Welcome to RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Power Rankings! Every week, we’ll debrief the week’s new episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Season 5 to determine which queens are riding high, and which need she-mergency care. We’re down to a top five, but with three RuPeter badge winners already sent home, what does the competition really look like for the crown?
6. Cara Melle (last week: 5)—ELIMINATED
Genuinely a shocker to see both of our premiere episode top two sent home back-to-back outside of the final five. I thought Cara in particular was a lock for the endgame. But after her strong start, the American queen began to struggle in comedy and acting challenges, and had a just-okay performance this week at the worst possible time. Colour me somewhat surprised she wasn’t sent home by flatmate Tomara Thomas, since that seemed to be where the storyline was going all season long. But against Michael Marouli, and while forgetting key words in and slipping around during the lip sync, Cara’s demise was the obvious result. I know I keep saying it feels like we’ll see the eliminated queens on a future season, but it really does seem like a gimme to have her competing with Americans on a vs. The World some day.
5. Michael Marouli (last week: 3)
I’ll admit, I’m more worried about Michael than I thought I would be at this point. With just one win—and a shared win at that—under her belt, while Ginger Johnson racks up RuPeter Badges like there’s no tomorrow, it does feel like Michael has fallen behind in the competition. Not only that, but DeDeLicious is proving to be a real survivor in this competition, Kate Butch just scored her first win, and Tomara remains one of the stars of the show. Michael didn’t do anything wrong this week, really; competition was just incredibly tight across the board. But her racking up a bottom two placement when her rivals are revving up has me worried that Michael might fall short of the finale.
4. DeDeLicious (last week: 6)
I was pretty impressed with DeDe this week. That rehearsal, with DeDe and Tomara forgetting lines, had me worried—more so for DeDe, since Tomara seems to have the ability to crack Ru up by doing just about anything. But by leaning into the physical comedy, DeDe unlocked something new in herself as a performer. She gave what was by far her funniest challenge performance yet, and followed it up on the runway with an unexpected (if a bit tempered) stuffed animal look. DeDe managed to avoid the bottom this week, and if she can turn this into some real momentum and snatch a win next week? We might be looking at a thoroughly unexpected endgame.
3. Tomara Thomas (last week: 2)
I still very much enjoy Tomara as a confessional and werk room presence on the show, but I do think she’s getting some passes on her actual work in the challenges and on the runways because of her personality. For Ru, to paraphrase a former iconic Drag Race villain, it’s okay ’cause she’s Tomara. She was good in her sketch this week, though I somewhat preferred the physical comedy of DeDe’s performance. On the runway, though, while Tomara’s face and wig looked great, her bodysuit covered in teddy bears was just that: a bodysuit covered in teddy bears. It would be really interesting to see Tomara pull out a genuinely gorgeous, surprising gown, or an avant-garde look—just something that isn’t what we’ve seen from her repeatedly. As it stands, I think she’s coasting a bit.
2. Ginger Johnson (last week: 1)
Ginger is absolutely not coasting, and may just be able to dominate her way to season’s end. I cackled when Tomara cried out in disbelief that Ginger does puppetry in her acts during the mini-challenge—because, as Tomara said, of course she does. Ginger came in ludicrously well-prepared for Drag Race, in a way that recalls BenDeLaCreme on All Stars 3. And that was after Ben had already done this once! Sure, Ginger’s runways are a little *Beyoncé “Alien Superstar” voice* “unique.” But they seem to always get a fun reaction out of the judges. I dunno, I just don’t really see a way at this point, with only two maxi-challenges to go, that Ginger isn’t in the finale with the best shot of winning.
1. Kate Butch (last week: 4)
Congratulations to Kate! It’s rare for a queen to get her first win this far into the competition, and I was beginning to worry she was out of luck. Snatch Game felt like her last real chance, and despite her protestations that she was in the top three, the judges seemed pretty mixed on her. Their enthusiastic response this week—to both her acting challenge performance and the runway!—signals a new era for Kate. I’m not sure she realistically has a chance to win, barring an incredible win run at the end of the season. (And with all due respect, I don’t see Kate being able to win a makeover challenge.) But she’s finally gotten the validation she’s wanted all season that, yes, Kate is damn good at Drag Race. And I’m excited to see her journey to its conclusion.