Fifteen queens entered the workroom of RuPaul’s Drag Race this season to compete for the crown. But which one will walk away victorious? Each week, Billboard will rank each of the remaining queens based on their performances on the show to determine who has the best shot at the crown. Follow Billboard Pride on Twitter and Facebook for updated leaderboards each week.
Last week, the queens performed in their very own televangelist-style talk shows based around their favorite pop divas. Nina West earned her first win for her performance and leadership on the Britney Spear team. In a surprising turn, all 6 of the queens on the Mariah Carey team ended up lip syncing, with Honey Davenport getting the chop.
On Friday, the queens will be performing in a lip-sync musical called Trump: The Rusical.
12. Mercedes Iman Diamond (last week: 13)
We live for Ms. Mercedes, but had it not been for RuPaul’s big twist, this queen would likely have found herself in the bottom last week. Her performance in the challenge felt like a struggle (especially when compared to her segment’s co-stars Vanessa Vanjie Mateo and Yvie Oddly), and her runway look lacked the pizzaz that we’ve come to expect. This week is her chance to step up her game.
11. Ra’Jah O’Hara (last week: 11)
As the queen in charge of the Mariah Carey team, Ra’Jah led her team down this path. Her performance in the challenge was better than others, but the judges were not living for the queens fringe runway, calling it basic. Ms. O’Hara has oodles of talents, we’re just hoping to see that on the show before it’s too late.
10. Plastique Tiara (last week: 1)
In just one week, Plastique went from being a frontrunner in the competition to being dangerously close to going home. From her lack of knowledge about Mariah Carey (seriously, she called Mariah’s movie “Sparkle” instead of Glitter) to her bizarre acting choices (lest we remind you of “ARIANA GRANDE”), Plastique could have been the queen sent home had it not been for her clean track record and a well-executed lip sync.
9. Scarlet Envy (last week: 3)
After seeing her hilarious performance in Good God Girl, Get Out, we had high expectations for Scarlet Envy in another acting challenge. Unfortunately, the queen’s performance lacked the stage presence and the humor she so plainly displayed the week before. We’ve seen what Scarlet is capable of — it’s time she turns out her performance and makes the other girls green with Envy.
8. Shuga Cain (last week: 6)
Compared to her fellow teammates, Shuga Cain did a serviceable job. Her performance in the challenge still lacked confidence and consistency, but her tribute to her Native American heritage on the runway was excellent. If Shuga can manage to make herself stand out in this week’s lip sync challenge, she will be headed on the road to the top.
7. Silky Nutmeg Ganache (last week: 10)
Silky needs to have a conversation with Maren Morris, because she seems to be stuck in “The Middle.” She gave us church lady realness in last week’s challenge, and her runway look was decent, but she can’t seem to find a way to make it into the top — this is her third week in a row with a “safe” critique. Hopefully she gives us a little more this week so she can find herself with a win under her belt.
6. A’Keria C. Davenport (last week: 4)
If anyone should have been exempt from Ru’s six-way lip sync deathmatch, it was A’Keria C. Davenport. Of the performers in the Mariah group, she was the one who managed to deliver her comedy correctly (although we would have loved to see her Ariana-stan character sporting the star’s iconic high pony). Her runway was one of the best of the week, and her lip sync was great. She may have been in the bottom, but we’re confident that Ms. Davenport will be finding herself back on top soon.
5. Ariel Versace (last week: 12)
Good on you, Ms. Versace! After her fiasco in last week’s acting challenge, Ariel clearly took the time to make sure her performance was on point for last week, teaming up with Silky to deliver a hilarious church choir performance. If Ariel can keep this momentum moving, then she could have a shot at donning that crown at the end of the season.
4. Brooke Lynn Hytes (last week: 7)
In comedy, sometimes the best thing you can do is give your partner the space to shine. That’s exactly what Brooke Lynn did in her acting challenge last week — as Nina West’s co-host, Brooke Lynn nailed her funny lines, but also gave Nina plenty of moments to shine, highlighting the pair’s teamwork and preparation. Paired with her adorable floral fringe on the runway, Brooke Lynn managed to both stand out and play it safe last week.
3. Yvie Oddly (last week: 2)
The weird is still wonderful with Yvie Oddly. While her performance may not have been as strong as her evil villainess from the week before, she still turned out a funny performance as the gothic non-believer, and her jellyfish-inspired runway look was both insane and incredible. You better work, Ms. Oddly.
2. Nina West (last week: 8)
Finally, Nina West is claiming her spot as a frontrunner on Drag Race. After a difficult first week and a passable second, West proved that the third time’s the charm, impressing the judges with her leadership and presence on the Britney Spears team. More performances like this would give Nina a one-way ticket to the finale, and we’re hoping she delivers.
1.Vanessa Vanjie Mateo (last week: 5)
Bringing back Vanessa Vanjie Mateo may have been the greatest decision RuPaul ever made. Her runway look was slick and polished, but it’s really Vanjie’s performance as a minister at the Church of Britney that had us gagging. Vanjie is on fire, and we’re hoping that flame never dies out.