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Warning: We’re about to spoil the results of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 16, Episode 5. Haven’t watched yet? Sashay away while you still can.
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It’s been a roller coaster of a week for Amanda Tori Meating. On Tuesday, the Los Angeles-based queen came out as transgender in a powerful interview. Three days later, she watched herself get eliminated from RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Following Friday’s girl group challenge, RuPaul divided the win between four queens — Geneva Karr, Mhi’ya Iman LePaige, Megami and Nymphia Wind — and announced that everyone else was up for elimination. She then asked the question every queen dreads: Who should go home this week, and why? Amanda and Q received the most name drops, and Ru apparently agreed, making them battle it out to the tune of Icona Pop’s “Emergency.”
It wasn’t a lip sync for the record books, but you could feel how badly they both wanted to win. Unfortunately for them, a double shantay was not in the cards, and Amanda was sent packing. “I really didn’t want to go home with blue s–t on my mouth,” she said on her way out, adding that at least she’s leaving with “sisters for life… except for that one bitch.” Goodness, who ever could she be speaking about?
Despite landing in the bottom this week, Q remains a statistical frontrunner, as you’ll see below in our power ranking of the Season 16 queens, a list we compiled by combining Ru’s judgments and challenge wins. (For the record, we’re only counting maxi challenge wins. Who do you think we are, Loosey LaDuca?)
Read on to see how the queens stack up after Episode 5, then drop a comment with your thoughts on this week’s results. Was Amanda the right one to go? And who are you hoping will win it all?
9. Hershii LiqCour-Jeté
No one wants to go first, but somebody’s got to do it! This Los Angeles-based queen was sent packing after losing her lip sync battle against Geneva Karr to the tune of Ava Max’s “Maybe You’re the Problem.”
The bright side? At least Kornbread “The Snack” Jeté’s drag sister made it all the way to Episode 3, thanks to RuPaul’s no eliminations policy in the two-part premiere. That’s not nothing!
One of the first major Season 16 controversies was the elimination of this Las Vegas queen in Episode 4. Sure, she didn’t know every word (or “not one word,” according to Michelle Visage) of Cher’s “Dark Lady,” but many fans believe that she still out-performed Geneva Karr in that lip sync battle and deserved to stay.
7. Amanda Tori Meating
It was hard not to root for this queen, especially with Plane Jane constantly at her throat. Her elimination in Episode 5 was a bummer, but she’s resilient, and we have a feeling we’ll be seeing a more polished, more confident version of Amanda on a future All Stars season.
6. Xunami Muse, Dawn & Mhi’ya Iman Le’Paige
We’re big fans of these three queens. As Mhi’ya would say in her uncanny Cher voice, “they’re great!” That’s why we’re saying that they all need to step it up. Merely coasting, no matter how fabulously, will not serve them in the long run. They each need to steal their moment in the spotlight, because no one is going to hand it to them.
5. Morphine Love Dion
RuPaul can keep her adrenaline, we’ll take one shot of Morphine please! Equipped with one of the prettiest faces we ever did see, this “all natural” Miami queen has been keeping us gagged with her runway looks and laughing with her confessional takes — a winning combination if you ask us.
4. Geneva Karr & Megami
The wild cards of Season 16, these queens’ trajectories remain surprisingly hard to predict. Geneva began the season on top, then wound up having to lip sync for her life two weeks in a row, only to rebound in Episode 5 as part of the winning group.
Megami has had a more consistent track record in the competition, never dipping but also never soaring. Perhaps with this group win under her belt, she’ll finally break out and show us — as Plane Jane would say — some queer art worth protecting.
At this point, only a handful of queens can possibly rain on Plasma’s parade. She may be a musical theater diva (and she will weaponize her MFA as needed!), but this New York-based queen has proven surprisingly versatile in a short amount of time. Her Rachel Berry-esque drive will certainly get her far in this competition, but can it take her all the way? We can’t wait to see how this turns out.
2. Q & Sapphira Cristál
These queens were Ru-vealed as the first top two of the season, and they’ve both been slaying ever since. Q is singlehandedly making us question whether we even need the other 25 letters in the alphabet, while we’d pay good money for an ounce of the confidence and ferocity that Sapphira brings to quite literally everything she does.
Then again, Q found herself in the bottom this week (and barely avoided elimination!), so it’s important to remember that no queen is ever truly safe until she secures that crown.
1. Plane Jane & Nymphia Wind
East coast represent! As of Episode 5, these Boston- and New York-based queens are officially the frontrunners of Season 16.
Plane may be the human embodiment of “I didn’t come here to make friends,” but regardless of how you feel about her overall shadiness, you can’t say she doesn’t have the goods to back up her words. From her one-of-a-kind runway looks to her extremely quotable confessional commentary, she’s showing the other queens how it’s done. She also seems to “get” how the game is played more than many of the other girls, and it shows.
As for Nymphia, who isn’t going bananas over this gorgeous ball of energy? Not only did she win the mother of all balls this season, but her quirky performances and signature style consistently earn her rave reviews from the judges, not to mention the admiration of her fellow queens. (Come to think of it, can you win the entire season and be named Miss Congeniality? Because…)
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