I’m gonna do something wholly un-gay and begin this ranking with a paraphrase of Whose Line Is It Anyway? and say that something about a ranking feels like everything is made up and the points don’t matter.
A ranking helped to separate the Yuhuas from the Mayhems early in the competition, but as RuPaul has whittled down what is arguably the show’s best collection of queens to only five, something about ranking them seems off. Can you stack up Miz Cracker’s comedy chops against Kameron’s lip syncing acumen? Do Cracker and Aquaria’s lack of bottom two placements give them an edge over Kameron and Eureka, both of whom have lip synced twice?
Like a Michelle Visage critique of a short-haired wig, this point system can seem a little arbitrary. But, here we are, only one cut away from our final four — reminder: there is no new Drag Race episode on Thursday, May 31 — and the race is tight. Unlike last year, there’s no contestant with four challenge wins like Shea Coulee.
Here’s what I can make of the final five contestants.
1. Miz Cracker (Last week: 5)
Ten weeks into INTO’s ranking and Cracker is finally on top – and deservedly so. As we saw during last year’s challenge with Peppermint and Wintergreen, an internal transformation is just as important as an external one. From the moment that Miz Cookie swung around in her chair and saw her new look, the viewers and the judges were enamored.
While it’s easy (and uncritical!) to give Miz Cookie all the credit for Miz Cracker’s win, Cracker put the time in to transform her straight guy into a queen. Their looks and choreography were in sync. Cracker’s inability to get out of her own head has presented barrier after barrier to her own success. Cookie helped transfer some of her scattered energy to someone else and it paid off in dividends.
Just last week, I predicted (wrongly!) that Cracker would crumble soon after not winning any challenges. Now that she has a win and no lip syncs to her name, she’s a contender.
2. Aquaria (Last week: 1)
Aquaria presents something that Drag Race hasn’t truly seen before. Her entire run on Drag Race has been so successful because Drag Race raised her. As RuPaul recently said, the show debuted when she was only 11 years old. Aquaria hasn’t been giving the judges what her version of best drag is or presenting her own looks every week. She’s played the game and given the judges what they ask for. And that’s playing a winner’s game.
Over the last two weeks, the editors have made it very clear that Aquaria is a human being and wants to be known as such. This “humanizing” edit has made it clearer than ever that we’ll be seeing her in the finals.
However, we have to talk about Capricia Corn, girl. How Aquaria escaped the bottom two is beyond me, and the only answer my brain can give is that it goes back to setting up an Aquaria win. Every winner since Bianca del Rio has won without having to lip sync at all — Bob the Drag Queen is the only exception. Next week notwithstanding, Aquaria currently has the best overall track record with two wins and no lip syncs. That will serve her well when it comes time for Ru to determine who will take the crown.
3. Asia O’Hara (Last week: 4)
Asia O’Hara deserves to be higher on this list. Having won both of this season’s acting challenges, she’s delivered a jolt of energy to the competition and consistently turns looks. She was also the best part of her makeup DragCon panel, forging together her flawless makeup skills with her mothering nature.
But while Asia is great at drag, she’s not the best at Drag Race, which has landed her either in the bottom two or stopped her from landing in the top 3 several times. Going into the semi-finals next week, she doesn’t have the best track record, but she has a lot of heart, which is always tough to beat.
Never has Asia’s talent been more on display than in the past week when she constructed a brand-new *stunning* jacket for her partner Raymond Braun AKA America O’Hara for their runway challenge. None of the other queens constructed a look as polished and so uniform as Asia’s. That’s the talent that Ru always speaks of.
4. Eureka (Last week: 6)
There was a middle stretch of the competition where Eureka seemed unstoppable. Turns out, she can slow down. The last few weeks have not been kind to the queen, whose edit has gotten sloppier and who seems to be more paranoid than ever.
That said, Eureka’s Slay Era may have been weeks in the distance, but they still count! Going into the final five, she is now tied with Aquaria for most wins. Unlike Aquaria, she’s also lip synced twice and she hasn’t won at iconic challenges like the Ball or Snatch Game. But, like her name suggests, she could still pull a rabbit out of her hat last minute.
5. Kameron Michaels (Last week: 3)
Don’t cry for Kameron Michaels. If the Nashville muscle queen has taught us anything it’s that she performs best when she’s in the bottom, and when her back’s against the wall, she delivers. She’s shown twice that she’s able to deliver a lip sync under pounds of elderly makeup and do a split/cartwheel around her competition.
But Kameron has also shown a lot of growth over the season. She went from barely any screen time to coming out of her shell both on Drag Raceand Untucked. She may not be a lot of people’s favorite queen, but she’s garnered quite the fanbase for her endearing personality and charm.
However, this week did show that Kameron’s Type B personality continues not to serve her well in a reality competition format. Even though she did say that she failed to connect with her partner because he was a straight guy, Michaels’ quiet personality didn’t help any. She’s certainly a top five queen unlike any the show has ever seen before. Can quiet strength propel her to the top four?