‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 6’ Episode 10 power ranking: Gamers within gamers

Reconsidering the eliminated queens after they lip-synced for the chance to return

Welcome to RuPaul’s Drag Race Power Rankings! Every Friday, we’ll debrief the week’s new episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 6 to determine which queens are riding high, and which need she-mergency care. This week, we get to stroll down memory lane with the eliminated queens and see how they measure up against one another in the game-within-a-game.

N/A. A’keria C. Davenport (last placement: 8)

I imagine there will be very split feelings about A’keria choosing not to return. Any time a queen takes herself out in a nontraditional manner, be it Adore Delano quitting All Stars 2 or BenDeLaCreme eliminating herself in All Stars 3, there’s controversy. But like the late, great Chi Chi DeVayne before her, A’keria decided that she got what she needed from All Stars. Like DeLa, she didn’t particularly want to play the game anymore. She left on her own terms based on what was healthiest for her, like Adore. And I have to salute that.

It can be tough to remember this—and I’m guilty of it at times—but there’s a whole wide world of drag outside of the workroom’s sugar walls. A’keria said she wants to take what she’s learned from All Stars and apply it to what’s next in her life. That’s not about another season, or a return stint as a Lip Sync Assassin or what have you. That’s about A’keria seeing All Stars as an event that happened to her in her greater story, and knowing that there’s more for her beyond this. It’s a bold, remarkably self-reflective position to take on a reality show. I’m incredibly happy for A’keria that she got to go out in the way she wanted to, and I remain as big a fan as ever.

8. Serena ChaCha (last placement: 13)

You know, I might’ve given Serena the win in her lip sync against Jiggly Caliente. Yes, Jiggly had the split stunt, and it was the only major moment of the lip sync. But Serena was high energy throughout, and had a smart reveal to boot. I think she would’ve inevitably lost to Silky Nutmeg Ganache anyway after “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” but still. It does feel like, in a season full of queens who got to change their stories from their previous Drag Race stints (think Ra’Jah O’Hara and Kylie Sonique Love), Serena was never really given the chance. That’s gotta be tough, to feel like no matter what you do, you’re just not seen as a viable competitor. Justice for Serena!

 

7. Yara Sofia (last placement: 10)

This was kind of a quiet note for Yara’s three-season journey on Drag Race to end on, no? No question to me that she lost her lip sync. Playing her pussy as a guitar was fun, but it lasted a bit too long and didn’t allow for the variation of Silky’s performance. But whereas a queen like Pandora Boxx got a long, proper tribute, it felt like Yara was quickly shuffled off the stage. A two-time All Star and an OG fourth-placer deserved more. 

So let me say: it was so much fun to see Yara a third time, especially on her own and without being paired with Alexis Mateo. She is a firecracker of a queen, a seemingly endless fount of energy and someone who doesn’t get as much credit as she deserves for turning looks on the runway. Like Ginger Minj, I miss her, and I think as great as All Stars 6 has been, it could have used even more Yara.

6. Scarlet Envy (last placement: 9)

Scarlet held her own in her lip sync to Cher’s “Song for the Lonely,” and was basically evenly matched with Silky until the latter pulled out her flag. I’m guessing there will be some dissent about Silky’s use of so many props, but as long as they were within the rules, I have no problem with her having them. And while I thought Scarlet did well, I don’t think she would’ve won if Silky hadn’t had the flag. What the prop did was gave Silky’s performance some peaks and valleys, while Scarlet was mostly at the same level throughout. She looked very sad to be leaving again, but Scarlet can take comfort that there will be plenty of fans wanting to reconsider her performance this season for years to come.

5. Jiggly Caliente (last placement: 12)

Jiggly was the only other queen besides Silky to actually win a lip sync in this episode, and while I may quibble with the decision, that’s worth at least a fifth-place spot in this ranking. Ru clearly has a lot of love for Jiggly, and in another universe, I could’ve seen her being the one to make an improbable run. She clearly had some cute plans, like using her signature lollipop from the Season 4 entrances as a mic during her “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” lip sync. And I loved her banter with Silky about being two big girls wearing animal print. Unfortunately, this wasn’t Jiggly’s game-within-a-game to win, but I’m glad we got a bit of extra time with her.

4. Pandora Boxx (last placement: 6)

Well all right, Pandora! Not only did Pandora keep up much better than expected during the lip sync to Ariana Grande’s “Focus,” she also looked positively stunning on the main stage. It was the most beautiful she’s ever looked on Drag Race. She didn’t do quite enough to beat out Silky, but it was a great performance nonetheless, and she got a lovely final tribute from Ru before her elimination. As mentioned when she was first eliminated, Pandora maybe doesn’t get enough credit for being a trailblazer on this show. So for her final performance to be a surprise, and to go out looking as gorgeous as she did—that’s a much more fitting final hour than losing Snatch Game. Goodbye to a legend.

3. Jan (last placement: 7)

Of all of Silky’s wins, the only one I outright disagree with is her victory over Jan to “Heartbreaker.” Jan rocked the fuck out of this Pat Benatar song, headbanging and air-guitaring with the best of them. Most impressively, though, she shed the nice girl persona once and for all, and really emotionally committed to the song. She wasn’t afraid to go dark, even looking pissed from the second she walked out onto the stage. 

Silky’s guitar prop helped her stand out, but even with that, I think Jan won this one. I’m not sure if it would have changed what I’m guessing will be the overall result, considering what Eureka! did on “Since U Been Gone,” but I do think Jan deserved this victory. 

And I hope she takes this performance as a sign of a potential future direction of her drag! I’ve said it a few times, but dark and spooky really works for Jan. If she leans into her Dark Jan side, I think she could really surprise us with her drag—be it on another season or in her career. She’s such a talent, and I believe she has more to show—she just needs to adjust the temperature.

2. Eureka! (last placement: 5)

All the credit in the world to Eureka! for bouncing back after their elimination and fighting hard for the win. That’s something no one else on this list had to do—they all had at least a day or two to prepare for their performance. I think that may be why, at least for the first half of the song, we saw Eureka! largely rely on their signature moves. But the back half of the performance, in which Eureka! got emotive, is really where they came through. This was clearly a personal, passionate lip sync from Eureka!, fueled by their love for their dearly departed mother. I was really touched by their performance, and while they didn’t have to win as much as Silky, I will fully understand if they come back into the competition next week.

1. Silky Nutmeg Ganache (last placement: 11)

All hail Silky Nutmeg Ganache, the lip sync guru. After winning six lip syncs in varying styles with different reveals and props, and even performing solo, never again can you say she was not motherfucking ready to do so. She was ferocious this week, tearing into every song with creativity and fire. She gave us the spark she had in Season 11, with a fresh perspective on what’s possible in this lip sync format. 

Sure, she used plenty of props and reveals. But with the exception of her “Since U Been Gone” performance, every single one was used cleverly. Doing both the boy and girl parts of “Barbie Girl”? Hilarious! Pulling out a full bar to make herself a drink during “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”? A blast! Using a guitar prop during “Heartbreaker” and smashing it at the end? Rock on!

Silky reminded us of one of the most important things about drag: it’s not about rules or regulations as to what one should do, it’s about having a blast and finding new ways to entertain. Even if Silky doesn’t return, I’m coming out of this episode  in awe of her fight. For her preparation, her drive to win and her making this one of the most enjoyable Drag Race episodes in years, Rudemption is just the start of what she deserves.

Kevin O’Keeffe is a writer, host, instructor, and RuPaul’s Drag Race herstorian living in Los Angeles, California. His favourite pastime is watching a perfect lip sync.

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Culture, Drag Race, TV & Film, Analysis

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