The Snatch Game is such an important turning point in each season of RPDR. It gives us a frame of reference for each queen. If they play well, they choose characters that give us a little more insight into their inspiration and sense of humor. Miss Fame and Violet as Donatella Versace (fashion obsessed), Pearl as Big Ang (irreverent), Jaidynn as Raven Symone (cute and goofy), and Max as Sharon Needles (WHAT? Why didn’t you do the Queen of England?).
Yeah. We were disappointed in Max. She has been so spot on in the challenges up to this point, and then she shattered our expectations. She got a healthy elimination spike, but it is not as high as Trixie’s, probably because the fans regretfully agree with RuPaul and because it’s later in the season.
Violet is starting to show a more Pearl-like growth curve. Her story arc, from cranky and defensive to more vulnerable and human (“I’m not an a-hole, I’m just shy!”) has gained her favor in the fan base. She has made significant gains this week, especially on Facebook and Instagram, where the fashion queens perform better.
Pearl is still doing well, but has less relative growth on Twitter and Facebook than in weeks past. However, she’s still number one on Twitter, and she’s killing it on Instagram, for good reason. I’m a lesbian and I can clearly see that Pearl is smokin’.
And then there’s Kennedy. She is doing well on the challenges, but not loved by the fans. The perfect villain.
Since RuPaul is consistently kicking off fan favorites this year, I added another element to my analysis: the W.W.R.P.D. poll: What Would RuPaul Do? Some people have called me the Nate Silver of Drag Race, which is so flattering. (If only.) The advantage Nate Silver has (besides having a degree in economics and being a genius statistician) is that he can use polls of the American public to predict how they will vote. You can’t poll Ru’s brain, and Ru gets to do whatever the hell she wants. So I polled a bunch of you, who were channeling RuPaul. Bottom line: RuPaul wants “something new” to her lineup of queens. Violet is fashion forward and the future of drag, and Ginger is the big girl that we sorely need to see wearing the crown. Between those two options, fans would rather see Violet get the crown. However, the real fan favorite is Katya. (This is swayed by the fact that this survey is mostly Reddit users, who spend a zillion hours on the internet and love Katya’s online presence. And while they love her presence, they are also willing to spend hours analyzing the game.)
If I had to predict right now, based on W.W.R.P.D. + social media following, I would say that Violet is going to win. She seems like the kinda thing Ru wants this year, and she is starting to seeing rapid growth in fans. (And after all, Ru makes money when the fans like a queen.)
Results from W.W.R.P.D. are after the social media stats. I’ll leave the poll up for awhile, in case you haven’t taken the poll or want to change your answers in response to new episodes.
- Katya is now in third place, beating out Trixie by a hair (300 followers). She has gained the most new followers this week (3,300, 17%) and is gaining on Miss Fame for spot #2.
- Mini-Elimination Spike: Max saw the highest relative increase (2,900, 20%) and holds rank at #6.
- Violet gained more followers than usual for her. She gained 2,500 new followers, compared to about 1,800 per week.
- Pearl is still in the #1 spot, and is in second place for the number of followers (3,000). It’s a healthy growth, but I get the feeling the days of wildly accelerated growth are ending.
- Jaidynn and Mrs. Kasha are still battling for spots #9 and #10. Jaidynn is on top this week, with 134 more followers than MKD.
- Kennedy Davenport finally beat Sasha Belle, and is now ranked #12.
- Max beat out Trixie for spot #4. Next week’s returning queen (uh… Trixie?) may change this. Max saw the largest relative increase in followers (2,479, 13%), a wee elimination spike.
- Pearl gained 1,866 followers, which is good compared to other queens, but a small increase for her. She has gained 4,000-5,000 in weeks past.
- Violet gained the most new followers (2,922, 11%). When you look at the graph, you can see that Violet’s growth curve is starting to look like Pearl’s, and she could easily catch up to Pearl and Miss Fame by the end of the season.
- Fashion forward Violet gained the most followers this week (8,100, 12%).
- Pearl has the second highest number of followers (8,000, 7%).
- Jaidynn has the highest relative increase in followers (15%, 2,200).
- Max didn’t have an elimination spike on Instagram. She gained 5,600 new followers, relative to 7,400 (last week) and ~5,000 (prior weeks).
- Mrs. Kasha Davis beat out Tempest DuJour by 200 followers. She is now ranked #10.
177 people responded to the survey. (I deleted some duplicate responses.)
- The majority of respondents think Ru will select either Violet or Ginger (28%).
- Next in line: Pearl (16%)
This got me thinking. It’s hard to be objective in this situation, so I broke the data down a little more. What’s the difference between people who think RuPaul agrees with them, and those that think, although their favorite is X, RuPaul is the type of person who goes for Y?
