Season 8, Episode 7: Shady Politics

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.

TL;DR

  • Bob is going to win. She has a great challenge score and is highly popular.
  • Kim is more popular than Bob.
  • Derrick has a redemption story arc. It’s a mildly flavored red herring.
  • Naomi continues her dark horse story arc. Another red herring, but more than likely a Miss Congeniality edit. Low challenge score. Nope.
  • Chi Chi has a low challenge score and is less popular than the others. Nopey nope nope.

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.

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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.)

Thorgy Story Arc

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Challenge Score after S8E6

Challenge Score

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.

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Challenge Score, Season 8 Episode 7

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Instagram

  • Kim Chi still has an incredibly strong lead, with 253K followers and 18K new followers this week.
  • Bob the Drag Queen has 155K followers, which is 98K less than Kim Chi. She gained 12K new followers, and her growth is slower than in weeks past.
  • Thorgy got more new followers than the week prior, but it’s not strong enough to call it an elimination spike. She gained 13K new followers this week, compared to 11.2K (Ep 6) and 15.7K (Ep 5).
  • Robbie Turner moved up to spot #9, bumping Cynthia down to spot #10. They are only separated by 1.2K fans.
  • Naomi continues to gain more fans than the week prior. This week she gained 14.5K, compared to 13.3K (Ep 6) and 10.9 (Ep 5).
  • Derrick ranks 5th. Chi Chi ranks 8th.

Instagram 1 Bar Graph Instagram 2 Raw Numbers Instagram 3 Rank Instagram 4 Number Followers Instagram 5 Percentage Followers

Twitter

  • Kim remains in the lead and is holding strong. She has 35.3K followers, compared to Bob’s 29.9K. Kim gained 2.9K and Bob gained 2.3K.
  • The rank remains unchanged.
  • Thorgy got a small bump in followers compared to Episode 6 (2.6K vs. 1.9K), but it’s pretty close to her increase in Episode 5 (2.7K).
  • Naomi and Thorgy have been gaining about 2K each week, with Naomi consistently 2K behind Thorgy. It will be interesting to see what happens now that Thorgy is gone.
  • Derrick ranks 6th. Chi Chi ranks 8th.

Twitter 1 Bar Graph Twitter 2 Raw Numbers Twitter 3 Rank Twitter 4 Increase Numbers Twitter 5 Increase Percentage

Facebook

  • Derrick Barry is still in the lead on Facebook, and gained 2.1K new followers this week.
  • Acid Betty is still in 2nd place, but leads Bob the Drag Queen by 2.3K followers. At this rate, Bob will probably pass Acid in about two episodes.
  • Naomi moved from spot #5 to spot #4. She gained 2.9K followers this week, compared to 1.7K (Ep 6) and 1.9K (Ep 5).
  • Thorgy moved from spot #6 to spot #5. If Thorgy saw an elimination spike anywhere, it was on Facebook. She gained 3,381 new followers this week, compared to 1,990 (Ep 6) or 2,769 (Ep 5).
  • Kim Chi moved down to spot #6!!!!!!! She has been gaining less than 1K new followers for the last two weeks. I’m curious to know why this is happening.

Facebook 1 Bar Graph Facebook 2 Raw Numbers Facebook 3 Rank Facebook 4 Increase Numbers Facebook 5 Increase Percent

The Edit

  • This week, Bob got the most positive edit (89.7%).
  • Naomi and Derrick lag behind Bob by about 30 percentage points (62.6% and 60.7%, respectively).
  • Thorgy got the most negative edit (92.7%).
  • Chi Chi followed Thorgy by about 25 percentage points (66%).
  • Kim Chi got her first mostly negative score (-48.9) with an overall score of -17.7.
  • Derrick got her first mostly positive score (60.7) with an overall score of 28.0.
1 Positive Edit
Which queens got the most positive edit? (Pick 3.) Score = Percentage of respondents (n=470) that rated the queen as positive * 100.
2 Negative Edit
Which queens got the most negative edit? (Pick 3.) Score = Percentage of respondents (n=470) that rated the queen as negative * 100.
3 Overall Edit
Positive score – Negative score = Overall score
Chi Chi Story Arc
Skewing negative
Bob Story Arc
Oh the drama!
Kim Story Arc
Nice gal, high fashion, weakness revealed.
Derrick Story Arc
Redemption!
Naomi Story Arc
Dark horse

Season 8, Episode 6: Wizards of Drag

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.

