When I learned that this week’s episode was about politics, I had bad flashbacks to “Frock the Vote” and was curling my toes in anticipatory embarrassment for this season’s queens. Fortunately, they let it be a big goof-off and didn’t hire Dan Savage (love ya, Dan) to give serious critiques. Toes uncurling. Phew.
Bob the Crowned Queen
As I said above, Bob is going to win this thing. Bob’s challenge score is extremely high, and when you take into account the “safe sucks” theory, her score is even higher. In the W.W.R.P.D. survey, 52% of respondents said that Bob was going to win. The biggest drawback of Bob is that she is not as popular as Kim Chi. This is probably due to her story arc, which has had more highs and lows than Kim’s.
If Not Bob, then Who?
If it’s not Bob, it feels like the competition is between Bob the Loud Queen and Kim the Sneak Attack Queen, who also has a high challenge score. Kim is more popular, and has about 100K more followers than Bob on Instagram (253K vs. 155K), and 5K more on Twitter (35K vs. 30K). However, Kim is only gaining about 1K new followers on Facebook each week, indicating that she might be coming down from her peak.
Naomi has a dark horse story, and Chi Chi has had a lot of screen time, but both of them have low Challenge scores. While Derrick got a redemption story arc this week, and a good Challenge score as a result of her win (and a win due to working with Bob), her edit has been very negative throughout this competition, and not because she is bitchy, but because she is bland and whiny.
Elephant in the Room – Thorgy Elimination
Prior to episode 7, 37% of our poll respondents (n=470) thought that Thorgy was definitely going to be Top 3. Thirty-eight percent (38%) thought she was going to be Top 3, but had doubts. Seventy-five percent (75%) were leaning toward yes, which makes this week’s elimination a nice shocker, and I expected an elimination spike for Thorgy. She did get an elimination spike on Facebook, but not much on Instagram and Twitter. This may be because people agreed with the edit and suddenly saw the endearing quirkiness as annoying.
If you look at Thorgy’s story arc, she has skewed mostly positive, but was starting to fall in episode 6. She had a good challenge score in episode 6, just behind Bob and Kim. Last week, 15% of respondents thought Thorgy was going to be crowned America’s Next Drag Superstar, just behind Bob and Kim. This week, producers put her weaknesses under a magnifying lens, and she was chopped off. I assumed that, if she weren’t top 3, she was getting a Miss Congeniality edit. Given her behavior on Untucked, I don’t think they want Thorgy to get the Congeniality title, and they’re positioning Naomi for it. What do you think? (P.S. 5% of respondents didn’t watch Untucked.)
Now that we’re in the top 5 and Bob has won three challenges, her AnalRPDR score is 9, with Kim in 2nd place with a score of 5. Bob’s “Safe Sucks” score is 11, compared to Kim’s 7. Derrick is in third place. Oh dear Lord.
Acid and Thorgy are still performing better than Naomi. Robbie is still performing better than Chi Chi. I’m all “nope nope nope” on Naomi and Chi Chi.
As a side note, someone suggested I make an elimination worth -2 or -3. Good idea, but then it’s hard to see how well (for example) Thorgy was doing before the elimination episode. If you want those calculations, I can share them in a separate post upon request.
Hey lollipop kids! Welcome to another week of data analysis! With mixed emotions, we are in the home stretch. I’m excited to see who our next queen will be, and sad to see such awesome queens disappear each week.
What Would RuPaul Do?
In this week’s poll (n=397), I asked the fans (mostly Redditors, a sprinkle of Twitter and blog followers) who Ru would pick to be America’s Next Drag Superstar. Answer: Bob. They were right last year.
The results above are pretty consistent with the challenge scores. No matter how you score it, Bob has the highest challenge score, and 53% of our fans voted for her to get the crown. She was followed by Kim Chi (21%), who has a score very close to Bob’s, and then Thorgy (15%), who has a good, but not great challenge score since she has no wins.
If Kim wins a challenge next week, she will be one small step ahead of Bob, even if Bob is high. Looking at the social media numbers below, Kim is more popular than Bob, and could win the hashtag campaign if she is in the top 3. (As we learned last year, winning the hashtag campaign does not necessarily earn you the crown.) To add a little tension, if Thorgy or Naomi wins next week, they could be very close to the Bob/Kim score.