For the sake of argument, let’s assume those that disagree with their channeled RuPaul are more objective than those that agree with their inner Ru.
- Of those that disagree with Ru, most think Ginger Minj will win (39%) because she is a big girl, and it’s time to have a big girl crowned. She is funny, does well in the challenges, and looks good.
- Next in line: Violet Chachki (26%). Her cutting edge fashion makes her the “future of drag.”
- A distant 3rd place is Pearl (13%).
What does this mean? People see Ginger and Violet being edited for the win, even if they want someone else.
Quotes about Ginger:
“The winners of RPDR are all about diversity — showing that different styles and interpretations of Drag are worthy of the crown. In this vein, the current pantheon desperately needs a big girl. Like, yesterday.”
“I truly think [RuPaul] is showing much love to the big girls this season. I can feel it! Ginger is funny, solid on the runway with her cohesive looks, lives up to the challenges that are asked of her, and can deliver every time. Not to mention she is experienced.”
Quotes about Violet:
“A fashion forward queen who will consistently deliver great looks. She is also a young queen with an open mind to develop the RuPaul brand further after her season. Older more seasoned queens are set in their ways and most likely want to stay that way. But Violet on the other hand seems more open to change.”
“A contrast to Bianca, showing the ‘new-edge’ of drag. Specifically she mentioned the “online generation”. Intensely dedicated and interesting aesthetic, probably the most consistent contestant that has performed well aside from Ginger Minj.”
Quotes about Pearl:
“We need a younger queen now. She has grown and continues to shine as the season continues. She has a unique style, like the rest of the winners and is liked.”
“Because she is different, she brings attitude and talent to the table.”
“Less Objective” Responses
Of those that agree with their inner Ru:
- Violet got 31% of the vote.
- Pearl is in second place: 24%
- Katya is in third place: 19%
- Ginger is in the bottom: 2%
In this scenario, Violet and Pearl beat out Ginger by a landslide. So does Katya. So let’s look at what the fans want.
Because fanhood matters, the difference between Violet and Ginger is that Violet has a lot more fans than Ginger. This points toward Violet being the winner of this year’s season.
However, the redditor fans want Katya. The quotes about Katya are so effervescent. She obviously brings an enormous amount of joy to her fans.
- Katya Katya Katya Katya Stan: 35%
- Violet is a close second: 22%
- Ginger Minj has 3% of the vote
- 2% of users want Kennedy Davenport
Quotes about Katya:
“Katya aka Mom has the perfect CUNT of all seasons. She’s hilarious, hot, campy and still a glamorous queen. Her drag is interesting in a lot of ways and a lot of people can relate to her crazy attitude. She’s comedy without being shady and she’s always delivering (even when she was in the bottom two, she purposely screwed up the challenge *I wish* to kill that lipsync). Moreover, as a winner she will bring a better attitude and vibe to the Drag Race Royalty. Her performances are everything and I could just sit and talk to her forever because she’s so awesome. Mom is love, Mom is life.”
“She’s the full package for me. She can be funny, she can be glamorous, and she can lip sync her tail off. Plus she seems very smart and savvy with social media so she would be a good representative of the RPDR brand.”
Last but not least, this quote makes me wonder and hope that Katya answered my survey. swoon
“If we start by dropping to our knees, in awe, before an Afrocentric High Priestess of chimeric origin (i.e., BeBe Zahara Benet) and then emerge from her holy ziggurat to mix with the rabble outside, and link arms with one irascible, resourceful creature whose primary defense mechanism is camouflaging herself as Beyonce (i.e., Tyra Sanchez), and if we then proceed to find trouble with the law and go on the lam, alone, hiding in the city’s adjacent desert, and, there, if we capture a sylph, born from sun rays, and adopt her for as long as she remains on this plane of existence (i.e., Raja) — and if one day she evanesces, and we have a crisis, and stumble at night into a cult on the outskirts, where a re-animated skeleton (who dresses in the glad rags of meretricious ladies who’ve perished during pilgrimage) invites us to indulge our most private pleasures — and if we take up that invitation, and wake one day in a damp little town, having traveled the world and lost all our friends, and, depressed, at last find comfort in a traveling circus (pitched laboriously wherever there’s room) and become smitten with a Gelsomina clown girl who shouts her songs over the barking dogs — and if we feel optimistic, and join her act, and if that act goes overseas, so that we board a ship, and if that ship is taken by pirates, so that those of us who survive are indentured as servants, and if we’re ridiculed by a garrulous, emerald-tinged bird of paradise that perches high above, laughing at us till we ourselves laugh, finally detached from this world, and laughing, disdainfully, at everything — then Katya should be next, to represent resignation to anarchic goofiness.”