WWRPD

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.

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Check the math, people! You keep me honest.
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AnalRPDR Score = 3*win + 1*high -2*btm2 ///// Safe Sucks Score = AnalRPDR Score +0.5*NotSafe

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…

Dark Horse

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!)

Naomi

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!

Robbie

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.

Robbie

Screen Time

  • Naomi’s win gave her a much more positive score than she has had all season.
  • This week, the positive and negative scores align more with how they did in the challenge, and less on attitude, fighting, or family back story. Therefore, Naomi, Kim and Thorgy got positive edits, and Derrick, Chi Chi, Robbie and Bob got negative edits.
  • Thorgy did worse than usual, probably because she is losing her sparkle while she whines about Bob.
Positive Edit
Positive Edit = Percentage of people who voted for the queen * 100; n=397
Negative Edit
Negative Edit = Percentage of people who voted for the queen * 100; n=397
Overall Score
Overall Score = Positive Edit – Negative Edit

Instagram

  • Kim is in the lead (235K), and gained the most followers. However, she only gained 14K this week, compared to 18K and 24K in past weeks.
  • Bob is in 2nd place (143K), and gained 13K followers, just behind Kim’s growth.
  • Let’s face it, Kim is more fun to look at than Bob.
  • Naomi is in 4th place, but gained more followers than usual this week (13.3K compared to 11-12K in past weeks).
  • Chi Chi had the highest relative growth this week (18%), but only gained 6,400 new followers. I don’t see her shooting up to top 5 on Instagram.
  • The ranks remain unchanged this week.

Instagram Bar Graph

Instagram Raw Numbers

Instagram Rank

Instagram Increase Numbers

Instagram Increase Percentage

Twitter

  • Acid jumped to #5, pushing Derrick down to spot #6. Acid gained 1,300 new followers. Derrick gained 700. Oh Derrick, you have no power here! Begone, before somebody drops a house on you, too!
  • Kim is still in the lead with 32.4K. Bob is slowly gaining on her, but probably won’t pass her in the next few weeks if trends continue.
  • Naomi had the highest relative increase (12%), but nobody’s growth is very high at this time.

Twitter Bar Graph

Twitter Raw Numbers

Twitter Rank

Twitter Increase Numbers

Twitter Increase Percentage
Facebook

  • Rank remains unchanged, but Bob will probably beat out Acid Betty in about 3-4 weeks.
  • Chi Chi had the highest relative increase (15%), but has only gained 700 followers this week.
  • Everyone’s relative increase is slowing down. We have heard everyone’s story and fans have decided who they like and want to follow.

Facebook Bar Graph

Facebook Raw Numbers

Facebook Rank

Facebook Increase Numbers

Facebook Increase Percentage
Story Arcs

I seriously thought Derrick was going home, like, four weeks ago. Look at that edit! Derrick, there’s no place like home.

Derrick

Thorgy is starting to get stressed and lose her Katya-like magic. While she skews positive, she got a less positive score this week.

Thorgy

Robbie had a little spike with the Chicken Wings, but mostly a negative edit, and skipped on home.

RobbieKim’s been positive. Top 3 material, but don’t make her dance.
KimChi 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.
Chi Chi

Bob’s and Chi Chi’s story arcs look very similar, with Bob having more dramatic positives and negatives. She also skews more positive.

Bob

Stay tuned for /u/gmccl’s infographic. Coming soon!

Season 8, Episode 5: SNATCH GAME!!

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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.

