Tops and Bottoms: Power Ranking ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Episode 3 — RECAP


Before the main challenge, the two groups of contestants meet for the first time, and there's enough tension to cut with a Texas chainsaw. For the mini-challenge, Ru instructs the girls to pair up with a girl they haven't met yet for bikini beach lip synch with a twist: The two queens will perform as one. For each pair, there's a "top" who straddles her partner and works her upper body, while the bottom moves her legs. It looks ridiculous (especially the BenDeLaCreme and Darienne Lake pairing), but it's a lot of fun.

Milk and Adore Delano are declared winners and team captains for the main challenge. The girls will be split into two teams, with one creating a short 1960s horror film and the other utilizing a 1980s setting. The captains' team choice aligns precisely with whichever queens they competed with in their first challenge. So, Milk's 1960s team includes Bianca, Courtney, Darienne, Joslyn and Trinity, while Adore's is composed of Laganja, Vivacious, April, Ben and Gia.

Things for Adore's team do not go well. Let's break down where things went right (and wrong) for all the girls.

This Week's Power Rankings: 

Bdr1. Once again, Bianca Del Rio is the total top. Her performance in Scream Queens was easily the most convincing (if not as flashy as Darienne's), and her runway look perfectly captured her old-school Hollywood glamour aesthetic. It's not quite as kitschy as BenDeLaCreme, but there's enough of a vision there to make everything feel fully realized. Plus, I love the way she does her eye makeup. Seriously, can we just skip the whole season and give Bianca her own show?

2. Speaking of BenDeLaCreme, she continues to be a strong contender. Despite coming in with the most developed character, she was able to slip effortlessly into the necessary role for the challenge. Then, when it was time to be DeLa again, her runway look was adorable and every skip in her step fit the character perfectly.


3. As the judges said, if Ben was on the winning team, she would have claimed the top spot. Instead, Darienne Lake took the honor. She was great as the head in the box, but I thought her best look was a little disappointing. I love me a cape, too, but I thought she just looked like a foil-wrapped baked potato. Compared to the creative queens she's up against, it'll take more than hair, sparkles and lashes. To borrow a reality competition judge cliché, I'm still not sure who Darienne is yet.

Pinocchiuo4. I haven't soured to Milk (and I've only just begun to mine the dairy jokes this season, just you wait), but I wasn't nearly as enamored with her this episode. The Pinocchio-inspired runway look was fantastic, but her main challenge performance was just OK. I did like her commitment to the mini-challenge, which she won, as she bounced Adore Delano around vigorously.

Courtney5. Courtney Act is still pretty. So very, very pretty. OK, fine, her performance was good, too. But, come on, she's just so pretty. I know that won't carry her forever, but, for now, that's enough for me.

6. I can't shake the feeling that Joslyn is a lot smarter than she looks. Her performance in the test shoot — reading her "gasp" cue aloud — was nicely played. The runway outfit just left me wanting. Give me glamour, give me avant-garde, give me body-ody-ody. I just wish she'd have pushed it further in any direction.

7. What was Laganja doing during this challenge? What was that accent? The little time we did spend with Ms. Estranja was, as Bianca so accurately described, "irritating." This is totally subjective, but something about that girl just gets on my last nerve. Still, her runway look, which the judges called "young Maggie Smith," was a showstopper. In the challenges, Estranja is great, she's just got to take all that "personality" down a few notches.

8. Adore has the opposite problem. She's hilarious in interviews and has such a quick wit. (Not Bianca quick, but she's no Gia, either.) Her performance this week was just a disaster. Not knowing your lines is one thing; not knowing your character's name is another. As team captain, she blew it. She put no thought into casting and didn't lead her team through enough rehearsal. I just don't think she's got the polish to compete with her more seasoned competitors. She reminds me of early Shangela in that way. She just needs more time.

9. Unlike Joslyn, I get the feeling Gia Gunn is exactly as smart as she looks. Once the girls get a challenge that asks them to either improv or write their own material at all, Gia is toast. I'm not even sure I'd trust her to operate a pencil.

10. I actually don't think April Carrión's performance was nearly as bad as Trinity's. If Trinity wasn't saved by her team's win, I definitely would have placed her in the bottom two instead. Once it was down to April and Vivacious, I was already prepping for April to get on the next flight back to Puerto Rico. But, she shocked me with a seriously committed lip synch to Selena Gomez's "Shake It Up" that was impossible to turn away from. It had great energy.

11. Look, we all want to be Beyoncé, but Trinity is only this much closer than you and I. Again, Bianca said it best: "Trinity looks more like Sammy Davis, Jr. in a Beyoncé wig." I get this was her first time acting, but she couldn't even approximate the act of acting. Like, face the camera, gurl. Surely you don't need to study the Abramović Method to get that.

12. Oof. Vivacious. That performance made Trinity look like Meryl Streep. It's clear that Vivacious is very, very good at what she does, but that is just one aspect of becoming America's next drag superstar. The whole tribal council (her teammates, RuPaul and I) agrees. Get off the island.

How would you rank the queens?



  1. Robert Rhea says

    Here’s a heads up to the queens too – You know you’ll have to do Comedy in the Snatch Game too?

    It does make you wonder that they watch the show before auditioning – doesn’t it?

  2. MIke says

    Milk is a beautiful man and it won’t be long after his rather bizarre runways that Michelle is yelling at him for “GLAMOUR!” like she did Jinxx. I don’t care who wins but that Gia has got to go.

  3. MIke says

    I forgot to add since it’s clear Gia gets on everyone’s last nerve, Ru is going to keep her around like PhiPhi. I think Ru watches and sees all things happening.

  4. Qj201 says

    Milk reminds me of those “look how cool and different the drag scene is in brooklyn” posts on the “gay voices” section of HuffPo.

    Yawn, we get it, you’re “different”
    Now look good doing “different”

    That fish Gia needs to be filleted, grilled and served

    Give April a map, she’s lost

    Trinity…girl your realness may snatch trophies…she has all the talent for still photography and not much else.

  5. pete n sfo says

    The editing on this show makes it nearly unwatchable. I checked it out for the 1st time last night. I missed a lot of the “jokes” b/c the background music was in the foreground. And as a newcomer I would have appreciated a few more shots of they gals out of drag; in drag some of them look too much alike.

    That said, Bianca Del Rio, is totally most entertaining. I worry about the editing b/c I’ve seen LaGanja live & she’s terrific.

  6. RyanC says

    Pete: It’s just an unfortunate choice of first episode to watch. Usually the contestants spend the majority of the episode out of drag, and only dress up for the runway.

  7. Moz's says

    Courtney = very pretty and the closest to looking like a real girl

    Bianca = Hilarious

    the rest = blah

  8. theo says

    Would like to see a little more balance with Bianca’s schtick. Can see Bianca’s schtick verging into ‘toxic’ territory real quick.

  9. hamoboy says

    Wow some people really don’t like Trinity. Get on youtube hunty, check her out. She’s got a lot of talent, and it’s definitely lot confined to sitting still. I think she’s so sensitive to criticism because she’s so young. She’s the youngest damn queen in the competition! 22. That’s practically still in diapers compared to some of these seasoned queens. I think if she takes advice well, she’s going to show the most growth after the show.

    Bianca needs to dial it back a bit though. It can get a bit much if I have to hear her coming for someone every 5 minutes. People might be sick of that by the end of the season.

  10. AnnPutation says

    Milk needs to return her copy of “Party Monster” to the video store…her looks are old and been done!