‘Canada’s Drag Race’ Season 4, Episode 2 power ranking: The first elimination

Which queen joins Juice Boxx, Beth and Halal Bae in Canada’s first outs club?

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 have now sent our first queen home, which means we have our first departure on the power rankings.

11. Sisi Superstar (last week: 11)—ELIMINATED

Drag Race was just not the right home for Sisi’s work. She wasn’t the only problem in her manic group—in fact, I liked her kooky declarations of “That’ll do!”—but she became an avatar of sorts for their failure. And not wearing shoes on the runway is so absurd I don’t even know how to get into it. We can argue the merits of not wearing shoes in drag more broadly, but there are established conventions on this show, and it’s bizarre to me to come on and just ignore them. If you do want to take a stand for a change, make it a statement! Do what Venus did with her bulge-focused entrance look and make a point about not tucking! Just walking down the runway in stocking feet and hoping no one will notice is not the same thing. Ultimately, when Sisi said the critiques were taking her back to high school, it was obvious she should go. I’m glad she at least recognized that she shouldn’t campaign for the Golden Beaver, and that she put up a decent fight in the lip sync at the end.

10. Luna DuBois (last week: 8)

I came out of this episode understanding Luna better, thanks to her opening up about why she’s so quiet in Mini-Untucked. However, as effective as her campaign for the Golden Beaver was, I’m ultimately glad she didn’t get it, because she made quite a few errors this week. Most egregious was her gemstone runway look having nothing to do with her gemstone, and instead just using the colour to wear an unrelated catsuit look. As I mentioned last week, engaging with the process of Drag Race is a big part of doing well in it, and while some have been able to flout runway categories and get away with it (looking at you, Willow Pill), it usually requires charisma out the wazoo to sell. Luna, by her own admission, is quite a bit more reserved. That obviously became her undoing in the challenge, too, as she couldn’t improvise along with her group-mates. She failed to impress in either category this week, so it makes sense that she’d have to lip sync. She did a nice job, too—hopefully it’s lit a fire under her ass to kick things up a notch.

 

9. The Girlfriend Experience (last week: 5)

All the love in the world to TGE, who I think is obviously talented, incredibly charismatic and provides a unique point of view in her drag. Unfortunately, I think she really lacks the nerve to compete at this level. While we got some insight from Venus into why she had such an emotional reaction in Mini-Untucked, it was concerning to see her fall apart after what were honestly quite kind critiques of a performance in which she literally stopped talking at a certain point. I think a lot about when Nina Bo’nina Brown started crying during critiques when the judges were being complimentary, and Ross Mathews (remember when he gave insightful and smart notes?) told her she needed to steel herself if she wanted to get through the competition. Drag Race is not an arena that rewards fragility, I fear. That said, her pearl runway was gorgeous, and if she listens to Traci Melchor’s note to look up while walking, she could really be a runway queen this season.

8. Aimee Yonce Shennel (last week: 4)

A quieter episode for Aimee, although she looked gorgeous in her sapphire runway look. (I screamed at Ra’Jah O’Hara’s runway joke: “Semi-Precious, based on the novel Push by Sapphire.”) Aimee was, like most queens, pretty bad during the QV-She challenge, falling off any planned script early and just going as zany as possible. It was actually kind of fun to see her break out of the pageant mold and goof around. But yeah, no, she’s one of the ones Brooke Lynn Hytes was calling lucky that there are only three bottom slots. She could’ve easily been there as well.

7. Kiki Coe (last week: 3)

So could Kiki, who I would say was actually more of a problem during the first group than Sisi was. (But her emerald runway was stunning, at least, so she had that over Sisi.) The makeup choices in particular for her QV-She character were shockingly bad. And of course, their group stopping 10 seconds too early and doing nothing to effectively fill the time was the icing on the cake. Honestly, I’m worried about a lot of these girls for Snatch Game. It could be a historically bad one if the improv skills are this shallow.

6. Nearah Nuff (last week: 9)

As I type this, I keep looking at the six next to Nearah’s name and wanting to rank her lower. No queen managed to be quite as unpleasant to her teammates as Nearah was this week, frequently expressing that she didn’t want to work with them in her confessionals and wishing her “Pretty Girl Corner” friends Venus and TGE would’ve chosen her instead of Aurora Matrix. (Funny how neither Venus nor TGE has mentioned the Pretty Girl Corner, but Nearah has done it twice in two episodes.) But I will give Nearah credit for being the best in her skit. She had the right energy and characterization, just none of the right material. And while I didn’t really like her ruby look on the runway, I liked her hair. That is enough to get her to the middle of the list this week.

5. Denim (last week: 2)

Denim was arguably just as unhelpful as TGE in the challenge, breaking several times and giggling through her group’s failure. Her nearly walking off the set while her teammates tried to stall in the last 10 seconds may have been relatable, but this is a Drag Race challenge! You gotta stick it out! But on the runway, she fully committed to her moonstone look, and had one of the best presentations of the cast. A safe enough performance from Denim in a truly terrible week for the cast.

4. Aurora Matrix (last week: 6)

Aurora is the only other queen who was on the top three’s level this week. She picked up on what Venus was putting down in terms of characterization, and ran with it as the inventor of the Tip Tits. I also thought her runway look, the jade goddess outfit, was among the very best this week. Again, I’m not entirely sure what her trajectory is going to be this season, but I feel better about her chances after this week. She can claim safety during this episode’s group flopping, and that’s a solid badge of honour.

3. Melinda Verga (last week: 10)

She’s a woman on the verge-a, and I’m stanning. Everything about Melinda is just so fun and dynamic, from her eager teamwork with Kitten Kaboodle to her giving herself sound effects during the judging. (The “ber-ber-ber-ber” when Brooke Lynn called her name? Absurd! I love her!) I’m really happy that Melinda not only recovered this week in the challenge, but also mustered a much stronger effort on the runway. As Ra’Jah noted, Melinda could still stand to sell her look more in the face. But that’s some small progress she can make, compared to the mountain it felt she had to climb last week. Great episode for Melinda, and I’m thrilled.

2. Venus (last week: 1)

Venus is having a dream start to her Drag Race journey. Winning the first episode for her looks, and immediately following it up by being a standout in an improv challenge? It’s a great way to show you’re a versatile, talented queen, and that impression sticks with the judges. Not only that, but she got a lot of confessional time in this episode, too. Her stanning Kitten while she and Melinda did their QV-She segment was adorable, and she got to fill in a lot of the gaps regarding TGE’s emotional reaction in Mini-Untucked. Venus is giving main character energy, and I’m a fully committed fan.

1. Kitten Kaboodle (last week: 7)

What a terrific win for Kitten! She absolutely smashed this challenge, understanding exactly what the prompt was and finding all kinds of new ways into her character. Kudos to her for really embracing working with Melinda, because they both really elevated their skit. On the runway, Kitten really smashed it in a tourmaline look. You know the runway is great when it has a big piece like the cape, but is nonetheless stunning with or without it. The body is here, and her name is Kitten! I’m really excited to see all that Kitten has to show this season, and it’s great to see her recognized right out of the gate.

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