Ru Paul's Drag Race Season 8: Predictions After Episode 7
I've finally caught up (more or less) to real time, so BEWARE SPOILERS.
I could not have been more wrong in my previous round of predictions. After I placed Acid Betty #1 after episode four, she was promptly eliminated in the next episode! And, of course, before I put Derrick Barry last, I should have reflected that the next episode would be the Snatch Game, the one challenge in which a professional impressionist would surely excel. (She didn't win, but her flawless Britney certainly didn't hurt her.)
For what little it's worth, here's what I've got after episode seven.
#1: Bob the Drag Queen (previous position: 2; change: +1)
Bob has been consistently funny and great in the last string of episodes. An excellent improviser and, as it turns out, a solid impressionist, Bob had multiple characters to choose from in Snatch Game, and she managed to do what so many of the other queens overlook: actually making jokes in character. Her Wizard of Oz Glinda look was underwhelming, but she knocked it out of the park again in the parody campaign ads. One concern I have is that the comedy and acting parts of the competition may be drawing to a close, with more fashionista stuff to come, which would not play to Bob's strengths. But comedy queens have won before, and given Bob's solid all-around skills, quick wit, and resourcefulness, I don't know that there's a queen in this competition that can touch her.
#2: Kim Chi (previous position: 3; change: +1)
Oh, Kim Chi. She's a brilliant and imaginative costumer--her creations are, at times, almost more puppet rigs than outfits. Every episode I'm terrified this will be the one she goes home, because she's honestly pretty bad at the comedy and acting stuff. She commits and gives it her all, but she has trouble with it. Still, she's charismatic and likeable, and she's managed to hang on so far. If my prediction that the next phase of the competition will be more "fashion-y" is correct, she may be able to soar from here on out.
#3: Naomi Smalls (previous position: 7; change: +4)
I'm as surprised as you are that Naomi is not only still here, but apparently now I'm putting her in the top three? Naomi has hovered at the bottom of my lists so far. By episode four, she struck me in my last check-in as boring and lifeless, and her terrible performance in episode five's Snatch Game didn't change my mind. But she lip-synched her way out of that one, and suddenly turned it around in the Wizard of Oz challenge, bringing home the win with a startlingly fashionista Scarecrow. She followed up that comeback with a confident performance in the political competition. In the first half of the season I wasn't sure what the point of her was, but now I see that she's a fashion queen--which explains why she's here even though she sucked at the comedy stuff. If we are headed into more fashion stuff to come, she could really bring it.
#4: Chi Chi DeVayne (previous rank: 6; change: +2)
I originally put Chi Chi at #4 in my first ranking (after episode 1), so I guess I should have trusted my instincts! Chi Chi is usually at least competent and has her moments of brilliance, but there have been a few missteps, including some less-than-stellar runway looks. She is a very solid performer with a number of strengths, but I feel she has gone about as far as she can go in this competition. Which, granted, is pretty far! Number four ain't bad, but at this point, it's out of five, so…
#5: Derrick Barry (previous rank: 8: change: +3)
Interestingly, I put Derrick Barry #5 in my original ranking, too, which just goes to show that I should trust my instincts. The thing is, after episode 1, I kept expecting her to go home. I'll grant you that she has surprised me positively on a few occasions, including a delightfully game performance as a baby-eating maniac in Bob's campaign ad. But she has also made the biggest blunders of anyone remaining in the competition. Her runway looks have ranged from boring to bad. Her Tin Man was terrible. I don't know if it's her construction skills or her lack of imagination, but the make-it-yourself outfits she's done so far have been pretty terrible, and I feel like it's just going to be more of that from here on out. I'm kind of glad Derrick has made it this far, but I don't feel like we'll be seeing much more of her.