
3. Chi Chi DeVayne (Average 3, was 3, 4, 3, 4)
Chi Chi really bounced back in this episode. Her Eartha Kitt was an uncanny look-alike and her catty behavior was hilarious even though she could have probably just gone more generically sexpot with it. Her runway was a risky low-glamour choice, but it was smart: she saw that the rest of the field was skipping Madonna’s most iconic look and she found a way to churn it out with a day of notice.
Chi Chi has the personality, looks, and strategy to go all the way and seems to have a solid editorial streak when she has the right means at her disposal. It all comes down to runway. She can afford to hit the bottom two one more time and lip sync her way out in the next four weeks, but another trip will likely result in her dismissal.
Does she have four amazing looks packed in her bags? And, if not, can she pull out four more handcrafted cone bras in high stress situations? I’m rooting for her.
Here is Acid Betty with an amazing average of three. She did not deserve to head home after bringing Bedtime Stories realness to the runway. If there ever was a deserving fourth place “you were amazing but you were never going to win” performer, it was Betty.
4. Kim Chi (Average 5, was 7, 5, 8, 2)
Somehow Kim Chi’s worst-ever quality Snatch Game with a completely made up character escaped notice of the judges, which is hard to believe since she was another member of kimono club! To be fair, her kimono was clearly based on “Paradise (Not For Me)” rather than “Nothing Really Matters.”
She might have been full of blunders this week, but both the judges and the fans love her and she has shown that even if she’s a little awkward she’s a lot fearless. Also, her status as a photo shoot queen is probably going to amp up her powers when the queens reach an individual challenge in the coming weeks.
Basically, she just needs one or more of the three queens above to make a mistake.
6. Derrick Barry (Average 9, was 8, 7, 7, 8)
Derrick’s Britney didn’t seem so special, although other queens said a lot of funny stuff wound up on the cutting room floor. Her kimono, while an artistic delight, was a bit plain – it needs a colorful sash or a different length. Plus, she was visibly bobbling on her ultra heels.
All that said: just like Bob, Derrick came to play. She’s willing to play dumb, catty, or Britney if it gets her attention and keeps her story alive. With all the filler queens out of the way I get the feeling she’s going to amp up her personality and shine a bit brighter than she has before.
She’s also not going to go down in her first lip sync. (Seriously, is Ru going to eliminate a professional lip syncer on her first try? It’s just not in the cards.) I think that’s likely to spell trouble for one of the two girls below here, but it could be serious danger to three of the four ladies aboe.
5. Robbie Turner (Average 8, was 6, 9, 10, 10)
Robbie’s lack of self-awareness strikes again with a flat Snatch Game character that was on the very verge of being hilarious – she just didn’t know when to push it. Her League of Their Own look was okay, but not as detailed and padded as it could have been. On the plus side, she was prettier than usual on the runway. On the minus, I still feel like her wig game is on the weaker side.
Given the level of competition at this point, these near-misses are going to turn into sashays in pretty short order, and I don’t think her lip sync game is much stronger than the rest of these girls.
7. Naomi Smalls (Average 5, was 5, 3, 5, 6)
Poor, sad Naomi – she cratered in her Snatch Game performance and her Madonna runaway kimono was barely different than the robes she’s already shown.
Maybe my high opinions of her have been linked with her not drawing any judges critiques to date. She’s been ultra-confident to this point, but this week really brought out the fact that she’s the youngest one in the competition by far – and she doesn’t seem to have the taste level or editorial experience of the similarly youthful Violet.
I still think she can edge into the top three if she steps up her runway, but with one of the future challenges being a political campaign, I worry she doesn’t have the strategic chops to pull it off against these other witty queens. Plus, while her lip sync was energetic, it wasn’t an all-time classic – all of the girls in the top three could wipe the floor with her.