‘Canada’s Drag Race’ Episode 2 power ranking: Citrus blast

Welcome to Canada’s Drag Race Power Rankings! Every Friday, we’ll debrief this week’s new episode of Canada’s Drag Race to determine which queens are riding high, and which need she-mergency care. The first acting challenge of the season offers a big shake-up, as the survivor of last week’s bottom two wins the challenge. How do the rest of the dolls fare?

11. Kyne (last week: 11) — ELIMINATED

Kyne

Credit: Courtesy of Bell Media

I said a lot about Kyne’s arc in a meta sense in the recap, so let me focus on her challenge and runway performances: She got some of the best dialogue and delivered it well. She updated her first-time-in-drag Ursula look in a way that perhaps wasn’t the best, but was hardly the worst. Judged fairly, there’s just no way she should’ve gone home this week. Her performance should’ve been judged safe at the absolute worst.

10. BOA (last week: 4)

Boa

Credit: Courtesy of Bell Media

I’d say it’s mystifying that BOA wasn’t in the bottom two this week, but I’m pretty certain that decision was more about the judges’ feelings about Kyne—and keeping BOA away from a potential lip-sync assassin in Tynomi Banks—than it was about her. Based on performance and runway alone, there’s no doubt BOA deserved to lip sync for her life this week.

9. Tynomi Banks (last week: 8)

Tynomi Banks

Credit: Courtesy of Bell Media

I give queens who know why they faltered a lot of credit. Tynomi bore no grudges about her critiques—neither Brooke Lynn Hytes telling her she looked “queer in the headlights” on the runway last week, nor Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman criticizing her performance in comparison to newcomer actor Lemon’s. (Though just to reiterate, that critique was silly: Lemon herself admitted she had performance experience as a dancer that would benefit her, while Tynomi was seemingly a total novice.) She turned out a very good lip sync and proved why she’s a legend. Now’s her chance to up the ante and prove why she deserves to be in this competition.

8. Ilona Verley (last week: 7)

Ilona Verley

Credit: Courtesy of Bell Media

 

Like her partner in the challenge, Scarlett Bobo, Ilona didn’t get much time on screen this week. The only time she got was BOA constantly calling her Ilana. Not exactly the edit you want for just your second week in the competition. I liked the idea of her runway more than the execution; the silhouette was just a bit too basic, especially compared to what some other queens pulled out.

7. Scarlett Bobo (last week: 5)

Scarlett Bobo

Credit: Courtesy of Bell Media

Scarlett was mostly forgettable this week but did well enough in her two-person performance with Ilona in their sketch. I think she’s got more to offer than we’re seeing so far—that runway look was pretty safe, albeit a solid update of her first time in drag—and I’m hopeful that she shows up in a big way soon.

6. Rita Baga (last week: 2)

Rita Baga

Credit: Courtesy of Bell Media

This was a quiet week for Rita after her big win last episode. She did decently in the challenge—definitely a safe performance—and came up with a smart update of her first time in drag for the runway. Her polish and professionalism is coming through consistently, and it’s helping keep her afloat even when she’s not the strongest performer of the week.

5. Anastarzia Anaquway (last week: 3)

Anastarzia

Credit: Courtesy of Bell Media

All kudos to Anastarzia for opening up the way she did. Her story is no joke, and it showed tremendous strength to share it on international television the way she did. She also impressed in the challenges and on the runway this week. I really like Anastarzia, and I hope she can pull out a win sooner versus later. She’s the queen impressing me most not just as a competitor, but a personality.

4. Jimbo (last week: 1)

Jimbo

Credit: Courtesy of Bell Media

Love me some Jimbo, and she’s probably my favourite of this young season, but I don’t really get her high placement this week. I found her serviceable in the challenge, more fun after her “coming out” than at first. (That may have been Jeffrey’s most solid critique this week: Jimbo played the role a little too straight for a challenge like this.) What likely earned Jimbo the top spot was her runway, and I can’t argue with that. She delivered one of the best looks up there; it had Jade Hassouné in an absolute fit of delight. If she can keep delivering on that level, she may continue to rise no matter how she does in the challenges.

3. Priyanka (last week: 6)

Priyanka

Priyanka headlines “Canada’s Drag Race: Live at the Drive-In”
Credit: Courtesy of Bell Media

She did a lot in the maxi-challenge, but Priyanka earned nothing but praise for going big. If I’m being honest, I’m not totally gelling with her yet—she seems to be performing at all times, even when she’s not in a challenge. That could just be her experience on a kids’ show coming through, but it’s hard to connect with her when she’s at a 10 at all times. Not to sound too Michelle Visage, but I hope we get some vulnerability from her soon and see what she’s like when she’s not totally “on.” But she’s impressing the judges so far, and that’s a very good start.

2. Kiara (last week: 9)

Kiara

Credit: Courtesy of Bell Media

What a bounce up the ranking for Kiara. Plenty of fans thought she was robbed of a top placement last week, if not the win—I’d have certainly put her in the top four or five, and was somewhat surprised she got so little attention in the edit. This week proved she’s a true threat, impressing with her physical comedy and line deliveries in the challenge, and stunning in an otherwise simple dress. There’s a long race ahead of her, but I have a good feeling about Kiara.

1. Lemon (last week: 10)

Lemon

Credit: Courtesy of Bell Media

What a difference a week makes. Lemon stunned on the runway and nailed the maxi-challenge. She also continues to be one of the best confessional presences, with upbeat, funny lines in her talking heads. Fun fact: Lemon is the first since Darienne Lake in Season 6 to go from lip-syncing for her life in the first episode to winning the second. The only other queens to accomplish the same task: Sahara Davenport in Season 2 and Shangela in Season 3. Lemon is in good company—let’s see if she can match those queens’ longevity in their seasons.

Kevin O’Keeffe is a writer, host, instructor, and RuPaul’s Drag Race herstorian living in Los Angeles, California. His favourite pastime is watching a perfect lip sync.

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