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Oh. my. God. If you aren't completely shaken after this unbelievable episode of Drag Race, then we didn't watch the same thing. Things are really looking up this week after a terribly paced second week of competition. There's a lot to talk about so let's just dive in!
Saying Goodbye to Honey
Let us first talk about Honey Davenport, the first Davenport to be eliminated this season, before I get into the ranking proper. It's sad to see her go after such a great runway, but she just chose a terrible week to stand out for all the wrong reasons. She's been coasting so far in the competition, and it just goes to show that playing it safe rarely works. Her performance was uncomfortable, not even in a funny way, and her lip-sync was the worst. Even if it had just been a normal bottom two, she probably would still be in the bottom, as I'm not sure her runway could save her from such a dreadful performance combined with being utterly forgettable so far in the competition. I'm sad to see Honey go, as I think there have been queens performing worse than her, but I didn't see her going very much further in the competition anyway, so I guess this week is just as good as any.
We have to talk about this mesmerizing twist. First of all, I completely agree with making all of them lip-sync because there wasn't a single one of them that wasn't completely atrocious in the main challenge. Perhaps Honey or A'keria's runways could've prevented them from being in the bottom, but there were plenty of opportunities for them to save themselves in the challenge by speaking up maybe just once and choosing someone else. The lip-sync was hard to watch because there was so much to take in, but I liked the decision and it totally redeemed last week's boring episode.
12. Mercedes Iman Diamond (Prev. 13)
Despite a pretty good week for her, it's really only so good in comparison to her past performance. Her runway was not good, while her acting performance was probably the worst in her group (even though it was still funny). Also, I didn't feel a character at all in her mini challenge, just her not understanding what was going on. I wanted to see her talk openly about her religion as it's something we rarely get to see, but I don't blame her for keeping quiet especially when the girls approached her about it in such a strange way. She still seems like the next to go in my opinion.
11. Ra'Jah O'Hara (Prev. 9)
Oh girl, what a week for Ra'Jah. This is what Ru gets for not letting Silky win the mini challenge with Nina and instead allowing Ra'Jah to be a group leader. She was the leader of her terrible group and would've probably been in the bottom with Honey had it been a normal bottom two. Her performance in the main challenge was shaky, her runway was pretty basic, but her lip-sync saved her as she quickly made her mark and separated herself from the other girls. While I admire her attitude going into the lip-sync, it just wasn't good enough to salvage the rest of her terrible performance in other areas this week. I still can't get over how much of a non-factor it seemed like she was in making the decisions for the group. When you're the leader, you have to be the one to not just lay back and let everyone else decide what to do. Something about Ra'Jah still intrigues me though, and I'm not sure what it is, but I don't anticipate seeing her around much longer.
10. Shuga Cain (Prev. 8)
Shuga seemed to be one of the queens at the head of making the decision for choosing Mariah which definitely causes her to lose some points in my book. However, it's not like she was demanding Mariah, she just threw the name out and it stuck. Her performance in the challenge was bad, but Scarlet was the worst of the pairing. Her mini challenge character got me to chuckle a little bit and her runway was in the top half compared to the other girls on her team. Had it been a normal bottom two, Shuga probably would've been safe. I hope she is able to bounce back from having an off week.
9. A'keria C. Davenport (Prev. 7)
A'keria seems to be the girl giving all the reactions this week and I'm here for it honestly. I could listen to her say, "What's goin' on" a million times and still laugh. Her mini challenge character was pretty funny, her performance in the challenge was bad (but not the worst), while her runway definitely would've saved her from being in the bottom two. I don't know how much longer we'll get to see from A'keria after this week, but I hope she pulls it together and this will just be a small bump in the road later on. She needs to stand out in the challenges and have another good week, or the next time she places low she could very easily be in the bottom.
8. Plastique Tiara (Prev. 4)
Oh poor Plastique, this week was just a mess for her. Her mini challenge character was pretty fun, but I feel like we've seen her like that before (which isn't good considering this is only the third episode). Her performance in the challenge was all over the place, and I feel like she slipped into a voice that she didn't mean to and couldn't find a way out of it. I've been impressed so far with Plastique, but this week gave me some concerns. If she didn't know that much about pop culture, she should've told her group and gave some input on people she did know, that way she could be up to par with the rest. Honestly, that probably would've helped all of the queens a lot by speaking up, not just herself. Her runway, while she looked gorgeous, was kind of boring compared to some of the great ones out there. She could have been in the bottom two had there been one because of this, but I think her past performance and the judges perceiving her to take big risks probably would've saved her. I don't see her going home anytime soon, but this week really tarnishes her great performance so far.
