‘RuPaul’s Drag Race UK’ Season 4, Episode 6 power ranking: ‘You just walk in, I make you smile’

We’re down to a tight top six after Snatch Game

Welcome to RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Power Rankings! Every weekend, we’ll debrief the week’s new episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Season 4 to determine which queens are riding high, and which need she-mergency care. Danny Beard’s sweep was halted nearly as quickly as it began, as another queen scored her first individual win this week.

7. Le Fil (last week: 6)—ELIMINATED

I can’t help but wonder how Le Fil’s Victoria Beckham would’ve gone over relative to his Marie Kondo. To his credit, he explained that playing an Asian character was important to him, and I respect that. However, he admitted he hadn’t done Marie before, and he was very familiar with Posh. Sometimes, a risk like that can pay off, but familiarity with the character is too crucial to forego. On the runway, Le Fil looked as stunning as ever in an avant-garde glamping look. But Le Fil always nails the runway. Like Sminty Drop before him, he eventually hit a point where that wasn’t enough to save him. I’m sad to see him go, but I’ll remain a Le Fillion long after this departure.

6. Black Peppa (last week: 5)

There was basically a botched come-from-behind arc with Peppa this week. She came into Snatch Game discouraged, and got a whole scene with Jonbers Blonde in which JB tried to perk up her spirits. Theoretically, this should’ve led to Peppa defying expectations—but instead, she just bombed as Lil Nas X. All the hangups she had about this challenge did indeed trip her up, and she landed in the bottom two as a result. It’s an odd narrative, to say the least, and it seems more and more like Peppa’s early dominance is not going to resurface in the back half of the season. She’s a great lip syncer—her “Stop” performance was much more focused than Le Fil’s—but I hate seeing her siloed into that role. Still, I can’t deny that her bottom two placement was fair this week. I’m hoping she can gain some momentum back, but she’s running out of time.

5. Pixie Polite (last week: 2)

Pixie’s Shirley Bassey wasn’t so much an error of impersonation or, to use Ru’s terminology, objective, as it was a pure comedic disappointment. She had the right ideas: diamonds, the brassy voice, the reference to “she doesn’t have the range.” But she just couldn’t take that preparation and turn it into actual jokes. She also had a couple of sloppy mistakes (referring to herself as being of “the silver screen”) that Ru called her out on, and she couldn’t recover effectively. Still, it would’ve been silly for her to have to lip sync for this over Peppa and Le Fil, particularly with her super cute drag racer runway look. In fact, I might personally have scored her above the next queen on this list.

 

4. Danny Beard (last week: 1)

Honestly, I think Danny’s past performance was a major factor in her not scoring low this week. Her Cilla Black was all wind-up and no punchlines, and though I appreciated her gender-bendy take on the Tickled Pink runway prompt, we’ve seen much stronger looks from her. She underwhelmed significantly relative to expectations of her going into this challenge, all because she got shaken by Ru’s response to her in the workroom. It was a fascinating display of vulnerability from a queen who has otherwise seemed nigh-invincible. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see if it’s a storyline we see pay off in other ways down the line.

3. Dakota Schiffer (last week: 7)

Ultimately, Dakota’s Pete Burns was just judged safe, and she didn’t have a lot of storyline in this episode. I can’t in good conscience rank her any higher than third as a result. But, reader? I loved her Pete Burns. I enjoyed it upon first go around, and thought it was even funnier on repeat viewing. She had my favourite riff yet on the joke about playing a dead celebrity—“We can still smoke indoors if you’re dead, it’s amazing”—and painted her face to perfection. Most impressive to me is how Dakota just absolutely went for it with this impersonation. There’s been an impression of Dakota that she can sometimes be timid (an impression I’m not sure the challenges actually back up), but there was not one shred of that here. Calling out Michelle Visage’s Strictly Come Dancing vogue routine as “insincere to the point of nausea”? Absurd! Incredible! I get that Dakota’s Pete might not have been the best pure impersonation, but that argument rings hollow when the top two were playing characters that basically couldn’t be impersonated.

The one point I’ll grant is that Dakota’s runway wasn’t the strongest of the week. I liked her cape, but the dress was pretty simple. However, that wouldn’t have changed my scoring: I’d have placed her at worst in the runner-up slot, and might’ve even given her the win. Call me a delusional stan if you must! I’m a Little Schiffer, and I love her.

2. Jonbers Blonde (last week: 3)

Nothing against Jonbers; who did well this week and is clearly on an upswing in the competition. However, I dock some points on my own scorecard for fully abandoning her original idea (Enya, genius choice) for the first thing Ru suggested in St. Patty. It’s a good strategy on her part! Queens who listen to Ru tend to do well! But it’s a little creatively forced for me to personally get too excited about it. More to the point, while she was certainly enthusiastic, I’m not sure the performance was as funny as the edit made it seem. It was a performance that leaned into the accent and silly voice more than anything else. However, this was by far my favourite runway of Jonbers’s yet, as she continues to fine-tune her beat and wore something both delightful and surprising in her showgirl reveal look. There’s no denying that she’s growing—I’m just not sure I’m as ready to crown her the comeback kid as the judges are.

1. Cheddar Gorgeous (last week: 4)

A huge congrats to Cheddar, who knocked it out of the park this week by choosing a character that gave her a ton of room to build. “Horny Queen Elizabeth I” could’ve gotten old quickly, but she did enough in both presentation (the black teeth!) and in performance (the joke about Mary, Queen of Scots, complete with voice change!) to vary things up. And she followed up a great Snatch Game with a runway that was both creative and stood for something: a club kid take on the pink triangle symbol, complete with “SILENCE=DEATH” straps. Cheddar spoke eloquently and passionately in the workroom about the impact on HIV/AIDS on the LGBTQ+ community, and took time to explain U=U—that undetectable equals untransmittable. This has been referenced on the show before, but it’s something that Drag Race can and should use its platform as much as possible to educate about.

This victory gives Cheddar her second RuPeter Badge, tying her with Dakota, and her first solo win. As Danny’s steamroll stops before it can even fully begin, and Peppa’s momentum stalls, could Cheddar be a dark horse to take this whole thing home?

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.

Read More About:
Culture, Drag Race, TV & Film, Analysis, Drag

Keep Reading

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 9’ Episode 2 recap: We’re on each other’s team

As the competition moulds into place, the queens are playing doubles
A collage of AI generated gay male couples. The men are muscular and all look similar. There are four pairs.

Who does queer AI ‘art’ actually represent?

ANALYSIS: Accounts dedicated to queer AI art have popped off, but is there hope for anything beyond “boyfriend twins”?

‘Bird Suit’ is a surreal, lush and devastating portrait of small-town life

Sydney Hegele’s new novel is a queer take on the the genre of southern Ontario gothic literature

‘Stress Positions’ captures the uncomfortable hilarity of millennial loserdom

Writer-director Theda Hammel weighs in on her debut film, modern-day slapstick and the difference between being evil and being a loser