Welcome to Drag Race Power Rankings! Every Saturday, we’ll debrief the previous night’s new episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 to determine which queens are riding high, and which need she-mergency care. This week, as we do the walk of shame from our post-Snatch Game of Love dates, we deliver to season 6 veteran Gia Gunn her parting words, and check in with the incredibly tight final seven.
8. Gia Gunn — ELIMINATED (last week: 8)
Gia Gunn went out about as sympathetically as you could imagine, opening up about why she defaults to bitchiness as a defense mechanism. Her final heart-to-heart with Manila was a nice moment, as were her final words on the runway. There’s not much use beating a dead horse, so we’ll just remark that her Snatch Game was the clear last-placer of the week, and her elimination came at the fairest possible time.
7. Latrice Royale (last week: 6)
I really didn’t expect Latrice’s first critique on the All Stars 4 stage to be a negative one. Unfortunately, she really let Gia trip her up in the Snatch Game of Love, and got knocked by judge Ross Mathews for losing her usual professional composure. Latrice needs a main challenge win fast, because this is a competitive crop. She doesn’t have much room for underwhelming at this point.
6. Monique Heart (last week: 5)
You could easily swap Monique and Monét this week; they both don’t shine in Snatch Game, and seemingly only barely find their way into the safe middle group. Here’s the thing that separates them, though: Whereas Monét treated being called safe as a blessing — she was cognizant of her poor performance — Monique looked miffed that she wasn’t in the top. Which, girl. You weren’t the worst this week, but you definitely weren’t the best. I have remarkably little patience for Monique’s attitude during critiques, so this was enough to make the difference for me this week.
5. Monét X Change (last week: 4)
Monét should count her blessings that the judges decided to rag on Valentina this week, because from where I’m sitting, she could easily have been in the bottom three — or even bottom two — for her misfire of a Whitney Houston. What’s particularly rough about Monét’s performance is that, of all the queens left, she is the only one to place high in her original Snatch Game. (Seriously, this crop is not great at this challenge: Monique and Gia both went home on their first rounds, while Naomi hit bottom two. Everyone else managed safe at best.) This was Monét’s challenge to win, and she definitively did not.
4. Valentina (last week: 1)
Valentina makes landing in the bottom look good. Her Eartha Kitt wasn’t great, but it was kinda weird and fun in a way I can appreciate. (I do agree with Michelle Visage that Val’s runway was better in concept than execution, though.) Still, it was in the deliberation segment, when Valentina expertly steered Manila away from eliminating her through pure social prowess, where Val really shone brightest. She was born to be an All Star, but she really can’t afford to fall into the bottom again.
3. Naomi Smalls (last week: 3)
I was tempted to knock Naomi out of the top three solely because something about her isn’t clicking with the judges. They keep placing her in the top three, never giving her a win. It’s perplexing, especially when, by my count, her Wendy Williams was easily the second-best performance of the week. She gets ragged on for wearing sandals on the runway instead of boots, but I can’t imagine that was enough to cost her the win. Still, because of her strong performance, and because she’s yet to come anywhere near the problem, the season 8 fashion girl stays in third.
2. Manila Luzon (last week: 7)
Manila served genius runway, killer lip sync, and plenty of drama in the deliberations. What more could we want from her? Well, maybe a better Snatch Game performance; her Barbra Streisand feels like a default winner considering the chaos of her group. That said, Manila really knocks it out of the park this week in general, and makes a fan out of this Manila skeptic. If she keeps this up, the self-described “old bitch” could give the young girls quite a run for their money.
1. Trinity the Tuck (last week: 2)
Is Trinity the Tuck beatable? Maybe not! She’s won two of the three maxi-challenges this season, plus one of the lip syncs. (She also was hardly bad in this lip sync, just outmatched by Manila at her best.) Moreover, she’s striking a note of technical perfection that shows she really prepared for this season. Alaska, BenDeLaCreme, and Shangela all demonstrated similar preparation, and hey, they all did pretty damn well. We’re still in the early days of this season, but I’d place safe money on the Tuck to run the board.