‘Canada’s Drag Race’ Season 3, Episode 5 power ranking: Characters welcome

It’s another round of Snatch Game, but there can only be one winner

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. Snatch Game is known for taking out high-performing queens who can’t keep up. Yet even with that in mind, it’s tough to grapple with this week’s shocking elimination.

8. Lady Boom Boom (last week: 4)—ELIMINATED

This is a wild development, y’all. Based on her first couple of weeks in the competition, I assumed Boom Boom was being fast-tracked to the finale. But for all the shit I’ll give Drag Race production, franchise-wide, for producing outcomes, I’ll give Canada’s Drag Race major credit for just letting the chips fall where they may on this one. Boom Boom and Kimmy Couture were the worst in Snatch Game, and neither had a runway as fantastic as Bombae’s to justify keeping her out of the bottom. I’ve weighed which of Boom Boom and Kimmy’s character choices was worse, and I ultimately think both were bad for different reasons. With Mado Lamotte, there just wasn’t much to do with her, and Boom Boom seemed to fall into a familiar trap of thinking the look alone would be enough. Her bromine runway was unexpected and cool, but it wasn’t as striking a silhouette as Bombae’s. And then in the lip sync, she fought hard, but Kimmy clearly outclassed her on “Run Away with Me.” No, much as I might hate that Boom Boom is out, I cannot deny that she lost this week fair and square.

7. Kimmy Couture (last week: 2)

Kimmy ate the lip sync up, which is why she’s still here, but there wasn’t much difference between hers and Boom Boom’s performances in the Snatch Game. I’d actually argue Kimmy made the more obvious mistake of the two, picking a character who Tatianna (the winner of the OG Snatch Game!) went home with in All Stars 2. But I do think there is a way to make Ariana Grande funny, as opposed to Mado—she just didn’t get to it. On the runway, I thought her interpretation of “calcium” as a skeletal runway was fun, but it was pretty bare bones, pardon the pun. If I were grading each part of their weeks equally, I’d probably give Kimmy a lower overall score than Boom Boom; Boom Boom’s runway was significantly better than Kimmy’s, but the gap between their lip sync performances wasn’t as pronounced. But that’s the thing about a Lip Sync for Your Life: it’s your last chance, and it’s the deciding factor.

 

6. Bombae (last week: 3)

I will say this about Bombae’s deeply misguided Aziz Ansari: I appreciate a big swing. Like Alexis Mateo’s pregnant, lesbian Alicia Keys, Bombae did something weird by making Aziz a straight man who wants to be gay. And as the judges noted, she did have his mannerisms down! But I still think this was a real mistake on Bombae’s part. Her Aziz was nothing like him in voice or personality, and the look was pretty rough as well. She more than made up for her disappointing Snatch Game on the runway, though. That balloon look took what should’ve been a literal interpretation of helium and made it fashionable, striking and one of the best runways of the season. I’m still waiting for Bombae’s breakout moment, but she’s killing the fashion game in the meantime.

5. Jada Shada Hudson (last week: 8)

For whatever reason, Drag Race competitors are still bringing Snatch Game characters like Jada’s Saucy Santana to the table, and I don’t get it. Was Olivia Lux bombing with Tabitha Brown not enough of a warning sign? Social media personalities, particularly ones known for short-form video like TikTok (or Vine before that), are not deep enough to craft a winning Snatch Game out of. They’re all punchline and aesthetic, with none of the richness you need to keep riffing throughout the game. Jada wasn’t terrible as the “Material Gworl” rapper and influencer, but there was never going to be more than the few pre-written bits she brought in. On the runway, I thought the rock salt interpretation of sodium was cute, but the dress itself was too short and stiff. Jada’s run has been inconsistent so far this season, and while this was an improvement from last week, it wasn’t enough to put her back in the big leagues.

4. Miss Fiercalicious (last week: 5)

Okay, so as absolutely iconic as that rewind recap opening at the start of the episode was, you gotta remember: it was ultimately in service of a queen who placed safe this week. That’s the level of commitment Fierce is getting from production: she’s edited as a main character of episodes where she is a relatively minor presence. I just can’t see her going home any time soon, particularly as her frenemy Kimmy has survived to slay another day. In terms of her output this week: I’ll admit, I was more into her Kourtney Kardashian than I thought I’d be. High-safe is a fair placement for an impersonation with a couple of solid jokes, but not much depth. On the runway, “neon” felt like a particularly safe element to go with, considering how many neon looks we’ve seen over the years. This one was okay; not the best, not the worst. And that’s how I’d sum up Fierce’s performance overall this week!

3. Vivian Vanderpuss (last week: 6)

Something fairly obvious that nonetheless struck me most this week: Irma Gerd and Vivian are basically playing for the same “spot” this season. It really hit when I saw them both called safe simultaneously in their period-specific runway looks: they’re both the comedy-of-another-era queen that we usually only see one of per season. It’s no surprise that they’d both perform well in Snatch Game, particularly playing gay icons that would be right in RuPaul’s wheelhouse. But what that means is that one of them will likely go in the next week or two, perhaps even at the other’s hand. If we’re thinking about the season as a whole, I think Vivian’s consistency helps her: she hasn’t fluctuated in her performance as much as Irma. That said, I do think Vivian was the lesser of the two this week: her Tammy Faye Messner was mostly right—she just didn’t take it to any surprising places. I expected slightly more from her, even considering her high placement.

2. Irma Gerd (last week: 7)

I’ve been all over the map with Irma this season, but I think her description of what challenge she wanted next was a fair (and funny!) one: Snatch Game? Great! Anything else? No, ma’am! Irma is very good in her particular lane, and it’s why she was better for me than Vivian this week. Her take on Marilyn Monroe was a bit “I’ve watched Smash” (girl, me, too), but she had the voice right, and she had an interesting idea of the character. Pivoting out of an academic explanation of masculinity and its impacts to just saying “Tits!” is a smart, effective lampooning of the ditzy blond character Marilyn played up to meet expectations. And her penmanship with those Snatch Game cards? Pretty impressive! On the whole, Irma’s not consistent enough to likely make it to the very end, but I will say her strong performances have delighted me more than Vivian’s have. It’ll be really interesting to see how their dynamic plays out over this mid-season.

1. Gisèle Lullaby (last week: 1)

Another win for Gisèle! It’s actually very rare for a queen to win two challenges in a row these days, unless they’re on a season with two wins up for grabs (All Stars, vs. The World) or one where they’re just flattening the competition (think Envy Peru on Drag Race Holland). That Gisèle won this week speaks to just how undeniable her performance was. Her Marie Curie was everything we expect in a great Snatch Game: quick, prepared and with a real arc across her performance. The slow destruction of her outfit due to radiation was genius, as were her props to play with that (the marker to draw on a new eyebrow!). And on the runway, in a surprising take on caesium, Gisèle looked just spectacular. With two wins, it’s tempting to call Gisèle the far-and-away frontrunner—and with Boom Boom gone, I think she’s even further in the lead than you’d expect. Let’s see if she can keep it up!

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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