Welcome to Drag Race Power Rankings! Every Saturday, we’ll debrief the previous night’s new episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 to determine which queens are riding high, and which need she-mergency care. This week, as we decompress from the latest Rusical, we check in on the eight queens remaining — and pay tribute to departed season 9 queen Farrah Moan.
9. Farrah Moan — ELIMINATED (last week: 9)
God bless Farrah, who was sadly out of her depth in this group. It’s a shame she couldn’t bring it big and surprise us all, but losing Monique Heart over here this week would’ve been devastating. Valentina made the right call.
8. Gia Gunn (last week: 7)
Here’s the thing: If you’re gonna be a villain, you gotta be able to back it up with really stellar work. Gia’s kabuki routine in the All-Star Variety Show was strong, but she was nowhere near memorable enough in this week’s challenge. When you’re more notable for bothering another contestant than for your drag, that’s a bad sign.
7. Manila Luzon (last week: 5)
This one is tough. Manila surprised last week with her painting routine, and her runway this week was stunning. But if you’re going to call yourself a performer and recording artist, you probably should be able to do those things. This was Manila’s challenge to lose, and she lost badly.
6. Latrice Royale (last week: 1)
That 1st-to-6th placement fall looks harsh, but Latrice is down here less because she did anything wrong and more because everyone else is simply shining brighter. Latrice is experiencing roughly the same competitive arc as Gia right now: never a disaster, but not enough of a success for the judges to notice. The difference between the two is, for one, Latrice sits at a higher baseline than Gia does. (The other is that Latrice isn’t trying to be a villain.)
5. Monique Heart (last week: 3)
Going from top two to bottom two the very next week is never a great sign on All Stars. (Roxxxy Andrews did the same thing in All Stars 2.) I’m inclined to think this week’s sloppy performance was just a speed bump in Monique’s journey — but holy hell, she has to stop making excuses when she gets the slightest criticism from the judges. They clearly hate it. I’d bet her excuses (plus Manila’s runway) are what put her in the bottom two over Manila this week.
4. Monét X Change (last week: 8)
That’s more like it! Monét bounced back big from a bad variety show performance, killing her verse in “Everybody Say Love” and turning out a surprisingly strong runway look. Unfortunately, despite smashing the episode, Monét was deemphasized in the edit to make way for Valentina’s redemption narrative. That, plus the memory of her weak performance in the first episode, keeps her out of the top three.
3. Naomi Smalls (last week: 6)
Slowly but surely, I am becoming a Naomi stan. Her top three placement last week was somewhat dubious to me, but I was much more onboard this time around. She killed her “Everybody Say Love” verse and had no less than Kacey Musgraves complimenting her songwriting — not to mention Ciara wanting her stagewear. If she can step up and clinch a win next week, she may be able to go all the way.
2. Trinity the Tuck (last week: 2)
Trinity stayed under the radar this week, which was a good place for her. She won in a big way last week, so showing off again would make her a big target for both potential elimination later down the line. I’d expect to see Trinity in no worse than second or third place all season long. She’s got the mark of a queen who knows consistency is key.
1. Valentina (last week: 4)
Valentina is a superstar. Period, exclamation point, etc. There’s just no question mark, because it’s not in question. You can dislike Valentina, dislike her attitude, dislike her drag, whatever. But you can’t deny she’s a goddamn star. The editors were obsessed with her this episode, and she played the part to the hilt. Her challenge performance was strong, as were her runway and lip sync. She’s $10,000 richer for it, and set up to go the distance in this competition. Even if Valentina doesn’t win the whole season, she’ll earn scores of new fans for her trouble.