‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 6’ Episode 3 power ranking: Hustle culture

Personal growth in her polish and confidence helps one queen’s rise to the top

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. A side-hustle commercial challenge gets judged in teams, leading to some strange placements. But in the power ranking, the winners of the week are clear.

11. Silky Nutmeg Ganache (last week: 11) — ELIMINATED

This elimination was really sad, in a way I didn’t expect it to be. Hearing how the reception to her Season 11 performance affected her made Silky’s hesitance this season understandable. But in being cautious about her reputation, she also lost the spark that RuPaul responded to most in her original season. All Stars is an incredibly difficult gambit—not only are you playing for the crown again, you’re also playing against perceptions of you from your original season. Unlike one of her Season 11 sisters, that obstacle proved insurmountable for Silky.

That said, I do think her elimination was fair. She was just okay in the commercial, with a couple of funny moments but none that helped her stand out, and her Rudemption Runway had no real relationship to the look she was making over. Combined with her lackluster looks in the Blue Ball and her low performance in the variety show, she clearly wasn’t performing at the level she needed to. I wish her luck in the game-within-a-game—if she can pull out that fire again, she might be able to fight for a spot back in the competition.

10. A’keria C. Davenport (last week: 10)

This is not the trajectory I wanted for A’keria in All Stars. She’s been looking great on the main stage, and I actually liked her in her commercial this week, but she struggled too much with her lines in rehearsal for the judges not to take that into consideration. That’s one flaw of Drag Race we don’t talk about enough: you’re held accountable for what you do in the creative process just as much as you are for the final product. It’s an unfair expectation of perfection throughout the competition. And if A’keria is already getting that kind of edit just three episodes in, I worry about her ability to bounce back and gain momentum. Right now, I’d say she’s looking like a fairly obvious next boot.

9. Jan (last week: 9)

God, just flash a sign that says “WE ARE TRYING TO MAKE JAN BREAK AND BE THE VILLAIN.” It’d be less obvious than this. I can’t support the belief (espoused, most notably, by Bob the Drag Queen, Manila Luzon and Trixie Mattel on the first two episodes of The Pit Stop) that Jan has been robbed. (I’m still of the firm belief that Ra’Jah O’Hara deserved both wins.) I also believe Jan deserved a bottom slot this week, even if it wasn’t fully in the bottom four. But I do agree that her placements have clearly been an attempt to push her toward a big reaction. That “Next Time On…” preview showing Jan objecting to her bottom placement—and the queens roasting her for it—is an omen that she’s getting an unfavourable edit. 

 

Funny enough, I actually think that bodes well for her longevity: All Stars needs antagonists. But everything we’ve seen so far is a pretty clear indicator that Jan is not winning the competition—once again, production seems to have other plans. I’d love to be proven wrong. Next week seems to be the Rusical; perhaps she can get her Rudemption then?

8. Kylie Sonique Love (last week: 2)

This was an interesting week for Kylie.Her choice to Rudeem her Snatch Game look as Lady Gaga was interesting, because it required her to use Lady Gaga as an inspiration for a new look of her own. The result was quite cute, but I’m not sure how well it worked as a Rudemption. She was okay in her commercial, low-key but competent. The fact that she got “step it up personality-wise” critiques indicates that we’re in for either a story in which Kylie comes out of her box or fails to do so and goes home for it. She’s my favourite to take it all, so I’m hoping it’s the former. 

7. Scarlet Envy (last week: 7)

Like with Jan, popular opinion seems to be that Scarlet deserved top placements the previous two episodes. I agree with that more than I do with Jan’s placements. I’d definitely have put Scarlet in the third top slot for her bubble burlesque over Pandora Boxx. But this week—save for an absolutely stunning rework of her entrance look (maybe my favourite runway of the week?)—she once again faded into the background. She was good in the Exorcise Queens sketch, but got overshadowed by Eureka!. I’m just not sure this kind of quiet, high-level work is going to be what helps Scarlet break out. She needs a big, flashy moment.