Challenge Score

Last year, Violet scored well in the challenges, but Pearl was much more popular. (See final numbers here.) I learned that:

  • Challenges are most important in determining the winner
  • Popularity tips the scale

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).

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  • With both AnalRPDR and Safe Sucks scores, Bob, Kim, and Thorgy are positioned for top three.
  • The producers have focused on Thorgy’s complaint that she hasn’t won a challenge yet. If she wins the next challenge, and if Bob and Kim are placed high, she will be in second place.
  • Acid places fourth, but has been eliminated. This also explains why people are shocked that Betty left.
  • Derrick has a higher score than Chi Chi.
  • Robbie and Naomi have extremely low scores. Robbie has had one win, but has been mostly low and in the bottom two. Naomi has only been high once, and has been in the bottom two.

The Edit 

See the end of this post for how the edit is scored.*

  • Bob and Thorgy got the most votes for positive edit (69% and 63.7%, respectively).
  • Acid had a mixed edit, with a lot of votes for both positive (35%) and negative (46.2%).
  • Naomi and Robbie got voted for the most negative edit this week (59.6% and 60.4%, respectively).

Edit - Positive

Edit - Negative Edit - Overall

Story Arc

  • Thorgy and Kim Chi have always had a positive edit, setting either of them up for Miss Congeniality.
  • Bob and Chi Chi have gotten mostly positive edits, with only one negative week. Given their positive-with-a-dash-of-drama edit, I think they are likely to be on the top three.
  • Acid, Robbie, and Derrick have gotten almost entirely negative edits, and are unlikely to be top three or Miss Congeniality. But you knew that.
  • Naomi has been mostly neutral (slightly positive) and got a strongly negative edit this week (-59.6).

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Instagram

  • Kimmy Jong-Un is STILL annihilating the rest of the queens with her weapons of ass destruction. She has almost 100K more followers than Bob, who is in second place. Kim has 221K, and Bob has 130K.
  • Chi Chi moved up in rank, from #10 to #8. She also has the highest relative increase in followers (34%).
  • Robbie moved up in rank, from #11 to #10.
  • Eliminated queens Dax and Cynthia moved down in rank, as is typical at this stage.
  • Acid got a small elimination spike, with 9.1K more followers, compared to 7.8K in weeks past.
  • Everyone’s relative increase is slowing down.

Instagram Bar Graph

Instagram Raw Numbers

Instagram Rank

Instagram Increase Numbers Instagram Increase Percentage

Twitter

  • Kim has the most followers on Twitter (30.4K), followed closely by Bob (25.5K). Bob gained more followers than Kim this week, with +3.1K compared to Kim’s +2.7K.
  • Thorgy gained the same number of followers as Kim (+2.7K), but is in third place with 18.2K followers.
  • Naomi is in fourth place (16.4K), Derrick is in fifth place (14K), Chi Chi is in 8th place (9.6K) and Robbie is in 10th place (8K).
  • Acid had an elimination spike, with the highest relative increase (23%), and 2.5K new followers compared to 1.7K in weeks past. She also jumped from #7 to #6, pushing Laila down to #7.

Twitter Bar Graph

Twitter Raw Numbers

Twitter Rank

Twitter Increase Numbers Twitter Increase Percentage

Facebook

  • Derrick is still #1 on Facebook. No one is going to catch up with her by the finale.
  • You can just eyeball the chart below and see that Bob and Thorgy have seen the most growth on Facebook.
  • Bob just ousted Kim for spot #3. They are neck-and-neck now. Bob has 19.8K followers, and Kim has 19.4K.
  • Acid Betty had an elimination spike, gathering 3.2K new followers, compared to 1.9K in weeks past.
  • Naomi is more popular than Thorgy, but Thorgy gains more new followers than Naomi every week. Thorgy probably won’t pass Naomi next week, but will easily pass her if Naomi gets eliminated.

Facebook Bar Graph
Facebook Raw Numbers

Facebook Rank


Facebook Increase Numbers
Facebook Increase Percentage

*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.