‘Canada’s Drag Race’ Season 4, Episode 3 power ranking: Love Bugs and Vixens galore

A unique judging structure for the girl groups challenge produces an unusual power ranking

Welcome to Canada’s Drag Race Power Rankings! Every week, we’ll debrief the week’s new episode of Canada’s Drag Race Season 4 to determine which queens are riding high, and which need she-mergency care. This season’s girl groups challenge produced a couple of solid performances, but overall, the field is still warming up.

10. The Girlfriend Experience (last week: 9)—ELIMINATED

Ultimately, I just don’t think The Girlfriend Experience was ready for this, well, experience. Her close association between her drag persona and her own identity meant that she took any criticism deeply and personally, and she just couldn’t get out of her own head afterward to perform as needed. I hope someone can find another platform for TGE, because she’s clearly a tremendously charismatic talent. Not all performers are meant for reality competition TV, and that doesn’t make them any less of a star.

9. Kitten Kaboodle (last week: 1)

Tough fall for Kitten after last week, but it’d be tough to argue she didn’t deserve the bottom slot. Plus, she got to really camp it up in her lip sync to “Tongue,” which seemed to delight the judges, so she got a good impression out of a bad situation. More importantly, I’d like to talk about Kitten’s looks. It’s frustratingly typical for us to see older queens struggle when it comes to main stage presentations, so it’s a thrill to watch Kitten absolutely burn the runway every week. I am really impressed at how well Kitten prepared for this experience, and I can’t fault her for hitting a speed bump when it came to something so outside her comfort zone.

8. Kiki Coe (last week: 7)

Kiki in the performance challenges? Oof. While I enjoyed the camp value of her group in the QV-She challenge, they were the clear worst, and Kiki was a major contributor to their issues. Now this week, Kiki was one of the many who didn’t have a handle on her own lyrics, and her verse would likely have landed her among the bottom-scorers even if she had remembered it. But Kiki on the runway? Look out. There’s a reason she was in the top three in the first episode’s ball challenge. This week’s club-kid-Hello-Dolly-in-sunglasses look was a smash, and instantly made me forget about her girl group performance. Let’s just hope she can find her groove in the non-look aspects of the competition, because I need Kiki to stick around for her runways alone.

7. Luna DuBois (last week: 10)

A better episode for Luna, but still not a great one. I think Luna was the least impressive member of her group, with dancing and lip syncing that did not match the energy of her verse. And on the runway, her leather look was an interesting idea, but I didn’t think it worked in practice. What I did like, however, was Luna’s feisty opening confessional about using the Golden Beaver for her own benefit. That’s the kind of strategy this season needs! I would be delighted if Luna were the one to bring it to the table.

 

6. Melinda Verga (last week: 3)

The Melinda Verga Rollercoaster is not for the faint of heart. After her triumphant performance last week comes a significant derailment this week, as she mostly led her group to failure. She herself was safe, at least, but you could tell in Mini-Untucked that she was really shaken up by the judging. I don’t think the drill sergeant approach to choreographing her team was the right one, but I also don’t really lay the blame at her feet for their failures. They all had more significant problems than just remembering their steps. What I am concerned about with Melinda, though, are these runways. Because this supposedly avant-garde take on the “Sunglasses at Night” music video? Not a winner!

5. Nearah Nuff (last week: 6)

I actually thought Nearah was a little robbed of a top placement this week. Her verse wasn’t the best, but I thought her dancing was pretty far and away the strongest in her group. When the verses are pretty average across the board, and the dancing and lip syncing are bigger issues, for me the person to nail the latter would stand out more. But perhaps it was Nearah’s runway look, which seemed a bit random for the Sunglasses at Night category (the sunglasses were an afterthought!), that kept her out of contention for the win. Whatever the case, Nearah now sits near the bottom of her team’s rankings, since it feels like the judges aren’t yet invested in what she’s putting forth in the competition.

4. Venus (last week: 2)

I actually thought for a minute that Venus might land in the top again. Her verse and performance weren’t the best of her group, but she did surprisingly well thanks to her natural charisma as a performer, plus boasting another killer runway. In the end, she just landed safe, but she’s still our clear frontrunner so far. The only other queen I’d put in the same echelon as her is Denim, thanks to her screen time, but I’m really worried another comedy challenge is going to knock Denim right out of the competition. Venus is coming across as the most well-rounded, and even in an episode she’s not the star of, she can still pull out some great moments.

3. Denim (last week: 5)

I should’ve figured her flopping at the improv challenge was setting up a comeback for Denim. She was quite good in the girl group task, as she had one of the best-written verses. I do think she was clearly struggling with her words at points, though, which is why I thought Nearah would be up here instead. But Denim’s runway also likely did her a lot of good—the reveal of all the pairs of eyes on her wig under their sunglasses was delightful. And those pants! Denim’s really got a different sensibility than we’re used to on the runway, and it’s really a pleasant surprise so far.

2. Aimee Yonce Shennel (last week: 8)

All right, Aimee! Brooke Lynn put it best that the judges all woke up the second her verse began. She absolutely tore into her lyrics, executed them perfectly, and commanded attention during every group segment in the Vixens’ performance. And on the runway, I absolutely loved her emerald look. The way her sleeves played off the silhouette of her sunglasses? A dream. I’m really here for Aimee to run the table this season, and if I were the decider this week, I’d have given her the victory.

1. Aurora Matrix (last week: 4)

That’s not to take anything away from Aurora, who was also great in this week’s challenge. Ultimately, I do think it’s more appropriate that a queen from the obviously superior team took home the win, and Aurora was the best of her group by a good margin. (Though as I said in my recap, if that was going to be the case, I don’t quite understand why the queens weren’t judged in groups.) I didn’t love her runway as much as the judges did—particularly the boots—but I did really like that the dress was hooked on her sunglasses. It kept things interesting, and made for a very memorable look for Aurora’s first trip to the winners’ circle. Congrats to her!

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