7. Scarlet Envy (Prev. 3)
Much like Plastique, this week raised some red flags for me. I'm starting to question if what we've seen so far from Scarlet may be the only thing she is capable of doing. Her mini challenge characters have been the same pretty much, she played both her main challenge characters the same way, and her runway this week was kind of boring as well. I mean it was beautiful and she looked great, but she really needed to take it all the way to make it stand out. I could easily see her being in the bottom two with Honey or Ra'Jah had it come down to it, and depending on who she was matched up with could have been sent home. I'm hoping this was just an off week for her, but I'm now a little skeptical of her. Also, it was her idea to stick with Mariah even after Ru questioned them, so she gets major points deducted.
6. Ariel Versace (Prev. 12)
We have a huge jump for Miss Ariel this week! Her mini challenge performance was kind of uncomfortable to watch, but everything else for her this week was great! She offered to work with Silky, putting the past in the past and trying to move on, which I respect. While her runway was pretty basic, she was given extra praise from Ru for a great job in the challenge, which I agree with. I'm hoping this is a swing of positive momentum for her, but we shall see. Luckily for Ariel, six queens were in the bottom this week, so if she has a lackluster performance next week, she'll most likely be up against someone who has already been in the bottom before.
5. Silky Nutmet Ganache (Prev. 5)
Silky has just kept on rolling this week, kind of fading into the background as much as someone with Silky's personality can. Her character for the mini challenge was HILARIOUS, and should've warranted her another win. Nina's team wouldn't have been as great, but at least the other group would have been manageable to watch. She does pretty well in the challenge, but her runway appears to be just a little sketchy as it seems like the seam of the garment is visible on the sides. It was cool, had tons of fringe, but it needed just a little something to really take it there. She did seem to be holding a grudge against Ariel, which I hope doesn't come back and bite her later on.
4. Vanessa Vanjie Mateo (Prev. 6)
Vanjie had a great week, performing well in almost all areas while remaining at the forefront in the edit. At this point, we haven't seen her have a weakness yet, as even when she messes up the judges love it. Her runway this week was kind of bland but Ru still makes sure to mention her on the main stage and give her credit for such a great performance in the challenge. In fact, that runway look may have been the only thing holding her back from getting a win. All she really needs at this point is a challenge win to be head and shoulders above the rest of the girls, as she seems to be firing on all cylinders so far. I'd like to mention that her little showmance with Brooke seems cute, but right now I'm not totally sure where it's headed. It could potentially get them in trouble, or be one of the greatest things we've ever seen on the show.
3. Nina West (Prev. 11)
Much like Vanjie, Nina does great in every single area this episode. Her mini challenge character was hilarious, her leadership was excellent, her performance in the main challenge was spot on, and her runway look was one of the best ones out there, despite a weird choice of show. She much deserved the win, and her commentary about needing to step up and what areas to do it in is on point. She's emerged as a serious threat this episode, not just one of those queens who is legendary in real life but isn't cut out for the competition. She has everything it takes to go far in the competition, but her lack of real tangible presence is bothering me. I want her personality to shine the same way some of the other queens have, and once I get it, I'm completely on board.
2. Brooke Lynn Hytes (Prev. 2)
Brooke has a pretty quiet week, but has still remained strong. Despite her high placement on this list, she's flying pretty under the radar for me. Last week she was pretty bad in the challenge, this week she was good but outshined by Nina, and her runway this week was gorgeous but a little off for me. Despite playing it pretty quiet, she's performed a high levels for most of the competition so I think she's still a clear front runner, despite being quiet. Once we get further down the stretch, she'll probably be much more visible in the edit.
1. Yvie Oddly (Prev. 1)
Yvie had yet another strong week, with her performance in the main challenge being really funny and her runway being one of the best. Unfortunately for Yvie, and some other queens like Brooke Lynn and Nina, the edit has to accommodate space for the queens who won't be here much longer or who are performing badly, so she is kind of staying quiet despite competing so well. I'm getting excited for when the time comes that the obvious best queens are all that remain, as I feel like that's when the competition will be neck and neck. I don't see Yvie going home anytime soon, and I'm always excited to see what she'll do next.
Closing Thoughts and Expectations
I'm relieved that we have a great episode after last week's clunker, and I can't wait for next week. I'd say we're only two or three weeks away from having really tight competition! If we get more twists like that six-way lip-sync we should have a great season ahead of us. The preview for the next episode shows that the next main challenge is to be a Ru-sical, a Trump challenge! I can't wait to see what we have in store there. It looks like Ariel, Ra'Jah, and Mercedes are going to be struggling in this from what we can see. Luckily for Ariel, both of those girls have now been in the bottom before. As for who could do well, I think it's really open to anyone at this point, as we haven't seen anyone's dancing abilities quite yet. Another group challenge though could mean we have tons of drama in store for us!