‘Canada’s Drag Race’ Season 4, Episode 5 power ranking: Total knock-out

Where do we stand heading into the next big twist of the season?

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. Yet again, a new queen is topping the charts this week, meaning we’ve got another shake-up of the power rankings.

9. Luna DuBois (last week: 6)—ELIMINATED

I was actually really enjoying Luna in this competition these last couple of weeks—it’s a shame her journey has come to an end. I thought Brooke Lynn Hytes made a very keen observation when she noted Luna is funny, but her sense of humour is so dry that she has to find very specific, smart applications of it. Mary Cosby, a character who (as Jaida Essence Hall wisely noted) is largely based on her expressions for comedy, isn’t going to be effective. Luna went out looking amazing, though, and put up a good fight in the lip sync. She just was going up against someone who was ready to pull out all the stops.

8. Aurora Matrix (last week: 5)

I’ve almost forgotten about Aurora’s underwhelming Snatch Game in the wake of her cool-as-hell runway and dynamite lip sync performance. Honestly, in a non-Golden Beaver ruleset, there’s no chance Aurora would’ve been in the bottom two. Her idea to play Emperor Zhao Bing was just inherently a limited one: she only had so much material and kept repeating jokes. Once you got past the funny visual and character choice, there just wasn’t much there. But her steampunk spider look was a slay, and she really tore it up on the Tate McRae song. I imagine most of this cast will fear going up against her in a lip sync any time soon.

7. Kiki Coe (last week: 1)

Whatever motivated her to save Melinda Verga—her faith in her friend, or Aimee Yonce Shennel’s request to let her face off against Nearah Nuff—it was a decision that wound up paying off in spades. Melinda won the challenge, and saved Kiki a second time in just three episodes. It’s disappointing to see Kiki struggling in basically everything but runway challenges, particularly considering she has experience with challenges like these from her run on Call Me Mother. But her runways are indeed quite great! This week’s steampunk look was a real swerve from her, and she looked fantastic. I just hope she can step it up in other areas, because she has likely used up her Golden Beaver allowance.

6. Nearah Nuff (last week: 9)

She lost the Battle of the Jennifer Coolidges, but not by as bad a margin as I expected going into it. I don’t understand why Nearah was so stubborn about keeping her character, considering when Brooke Lynn asked why she would be the superior, she immediately went to an entirely contradictory reason (being young). She had the voice right, but she lacked the material that Kitten Kaboodle prepared. Everything she said sounded like a faint imitation of something Kitten had already done. On the runway, Nearah’s video game-inspired “Mistress of the Night” look was my favourite of hers yet. I don’t think we’re losing Nearah any time soon, particularly thanks to her lip syncing skills.

 

5. Aimee Yonce Shennel (last week: 8)

Though it’s never my favourite pick when queens go with historical figures for Snatch Game, I think a gay, Black Jesus was an interesting call for Aimee. She became someone for the other queens to bounce off of—as Melinda did, and Luna should have—which means she’d naturally be in the mix more than most. She also wisely used Jesus’ identity more as background than the joke, otherwise just leaning into the character’s flamboyance. She basically pulled out the same playbook as Trinity The Tuck did with Lucifer, but had fewer jokes. A very fair safe placement for Aimee.

4. Denim (last week: 2)

Credit to Denim for both demolishing Reading Is Fundamental and finding a smart way through Snatch Game. I thought she was a dead queen walking in both, considering her previous struggles with comedy and improv challenges. Julia Fox was a really wise character choice because she allowed Denim to lean into what’s already notable about her (particularly the vocal fry). She wasn’t going to be in contention for the win with Julia, but she really needed to prioritize surviving the challenge. On the runway, her “rusted, busted little fairy” look was cute as hell—loved the propeller on her head. Denim’s a savvy queen, but I’m still awaiting her breakout moment.

3. Venus (last week: 4)

While this season has featured queens bouncing all around these power rankings, Venus has stayed securely in the top ranks so far. I credit this to both her competence (she seems generally good at basically every part of Drag Race) and her confidence. The latter comes in handy with something like Snatch Game: Venus’ Joe Exotic wasn’t particularly funny, nor a good impersonation, but as Brad Goreski noted, she found a lot of ways into jokes and banter, which means she made an impression. In a shallow pool of good performances, she stood out.

2. Kitten Kaboodle (last week: 3)

I gotta say, Kitten is really proving to be a force in this competition. She’s found herself at the top of two comedy challenges, winning one, and also a design task. And while she does have a bottom two demerit on her track record, she demonstratively won that lip sync against The Girlfriend Experience. I keep waiting for her age to cause her issues, because Drag Race is so inherently disadvantageous to older queens, but no! Kitten’s actually using her experience as a rallying cry for herself, and made for a strong second place this week as Jennifer Coolidge. I’m so excited for Kitten, and I hope this trajectory continues.

1. Melinda Verga (last week: 7)

What a difference a week makes. Melinda went from wanting to go home (and later saying that, 43 minutes later, she no longer wanted to go home—but don’t you dare tell her she can’t say she wants to go home!) to winning Snatch Game. That’s one hell of a rebound. To be honest, I could still see another breakdown happening at some point, especially now that she has a win under her belt. The fall from grace will be harder when she lands in the bottom again. But outside of another design challenge popping up, I’m not sure I see her landing in the bottom any time soon! She’s quite good at comedy challenges, and she was one of the stronger performers in her group for the girl groups task. Don’t be surprised if we see Melinda make it very deep in this season. Dare I dream she could be a finalist?

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Drag Race, Culture, Analysis, Drag

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