Speaking of Naomi…
Look at Naomi’s story arc! For the first four episodes, we were like, “filler, filler, filler, filler…” and then all of a sudden she went from bottom two to winner! Nothing like a dark horse story arc to add some tension. To be clear, she has been popular on social media, and got a good amount of screen time in the first few episodes. (Weren’t people calculating this? Send me some numbers if you got ’em!)
The Legend of Acid
I talk about elimination spikes now and then. If queens get eliminated, and IF the people think it’s unfair, the queen gets a bigger than usual following on social media. Acid got a little boost last week. BUT for the first time since I’ve been doing this (a whopping 2.5 years), an eliminated queen (Acid) moved up in rank over a week AFTER an elimination, pushing down a queen currently on the show (Derrick). It happened on Twitter. Derrick, for 23 days I’ve been dying to tell you what I think of you. But, being a Christian woman, I can’t say it!
After RuPaul sent Robbie back to The Emerald City of Seattle, /u/gmccl and I posed the question, “What is Robbie’s Greatest Strength: heart, brains, or courage? Robbie is the “kindest queen you’ll ever meet” (Heart!), had some snappy commentary (Brains!), and lip synced on roller skate (Courage!). While she can be shady, 53% of respondents (n=397) said it’s her HEART. Oh, big hugs to you, Robbie!! A heart is shown not by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.
I seriously thought Derrick was going home, like, four weeks ago. Look at that edit! Derrick, there’s no place like home.
Thorgy is starting to get stressed and lose her Katya-like magic. While she skews positive, she got a less positive score this week.
Robbie had a little spike with the Chicken Wings, but mostly a negative edit, and skipped on home.
Kim’s been positive. Top 3 material, but don’t make her dance.
Chi Chi is sometimes neutral, and sometimes controversial. She gets lots of attention, but her social media shows she isn’t so popular. I think she peaked early.
Bob’s and Chi Chi’s story arcs look very similar, with Bob having more dramatic positives and negatives. She also skews more positive.
Stay tuned for /u/gmccl’s infographic. Coming soon!
It’s the Snatch Game!
Big news! Acid was eliminated, which shocked the world. She had a high challenge score and a lot of screen time (albeit negative). We expected the villain to stick around to the bitter end. Ru had to eliminate a NYC queen, so cue the sad trombone for Acid. In this week’s screen time poll, the majority of our 394 friends (89%) said Acid was a good trip. She also got elimination spikes on social media. Hugs all around.
According to the numbers, this show is about Kim, Bob and Thorgy. They have the highest score in the challenges (even without a win for Thorgy), they are the most popular on Instagram and Twitter, and their story arcs are strong and positive.
Naomi, Derrick and Robbie are set up to be eliminated soon. Robbie has low challenge scores (even with one win), a mostly negative story arc, and low social media following. Derrick has medium-high challenge scores, but a negative story arc and medium social media following. Naomi has low challenge scores, an invisible story arc, but has medium-high popularity on social media.
What about Chi Chi? Her challenge score is surprisingly low, which doesn’t bode well. At the same time, Ru and the producers are weaving an American Dream story by juxtaposing the poor Shreveport queen and the rich NYC queens. Chi Chi’s story arc is mostly positive, and the social media numbers show that some people like her, but the general public isn’t eating it up. Given Chi Chi’s performance in the challenges, I don’t think Ru wants to crown her, but does want her to last a long time and earn top dollar for her live drag performances.
Last year, Violet scored well in the challenges, but Pearl was much more popular. (See final numbers here.) I learned that:
At this stage of the game, we can start looking at the scores to see who will win, or at least be in the top three. I have two scoring systems. One is the AnalRPDR scoring system, in which wins have a weight of +3, high has a weight of +1, and bottom 2 has a weight of -2. I also have a “Safe Sucks” score, which is based on the hypothesis that, if you don’t get a critique from Ru, you won’t be able to tailor your performance and succeed in the next challenge. You also don’t get as much screen time. In the Safe Sucks scoring system, queens get +0.5 if they are anything but safe (including bottom 2).
See the end of this post for how the edit is scored.*
*Edit Calculation: Each week, I run a poll on Reddit and my blog. I ask, “Who got the most positive edit? (pick three)” and “Who got the most negative edit? (pick three).” The score is based on the percentage of people that voted for that queen. For example, if 70% of voters said Thorgy had a positive edit, her positive edit score is 70. If 10% of voters said she had a negative edit, her negative edit score is -10. Her overall edit would then be +60.