‘Canada’s Drag Race’ Season 4, Episode 6 power ranking: Double trouble

Two queens go home after the lip sync tournament, suddenly leaving us with a final six

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. With two queens suddenly out of the running, we’re now down to a very tight final six.

8. Aimee Yonce Shennel (last week: 5)—ELIMINATED

This week bringing us both a lip sync challenge and a double elimination likely meant Aimee was doomed from the start. Fans were largely dubious of her double shantay versus Nearah Nuff the first time around, and while she did better in their rematch this go-around, there was just no stopping Nearah this week. Aimee was actually pretty good in the final lip sync, but missed some words, and she wasn’t as in command as Kiki Coe was. So with regrets that we’re losing a big character, I can’t deny that this was Aimee’s time to go. We’ll always have Black, gay Jesus who looks like Mike Tyson.

7. Kitten Kaboodle (last week: 2)—ELIMINATED

This is a shocker, even if it’s not really presented as one in the episode. Kitten had not only racked up a win and several high placements, but she also won her lip sync against The Girlfriend Experience in Episode 3 in a walk. I thought she’d be able to survive this. Alas, after losing to Melinda Verga in Round 1 (a closer match-up than expected; Melinda didn’t really start firing on all cylinders until Round 2), it was over. Even in the campaign to Nearah, Kitten took the wrong tack, emphasizing her threat level to someone who has been vocal about wanting to target threats. Who knows if any campaign would’ve successfully swayed Nearah into saving her, but Kitten’s campaign was entirely incorrect. And thus we lose someone who I truly believed had it in her to make it to the very end. It’s a bummer to see her go, but Kitten should be incredibly proud of how she did this season. For the oldest competitor ever, she more than proved that elder queens can dominate Drag Race.

6. Kiki Coe (last week: 7)

Not sure what changed between her first and second lip syncs, but Kiki unlocked something that made her much more effective on “I Will Love Again” than “Uninvited.” She just seemed insincere in comparison to Venus on the Alanis Morisette song, but passionate and in control by contrast on the Lara Fabian track. From my perspective, there was no reasonable argument for anyone but her winning the elimination battle. I am worried about Kiki just immediately going out the door next week, though. A Rusical doesn’t seem like a great fit for her talents, and she’s going up against a crew of queens who just all showed their chops in a performance. Were it a design challenge coming up, I’d say she would be a lock for top five, but as it stands, I think this victory will be a short-lived one.

 

5. Denim (last week: 4)

Denim had a tough time swallowing her bottom placement this week, and I get it: of the first four battles, Denim did the best of any loser. (In fact, I would argue she did better than Melinda and maybe Venus, who both won.) But that’s the hazard of this format: it’s not about outperforming others, it’s about outperforming your one opponent. And Aurora Matrix really screwed her supposed ally over by picking the same song as Denim—particularly when there was another dance-heavy song, “Fever Dreamer,” available to choose. (I don’t blame Aurora for this, though. Be competitive, queen!) Luckily for Denim, her other ally and fellow Love Bug, Nearah, chose to save her with the Golden Beaver. But she still now sits as the only queen in the top six without a win. Fingers crossed she can win a Rusical!

4. Melinda Verga (last week: 1)

A funny result of this format is that Melinda won on her weaker lip sync, but lost on her far stronger effort. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes in a lip sync tournament! Overall I think Melinda did just enough to keep her hot streak going, and her inherent sense of humour and character-based performance style will likely keep her safe in the Rusical as well. With Kitten out of the running, and Kiki facing potential doom next week, I actually think Melinda’s chances of making the final four are looking quite bright. I’d say it’s between her, Nearah and Denim for the last two slots, with Aurora and Venus looking locked. And considering how consistently entertained Melinda has kept the judges, I’d say she’s increasingly looking like a safe bet.

3. Venus (last week: 3)

Venus is currently rocking a 2.83 average in the power rankings, while the presumed other lock for the top four, Aurora, has a 4.33. By contrast, the eventual top two of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Season 5, Michael Marouli and Ginger Johnson, had a 2.67 and 3.00 average ranking, respectively. Granted, we have a couple of episodes still to go before the finale—two, to be exact—and Venus’ ranking could take a tumble on a bottom two or three placement. However, as it stands, Venus is far and away the most consistent competitor of the season. (Only Denim even gets close with a 3.5, and she lacks a maxi-challenge win.) Combined with the narrative focus Venus is getting in basically every episode, even when she doesn’t score in the top, and I don’t see how you argue for anyone else as our frontrunner this season. Venus has got the goods, and I think she’s taking them all the way to the crowning.

2. Aurora Matrix (last week: 8)

Were I on the judges’ panel, I’d have been arguing passionately for Aurora to win this week. She slayed her first two performances on much more dance-heavy numbers, then pivoted into an emotional, raw rendition of “Black Velvet” in the last round. She didn’t quite hit Jujubee levels of greatness on it, but she captured the spirit of the song perfectly. Other than wanting to balance out the field, I don’t get why Nearah ultimately took this victory over her. But Aurora can be comforted by knowing that, between all her performances this week and her dynamite Lip Sync for Your Life last week, she has firmly staked her claim to be one of the strongest lip syncers Canada’s Drag Race has ever seen. It’s gotten to the point that, if she lands in the bottom three again, a queen might want to save her with the Golden Beaver just to avoid giving her more opportunities to impress the judges. She’s that good.

1. Nearah Nuff (last week: 6)

Congratulations to Nearah on her victory! While she wouldn’t have been my personal choice in that final round, there’s no doubting her magnetism as a performer. I loved the note Brooke Lynn Hytes made about her stillness: she really does have the ability to fluidly move from stunt to stunt, then suddenly halt and keep you transfixed on her. I thought her “Pull Up” performance was her best of the day: she and Venus chose such similar approaches to the song, but her technique clearly won out. If I have any concern for Nearah moving forward, it’s that while she was great in all her lip syncs, she demonstrated a lot of the same skills in all of them. If she finds herself in the bottom two again, she may need to pull out some new tricks. But considering what a confidence boost this seems to have given her, she may have the momentum to never find herself in danger again. Suddenly, Nearah looks like a real threat to make it to the finale.

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Culture, Drag Race, Analysis, Drag

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