6. Ginger Minj (last week: 3)

I actually found myself bristling a bit at Ginger’s confidence that she would have been in the top this week if the challenge hadn’t been judged in teams. For one, that’s a bit of a stretch. I would argue almost all of the winning team did better than she did (and her rework of her Future of Drag runway was a mess). For another, it implies that Ginger is being held back by her fellow queens, and that she’d be winning without them. That’s a poor approach to a team challenge, especially from someone who thrived in team challenges during her season. (Two of her three maxi-challenge wins came while working with at least one other queen.)

I don’t think it’s overstating things to say that Ginger was a favourite walking into this competition. She got very close to the win in Season 7, and her All Stars 2 elimination was a break from judging tradition on Alyssa Edwards’ part to save Katya. She has the underdog storyline and the skills to get to the end, but she hasn’t won anything except the Reading Challenge, and her runways are proving to belackluster. If she continues at this rate, I wouldn’t be shocked to see her fall short of pre-season predictions.

5. Eureka! (last week: 5)

They did a great job in their commercial as an exorcised client-turned-employee. Eureka! really goes for it as a performer, which is always going to benefit them in Drag Race’s acting challenges. It’s not necessarily about precision, but about commitment. However, I found their rework of their Season 9 faux fur look pretty underwhelming. I’d argue it was the only one that was actually a downgrade from the original (at least their original look had some personality to it). They’re clearly still in the judges’ good graces, and I can’t imagine that changing for a while, but I’d like to see them more consistently raise the bar from their Season 10 performance.

4. Pandora Boxx (last week: 6)

Pandora remains mostly invisible in the edit, but she did a really nice job co-ordinating her team. She was effectively the captain of the ship, and she had exactly the right vision for the commercial. Even the tagline (“Fix it, bitch!”) was the right choice for a challenge like this. Her rework of her Team Unity runway didn’t quite work for me—it was a lovely dress, but other than the colour scheme, I didn’t see much of a resemblance to the original garment. Overall, I’d say Pandora is doing just what she needs to in order to stay safe to high in the rankings, but she’s still lacking that breakout moment she needs to secure her first win.

3. Yara Sofia (last week: 4)

Yara, more than anyone other than Ra’Jah, feels like the star of All Stars 6. She has been heavily featured in the edit for all three episodes, and immediately bounced out of her bottom two appearance last episode with another high this week. She’s also playing the game in a way no one else is, appreciating strategy and attempting to execute it herself. She’s also upped her fashion, despite already being pretty stunning on the runway in Season 3 and All Stars 1. The biggest and best thing she has going for her is that RuPaul is a huge fan; he and the judges find her hilarious. But as we saw with Silky’s elimination this week, that isn’t always enough protection. All Stars is a game where your fate is not completely in Ru’s hands, and I do think Yara’s relationship building with other contestants is going to be important from here on out.

2. Ra’Jah O’Hara (last week: 1)

I appreciated hearing Ra’Jah share her feelings about Silky and A’keria in Untucked; she has such love for her Season 11 sisters, but she also understands that this is a game, and she’s going to be expected to make difficult choices. Of all the queens this season, Ra’Jah seems to be coming into the competition with the most realistic expectations of what the experience will be, and with the confidence to achieve the goals she’s set out for herself.

Case in point: her performance in the Fix-It Bitch ad. She wasn’t the star, but she was a very smart, strong player who helped her team do the best they could. Her reworked Farm to Runway look was an absolute stunner as well. Her track record this season is two high placements and a win—and she’s the only one to win her Lip Sync for Your Legacy so far. She remains the frontrunner, even if she wasn’t in the spotlight this week.

1. Trinity K. Bonet (last week: 8)

This is what I have been hoping to see from Trinity! She’s clearly grown a ton as a person since her original season, but I was eager to see her demonstrate how that growth has translated into her performance. Turns out, it took a challenge that she struggled with the first time around to give her a chance to shine. Her comic timing in the Fix-It Bitch sketch was top-tier, and her small bits of business had me cackling. She also looked positively stunning on the runway in a reworked version of her promo look, and she held her own against a hurricane of a lip-syncer.

I think because she didn’t get positive critiques before her win—and because she lost her lip sync to Laganja Estranja—there’s a slight muted feeling to her victory this week. The same thing happened with Jujubee last season. But it’s nonetheless a thrill to see Trinity finally take home a win. Hopefully it’s onwards and upwards for her in this competition, because she deserves to keep the momentum going.

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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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