Season 9, Episode 4: Good Morning, Bitches!

This show is all about Valentina. If numbers can predict the winner this early in the game, then they are ALL pointing to Valentina (Challenge score, fan vote, relative growth on social media). It looks like the Top 5 will be Valentina, Shea, Nina, Sasha and somebody.

Here’s the rationale. A survey of (mostly) Reddit participants points to Valentina, Shea, and Nina as the most likely Top 3 slots. Looking at last year’s numbers, fans’ speculation was the best predictor of the winner (other than Ru’s brain). Valentina, Sasha, and Shea have the highest Challenge Scores. Valentina, Nina, and Sasha have the highest relative growth on Instagram. Valentina, Nina and Aja have the highest relative growth on Twitter. Noticing a trend here? Valentina, Valentina, Valentina.

To summarize:

  • Fan survey: Valentina (1st), Shea (2nd), Nina (3rd)
  • Challenge Score: Valentina, Sasha, Shea (same score)
  • Relative Instagram Growth: Valentina (1st), Nina (2nd), Sasha (3rd)
  • Relative Twitter Growth: Valentina (1st), Nina (2nd), Aja (3rd)

Shea and Nina are both expected to be in the top tier of queens, but people EXPECT Shea to win more than Nina. However, they WANT Nina to win more than Shea. Shea fits the mold. Nina is loved. Hugs all around.

Notice that I haven’t mentioned Farrah. She has the most followers on Twitter and Instagram, and only Valentina is challenging her. Is she the Naomi Smalls of the season, a dark horse in the running? I just don’t think so. I think she’s just fun to look at. And flirt with:

Relative Growth

I made some new charts of overall relative growth this week. Early on, relative growth can be more telling than the overall number of followers. It hints at their progress over the course of the show. By the end of the season, relative growth has less meaning, and it’s more important to look at totals.

Challenge Score

  • Shea, Sasha, and Valentina are all tied for first place on the Safe Sucks challenge score (5). They each have one win, one high placement, and two safe placements.
  • Nina and Trinity are tied for second place (3.5). Nina has gotten one win + 3 safes. Trinity, however, has a more chequered past, with one win, one high, one bottom 2, and one safe. Trinity has received more screen time as a result. Oh the drama!

Votes: Who Will Win?

I posted a survey on Reddit and this blog with two simple questions:

  • Who do you think will win?
  • Who do you want to win? (Should it be whom?)

People rightly did not vote for Jaymes or Kimora. I’m surrounded by augurs!

  • Valentina is winning this by a landslide. She got 53 (34%) votes as the expected winner. A whopping 44 (29%) want her to win.
  • Shea Coulee is a close second with 40 votes (26%). However, a smaller percentage wants her to win (19 votes, 12%).
  • Nina Bonina has 27 votes (17%) as the expected winner, and 35 people (27%) want her to win. Fans don’t think she is a shoo-in by RuPaul’s standards, but they love her.

Instagram

  • Farrah Moan still leads the pack, but Valentina will top her by the next episode. (As I type this, they are tied for first place with 223K followers each.)
  • Valentina has had the highest relative growth over the course of four episodes, with Nina Bonina close behind.
  • Sasha Velour has gone up in rank, from #7 to #6. She gained 17K followers this week (while Valentina gained 35K new followers.)
  • Aja is doing well. She is in third place and will likely stay there, unless Nina, Sasha or Shea give her the bump. I’d like to think her Linda Evangelista read is part of her online success.

Twitter

  • Farrah leads the pack with 31.5K followers.
  • Cynthia Lee is in second place, but it won’t take long for Valentina to surpass her. Her relative increase in followers has been pretty low each week (5%, 4%).
  • While Valentina’s following has a healthy growth curve, she may still trail behind Farrah Moan for awhile.
  • Similar to Instagram, Valentina and Nina Bonina have had the most relative growth over four episodes. If you look at the relative growth graph, 2 and 3 were strongest for Valentina, and episodes 1 and 2 were strongest for Nina Bonina.

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