‘Canada’s Drag Race’ Season 4, Episode 8 power ranking: The Final 4 of Season 4

Who will be Canada’s Next Drag Superstar?

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. We’re down to our final four queens, and the finale is next week. Who’s taking home this crown?

5. Melinda Verga (last week: 4)—ELIMINATED

Fans knew Melinda surviving a makeover challenge was a tall order—love her to bits, but her mug isn’t her strongest attribute—and surviving a lip sync against resident assassin Nearah Nuff only added to the difficulty level. Truthfully, Melinda winning this season was a long-shot, so there’s almost some benefit to her being in the fifth-place-robbed slot instead of as a losing finalist. But it is hard to swallow that after the season she and Canada’s Drag Race have both had, she won’t be representing in the finale.

With some time and development in her drag, I truly think Melinda could come back to Drag Race and take it by storm. She reminds me of Mo Heart in a lot of ways: infinitely watchable, tons of raw star power, but came on the show still needing some refining before the big leagues. If she can level up in the way Mo did, I could easily see her going all the way next time around. One request, though: World of Wonder, put Melinda on a RuPaul-hosted series. Ru deserves to know about this legend in the making.

4. Nearah Nuff (last week: 3)

Owing to a quirk of the challenge schedule, Nearah basically made it through the entire back half of the competition on her lip-syncing skill. She got her maxi-challenge win by winning the lip sync smackdown, she picked a part she could comfortably perform well in last week’s non-live Rusical, and now she’s beaten Melinda in one last Lip Sync for Your Life to make it to the finale. I give her props for doing what other queens could not—it was about a decade ago that Alyssa Edwards pledged she would make it to the finale solely on her lip-syncing skills. (She, of course, did not.) And it’s not that she did especially poorly in any other challenges; her one other trip to the bottom two before this makeover was because she talked herself into the bottom two with Aimee Yoncé Shennel.

But because Nearah has really only stood out because of one skill set, her chances of winning next week are basically nil. This is why I ultimately would’ve preferred Melinda in the finale, even though Nearah did win the “I Didn’t Just Come Here to Dance” lip sync fair and square. Venus and especially Aurora Matrix are great lip syncers. We have lots of strong representation of that skill in the finale. With Melinda missing out—and, not coincidentally, the only non-Love Bug left going home—the final four just feels a bit less dynamic than it could. Still, like I said, she won this battle outright. Nearah earned her place in the finale.

 

3. Aurora Matrix (last week: 1)

Aurora is walking into the finale with the best track record of the final four when it comes to wins, but notably has one more bottom-two placement than her closest rival, Venus (who has none). On classic American Drag Race, this would be bad news for Aurora—but on Canada’s Drag Race, it’s actually quite promising. Priyanka, Icesis Couture and Gisèle Lullaby have all won with two maxi-challenge wins and at least one trip to the bottom two. Aurora’s report card looks a lot more like theirs than Venus’ does.

But, of course, decisions are not made based on report cards. Increasingly, Drag Race as a whole has been getting more blatant with their winners’ edits, and I would say Venus has a stronger one of these two. Still, I can’t shake the feeling that I’m missing the forest for the trees here. Aurora would be a strong winner, and you know that if she’s indeed in the final two or three, she’s going to destroy the lip sync. But how much does that matter, really? Don’t mind me, I’m just talking to myself here. Let’s wrap this up in Venus’ write-up.

2. Venus (last week: 2)

At the end of the day, this isn’t an Icesis vs. Pythia situation. Those two had drastically different drag styles—though they shared a love of design challenges—and Canada’s Drag Race was still a young show, so it was hard to tell exactly how the decision was going to go. We know more now, theoretically, but do we? I would’ve guessed Jada Shada Hudson would win last season thanks to how much the narrative focused on her. So am I falling into the same trap with Venus, thinking that number of confessionals equals who’s going to win it all? That certainly didn’t work for Miss Fiercalicious last season—so maybe I’m wrong for thinking about this as a binary choice, and it will be someone else entirely?

At the end of the day, I have to stick with my gut, which is also what I would personally prefer: I want Venus to win this season, and I think she will win this season. She is a star who has demonstrated proficiency in basically every lane that Drag Race offers (though perhaps not design). Her one maxi-challenge win may feel distant, but she’s consistently scored in the top since the premiere. And she’s produced my favourite runway looks consistently all season long, most especially the flower look last week. I’ll totally understand if Aurora pulls this out, but in my heart of hearts, I know who I want it to be. To quote an old song, “She’s got it—yeah, baby, she’s got it.”

1. Denim (last week: 5)

I’d like to think Denim has a chance at an upset here, but she’s been dealt a rough hand. Yes, she picked up her first maxi-challenge win this week, and got some other high scores along the way. But the fan base seems very divided on her, for reasons both legitimate (I would argue her track record was a bit inflated along the way, particularly with that girl group high placement) and not (if I read one more post about Denim pulling some kind of “card” to justify her spot on the show, I’ll scream). The common thread among all the Canada’s Drag Race winners so far—and I include Canada vs. The World here—is that even if they weren’t the absolute fan favourite, they were generally respected by viewers. I’m not sure Denim will get enough audience support to win.

That said, I am glad she got this win—she really smashed this challenge—and I’m glad she’ll be in the finale. Denim has been a major character this season, has produced some of the most interesting and inventive drag on the runway and has represented herself well throughout the process. She may not be my pick to win it all, but this season wouldn’t feel quite the same without her in the endgame.

Read More About:
Culture, Drag Race, Analysis, Drag

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