‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Week 9 Power Ranking: Is This the Way the Cracker Crumbles?

If it feels a little too familiar to have to rank the top six queens on RuPaul’s Drag Race this season that’s because spoiler alert it is! During last week’s episode, RuPaul whipped out a double shantay and saved both Kameron Michaels and Eureka from elimination after they both performed a stellar lip sync to Patti LaBelle’s “New Attitude.”

Last week saw the contestants compete in an acting challenge called Breastworld, a not-well-executed acting challenge that needs a toot and reboot. No one except Asia O’Hara and Monét X Change really shined, and even outgoing queens like Miz Cracker and Asia seemed a little lost in the challenge.

Here’s where the queens stand now.

1. Aquaria

Aquaria and Miz Cracker have the distinction of being the only remaining queens who have never landed in the bottom two. However, unlike Cracker, Aquaria has won (two) challenges and generally slayed!

Perhaps Aquaria’s biggest triumph this year is the pivot in the edit she’s receiving. Much like Violet Chachki in Season 7, the show has begun to humanize her and show her as someone who is trying to play nice with her fellow queens rather than antagonize them. At the same time, after landing in the bottom three on her Cher performance, she was safe this week, but not after the judges criticized her for not nailing her septuagenarian runway look. The judges are clearly gagging over her looks, but it’s nice to see some (spot-on) critique of the frontrunner.

2. Monét X Change

This is Monét’s first time in the top two of INTO’s ranking since the first week. And with no challenge wins, it feels weird to put her here, but the numbers don’t lie and Monét knows it. She declared this week that she’s on an upward swing, getting positive critiques and landing in the top for the last four weeks in a row. Could this be the week that Monét finally gets recognized for the competitor she is?

On the other hand, the judges and Monét don’t seem to be vibing on a few levels. Her humor might be bit too dark for Michelle Visage and RuPaul and they want to see her glam it up a bit, a request Monét refuses to appease. A successful Drag Race contestant is one who knows to appease the judges while also staying true to themselves, and Monét’s unwillingness to go full glam could cost her.

3. Kameron Michaels

Up until last night, Kameron Michaels herself had also been on an upward trend. She won the Cher Rusical challenge and was getting more screen time. And during last week’s Untucked, she got a full story arc, too!

Kameron Michaels has steadily built herself a stanbase online and, judging by last week’s lip sync, she’s got a lot more to show us. Luckily, this wasn’t the end of Michael’s Drag Race run, but given how one-note she was in the acting challenge, let’s hope not many of those lie ahead. If she makes it to the top four and we end with a lip sync competition again, then there’s real reason to believe she can snatch the crown.

4. Asia O’Hara

Asia wowed viewers this week with an amazing performance as Parah Salin, a right-wing robot constructed to torment the vacationers at Breastworld. And, she killed it. This is now two acting challenges that Ms. Asia has won after she emerged from the app challenge victorious. Not only can Asia clearly act, she always brings it to the runway and this week was no exception. As I’ve said all season, watch out for Asia.

5. Miz Cracker

Miz Cracker continues to confound. She has by far the biggest standom of any of the girls this season, but has yet to produce a performance worthy of it. Adding insult to injury, Cracker hasn’t performed well at challenges that seemingly tailor to her strengths: she floundered in Breastworld and the Snatch Game and didn’t really sell her Cher during the Rusical.

Though she’s not on the exact bottom this week, Cracker just doesn’t seem to connect with the judges. Even the trademark banter she had with them early in the season has vanished. And based on RuPaul’s critiques during last week’s judging, RuPaul now has the impression that Miz Cracker is unable to incorporate critique into her drag. Expect her to lip sync soon.

6. Eureka

Now’s a good time for a reminder that this ranking is based totally on points that each contestant accrues, or loses, based on their performance in only the last three weeks of the competition. It’s been three weeks since Eureka experienced a win and, with her trip to the bottom two this week, she’s now officially on the bottom of the list.

But the list is also tighter than ever and it should be stressed that, while she has two trips to the bottom two, she also has two wins. It’s worth noting here that no Drag Race contestant has ever lip-synced twice and won the competition. And putting her in the bottom twice puts her dangerously close to going home. Few queens lip sync three times and survive.

But right now, it seems likely that Eureka will make it to the top four, especially given how well she has performed overall throughout the weeks, Breastworld notwithstanding. For more on Eureka, check out my recent tweetstorm on her standing in the competition.

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