‘Canada’s Drag Race’ Season 3, Episode 1 power ranking: first impressions

Who’s on top of the newest Canadian cast after the premiere?

Welcome to Canada’s Drag Race Power Rankings! Every Friday, we’ll debrief the week’s new episode of Canada’s Drag Race Season 3 to determine which queens are riding high, and which need she-mergency care. We’ve got another 12 queens from the North to meet—but who is the frontrunner to become Queen of the North?

12. Halal Bae—ELIMINATED

Though I overwhelmingly loved the season premiere, I gotta admit that Halal’s elimination has me a bit nervous about the season. One of the big improvements in Canada’s Drag Race’s second season was the judging, and I’m concerned that we’re starting with a highly suspect elimination. While I get that Halal’s makeup was a poor choice to fit her mustachioed look, she delivered a super-original, interesting runway garment. That should’ve been enough to keep her safe over Miss Fiercalicious’s scrap of fabric at minimum. The fact that she then was called the loser of a lip sync where she was far more energetic than Miss Moço? I just don’t get it. A bummer to lose such a unique queen so early, and under decidedly strange circumstances.

11. Miss Moço

Understanding that there was no way production would lose a character like Fierce so early, Moço would’ve been my choice to go home this week. Admittedly, I did love her wig reveal in her intro! But I wasn’t in love with her streetwear look, which was cute but not stunning. The fact that she turned it into an unflattering runway look, however, should’ve been her ticket out the door. And then her “Beauty and a Beat” lip sync, while it had its moments, was overall too low energy to keep her in the competition. I would be very surprised if she makes it out of the season’s earliest weeks without a significant turnaround.

10. Miss Fiercalicious

Oh, we are in for a journey with Fierce, aren’t we? I’m sensing shades of both Adore Delano and A’Whora in her edit: a judge-beloved queen like Adore, who can be a bit cutting like A’Whora, but is given the time to develop like both. Not even letting her fall into the bottom two felt like a real investment in her future in this competition. Credit where it’s due: the end-of-episode preview showed that she’s already getting into drama come episode 2. Drag Race needs its big characters, and I’m willing to give Fierce the time that the storyline wants her to have. But she will need to step it up in the challenges to justify her being saved this week.


9. Irma Gerd

I’m not sure Irma Gerd is for me. Which, that’s okay! All kinds of drag are valid, and I’ve certainly come to appreciate queens whose aesthetics didn’t initially work for me. But a slimy, mucus-esque entrance look? A Newfoundland fisherman runway for the streetwear category? The tartan from that look used as material for a very standard plaid dress on the runway? None of this worked for me. I do think Irma could thrive in the performance challenges, though. She, like many of the queens this season, has a quick wit—she’ll just need to stand out from the pack.

8. Gisèle Lullaby

Gisèle has a good sense of humour about her drag character: she says she’s “stupid enough to be pretty or pretty enough to be stupid,” and can’t figure out which. She’s also got a distinctly Montreal quality to her drag, which has taken other queens quite far in this competition—though not quite to the finish line. In the two runway categories this week, I preferred her second garment to her streetwear look; in particular, the colour combination worked well for me. I could see an Adriana-esque arc coming for Gisèle: slow to start, but surprises with an early win that keeps her in contention for quite a while.

7. Chelazon Leroux

Chelazon is the first Saskatoon queen to appear on Canada’s Drag Race, and is part of a general push for greater geographic diversity on the show this season. She also emphasizes her Indigenous identity in her work on TikTok, which, despite Fierce’s doubts, is indeed quite popular! On the runway this week, her streetwear look came across as pretty simple, and she converted it into another quite simple gown for the runway. Where she surprised, however, was in her sense of humor: spraying “Fuck Around” and “Find Out” on the front and back of her dress, respectively, gave her runway presentation an extra spark. If she brings that same sense of humour to the challenges, Chelazon could go very far in this competition.

6. Vivian Vanderpuss

I’ll give Vivian major props for her transformation on the runway, because after seeing her streetwear look, I was incredibly skeptical. Her campy take on a dog walker was just too cheap-looking to be effective, and coming in after her plastic-wrapped entrance garment (complete with declaration that she loves “Old Hollywood Glamour”), it felt like she was already declaring herself to not be a look queen. But she quickly shed that expectation by reworking her garment into a gorgeous black look. Impressively, she used her original look as the lining, so as to give a peek of the green in the folds of her skirt. I’m very intrigued to see what else she does in this competition.

5. Kimmy Couture

I really like Kimmy! I’ll admit, I am dubious about her chances of winning this whole thing—drag mothers and daughters very rarely both win Drag Race, and even more rarely do so back-to-back. But I’m hoping that Kimmy can break the trend, because she’s a delight. She happily declared in her introduction that she’s “here to break the Asian curse,” referencing the absolutely disastrous average track record for Asian queens on Drag Race. She’s also proudly trans, and came in wearing a light-blue-and-pink entrance look to highlight that. Among her two runway looks, I enjoyed her streetwear look (complete with immediate reveal) more than her reworked garment, though I’ll admit she really put in the work to make it something new. Eager to see her in other kinds of challenges.

4. Bombae

Bombae had the kind of opening episode most Drag Race competitors would love to experience, winning the mini-challenge for a two-in-one puffer dress look that she later converted into a very fun, gravity-defying skirt ensemble. Am I surprised she didn’t break into the top? A little, to be honest! But still, she’s $2,500 richer, so she can’t be too mad. A shame that she had to see her drag mom go home in the same episode, though. Hopefully she uses her feelings about that to fuel her fire in the competition. I want her around so she can keep turning out stellar looks!

3. Jada Shada Hudson

A very well-deserved top placement for Jada, for a look that other Drag Race judging panels might have overlooked. Jada’s streetwear garment had a lot going on, and she ran the risk of power-clashing turning into just plain clashing upon rework. Credit to her: she knew to take just one of the prints, and use it as an accent for a simpler red fabric. Because she did rely so much on other fabric, she would’ve fallen just short of the win for me—but I think she accomplished the far more impressive feat of winning over the judges with her personal style. Her tears shed over just how pretty she looked were incredibly understandable; she looked gorgeous.

2. Kaos

Personally, I’d have given Kaos the win this week. Though I know Traci Melchor and the other judges told the queens to use as much extra fabric as they wanted, it does feel like it was in the spirit of the challenge to primarily rework the look as presented. Not only that, but presumably you’d want the garment to be even better than before. On that criterion, Kaos accomplished her mission expertly: she drastically improved what felt like too much plaid in her streetwear look into a sharp, geometric runway garment. The perfectly matching makeup only elevated her presentation. I’m coming out of this episode most interested in what Kaos will wear moving forward, and if she can bring the same editing eye to other looks that she did this week.

1. Lady Boom Boom

A big congrats to Lady Boom Boom! While I could quibble that she mostly used fabric not from her streetwear look to craft her runway garment, it’s hard to argue with the results. She cut a striking silhouette, and as the judges noted, she introduced them to a whole other side of herself. That kind of presentation is key to a premiere, because you want the panel to already be excited to see what other looks you can pull out in the future. It helps that her streetwear look was so clever and specific—this is the kind of Y2K aesthetic that I love—that coming out with such a strong fashion statement on the runway could still feel like a contrast. No, Lady Boom Boom is clearly demonstrating that she is a force to be reckoned with on the runway, and if Icesis Couture taught us anything last season, it’s that the runway girls are real threats to take it all on Canada’s Drag Race.

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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